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.