Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ODOT's Long Range Transportation Planning for Oklahoma

Leave Your Comment Online Today!

How do you want your transportation system to look? Now? In the future? The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to know. ODOT’s Planning & Research Division is hosting a series of meetings across the State to provide residents with information, access to ODOT staff, and avenues for commenting on two important transportation planning documents.

Visit for more information on the state's plan. Can't make the meeting? Leave on online comment to make your voice heard.

Staples First Retailer to Accept E-waste

Staples, Inc., the world's largest office products company, today announced that it now makes it easy to recycle used computers and other office technology at any Staples store nationwide, becoming the first national retailer to offer computer recycling in stores every day.

Staples makes it easy for customers to recycle e-waste by simply bringing their used computers, monitors, laptops, printers, faxes and all-in-ones to any U.S. Staples store, where the equipment will be recycled in accordance with environmental laws. All brands will be accepted, regardless of whether or not the equipment was purchased at Staples, for a fee of $10 per large item. Staples is working with Amandi Services, one of the country's most experienced and innovative electronics recyclers, to handle recycling of the equipment, following standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For the complete details, visit

City of Tulsa Teams Up with Companies to promote Sustainability and Provide Curriculum to Oklahoma Schools

A model for the rest of Oklahoma?

Mayor Kathy Taylor and her staff have sent a strong educational message to Oklahoma school administrators, teachers and students. With the alliance of Global NES, Inc. Headquarters, Global NES-Oklahoma and Kaizen Renewable Energy (A Global NES Affiliate), the city of Tulsa recently embarked on a School Wind Program that is 100% funded by outside sources. Kaizen Renewable Energy CEO/owner, Lisa Randolph, who was raised in Tulsa, introduced the program to the city of Tulsa to raise awareness and educate students on how utilizing renewable energy resources will positively impact their future world.

Click here for the complete article and video.

SBA Grant Opportunities to "Green" your Business!

Have you been considering "greening up" your business? The federal government has made grants available to your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to assist companies with these benficial changes. Contact the local SBDC and make sure funds will be available for companies in Pottawatomie county.

East Central Oklahoma Small Business Development Center
Ann Ritter, Director
E 12th St & S Francis St.
Administration Bldg Rm 251
Ada, OK 74820(580) 436-3190

Grant Opportunities:

Small Business Administration: Small Business Energy Efficiency Clean Technology Assistance Program formerly Small Business Sustainability Initiative (SBSI)

Small Business Administration: Small Business Energy Audit and Energy Efficiency Program formerly Small Business Sustainability Initiative (SBSI)

For more information on how to green your business more effectively, consider participating a new webinar series, the Lean and Green Summit, at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sustainable Shawnee's Officers for 2010!

President - Cody Deem
Vice President - Justine Thompson
Secretary - Melissa Odneal
Treasurer - Chris Geer
Past-President - Shawna Turner

Congratulations and welcome to our new leadership
Thank you for your service!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Slow Money...Raising Money for Sustainable Agriculture One Farm at a Time

We just participated in the first national conference of Slow Money and we think it's going to be a game changer. 450 folks (including Sustainable Shawnee's own, Shawna Turner) from 34 states and six countries were there. Here's what they are saying:

"People are going to look back at this as the turning point in sustainable agriculture.""This is beyond timely.""I've been waiting for Slow Money my whole life.""Slow Money gets right to the heart of what's ailing our food system and our economy."

They're right. Slow Money is historic. Linking Americans together to fund local food systems, improve health, reduce environmental impact, support tens of thousands of small food enterprises across the country and take control of our money in radical new ways.

125 Founding Members, plus another 1,500 signers of the Slow Money Principles, have put the first building blocks in place. Their ultimate goal: one million signers, hundreds of thousands of members, a new kind of grassroots seed capital for sustainable agriculture and healthy food.

WE NEED 5,000 OF YOU TO CONTRIBUTE $5 or more AND BECOME MEMBERS OF THE SLOW MONEY ALLIANCE IN ONE WEEK. 12:00 a.m. October 6th to 12:00 a.m. October 13th.

Visit and support this revolutionary idea TODAY!

1st Annual Oklahoma Sustainability Network Membership Convention

Saturday, October 31st
Wilderness Center, Stroud Lake
9:30 - 3:30 pm

The OSN Membership Convention is an opportunity for everyone involved with individual chapters to get to know what what other chapters and OSN are doing statewide. Bring your own lunch, meet great people and help us map out OSN's future direction.

