How many of us have ever watched the boundless energy of little kids playing and thought, “if only you could capture that energy, you could light up a whole city!” Well, our first guest this week on Sea Change Radio, Chris Cannon, is doing just that – his nonprofit, Empower Playgrounds, taps the kinetic movement of children at play and converts it into usable power in electricity-deprived locales in the West African nation of Ghana.
In the second half of the show we move from the global to the local. Working in California’s third-largest city, and the tenth-largest city in the US, City Councilmember Ash Kalra expends a large portion of his energy ensuring clean air, water and transportation are available in San Jose and the surrounding area for generations to come.
It’s the tenth largest city in the United States and the third largest city in California, but San Jose is often overshadowed by its popular neighbor to the north, San Francisco. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk about San Jose and the little-known ways that this big city is leading the charge toward sustainability. Our guest is Councilmember Ash Kalra, who talks with host Alex Wise about the successes and challenges of promoting environmentally sound policy in a city that’s one of the most ethnically and economically diverse in the nation. Councilmember Kalra tells us about the progress being made there, from hybrid busses, to a city-wide plastic bag ban, to the mission to make San Jose a zero-waste city. He also shares with us some of the challenges the city’s policymakers have encountered, including the economic downturn and a pervasive not-in-my-backyard attitude that stands in the way of progress. Listen now as we examine how the lessons learned in this urban microcosm of the United States can be applied to any city working for a greener tomorrow.