Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Permaculture Skills Center to open near Sebastopol

Permaculture Skills Center to open near Sebastopol

Enviro Updates

The new Permaculture Skills Center is a 5 acre site near Sebastopol that will teach the skills needed to create and maintain permaculture gardens, which are based on principles of systems ecology and sustainable land use.

A launch party will be held June 15 from 12:00-5:00pm.
2185 Hwy 116 South, Sebastopol
For more information, see the Center’s website at http://permacultureskillscenter.org/

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Experts explore energy, debt, climate challenges

Experts explore energy, debt, climate challenges

Gary Quackenbush, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

Navigating economic realities involving energy, debt and climate trends that will impact our lives and provide the context for local economic development in the North Bay, was the focus of Richard Heinberg’s presentation May 8 at the Glaser Center in Santa Rosa.

Sponsored by Share Exchange, the Threshold Foundation, Summit State Bank and 20 community partners, the event also included a panel discussion.

Share Exchange founder Kelley Rajala was the moderator for the evening and introduced Mr. Heinberg and panelists Marc Armstrong, director of the Public Banking Institute; Ann Hancock, director of the Climate Protection Agency, and Stacey Lawson, chief executive officer of the Ygrene Energy Fund.

via Experts explore energy, debt, climate challenges – North Bay Business Journal – North San Francisco Bay Area, Sonoma, Marin, Napa counties – Archive.

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable LivingTags , , Leave a comment on Board to vote on Sonoma Clean Power Tuesday, April 23, 9:00am

Board to vote on Sonoma Clean Power Tuesday, April 23, 9:00am

Climate Protection Campaign

Sonoma Clean Power, the county initiative to purchase greener electricity, comes back to the Board for a vote on April 23rd. Topics include potential rates, start-up financing, and marketing services. Please attend and show support.

The most recent story in the Press Democrat:
Eleven bidders compete to provide power to Sonoma County

Posted on Categories Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable Living, TransportationTags , Leave a comment on Electric vehicles at 'Day on the Green'

Electric vehicles at 'Day on the Green'

Enviro Updates

The North Bay Electric Auto Association and Sierra Club’s Sonoma Group co-sponsored a show and tell of electric vehicles at Montgomery Village’s ‘Day on the Green’ in Santa Rosa today. Dealers and enthusiasts brought Leafs, Volts, Fits, Priuses, Teslas and home-converted vehicles to exhibit.
Electric cars are growing in popularity in the North Bay, and charging stations are multiplying. For a current list of stations, go to plugshare.com.

Posted on Categories Land Use, Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Board of Supervisors backs landfill deal

Board of Supervisors backs landfill deal

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County supervisors Tuesday voiced support for a move that would expand the county’s central landfill by permanently turning over operations to a national solid waste contractor, starting with a 20-year deal worth an estimated $547 million.

In their first formal look at the proposal, members of the Board of Supervisors touted its benefits for garbage customers and taxpayers while opponents led by organized labor representatives called out its risks.

via Sonoma County Board of Supervisors backs landfill deal | Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Local Organizations, Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on 350 Home & Garden Challenge Kick-Off Party – March 25

350 Home & Garden Challenge Kick-Off Party – March 25

Ryan Johnston, DAILY ACTS
Please join Daily Acts to launch the biggest and boldest 350 Home and Garden Challenge ever! You will meet the organizers and partners, learn about the many exciting ways that you can get involved in this year’s Challenge, and be inspired. We will provide snacks, drinks, and tangible ideas for ways you can make your home, garden, and community more resilient!
This year’s 350 Home & Garden Challenge will center on May 18th and 19th, when thousands of people across Sonoma County will again rise to the challenge of creating a more sustainable community. Building upon the incredible success of 628 garden actions in 2010, 1,044 actions in 2011, and 2,304 in 2012, our goal this year is to inspire 3,500 actions to save water, save energy, grow food, and build community. And to continue to broaden the charge, we’re adding two new action areas: live local and green your ride. Small or large, every action counts. Only together can we become more food and energy independent, and build the strength, health, beauty, and resilience of our communities!
350 Home & Garden Challenge Kick-Off Party
Monday, March 25th, 6-8:30pm
Laguna Environmental Center, 900 Sanford Road
Santa Rosa, CA, 95401
RSVP kindly requested: https://events.nonprofiteasy.net/dailyacts/eventdetails?EventId=14024
For more information about the 350 Home & Garden Challenge, please visit www.dailyacts.org/campaigns

