In our October newsletter, we share some good news from The State of Local Climate Action report. We also celebrate Halloween with information about energy phantoms and vampires, and share ways to support  Prop 67 and help protect the ban on plastic bags.
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October 2016 E-News


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
Dear friend,

It probably goes without saying that we could all use some good news right about now. Maybe it comes in the form of something small – like hitting every green light on the way to the office. Maybe it is something much broader in scope, like The State of Local Climate Action report we highlight in this month's newsletter. The report brings us all kinds of good news, like the fact that 42 percent of governments in California have completed a climate, energy or sustainability plan. And that our efforts have resulted in a reduction of 1.2 million tons of CO2 (2005-2010) which is the equivalent of taking 256,000 cars from the road. The findings confirm that local governments are making a significant contribution to the state’s climate goals, which are among the most aggressive in the world. Sometimes it isn’t easy to recognize how all the things we do each day can, and do, make such a difference.  

Since Halloween is approaching, be sure to check out the information about “energy phantoms and vampires.”  We couldn't resist the opportunity to be funny about a serious subject. You’ll be surprised at how much energy – and money – you can save by unplugging these always-on appliances. Money you can use for more candy.  

One of the key topics on our minds this month is Proposition 67 – the measure to uphold California’s existing ban on single-use plastic bags. Here in Napa County, we are already seeing the benefits of our own local ordinances eliminating single use plastic bags. The results of these locally adopted policies are clear, consistent, and indisputable: lower costs, reduced litter and waste, and the elimination of an unnecessary threat to wildlife and the environment — in fact, Napa has seen a 50 percent decrease in plastic bag contamination in our recycling stream. One hundred fifty one (151) California cities and counties — including Napa County, American Canyon, Napa, Yountville and St. Helena — have already banned plastic bags. Think about the benefits statewide if California’s own law, which originally passed in 2014, is finally implemented. Read more about Prop 67 below and join the campaign to spread the word.  

Finally, be sure to check out our events calendar. Autumn has clearly arrived with oak planting days, a native plant sale, activities focused on local food, and a good old fashioned harvest festival. Between packing away your linen and unpacking your wool, leave some time to have fun and enjoy the bounty of the season and the company of your Napa Valley neighbors. 


Jeri Gill
CEO, Sustainable Napa County

Did you know there are phantoms and vampires in your home and business – and not just at Halloween? “Phantom Loads” or “Energy Vampires” happen when appliances and electronics drain energy when they’re not being used – a computer that isn’t turned off or an appliance that remains plugged in, for example. They suck energy, lead to carbon emissions, and cost the average household about $200 a year. Now that’s scary. This always-on energy use by inactive devices translates to $19 billion a year and approximately 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants' worth of electricity. How do you rid your home of these unwanted guests? Unplug items you’re not using such as appliances (toaster, coffee maker, juicer) and chargers for all your devices (phones, iPads, etc.). Consider unplugging larger appliances such as stereos and televisions when you’re away on vacation. Power strips also help stave off unwanted energy suckers.   Read more...  
Danger is lurking, Napa County.
What is this danger? Find out in less than two minutes.

While the video is light-hearted, the topic is serious. California businesses and residents are still vigilant about saving water in the wake of drought conditions. Learn how you can help keep your community safe from this "menace" of wasting water. For starters, did you know that the time is now to start rethinking your yard to go more California-friendly? Most don’t realize this, but early fall is the ideal time to plant in most regions of California. By planting in early fall (September-October), you will help roots establish before the summer heat returns and allow winter rains to water thirsty young plants. Visit Save our Water to learn more about ways you can save water and save money by making your lawn disappear and replacing thirsty turf with water-wise and drought-tolerant plants, changing out old sprinklers for drip irrigation, and getting connected to water efficiency and conservation tips and resources for your yard, garden, and home.  

Napa County and its groundwater consultant are currently completing work to meet the requirements of SGMA, which will be in the form of a Basin Analysis Report (one of the alternatives under the Act). The report, Napa Valley Groundwater Sustainability-Basin Analysis Report for the Napa Valley Subbasin, will provide an extensive analysis of the basin that demonstrates it has operated within its sustainable yield for a period of 10 years or more and that it is being managed consistent with the goal of SGMA and DWR regulations for Alternatives to GSPs. For medium and high priority groundwater basins/subbasins, a Basin Analysis Report or other Alternative must be submitted to DWR by January 1, 2017. The Napa Valley Subbasin is the only basin in the County with a medium priority ranking by DWR that is subject to SGMA at this time. Read more...  

