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The Catalyst is a collaborative project by Ecology Action staff to seek, craft and share powerful stories that capture the simple, everyday effort people are making to lessen their impact on the planet. Our hope is that these stories identify real ways to create change and inspire you to act now.

Energy

Energy Efficiency Means QSR(Quick Savings Realized) for QSR

April 4, 2019
No one ever said it would be easy. Operating a quick service restaurant in today’s business environment is a challenge…

Energy

Supermarkets should “Check Out” the Benefits of Energy Efficiency

April 2, 2019
The supermarket industry in the U.S. is huge – which is only natural when you consider that 328 million Americans…
Energy

LED Quick Facts

March 29, 2019
LED bulbs are the best friend to the business owners bottom line.
Energy

Case Study: McDonald’s Mountain View

March 29, 2019
McDonald’s is a leading Quick Serve Restaurant chain when it comes to green business operations.

Energy

Energy Efficiency Cooks up Savings and More for Food Processing Industry

March 28, 2019
The United States is the world’s breadbasket…not to mention its fruit bowl, vegetable bin and pantry. Countries around the globe…
Energy

How do I love thee, LEDs? Let me count the ways…

March 28, 2019
We’re not actually aware of any love sonnets that have been written about Light-Emitting Diodes, but listening to business owners…
Energy

A Handful of Energy Efficiency Ideas that Can Save Your Business a Fistful of Money

March 27, 2019
Running a business in today’s economy is a huge challenge. Whether it’s a restaurant, retail store, office building or any…

Energy

Frequently Asked Questions about HVAC

March 25, 2019
Q. What does HVAC stand for? A. HVAC (often pronounced “AYTCH-vack”) stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. It refers…
Energy

Putting the ‘GREEN’ in Walgreens

March 25, 2019
Sometimes it’s the little things that get me excited, so I was absolutely thrilled when I recently read about the…
Energy

Walmart shows that Size Matters

March 25, 2019
Big corporations don’t come much bigger than Walmart, and the steps they’ve taken to reduce their energy use and shrink…

Energy

Energy Efficiency Makes ‘Just Another Day at the Office’ Anything But That

March 18, 2019
Few things in the American economy have undergone such drastic changes over the past few decades as the concept of…
Energy

Energy Efficiency Helps Retailers Increase Profits and Improve Customer Experience

March 18, 2019
These are difficult times for the retail sector. The list of iconic retailers that have filed for bankruptcy protection and/or…
Energy

CASE STUDY: Fite Development Company

March 15, 2019
Fite Development Company builds, leases, and manages more than 5 million square feet of industrial, office, and commercial space in…

Energy

CASE STUDY: B&Z Properties

March 15, 2019
B&Z provides development, investment, and property management services, and it currently manages a real estate portfolio worth more than $300…
Energy

CASE STUDY: Julius Clothing Store

March 15, 2019
Julius, a boutique clothing store, has been a family-owned business in Sacramento since 1922. While their core focus is on…
Energy

Case Study: B&Z Properties

March 12, 2019
B&Z provides development, investment, and property management services, and it currently manages a real estate portfolio worth more than $300…

Energy

Commercial Refrigeration FAQ’s

February 28, 2019
The cost of energy needed to run some commercial refrigeration equipment over its life span can be…
Energy

Case Study: Fite Development Company

February 12, 2019
Fite Development Company builds, leases, and manages more than 5 million square feet of industrial, office, and commercial space in…
Energy

Paying the Price of LED Procrastination

January 4, 2019
You’ve heard the old adages since childhood: “Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today”; “There’s no time…

Energy

Cold, Hard, Cash Thanks to New Refrigeration Technology

December 21, 2018
In the beginning, there was ice – the original refrigeration. Some of us may remember our grandparents referring to the…
Energy

Deferred Maintenance is the Best Reason(among many) to upgrade to LEDs

December 20, 2018
LED lighting offers so many advantages over other technologies that it can be hard to decide which of them presents…
Energy

