Welcome to Sustainable Tucson

NO AUGUST MEETING

Sustainable Tucson is on hiatus for August. General Meetings will start up again in September. Stay tuned for news.

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Your chance to support urban food production in Tucson

The Planning Commission is holding a Public Hearing on proposed Urban Agriculture zoning rules. The new zoning laws will make legal a lot of things that are currently done but are actually illegal (just overlooked). The Planning Commission set a new hearing date: SEPTEMBER 16, 6 PM, at the Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W Alameda.

Two years ago, the voters adopted Plan Tucson, the General Plan to guide the City government for the next 10 years. It calls for the City to promote urban agriculture. You can find out more about the new rules in this excellent summary of one of the key issues (small animals) by Merrill Eisenberg.

Get involved:

  • You can attend the meeting, and tell the Mayor and Council what you think.
  • And you can sign a petition to support the new rules
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Want to support rooftop solar and fight climate change? You’re invited!

Monday, July 13, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Join Sustainable Tucson, Sierra Club, and Tierra Y Libertad Organization to support solar and fight coal!

Help us plan a media event and rally in front of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) headquarters to tell TEP to stop attacking rooftop solar and to divest from the San Juan coal plant.

What: Planning meeting for future media event and rally in front of TEP’s downtown headquarters
When: Monday, July 13, 5:30-8 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, lower level meeting room
101 N. Stone
Parking: free — lower level off Alameda St.
Bike/Transit: Walk two blocks east from the Ronstadt Transit Center, just north of new protected bike path on Stone Ave.

Join us! Free and open to the public! For more information, contact:
dan.millis@sierraclub.org – (520) 620-6401
-or-
hello@sustainabletucson.org

Our goals are:

1) Force TEP to retract the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date for new rooftop solar customers (net metering)

-and-

2) Force TEP to divest their stake in the polluting, out-of-state San Juan coal plant.

At this Planning Meeting, we will review the issues, create effective messaging for the rally and for a media campaign leading up to the event, and plan the logistics for the rally.

Background:

This spring, TEP submitted a plan to state regulators that would end net metering, the process that allows rooftop solar customers to receive fair credit for all of the energy their solar panels produce. New solar customers after June 1, 2015 would no longer be able to ‘bank’ the solar energy produced by their panels and use it later. This proposal was unfair and was opposed by many Tucsonans, and TEP withdrew most of their proposal. However, TEP told state regulators that they intend to submit the proposal again in 2016, keeping the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date. The result is that between now and the end of 2016, when a decision is scheduled to be made, new solar customers won’t be able to make an informed decision about how much solar to install. Most potential customers will choose to defer on solar. As a result, local solar companies will lose business and Tucson will lose clean energy jobs.

TEP has been attacking rooftop solar while staying invested in a costly, polluting coal plant in New Mexico called the San Juan Generating Station. Operators of this greenhouse gas-producing plant have come up with a plan for partial closure, keeping part of it running. Many investors, utilities, and municipalities walked away from the deal when it was revealed that continued operations at San Juan would cost about $1 billion more than anticipated. TEP, on the other hand, plans to continue to generate about 15% of Tucson’s electricity from the San Juan plant’s dirty coal. Help us promote a better plan!

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Rooftop Solar Update

The ACC has received well over 400 letters opposing TEP’s proposal to charge an extra fee (read “penalty”) to owners who install new rooftop solar systems, and at the hearing in Tucson on June 10, ACC staff recommended that any consideration of that fee take place in the context of a full rate hearing. The judge will make a recommendation to the Commission, which will then consider how to proceed. See article in the Arizona Daily Star

In the meantime, please continue to send letters or emails to the 5 commissioners opposing the TEP fee proposal and supporting expansion of rooftop solar. Information and guidelines can be found on the Sustainable Tucson website
For even more information, or if you prefer to submit comments on line, you can also go to the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter website:

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NO AUGUST MEETING

posted August 7, 2015

Sustainable Tucson is on hiatus for August. General Meetings will start up again in September. Stay tuned for news.

comment on this post »

 

Your chance to support urban food production in Tucson

posted August 7, 2015

The Planning Commission is holding a Public Hearing on proposed Urban Agriculture zoning rules. The new zoning laws will make legal a lot of things that are currently done but are actually illegal (just overlooked). The Planning Commission set a new hearing date: SEPTEMBER 16, 6 PM, at the Mayor and Council Chambers, 255 W Alameda.

