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True confession: I don’t do crafts. I’m not really a DIY person who makes scrapbooks or crafts or Mason jars full of pretty, colorful stacks of beans as gifts for my friends. I’m much more practical in my gift giving. I like to think about what someone might really want but not necessarily buy or do for themselves. And I usually try to keep it in my own budget. Gift giving can be a tough thing for a lot of people, especially those of us who don’t want to spend hard money on things that aren’t necessary or seem More >
We are accustomed to thinking of gifts as coming from people but, in fact, it is nature that continuously gives us our greatest gifts and, usually, without charging a single penny. Among the most important gifts nature gives us this time of year—gifts that we can pass on to others—are the gifts of light, warmth and fire. In northern New Mexico, amid the rawness of a tough winter climate, those who came before us revered fire and kept fires burning in their hearths and hearts in many forms, be it a hot cup of coffee, a hot meal or More >
Lia Lynn Rosen
As a center of creative and spiritually based arts and culture for thousands of years, how can our past in New Mexico inform this season of gift giving? How can our heritage of the handmade—at one time, the sole source of all material culture—transform a time of year when commercialism, a year-round focus on the mainstream culture, overtakes most aspects of public life, from relentless advertising to background Muzak®, now beginning at Halloween and continuing through the year’s end? As an alternative to this well-known excess, we may instead choose to be guided by a common root of More >
Gifts from Mother Earth are plentiful at local tribal locations, and interpretation from the artists adds richness to holiday tradition. Among the Native American–made arts found locally, look for pottery (both micaceous and polychrome designs), turquoise, coral and silver jewelry, sculptures, paintings, Pueblo foods, musical instruments, pottery tree ornaments, beadwork, dreamcatchers, rugs and more. Local, unique, handmade gifts that also support cultural-retention efforts add extra meaning to gifting.
Advantages of buying from Native artists include having the opportunity to talk with artists directly about their work and the materials and the possibility of having an authentic experience close to More >
Seventh Ray Skin Care
2019 Galisteo St., N8, Santa Fe; 505.982.9865, www.seventhrayskincare.com
Why Facials Make a Great Green Gift
As many become more green-thinking in their lives and their gifting, gifts with a personal touch have become increasingly popular. Rather than another piece of stuff or another thing to dust, nurturing and healing have become recognized as ideal green gifts. Facials offer a healthy, stress-reducing, soothing and renewing personal experience that nurtures well-being and beauty.
Products that come from nature are more acceptable to our skin. We look to nature to stimulate processes for skin regeneration. For example, using a tiny sample from More >
When, in the late 1800s, the Navajo—formerly free to traverse the length and breadth of the North American continent, ride their horses, herd their sheep and conduct their ceremonies—were defeated by the American Army and forcibly sent to government schools, only with great reluctance and sadness did they accept what they called “paper education” as a substitute for the wonders of creation and the richness of life itself.
At Camino de Paz Montessori School, located on nine acres of farmland next to the Río Santa Cruz, in Santa Cruz, New Mexico, the wonders of creation and the richness of More >
The Certified Beekeepers Apprentice Program, new in 2014, launched in May and ended in August. All 24 adult students successfully completed the seven all-day sessions of year one. The two-year program was developed with assistance from the New Mexico Beekeepers Association, the city of Albuquerque Open Space Division and Washington State Beekeepers Association and was held at the Open Space Visitor Center in Albuquerque.
The enrolled students included experienced beekeepers intending to expand their knowledge, novices with less than a year of experience and others who did not own hives but wanted to learn about honeybees and beekeeping before deciding More >
New Mexico has had a vibrant local food economy for centuries.
Celerah Hewes-Rutledge – Delicious New Mexico
This holiday season, many of us have two things on our mind: shopping and food. While we are continually subjected to the pleas of national retailers to spend money with them, take advantage of sales and get holiday shopping done earlier and earlier in the year, I would like to suggest that you stop! Take a deep breath, and think about food. We spend much of the holiday season sitting around the table with loved ones, shopping for ingredients, whipping up that traditional family food More >
I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I awoke and saw that life was service
I acted and understood that service was joy
— Rabindranath Tagore
When I look around and think of people who make a difference in the lives of others on a daily basis, I think of Edwina García Wood. She is a woman whose mission in life is to assist immigrant women in Santa Fe make the transition from their native language—usually Spanish—to English. For these vulnerable women, who have left their homes, families and countries far behind to make a new life in the bewildering colossus of More >
Listening to the mild-mannered Glenys Carl speak, I got the sense that if somehow she were given the reigns of the country’s armed forces, she would take them and unhesitatingly redirect their efforts, not only toward peace but to the caretaking of the legions of elderly and disabled, together with the multitudes of the lonely, forgotten and despairing amongst us and that our world would be all the better for it. After all, as founder and executive director of Coming Home Connection in Santa Fe, she is already responsible for the daily mobilization of a couple hundred mostly unpaid More >
English Bird and Sarah Pierpont
It’s time for all of us to make a commitment to reduce waste, especially food waste, over this year’s holiday season. In the United States, an extra five million tons of household waste is generated during November and December. This includes a 300 percent increase in the amount of food wasted during the holidays (World Watch Institute, EPA). Unfortunately, this added waste results in a 25 percent increase in the waste stream for these months.
Celebrations don’t have to negatively impact our environment. There are simple actions the average resident can take to reduce his or her More >
In an effort to make at least a small impact in response to climate change, raising awareness about sustainable concepts is crucial and urgent. Like the plastic bag ban in Santa Fe or the sortable waste stations seen in proactive places, trying to do this effectively at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) and other schools means reaching out to youth and the community to get them to think about the impacts of their purchases.
