Green Scene

“CASH FOR CLUNKERS” VOUCHER BILL PASSES HOUSE; MEASURE AIMS TO REDUCE POLLUTION, SAVE JOBS AND FUEL

Local Representatives Split Votes By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2009 (Washington D.C.)--Three local representatives have voted in favor of a “cash for clunkers” program that will allow consumers to trade in their old, gas-guzzling cars for vouchers worth up to $4,500 to help people buy new, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

CALIFORNIA-FRIENDLY® LANDSCAPES WIN BIG PRIZES

June 1, 2009 (El Cajon) - Winners of the sixth annual California-Friendly® Landscape Contest gathered to collect their prizes at the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College on May 16th. Twenty homeowners from across the county received honors for outstanding examples of beautiful, drought-tolerant landscapes.

Photographs of the winning landscapes adorned a display in The Garden’s Plaza, and garden editor Mary James and garden author Nan Sterman co-MCed the presentations.

WHAT’S GROWN IN EAST COUNTY STAYS IN EAST COUNTY! A GUIDE TO EAST COUNTY NURSERIES

By Pamela Homfelt, pH Exterior Design

June 1, 2009--If you’re landscaping or gardening in East County, why go anywhere but locally for everything plants? With the great variety and quality of plant nurseries plus economical, environmental and horticultural reasons, there is no reason to travel any further than right around the corner.

DESERT PROTECTIVE COUNCIL ISSUES “SOLAR DONE RIGHT” GUIDELINES

June 1, 2009 (San Diego’s East County)--The Desert Protective Council has established guidelines for solar energy installations. Policy makers and solar developers are encouraged to follow five principles for developing renewable energy to protect the environment from potential damage by massive solar farms. The DPC also suggests contacting Congressional officials to ask them to embrace the following “Solar Done Right” principles.

NEED HELP TO MEET DROUGHT RESTRICTIONS? WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN HAS ANSWERS

June 2, 2009 (El Cajon)--On June 1, the City of San Diego’s mandatory water restrictions go into effect. http://www.sandiego.gov/water/conservation/drought/droughtlevels2.shtml.
By July 1, most other water districts in San Diego County will also be implementing restrictions. http://www.sdcwa.org/manage/droughtordinance_agencies.phtml. Fortunately,
the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College has plenty of tools to help you deal with impending water restrictions.

EAST COUNTY CHAMBER REPORTS DEFEAT OF “JOB KILLER” BILLS; COALITION OF POWERLINK OPPONENTS TAKE ISSUE WITH CHAMBER OVER GREEN ENERGY MEASURE & POWERLINK STANCE

June 4, 2009 -- The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce reports victory in helping to defeat several bills it describes as “business UN-friendly bills." But a coalition opposed to Sunrise Powerlink has taken the Chamber to task for its opposition to one measure which supporters say would, in fact, create jobs in renewable energy production locally. The organization also seeks to persuade the Chamber to reconsider its endorsement of Sunrise Powerlink.

 

CLEAN, GREEN MACHINES: ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES ON SHOW AT STREET SMART SAN DIEGO JUNE 7

June 1, 2009 (San Diego)—In San Diego, vehicle emissions are the number one cause of greenhouse emissions that cause global warming. Fortunately, a new generation of vehicles powered by alternative fuels now provides cleaner options for us all.

SDG&E TEAMS WITH GOOGLE TO PROVIDE ENERGY USAGE DATA TO CUSTOMERS

May 30, 2009 (San Diego) San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has announced a partnership with Google that, by the end of this year, will enable SDG&E customers to obtain their daily energy usage information via the popular Web site with Google’s new Google PowerMeter gadget (http://www.google.org/powermeter/ ). The data will be made available through SDG&E’s digital smart meters, which are being installed for all customers over the next two years.

LA MESA OFFERS FREE DISPOSAL OF HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTES & ELECTRONICS

June 1, 2009 (La Mesa)--If your household has hazardous wastes, the City of La Mesa and California Integrated Waste Management Board have teamed up to offer free pickup and disposal on June 6, July 18, August 29, October 10 and November 21. The City is also giving away a free nontoxic thermometer to any resident who brings in a mercury thermometer.

$20 MILLION IN ENERGY-EFFICIENCY INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES OFFERED

May 19, 2009 (San Diego) – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) announced today that more than $20 million in rebates and incentives are available this year to business customers for qualifying energy-efficiency projects—the largest pool of incentive money in the utility’s history.

The Gas Company shared the news with more than 300 business representatives gathered for its 4th Annual Energy-Efficiency Expo in Downey, Calif.

GROSSMONT CENTER HOSTS “LEARN AND CONSERVE” EVENT MAY 16

May 12, 2009 (La Mesa)-- – With the water restriction use being enforced on June 1ST Grossmont Shopping Center is hosting a Learn To Conserve event on Saturday, May 16TH in Macy’s Courtyard. The event will run from 10a.m. – 2p.m. Event partners will provide tips for water and electricity conservation and host fun demonstrations.

PROBLEMS? WHAT WATER PROBLEMS?

Water, water everywhere: How San Diego Can Become Water Self-Sufficient—And Even Be a Water Exporter

A Commentary By Jim Bell

May 10, 2009 (San Diego)--Many experts are projecting doom and gloom, scenarios of decreasing water supplies and increasing cost, yet the San Diego/Tijuana Region can easily become renewable water self-sufficient and even become a net water exporter. Yes, that’s right. We can have plenty of water for drinking, showering, growing food and even swimming—with liquid assets to spare.

