Confessions of a San Carlos Green Activist

By Pat Potter

Black_smoke_car-croppedIs it time to take things into our own hands? Lately, I’ve become less intimidated about knocking on a neighbor’s door when I see the environment being abused. My neighbors probably think I’m hysterical (not in a funny way..) but when I walked by a gardener’s diesel pickup truck that had been idling for over 15 minutes, I blew up at him. (Sorry neighbors!) I just made it clear that he had no right to pollute our neighborhood—I think he got the message.

Then a day or so later I’m walking in the neighborhood and see all this water spilling into the street from a leaking 4” hose. I thought I should let the homeowner know that their water was going into the street. No one answered when I knocked, but someone was in the back. It turned out to be their pool guy. He said he was dumping the pool water down the curb drain because he couldn’t find any other place to put it. I think this means that all those pool chemicals went into the Bay instead of the sewer for treatment. I learned that there is a fine for doing this—didn’t know it at the time.

wasted_water-croppedWalking up the Elizabeth St. hill became too painful for me a month or so ago—not physically, but emotionally. For several mornings in a row I would walk the hill only to watch a full-flowing creek of water running down the street’s gutter and into the curb drain. It hurt too much to see it every morning. So I changed my route. Then a few days ago I thought I’d give it another try. It was dry! Why? Because a San Carlos Green member who lives on Elizabeth took action, contacted her neighbor, and the sprinkler malfunction was fixed!

My point is that once you speak up about an obvious environmental issue in the neighborhood, it gets a lot easier to do it the next time. And if we all speak up, think how great that would be for San Carlos!

Tell us your Activist story that has helped San Carlos’s environment. We’d love to hear it, and if you give us permission, will put in our next e-mail blast.

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