LA – already green

My pal Danah Boyd went to a Hollywood Hill event from their Perfecting LA series. The focus of the discussion was “Transforming LA into a Sustainable City“.

My favorite project concerns “bio solids” (a.k.a. crap). When you flush your toilet, your feces is diverted to an old oil chamber where it is left to decompose. As this happens, the shit lets off a bunch of methane which is then converted into energy for the city. (Don’t worry – it’s clean by then.) How cool is that? Apparently, we’re the first city to really do this on a large scale. [Read more]

My favorite insight was this one:

… [I]’m in awe of how conscious our city government is about these issues, how they are engaging with environmental organizations and city planners, how they are working on multiple levels to address environmental issues in the city, and how they are working to make it a better, more liveable city. I have to admit that i haven’t been that proud to live in land-o-Hummers but this event made me feel much better about Los Angeles, or at least those in charge of the government.

When I moved to LA (from more the eco-environmental-snobbery north) I was disgusted by the number of Hummers and other disgusting gas guzzling vehicles so prevalent here. Don’t get me wrong, I like me a big truck, but not on Sunset Blvd. on Saturday night.

So check this out. I was happily shocked to see that LA came in at number 25 on SustainLane’s City Sustainable Rankings. Check out our #8 ranking for regional public transit and we’re #1 for solid waste diversion! (What Danah mentions above.)

L.A. sits atop the recycling rankings (along with three other cities), and its 12 percent renewable energy use is surpassed only by Oakland’s percentage. A new commitment to bus rapid transit and light rail have kept commuter use close to 10 percent, helping L.A. earn a surprising #8 ranking in regional public transit.

Way to go LA. Keep up the good work!

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