Green Scene

SPRING & SUMMER CLASSSES ANNOUNCED AT WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

Featuring Spanish Language Garden Tours, Ms. Smarty Plants™ Explores Plant Adaptations!, Straw Bale Construction Workshop, Introduction to Greywater Systems, Summer Extended Hours and Garden Discovery Camp!

 

May 17, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) —The Water Conservation Garden invites the public to enjoy its 2010 spring and summer events. Classes  help residents save water and money by focusing on water smart landscaping techniques and plants. Classes are taught by experts and topics include lawn removal, water-smart landscape design, backyard composting, irrigation design and gardening for children. Pre-registration is required for all classes. To enroll call 619-660-0614 x 10. For details, scroll down.

WATER HEATER REBATE BEGINS MAY 1: UP TO $1,875 FOR SWITCHING TO SOLAR

 

May 11, 2010 (San Diego) – Starting this month, the State of California hopes to entice homeowners to replace their old water heaters with solar-powered systems. Under the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, rebates up to $1,875 will be available for people who switch from natural gas or electric water heaters.

 

SOLAR ENERGY RISES IN THE WEST: SOLAR GIANT SILIKEN EXPANDS OTAY MESA OPERATIONS

Company credits AB 32 as incentive for expansion; plans to add 100 manufacturing jobs—and is attracting other green firms
 

By Richard Darvas
 

May 10, 2010 (Otay Mesa) -- Clean-tech industries are a “wave of the future for San Diego,” declared San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders after a tour of Siliken Renewable Energy’s solar manufacturing plant, located roughly two miles north of the Mexican border in Otay Mesa.

Company executives have announced a massive 50% expansion in the clean-energy provider’s Otay Mesa workforce operations.

PEDAL POWER: BIKE TO WORK DAY MAY 21

 

May 12, 2010 (San Diego) – National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21st. Locally, SANDAG and the San Diego County Credit Union have teamed up to offer prizes and info for commuters who register at www.iCommuteSD.com. Registrants will be eligible to win an electric bicycle, spa gift certificate and more – plus a free Bike to Work Day T-shirt when you print out your receipt.

 

 

GARDENING IN GYM CLASS: A HIGH SCHOOL IS MAKING TRADITIONAL PE CLASSES GREENER

By Rachel Ford
 

May 10, 2010 (New Jersey) -- Imagine switching compost bins instead of sides on the tennis court? Planting vegetables in place of goals in the net. That’s exactly what Princeton High School kids in New Jersey are doing. In an elective program, they can choose to take Gardening in place of traditional PE classes.

MEET EAST COUNTY’S “ECO-WARRIOR” JIM MUMFORD

 

  

First came green roofs; now edible walls join pioneering urban farming trends

 

By Gayle Falkenthal

 

May 8, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Plenty of people told Jim Mumford he was nuts building a green roof project in the middle of a Kearny Mesa industrial park. Three years later, the roof is thriving and Mumford’s GreenScaped Buildings is a pioneering venture and he's earned a reputation as leader in this segment of the green building industry.

 

Ironically, it was the destruction of his Muth Valley home near Barona in the 2003 Cedar wildfire that got East County resident Mumford thinking about the environmental future and more seriously about sustainable growing practices.

RUN FOR THE RIVER - SATURDAY, MAY 8

May 5, 2010 (Lakeside) - Hundreds of runners and walkers will gather this Saturday in Lakeside to celebrate the 3rd Annual Run for the San Diego River 5K Trail Run and Walk. The event starts at 8 a.m. with registration at 6:30 a.m and celebrates local efforts to preserve and restore the biological integrity and beauty of the San Diego River in Lakeside.

 

WAL-MART TO PAY RECORD $27 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL VIOLATIONS

 

Employees Illegally Dumped Pesticides and Hazardous Chemicals

May 3, 2010 (San Diego) -- San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie M. Dumanis (photo, left), California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and 18 other District Attorneys throughout the state announced today that a $27.6 million settlement has been reached with Wal-Mart for violations of environmental laws and regulations. It is one of the largest environmental settlements of this type brought by a prosecuting agency in U.S. history.

ELECTRONICS RECYCLING & DOCUMENT SHREDDING AT HELIX HIGH THIS WEEKEND

A free e-waste recycling is being held at Helix Charter High School on Saturday and Sunday, May 1-2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Document shredding is also available for $10 per bankers box.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the school's Speech and Debate Team.

