Human Journey

Heading to California #CAroadtrip

We heard all the suggestions and made a decision. Next week I’ll be making my way to California. It’s the epicenter of innovation, we realized, and a hotbed of great ideas.

I’m still firming up my travel calendar (should I go south to north, north to south, inside out?) The only requirement is that I want to see some innovation at work‚ÄĒpeople innovating how we’ll eat, move and power our lives in the coming few decades.

As for now, I’m pretty excited. And I hope you’ll plan to come along. I’m going to see how beaches are made, how new fruits are designed and how energy will be created in the future without combustion. Plus, stay with me and you’ll soon learn that I love me some tiny houses.

I’ll start moving next Wednesday, November 28. Join the trip right here, or on Twitter at @NatGeoDan. Not to mention our fancy new hashtag: #CAroadtrip.

  • Bill Weston

    I’d suggest doing as the snowbirds do. Head North to South.

  • Dan Stone

    Thanks Bill. I’ve been thinking of the opposite, specifically to catch a beach building project ending soon in San Diego. Anything in the north you’d recommend?

  • Patricia Cramer

    Dan, you have to report on how we are doing installing and monitoring wildlife crossings in California. I’ve got two people you can touch base with. Fraser Shilling of UC Davis is the co-director of the Road Ecology Center, and is a visionary on getting the landscape more wildlife friendly. The second is Nancy Siepel at Caltrans in the Bay area, and someone who is getting wildlife crossings in on the ground. Nancy: Nancy Siepel:

  • Joanie Burns

    Dan, we recently completed nine waste audits at elementary, middle and high schools in the Conejo Valley Unified School District. To give you an idea: Results at other schools were similar: lots of missed opportunities to reduce food waste, recycle more and, in some cases, make a significant amount of money for the school (CA is a “bottle bill” state; cans & bottles are worth $.05 each – we’re talking thousands of dollars here). This is part of a broader initiative, funded by a state (CalRecycle) grant, to improve recycling behavior in schools. I’d love to share our experience, challenges, etc. and to show you some of the innovative things CVUSD schools are doing to improve recycling!

  • Dan Stone

    Great suggestion Patricia, will definitely look into it.

  • Laurel

    Might I suggest Tulare County, CA? The Central Valley usually gets neglected in favor of the coastal cities and the Sierra Nevada, but there’s a lot going on here, too.

    CBS focuses on Tulare’s green construction:

    We’re dairy country, of course, but at least two of our local businesses have decided to get back to basics by bottling and selling their own milk locally (including old-fashioned home delivery!) instead of relying solely on the large co-ops:

    Here’s hoping you consider us! ūüôā

  • Andrea Cornaglia

    Hi Dan!

    I have a suggestion for the north: the non-profit organization CNGF in San Jose.
    CNGF( California Native Garden Foundation) mission is to be a model for sustainable land use, urban food production and eco-literacy education always giving preference to the use of Native flora. Its model has been recognized by The Secretary of the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture, and it has an education project called ELSEE (The Environmental Laboratory for Sustainability and Ecological Education) focused on preserving terrestrial ecosystems, restoring soils, reusing materials, and sourcing materials within 100 miles, and also on teaching students to grow abundant food using fewer resources close to where most people live, protect the ecosystem.

    Feel free to contact us at

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