Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sustainable Shawnee's 2013 Christmas Party!

Sustainable Shawnee held our annual Christmas Party at Zocalo's Mexican Restaurant in Tecumseh this year. We enjoyed a wonderful vegetarian and vegan buffet along with other carnivorous favorites! We had a stumpendous turnout including many members from the Shawnee Peace Fellowship! Thanks to everyone who attended and to the staff of Zocalo's who worked so hard to serve us. Remember Zocalo's offers fresh and healthy Vegan/Vegetarian dinner options every Saturday evening of the year so stop by often!
We look forward to working with the City of Shawnee on a new bike route plan and finding a cost effective way to bring curbside recycling to our community.       Merry Christmas to all and let's get ready for 2013!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sustainable Shawnee Elects 2013 Slate of Officers!

Thanks to everyone who's offered to give their time in 2013! Here's next year's fabulous volunteers!
President - Shawna Turner
Vice President - Timothy McCollum
Treasurer - Cody Deem
Secretary - Shelby Shackelford
You don't have to be an officer to do your part! If you have an interest in water issues, recycling, community gardening, local foods or another topic we've never tackled before, we have a place for you. Questions? Comments? Contact us at!

Monday, November 5, 2012

GreenStar Recycling Speaks on the Economics of Recycling in Oklahoma

We had a hugely successful meeting with GreenStar Recycling executive, Robert Pickens. He provided best practice examples for what has been successful and what hasn't been so successful for recycling programs nationwide. He will be a well-informed and valuable asset to the City as they explore their curbside recycling options with the key stakeholders in our community.  We look forward to working with him in the coming days. Meanwhile, Sustainable Shawnee continues to work on our curbside recycling recommendations. The recycling committee will meet Monday, November 12th at 4pm at SIPS downtown to discuss our plans. Join us if you're free. We need your feedback and support to make curbside recycling a reality in Shawnee. Questions? Comments? Email us at 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fun Day at Shawnee's Community Garden!

Professor Timothy McCollum and his OBU students welcomed over twenty students to the Shawnee Community Garden this morning. Unfortunately, it was a cold start but the kids had a great time learning about farming and growing their own food. Many thanks to OBU for helping make our garden a place of learning for everyone! Visit Sustainable Shawnee's facebook page for more event photos and stay tuned for next week's Countywide article.

Monday, October 15, 2012

City of Shawnee to Submit Bike Route Plan to Traffic Commission

The City of Shawnee is presently working on a bike route plan for the community based in part on the Master Trails Plan approved in 2009. The plan is likely to include both on-street and off-street linkages to ensure bikers, joggers and walkers have safe routes throughout the city. "This is a huge step forward for Shawnee, says Sustainable Shawnee President, Shawna Turner. I would like to personally thank Justin Erickson, City Planning Director, and his staff for their support of this measure. They really made it happen."

The bike route plan will be submitted to the Shawnee Traffic Commission for public comment on Tuesday, November 27th at 6:30pm. The meeting will take place at the City Hall downtown in commission chambers. Everyone is welcome to attend and comments are encouraged. If you'd like a copy of the plan in advance contact the city clerk's office at 878-1604.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Oklahoma One of Three Most Improved States in Energy Efficiency

By Sarah Terry-Cobo
The Journal Record
Posted: 08:03 PM Monday, October 8, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma joins Montana and South Carolina as states that are most improved in energy efficiency, according to new rankings by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, or ACEEE. The Sooner State jumped eight spots to 39th among all 50 states and the District of Columbia, up from 47th in last year’s ranking by the energy-efficiency organization. While the most improved status is an accomplishment, some experts say there is still more progress to be made.
Ben Foster, senior policy analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based American ACEEE, said that updated building codes and Gov. Mary Fallin’s energy plan, which includes an effort to reduce energy use in state buildings, helped increase Oklahoma’s score from the previous year. Senate Bill 1096 directs state agencies and schools to become 20 percent more energy efficient by the year 2020.
The annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard analyzes policies and programs such as utilities initiatives that encourage high-efficiency appliances, building energy codes, state government policy on energy efficiency and combined heat and power policies. Data comes from 2010 and 2011, the most recent years available.
Oklahoma’s ranking increased significantly in part because of the programs utilities Public Service Co. of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Gas and Electric implemented with automated electric meters, and more natural gas electric generation.

Click here for the complete article.

Monday, September 17, 2012

No More Phonebooks!

