Blog

Schematic showing proposed West Oakland Bart redevelopment
Community

Environmental Justice: The Past and Future in Oakland

Living in a clean and safe community with access to opportunities for employment, education, and transportation are key to promoting individual and community well-being—yet not all individuals have equal access to these resources. In this blog, EcoBlock communications assistant Anna Haefele discusses the concept of environmental justice within the context of Oakland, highlighting historical challenges and future opportunities to advance social equity and improve quality of life for communities.

A woman in a black t-shirt posing inside a brightly-colored restaurant
Community

Indigenous Ingredients Invite Interest

Wahpepah’s Kitchen is part of a rapidly growing movement to publicly reclaim Indigenous culture and space through a universal medium: food. EcoBlock intern Amit Cohen shares how Chef Crystal Wahpepah is bringing a wave of Indigenous cuisine to Oakland’s Fruitvale District.

Stylistic illustration of an electric home surrounded by an electric vehicle, solar panels, whitegood appliances, and transmission towers
Design & Construction

Living in an Electric Home

Home electrification offers many benefits: it can improve occupant comfort, better indoor air quality, and lower monthly energy costs. EcoBlock Mobility team lead Dr. Tim Lipman shares his experiences with making the switch to an electric home.

Black and white photo of a woman with curly, shoulder-length hair against a light green backdrop of a city
Community

Community, Compassion, and Care: A Conversation with EcoBlock’s Cathy Leonard

Cathy Leonard is the Community Liaison for the Oakland EcoBlock project. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Cathy is actively involved with the city. In her interview, Cathy reflects on her family’s long-standing roots in Oakland and shares how a respect for local history and culture shapes her own approach to community activism.

Induction cooktop with cookware and various kitchen ingredients
Design & Construction

Induction Cooktops: An Infographic

Induction cooking is a relatively new technology with many advantages. Powered by electricity, it is cleaner and more efficient than cooking with traditional gas. Check out this infographic to learn how induction cooking works!

Reusable containers
Energy

Reducing Household Plastic Consumption

Purchasing fewer single-use plastics and more recyclable items can go a long way. The problem is, almost everything is wrapped in plastic: drinks, ketchup, shampoo, lotion, you name it—it comes in a plastic bottle. Read on as EcoBlock Project Manager Dr. Therese Peffer shares her resolution to reduce her plastic consumption.

A landscaped front yard
Water

Saving Water

California continues to face water scarcity and drought. EcoBlock Water team co-lead Sandy Robertson highlights simple ways to conserve water both indoors and out.

Food scraps and eggshells being placed in a plastic composting bin
Community

Composting: Easy as 1-2-3!

Organic materials like food scraps and yard waste make up about 50 percent of California’s landfills where they release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. California is enacting legislation that requires cities and counties to reduce their organic waste by composting.

Fetzer's purification system, where billions of worms live
Water

Worms and Wine

California’s severe water shortages have led to crop loss for many wine country grape growers. One Mendocino winegrower, Fetzer Vineyards, has found an innovative system to treat wastewater—worms! Learn more about the winery’s worm-tastic wastewater treatment system.

renewable energy technologies and city
Events

Event Recap: 2022 BEST Annual Institute

Co-hosted by the Building Efficiency for a Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) Center and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), the 2022 BEST Annual Institute was held from January 5-7. This year’s agenda featured a wide range of speakers and covered topics from decarbonization and sustainability to building automation. EcoBlock’s Eunice Chung shares highlights from the 3-day virtual conference.