This evening at the Napa City Council a green "grassroots" wave took over the room. It was quite an experience to listen to 37 speakers (each allotted 5 minutes) ask, plead and demand adoption of a green building ordinance with LEED silver as the standard for large new commercial buildings.
The Terra Verde club from New Technology High School had three representatives speak - which is remarkable. High school students tend to shy away from public speaking, but they felt so passionate about this issue that they girded their loins and entered the lion's den. I think there were so many green fuzzy feelings in the council chamber that they felt right at home.
I remember my passions from age 19-20, and surprisingly, they are not so different from today. Is character and life time arc established so early? I cried over building demolitions, then got mad, then got into gear. I designed an all natural material "rammed earth" group of buildings in my senior year - and still recall the crisp feel of the vellum, the dashed contour lines, the sinuous curves (aahh the french curves!), working through the night on a model for final presentation. I imagined this place so thoroughly that it was real to me and is as fresh in my minds' eye as it was then.
Engineering students never seemed to work all night, but we seemed to be unable to stay away from the studio as a deadline approached. The comraderie was addictive. The conversations were inane, imaginative, silly, provocative - sometimes important. If there were no donuts and coffee to go get in the middle of the night, perhaps we would not have been so eager to stay.
Three and a half decades later, I feel like I made a bit of a difference in making this a more healthy and sustainable community.