What is Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda?

What is Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda?

Formed in 2018, CASA (Community Action for a Sustainable Alameda), is a community-wide coalition dedicated to raising awareness, mobilizing community action, and facilitating the implementation of programs to achieve the goal of the Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (to reduce Alameda’s carbon emissions to 50% below 2005 levels by the year 2030) and to increase community sustainability and well-being. Their volunteers contribute in many ways to protect the climate.

One such project is Alameda Reusables to Go, co-sponsored by CASA volunteer Debi Ryan and the Alameda High School (AHS) Amplify Club, to dramatically reduce disposable food ware waste in Alameda’s downtown Park Street district. At participating restaurants, when students order the high school lunch special, they are automatically provided their lunch in reusable containers, which are deposited in bins at AHS for collection and cleaning by Dispatch Goods. Other patrons can request reusable containers for their to-go orders as well. So far Lola’s Chicken Shack and Hang 10 Boiler are participating in the high school lunch reusable program, and Julie’s Coffee and Tea and Saga Kitchen are participating for the general public. The goal is to recruit three more restaurants in the Park Street downtown district for the student program. If your restaurant would like to learn more about the program, email CASA at info@casa-alameda.org.

Another initiative was started by CASA volunteer Sylvia Gibson, namely San Francisco By Hope Spot. In April 2019 San Francisco Bay became a Hope Spot to engage the hearts of the seven million people who live around the bay in deeper understanding of the SF Bay as an ecosystem, how its health impacts our lives, and how important a healthy bay is to a healthy ocean. Our goals are to inspire Bay Area residents and policy makers to do what we can to protect and restore the healthy ecosystem of the bay, to get people and students out into our bay and marine ecosystems, and to enhance public awareness of the connections between the SF Bay and the Pacific Ocean. On the second Saturday of each month, Sylvia and her fellow CASA volunteer Isabella Joan Wilk, lead a park clean up from 10 a.m. to noon at Alameda Waterfront Park 2151 Ferry Point. Volunteers collect trash and recyclables around Seaplane Lagoon.

100K Trees for Humanity was founded by CASA volunteer Amos White. 100K Trees is a local tree planting nonprofit planting trees in our urban cities and neighborhoods for climate, for equity and for health. Fruit trees are available free for pickup or delivered for $10. Free tree planting is also available by 100K Trees volunteers upon request for Alameda residences. To get your free tree, or if your organization would like to set up a local tree planting event, email your request to info@100ktrees4humanity.com.

CASA also does community education. Climate Reality Presentations are available by CASA volunteer Joyce Mercado. Joyce has given presentations via zoom or in person to local non-profit organizations, businesses, homeowners associations and even at a winery. The presentation ranges from 30 minutes to an hour and covers the crisis, solutions and 70 surprisingly simple things individuals can do about it including how to influence others to protect the climate. For a free presentation email your request to info@casa-alameda.org. Joyce also writes this climate monthly column.

CASA also collaborates with the City of Alameda to help support and sponsor summer interns working on various climate related projects. This last summer these interns did outreach on Sea Level Rise, educating the public; organized a high school climate youth group across Alameda; prepared a home electrification grant application for low- and moderate-income households; and developed governance models for a sea level rise regional group the encompasses Alameda, San Leandro, Oakland and community-based organizations.

CASA’s Transportation Committee works to promote transportation alternatives to fossil fuel vehicles in Alameda. The committee promotes transit, most recently the new line 78 from Fruitvale BART to the Seaplane Lagoon ferry. Members are currently helping to develop questions for the mayor and council candidate forums on October 6 and 13 respectively that relate specifically to transportation, including shifting modes of transportation, reliability and convenience of transit, and safety and infrastructure issues across walking, biking, driving and transit.

CASA and the city also conducted community education at the Farmers Market over several months, covering transportation, sea level rise, San Francisco Bay Hope Spot, protecting the climate and electrification of household appliances. If you would like to volunteer or donate to CASA, go to http://casa-alameda.org/.