A day after voters cast their ballots in local, state and national elections, several Los Altos citizens practiced their voting skills once again at the Green Ribbon Citizens Committee meeting Nov. 5.
Using state-of-the-art voting devices, 69 participants identified priorities for city policy and community programs that support sustainable living and environmental responsibility. Sponsored by GreenTown Los Altos, a grassroots environmental organization, the meetings are designed to educate citizens on environmental issues and promote discussion and feedback.
Committee co-chairpersons Don Bray and Margie Suozzo presented information about waste and water issues affecting the community and helped the audience weigh costs and benefits of proposed recommendations to reduce waste and water use in Los Altos.
Participants then voted to determine priorities. The highest priority for both water and waste was a desire for a strong education and outreach program.
Water priorities identified by the voters included promoting and implementing planting of native and drought-tolerant plants, promoting greywater systems and stimulating conservation through price controls.
Waste-reduction priorities identified by voters included reducing waste at school events; installing bins for recyclable and compostable materials in commercial-business districts, schools and public places; establishing a sustainable-events policy to encourage recycling and reduce waste at Los Altos events; and structuring the city’s new garbage contract to provide incentives for landfill diversion.
The group agreed that GreenTown Los Altos was on the right track in addressing sustainability – a majority of participants indicated their willingness to pay more for environmentally friendly products and services and committed to take action in their personal lives to reduce water consumption.
GreenTown Los Altos plans four additional meetings to develop recommendations for Los Altos on issues such as transportation, land use, energy and green buildings.
For more information, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.