Smart2BeGreen, an organization that aims to provide “simple steps to a greener life,” recognized Terry Tamminen’s extensive environmental work by giving him a “Green Hero” award. Tamminen said, “I’m honored to accept the Green Hero award because Smart2beGreen is the best tool around for helping all of us save money and a planet at the same time! Challenges like climate change seem so huge that most of us are discouraged, but by using Smart2beGreen’s tips anyone can be a Green Hero and make a real difference.”
Locally, Tamminen created Santa Monica Bay Keeper, directed Environment Now Foundation, and co-founded the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic at the UCLA Law School. He is best known for his work with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his assistance with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a timetable and plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 25% by 2020.
Tamminen said he is frustrated with the commonly used term and misconception that his policies are an attempt to become “carbon-neutral” (making no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, especially through offsetting emissions by planting trees) because it is impossible to be carbon neutral: “We are asking people to reduce by 20 to 30%. People feel hopeless because they can’t reduce by 100%.”
Smart2beGreen works to make environmental policies accessible to the general public by providing easy advice and information to influence people to become more ecological: “What do all of these policies mean to the mom who has to get her kids to school everyday?” asked Tamminen, “You have to make people understand that the small things they do really make a difference.”
Tamminen also takes simple steps in his home to help the environment. For example, Tamminen is in the habit of keeping a bucket in his shower and using his family’s old shower water to water his vegetable garden. “You don’t realize how much water you’re wasting,” said Tamminen. He also recommends that people try to reduce their showers to five minutes and be sure to turn off lights.
“Largely because of Tamminen’s influence, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger greened up, passed a raft of groundbreaking environmental laws and put pressure on polluting industries,” said Smart2beGreen. “The world’s seventh largest economy now has targets and timetables to shame nearly every country in the world…and is hailed as a beacon of eco responsibility. Tamminen has moved on to run the state’s climate plan and is working with other US states and cities to create a de facto national climate change policy.” This award is just a small token of gratitude for Tamminen’s work to help stop global warming, reduce pollution, and make the world a cleaner place.