Two years ago, the voters adopted Plan Tucson, the General Plan to guide the City government for the next 10 years. It calls for the City to promote urban agriculture. You can find out more about the new rules in this excellent summary of one of the key issues (small animals) by Merrill Eisenberg.

Get involved:

  • You can attend the meeting, and tell the Mayor and Council what you think.
  • And you can sign a petition to support the new rules
comment on this post »

 

Want to support rooftop solar and fight climate change? You’re invited!

posted July 6, 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Join Sustainable Tucson, Sierra Club, and Tierra Y Libertad Organization to support solar and fight coal!

Help us plan a media event and rally in front of Tucson Electric Power (TEP) headquarters to tell TEP to stop attacking rooftop solar and to divest from the San Juan coal plant.

What: Planning meeting for future media event and rally in front of TEP’s downtown headquarters
When: Monday, July 13, 5:30-8 pm
Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.
Where: Joel D. Valdez Main Library, lower level meeting room
101 N. Stone
Parking: free — lower level off Alameda St.
Bike/Transit: Walk two blocks east from the Ronstadt Transit Center, just north of new protected bike path on Stone Ave.

Join us! Free and open to the public! For more information, contact:
dan.millis@sierraclub.org – (520) 620-6401
-or-
hello@sustainabletucson.org

Our goals are:

1) Force TEP to retract the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date for new rooftop solar customers (net metering)

-and-

2) Force TEP to divest their stake in the polluting, out-of-state San Juan coal plant.

At this Planning Meeting, we will review the issues, create effective messaging for the rally and for a media campaign leading up to the event, and plan the logistics for the rally.

Background:

This spring, TEP submitted a plan to state regulators that would end net metering, the process that allows rooftop solar customers to receive fair credit for all of the energy their solar panels produce. New solar customers after June 1, 2015 would no longer be able to ‘bank’ the solar energy produced by their panels and use it later. This proposal was unfair and was opposed by many Tucsonans, and TEP withdrew most of their proposal. However, TEP told state regulators that they intend to submit the proposal again in 2016, keeping the June 1, 2015 ‘grandfathering’ date. The result is that between now and the end of 2016, when a decision is scheduled to be made, new solar customers won’t be able to make an informed decision about how much solar to install. Most potential customers will choose to defer on solar. As a result, local solar companies will lose business and Tucson will lose clean energy jobs.

TEP has been attacking rooftop solar while staying invested in a costly, polluting coal plant in New Mexico called the San Juan Generating Station. Operators of this greenhouse gas-producing plant have come up with a plan for partial closure, keeping part of it running. Many investors, utilities, and municipalities walked away from the deal when it was revealed that continued operations at San Juan would cost about $1 billion more than anticipated. TEP, on the other hand, plans to continue to generate about 15% of Tucson’s electricity from the San Juan plant’s dirty coal. Help us promote a better plan!

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Rooftop Solar Update

posted June 18, 2015

The ACC has received well over 400 letters opposing TEP’s proposal to charge an extra fee (read “penalty”) to owners who install new rooftop solar systems, and at the hearing in Tucson on June 10, ACC staff recommended that any consideration of that fee take place in the context of a full rate hearing. The judge will make a recommendation to the Commission, which will then consider how to proceed. See article in the Arizona Daily Star

In the meantime, please continue to send letters or emails to the 5 commissioners opposing the TEP fee proposal and supporting expansion of rooftop solar. Information and guidelines can be found on the Sustainable Tucson website
For even more information, or if you prefer to submit comments on line, you can also go to the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter website:

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Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch

posted June 18, 2015
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4:30 pmto6:30 pm

What does LEED Platinum housing look like? What’s being done to help the growing numbers of grandparents raising their grandkids? Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch for a tour of Primavera Foundation’s Las Abuelitas Family Housing. The tour will be led by Savannah McDonald, of Poster Frost Mirto, Inc., the architects of the project.