A group from Shawnee will be carpooling to Stroud. Please contact Shawna Turner for more information.

Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Dept. Unveils Sustainable Travel Initiative

Now you know!! Take advantage of this program and green your travel!

The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department has unveiled a new travel initiative called ECO—Encouraging Conservation in Oklahoma—which promotes, educates and encourages sustainable travel in the state. The ECO program approaches sustainable travel from both industry and consumer perspectives. It includes education, green certification and marketing support for tourism industry partners and helps them embrace sustainable travel practices for minimal economic impact with maximum return.

Click here for the entire article.

Norman Featured in Mother Earth News!

Norman, Oklahoma: Nowhere Near Nowheresville
This sustainable, entertaining town is a great place you’ve (maybe) never heard of.
Mother Earth News
By Joe Hart
October/November 2009

Let’s face it — Oklahoma seems an unlikely candidate for the 11 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of list. Norman is a bustling college town with a strong focus on sustainability and good entertainment...Equally fertile is the city’s effort at sustainability — including mass transit initiatives, a community garden movement, and an unusual community supported agriculture program that links farmers and consumers throughout the entire state. Much of this activity is thanks to the Norman Sustainability Network (NSN), an organization that Kara McKee helped establish.

Kara Joy McKee is a former Oklahoma Sustainability Network board member.

Click here for the article in its entirety. Way to go Norman Sustainability Network!

America Recycles Day
November 15th

What will YOU do this year?

Find an EVENT near you. CALCULATE your recycling impact. Take the PLEDGE.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Follow us on Twitter!

Follow Sustainable Shawnee's activities and posts on Twitter! Visit and search for SustainShawnee. Thanks for the add!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sustainable Shawnee's 2nd Annual Fall Harvest Dinner!

Our Fall Harvest Dinner was a complete sell-out and a great success. Thanks to everyone who helped make this event possible and to all those who attended. Remember to support our local farmers and ranchers throughout the year by becoming a member of the Oklahoma Food Coop. Shawnee's drop off location is the Emanuel Episcopal Church at Broadway and Highland downtown.

Until next year, thanks again for your support!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Message from the President....

The time has come for Rosemary, Christina and myself to pass the baton on to our successors. We've enjoyed leading Sustainable Shawnee for the past two years and are pleased with our accomplishments but now look forward to working with some new folks. Jim Shull has agreed to form a committee to identify candidates for President, Vice President and Secretary. According to the Sustainable Shawnee by-laws, we must present a slate of new officers by the October meeting so time is shorter than we think. Elections will be held by no later than January 2010 and I will continue on the Executive Committee as Past President

Please help us keep Sustainable Shawnee active and vibrant within our community and consider one of three leadership positions. Terms are for one year and are what you make of them. The opportunities are endless. For more information, contact Jim Shull or Shawna Turner.

Thanks to everyone for a productive and exciting two years with Sustainable Shawnee!
Best Wishes,
Shawna Turner

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Midwest City Opens First Farmers' Market!

Mid Del Farmers Market Official Grand Opening Tuesday, July 21st!

Enjoy live music and the information booth!! Kids will receive coloring books and be able to plant seeds in a cup.

Located at 200 N. Midwest Blvd. in the MWC Community Center parking lot near the library, this weekly market meets on Tuesday evenings between 4:30 and 8:00 pm, June through September.

Sponsored by Sustainable East Oklahoma County and the City of Midwest City, the market is an all Oklahoma Grown market seeking to develop into a super local market bring the freshest food to the community at the same time supporting local growers.

Monday, July 6, 2009

12 Greenest Cars of 2009

If I had it my way, we’d all travel around town on horseback. But as much as I like to dream of a time when grass was sufficient fuel, that’s hardly a feasible mode of transportation in an age of advanced technology and long daily commutes. Still, there are plenty of green (well, greener) options for the environmentally conscious. Ever since that sad day when General Motors crushed the last EV1, automobile companies have taken strides in the right direction to create vehicles that cause the planet less harm. So, if you’re due for a new ride, consider one of the most eco-friendly cars released this year.

Click here for the complete article.

Current Water Use on the Great Plains is Unsustainable

Don't we know it...

