Blog

Trucks leaving busy port
Community

Environmentalism in Oakland

Place-based efforts play a key role in improving communities’ sustainability and resilience to climate change. EcoBlock intern Amit Cohen writes about Oakland’s environmental journey and highlights how community groups have driven progress on climate and public health issues in the City.

A home in the Aardehuizen community in Olst
Community

The Aardehuizen Project: A Bold Vision for a Community Microgrid

The Aardehuizen Project is a community microgrid serving 23 homes in Olst, Netherlands. Few other ecovillages around the globe have been built at a scale as successful as the Aardehuizen. In this blog, Erin Yu highlights why Olst became the ideal location for a sustainable community and highlights several factors critical to the community’s success.

A sign that says "This House is Solarizing"
Business & Finance

Solarize: the Grassroots Initiative that Cut Solar Costs up to 35%

In 2009, a forward-thinking campaign in Portland, Oregon sought to speed up the transition towards clean energy by streamlining the installation process and reducing costs. The grassroots Solarize movement was able to foster a community invested in solar energy that could achieve cost savings through bulk purchasing. Read on to learn more about the innovative program and other more recent Solarize campaigns across the United States.

indoor air quality graphic
Design & Construction

Staying Safe: Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) describes the quality of the air that circulates inside a building and how it affects people’s comfort and safety. With the average American spending 90 percent of their time indoors, it is important that our built environment supports our health and well-being. Read on to learn more how you can improve indoor air quality and stay safe during wildfire season.

children and adults gardening in a community garden
Community

Planting Seeds of Resilience

Urban beautification and community gardening are making the City of Oakland cleaner, greener, and more beautiful. While planting trees, flowers, and other greenery help provide shade, improve air quality, and increase access to local food, it can also bring people together to share knowledge and build meaningful relationships. Read on to learn about some of Oakland’s exciting urban beautification and gardening projects.

Flume Smart Home Water Meter
EcoBlock

Measuring Water Use with Flume

California has been a leader in improving residential water use efficiency since the 1970s. The EcoBlock team is planning to install Flume Smart Home Water Monitor systems, which can help detect if a leak happens and help preserve critical water resources.

a landscaped rain garden
EcoBlock

Water Conservation and Stormwater Mitigation: EcoBlock Designs and Strategies

The Water team has been developing ways to implement water conservation and stormwater management strategies for the Oakland EcoBlock. Some of the strategies include installing water-efficient appliances, rainwater harvesting systems, and modifying landscaping strips for stormwater management and filtration.

Resilient Hubs Initiative Logo
Community

Strengthening Community Through Resilience Hubs

Resilience Hubs are community spaces that provide critical services and resources to meet residents’ needs in both everyday situations and during emergencies. Through the NorCal Resilience Network’s Resilience Hubs Leadership Training Program, the EcoBlock team is learning from communities throughout the Bay Area how to better support each other and the planet, and help build a more resilient EcoBlock.

aerial view of the Alabama power smart neighborhood
Community

Building Resilient, Clean Energy Communities: Current Microgrid Policies in the U.S.

Scaling up community microgrids while ensuring equitable access to renewable power will require a range of new policies and financial mechanisms. In this blog, Kate Ringness and Miriam Aczel highlight novel legislative initiatives in CA and at the federal level that support community energy resilience and expansion of microgrids.

sunlight shining through trees in a forest
Community

Celebrating World Environment Day

For nearly 50 years, the United Nations’ World Environment Day has been celebrated each June 5th. This year the event is being hosted by Pakistan and the theme is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’. Take a look at the history of this event and some of the most significant achievements from the past decades.