The Sea Ranch community established in 1965 began as a radical experiment that merged architecture and ecology. Stretching out for ten miles along the wild stretch of the northern Sonoma coast, this unique development championed a departure from suburbia. Its covenant restrictions for the planned community explicitly required all to “live lightly on the land” and to seek out ecological harmony in both construction and land use. Unique in its vision its intent was to build a community dedicated to a common effort, an effort to protect and preserve the natural character of a remarkably beautiful and appealing place.
Recommitment to the Vision and Declaration of a Climate Emergency
As we now face the continued threat of global warming and rising seas, and frequent wildfires, Abalone Bay recommits ourselves to the original covenant of The Sea Ranch. Further, we also declare a climate emergency. Based on the science before us, we promise actionable steps to stop the climate emergency we now face.
To that end, Sea Ranch Abalone Bay Vacation Rental has joined Tourism Declares. This initiative supports tourism businesses, organizations, and individuals that declare a climate emergency and take purposeful action to reduce their carbon emissions. It is based on the advice from The goal of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030.
An Eco-friendly Vacation Rental
It is our ultimate goal to become an eco-friendly vacation rental. We have begun by checking out our carbon foot-print, committing to do business with other like-minded companies.
Immediate and Radical Action
This climate emergency requires immediate and radical action by our business. Based on the facts we know today, it would be a breach of our ethical duties for our business to continue as though there is not a climate emergency. For that reason, we shall continually assess our business design to assure we have realistic interim milestones that use science-based targets.
Like all signatories, we have committed to the following five actions:
- Develop a ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ within the next 12 months, which sets out our intentions to reduce carbon emissions over the next decade.
- Share an initial public declaration of our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’, and update on progress each year.
- Accept current IPCC advice stating the need to cut global carbon emissions to 55% below 2017 levels by 2030 in order to keep the planet within 1.5 degrees of warming. We’ll ensure our ‘Climate Emergency Plan’ represents actions designed to achieve this as a minimum, through delivering transparent, measurable, and increasing reductions in the total carbon emissions per customer arising from our operations and the travel services sold by us.
- Encourage our suppliers and partners to make the same declaration; sharing best practices amongst peers, and actively participate in the Tourism Declares community.
- Advocate for change. We recognize the need for system change across the industry to accelerate a just transition towards being an eco-friendly vacation rental promoting carbon-free tourism.
On Becoming an “Eco-mmodation”
Owing to the importance of this issue, our ultimate goal will be to make Abalone Bay a more sustainable travel choice for our guests’ vacations. We promise to improve our home with an increased focus on being eco-friendly. This echoes The Sea Ranch convents. We will keep you abreast of how we continue to reduce our carbon footprint. Our goal is to offer you a more sustainable place to stay while utilizing environmentally sound business practices.
Abalone Bay’s Climate Emergency Plan
Below is our Climate Emergency Plan. This plan is a growing document that aligns The Sea Ranch Community’s covenant and that of Sonoma County. Further, we promise to assist in the increase in the health and resilience of social, natural, and built resources to withstand the impacts of climate change. To that end, our home will become an eco-friendly vacation rental.
Therefore, we adopt the following overarching goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will pursue personal and business actions that support these goals.
- Increase building energy efficiency.
- Increase renewable energy use.
- Switch equipment from fossil fuel to electricity.
- Encourage community, members, and guests to shift toward low-carbon transportation options.
- Reduce water consumption.
- Recycle water and increase gray water use.
- Increase water-use efficiency.
- Protect and enhance the value of open lands.
Energy & Water
Our next objectives will tackle energy and water waste. Since we embraced our lofty goal we have put into place:
- Replacing bulbs and electrical devices with the most energy-efficient.
- Minimized our water use and that of our guests.
- Installed an on-demand water heater
Added to those water goals is the need to take strict conservation efforts, given the current water crisis in California. We inform our guests of our priority to use water resources wisely. They, as we do, recognize water conservation to be a priority. Steps we have put into place and will continue to monitor include:
- The use of native plants in our courtyard adds to reduce the need for watering of our gardens and plants.
- A timed drip water schedule helps to cut the amount of water used.