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ARBOR DAY CELEBRATION TODAY

 

April 30, 2010 (El Cajon)—The City of El Cajon invites the public to its 13th year of receiving the Tree City USA award and the 21st Annual Arbor Day ceremony. Festivities will begin at 3:00 p.m., next to the Ronald Reagan Community Center, located at 195 East Main Street. In celebration of Arbor Day, over 125 trees will be planted at El Cajon Parks, public grounds, parkways and schools.

CONSERVATION IN BLOOM AT THE 17TH ANNUAL SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL

San Diegans are invited to celebrate spring with a bloom of activities at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College on Saturday, April 24, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The College’s Nursery, run by Ornamental Horticulture students, will feature a large selection of ornamental plants, including drought tolerant varieties and the iconic Matilija poppy, or “fried egg plant”. Horticultural demonstrations will highlight the department’s programs throughout the day.

 

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EAST COUNTY EARTH DAY APRIL 25 ON MT. HELIX

 

April 13, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The first annual East County Earth Day will be held on Sunday, April 25 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the ampitheater on the top of Mt. Helix. In addition to learning about sustainability and eco-friendly practices, visitors can enjoy live music and presentations ranging from falconry to aquatic animals.

East County Earth Day Entertainment Schedule:

FOREST SERVICE PLAN TO CLEAR VEGETATION IN PINE VALLEY & MT. LAGUNA DRAWS CRITICISM; WOULD DAMAGE 1,000 ACRES OF CHAPARRAL, GROUP SAYS

 

April 6, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) – The U.S. Forest Service has proposed a 5,000 acre “Mount Laguna and Pine Valley Community Defense and Healthy Restoration Project” to include prescribed burns, tree thinning and shredding of brush to “reduce the risk to life, property and resource values from an unusually severe wildland fire event, and to improve fire suppression abilities and fire fighters safeties” according to Marian Kadota with the U.S. Forest Service in Carpinteria.

But the California Chaparral Institute has sent a letter to the Forest Service seeking changes to prevent damage to chaparral.

CONSERVATION IN BLOOM: REAP REWARDS AT SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL APRIL 24

 

 

Event highlights water conservation, cultural conservation, and Cuyamaca College’s biggest plant sale of the year

April 3, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) -- On Saturday, April 24, from 9am-4pm, Cuyamaca College’s campus will bloom with activity as three of its on-campus venues—the Ornamental Horticulture Department, the Water Conservation Garden, and the Heritage of the Americas Museum—invite the public to celebrate spring at their 17th annual Spring Garden Festival.

 

“Conservation in Bloom” is the theme at this family festival that includes tips on green living. Admission and parking are free. A range of crafters and vendors from throughout San Diego County will be featured, in addition to activities ranging from live music to a birds of prey show.

GREEN RUSH NEEDED: CAN DOERR FIND US ALL A NETSCAPE MOMENT?

 

By Kathleen Connell, M.A

Republished with permission from her blog http://www.missiontohumanity.com

One of my favorite Venture Capitalists, John Doerr, is looking for that clean tech killer app that startles and then sends the thundering herds of start-ups across the wetland plains of Silicon Valley--that bullish scent, that feverish Valley buzz, the gridlock on highway 101--and those returns! These signals will be the hallmarks of the coming Green Rush, as it will become known, at least by me, when the clean tech sector really, really arrives in Silicon Valley and in other clean tech clusters in places like San Diego County.

EMPOWERING HOMEOWNERS & BUSINESS OWNERS TO SAVE MONEY WHILE GOING GREEN



Empowered Energy Solutions finds hot market for rapid residential audit program

 

By Dennis Moore

 

March 25, 2010 (San Diego) – Saving money while converting to green energy sources is viewed by many consumers as both desirable and a necessity in this day and age.

At the forefront of this movement is Empowered Energy Solutions, a Solana Beach, California based business that is helping homeowners county-wide save money from day one on sustainable, energy efficient projects for their homes, offices and commercial buildings, from small restaurants to huge factories. One of the company’s diagnostics was on a building that previously had an annual electric bill of $11.5 million a year.

“Right now in San Diego, thousands of homes are running inefficiently, wasting their owners’ money,” Ted Torre-Bueno, president and founder, told East County Magazine. “Dollars spent on energy efficiency have the highest return on investment and in effect, are free for the homeowner and for the community. If we can reduce power use, we save on utility bills and help eliminate the need for new power plants in the future.”