WASHINGTON – A new climate change report warns of more extreme weather marked by heat waves, droughts and heavy rainfall for Oklahoma and other Great Plains states. Released by the Obama administration, the report states that climate change already is having visible impacts on the U.S. “It tells us why remedial action is needed sooner rather than later, as well as showing why that action must include both global emissions reductions to reduce the extent of climate change and local adaptation measures to reduce the damage from the changes that are no long avoidable,’’ said John Holden, assistant to President Obama for Science and Technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Key findings include: More frequent and intense heat waves, which will increase threat to human health; increased heavy rainfall, which will lead to more flooding, waterborne diseases and negative effects on agriculture; insect infestations; more wildfires; and a rise in sea level, which will result in coastal flooding and lost land. The report was described as the first in a decade to break down impacts by region.

For the Great Plains region, which covers Texas north through the Dakotas to the Canadian border, the report says temperatures are projected to continue to increase. In addition to heat waves, droughts and heavy rains, the report said the region’s already threatened water resources could be impacted even more. That, it states, could affect activities such as ranching as well as the health and prosperity of residents. Milder winters and earlier springs could encourage a greater number and earlier emergence of more pests, the report stated. Withdrawals from a major aquifer, which supplies most of the water used in the Great Plains, are already outpacing its natural recharge. “Current water use on the Great Plains is unsustainable,’’ the report warns.

Click here for the complete story

Water-wise Car Washing

Taking your car to the local car wash instead of washing it at home might seem like a guilty pleasure, but from an environmental perspective it is often the better choice.
When you wash your car in the driveway or street, contaminants such as grease and brake dust (as well as the detergent itself) flow into storm sewers, which discharge directly into our waterways. Car washes, on the other hand, are required to drain their water into sanitary sewers (which direct sewage to treatment facilities) or to filter and reuse it on-site.

Water efficiency is also a benefit of many commercial car washes. An analysis by the Maryland Department of the Environment found that car washes use approximately 50 to 75 gallons of water per car (assuming the water is not being recycled); using the self-service bay consumes only 15 gallons. A typical garden hose, on the other hand, which has an average flow rate of seven gallons per minute, would exceed a car wash’s water consumption after two minutes compared with the self-service bay or seven minutes compared with the automated wash if the hose were left running.
If you don’t live near a car wash, here are some ways to clean your car in an ecological way:

  • Wash on gravel, grass, or another permeable surface. Grass and gravel help filter contaminants from your wash water so they don’t end up in the storm sewer.
  • Use a water-saving hose nozzle. A nozzle with adjustable spray settings and automatic shut-off can save as much as 70 gallons per wash.
  • Use the right soap. Choose a biodegradable soap that is chlorine- and phosphate-free. Avoid dish soap, which could remove your car’s wax finish.
  • Use “gray” water. If you use biodegradable detergents in your home, and local regulations allow, you can wash your car with the water that drains from your washing machine or dishwasher. You can also use captured rain water.
  • Dump your dirty soap bucket into a sink or toilet. These drain into the sanitary sewer (instead of the storm sewer).
  • Consider waterless wash products. Several companies have developed nontoxic car cleaners that require no water; they are designed to be sprayed on and wiped off with a soft towel.

Faith 7, GO Computers team up to help environment

Sustainable Shawnee's very own, Chris Geer and Chris Odneal, in the news....

Workers at the Faith 7 Activity Center have benefited the local community in a number of ways in the 33 years since the center opened, but recently, their contributions have widened their reach to include benefits to the global community.

"At least 90 percent of what our workers do is recycle, reuse," Rick Gowin, Faith 7 director, said. "Ten percent is putting washers and nuts on bolts for Fastenal," a Shawnee company. In March, the recycle, reuse percentage gained an e-waste boost after Chris Geer and Chris Odneal, co-owners of GO Computer Systems, spoke with Gowin and others about how the two entities could help one another and help the environment at the same time.

"My grandfather was a processor of e-waste and tried to get me involved," Geer said. "As an individual, I wasn't into it. But we get volume and with volume comes opportunity. We mentioned that taking apart the hardware we receive was something Faith 7 workers could do." Geer and Odneal receive many used computers, parts and accessories in their line of work and understand that several components of those items are reusable in some way. "Reusing has a lot more gain than recycling," Geer said. "There's just a lot of things that can be reused."

