A Deeper Focus


Dreaming a sustainable San Luis Obispo County

New Futures Center Illustration

Wind turbines on the Morro Bay Power Plant smokestacks? Net Zero energy and water use in San Luis Obispo?  Alternative forms of transportation?  It could all happen here, and you will find out how we can accomplish it during a panel presentation at Central Coast Bioneers on October 25th moderated by local green building guru Ken Haggard of the SLO Sustainability Group.

Blessed with a near-perfect geological setting and climate, excellent resources, boundaries that make ecological sense and a lack of urban sprawl, San Luis Obispo County could become the prototype sustainable county. The workshop will explore some approaches that could help initiate an idea whose time has come. “SLO County already has a track record of several significant ecological firsts which provide a good start,” explains Ken. “But a new goal should be making things better rather than making them less bad.” In his seminal book Cradle to Cradle – Rethinking How We Make Things, Bill McDonough describes two approaches, eco-efficiency and eco-effectiveness. If we rely solely on the strategy of eco-efficiency, we are only relying on half the tools at our disposal. To work with all our tools, we should develop an eco-effectiveness strategy for SLO County, as well.

The panel will explore four proposed characteristics of sustainable systems, their importance and implications, and how to create appropriate guidelines to evaluate courses of action, and will describe six current projects in order to clarify these concepts. Ken will be joined by panelists Rachel Allijilani on iconic projects, Rosemary Wilvert on aesthetics, Lana Adams on water reuse, Mark Grayson on transportation and Carla Rosen on agriculture.

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