Civic Group
Ecology Action

Helping people act now.

Years active: 50

Their story: On the nation’s first Earth Day in 1970, Ecology Action was launched to address the community’s environmental problems. They established Santa Cruz’s first recycling center and advanced policy that created the county’s first curbside recycling program. They have developed solutions addressing various recycling issues, pesticide use, and compost practices. Now, the organization focuses most on reducing carbon emissions by developing programs for sectors that have the most significant opportunity to reduce GHG emissions. These include transportation, water conservation, energy efficiency. In the more than 50 years since launch, Ecology Action has grown into an industry leader that empowers individuals and organizations to make positive changes for a healthier, more equitable, low-carbon future.

Fundraising focus: Ecology Action is all about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preserving the health of the planet, whether that be through water and energy conservation programs, replacing gas-guzzling automobiles with electric vehicles, or encouraging people to travel on two wheels (a bicycle) as opposed to four. Donations are used to fund initiatives like Ecology Action’s Bike Smart program, which aims to turn kids into bicycle converts by teaching elementary school children about bike safety — the importance of wearing a helmet, hand signals, how to be better visible to cars. As a big proponent of electric vehicles (EVs), the nonprofit group also designed an innovate method to make low-power EV-charging installation available at no cost to multi-family property owners. Ecology Action uses donations to accelerate the move toward EVs and away from traditional gas-powered cars, which emit a whopping 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to the EPA.

Jim Murphy
CEO and executive director

Jim oversees the implementation and delivery of all of the organization’s programs and has led Ecology Action through extensive and successful growth since 2012, using his ability to hold the long-term vision while also providing immediate practical solutions.

We are at a critical moment in time. Climate change is accelerating at an alarming pace. Positive change is happening, but it’s too slow. We are simply not cutting emissions fast enough. We all need to do more to quickly and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

— Jim