After joining Sustainable Shawnee during a membership drive, Go Computers helped set up a program with Faith 7 where the center collects most of the e-materials, disassembles and sorts the various parts and sells them. "We started with about 40 computers from McLoud to recycle," Gowin said. "We separated what we wanted our workers to do and they stepped up and took to it right away." Geer said the Faith 7 workers contribute a lot to the environmental efforts. "Faith 7 does the majority," Geer said.

After the donation from McLoud, Kickapoo Indian Health Center donated a 40-foot trailer full of computers, printers, and more, Gowin said. "The workers tore it down in about a week," Gowin said. "They really enjoy it and all the money stays with Faith 7." In addition to the benefits seen by those who need a place to discard this type of item and the benefits seen by workers, the environment also profits. "It's a win-win for everybody," Gowin said. "Most of the parts are sellable and we sell the pieces once we have enough and use it to pay the workers for their work. Some are able to do so many they can make more than minimum wage. We don't need to make money, if we can break even, we're doing good."

For information regarding donations accepted by Faith 7, call Christina Knight at 275-4223, or visit 301 S. Kennedy. Faith 7 business hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information regarding donations accepted by GO Computers, call 214-6090 or visit 6 W. Main.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Oklahoma Local Foods Week 2009

Sustainable Green Country and a host of other groups are encouraging their fellow Oklahomans to join them in celebrating "Local Foods Week" during the week of June 14-21, 2009, pronouncing that local food is a valuable economic asset for the state of Oklahoma. Gov. Brad Henry has made the event official this year by means of a proclamation.

Created by Sustainable Green Country's Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative, Local Foods Week festivities will highlight local family farms and farmers' markets hosting a variety of events, including community garden tours, a farm table dinner, cooking demonstrations, a scavenger hunt for children, a salsa making contest, canning classes, on-the-farm cheese making class with tour, and more. In addition, there will be a special screening of the film "FRESH". FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system.

Buying local strengthens the local food and farm economy, improves health and revitalizes rural and urban communities. Tulsa metro-area residents spent $2.2 billion on food in 2004. If just five percent of those dollars were redirected to buying local food, this would mean an additional $110 million dollars stays in the Oklahoma economy. For more information on Local Foods Week, visit

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sustainable Shawnee and Allied Waste help SYAA Recycle at the Ball fields

With the assistance of Allied Waste, Buford White Lumber, and Sustainable Shawnee, SYAA is now recycling plastic bottles at the ball fields north of the YMCA. “We noticed the huge volumes of plastic bottles going into the trash during the baseball season and really wanted to do something about it this year so we contacted Sustainable Shawnee.” says Sarah Oliver with SYAA.

Thanks to Allied Waste and Buford White several of the recycling bins and the recycling service have been provided free of charge. “Allied Waste agreed to locate a large container for plastic at the ball fields to make it easier on the kids and parents to recycle.” says Shawna Turner, President of Sustainable Shawnee. “We’re very pleased with the project and hope to repeat it again next year.”
Sustainable Shawnee has recently received a grant from the Junior Service League to conduct Event Recycling in our community. Sustainable Shawnee’s first activity will be Jazz in June on June 13th downtown. If you are planning an event or are responsible for sporting activities in Shawnee and would like to recycle, contact Sustainable Shawnee at and we’ll be happy to help!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sustainable Shawnee Gets Trashy!

Sustainable Shawnee visited Greenstar Recycling in Oklahoma City in April. Greenstar, formerly known as Midland Recycling, accepts most of the recyclables collected from the Shawnee recycling program. We had a great visit and learned a lot about what items can be recycled as well as how they should be prepared before dropping them off at the Homeland center. With the new information, we're finalizing a 'How-to Recycle in Shawnee' that should be ready soon. Cody has posted her photos from the trip online. Use the user name: recycling and the password: trash for access.

Post your comments and questions about the visit below. We'll get back to you!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Sustainable Shawnee in the News!

On April 24th, Sustainable Shawnee was presented by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board with a check for $4,450 to conduct water education in Shawnee. Several Sustainable Shawnee members were on hand at the City Hall to enjoy the moment along with Rep. Kris Steele, Sen. Charlie Laster and Mayor Linda Peterson. Thanks to everyone for a job well done!