The event is free but space is limited so pre-registration is required – and spaces for the tour are going fast. Go to the event page to register.

-A mixer with summer heat-quenching Aguas Frescas served by Dish-for-Dosha will follow the tour. -

When: June 18, 2015
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Where: Las Abuelitas Family Housing
440 E. 26th St., Tucson, AZ

Tour is now full. Please join us for the mixer at Las Abuelitas Community Room.

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Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment

posted May 28, 2015
Monday, June 8, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Our built environment — housing, public facilities, commercial buildings — is vital to sustainability in our cities and towns. But what goes into making that built environment sustainable? What makes a building “green”? How does a building qualify for LEED certification? And what does LEED certification mean?

Beyond these technical questions, we want to examine broader social and environmental issues relating to our built environment. Can sustainable buildings, for example, affect our health? How can multi-family or low-income housing be made “green”? And even, can energy-efficient buildings impact climate change?

Join us at the next Sustainable Tucson meeting for an exploration of these and related issues, at the first event in a collaboration between the Sonoran Branch of US Green Building Council – Arizona and Sustainable Tucson on “Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment.”

At this first event, the Sonoran Branch of USGBC-Arizona will present a panel discussion addressing local, sustainable buildings and green certification systems. The panel will offer perspectives from professionals in several fields within the residential and commercial building industries.

Richard Franz-Under, Green Building Program Manager for Pima County Development Services and a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, will moderate the panel. The panel will feature:
• Nicole Brule-Fisher: a Realtor with RE/MAX Trends and President of Tucson Association of Realtors; the first Tucson Realtor to become a certified Eco-Broker and the first to become a National Association of Realtors GREEN designee
• Andrew Hayes: working with Hayes Construction, a custom home building company that provides earth-friendly practices in its projects and incorporates no-cost solutions to make homes more energy efficient
• Thomas C. Mannschreck: president, CEO, and owner of Thomas Development Co., a Boise, Idaho-based real-estate development company, and of Thomas Investments Limited Partnership, a family-held, real-estate investment entity; through Thomas Development Co., developer of four LEED Platinum multi-family housing projects for low-income seniors and families
• Rob Paulus: an architect, developer, and musician; founded Rob Paulus Architects to create unique, award winning, and regionally-specific architecture; active in promoting high quality design with appropriate density for our community.

Check out a recent Arizona Daily Star article on Tucson Association of Realtor and Sustainability.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

……………………………………………………..
The second event in “Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment” will be a free tour on June 18 of Primavera Foundation’s Las Abuelitas Family Housing, a LEED Platinum project by Poster Frost Mirto Architects that provides housing for low-income grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. A mixer will follow the tour.
For more information about the tour, please visit the event listing http://www.usgbcaz.org/event-1920945. Space will be limited for the tour, so registration (available at the event listing) is required.

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The Economics of, and Threats to, Rooftop Solar

posted May 5, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

[You can see the presentations below. ]

• Are new proposals to state regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission by Tucson Electric Power and Trico making it more difficult and expensive for Tucsonans to “Go Solar”?
• Are local solar jobs at stake?
• What is the value of rooftop solar?
• Are you concerned?

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s May 11th meeting to become an informed citizen.

Speakers will include:

• Bruce Plenk: Local solar consultant (Solar Possibilities Consulting), current chair of the Southern Arizona Solar Partnership, and member of the Tucson Pima Metropolitan Energy Commission
• Russell Lowes: Sierra Club Rincon Group Energy Chair, Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter Solar Task Force Chair, and Research Director at www.SafeEnergyAnalyst.org
• Ron Proctor: Core team member Sustainable Tucson, Co-chair City of Tucson Climate Change committee, homeowner with 1Kw PV grid-tied system since 2006.

