That’s me on January 16, 2017, with my brand new Chevy Bolt EV Premier edition in my garage at home. I paid $47,000 in cash for that car as a #YearOfJoe gift to myself after a decade of environmental work and achievement.
Last week, as part of the little known and unadvertised “Bolt Buyback” program GM quietly created in response to the recall of all their 2017- 2019 Bolts, Chevy paid $37,900 to buy this car back from us. They then sold us a brand new 2021 Bolt EV Premier for $28,500.
I have seen the future and it looks like a solar-powered greenhouse, a solar-powered pump driving aquaponics, a non-toxic termite treatment for buildings, students growing their own fruits and vegetables on their high school campus irrigated by captured rainwater, and other sustainable practices paid for by grants from corporations with no strings attached.
In a still repressed economy during an era when “no new taxes” is the mindless mantra that forces cutbacks and the elimination of educational programs and resources, the only place the dollars are going to come from are nontraditional, innovative sources. You can argue the merits of that if you want, but I’m done arguing. I just want to see projects get funded, renewable energy put to work, energy efficiency retrofits instituted, conservation measures adopted and sustainable practices replace business-as-usual before the climate crisis makes any positive action a moot point.
That’s why for the past week I’ve been working at my new job in Manhattan Beach where I’ve transitioned from the volunteer advocacy efforts I’ve been contributing since 2008 to a professional role in sustainability partnerships for CBSEcoMedia. EcoMedia employs exactly the kind of nontraditional, innovative business practices I’m talking about through their EcoAd program – the kind of innovative business practices that found me on the campus of Environmental Charter High School (ECHS) in Lawndale on Friday morning to celebrate the ribbon cutting for their new solar-powered greenhouse.
In June I was interviewed by Rodrigo Padilla of The Green Show produced by Lawndale’s Environmental Charter High School and talked about my volunteer work with the South Bay Environmental Services Center and my other environmental activism.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday I lucked out and landed another volunteer slot on a solar installation gig with my old pals from GRID Alternatives. It’s the most physically exciting work I do as an environmental activist and I always feel like I’ve won the lottery when I get the email that says I’m part of the installation crew.
A low income homeowner in Inglelwood was the recipient of 14 – 215 kW primo Sunpower panels and a beautiful Sunny Boy inverter started showing the amount of carbon it was cutting just a few minutes after we turned it on
This is the summer I totally got my groove on. And I have never been more all now or totally happening.
While lots of folks took the month of August off, or participated in the greatest display ever of America’s mental health crisis – by aggressively acting out in public Town Halls enraged over their own painful ignorance – your Creative Greenius has devoted 100% of my time to pro bono volunteer work that makes a difference.
I’ve never made less money or had a more rewarding time.
Answering the President’s Call To Serve A Higher Purpose
That’s your Creative Greenius in the orange hardhat, and my buddy the Reverend Ron giving the Hang Loose salute, atop the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home we successfully installed a Solar PV system on. And when I say “we” I mean GRID Alternatives the non-profit whose mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training.
That’s Steve from GRID on the far left. He’s a great guy, working for the modest Americorps paycheck he and the other GRID staff folks make. It was an honor to work with them and I can’t wait to do my next install with GRID.
On Monday and Tuesday of last week the Reverend Ron and I were in El Cajon, California working on our first volunteer solar install with our new friends from GRID Alternatives. It was even more fun and more enriching than I imagined it would be. And I learned more than I thought I could in just 48 hours. That’s thanks to the truly expert advice I got from our GRID team leaders.
I’m looking forward to writing all about it and some of what I learned. But until I get the time later this week to give you all the Greenius details and flavor of the gig, here’s the report from Miguel Reza of GRID Alt from their web site. That’s Miguel there on the roof wearing the red shirt and the orange hard hat – a daring fashion choice, but he makes it work.
GRID Alternatives San Diego Accomplishes First “Complete” Install
By Miguel Reza – 04/16/2009 – 3:15pm
It was a first for many staff and volunteers in San Diego. But, it sure won’t be the last. On April 13 and 14, GRID Alternatives took a crack at their first full install in the City of El Cajon about 20 minutes east of downtown San Diego.
That’s right my friends, while others are cutting back, downsizing, slowing down and pulling back, your Creative Greenius is not only Ready to Go, I’m already going, baby, and I’m moving at Obama speed.
So buckle up and hang on while I take you for a little trip with the Greenius to the places I’ve been and the places I’m going…