Victory at last! I know you'll find this hard to believe but I avoided the delivery of the most recent yellowpages at my home this year. I credit Lora Joyce Davis with my success and here's the link she shared with me that actually worked. Try it and let us know!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting Class Free in OKC

Oklahoma City residents wanting to learn about rainwater harvesting can attend a free class from noon to 1 p.m., Thursday, July 26 at the OSU-OKC campus in the Agricultural Resources Center, Room 196. Presenter Jason R. Vogel, Ph.D., P.E. Assistant Professor and Stormwater Specialist from the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering at Oklahoma State University will discuss research and demonstration projects related to both large and small-scale rainwater harvesting systems. The class is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Lunch is not provided, but participants are welcome to bring their lunch. This is the sixth in a series of free monthly green infrastructure classes offered through the City of Oklahoma City. Learn more about the green infrastructure education program at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Learn From OKC How to Make Shawnee a More 'Liveable" Community

Public Invited to Open House for City’s Comprehensive Plan - planokc

The public is invited to attend a summer update and open house about the development of Oklahoma City’s new comprehensive plan, planokc. The event will be held from 4 – 6 p.m., Tuesday, July 31 on the third floor in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 200 N. Walker.  A 30-minute meet-and-greet will be followed by a short presentation highlighting the goal creation process and the resulting goals. After the meeting participants can visit with City planners about each of the plan’s elements: future land use, transportation, environmental and natural resources, communities, appearance, parks and recreation, economic development, and public services.

The comprehensive plan is a long-range plan that will guide decisions about Oklahoma City’s growth and development over the next 20 years.  The plan is for the entire city and will strive to ensure a healthy environment, community and economy for its residents. The City’s Planning Department has involved more than 4,000 residents, business owners and neighborhood associations since the process kicked off in 2010.  Information about planokc can be found at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Energy Efficiency at Home: It's Not Just About Saving Money

A couple of years ago OG&E began energy efficiency programs in Oklahoma. The goal was to reduce overall use and shift demand from peak periods (2-7 pm in the summer months) to other times during the day. If the goal is reached, Oklahoma ratepayers can avoid the costly and litiguous process of siting and building a new coal or gas-fired power plant. Power plants of any kind take years to site, burn more energy not less and the ratepayers bear all the cost through their bills. Not a good deal but you can do something about it.

To find out more, read Sustainable Shawnee's "Sprouts" blog on the Shawnee News-Star's website.

Crow Family Farms and Shawnee Public Schools Recognized in First Lady's Book "American Grown"

SHAWNEE, Okla. — Shawnee Public Schools received national recognition for their Farm to School program, in part with Crow Farms. Family-owned Crow Farms and Shawnee Public Schools were featured in first lady Michelle Obama’s book, “American Grown.” The book highlights farms and gardens across America promoting healthy eating. Claudia Crow was interviewed about the Shawnee Farm to School program for the book.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prozac in Drinking Water May Be Link to Autism, Study Says

Consider where your medications and pills end up BEFORE deciding to take them...

June 7 (Bloomberg) -- Fish exposed to psychiatric medicines showed gene patterns similar to those found in people with autism, in a study suggesting a link between drugs that get into the human water supply and the brain development disorder.

Researchers put antidepressants Prozac and Effexor, as well as antiseizure drug Tegratol into water tanks of minnows. Tests showed that the same genes turned on in people with autism were also triggered in the fish after exposure, according to a study published in the journal PLoS ONE.

The findings suggest that small amounts of psychiatric medications found in the drinking supply may be a cause of autism, the researchers said. Psychiatric drugs have been linked to autism-like symptoms in studies of rats exposed to the medicines, according to the study.

"An environmental cause is really not on the radar for a lot of people," said study author Michael Thomas, a professor of evolutionary biology at Idaho State University in Pocatello, in a telephone interview. "My sincere hope is that this opens the door to a new question and allows people to look into that possibility."

Read more:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Cleaner Cruise Lines?

Can the Cruise Industry Clean Up Its Act?
by Micheal Behar

When you board a cruise ship, you’re sailing on some of the planet’s most polluting vessels. Can the industry clean up its act?  Royal Caribbean's new "green" mega-liner still burns the world's dirtiest fuel.

 It’s dawn in early December, and I’m standing barefoot on a deserted beach that overlooks Falmouth, a colonial-era port, population 7,800, on Jamaica’s breezy northern coast, about 90 miles from the capital, Kingston. The air is deliciously cool and silky. Seabirds are pecking in the sand, scavenging for mole crabs at low tide. On the opposite side of the harbor, across shimmering blue water, there is a new $220 million port development for cruise ships.

Click here for the complete article.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Shawnee Community Garden Featured in Oklahoma Gardener!

Check out the May Edition of Oklahoma Gardener to see a seven page profile of our very own Shawnee Community Garden!

Titled, "Growing Together: Community Gardening in Shawnee.” The good folks at State by State Gardening did a great job on the spread. It’s available online and at newsstands statewide.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sustainable Living In Shawnee Candidates Forum

Thanks for joining Sustainable Shawnee at  City Commission Candidates Forum. I think we had a helpful discussion on a number "quality of life" issues including sidewalks, trails, bike lanes, water quality and recycling. Remember the election is in June so get out and VOTE!

Sustainable Shawnee plans to host another forum for the House and Senate candidates later this summer so keep an eye out for the date!

Look for an article on the event in the next edition of the Countywide! 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sustainable Shawnee at St. Gregory's Art Trek 2012

Donna Schoenkopf at the Sustainable Shawnee Booth
Sustainable Shawnee's Cody Deem and Donna Schoenkopf spent a beautiful Saturday at St. Gregory's Art Trek. Sustainable Shawnee has had a children's booth at the Earth Day event for several years now and we enjoy showing kids how to reuse items they have at home. Rather than throw away magazines, small tin cans and the like use them for arts and crafts activities with the kids! Of course, don't forget the recycle the rest! Thanks again for your support of the arts and education.