A new report presents a first-of-its-kind portrait of city climate leadership at the state level. The State of Local Climate Action: California 2016 provides a comprehensive analysis of measurable local emissions trends, targets, planning efforts, and energy and climate actions in the state, along with in-depth profiles of local and regional agencies pursuing goals like public health and economic development through climate action. The report was developed through the Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative (SEEC), a partnership among ICLEI, Institute for Local Government, Local Government Commission, and the four investor-owned utilities in California. This research is made possible for the first time by drawing on stores of data in ICLEI's ClearPath emissions management software platform, which was originally developed through SEEC. More than 400 local governments worldwide are using ClearPath to measure and track their carbon pollution, and through the SEEC partnership, all local governments can access ClearPath in California. The report findings confirm that local governments are making a significant contribution to the State of California’s climate goals, which are among the most aggressive in the world with a targeted 40 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 recently passed into law. Read more...  

In a dramatic photo finish, California and Massachusetts both won the top spot in the 10th edition of the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). This marks Massachusetts' sixth consecutive year in first place, but the first time it shared the spotlight with the Golden State, which last held the title in 2010. The balance of the top 10 consisted of Vermont (#3), Rhode Island (#4), Connecticut and New York (tied for #5), Oregon (#7), Washington state (#8), Maryland (#9), and Minnesota (#10).  Read more...  

Legislative Update

Protect the Ban on Plastic Bags: Vote Yes on Prop 67

Banning disposable bags is an easy, commonsense way to reduce the appalling flow of plastic trash into our oceans. Something else is at stake, too: California's place as a national environmental leader. Out-of-state plastic bag companies from as far as South Carolina and Texas are spending millions to upend our environmental protections and keep their pollution flowing into our state. They are funding the highly deceptive campaign against Prop 67, the statewide plastic bag ban on California’s ballot this November. They want to kill California’s efforts to rein in plastic bag waste and litter, instead of giving our state’s law a chance to work and build success at the local level. They are putting their profits ahead of our environment. But we can stop them.

Join our Yes on 67 community and take a stand for California's beautiful beaches, coast, and ocean. One hundred fifty one (151) California cities and counties—including Napa County, American Canyon, Napa, Yountville and St. Helena—have already banned plastic bags. The results of these locally adopted policies are clear, consistent, and indisputable: lower costs, reduced litter and waste, and the elimination of an unnecessary threat to wildlife and the environment — in fact, Napa has seen a 50 percent decrease in plastic bag contamination in our recycling stream.
 The Yes on 67 campaign has put together some helpful materials including a website, fact sheet and list of supporters. Add your name to the list!

Napa County Roundup


The 2016 California Coastal Cleanup Day in Napa County was a great success! More than 420 volunteers covered 37 miles and collected 3,779 lbs. of garbage, 5,198 lbs. of recycling and 100 lbs. of compost. Statewide, volunteers picked up 541,431 pounds of trash and an additional 53,156 pounds of recyclable materials for a total of 297 tons of litter. Napa County has always been a positive presence in this statewide event that provides an excellent, hands-on way for people to keep our waterways clean and pristine. Don’t miss the opportunity to participate next year, but in the meantime, we challenge you to make every day Coastal Cleanup Day! Picking up the litter around you is one thing you can do to maintain the aesthetic value of our unique environment, as well as preserve and protect it well into the future.  Read more...  

Making Connections


Vampire Energy
Did you know that many of the plugged-in appliances in your home are still draining electricity even when they’re turned off? Wondering how can you reduce the amount of electricity you waste in your home? Here are a few simple steps you can follow to fight energy-wasting vampires.  Read more...

How would you speed up your Napa Valley commute?
The Napa Valley Transportation Authority (NVTA) is asking Napa County commuters to share their commuting experiences to help improve regional Express Bus Service. Click here to answer a short survey about ways to upgrade Vine Transit express service. Participants will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $25 Visa gift cards.

Rule Your Attic
EPA's third annual "ENERGY STAR Rule Your Attic" campaign started last week. As the weather cools down, it's a perfect time to get up in your attic and check insulation levels. Did you know that 90 percent of American homes are under-insulated? This means that 9 out of 10 U.S. homeowners are wasting money on energy bills. Find out how you can Rule Your Attic – to save energy, save money, increase your home's comfort, and reduce pollution that contributes to climate change.  Read more...

New car shopping? 
If you are shopping for a new-model car this fall, check out and compare the fuel economy of new cars. The annual fuel economy guide is online and provides estimates for hundreds of new cars.  Read more...

Mark Your Calendar

Saturday, October 15, 10 am-2 pm
Napa Sanitation District Open House
Napa Sanitation District, Napa

Take a tour of the treatment plant to find out what happens to your water after it goes down the drain. Visit the lab, watch large equipment demonstrations, and check out the birds that live on the marsh. Games and activities for kids, refreshments, and fun for all ages! Click here for more info.

Saturday & Sunday, October 15 & 16, 10 am – 4 pm
California Native Plant Sale
Skyline Park, Napa

Join the California Native Plant Society at Skyline Park for the Fall Native Plant Society sale. Over 1,000 hard-to-find native plants will be available for sale at Napa’s Skyline Park Social Hall, and are ready for fall planting in your garden.  Experts will be on hand to answer your questions. On Saturday at 11:30 am, Cathy Baskin, certified landscape designer, will present on designing and installing gardens of native drought tolerant plants. Click here for more info.