The meeting will also outline opportunities for advocacy on these important issues, including suggestions for crafting your message to policy makers.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

Take Action Now. The Arizona Corporation Commission has to approve efforts to stifle distributed solar with new fees. They will be holding public hearings soon and your emails to the Commissioners will be counted and noted. Act Now

Russell Lowes –
Bruce Plenk –
Ron Proctor –

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Lessons from Sustainable Urban Design: Films and Discussion

posted April 9, 2015
Monday, April 13, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

As activist citizens, we have been working towards sustainability in many ways, particularly looking at issues impacting life in our city, including the work of the Broadway Coalition featured at last month’s General Meeting.

This month, we’ll carry on the discussion started by that examination of the Broadway Corridor, by looking at some positive examples of steps that various cities have taken to create more sustainable and livable communities — plus one less-than-positive example. After viewing film segments showing what has been done around the world, we’ll open the discussion to consider whether any of those steps are happening also in Tucson, and whether they could — and should — happen here.

Linda Samuels from the UA’s Sustainable Cities project will join us for this community discussion.

The selection of film segments will feature:
• Bogota, Colombia
• Copenhagen, Denmark
• New York City’s High Line
• Jane Jacobs
• Phoenix, Arizona
• Singapore
• Curitiba, Brazil
• Portland, Oregon & City Repair

Join us for this look at some exciting urban alternatives and continue the conversation of what we can do to create changes that we want to see in our city.

Location: Downtown Main Library, lower level meeting room.
Doors open at 5:30. Program starts promptly at 6:00.

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Broadway Coalition Vision: Let’s Make the Broadway Project Sustainable Now!

posted March 2, 2015
Monday, March 9, 2015
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

Please ACT NOW: Email your objections to the City’s Broadway Plan. Here is a model letter with email addresses by Broadway Coalition member Laura Tabili to help list the community’s concerns.

“Broadway Corridor Plan Aims to Demolish 37 Tucson Buildings” reads the Arizona Daily Star lead headline from Feb.24th. City of Tucson staff and consultants are proposing an alignment of the 2-mile project that contains unjustified widths and unnecessarily destroys historic buildings and businesses. Also troubling, this staff plan varies from what elected city leaders have voiced is their preference — the most narrow solution for six lanes which meets the safety concerns for all modes of mobility.

Many people in Greater Tucson are asking, “Why are we widening roads that don’t need it, especially when our existing roads are in such a state of disrepair? ” “Why not eliminate potholes, rather than small businesses!”

The sustainability community is asking, “Why is the City promoting a wide, car-oriented design when future trends indicate accommodation to more “people and place”centered mobility and low carbon living?” If Tucson is going to actually respond to the challenges of global warming and climate change, don’t we also have to build a “climate-friendly” transportation system?

Clearly, an irreversible Tucson Tragedy is in the making if we don’t act soon.

Come hear members of the Broadway Coalition describe their vision for the Historic Broadway Redesign Project including improvements for bicyclists, pedestrians, autos, and transit riders and creating vibrant places where people want to go to meet, shop, and enjoy life. Hear the Coalition rally the community to communicate to the City of Tucson that very little widening if any is necessary to make Historic Broadway the next great destination of historic significance and thriving small businesses.

The Coalition has already convinced the City, County, and RTA that 8 lanes is excessive. Now we just need to show that the narrowest width alignment is best for all.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6 pm.

We hope to see you all there.

To read the City Staff report and alignment maps, go to: http://www.tucsonaz.gov/broadway

The deadline for public comment on this alignment is midnight, March 11, 2015. Send comments to:

Email to broadway@tucsonaz.gov by midnight, March 11,

Hand-delivered hard-copy to the address below by 5pm on March 11, 2015

By postal mail to the address below – must be postmarked by March 9, 2015. Address to use:  Tucson Department of Transportation, 201 N. Stone Ave, 6th Floor, Tucson, AZ  85701

Monday, March 9th, 5:30 – 8:00
Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room
101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

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posted December 21, 2014

Best Wishes from Sustainable Tucson!