- Identify and fix leaks including leaky toilets and faucets.
- Hot tub water is recycled.
- Reminders for our guests request they, too mind excessive water use by allowing the water to run while washing dishes or brushing their teeth.
- All faucets, showerheads, and toilets have been converted to low-flow.
Travel & Transport
In the plans, once the garage is completed is the installation of a charging port for EV cars. It will be for our use, and yours. We are also considering incentivizing ridesharing by guests who book our home.
While it will require a vehicle to arrive at Sea Ranch, we shall continue to:
- Promote trips and activities that increasingly rely on walking, biking, hiking, kayaking, etc that require no additional vehicle support.
- Design trips to visit and showcase local climate initiatives or showcase local climate issues.
- Continue to drive our dirty car with pride.
Materials & Waste
Without hesitancy, we started with this goal early on and continue it as a long-term project. Consequently, the steps we are taking include:
- Remove single-use plastics from our operations.
- Reduce waste towards zero.
- Use upcycled materials where possible.
- Minimize or avoid packaging wherever possible.
- Reuse as many materials as possible, or supply them to an organization that reuses or repurposes materials into new products
Food & Drink
Not only do these tips below help address the climate emergency, but they also support a healthier lifestyle.
- Give tips and advice on where to eat plant-based meals when traveling.
- Provide smaller portion sizes, significantly reducing food waste.
- Provide free clean drinking water and reusable bottles/cups to avoid the use of disposable plastic bottles and cups.
Inform and Communicate
Additionally, we will share with you and others our successes and where we need to improve to add to those successes. Therefore, we will take the following steps to accomplish that goal:
- Document and record local stories relating to the climate crisis.
- Provide regular guest communications on the Climate Crisis.
- Facilitate learning more about the issues facing the country they are exploring, and being able to give something back through the support of local charitable organizations and projects.
- Provide walking maps and advice on local sustainable businesses, restaurants, etc
- Provide advice and tips on how to be a more climate-friendly traveler.
- Include information about how to reduce emissions on our website
Support and Advocate
Together with all the above goals, we will support and advocate for others in this effort. As we move forward in this project will are exploring various organizations where we individually and as a business may make a larger contribution to the effort of bringing us out of this climate crisis.
Additionally, we invite you to join us in this effort. If you are familiar with an organization whose goals are the same, please include them in our comments section.
Our goal in this support is to reduce or to draw down the equivalent of any remaining emissions that we have not yet been able to remove after implementing the measures in our Climate Emergency Plan..
How Will We Know We’re Successful?
“Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.” Rick Wilson
But to know where we are we need to know from where we started. To that, the most crucial step is to take a measure of our efforts.
Correspondingly we must determine our baseline, taking an accounting of our emissions as accurately and extensively as possible. We are already seeking advice on the best tools and calculators for our special lodging industry. For instance, the carbon calculator. provides smart decision-making tools and programs to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. As we complete it and other similar measures we’ll be able to set attainable goals and strive for more.
Overcoming the Barriers
We look forward to overcoming any barriers that remain to achieve our goal. These include increasing our knowledge base and seeking available or appealing options when trying to put this into practice. We also look towards the future by putting into place a sustainable business model that encourages all to look at and reward long-term results.
In What Way Are You Tackling the Climate Emergency?
While this may seem overwhelming at first, we encourage you to join us in this effort. Share in the comments the steps you have already taken, and those you have planned to embrace in the comments below. In reality with us all working together and sharing how you are making a difference in this time of concern the task becomes easier. Let’s work together in supporting each other with tips, suggestions, and ways we all can make a difference.
Select Resources for Northern California
- Sea Grant California
- California Coastal Commission: Sea Level Rise
- State of California: Coastal Conservancy Climate Change Projects
- Comparison Matrix: Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flood Web Tools
- Learn how you can make a difference too: Sonoma County Climate Action
- Do business with other California Certified Green Businesses. Find them using the directory at www.greenbusinessca.org
- Determine YOUR carbon footprint
- Sierra Club
- Climate Action Programs in CA
- California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Action Plan: Climate change increases the frequency and severity of catastrophic wildfires