November 2013

The NM Green Chamber of Commerce


Welcome to Our Shade of “Green”


Lawrence Rael, President

NM Green Chamber of Commerce


Thank you for the opportunity to welcome you to this issue of the Green Fire Times, focused on the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce’s work and its members. We are thrilled to work with GFT to deliver our message to its informed readers.

The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce (NMGCC) was officially incorporated in March, 2010, and its first chapter was started the same year in Las Cruces. Since that time we have steadily grown in membership and chapters around the state. We now have five chapters – More >

New Mexico’s Responsible Business Movement and Our Own Action-Tank Model


Laura E. Sanchez


As you may know, “socially responsible business,” “sustainable business” and “corporate social responsibility” are hardly new concepts. Institutions like the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has had a Center for Responsible Business for a decade, and opened its “web doors” in 1996.i Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has also been around for many years and is understood as the integration of business operations and values, where the interests of all stakeholders are reflected in the company’s policies and actions. These stakeholder views often include investors, customers, employees, the community and the environment.ii CSR is now a regular component More >

What Are Triple-Bottom-Line Businesses?

The New Mexico Green Chamber Seizes the Green Business Advantage


Lindsay Laine


The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce (NMGCC) and its local chapters are a coalition of businesses and organizations dedicated to building healthy economies in New Mexico’s diverse communities.

NMGCC businesses are guided by the triple bottom line. That means investing in people, protecting our air, land and water, and creating long-term profits. These are not mutually exclusive goals. This is where profits and values meet.

Through programs such as Think Local First, the NMGCC promotes locally owned, independent businesses. Compared to chain stores, these businesses recycle a higher percentage of profits More >

Benefit Corporations in New Mexico


Glenn Schiffbauer

During the 2013 New Mexico legislative session, the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce supported House Bill 40 sponsored by Sen. Tim Keller and Rep. Zachary Cook for the designation of benefit corporations. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 33-6 and the House by 62-6. According to the Economic Development Department and the Public Regulation Commission, the bill would have no fiscal impact. Twenty states have passed legislation that allows a corporation to be designated as a benefit corporation, including several states that have Republican governors. Yet the bill died on Gov. Martinez’s desk in a More >

Fire the Choir: Why Green Marketing Hasn’t Worked and What To Do About It


Carolyn Parrs


We’ve heard the rumors, read the blogs and seen the headlines that said green marketing is dead. To me, that was good news. We certainly do not need another man-hugging-polar-bear commercial. I think marketers figured out few people buy an electric car to save melting ice caps. They buy it to save themselves from melting down at the gas pump. What’s dead in green marketing are those assumptions that people would choose the environment over their own needs, like saving money and providing healthy food for their kids.


The good news is green business is still alive and well. More >

New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce Member Profiles


EXHIB-IT! – A Fast-Growing Trade-Show Marketing Firm

EXHIB-IT! specializes in high-quality trade-show displays and trade-show management. The small Albuquerque-based business with seven full-time employees and 3-5 seasonal contract employees provides a wide range of services, from design, printing and exhibits, to installation, storage and marketing of booths.


Although 72 percent of the products the company offers are sold nationally over the Internet, 71.3 percent of EXHIB-IT!’s expenditures are made locally. The woman who owns EXHIB-IT!, DJ Heckes, says that having a passion for community causes has helped grow EXHIB-IT! globally. Seventy percent of EXHIB-IT!’s product lines are green, including eco-friendly trade-show More >

Green Home Building Industry Drives Local Green Economy


Kim Shanahan


Not too many years ago the local homebuilding industry was the scourge of the environmental movement. Developers were seen as gobblers and scrapers of the ecosystem with no consideration of anything beyond maximizing profits. Builders were denuding the forest with an insatiable demand for more lumber. Growth was a cancer.

In New Mexico, however, a solid core of progressive, innovative builders and developers has been part of the landscape for decades. Going back to the self-reliant youthful enthusiasm of the ‘60s and ‘70s, this now aging batch of baby boomers and their younger colleagues have shepherded a green building movement More >

Thinking Local First—The BALLE Model for Sustainable Communities and the Green Chamber


Celerah Hewes-Rutledge


One of the most essential aspects of our mission at the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce (NMGCC) is to support local economies, as we believe that a vibrant locally owned business community is necessary to a sustainable New Mexico. We also believe that local businesses can be green businesses. That is why our established Green Chamber chapters around the state are members of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). The BALLE model for sustainable communities emphasizes that local ownership means a stronger and more profitable community. Local business owners are more accountable to their communities, often More >

EVERYDAY GREEN: 10 Reasons to Buy Locally-Produced Food


Susan Guyette


The expansion of a local food supply is not only an exciting prospect, but also a practical necessity. As Gary Nabhan points out in Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, this future is now. However, we still have a long way to go to develop a sufficient local food supply, and the actions of each individual make the cumulative difference.


How do we get there? There is a difference between buying locally produced food and food from a locally owned store, although an intersection between the two is possible. Farmers need both primary markets (e.g., farmers’ markets or direct to the More >

Local Groups Call for a Full and Fair Farm Bill


The farm bill expired on Oct 1. Lack of action by Congress has left food and agriculture programs with an uncertain future. Grassroots organizations are fighting for a bill that protects gains made in the last two cycles.

On Oct. 16, a coalition of leaders from agricultural, ranching, acequia and economic development groups throughout NM came together to urge Congress to re-authorize a “full and fair” farm bill and to call attention to the significance of locally grown food. The rally on the United Nations’ World Food Day was coordinated with over 400 organizations across the country that signed a joint More >

New Mexico Health Connections’ Commitment to the Triple Bottom Line


It’s probably not all that common to see a health insurance company committed to the triple bottom line, but New Mexico Health Connections (NMHC) is not your common health insurance company. NMHC was created to shake things up in health care. The company sees itself as an agent of change.

