Archive for November, 2010

November 2010 Edition

Building a Local Living Economy, Whatever Happened to the Angelou Plan?, Destination Marcy Street, Reflective Images, Financing Green Businesses, Strategies for the Green Economy, Linking: Inventing and Incubating, What’s in the Slow Money Sausage? Making Local Food Your Daily Bread, All Española Valley Chile is Related, The Last Greens of the Season, Integrative Conservation, The Carbon Ranch, Newsbites, Everyday Green: Giving Thanks, What’s Going On!

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Green Fire Times November Events


Nov.3, 11:30 am -1 pm

Monthly Luncheon – U.S. Green Building Council – NM

MCM Elegante, 2020 Menaul NE

Protecting Our Water with Low Impact Development. Counts as LEED CEU credit. Open to the public. Fees: $25 members, $30 non-members, $18 EP members.

Nov. 6, 5-8 pm

NM Tribal Libraries Fashion Show Fundraiser

Isleta Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,11000 Broadway SE

3rd Annual event. Silent auction: 5 pm; Dinner: 6 pm; Waterlily Fashion Show: 7pm; To RSVP, call 505.362.6463

Nov. 6-7, 8 am-5 pm

PV Design and Installation Class

Yale Blvd., So. of Lead and Coal Aves.

Hands-on rooftop instruction and application. Instructors Marlene Brown of Sandia Solar Programs More >

Santa Fe Alliance: Insight, Knowledge and Experience from a Community of Partners

Welcome back to the Santa Fe Alliance edition of Green Fire Times! We received so many great submissions; we are back for Part Two! This month you’ll find out more from our community of partners and the “universe of the Santa Fe Alliance.” Thanks for reading and don’t forget to go to our website ( for current information on our work, our events and community news.

As I write this, I’m also thinking about the Alliance’s Local Guide, which hits the streets in late November. As I edit the Local Guide, and in collaboration with GFT editor Seth Roffman, review articles More >

USGBC-NM Announces Photovoltaic System as Raffle Prize

A $16,000 residential solar system has been donated to the U.S. Green Building Council – New Mexico Chapter, courtesy of Consolidated Solar Technologies, LLC. The solar system is being raffled to help to fund several USGBC chapter programs.

As part of the package, which includes installation, Schott Solar will provide eight PV panels with four Enphase Microinverters and a UNIRAC roof-mounting system. Consolidated Solar will also provide engineering drawings and necessary permit applications along with assistance in applying for federal and state tax credits. “We are delighted to be able to help our local chapter of USGBC,” said Mike Mattioli of More >

Strategies for the Green Economy: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

Businesses are entering the green marketplace at breakneck speed to keep pace with customer and societal demands to reduce their environmental impacts. Companies need to comply not just with the laws of government and the marketplace, but also the laws of nature. But greening one’s business is no small feat. While clear opportunities abound in this new economy, business leaders pursuing a green strategy are finding few roadmaps and established rules, and plenty of hidden twists and turns.

In Strategies for the New Green Economy, Joel Makower offers insights and inspiration gleaned from his 20 years of experience helping Fortune 500 More >

What’s In the Slow Money Sausage?

Woody Tasch

We all know that the infrastructure of local food systems has been decimated over the past few generations. A few thousand of us, coming together under the banner of Slow Money, have begun working together to generate new sources of capital for the repair and restoration of some of what has been lost.

It’s going to take billions of dollars. Venture capital isn’t enough because the vast majority of small food enterprises don’t have the kind of proprietary technologies or scalability that venture capitalists require. Philanthropy isn’t enough because we are talking about farms and processing plants and distribution businesses More >

Building a Local Living Economy

Roy Wroth

When people my age were growing up, progressives had this mindset that everything important had to happen in the margins, not the mainstream. Whether you were thinking about artistic pursuits, politics, or what sorts of professions were offered – people just made that assumption, because so much of the industrial system was still in place. We need to get over that mindset, because so much of it is not marginal anymore. We are the workforce now, and there are plenty of chances to earn a living while doing the things you believe in. A local living economy organizes all More >

Reflected Images: A Circle Based Jewelry Business

“The interconnectedness of all things is represented in the Celtic knot,” says Marc Choyt. Marc and his wife Helen are the owners of Reflective Images, a Santa Fe-based jewelry manufacturing business specializing in Celtic design. “This [interconnectedness] is also the philosophy upon which our business is founded.”

“Jewelry was once considered a talisman imbued with the energy of the earth, the maker and the divine,” notes the Reflective Images website, where quantum physics research that supports this notion is cited ( As founder and creative director of the jewelry line, Helen wanted the deep symbolism in her Celtic designs to be More >

Save A Ton: A Campaign to Double Recycling in Santa Fe

When it comes to recycling, Santa Feans score way below state and national averages. With a recycling rate of 8%, Santa Fe is below the national rate of 32% and even below the state rate of 13%. For a city with its own state of the art recycling facility and a vision for becoming a Zero Waste community, Santa Fe can do better.

“We have a great opportunity to reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill. We have weekly recycling collection for homes and businesses; we have a recycling center; and we have people that care,” says the More >

Linking: Inventing and Incubating New Businesses: An Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Margo Covington

• The Idea Bank – “I could make millions on that!”

