Choose Sustainability

Choose Sustainability

One can Choose Sustainability in many ways. Blockfest, a street festival for services in East Palo Alto, is one example.  The Ecumenical Hunger Program  (EHP), puts on Blockfest so those in need know where to get the help they need. Some of that help can be in the form of lower-cost and more sustainable electricity.

Choose Sustainability Partners

Sustainable Silicon Valley ‘s participation is based on EHP’s decision to Choose Sustainability with solar-powered electricity.  A partnership of EHP, Mitsubishi, SSV, and SunWork supplied a cool roof for the distribution center.  In addition, it also supplied a solar array providing much of the power to EHP operations.

Two organizations working together. From left to right: Bruce Naegel, Ryan Moin, Jennifer Thompson and Richa Dogra from SSV. Kristina Chu and Julius Li represent the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. BAAQMD and SSV have been working together supporting Blockfest for the past 4 years.

Choose Sustainability when buying electricity.

Residents of East Palo Alto can Choose Sustainability for their electricity first by buying their electricity from Peninsula Clean Energy. PCE’s power is 90% carbon free today and will be 100% carbon free in the near future. Also, PCE has an optional all renewable power choice which is available today at slight premium in cost.

Choose Sustainability with a Solar Grid Alternative

With the Solar House in the foreground, the Carbon Burger gets explained.

Homeowners who live in their home can Choose Sustainability in another way.  If their household income level is below a certain level and their roof is in good shape, they may qualify for a free solar array from GRID Alternatives. SSV has worked with several homeowners in East Palo Alto and GRID Alternatives to make that happen.  

SSV dramatized solar power and Choose Sustainability with “Solar House”. This demonstrator has a solar cell that powers a fan, a light bulb, and a noise maker. When the sun is blocked, power stops.

Choose Sustainability with Food.

One can Choose Sustainability when one eats. The “Carbon Burgers” made their appearance at Blockfest again this year.  These replica burgers are weighted with the amount of GHGs (Green House Gases) created in the making of a veggie burger, a turkey burger and a beef burger. The Veggie Burger is only 1/2 lb. while the Beef Burger is around 6 lbs. The turkey Burger is in between.

We now can Choose Sustainability with plant-based burgers that taste like burgers.  The two top contenders are Beyond Beef and the Impossible Burger. The Beyond Beef burger is now available in supermarkets and the Impossible Burger is available in many restaurants including Burger King.

The Possible Impossible Burger

One of the visitors to  the SSV booth reported that her daughter had an Impossible Burger in Hawaii. After eating it, she complained to the restaurant that they had made a mistake and given her a beef burger. She was assured that this was not the case. She was most likely served an Impossible Burger. I have enjoyed many Impossible Burgers and personally recommend them to burger fans.

Choose Sustainability with Automobiles

The “Heavy Gas” demonstrator provided a tactile way to see the Choose Sustainability benefits of an electric car. A gallon of gas puts as much as  26 lbs. of GHGs into the air from the refining and transportation to the burning of the gas. If one charges their electric car in East Palo Alto, the carbon content drops to 2.6 lbs. This will go down to 0 lbs. when PCE  moves to  serving 0 carbon electricity in the next few years.

 Thinking about an Electric Vehicle?


There are programs for getting rebates to move to an electric car. Some are designed for income constrained people. So those who want the fun of driving  an electric car may now be able to afford one.  

To wrap up,  those who went to Blockfest saw demonstrations on how they can Choose Sustainability. You have that opportunity as well. Go to the websites below if you are interested in carbon free electricity, great tasting plant-based burgers and electric cars.