DIGGING UP DINNER: GET IN ON THE GROWING TREND AND RAISE YOUR OWN VEGETABLES

 

 Article courtesy of Bonnie Plants

 

March 19, 2010 (San Diego) -- Across the country this spring, more Americans will be cutting out sections of lawn, retiring flower beds, building raised vegetable beds and turning their spare time over to gardening. Many of them will be first-timers, inspired to try their hand at tilling the soil for economic reasons as well as the many benefits gardening offers.

 

WATER-SMART PLANT FAIR MARCH 20: MORE BEAUTY WITH LESS WATER

 

 

Attendees Eligible to Win Home Landscape Re-Design

March 18, 2010 (El Cajon) -- San Diegans are invited to attend this year’s spring gardening season kick-off event on Saturday, March 20, 2010. The Water Conservation Garden, in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric will open the spring planting season by offering a large variety of elegant drought resistant plants and providing expert gardening advice.

FREEBIE ALERT: WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN

 

 

March 11, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) - One of East County’s treasures is The Water Conservation Garden. Sunset Magazine calls it one of the “Top 10 Gardens of the West.” This is a beautiful and relaxing place to spend a leisurely afternoon. However, it’s also a learning experience!

FILNER COSPONSORS COMMUNITY COLLEGE ENERGY TRAINING ACT

 

March 6, 2010 (San Diego) -- Congressman Bob Filner is among 111 cosponsors of the Community College Energy Training Act (H.R. 3731), legislation that will support community colleges as they train a new generation of technicians and other workers in America’s renewable energy industry.

COURT RULES COUNTY VIOLATED LAW BY EXEMPTING VEGETATION CLEARING PLAN IN BACK COUNTRY FROM ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS

 

 

County argues timely removal of dead trees is needed to prevent devastating wildfires; opponents say plan destroys wildlife habitat with no public review

 

FOR THE BIRDS? PROPOSED BAN ON LEAD SHOT IN STATE WILDLIFRE AREAS DRAWS CRITICISM & PRAISE


SENATOR HOLLINGSWORTH OPPOSES PLAN

February 28, 2010 (Sacramento) –Assemblyman Pedro Nava (D-Ventura) has introduced a bill to ban use of lead shot by hunters of pheasant, quail, and other game birds in California wildlife areas. The measure is modeled after a federal ban enacted in 1991, which prohibits lead shot in hunting of ducks and other waterfowl.
 

“It has demonstrably improved the health of waterfowl,” Nava said. “But there are 37 other species besides waterfowl that are also known to suffer from lead poisoning.” He cited golden eagles and wild turkeys as two examples.

NEW CLEAN ENERGY SYSTEMS FOR RESIDENCES AND BUSINESSES: CCSE HOLDS WORKSHOPS ON FUEL CELL TECHNOLOGY

 

 

February 20, 2010 (San Diego ) - “San Diegans can learn about a new fuel cell technology for home and business applications that supplies clean base and load power 24/7, while reducing grid dependence and lowering carbon dioxide emissions, “ says Chuck Colgan, public relations representative for the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). CCSE is hosting two workshops on fuel cell technologies on Monday, March 8th.

UTILITY-BACKED BALLOT INITIATIVE DRAWS CRITICISM FROM LOCAL LEADERS

 

Should cities and counties be barred from starting up public power entitities to compete against utility giants such as SDG&E--and offer clean energy options to residents?  Voters to decide.
 

February 17, 2010 (San Diego) – A June ballot initiative seeks to change California’s constitution to make it harder for cities and counties to give residents alternatives to buying power from utility companies. The measure is funded by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E). It would require a super-majority (two-thirds) vote for local governments to create new forms of public power entities through Community Choice Aggregation (CCA).

EDITORIAL: MY LOVE AFFAIR WITH BIODIESEL

 

"The year in which we were supposed to send U.S. and Russian astronauts to Jupiter began with two death blows to the biodiesel industry."--Tyson Gustus, broken-hearted Jezebel admirer/owner

 

By Tyson Gustus

 

I love my car. I even named her. Jezebel. Jezebel and I go back a long time. (In today's disposable society, seven years is a long time.) The story of Jezebel is a simple one. Back in late 2002, I decided to trade in my Jeep Wrangler for something more fuel-efficient, comfortable, and overall better-to-commute in. I was also in a long distance relationship at the time, so that only amplified all of the above needs.

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