Three Articles to Start Off the New Year:

Best New Year’s wishes! Happy Holiday reading from ST!

While Sustainable Tucson will continue to focus on the economy, local production, and democratization of resource decisions, climate and energy issues will continue to dominate the global sustainability movement as well.

We have three excellent articles for everyone to consider, thanks to the efforts of the Post Carbon Institute’s “Resilience.Org” website.

The first is an interview with Naomi Klein, author of the new game-changing book, “This Changes Everything: Capitalism versus The Climate.” She exposes the inherent collision course of our extractive, growth-based economy with catastrophic climate change and shows how a bottom-up transformation could avert disaster.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/climate-the-crisis-and-the-movement/

“What Climate Change Asks of Us” by Margaret Klein explores the human moral imperative to respond to this unprecedented danger with public expression and mobilization.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/what-climate-change-asks-of-us-moral-obligation-mobilization-and-crisis-communication/

The third article by Richard Heinberg, ” The Oil Price Crash of 2014″ helps us understand what is happening in the global energy markets and geopolitics. While over-supply and low-cost oil from Saudia Arabia and the Middle East is squeezing out investment in U.S. high-cost tight (fracked) oil  and making renewable energy less competitive, the production costs of building clean energy systems may be declining.
Read at:
http://www.sustainabletucson.org/2014/12/the-oil-price-crash-of-2014/

 

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A PUBLIC BANK FOR ARIZONA?

posted November 23, 2014
Monday, December 8, 2014
5:30 pmto8:00 pm

 A PUBLIC BANK FOR ARIZONA?

 

How public banking can build Arizona’s

economy and benefit Arizona’s citizens.

Monday, December 8, 2014, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

————————————

Following the Wall Street crash and the housing market collapse a few years ago, the Move Your Money campaign encouraged millions of Americans to take their money out of big commercial banks and hold the funds locally in credit unions and community banks.  In 2013, the Tucson City Council emulated the Move Our Money campaign by moving $5 million of the City’s rainy day fund from a big commercial bank to a community bank to encourage local business development–an action that spurred $9 million in loans to 16 local small businesses.  In May, 2014, the City Finance Department reported to the Mayor and Council that the program could be expanded to $10M.

Across the U.S., millions of dollars of taxpayer funds are held in big commercial banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, and invested on Wall Street.  What if Arizona had a state-owned public bank—similar to the one in North Dakota—and the state’s rainy day funds were held and invested in Arizona?

Local investment of state funds would translate into jobs and a stronger economy…How? An Arizona public bank could create jobs by investing in public works projects; could boost entrepreneurship by backing small business loans through community banks; could build our state’s future by helping finance college loans—and much more.

Isn’t it time that Arizona invested in Arizona—instead of Wall Street?

Here are a few reasons why Arizona could use a public bank:

  • Arizona has a crumbling infrastructure and “no money” to fix roads, bridges, and public buildings.
  • Arizona’s entrepreneurs can’t get the capital they need to grow and innovate.
  • Cities and towns are strapped for cash and have to sell bonds and pay high fees in order to get credit.
  • Arizona has the 3rd lowest credit rating in the U.S., making borrowing extremely expensive.
  • Arizona is among the 10 worst states in the country for home foreclosures.
  • 10 Arizona banks have failed in the last few years.
  • University tuition continues to increase, pricing young Arizonans out of the market for higher education.

————————————

Come to our next Sustainable Tucson public meeting on December 8, 2014 to learn more about alternative economic strategies such as public banking from our four presenters:

Jim Hannley and Pamela Powers Hannley, newly appointed co-directors of Arizonans for a New Economy, will discuss the benefits of public banking and what it would take to create a public bank in our state.

Silvia Amparano, City of Tucson Finance Director - Speaking about the Community Banking Program

Phil Lopes, Legislative District 27 – Addressing legislative strategies for a state-owned bank

Someone from Karin Uhlich’s Ward 3 office has been invited to give us background and updates on the moving of $5M of Tucson’s rainy-day fund into an Arizona-based community bank and how that helped fund 16 small, local businesses.

