Fifty years ago today, the first Earth Day was marked in the United States as an appeal for environmental change following the catastrophic Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 which spewed an estimated 3-million gallons of crude oil into the ocean, creating a 35-mile oil slick along California’s coast and killing countless sea creatures and birds. Half a century later, April 22nd presents an opportunity for us all to reflect upon our relationship with the planet in a time when it’s health, as well as ours, has never been so important.
While certainly, not everyone shares the view that the current pandemic is Mother Nature’s response to human transgressions, our unprecedented confinement has led to a substantial reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases worldwide – for now. Stars are being seen in New Delhi, Venice canal waters are flowing clear, Welsh goats are taking towns and Chicago’s coyotes have been sighted strolling Michigan Avenue. The Earth has undeniably become cleaner and wilder, perhaps giving us a unique insight into just how much of a mess we are making of it, how inextricably we are connected to the world around us, and how much change it really is possible for us to make.
Earth Day At Oil Nut Bay
This year’s Earth Day theme is “climate action”, and the small, every day choices we can make to implement big change in the years to come. Here at Oil Nut Bay, environmental integrity and sustainability through smart design sit at our very core, and we remain steadfast in our mission to nurture both the land and its people. Developer and Chairman David V. Johnson’s vision of sustainable luxury is rooted in his dream of creating a distinctive home base in harmony with nature.
With a goal of being carbon neutral by 2025, here’s a little look at our sustainable efforts on this 50th anniversary Earth Day:
• With only 117 home sites spread out across 400 acres, 50% of the land at Oil Nut Bay remains designated green space. Through this low-density planning, each property can celebrate the diverse topography of the island
• State-or-the-art infrastructure includes a network of underground utilities ensuring interference with neither land nor sea
• All community structures at Oil Nut Bay are built to LEED energy standards, which is based on a Green Building Rating System developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This provides a suite of standards for the environmentally sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings and neighborhoods. Green energy guidelines are maintained to ensure the conservation of natural resources
• Our residents are highly encouraged to design and build their homes to these LEED energy standards. To assist in these efforts, Oil Nut Bay’s Environmental Team will advise residents and their builders how to plan and build structures that maintain the highest levels of energy efficiency
• Thoughtful architectural guidelines include the use of natural building materials and colors to protect the beauty, coherence, and value of all properties
• Solar panels are discretely installed on rooftops
• Solar power generates electricity used for desalination water plants, air conditioning, refrigeration, hot water, community lighting, and more
• Extensive water management includes desalination, reverse osmosis conversion, and the use of collected rain and greywater for use in landscape irrigation
I have heard it said that there is no power for change greater than a community that discovers what it cares about. Today is an especially good day to know what we’re about.