Shawnee's Water Conservation Program would focus on three areas: Public Awareness, Youth Education, and Low-Water Landscaping. The grant will support elementary school field trips, a college-level seminar, a native plant park and drip irrigation project, and public water conservation education. Sustainable Shawnee will collaborate with several partners including the City of Shawnee, the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs and local schools to carry out the Campaign this spring and fall called, "Water: Use it Wisely." The Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs has already begun work on the native plants and drip irrigation garden on the corner of Broadway and Main St. We'll keep you posted!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fight Water Pollution in Your Own Backyard!

Union of Concerned Scientists
Greentips: April 2009

When rain falls faster than the ground can absorb it, it runs off into storm drains along with any contaminants in its path, such as oil and grease, de-icing salts, heavy metals, pesticides, and bacteria from trash and animal waste. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that urban runoff—in which 77 of 127 key pollutants have been detected—is one of the largest sources of water contamination nationwide.

We can all help minimize the problem of storm water runoff by planting rain gardens—6- to 12-inch-deep depressions filled with native plants. Rain gardens can capture hundreds of gallons of rainwater, filtering out up to 90 percent of pollutants while allowing the water to drain deep enough into the soil to help recharge groundwater supplies.

Whether you undertake this project on your own or with a landscaper, here are some factors to consider when planning a rain garden:

  • Location. Site your rain garden where rain and snowmelt collect or run off—near downspouts or gutters, below a slope, or along sidewalks and driveways. However, avoid planting a rain garden within 10 feet of your home’s foundation, within a septic system’s drainage field, or above buried utility lines.

  • Size. The square footage of your rain garden should generally be about 20 percent that of the area draining into it. For example, if your roof covers 800 square feet, a rain garden designed to collect all of the roof’s runoff should cover 160 square feet. To capture runoff most efficiently, a rain garden should be longer than it is wide, and aligned perpendicular to the slope.

  • Materials. Rain gardens use layers of different materials to help maximize drainage. The bottom layer typically features an “underdrain” (e.g., a piece of perforated PVC pipe) pointed toward an existing storm drain and covered with gravel. The next layer is the planting medium, which should be a mix of about 20 percent compost, 50 percent sand, and 30 percent topsoil. A final layer of mulch helps prevent weeds and removes metals from runoff.

  • Plant choice. Native plants are best because they establish deeper roots (which help the soil hold water), can withstand the local climate, need minimal care, and attract local butterfly and bird populations. See the Related Resources for a list of plants native to your region. And, if your rain garden is near a street treated with salt in the winter, ask your local nursery for salt-tolerant plants.
For more information on how to make your own rain garden, visit

Monday, April 13, 2009

On Earth Day and Every Day of the Year...

Earth Day is a great opportunity to celebrate environmental progress and cultivate new strategies to continue protecting the Earth. On Earth Day and the other 364 days of the year, we can all help to foster a healthier environment through our actions, including:

Saving energy
Reducing, reusing, and recycling
Conserving water
Planting trees
Teaching kids to respect the environment

State's carbon dioxide output up
It tops a list of gainers as the U.S. overall drops.
By SUSAN HYLTON World Staff Writer
Published: 4/9/2009 2:30 AM

Oklahoma has topped a list for having the biggest increase of carbon dioxide emissions while the rest of the country's total output actually shows a 3.1 percent drop in 2008. Oklahoma released 3.1 million tons of carbon dioxide from 2007 to 2008, according to the Environmental Integrity Project, which released the report this week. EIP described Oklahoma's increase as "massive" and attributed it directly to increased generation at OG&E's coal units in Muskogee and the Sooner units at Red Rock, as well as AEP-PSO's coal and natural gas units in Oologah. OG&E Electric Services spokesman Brian Alford said the increase in 2008 was created by a number of unit outages at coal facilities in 2007. A return to more historic levels was seen in 2008, he said. Alford said there are three reasons why less energy was used in 2007:
  • It was a milder, wet summer and less air-conditioning was needed.

  • A severe ice storm in eastern Oklahoma that left thousands without power for more than a week.

  • No off-system export of coal-fire generation. The overall reduction in carbon dioxide in the rest of the country has been attributed to the economic downturn and mild
For the complete article, visit the Tulsa World .