5 Ways to Stop Sweating the Utility Bill

December 19, 2018
There’s an age-old argument about whether something new is better than the old version just because it’s more recent. While…

Energy

Thermostats deliver on Comfort and Savings

October 31, 2018
The idea of “divide and conquer” may have originally been created for ancient warfare, but that concept can also apply…
Energy

Stop sweating the utility bill

October 31, 2018
There’s an age-old argument about whether something new is necessarily better than its older version just because it’s more recent.…
Energy

Sun + Technology = Savings

October 31, 2018
Solar energy has been around for as long as…well, the sun. But while the sun has provided our planet with…

Energy

The BIG benefits of LEDs

October 31, 2018
If Nick Holonyak, Jr.’s name isn’t as familiar to you as Thomas Edison’s, it’s understandable but unfortunate. Because while most…
Transportation

I Biked to Work for 5 Days Straight & This Is What Happened [VIDEO]

September 27, 2018
By: Tatiana Burdiak I would consider myself an average person. I’m not built for a triathlon and am pretty terrible…
Transportation

5 Ways to Add Biking to Your Santa Cruz Lifestyle

August 28, 2018
Photo: Richard Masoner By: Kirsten Liske Making the switch from driver to bike commuter can feel daunting. It requires a…

Transportation

How an E-Bike Changed a Scotts Valley Real Estate Agent’s Life

August 6, 2018
By Guest Writer: Ami Chen Mills Robert Aldana, 53, is a realtor in Scotts Valley who can’t get enough of…
Transportation

8 Ways To Avoid Getting Your Bike Stolen in Santa Cruz

March 16, 2018
8 Ways To Avoid Getting Your Bike Stolen in Santa Cruz By: Piet Canin Being a life-long cyclist has brought…
Water

Santa Cruz County Inspires Water Conservation as a Way of Life

December 11, 2017
Santa Cruz County relies heavily on local rainfall for their water supply. When the drought in California hit year three…

Video

NASA | A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2

November 9, 2017
An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels…
Video

9 Actions You Can Take Today to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

November 9, 2017
Everyone has a carbon footprint, but we can all learn to mitigate our own carbon footprint.  Learn 9 simple actions…
Transportation

Fall Bike to Work 2017

October 10, 2017
For 30 years, Ecology Action has been organizing the Bike To Work program in Santa Cruz County. The program happens every May…

Catalyst

WaterLink Program

October 3, 2017
WaterLink is an Ecology Action program that helps people and businesses located in specific areas of Santa Clara County, Monterey Bay…
Catalyst

California Green Business Network

September 26, 2017
The California Green Business Network leads the state and nation in working with small to medium-sized businesses to create a…
Catalyst

Bike to Work Week

September 26, 2017
This was the kick-off celebration to Bike Week, Spring 2017, hosted by Ecology Action and Bike Santa Cruz County.  Bike to work week is a week-long…

Catalyst

Roll Out Solar Panels

September 26, 2017
These high-efficiency solar panels could help generate instant energy in disaster areas.  As well as, making the installation process easier.
Catalyst

Making public transportation even more sustainable

July 27, 2017
Good things are happening in the world of public transportation. We all know that public transportation reduces pollution and eases…
Video

Why we need forests now more than ever

July 26, 2017
“Forest Bathing” was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in…

Catalyst

Plastic Pollution, Our Oceans, Our Future

July 10, 2017
This is a story about protecting our native wildlife through research, education and advocacy. As Hawaii contemplates joining over 60…
Video

Redwood Creek – Where Wetlands Restoration is Working

July 10, 2017
Great news for people, wildlife, and the environment. There is a place you might know called Muir Beach. This is…
Video

Why Cities Need More Green Roofs

July 10, 2017
Could green roofs revolutionize our cities? We took a field trip to the largest green roof in New York City.…

Water

How to Lose Your Lawn for Good

May 24, 2017
Lawns are so 2010. But the WaterLink Program’s turf retrofit team is here to help you burst into the new…
Catalyst

Should Santa Cruz Have a Bicycle Mayor?