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Effort to reopen Sonoma County landfill advances

Effort to reopen Sonoma County landfill advances

Brett Wilkison, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Sonoma County’s plans to permanently reopen and expand its central landfill cleared a major hurdle Thursday, receiving a go-ahead from North Coast water regulators.

The decision approving a permit for up to 22 more years of operation at the Mecham Road site west of Cotati came from the same state agency that nearly a decade ago raised pollution concerns that triggered a five-year closure of the landfill.

via Effort to reopen Sonoma County landfill advances | PressDemocrat.com.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Growing the Granges

Growing the Granges

Connie Madden, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
California once had vibrant granges, most with their own halls, but they had since disappeared in many towns.  In the past few years, Grange news is upbeat and, in Sonoma County, there are now a total of TWELVE granges, several new, all of them growing.  Nationally, The Grange is comprised of over 350,000 members holding over 100,000 general membership meetings, Pomona Grange gatherings and Junior Grange meetings.
The Grange is news again as it was since its inception in 1867, and during the 1930’s when Granges helped each other recover from the hard farming days of the Depression.
Knowing that local foods are more sustainable and usually more flavorful and vibrant than those requiring fossil fuels to ship them thousands of miles, and that recent “100 year” droughts and floods events are becoming longer and more harsh than ever in history, the time to build local sources for food security is right in line the Grange practice called “Patrons of Husbandry” and a more communal way of life has come around again.
via Growing the Granges.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs

Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs

Robert Digitale, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

In 2008, when Don Gilardi heard that California voters might dictate the living conditions of laying hens, he began to take a keen interest in chickens. Gilardi, a Marin County rancher, concluded that the looming issue signaled consumers wanted a different approach to egg production. So he traded some of his sheep for hens and began selling eggs to Bay Area restaurants already buying his lamb.

That fall, voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 2, which in 2015 will ban most existing chicken cages. About a year later, buyers from Whole Foods visited Gilardi to see if he would sell them eggs from the hens he raises a different way — not caged in warehouses but allowed to roam outside in pastures.

via Farmers expand to meet demand for pasture-raised eggs | Petaluma360.com | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.

Posted on Categories Sustainable LivingTags Leave a comment on Community Garden Network holds first gathering

Community Garden Network holds first gathering

Enviro Updates
The Community Garden Network, a support organization for the 80 or more community gardens in Sonoma County, held its first gathering in Santa Rosa on February 2. The Network was formed in early 2012 to connect and strengthen community gardens by offering them technical assistance, training, funding development, and opportunities to share knowledge with other gardeners.
More than 70 community garden representatives and community organizers from all over the county came together for an inspiring and educational afternoon. Following a speed networking session, addresses were made by Supervisor Mike McGuire and Trathen Heckman of Daily Acts. Attendees then had a choice of four different breakout groups to discuss challenges and success stories associated with Recruiting and Sustaining Volunteers, Sustaining Gardener Enthusiasm and Participation, Maintaining Soil Fertility, and Irrigation Management. During the break, gardeners visited information tables and took part in a lively seed and tool swap. Participants then took to the open mike to give ideas and feedback to CGNSC on the support that gardens need. Following a drawing for door prizes donated by generous supporters, the gathering concluded with more networking organized by subregions within the county.
More information about the CGNSC and its work can be found at communitygardensonoma.org.