 

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Last chance for meaningful climate change mitigation? – City-Utility Partnerships

posted November 4, 2014
Monday, November 10, 2014
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

The most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory (2012) for our region has recently been released, showing a slight decrease since its peak in 2010. Nationally, this same trend is attributed to reduced emissions from electricity generation, improvements in energy efficiencies, reduction in travel and yearly fluctuation in prevailing weather conditions. For the Tucson region the two largest sources of GHG emissions are Electricity (63%) and Gasoline (22%).

Meanwhile, the latest AR5 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is endorsing a “carbon budget” or limit to how much carbon can be put into the atmosphere. Given current rates of fossil fuel burning, we will burn through that budget by 2040. And even if we do transition to a zero-carbon culture by that time we will only have a 50/50 chance of stabilizing a 2 degree C rise in temperatures.

To date the planet is experiencing less than a 1 degree rise, producing changes outside “normal” including increasing temperatures, decreasing water supply, increasing health and social problems, increasing intensity of wildfires and flooding, and greater demands on our infrastructure including electricity production and mobility. If we put 2 and 2 together, the climate change picture is definitely not pretty – the challenge huge and “solution” – imperative.

Minneapolis just reached a milestone agreement to partner with their electricity utility to reach their goals to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2014/10/17/minneapolis-utility-fight-ends-with-unique-clean-energy-deal/

Could Tucson do the same? What would it take? Where will leadership come from?

Join Sustainable Tucson’s public meeting to find out more about the latest GHG inventory and the potential to leave future Tucsonans with a habitable climate and sustainable future.

Speakers will include:

Suzanne Cotty, Senior Air Quality Planner and report author

Tucson Electric Power Co representative: invited

Come to Sustainable Tucson’s November 10th meeting to find out more.

Doors open at 5:30 pm. The meeting will begin promptly at 6:00 pm.

Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room,

101 N. Stone, (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

 

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LET’S TALK TRASH (Rescheduled)

posted September 25, 2014
Monday, October 13, 2014
5:00 pmto8:00 pm

From Garbage to Gold: Turning Organic “Waste” Into a Valuable Resource

Meeting at Joel D. Valdez Main Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone (free lower level parking off Alameda St.)

  • Compost is a good alternative to chemical fertilizers…It doesn’t pollute groundwater, wells, or waterways.
  • Compost keeps organic materials out of landfills, reducing methane gas emissions.
  • Compost sequesters carbon deep in the soil.
  • Compost promotes healthy microbial activity in the soil, providing micro-nutrients to plant roots and discouraging soil diseases.
  • Compost improves soil structure, thereby protecting topsoil from erosion.
  • Compost helps soil retain more rainwater.
  • Compost helps grow plants rich with nutrients that sustain good health.
  • Compost manufacturing supports green jobs.
  • Composting is easy and it’s satisfying.
  • Composting turns food scraps into new food!

Come to our next Sustainable Tucson general meeting on October 13, 2014 to learn more about composting from our four presenters:

CHET PHILLIPS, Project Director of the UA Compost Cats, will talk about their innovative student-run program, in which they collaborate with the City of Tucson, the Reid Park Zoo, and the San Xavier Co-op Farm to turn more than 1.5 million pounds of food waste into a valuable agricultural resource.  In 2013, Compost Cats received the Recycler of the Year Award from the Arizona Recycling Coalition.

EMILY ROCKEY, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Fairfax Companies, which includes Tank’s Green Stuff, will tell us about their large-scale composting operations.  Tank’s Green Stuff rescues local plant material that would otherwise be considered “waste” and transforms it into something valuable: a rich, water saving, nutrient filled organic compost.

LINDA LEIGH, Co-owner with partner Doug Shepherd of Vermillion Wormery, will talk about the use of worms for composting, aka vermicomposting, to achieve their goal of zero organic waste.  They partner with restaurants and friends, taking kitchen scraps and feeding them to earthworms to produce a beautiful, full-of-life soil amendment called vermicast.

