Monday, June 20, 2011

Many Thanks To Dr. Joe Taron...

The Green Chat with Dr. Joe Taron, "Planning for Water Abundance in Oklahoma" at the Shawnee Community Garden was very informative and helped our members better understand water issues in our state.

Thanks to all who attended. I know you were glad you did. The next Green Chat is at Knuckles Pub downtown on Thursday, August 25th at 7pm. Come and beat the heat with us!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Defang Energy Vampires

By turning off electronics when not in use, you could save over over $100 annually on your electric bill and a half a ton of heat-trapping pollutants. If you have more energy-intensive items, such as an older Sony Playstation 3 and high-powered computers, your savings could be as high as $425 annually.

1. Survey your electronics. Check if you have the following items and where they are plugged in—directly into a wall socket? Or in a power strip you can easily turn on and off? Each of these will drain energy when in standby mode but if plugged into a power strip can be easily switched off without unplugging.
Set-top boxes, such as DVRs, cable and satellite boxes, are particularly vampiric, draining as much when not in use as when recording or playing. In fact, they often consume more energy than your TV. See NRDC's new report for more on the hidden costs of set-top boxes.

Digital video recorder (DVR) or TiVO
Digital cable box
Xbox, Playstation and other video game consoles
Cellphone chargers
Satellite receiver
VCR/DVD player
LCD, CRT or Plasma TV
Audio amplifier
Desktop computer
LED or CRT monitor
Laptop computer
Ink-jet or laser printer

The Simple Steps Energy Vampire Calculator can determine the cost to you and the amount of CO2 emitted by most of these items.
Solution: Buy power strips where needed to plug in your electronics.

For the complete article and many energy saving smart tips, visit the NRDC at

Eating Local is a Community Service, Oklahoma City food columnist Sherrel Jones examines the different ways people can find locally grown foods.
By Sherrel Jones, The Daily Oklahoman
Published: May 18, 2011

Ask me today how to get locally grown Oklahoma food, and I could talk enough to equal one of our recent windstorms.

Local is a concept worth growing for plenty of reasons.

First is flavor. If you ever have enjoyed freshly harvested arugula,asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, peas, new potatoes, onions orspinach, you know what a difference it makes.

Secondary reasons are many, but supporting the "Know your farmer, know yourfood" movement helps assure quality you can trust.

Buying produce that only had a short distance to travel has plenty to dowith how fresh food is when it arrives in your kitchen. Food that hastraveled 1,500 miles and sat in storage for days, weeks or even monthsbefore traveling to your local grocer is not the same as that picked from afarm nearby.

Less travel for your food means less fuel, meaning less dependence on foreign oil, which means extra money to spend on locally grown food.

Plastic by Any Other Name
Coke and Pepsi's plant-based bottles still damage the environment.
By Amy Westervelt,

First came the press releases: In March, PepsiCo touted the "World's First 100 Percent Plant-Based, Renewably Sourced PET Bottle," prompting CocaCola to stammer, "Odwalla First to Market with up to 100 Percent PlantBottle™ Packaging." The subsequent headlines bumped the hype up a notch: "Pepsi bottles: no more plastic" (Christian Science Monitor), "Pepsi Ups Ante on Plant-Based Bottles with 100% Non-Plastic Bottle" (GreenBiz), "Coca Cola—designing bottles from recycled plastic and plant by-product" (Guardian). Last month, Coca-Cola released a commercial for its Dasani-brand bottled water arguing that its partly plant-based packaging is "designed to make a difference": But despite all the buzz, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo's plant-based bottles are still very much plastic.

The companies have merely replaced the fossil fuels (petroleum and natural gas) traditionally used to make their plastic bottles with ethanol from renewable sources (plant waste in Pepsi's case and Brazilian sugar cane in Coke's). Though these initial inputs come from renewable, lower-carbon sources, the resulting plastics are chemically identical to the polyethylene terepthalate, or PET, and high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, that regular plastic bottles are made of—a fact the companies acknowledge. And once the inputs become plastic, they carry all the same environmental impacts as plastic made from fossil fuels: They don't biodegrade, they pollute the world's oceans and soils, and still leach potentially harmful chemicals into our food.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Local Foods Week in Oklahoma!

JUNE 12-19th

It's time again to honor our local farmers and ranchers for their outstanding contributions to our health and community. Visit for events around the state.

Pott County Farmer's Market and Sustainable Shawnee presents in honor of Local Food Week:
Wednesday, June 15th
10-11 am

Tim Sean is a Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist and youth minister at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. He'll be singing songs from his most recent album, Practice Resurrection, and offering CD's for sale as a fundraiser for Family Promise of Shawnee. For more information on Tim Sean, visit his website,

The market will also have a cooking demonstration and face-painting for the children. Come by for great food and entertainment with us at the Farmers Market!