October 19-21, Sacramento
Water Education Foundation Northern California Tour 2016
Sacramento Valley

This 3-day, 2-night tour travels the length of the Sacramento Valley, a major source of water for California. The Water Education Foundation’s tours are action-packed field trips that offer participants a firsthand look at the water facilities, rivers and regions critical in the debate about the future of water resources. Issues of water supply, water quality, environmental restoration, flood management, groundwater and water conservation are addressed by a wide-range of speakers representing different viewpoints. Participants learn about water supply management, farming, flood management, groundwater management and conjunctive use, and salmon restoration. Click here to register.

EPA Webinar – New Tool Kit
Thursday, October 20, 10-11:30 am

The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is one of EPA’s partners and is at the forefront of identifying key areas where current laws create barriers to reducing this food waste or where policies can incentivize more food recovery, and is actively working on the federal and state level to help reform those laws. One way to assist with the proliferation of better food recovery laws and policies is by providing information to states and local governments regarding methods of increasing food recovery. This toolkit brings together lessons from their research and policy work in date labeling, tax incentives, liability protections, organic waste bans, leftovers for livestock as well as other food waste policies, to provide state and local policy makers with a comprehensive menu of policy options to reduce food waste. Join this webinar to learn what is included in this toolkit, and how you can use it in your state or local food waste policy. Click here to register.

Saturday, October 22, 10 am-2 pm
Drug Take-Back Day 
Various Locations

The Police Departments of the Cities of Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena, American Canyon, and Town of Yountville, together with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host collection events for unused medications and sharps (used needles and lancets) at several locations in Napa County. Improper disposal of medications may have serious impacts on the environment. “Flushing medications down the toilet or drain can pollute our waterways and cause negative impacts on aquatic life,” said Stephanie Turnipseed, Pollution Prevention and Outreach Coordinator with the Napa Sanitation District. “The simplest way to reduce the amount of medicines contaminating our environment is to take your unwanted medicines to a collection event or one of the year-round drop-off locations for safe disposal.” Turn in your unused or expired medication for free, no questions asked! Click here for a list of drop-off sites.

Monday, October 24, 4:30-8 pm
Napa Food Day: What’s for Lunch?

Napa County will celebrate Food Day – the nationwide celebration that inspires Americans to change their diets and our food policies – on October 24. Come find out what challenges, progress and innovative ideas are taking place in lunchrooms across the state, but most importantly in our own backyard during Food Day. The event begins at 4:30 pm with local nonprofits and school displays and a school lunch entrée challenge featuring four local chefs attempting to create a school lunch that doesn’t cost more than $1.25, the national average food cost for public schools. At 5:30 pm, there will be a panel discussion, followed by a 6:30 pm screening of the documentary, Lunch Line, which takes a new look at the school lunch program by exploring its past, current challenges and opportunities for its future. Click here for more info. Also, check out the Napa Farmers' Market celebration of Food Day on Saturday, October 22.

Friday, November 4, 1-4 pm (business)
Saturday, November 5, 9 am-3 pm (household)
Hazardous Waste Collection Event
Napa County Fairgrounds, Calistoga

Appointments are required for business hazardous waste drop-off on Friday, and businesses are charged a fee. Call 1-800-984-9661 to schedule. On Saturday, drop off is free for residential customers of Upper Valley Disposal Service or Clover Flat Landfill. Questions, call 707-259-8330.

Saturday, November 5, 11 am-3 pm
Connolly Ranch Harvest Festival
Connolly Ranch, Napa

Guests are invited to spend a special day with family and friends at the 12-acre farm. Meet the Connolly Ranch farm animals, visit and tour the gardens, take a hike on the woodland trail, participate in a variety of activities or just relax, pull up a straw bale and have a picnic in the grove. Activities include apple pressing, corn grinding, garden projects, yoga in the grove, a raffle and more! Click here for more info.

Saturdays, November 5 and 19, 9:30-11:30 am
Community Oak Planting Days
Alston Park, Napa    
Sign up to help re-oak the valley. Join RCD, Friends of the Napa River, and partners to reach the goal of planting 5,000 native oaks in our county in three years!
Click here for more info.   

Did You Know...

Always-on energy use by inactive devices translates to $19 billion a year and approximately 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants' worth of electricity. (source)

The ancient origin of Halloween is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. (source)

California hosts approximately 6,500 species, subspecies, and varieties of plants that occur naturally in the state, and many of these are found nowhere else in the world. (source)

Copyright © 2016 Sustainable Napa County, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1556 First Street, Suite 102, Napa, CA 94559 
(707) 927-3858 

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Sustainable Napa County · 1556 First Street, Suite 102 · Napa, CA 94559 · USA

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