JOY HOLDREAD, Proprietor and resident of Joy’s Happy Garden, will be sharing with us her creative low-cost, low-water, low-labor composting strategies for sustainable desert living.  Her goal to encourage folks to compost, reduce waste, and conserve water locally is a great plan for a more sustainable Tucson.  Joy is a passive-aggressive desert gardener!

——————————————————————————————————————————————————
PLEASE NOTE:  Because of the number of presenters, we are starting earlier than usual this month.  Doors will open at 5:00 pm and the program will start promptly at 5:30 pm.
——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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See front page archive »

News Notes

 

Climate Smart Southwest: Ready or Hot? – National climate change conference in Tucson – Sep 20-21

posted July 23, 2013

[ Friday, September 20, 2013; 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Saturday, September 21, 2013; 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. ] Free lecture Friday evening at the TEP Unisource Building, 88 East Broadway, Tucson AZ

Saturday conference at the Tucson Convention Center (details below)

Tucson will be hosting a climate change conference focused on public health and climate adaptation in September, sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility and 35 other local and national organizations. The following guest [...]

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Building Sustainable Cities – New York Times Conference April 25

posted May 8, 2013

See the online video archive of the entire conference at nytenergyfortomorrow.com
ENERGY FOR TOMORROW – BUILDING SUSTAINABLE CITIES
A NEW YORK TIMES CONFERENCE
IN COLLABORATION WITH RICHARD ATTIAS AND ASSOCIATES
APRIL 25, 2013
THE TIMESCENTER, NEW YORK CITY
 
THE CONCEPT
According to U.N. data, the worldwide urban population over the next 40 years will increase by 3.1 billion people. Where will [...]

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Phoenix in the Climate Crosshairs

posted March 17, 2013

Phoenix in the Climate Crosshairs
by William deBuys
 
If cities were stocks, you’d want to short Phoenix.

Of course, it’s an easy city to pick on. The nation’s 13th largest metropolitan area (nudging out Detroit) crams 4.3 million people into a low bowl in a hot desert, where horrific heat waves and windstorms visit it regularly. It snuggles [...]

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Edgar Cahn, TimeBanks USA – How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments

posted January 23, 2013

How President Obama Can Beat The Odds And Make Good On His Commitments
from Edgar S. Cahn, CEO TimeBanks USA,
Distinguished Professor of Law, UDC David A. Clarke School of Law
In his Inaugural Address, President Obama made some commitments that seem to defy fiscal reality:
  “A little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has [...]

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Eco-Health Relationship Browser – EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities

posted October 23, 2012

Eco-Health Relationship Browser
EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research News Flash
September 25, 2012
The EPA Sustainable and Healthy Communities Research Program is pleased to announce the launch of the Eco-Health Relationship Browser, an easy-to-use new online tool from the SHC program.
The Eco-Health Relationship Browser illustrates the linkages between human health and ecosystem services—benefits supplied by nature. [...]

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Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math – by Bill McKibben in Rolling Stone

posted July 21, 2012

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe – and that make clear who the real enemy is
by Bill McKibben (350.org)
This story is from the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven’t convinced you, or the size of your AC bill [...]

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NYT Publishes Private Industry Documents: “Shale Gas Called a Ponzi Scheme”

posted June 27, 2012

Documents: Industry Privately Skeptical of Shale Gas
Over the past six months, The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of documents related to shale gas, including hundreds of industry e-mails, internal agency documents and reports by analysts. A selection of these documents is included here; names and identifying information have been redacted to protect the [...]

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Overpeck lecture – audio recording online here

posted April 8, 2012

An audio recording of Dr. Jonathan Overpeck’s presentation at DuVal Auditorium in Tucson February 13th 2012 is now available here on the Sustainable Tucson website.
To listen or download, please go to the first comment on ST February Meeting – Climate Change in Tucson and the Southwest – Dr Jonathan Overpeck.