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Join Us for Sustainable OKC's Recycle, Rethink, Redesign Art Exhibit

Fundraiser for Sustainable OKC on Sat., April 18, 2009, at 7 p.m., IAO Gallery, 811 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City. Organized in collaboration with IAO in honor of Earth Day. Local art, local foods, local music, silent auction! Purchase tickets at For more information, or

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oklahoma Legislative Update and Action Alert

OSN is collaborating with the Sierra Club to educate the public on the legislative process. There are several high profile bills of interest in this year's session, including nuclear and alternative energy, green jobs, solar and wind tax credits, among others. Bud Scott, lobbyist for the Sierra Club, has compiled a brief report on the most important bills to help keep people informed and engaged. I encourage you to read the report but more valuable still, contact your legislators about the bills you think would or would not be in the best interest of our state and your families. Phone calls are best but don't wait to contact your Senator and Representative today because important votes take place every week at this time of year.

Contact Your Legislator:

Senator Charlie Laster- 521-5539 or
Representative Kris Steele- 557-7345 or
Representative Shane Jett- 557-7349 or

If you would like to receive Sierra Club Action Alerts by email, visit to sign-up and recieve timely information on key issues.

Sustainable Shawnee Awarded Water Conservation Grant!

Sustainable Shawnee along with several other schools, groups and communities has been awarded a grant from the Oklahoma Water Resource Board. Shawnee's Water Conservation Program would focus on three areas: Public Awareness, Youth Education, and Low-Water Landscaping. The grant request for $4,450 will support elementary school field trips, a college-level seminar, a native plant park and drip irrigation project, and public water conservation education. Sustainable Shawnee will collaborate with several partners including the City of Shawnee, the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs and local schools to carry out the Campaign this spring and fall called, "Water: Use it Wisely." The Shawnee Council of Garden Clubs has already begun work on the native plants and drip irrigation garden on the corner of Broadway and Main St.

Thanks to everyone that made this grant possible! I look forward to working with all of you to make this program successful.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rosemary Crawford, Center for Energy Matters, Speaks on the Costs of Burning Coal in Oklahoma

Energy Effiency - the Most Important Fuel of All.

Rosemary Crawford, Sustainable Shawnee VP, gave an excellent presentation on the proposed expansion of the coal-fired energy plant in Panama, OK. Though AES, owners of the facility, have withdrawn their application with the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, the fate of the expansion has not yet been finalized. She spoke quite eloquently about the human costs of burning coal for energy encouraging everyone present to be energy conservation ambassadors to the community. She emphasized that the choices we make in our homes and businesses have a real, measurable impact on the families that live near these coal plants. Reducing the amount of coal burned for energy in Oklahoma starts with you and the people whose behavior we influence in our everyday lives.
Under the Bush Administration, mercury emissions laws were weaken to make it easier for older coal-fired plants to operate without meeting Clean Air regulations. Not any more. The Obama Administration is actively petitioning for a reversal of the current policy and long-awaited changes are expected soon.
The Tulsa World recently printed an editorial praising the idea of demand-side management for one simple reason - it's so easy. Instead of fighting about which form of energy is the safest, most inexpensive and plentiful, we could all conserve energy in our homes and really accomplish something.

He's got a point there.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Ayes have it! Sustainable Shawnee's Swap Party will be in June!

Sustainable Shawnee's Justine Thompson has graciously offered her home for our first swap party in early June! A swap party is when a group of people get together to trade items like CD's, books, DVD's, clothing or just anything at all! Swap parties promote recycling and generally living "more gently" on the earth. We'll invite all our members, their family and friends to join us. I encourage everyone interested in swapping to visit for more information on organizing a swap party. We will need a small committee to see that the party runs smoothly so leave us a comment below if you'd like to Justine with this event. By leaving a comment on our blog, we can communicate on what our members would like Sustainable Shawnee to do in the future. Let's hear from you!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Buy Sustainable Shawnee Re-useable Bags at Local Businesses!

Sustainable Shawnee is selling re-useable bags at several local busineses. For no more than $10, plastic bags for your groceries will be a thing of the past! Stop by our booth and pick up a native, low-water use tree for your yard and a few re-useable bags for everything else!

