Butte Environmental Council Newsletter, August 2020
BEC's Mission is to protect and defend the land, air and water of Butte County and the surrounding region through action, advocacy and education. Our monthly newsletter is designed to keep our community informed about local issues that impact our region's environmental quality and bring you opportunities to become involved.
We Need Your Support
Become a Sustaining Member today by contributing between $3 and $30 a month! As a gift for your support in helping us achieve the BEC mission, you will receive a free vintage BEC logo Klean Kanteen in the mail. Click "Sustaining Member" below to fill out a quick and easy membership form or learn other ways to help our mission. BEC is a community powered non-profit dedicated to a healthy environment for us all. And we can't do it without YOU!
Coming Up Next
Virtual BEC Member Meeting Tonight!
Calling all BEC Angels and Members. Tune in this evening from 6 - 7 PM to review the last fiscal year of our work and be the first to hear of our plans for the upcoming year. If you are a current member, you should have received the private link to this live event by email in mid-August. If you have not received the link, please email danielle.baxter@becnet.org for the details to join us. If you are unable to attend tonight's meeting, we still want to hear from you! Please click the button below titled "BEC Member Survey" and complete the form. BEC is a member-driven environmental leader in the north state and we align our efforts with your values, in conjunction with our mission and vision.
33rd Annual Bidwell Park & Chico Creeks Cleanup
On Saturday, September 26th and Sunday, September 27th, hundreds of community volunteers will disperse through 20 miles of creek and park to remove literal TONS of trash and recyclable materials. It is crucial that we do our part to keep our vulnerable riparian habitat healthy and thriving. We want to give a very special THANK YOU to our 2020 cleanup sponsors! This event and the invaluable impact it makes is not possible without support from sponsors like you! See full list of sponsors below. Poster by: Katharine Sherman
This Sunday & Next
Join us to protect young oak trees this Sunday and next. This CA Wildlife Foundation funded project to restore oak woodland habitat in Upper Bidwell Park began in 2014. 2020 is the final year of our efforts that have resulted in 57 young and established oak trees that will benefit our local environment and our community for generations to come. We now need volunteer power to secure cages around the oaks to ensure they can safely grow into the mighty heritage oaks they are meant to be! Volunteers meet this Sunday, September 6th and next Sunday, September 13th at the Chico Equestrian Association Horse Arena at 9 AM (first right after turning onto Wildwood Ave.) Please email oaks@becnet.org with questions about this opportunity.
The RARE Program is adapting its educational and interactive workshops to be virtual. Whether you are home schooling or teaching in the classroom, you can easily schedule an online and interactive workshop designed to bring awareness to local and global waste issues and implement waste reduction in Butte County. With the school year right around the corner, click the button below to view the online calendar and get a workshop on the books. You can also take a look at this program's accomplishments in its first year back at BEC.
Easily Report an Environmental Concern through BEC
Our Creek Watch Hotline Program provides an online tool for you to easily file a report on local environmental concerns. You can choose from the following categories and the form will be directed to the appropriate City Department so that your concern is addressed: Fire Hazards, Hazardous Waste, Encampments, Illegal Dumping, Pollution, and Water Quality. We are partnered with the City of Chico on this program to encourage collective community care of our parks and waterways.
SMART Growth Advocates
Presents Housing Priorities to Chico City Council
“Smart Growth Advocates, a community group advocating for a healthy and livable community by avoiding suburban sprawl, has presented Chico City Council with a set of priorities for sustainable growth through the year 2030." The priorities include:
  • creating more affordable housing, in contrast to many developments that cater to middle- and upper-middle class
  • catalyzing infill development, making use of Chico’s available vacant spaces within the city that can lead to healthy, walk-able neighborhoods, lower vehicle miles traveled, and reduction in greenhouse gases
  • actively searching for parcels that can be pursued for infill development.
  • funding for city staff to proactively search for infrastructure upgrades for infill projects, especially affordable housing
  • postponing development in Special Planning Areas located on the fringes of Chico, particularly the foothills, to halt urban sprawl
The Invisible Enemy
Article by Neil Bajaj, BEC Member & Local High School Student
These days, we’ve all found ourselves spending much less time outside, and far more time inside. Maybe you have started to wonder whether even the indoors are perfectly safe. (I certainly have!) The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’: staying indoors does protect us from exposure to the virus, but it may expose us to higher levels of indoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution is caused by substances such as carbon monoxide, radon, mold, fungal growths, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde. Cooking produces significant cause of indoor air pollution worldwide. There are a variety of fuel sources to cook food, including gas, wood, and electricity. Each of these heat sources can create indoor air pollution during cooking. For example, Natural gas and propane stoves can release carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and other harmful pollutants into the air, which can be toxic to people and pets. Exposure to these pollutants can cause or worsen a wide range of health problems such as nose and throat irritation, headaches, fatigue, and nausea. On solution would be to replace fossil-fuel burning appliances with all electric models. As California’s electricity becomes cleaner and the California Energy Commission’s most recent building code, requiring all new homes to be built with on-site renewable energy goes into effect, electric appliances will be cheaper, cleaner, and better for the climate. Recommendations from the Building Decarbonization Coalition Roadmap can be viewed here: file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/bdc_roadmap_2_12_19.pdf
Thank you for your continued support of the Butte Environmental Council.
General Manager
Butte Environmental Council