Meet David and Ellie Arkin, a father and daughter riding in Climate Ride California Wine Country.

David Arkin was introduced to Climate Ride in 2012 by a fellow board member at the Solar Living Institute. He says, “From nearly the moment he started describing it I knew I was in.” Climate Ride was the perfect challenge, combining David’s lifelong interest in energy efficiency and solar architecture with his newfound love of bicycling (and his new touring bike). David is now sharing the experience of Climate Ride with his daughter, just as he has shared his passion for sustainability with her.

From a young age, Ellie was taught that material items shouldn’t be viewed as disposable. She was raised in an environment where everything had inherent value. If something broke, it was an opportunity to learn how to fix or add to the object. These small actions lead to her larger philosophy on how to best interact with and learn from our surrounding environment in a sustainable way. As a Christmas present to her dad, she is joining him on his third Climate Ride in May.

After his first ride, David returned to Climate Ride the folowing year as Team Captain of Team CASBA. CASBA is the acronym for the California Straw Building Association, an organization that provides information, education and a network of resources on straw bale buildings. “Buildings built with straw bale walls can sequester more carbon than is emitted during their construction, and over their lifetime the high insulation levels and thermal mass contribute to highly efficient, comfortable structures. The raw material is all natural and a by-product of growing grain for food. The thick walls result in deep windows and door openings and a lovely play of daylight in the spaces,” explains David.  Ellie adds, “CASBA is taking essential steps that move the ecological movement into the mainstream, as it is practical and affordable.” To view some of the beautiful straw-bale buildings David has designed, click here.

When asked to comment on the effects climate change may have on his children’s quality of life, David says he has concerns for all people but chooses to be optimistic. “I anticipate that each successive generation will rise to the challenges of reducing emissions, sequestering carbon and dealing with the impacts.” And his daughter, Ellie, is certainly rising to the challenge. Not only is she taking a stand on Climate Ride, she also dreams of studying ecological design. Ellie believes the biggest challenge her generation faces related to climate change is that “there isn’t a focusing aspect that allows for direct changes in our daily lives… There has to be incentive, as well as widespread knowledge that spurs interest and fascination.” Ellie, David and the rest of Team CASBA will spread their knowledge and spur interest and fascination about straw bale building on this year’s Climate Ride and while they’re working toward their fundraising goal of $15,000.

Be sure to look for Team CASBA on the California Climate Ride to learn more about the carbon sequestering effect of straw bale construction!

David Arkin's Extracycle with Straw Bale mascot

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