"We're giving a bag away to every customer purchasing $100 or more at our store," said Frank Turner of Direct Colors in Shawnee. "We helped sponsor the bags with an ad and it's a good way for us to advertise as well as keep our customers happy."
Choosing re-useable bags reduces the number of plastic bags used in Shawnee by the thousands. If you don't believe me, watch the video of the continent-sized island of plastic trash currently floating in the Pacific Ocean to see where our waste ultimately ends up. Sustainable Shawnee bags are durable and large enough for most purchases. Remember, this isn't just about trips to the grocery store - take your bags with you everywhere you shop!Also, find Sustainable Shawnee Bags at the following local businesses:

House of Health No. 2 -314 W. McArthur
House of Health - 1017 N. Kickapoo
Hardesty Grocery - 200 W Hardesty Road
Batchelor's Hallmark & Wedding Shop - 110E. Main St.
Complete Landscape & Design LLC - 45th and Kickapoo Spur
GO Computers - 6 West Main St.
The Old Wishing Well Antique Mall - 225 E. Main St.
Expressions - 1725 N Kickapoo
Main Fruit Market - 730 E. Main St.
Direct Colors Inc. - 430 E. 10th St.

Support the efforts of Sustainable Shawnee to promote energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, local foods and youth education efforts in our community. For more information on where to purchase your bags, contact Jo Davis or Shawna Turner.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2009 OSN Annual Conference is Around the Corner!

Sustainability: A New Declaration of Independence
University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond
March 20-21st

Reserve your place now at OSN's Eighth Annual Conference! We are pleased to announce that the 2009 Conference will be held at the Nigh Center located on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma. This year's two day Conference will be March 20 and 21, 2009. We are honored to welcome William Greider, a distinguished editor and author as our Key Note speaker. We are also proud to host a delegation from Greensburg Kansas, the town that has taken the challenge to rebuild itself using LEED and other sustainable practices after a devastating tornado.

For more information on this year's conference, visit the Oklahoma Sustainability Network website and to register online! See you there!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Clean Coal - Don't You Believe It!

Coal companies are spending huge sums of money marketing coal as "clean" rather than actually making it so. Many organizations are fighting back with the real risks of burning coal for energy in the United States. Here are some fast facts everyone should know:

Coal plants are the largest source of human-generated mercury, a potent neurotoxin, and emitter of Carbon Dioxide in the US. Mountaintop mining, a significant source of US coal, is causing massive flooding and habitat destruction in West Virginia. The burning of coal generates more than 120 million tons of ash, slag, and sludge annually all of which cause dangerous pollution if not handled properly. Fine particulate pollution from US power plants cuts short the lives of thousands annually contributing to asthma, bronchitis and emphysema in both adults and children. Though AEP/Shady Point, coal-fired power plant in Poteau, has recently tabled plans to expand their facility in Poteau, Oklahomans need to be more aware of how burning coal affects their everyday lives. Sustainable Shawnee's Rosemary Crawford in conjunction with the Energy Foundation and the Center for Energy Matters is helping to educate Oklahomans about the dangers of burning coal for electricity. For more information on toxic emissions in your own backyard or anywhere in the U.S., visit

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Demand Side Energy Management: A Note from OSN's Montelle Clark on Energy Efficiency and Public Utilities in Oklahoma

On November 14th the Corporation Commission voted 2-1 to adopt energy efficiency rules for our electric utilities. On December 4th the rules were formally submitted to the Governor and the Legislature. Next year OG&E and PSO will submit their proposals for specific programs. Across the country, Demand-Side Management (DSM) programs have a proven record of saving consumers money, delaying the need to build expensive new power plants, reducing our consumption of coal, and conserving our natural gas resources. Oklahoma is well behind most other States, but these rules could help us catch up. The OSN Board will continue to participate in this process and work with other stakeholders to encourage the development of ambitious and cost-effective programs. - Montelle Clark

Recycling Industry Slows As Consumers Shop Less

December 22, 2008
One of the unanticipated outcomes from our slowing economy has been the precipitous drop in prices for recyclables. Paper, plastics, metals and glass have all been affected but don't let that stop you from recycling at your home and office. Shawnee's recycling drop-off center located in the parking lot of Homeland's Independence and Kickapoo location continues to recycle plastic (#1 & #2), paper (newspaper, magazines, & office paper), metal cans, aluminum, and CLEAR glass. The center will soon begin collecting all glass - brown, green and clear. We'll keep you posted on that development. Until then, make recycling your New Year's Resolution and Keep it!