The Solid Waste Act of New Mexico (SWANM) calls for recycling, composting and educational materials and sets a standard of goals for post-secondary institutions. Taking More >
Aldo Leopold famously wrote in his foreword to the Sand County Almanac that “there are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” About 1,200 of those who cannot converged on Leopold’s one-time hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the National Wilderness Conference in mid-October, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The location was fitting given that, at Leopold’s insistence, the high mesas, rugged mountains and steep canyons of the Gila Wilderness in southern New Mexico became the first designated wilderness area in the United States—four decades before the 1964 Wilderness Act.
A who’s-who of More >
Maceo Carrillo Martinet
This year marks 50 years since both the Wilderness Act and the Civil Rights Act were signed into law. Some have suggested that there are powerful connections between these two acts, which free humans and land. “We have this chance, right now,” says Rue Mapp, founder of Outdoor Afro, which reconnects African Americans to natural spaces, “to think about how wilderness helps enhance people’s quality of life and how access to those places—and recognizing the barriers to accessing those places—has an impact on how people are able to live the fullest lives possible.”
Increasing the diversity and access More >
PNM Renewables Plan Approved by the PRC
On Nov. 26, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved PNM’s renewable energy (RE) procurement plan, which will add 40 megawatts of utility-scale solar to the grid in 2015. The photovoltaic facilities will be constructed in central New Mexico at a cost of $79.3 million. PNM will also increase by 2 MW its subsidy program for customer-owned solar installations for institutional and business consumers that install 100-kilowatt to 1-MW systems. PNM’s customers pay a fee to offset the utility’s costs for RE development. That will rise to $3.63 per month in 2015.
The state’s More >
Dec. 2, 6:30 pm
Years of Living Dangerously
Deciding NM’s Energy Future Panel
JCC, 5520 Wyoming Blvd. NE
Screening of Showtime Episode 6: Winds of Change on methane leaks, fracking, the promise of renewable energy and state efforts to repeal RE standards. Followed by Deciding NM’s Energy Future panel discussion: Spin or Reality: PNM’s San Juan Power Replacement Plan. The panel: Chuck Noble, attorney for Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy; Jason Marks, former PRC commissioner; Dr. Bernie Zak, retired Sandia Labs climate scientist; Tweeti Blanchett, Farmington area rancher. Presented by 350.org, Environment NM and Interfaith Power and Light. Info: 505.715.8388.
Dec. 3, 9 am
Santolina Development More >
Dec. 3, 11:30 am-1 pm
Presentation on PNM’s Fuel Request to the PRC
SFAHBA, 1409 Luisa St.
New Energy Economy’s executive director, Mariel Nanasi, will address the SF Green Chamber of Commerce and discuss the upcoming PRC hearing that will decide on PNM’s request to increase the use of nuclear and natural gas, along with relatively smaller increases in RE. Lunch is $15 for SF Area Homebuilders Association and NMGCC members, $20 for non-members. To reserve a spot, email Raquel@sfahba.Dec. 4, 5:30 pm
A Night of Art, Poetry and Truthtelling
Verve Gallery, 219 E. Marcy Street
Features Poet Laureate of Albuquerque Hakin Bellamy. Benefits New Energy More >
Veterans Green Jobs Academy
Northern NM College, Española, NM
Workforce training and specific degree programs to support military veterans in fully accredited academic certificate and degree programs in areas of environmental science related to renewable energy, hazardous materials response, forestry, sustainable agriculture, wildland fire science, construction trades and others. A partnership with the NM Dept. of Veterans Services. For more info, call Dr. Biggs at 505.747.5453 or visit www.nnmc.edu/vetacademy.htm
Dec. 4, 4-6 pm
Festival of Trees and Wreaths Children’s Party
El Monte Sagrado
Holiday arts & crafts amd snacks. Taoschamber.com
Dec. 5-14, 10 am-4 pm
Nutcracker Holiday Artist Market
Taos Art Museum at Fechin House, 227 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Affordable, high-quality, handmade gifts by local artisans. Works in wood, tin, jewelry, pottery, photography, prints and fiber. www.taosartmuseum.org/events.html
Dec. 6, 8 pm
Taos Feeds Taos
Taos Mesa Brewing
Local band Last to Know and Jack Lorang. Free admission with five cans of food or other non-perishable food items. Taosfeedstaos.org
Dec. 7, 5:30-7:30 pm
“Just This” Gala
Farmhouse Café, 1405 Paseo del Norte
Dec. 13, More >
Dec. 3 Application Deadline
Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
$15,000-$25,000 grants from Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education for projects by agri-producers with technical advisor support. Often used to conduct on-site experiments the can improve farm operations and the environment. www.westernsare.org/Grants/Types-of-Grants
Dec. 4, 11, 10 am-2:30 pm
Capturing the Plants and Pods of Autumn
Pajarito Environmental Education Center, Los Alamos, NM
12/4: Lisa Coddington teaches drawing techniques with graphite and pencil. 12/11: Participants continue with watercolors. Take one session or both. Advance registration required. $50/$40 PEEC members or $90/$72 both sessions. 505.662.0460, Programs@PajaritoEEC.org
Dec. 5 Application Deadline
2015 Sandoval County Master Gardener Training Program
Sandoval County Extension, Sandoval Court House, Bernalillo, More >