Friday, October 23, 2009

Net Zero Energy

A promising new movement is zero net energy (or net zero energy) buildings. Earlier this week in our area, PG&E, the electric utility, hosted a zero net energy (ZNE) building workshop with ASHRAE, an organization that has worked for decades on heating, cooling, and building ventilation standards. NREL has a group that's gathered ZNE case studies, and PG&E is currently conducting a ZNE pilot program (with details and offerings still TBD).

California has already made its recommendations: Zero Net Energy for new residential construction by 2020 and commercial by 2030. And Massachusetts is similar:

You might say this is the triumph of common sense. Clearly if we have an immense climate change challenge with our existing building stock, we cannot continue to build as we have and create additional load on the system. Get your state on the 2020 bus now!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Greywater Waves, Traditional Natives Online

Longtime partner Traditional Native American Farmers Association is now online.  Congratulations!  This helps us all keep up with their work in helping us remember our connection with the land.

In California, we've been on a greywater roller coaster lately, with the state legalizing systems
with subsequent conservative San Francisco action (oxymoron?).  In our fire-prone state, disallowing us to release water back into the landscape borders on madness.  We do understand the concern for health and we hope the City takes a broader view.

This past weekend the Bioneers returned to several sites around Turtle Island. We appreciate the voice that they provide to native peoples and hope they continue to seek paths to greater involvement of people of all colors.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Traditional and New Livestock Practices

Thanks to Indian Country Today, we have this "Indian group uses modern tools to raise animals" article

"Members of the Sedillo Cattle Association at Laguna Pueblo have for decades used ancient traditions and modern practices to successfully raise livestock on 100,000 acres of wind-swept tribal land in central New Mexico.

Working as a group with delegated duties, they work to preserve pastures and scarce water resources using the traditional knowledge of elders and up to the minute range technologies that now include solar power, Global Positioning Systems and video marketing. Read More"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Women and food sovereignty

LEISA's Farm, a blog on a range of agricultural issues, is a good resource.  A recent article on Women and Food Sovereignty outlined how women take the "main responsibility for food production, processing, storage and cooking" and  "are often experts in seed selection".  How do women fit into industrial agriculture?  Read the article and find out!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Building Community Resilience

Honor the Earth is Building Resilience in 2009 with Kalliopeia Foundation and Frances Fund, working to re-localize sustainable energy and food economies as a means to mitigate climate change and nurture cultural and spiritual restoration.

And Bay Localize has developed a Community Resilience Toolkit to help communities to weather tough times, provide resources to evaluate a community's relative strengths and vulnerabilities for economic and climate stability, and take action to build resilience in several areas
    * Food
    * Water
    * Energy
    * Transportation and Housing
    * Jobs and Economy
    * Civic Preparedness and Social Services"