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Archive for May, 2012
Santa Fe Based Green Money Journal Celebrates 20 Years of Sustainable Investing by Looking Towards the Future
Traditionally, a gift of china is given for a twenty-year wedding anniversary. But what do you give to a company that is celebrating its 20th year of promoting more sustainable and ethical relationships to our money?
Green Money Journal, a consumer publication for sustainable business and responsible investing (SRI), is celebrating an important milestone in its quest to “help people put their money and their values together,” according to founder and managing editor Cliff Feigenbaum. The issues addressed in the quarterly newsletter are not obscure or small-scale. They are the same questions of job security, debt, and business access to capital More >
Through Sept. 8, Th. or Sat., 9 am-1 pm
Backyard Gardening Courses
La Orilla Farm, 2401 Black Mesa Loop (S. Valley)
12-part course. $300/individual; $500/couple. 505.877.2877, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mrcog-nm.gov/show-all-ag-blog-showallagblog-211/702-qthe-mother-of-all-back-yard-gardening-courses
June 2-3, 10 am-5 pm
East Mountain Fiber Farm & Studio Tour
Rural area where fiber artists and fiber animal breeders open their studios and farms one weekend a year. Alpacas, sheep, camels, angora goats, llamas and angora rabbits. Demonstrations, sales. 505.286.1783, Download map and brochure: www.perfectbuttons.com
June 6, 11:30 am-1 pm
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th St. NW
“BuildingSMART Alliance and the NMIMS-US” Learn about the alliance created to spearhead technical, political and financial support for use of More >
Tuesdays through July 31, 5:30-8 pm
NM Climate Masters
Free 10-week class exploring ways to reduce our carbon footprints and teach others about climate change. Expert speakers on water, climate science, renewable energy, transportation, local food, consumption and waste. Info: 505.820.1696, Eileen@santafewatershed.org. To apply: www.santafewatershed.org
June 4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 15, 2-7 pm
Algae Production Course
SFCC Biofuels Centers of Excellence
505.428.1807, Biofuels.greentraining.sfcc.edu, http://greentraining.sfcc.edu/
Eat to Solarize Fire Station
Counter Culture Café, 930 Baca St.
Percentage of profits from diners will go to New Energy Economy’s fundraising effort. 505.469.4060
Santa Fe Business Awards
SF Farmers’ Market Pavilion
Four awards will be presented: Business Excellence, Small Business of the More >
HERE & THERE
Ongoing Until July 18
Red Willow Farmers’ Market
Taos Pueblo, NM
Greenhouse and field-grown produce and more. email@example.com
Through July 24 Applications Accepted
Cooperative Technical Assistance Grants
“Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant” program from USDA Rural Development for cooperatives, groups of cooperatives and cooperative development centers. Assistance can help small ag-producers with market research, product and/or service improvement, legal advice and assistance, feasibility studies, business plans, and market development and training. Maximum award: $200,000. 505.761.4952, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_SSDPG.html
June 9-10, 10 am-4 pm
Various locations throughout NM
Tour of sustainable homes. 2-day pass: $15. USGBC-NM. 505.227.0474. See story, page 3.
Valles Caldera Fence Removal Project
Volunteer work More >
Erin Sanborn, Steve Fuhlendorf and Mary Emery
How our renewable energy future will unfold is unknown. Changes in this industry are multiple, occurring rapidly, and outside forces can shift the industry in a very short time frame. In order to move toward a clean energy future, a business must be able to see different systems and causal relationships plus constantly think outside the box. Given today’s business conditions, one scenario is to utilize the willingness of many, many people to participate in solar energy development and marry it to New Mexico’s underutilized solar potential. One model is for community solar arrays More >
The evolution of solar power has come a long way since my family began utilizing it in 1979, when the technologies were in their infancy and the only demand for solar power grew from necessity rather than from its “green” benefits. In 2010, New Mexico ranked seventh in the nation among states for its number of grid-tie solar installations, and the industry is one of the fastest growing in the country.
During President Carter’s administration, the solar power boom was largely unregulated. A lot of unskilled handymen came out of the woodwork to install solar electric and thermal systems More >
Santa Fe County established the Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in the spring of 2011. The Office promotes deployment of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies in county facilities and operations and in the residential and commercial sectors to promote “green economy” job creation and economic development. Our public outreach, education and technical assistance services are available to all county residents and businesses, including those located within the city limits of Santa Fe, Edgewood and Española. Encouraging the adoption of cost-effective energy-efficiency measures by businesses and homeowners will decrease energy utility expenditures, while creating locally sourced clean More >
Energy Efficient Buildings Would Reduce Global Warming Pollution, Save New Mexican Families $309 Annually
Families in New Mexico could save $309 every year on their electricity bills by 2030 if the government invests in improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings, according to a report released last month by Environment New Mexico, a statewide, citizen-based environmental advocacy organization.
Using government data, the report, Building a Better America: Saving Energy and Money with Efficiency, says that saving energy in buildings would also reduce global warming pollution from buildings by 31 percent—the equivalent of taking more than 657,000 cars off the road.“It’s time to build better,” said Sanders Moore, Environment NM’s director. “Bold efficiency measures More >
Students for a Sustainable Future (SSF), a group of environmentally-aware students (a.k.a. unabashed tree huggers) from St. John’s College in Santa Fe are working in collaboration with the Climate Change Leadership Institute (www.takeresponsibility.us) on a direct action project – LIFT the FOG (Launch Integrity and Facing Truth in Fracking Oil and Gas), which aims to push for sensible regulations in the fracking industry and promote responsible energy development.
