Monday, June 7, 2010

Please Support my Campaign for Solarthon 2010

Solarthon 2010

Hi Everyone! On July 31st, I will be participating in an event called Solarthon 2010, where teams of volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Area will be installing solar photovoltaic systems in an Oakland community development with low-income families. The event is a fundraising block party that is sponsored by an organization called GRID Alternatives, a local non-profit organization that is dedicated to empowering communities in need with renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment, and training. This one-day event will help to raise money for community solar projects and bring energy savings to low-income families who need it the most.

I am incredibly passionate about this cause for several reasons. First, I believe that solar energy can be a powerful social policy tool by reducing utility bills, contributing to a healthier and cleaner local environment, and functioning as a source of community building and empowerment -- all of which have important effects on overall quality of life. Second, by training local individuals to design and install solar systems, this project will have powerful effects on the local economy by equipping individuals with the skills and experience necessary to enter the emerging solar industry. Finally, solar power will have long-lasting effects on the global environment, as we begin to transition away from carbon-intensive fossil fuels toward clean, renewable energy sources.

For these reasons, I am thrilled to be participating in Solarthon 2010, where I'll be working directly alongside low-income families to install solar systems on their homes, which will save each family over $16,000 in energy costs over the expected lifetime of the system.

Please join me in this project and sponsor my efforts by making a tax-deductible donation to GRID Alternatives! My personal fundraising goal is $1000, which will go a long way toward reducing energy costs for a family in need. Please help me to achieve my goal by visiting the following link:

For more information about this event, please visit:

For more information about GRID Alternatives, please visit:

Thanks so much for your support!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cafe Gratitude's Be Love Farm

This past week, I organized a field trip down to the Be Love Farm in Pleasant Valley, owned and operated by Matthew and Terces Engelhart, Founders of the Café Gratitude restaurant chain in the San Francisco Bay Area. Matthew and Terces are trailblazers in the American sustainable food movement, so it was an amazing privilege to be welcomed into their home to learn more about their philosophy and business model. In exchange for a gorgeous lunch of home-made tortillas with various beans and greens from their garden, we spent the day helping to grow organic fruits and nuts that supply the bulk of their restaurants in the Bay Area.

Cafe Gratitude's mission statement reflects a business style that is rooted in a deep connection to the community and land that provides the energy to grow their food:

"Café Gratitude is our expression of a world of plenty. Our food and people are a celebration of our aliveness. We select the finest organic ingredients to honor the earth and ourselves, as we are one and the same. We support local farmers, sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly products. Our food is prepared with love. We invite you to step inside and enjoy being someone that chooses: loving your life, adoring yourself, accepting the world, being generous and grateful every day, and experiencing being provided for. Have fun and enjoy being nourished. Welcome to Café Gratitude!"

To learn more about Café Gratitude, please click here.