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ST statement of support for Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Tucson

posted January 1, 2012

Sustainable Tucson’s statement of support for the Occupy Wall Street movement and Occupy Tucson
The mission of Sustainable Tucson is to create a community-wide network of people and organizations facilitating and accelerating Tucson’s transition to sustainability through education and collaborative action.
A sustainable community embodies social justice and economic justice as well as environmental justice. Our vision [...]

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6 Burning Questions About the Violent Crackdowns on Occupations Around the Country

posted November 20, 2011

6 Burning Questions About the Violent Crackdowns on Occupations Around the Country
By Lynn Parramore, AlterNet Posted on November 15, 2011 http://www.alternet.org/story/153083 /6_burning_questions_about_the_violent_crackdowns_ on_occupations_around_the_country
Occurring without provocation, the Occupy crackdown gives the appearance of an orchestrated effort to thwart an emerging protest movement. Early morning Tuesday, in New York City, hundreds of police officers, many in riot gear, swept [...]

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Sustainable Tucson comments on proposed Rosemont Mine

posted November 16, 2011

Sustainable Tucson comments on proposed Rosemont Mine
Sustainable Tucson is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that builds regional resilience and sustainability through awareness raising, community engagement and public/private partnerships. We recognize the need to focus on sustainability within the Sonoran bioregion.
The proposal by the Augusta Resources Corporation to develop a copper mine in the Santa Rita mountains [...]

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Saying No to WalMart, A Town Builds its Own Store

posted November 13, 2011

Buying Underwear, Along With the Whole Store
By AMY CORTESE
 
SARANAC LAKE, N.Y.
 
THE residents of Saranac Lake, a picturesque town in the Adirondacks, are a hardy lot — they have to be to withstand winter temperatures that can drop to 30 below zero. But since the local Ames department store went out of business in 2002 — [...]

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Local News & Announcements

Jul 11, 2015
The University of Arizona now offers a new online degree program, B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments

Jul 6, 2015
Want to support rooftop solar and fight climate change? You’re invited!

Jun 18, 2015
Rooftop Solar Update

Jun 18, 2015
Join Sustainable Tucson and the US Green Building Council-Sonoran Branch

May 28, 2015
Architecture and Sustainability in Tucson’s Built Environment

Apr 9, 2015
Lessons from Sustainable Urban Design: Films and Discussion

Mar 2, 2015
Broadway Coalition Vision: Let’s Make the Broadway Project Sustainable Now!

Feb 3, 2015
Response to assertions made about energy’s costs, systems

Jan 28, 2015
An Energy Partnership / Climate Solution for Tucson?

Jan 23, 2015
Economic development: Start with a Tucson metropolitan microgrid

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Stay Informed

For the latest news on all sustainability subjects, www.resilience.org, is one of the best sources on the internet. Stay informed with news, analysis, and opinion on energy, climate change, resource depletion, geopolitics, water, food, transportation, economic development, health, community resilience, debt and currency crises, buildings, the environment, and sustainability solutions. Resilience.org is a project of the Post Carbon Institute and serves as the primary North American clearinghouse for sustainability communications.

News

Jul 11, 2015
The University of Arizona now offers a new online degree program, B.S. in Sustainable Built Environments

Feb 3, 2015
Response to assertions made about energy’s costs, systems

Jan 28, 2015
An Energy Partnership / Climate Solution for Tucson?

Jan 23, 2015
Economic development: Start with a Tucson metropolitan microgrid

Dec 21, 2014
Climate: The Crisis and the Movement

Dec 21, 2014
What climate change asks of us

Dec 20, 2014
The Oil Price Crash of 2014

Jun 12, 2014
What climate activists should learn from the Monterey Shale downgrade

Jun 12, 2014
The great imaginary California oil boom: Over before it started

May 15, 2014
Not Up the Creek…Yet/ ST in Tucson Weekly

Nov 17, 2013
Will the real International Energy Agency please stand up?

Nov 17, 2013
Loss and Damage @Warsaw: Climate change Conference of Parties 19

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