Have you ever been joking around with friends and come up with what seems like a great moneymaking idea? I have. But I forgot what it was. I even have a friend who tosses them off… “Oh well, there goes another million dollar idea…” He’ll never make the ideas happen and he knows it. He doesn’t want to start any business. He’s happy doing what he’s doing. And who’s to say that the ideas would really make money, but…what if they would? If we could only remember what they More >

The Last Green of Summer

Susan Waterman

As I watch the summer gardens and all of their miraculous beauty and bounty slowly wind down in a soft golden glow, there’s a tremendous feeling of gratitude for Mother Nature, who provides us with all the food we need, along with her magnificent and enchanting array of vibrant, fragrant flowers and soothing herbs. There’s also gratitude for the rewarding satisfaction and hours of enjoyment reaped from the opportunity to grow some of my own food. In reflecting on the gardening process, I’m reminded that creating gardens that nourish the body and nurture the spirit, while an important priority More >

Kewa Pueblo Declared “Disaster” – Urgent Help Requested

By Gregory Schaaf, Ph.D.

On October 2, one of the worst natural disasters in New Mexico history struck Kewa (formerly Santo Domingo) Pueblo. For almost 30 minutes, golf ball size hail pelted the Pueblo, located 20 miles south of Santa Fe. The hail piled up 5 inches deep.

“About 90 percent of the 600 homes on Kewa Pueblo were damaged by hail during the storm,” according to Mike Calabaza, the Pueblo’s incident commander. “The hail punched holes through roofs and flooded 540 houses with several inches of water, causing severe damage.”

172 homes are on the critical list. Over 750 people are in More >

All Española Valley Chiles Are Related

Juan Estevan Arellano

Lately, a lot has been written and discussed regarding GE or GMO (genetically engineered or modified) chile that sometimes, instead of clarifying the issue, simply clouds it more. First of all, people don’t plant a different seed for green chile and red chile. Green chile is simply the unrippened fruit of the chile plant, while red chile is when the pod is ripe.

I’ve also heard people say that they are planting chicos or growing posole. For me, chicos and posole refer to a process for saving corn for use later in the season. For both, if you want More >

Integrative Conservation: Steps Toward a Practice of Stewardship-Based Community Development

Ted O. Harrison

The American environmental movement is grounded in sacred values: forbearance, awe and humility. It is a movement inspired by a profound love of place and the conviction that we are responsible for the future, as well as the present.

Notwithstanding the generosity of its ethics and the passion of its poetry, contemporary American environmentalism has struggled with the place of people in nature. By its roots in transcendentalism, environmentalism has segregated the social from the ecological realm—advancing a cultural preference toward nature as an Eden-like realm separate and apart from human society.

Inspired by Aldo Leopold’s appeal to nurture a More >

Financing Green Businesses

Drew Tulchin

Green business is where most look for the greatest growth in America to come. Given the current economy, it is needed as soon as possible. Many home-based businesses and start ups, environmental or not, often lack a major green element – money. Ensuring a green entrepreneur has a successful idea, the financing to launch and then the cash flow to continue his or her enterprise is a vital necessity.

Ensure the business idea will work Having a good idea and a strong plan are initial steps. Many support institutions in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico help small businesses of More >

Everyday Green – Giving Thanks

Susan Guyette

This is a time of year for choices. Is it possible to shift to a more meaningful way of celebrating? Will this be a time of personal stress or a time of peace? A season for gratitude and generosity, sustainable choices, and connection to family and friends is possible with your own interpretation of the holidays.

Rethinking the holidays can be a fun challenge for family and friends. Cultural, traditional meanings can still be held, while rethinking the commercialized and time-consuming trends of the past few decades.

In a world rapidly changing, there is a tendency to want more rather than More >

Destination Marcy Street – Building a Local, Living Economy

Matt Yohalem

Recently the storefront businesses of Marcy Street (one block north of the Santa Fe Plaza) and adjoining Lincoln Avenue have taken upon themselves to collaborate and develop a micro-economy.

This neighborhood, cornered by the Luxx Hotel & Ecco Gelato and rounding the corner through a thoroughfare of new and old galleries into the new, hip Koi restaurant (across from the old Palace restaurant) has created a community based, self-sustaining revenue base. This community houses the brand new Rouge Cat nightclub, features some of the best tapas in Santa Fe at La Boca, and offers an eclectic assortment of large and More >

The Carbon Ranch: Fighting Climate Change One Acre at a Time

Courtney White

If you are concerned about climate change – and you should be – then these are not the best of times. The decision by the U.S. Senate to postpone climate legislation, perhaps indefinitely, coupled with the failure of the United Nations summit in Copenhagen last winter to produce an international treaty limiting greenhouse gases means Business-as-Usual continues to rule.

Meanwhile, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere has risen to 391 parts-per-million (ppm) – 40 ppm above what many scientists consider a level necessary to keep the planet from becoming ice-free. And it’s rising at a rate of 2 ppm More >

Whatever Happened to the Angelou Plan: Do Economic Development Policies Matter?

Kris Swedin

What happened when Santa Feans from diverse backgrounds and all industry sectors worked together to create a vision of their community’s economic future? Have their goals been put into action? Do economic development policies matter?

I’ve heard people often say, “What ever happened with that Angelou Plan?” A common perception is that the city has done little or nothing to complete it.

Actually quite a lot has been accomplished. The Angelou Economic Development Strategy was developed by the community for the community. Beginning in 2003, an 18-month process involved more than 1500 people envisioning their future through surveys, meetings, arguments, and More >

Sustainable News Bites

Eastern New Mexico Renewable Energy Projects

Several new solar and wind energy projects are planned in eastern New Mexico. According to Frank Barbera of Tres Amigas, LLC, eastern NM has been identified as one of the richest areas for green energy in the U.S. Barbera is the Director of Reliability Assurance for Tres Amigas, a NM-based project that is to tie the nation’s three primary power grids together, increasing the reliability of the nations electricity and, according to the project’s proponents, encourage renewable power development. Barbera is helping develop a building project in Covis, NM.

Clovis has also received two grants, totaling More >