NMHC was created by the Affordable Care Act as a nonprofit, consumer-operated and -oriented (co-op) health plan. The company’s mission is to provide New Mexico individuals and small businesses with an affordable nonprofit option for their health coverage. This means that any profits must be driven back either into expanded benefits More >

Economic Development and New Mexico’s National Monuments


Carrie Hamblen


Every morning, residents of Las Cruces and surrounding areas look to the east and gaze at our beautiful Organ Mountains, shadowed by the rising sun. Although there are a number of beautiful mountain ranges throughout the country, residents of southern New Mexico often declare that there really is no comparison to the Organ Mountains. Something about the color at sunset seems to surpass any other mountain range.

Over the past year or so, the movement to protect the Organ Mountains and surrounding areas has picked up steam, as residents have realized our beautiful mountain range and open spaces should More >

OP-ED: High-Tech and Renewable-Energy Development on State Trust Lands Creates Good Jobs and Revenue for Education


By Ray Powell, Commissioner of Public Lands


New Mexico has the potential to lead the nation in new energy jobs and the production of clean, renewable energy. The New Mexico State Land Office is working hard to seize the opportunities to create a bright future.


On the Job Creation Fron —The Land Office is working with private-sector companies to provide land to create high-paying jobs, including the manufacture of world-class solar panels and other energy-associated technologies. Two examples are EMCORE and Sumitomo, which are located on state trust land in the Sandia Science and Technology Park in Albuquerque. Other state-of-the-art companies are More >

Water – We can do it!


Mike Koepke


This past year has really brought into focus the significance of our water shortage in New Mexico. With the Río Grande running out of water before it even leaves the state, our reservoirs at record lows and our water tables continuing to drop, it is easily apparent that we need to change the way we use our water.

The city of Santa Fe has done a particularly good job in bringing this to the consciousness of its citizenry with its promotion of low-flush toilets, water-efficient appliances and xeriscape gardening techniques. You may ask, “What more can we do?” The truth More >

Carbon Divestment or Engagement? Which is the more effective tool in encouraging change?


Johann Klaassen & Kimberly Kiel As investment advisors who specialize in “sustainable, responsible impact” investing (SRI), we do not offer most of the biggest fossil-fuel companies in our client portfolios. The ecological devastation caused by the largest of those companies is impossible to ignore, and they appear to have no real interest in addressing the problems they’ve caused. But a small number of fossil-fuel companies—smaller firms, mostly, and companies that have a record of being willing to talk to environmental activists and shareowner advocates—do appear in our clients’ portfolios. One of the most frequent questions we’ve heard recently is about those More >

Newsbites – November 2013

Danish Renewable Energy Pioneer Speaks in Santa Fe

LANL Climate Researcher Presents Dire Forecast for SW Forests

CEO of the Samsø Energy Academy in Denmark, Søren Hermansen, whom Time Magazine lauded as a Hero of the Environment in 2008, spoke in Santa Fe last month before the City Business and Quality of Life Advisory Committee and at Santa Fe Community College about implementing renewable energy on a broad scale. Samsø is an island community of about 4,000 people. It has gained international recognition for being one of the first communities in the world that is 100-percent-powered by renewable energy. Hermansen related how More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – November 2013

Nov. 2, 8 am-2 pm

Doggie Dash & Dawdle

Balloon Fiesta Park

Pet festival to benefit Animal Humane NM. Have fun with your 4-legged friend. Registration:

Nov. 2

Walkin N Circles Trainers’ Challenge

NM State Fair Horse Arena

A horse trainers’ competition. Two classes with rescued horses. Prizes. Open to the public. Masked Cowboy Ball at the Youth Center at the NMSF grounds starting at 8:30 pm. Tickets: 505.286.0779,,


Nov. 6, 5:30-7:30 pm

Green Drinks

Hotel Andaluz, 125 2nd St. NW

Network with people interested in local business, clean energy and other green issues. Hosted by the Albuquerque & Río Rancho Green Chamber of Commerce. Info: 505.244.3700,


Nov. More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – November 2013


Nov. 1-10

Salt and Pepper

Teatro Paraguas Studio, 3205 Calle Marie

Humorous play by Los Alamos playwright Robert Benjamin set in SF. Upbeat tales about maturing with grace, courage and humor. Fri. and Sat. eves. at 7:30 pm; Sat. and Sun. matinees at 2 pm. $18/$15.


Nov. 2

Making Things in a Digital Age

Various Locations

The Exploration of Craft and Technology, Process and Product” 9:30-11:30 am: Design dialogue with international designers, NM History Museum; 2-3:20 pm: Workshops: Hands-on Textiles, Lannan Foundation ($30); 3:30-4:50 pm: User-Driven Design, Lannan Foundation ($45/$20); 2:30-4:30 pm: Material Shift at Zane Bennett Contemporary Art ($30/$15), Tickets:


Nov. 2, 5-7 pm

Design More >

What’s Going On? – Here & There – November 2013


Nov. 3, 6-8 pm

A New Community Rights Movement

Taos County AG Center, 202 Chamisa Rd., Ste. B, Taos, NM

Thomas Linzey, attorney and executive director of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, will speak about the new movement emerging across the US seeking to transition toward economic and environmental sustainability and elevate the rights of people, communities and nature above powers claimed by corporations. By donation. Info: 575.666.2529 or,


Nov. 4, 6-8 pm

A New Community Rights Movement

Ilfeld Auditorium, Highlands University Campus, Las Vegas, NM

See Nov. 3, Taos listing


Nov. 4-14

The Junkman Comes to Tucumcari

Tucumcari Elementary School, NM

Composer, percussionist, environmentalist Donald Knaack, aka More >