By Marlena Chavira-Medford
Solana Beach may become among first in the county to adopt a vision statement that embraces zero waste, zero emissions, and water-wise efforts, all in hopes of creating a more sustainable community.
During its next meeting on Feb. 23, the city council is expected to adopt the vision statement, which the Clean and Green Committee and city staff have been collaborating on for the past year.
If the city council gives the green light, this would be a milestone for Solana Beach, said Lane Sharman, the Clean and Green Committee member who authored the vision statement.
“We’re really proud that the city has taken on the leadership mantle for sustainability,” he said. “It’s great to be in an community that cares so passionately about our biosphere.”
Should the vision be adopted, the city would work toward several goals: To become a zero-waste community by implementing land-use and policymaking that reduces the use of especially toxic and long-lasting waste, like harsh chemicals and plastic; to become a zero-emissions community by supporting laws that aim to curb pollution, such as AB32; and to become a water-wise community by capturing and reusing storm runoff and recycle non-potable water, whenever possible. City staff would also make sure all future codes, regulations, and ordinances align with the vision statement; and work to further efforts to educate Solana Beach youth about the importance of environmentalism.
In essence, the mission statement will help guide the city’s policy and land-use decisions. The hope, Sharman said, is to encourage residents to be more considerate of the environment and create a government that supports that effort.
Sharman said there are everyday choices many people make without thinking about the long-term ramifications on Earth:
“We take this Styrofoam product and we use it for 90 seconds, and it ends up living in our biosphere for 500 years. Our biosphere is being asked to digest something that’s almost impossible to degrade. That’s nuts.”
Sharman also thanked the members of the Clean and Green Committee, whom he said helped make this vision statement a reality.
“It has been sensationally led by Steve Goetsch, who has an incredible discipline and passion for environmental sustainability,” he said. “The Clean and Green committee is one of the most gratifying and stimulating groups I’ve ever been involved with.”