May 10, 2017
What’s a ‘Bicycle Mayor,’ you ask? Meet Anna Luten…   On a recent visit to New York, Amsterdam’s bicycle mayor,…
Catalyst

How Cycling Can Be a Real Outlet for Kids

May 10, 2017
Bike Ambassador Goldi loves to ride with her kids.   When her son struggles with school, they find a great…

Catalyst

Reduce the “Zoom” In Your Life

May 10, 2017
Is life passing you by?   Riding in a car isolates you from the sights, sounds, smells and human interaction of…
Catalyst

WaterLink Brings Change to Disadvantaged Communities

April 2, 2017
WaterLink helps the economies of Bay Area communities, while saving water and energy.   In 2016, Ecology Action received $2.5…
Catalyst

Words to Act On – The Reading List for Kids!

March 31, 2017
Here are the best books for your budding environmentalists…   We are more than a little excited to announce our…

Catalyst

Words To Act On – The Reading List for Adults!

March 31, 2017
Read and grow stronger!   Aside from being out in nature, hanging with our loved ones, and working at Ecology…

Earth Day 2017 Marches to the Beat of Science

March 29, 2017
Way back in 1970, the first Earth Day brought 20 million Americans into the streets to show their support for…
Catalyst

Our Mother Earth Film Series in Watsonville

March 16, 2017
The Watsonville Film Festival presents a new film series, Our Mother Earth: Visions and Ideas to Save our Planet. Upcoming…

Video

Secrets to Incredible Bike Commuting

February 23, 2017
How to make a bike ride to work as easy and fun as possible.   If you’ve been thinking about…
Video

How to Drink the Sky

February 22, 2017
Is atmospheric water production the future of drinking water?   LA-based architect David Hertz shows us the possibilities by using…
Video

Clean the Water in Your Coffee

February 21, 2017
Who knows how much water goes into making a cup of coffee?   If you said one cup, guess again.…

Video

How to Seed the Future

February 21, 2017
A hopeful portrait of crop diversity activist Cary Fowler and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.   GoPro Cause delves into…
Video

Grand Teton Like You’ve Never Seen It

February 16, 2017
In just three minutes we guarantee you’ll be thinking about a road trip to Wyoming.   Another impossibly beautiful short…
Video

Alpine Adventure

February 16, 2017
Our daily dose of nature.   Filmmaker Joshua Cowan takes us into the skies above frozen mountains and lakes of…

Video

The Towns That Embraced Darkness to See

February 15, 2017
The story of two small towns in the Colorado mountains that came together to eliminate light pollution and restore a…
Video

A Tiny Redwood Vacation

February 14, 2017
Need a quick reminder why our national parks are so amazing and important? Just take this three minute trip to…
Video

Loving the Glaciers

February 14, 2017
A gorgeous short film from Alaska, with a wake-up call.   Filmmakers Raphael Rogers, Kristin Gerhart and Paul Rennick take…

Video

Movies That Want to Change the World

February 11, 2017
Films we’ve seen or want to see that tackle issues you should know about.     An Inconvenient Sequel Who doesn’t need…
Water

We Love the Rain, But Let’s Think Long

February 10, 2017
All the rain this winter is nice, but let’s keep our good water habits going. Shorter showers, low flow aerators…
Video

The Sustainable Life at Ecology Action

February 8, 2017
Ecology Action’s mission is to help people act now against climate change. It’s clearly apparent in our work, but we…

Transportation

Helping Kids Form a Life-long Bicycling Habit

February 7, 2017
All it takes is a little encouragement and instruction to help kids discover all the benefits of self-powered transportation. With…
Catalyst

Green Books for Great Minds

February 6, 2017
Check out the environmental- and conservation-themed books we can’t put down.   Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on…