Thu10302014

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Los Altos residents joining Sept. 24 global effort to slow climate change

Photo Courtesy Of Margie Suozzo

The Almond School native garden, part of the Living Classroom Program, is one of four stops on GreenTown Los Altos’ Moving Planet Sustainability Tour Sept. 24.

They’ll be rallying in Annapolis, Md., to support offshore wind power. They’ll be flying message kites on Bondi Beach, Australia, to stop pollution. They’ll be reading poetry in Vancouver, B.C., to resist the construction of an oil pipeline.

Los Altos joins the global effort of more than 1,000 events around the world Sept. 24 as GreenTown Los Altos hosts the Moving Planet Sustainability Tour.

The Moving Planet event will showcase four projects located in Los Altos, according to GreenTown event organizer Gary Hedden.

“We’ve set it up so that you can either bike or walk to each stop, where you’ll hear a short presentation,” he said.

Organized by GreenTown Los Altos with help from the Living Classroom Program, The Bicycle Outfitter and Chain Reaction Bicycles, the tour begins 1 p.m. at Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., and will last approximately two hours. The route includes stops at a Net-Zero Energy building, an educational garden project, a solar energy system and the Los Altos History Museum for a discussion of the impact of climate change on future water supplies.

Moving Planet is a day of action developed by 350.org as part of its international campaign to slow the rate of global warming. The organization takes its name from data that suggest that to avoid a climate tipping point, the upper safety limit of atmospheric carbon dioxide is 350 parts-per-million. Today’s carbon-dioxide concentration, reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stands at 392 parts-per-million.

In 2008, Los Altos signed the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement to encourage local policies and actions that reduce global-warming pollution. The city has inventoried municipal and community greenhouse-gas emissions and is in the process of developing a sustainability element for its general plan.

“We appreciate GreenTown’s leadership in providing environmental education to our community at events like the Sustainability Tour,” said Mayor Ron Packard, scheduled to speak at the event kickoff.

Margie Suozzo, GreenTown chairwoman, said that when the non-profit grassroots group began in 2007 under the name Cool Los Altos, its primary focus was climate-change mitigation.

“In the past few years, GreenTown has broadened its scope to include waste reduction, water stewardship, sustainable transportation and energy conservation,” she said. “We want to make our community more environmentally healthy today and for future generations.”

To register for the GreenTown Los Altos Sustainability Tour, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.

For more information on Moving Planet, visit www.moving-planet.org.

Peg Champion is a member of GreenTown Los Altos and principal of Champion Organic Communications. For more information, visit www.ChampionOrganic.com.

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