Adult education class offers “truly green” options

Joey Large

The lecture series “Seeking the True Green” consists of four weekly sessions at the Faulkner Gallery in the Santa Barbara Public Library.

The lectures make up a class through City College adult education, instructed by local architect John D. Kelley.

The class is free, not for credit, and meets every Thursday in October from 5:30-7:30 p.m., beginning tomorrow. It is open to the general public, and anyone can sign up by attending the first class.

The topics that will be covered are money, food, lifestyle, and community.

“The theme of the class is to help people distinguish between what seems green and what truly is green,” said Kelley. In an article he sent to Noozhawk, Kelley defines “green” as, “environmentally friendly choices that are more sustainable than other products and services.”

As an example of what “true green” means, Kelley described the difference between driving a hybrid sport utility vehicle, a compact hybrid, and driving less altogether. A hybrid SUV is more fuel-efficient than a regular SUV, but a compact hybrid uses half the fuel.

Driving less by carpooling, taking the bus, biking, or walking is “truly green,” he said.

Kelley emphasized that while the class does not provide all the answers, it gives people the information necessary to make better choices.

“We try to get people to realize that everyone can do something,” Kelley said.

Each session consists of presentations by local experts involved in the field, and is followed by a question and answer session with a panel of speakers.

The presenters are volunteers, many of them coming from The Sustainability Project, a non-profit organization founded by Kelley. Others are invited through an informed network of colleagues and friends, according to Kelley.

Kelley said that some of the main points of the class are to introduce topics, give people resources, and look at individual ecological footprints. “As people learn what’s healthier for the planet, they also learn what’s healthier for themselves.”

The lifestyle lecture tomorrow, entitled “The Story of Stuff,” will address principles of sustainability, goods, and services. It will also introduce ten things you can do in your home and garden.

On Oct. 16, “What’s Growing in Your Backyard?” will cover the science, economics, and safety of modern foods.

Local options for commercial and residential agriculture will also be discussed, as well as plant polyculture, food exchanges, and food from your yard.

The lecture on Oct. 23, “Are You in the Flow?” will focus on money. This will be the first time Kelley’s class will deal with the topic of money. It will address green businesses, new banking, investing, micro loans, and alternative money lifestyles.

“Options for Our Future,” a community based lecture on Oct. 30, will address housing, transportation, and community planning. This includes the issues of adapting to climate change, and urban environments for a post-peak oil future.

The history of Santa Barbara city planning will also be discussed, as will mobility, and the connection between city planning and community health.

The lectures are a part of the “Green Jobs and Green Living” lecture and workshop series through adult education. The Center for Sustainability is co-sponsoring the series.

The final installment of the semester is a slideshow and book signing of “Food Not Lawns,” with author Heather Flores, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. today. It will be held at the Goleta Valley Community Center, and there is an optional $10 fee.

Flores will also lead an intensive three-day workshop over the weekend at Fairview Gardens in Goleta. It will address organic gardening and building sustainable urban communities. It meets from 9 a.m-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sunday. There is an optional $55 fee.