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An Invitation from Sustainable Claremont

You are invited to celebrate the end of Sustainable Claremont’s third year on Monday, October 3, 6:30 p.m. at the Padua Hills Theater.with the theme GROW GREEN, EAT GREEN: Local Food for Sustainable Living. The keynote speaker will be Nurit Katz, Sustainability Coordinator for UCLA There will be awards for outstanding contributions to local sustainability, and a local food expo.

Sustainable Claremont was established as a non-profit community organization as part of the implementation of Claremont’s Sustainable City Plan. It works closely with the City but is independent. Its members are individuals and organization that work together on social, economic, and environmental sustainability – in Claremont and beyond. New members are always welcome, either to join ongoing projects, or to establish new ones.

As Sustainable Claremont’s third year comes to an end its good to look back, and to think about the future. Here are some of the things that come to mind.

I first met Devon Hartman at a seminar on Home Energy Retrofits. He is passionate about energy conservation, and efficient design of buildings. We learned that buildings in the United States use more energy than is used for transportation, and that if we would increase building energy efficiency by 25% the energy savings would be equivalent to taking half the passenger cars off the road --- a huge benefit in helping our economy by reducing dependence on imported oil, and one of the most effective things we could do to decrease global warming. Devon and his firm Hartman-Baldwin Design/Build joined Sustainable Claremont, Together we formed the Energy Retrofit Group (ERG) that created CHERP, the Claremont Home Energy Retrofit Program. CHERP’s initial goal is to retrofit 130 homes in Claremont, and then many more. Recently Sustainable Claremont became an Energy Champion as part of a Los Angeles County program that pays sponsoring organizations up to $500 for each completed home energy retrofit they initiate.

Nearly half of Claremont’s water is imported. We depend on the State Water Project for water from the delta near Sacramento. That supply could be disrupted at any time by an earthquake or other events. Dick Haskell, a member of the physics faculty at Harvey Mudd College, heads Sustainable Claremont’s Water Action Group where plans are being made for a model sewage reclamation that will replace an average 500,000 gallons per day of potable water now used for irrigation on for the Claremont Colleges.. That’s about 5% of the total water consumption in Claremont. The plant will pay for itself fast enough to make it an attractive investment as well. Water conservation is also a priority of the Water Action Group.. Bridget Stokes is organizing a community group interested in drought tolerant planting.

Ron Mittino heads the Schools Action Group that drafted a sustainability resolution adopted by the Claremont School board. The resolution emphasizes the importance of sustainability education in the curriculum. With Ron’s encouragement several schools built vegetable gardens that are attracting much student interest as well as providing healthful food for the schools.

John Cobb and Progressive Christians Uniting have arranged an ambitious conference BRAVE NEW PLANET; Imagining Ecological Communities. Bill McKibben is to be a featured presenter. He is the author of Eaarth: Making Life on a Tough New Planet, and renowned advocate for building resilience in a world with global warming. David Orr will also be featured at the Conference. He is the primary architect of Oberlin’s $150,000,000 Project to revitalize the local community and build a prosperous post-fossil fuel economy. Sustainable Claremont, a partner in the Conference, has arranged for David Orr to meet with the community at the Hughes Center on October 29 for a dialogue on how Claremont might better address the future. (For more details on the Conference, and to register, visit the web site

To further public outreach and education Sustainable Claremont sponsors Claremont’s Earth Day event each April, a cooperative project with the City of Claremont. There is also a monthly Sustainability Dialog produced in cooperation with Pomona College, the League of Women Voters, and the Interfaith Committee on Sustainability chaired by Tom Helliwell.. COURIER Demystifying Sustainability articles, such as this one, are also a project of Sustainable Claremont.

Sharon Hightower and members of the Social Action Group prepared and published a walking Guide to Claremont. On Moving Planet Day (September 24) Sustainable Claremont worked with Larry Sheetz, Denise Spooner, and the Claremont Pedestrian and Biking Committee to arrange a bike ride from Claremont to Covina and back. Similar events were scheduled world-wide “To Get Us Moving Beyond Fossil Fuels”.

Members of Sustainable Claremont’s Board are chosen by its Action Groups. listed on the web site Sue Schenk and Freeman Allen are Co-Chairs, Claremont City Planner and Sustainability Coordinator Chris Veirs is Treasurer, and Katie Gerecke is Secretary. We look forward to your joining us for an enjoyable evening at our Annual Meeting next Monday, October 3, 6:30 p.m,. at the Padua Hills Theater.

By Freeman Allen
Demystifying Sustainability is produced by Sustainable Claremont (