The wild west was conquered by cowboys armed with blind courage. Trial and error, their guide. Today, San Luis Obispo (SLO) pioneers are consciously using common sense, education and solar panels to improve lives.
Located half-way between Los Angeles and San Francisco, SLO offers more than great tasting wine and rolling hills. Committed to clean energy, sustainability, and good ol' fashioned kindness, San Luis Obispo pioneers embody traits worth emulating.
Take Jim Efird.
Prioritizing sustainable business practices in the Edna and Arroyo Grande Valleys on California's pristine central coast, I met Jim of Tolosa Winery, making clean air priority number one. His 100% solar-powered wine-making facility has solar panels placed along rows of grapevines, facing the sun.
A short walk to the left and Jim's water system reclaims, cleans, and reuses water on the vineyard, eliminating water waste.
This conscious trailblazer educated me:
- California has the most stringent pesticide control regulations in the world. If followed the chance of pesticide residue is zero!
- A Tolosa vineyard has fewer pesticides applied to it than the average suburban lawn that kids play on.
- Tolosa wines' water is far purer than that coming out of most taps or bottled spring water.
- All Tolosa Winery waste is recycled, composted or recovered.
- In 30 years, the solar power system is expected to displace more than 32 million pds. of carbon dioxide (smog/dirty air), which is the equivalent of removing more than 2,600 cars from the road.
Jim Efird, like many in his community, is forward-thinking though this wine-maker put clean energy and clean air center stage like no one else I met. I hope more businesses learn from Jim and Tolosa Winery and take action. To read about Tolosa's sustainability practices, click here.
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(Looking back through my articles, I found this one, which I wrote exactly five years ago on Feb. 7, 2011. The information is still relevant, and I hope helpful to you or someone you may know.)