On May 14 at noon, SSF will host a 1-mile march to protest the attempt by the oil and gas industry to overturn New Mexico’s PIT rule, which provides for proper wastewater disposal More >
A simple environmental audit to measure your business or organization’s progress in integrating earth-wiser lifestyle habits
Anyone can conduct an environmental audit of your business or community center. First, choose an audit team. Your team can be made up of members of your leadership, your environmental committee, or any group of people from your organization who will take some time to do it. To conduct your audit, the audit team should review your organization’s procedures, and answer each of the following questions “Yes” or “No.”
Part A. Energy (electricity and gas):
1. Do you know how much electricity and natural gas you use?
2. More >
Utility and Commercial Demand for Solar Is Up in New Mexico
New Mexico Business Weekly reports that New Mexico’s solar manufacturing companies are showing substantial growth in utility- and commercial-scale projects.
Native American-owned, Albuquerque-based Sacred Power Corp. installs solar systems at, among other places, military installations and on tribal lands. The company has forecast double-digit expansion. Unirac, Inc., which makes mounting platforms for solar trackers, is projecting an 80 percent revenue increase, and is considering a second expansion of its Albuquerque facility.
Part of the reason for the companies’ growth is attributed to price declines for large solar systems. Costs have fallen More >
Santa Fe County’s Office of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency is conducting two free energy assistance forums. On May 3rd, the Residential Forum will focus on available energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives and financing for homeowners. On May 7th, the Commercial Forum will focus on cost-effective energy-related improvements that area businesses can take advantage of. Both forums begin at 6 pm and take place in the Board of County Commission Chambers in the County Administration Building, 102 Grant Avenue.
After informational presentations and a question and answer session, renewable energy (solar electric, solar hot water, ground-source heat pumps, etc.) and More >
2012 And Beyond: Sustainable Systems, the Predicament of Water in New Mexico, and the Need to Localize Our Local Economies
Recently I had an opportunity to fly over Las Vegas, Nevada. As I looked down at the northeast part of the city, I was dumbfounded at the sight of all the suburban houses that have a pool. This was in sharp contrast to the land beyond the surrounding mountains that provide shelter to the Las Vegas Valley. I found myself thinking about the water crisis looming beyond those mountains, and how we continue to challenge and upset local ecosystems based on our often irresponsible notions of development. And so I found myself questioning the rationale behind having so many More >
Growing Season 2012
This growing season is already progressing with activity, hope and enthusiasm for what is to come. From our grow-dome at Chrysalis High School in Taos, last month we harvested our first batch of greens for salad and sauté. Our students have been surprised at how good fresh greens taste, and have amazed themselves with their ability to thin and transplant seedlings. While our outer beds explode in greenery, we are working to double our production area through the construction of the center beds for fruit and vegetables, in addition to specialty crops like cotton and gourds. We More >
On May 12, Northern New Mexico College will award the second honorary degree in the history of the 100-year-old school. The first went to Esther Martinez of the Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh for her work towards the preservation of the Tewa language. This year, Eremita Campos is being recognized for her lifelong work and contribution to the conservation of sustainable agriculture in northern New Mexico.
In 1990, the US government defined sustainable agriculture in Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1683, as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, More >
The Moorish Influence in New Mexico Agriculture
To understand “traditional” agriculture in northern New Mexico, one has to go back several thousand years, and several continents, from the first spring-fed irrigated gardens at Jericho to the chinampas of the Aztecs in Xochimilco. And we cannot talk about traditional agriculture without exploring the role of the Moors, though on the surface, when trying to find the Indo-Hispano agricultural traditions, many times they are simplistically and erroneously referred to as “Spanish” in origin. But it was the Moors who made the Iberian Peninsula bloom and produce new and exotic fruits and vegetables.
What More >
Why Goatscape? or
The First 12 Reasons We Could Think Of Why You Should Employ Goats
Amanita and David Thorp
The use of goats in parks, cities, residences, and along roadways is an authentic alternative to chemicals, weed mowers and fire, which have been overused in the past. The idea of “goatscaping,” while not new, is currently experiencing a resurgence of popularity. But it is not as simple as leaving a few hungry animals on a plot of land until the ground is rediscovered. The way we goatscape is an adaptation of Management Intensive Browse (MiB), which allows the animals to harvest the More >
Many favorite herbs that we enjoy in savory stews, soups and salads take the lead in home herb gardens for their culinary uses but also have important and effective medicinal properties that go unnoticed or are underutilized. The intention of this article is to touch on common medicinal uses of several easy-to-grow popular herbs. Complete information on medicinal applications can be found online and in herbal resource books such as James Duke’s The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook or Michael Moore’s Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. The information in this article does not comprise a recommendation for treatment of any medical More >
While herbs are well known as tasty additions to cooked meals, the everyday benefits of herbs for maintaining good health are often overlooked. Daily consumption in cuisine is different from the prepared herbs and tonics used to address illness. Uses mentioned in this article can become part of the daily healing process. With this in mind, now is the time to think through the possibilities of a backyard herb garden.
Gaining an appreciation of herbs brings us to a sense of place and palate. Diverse cultures globally have incorporated a mix of herbs into their daily cuisines for thousands More >
The Farm Bill is probably not the first thing on our minds when we visit our local farmers’ market. For many of us the Farm Bill means payments to “Big Ag” corn and wheat producers in the Midwest. Most people are surprised to learn that 68 percent of the funding for the Farm Bill goes to the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—formerly food stamps). And although it’s true that over 90 percent of the remaining funds go to subsidies, conservation payments and insurance programs for those big growers, there is a small, but important sliver of the pie More >