Happy Earth Day!

Sustainable Shawnee Participates in Trash Off! 2012

Sustainable Shawnee participated in a nationwide initative called Trash Off! on April 21st in honor of Earth Day. Several civic groups, church youth groups and families pick up trash along roadways around the city. Sustainable Shawnee was assigned Bryan between Independence and Highland along with a short section of Independence south of Bryan.Sustainable Shawnee president, Shawna Turner said, "I picked up 3 full bags of trash from about 500 yards of road on either side of Independence south of Bryan. I couldn't believe how much trash was hidden in the weeds and just what people were throwing out of their cars. It was an education! My advice to the city is areas that are regularly mowed attract a lot less trash than areas that aren't. So mow and enforce mowing statutes along roadways as much as possible to reduce litter."

Shawna Turner and "Puppy"

Sustainable Shawnee is considering participating in the city's Adopting-a-Street program and would appreciate feedback from members. Would this be a productive use of our time? Would the group support the activity? Let us know at sustainableshawnee@ 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“Smart-Metering Electricity At Home: What Does It Mean For You?”
Guest Speaker: Penny Seale, OG&E will discuss the energy and money saving benefits of the new OG&E Smart Metering Program.

What is a Smart Meter System? The smart grid uses a secure wireless network for two-way, real-time communication with smart meters installed on the outside of customer homes. In the future, that meter could communicate with programmable thermostats or other technology inside customers’ homes.

The smart meter allows OG&E to remotely read, connect and disconnect service. It is part of a secure system that allows you to see your energy use and cost information anytime on a secure website called

Smart Meters have been installed in most Shawnee homes. To find out how they work and how you can save energy at home, join us for the next Sustainable Shawnee meeting! Questions? Email

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oklahoma Water Plan: Take Action Now!

Make a Comment Today!

Several Sustainable Shawnee members have participated in the Oklahoma Water Planning process. This fall the public input report will be submitted to the OK Legislature. At this time, Oklahomans have the opportunity to submit comments specifically to the Legislature on how you’d like them to use the report. Don’t waste a moment a going to to leave your hopes for how water use and quality in our state. Politics being what it is; legislators need to hear your views because big business will certainly express theirs. Click on “Make Comments” in the left-hand corner of the page.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

EPA to go ahead with regional haze plan over Oklahoma's objections

The Oklahoman
Published: December 15, 2011

The U.S EPA is standing firm with its plan to force Oklahoma's two largest electric utilities to reduce emissions from their aging coal plants. The federal plan finalized Wednesday by the EPA has been criticized for failing to consider the financial impact on Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma customers if those companies are forced to install expensive scrubber technology. Utility officials have estimated the EPA-mandated improvements to reduce emissions could raise electric rates as much as 20 percent over three years.

“We're disappointed by what we've seen thus far from the EPA,” Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Brian Alford said. “We continue to stand by the Oklahoma plan that uses less coal and more natural gas, and believe it would do a much better job of improving visibility at national parks for far less cost than what the federal government is mandating.” The EPA's ruling is meant to improve visibility at national parks and wilderness areas, while protecting the public from pollutants coming from three state power plants, the agency said on Wednesday. “Controlling emissions that improve visibility also prevents health risks including increased asthma symptoms and premature death,” according to the prepared statement issued by the EPA.

The EPA plan would require OG&E and PSO to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions from three coals plants. Each plant, built more than 30 years ago, has two electricity-generating units. “This can be accomplished by retrofitting the six units with dry flue gas desulfurization technology, commonly known as ‘SO2 scrubbers,'” according to the plan issued Wednesday. “EPA believes that these limits can also be met by wet scrubbing technology or switching to natural gas.” EPA estimates scrubbers would cost about $600 million for OG&E and $274 million for PSO, although the companies' estimates have been significantly higher.

Click here to read more.

EPA Issues First National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants

WASHINGTON – The U.S. EPA has issued the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from power plant emissions of mercury and toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gas, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. The standards will slash emissions of these dangerous pollutants by relying on widely available, proven pollution controls that are already in use at more than half of the nation’s coal-fired power plants.

EPA estimates that the new safeguards will prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks a year. The standards will also help America’s children grow up healthier – preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.

Power plants are the largest remaining source of several toxic air pollutants, including mercury, arsenic, cyanide, and a range of other dangerous pollutants, and are responsible for half of the mercury and over 75 percent of the acid gas emissions in the United States. Once final, these standards will level the playing field by ensuring the remaining plants – about 40 percent of all coal fired power plants - take similar steps to decrease dangerous pollutants.

The standards also ensure that public health and economic benefits far outweigh costs of implementation. EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to reduce pollution from power plants, the American public will see up to $9 in health benefits. The total health and economic benefits of this standard are estimated to be as much as $90 billion annually.

For more information on the new standards, visit