COMBAT VETS LEARN ORGANIC & HYDROPONIC FARMING SKILLS AT ARCHI’S ACRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

May 9, 2009 (Escondido)—After serving three tours of duty in Iraq, including urban combat zones in Fallujah and Haditha, former Marine Kevin Archipley and his wife, Karen (shown in photo) bought a farm in Escondido and resolved to help returning combat veterans adapt to civilian life.

 

BLOSSOM VALLEY CONSERVATION DAY MAY 30 OFFERS ENERGY& WATER SAVING TIPS

May 27, 2009 (Blossom Valley) -- The Blossom Valley Water Task Force announces it will host an Energy & Water Conservation Day on Saturday, May 30th from 1 to 4 p.m.

 

"If you haven't heard by now, water deliveries will be cut to local agencies by 8 percent and a level 2 drought alert condition has been declared," a press release issued by the Task Force states. "As a community we need to continue to find ways to conserve our precious water and resources."

 

ECO-FURNISHING LINE LAUNCHED IN SAN DIEGO

By Miriam Raftery

May 3, 2009 (San Diego)—Now your home can be beautiful—and green! San Diego designer Laura Birns, ASID, LEED AP, has launched LauraBirdsDesignEco-Furnishings. Named among the “Top 10 Green Gurus” by Innovative Home Magazine, the nationally published designer is a Certified Green Build Professional, USGBC,and Sustainable Furnishings Council member. Now she has created home and commercial furnishings that use only certified renewable and sustainable green resources.

SAN DIEGO AREA POISED TO BE A LEADER IN BUILDING GREEN ECONOMY, SAYS NATIONAL EXPERT: AREA APT TO GET $100 MILLION IN FUNDS FOR GOING GREEN

By Miriam Raftery May 1, 2009 (San Diego)—“We are in a moment of historic change,” Phoebe Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive officer of Green for All, said in a program yesterday in San Diego titled “Green Jobs: Fighting Poverty and Pollution.” Sponsored by the Center for Policy Initiatives, the event drew a full house of community leaders, environmentalists and labor union members. “Do people know that there are trillions of dollars to be spent on a green economy?” she asked. “The reason I’m in San Diego is because San Diego is one of the places that is ripe for opportunity. .

WATER CONSERVATION GARDEN CELEBRATES 10th BIRTHDAY

April 28, 2009 (El Cajon)--The Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College celebrated its tenth birthday on Saturday, April 25. Garden Executive Director Marty Eberhardt commented on the remarkable timing of the event. “Just two days ago, the San Diego County Water Authority Board of Directors declared a Level 2 Drought Alert, which means that retail agencies will soon be instituting water restrictions. This is exactly the kind of situation that the founding agencies foresaw.”

FLOOD OF RATEPAYER PROTESTS PROMPTS HELIX WATER TO HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING MONDAY, APRIL 27 AT 2 PM; CRITICS CONTEND DISTRICT PLAN IS UNFAIR TO BIG FAMILIES & LARGE LOT OWNERS

 

Update April 28: Despite strong public protest, Helix Water District approved eliminating agricultural meters for 900 customers and accepted other staff recommendations. Watch for details soon.

 

By Miriam Raftery April 26, 2009 (La Mesa)—Deluged by hundreds of calls from residents irate about steep rate increases for heavy water use, and by many seeking irrigation meters to qualify for cheaper water rates, Helix Water District’s Board of Directors will convene a special meeting at 2 p.m. Monday, April 27th.

 

HELIX WATER DISTRICT PROPOSES HEFTY WATER RATE INCREASE

New rates start metering May 1, Public Hearing May 27

By Kristin Hobbs Kjaero and Rachel Ford Hutman

The Proposal

(Rachel Ford Hutman)

April 21, 2009 (La Mesa) - If you are one of the 260,000 residents in the
Helix Water District, you may soon be paying a minimum increase of 20% more
for your water—and for some heavy users, several times higher than those with
low water usage. 

On March 4 the district’s Board of Directors voted 3-2 to issue a notice of
a public hearing May 27, for rate increases which would increase the base rate
by 20% for the first 10 units of water, plus an additional sliding scale based
on usage. For example, a user of 75 units will have an increase of 49%.

SAN DIEGO’S CARBON FOOTPRINT IS BIGGER THAN LA’S: LOCAL POLICIES TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE ARE LAGGING, CPI REPORT FINDS

April 22, 2009 (San Diego)--The carbon footprint of the average San Diegan--including residential energy use and transportation--is larger than that of the average resident of Los Angeles, a review of available data shows. San Diego also lags behind LA in policies and programs to reduce energy use, according to Climate Change Performance and Policy: San Diego versus Los Angeles, a policy paper issued on Earth Day 2009 by the Center on Policy Initiatives, a San Diego-based think tank.

SAGE & SONGBIRDS GARDEN TOUR: RAPTOR REHAB FACILITY INCLUDED ON THIS YEAR’S TOUR MAY 1-3

April 20, 2009( Alpine)--Are you looking for ideas to “spruce up” your garden or yard? The Sage & Songbirds Garden Tour has a wealth of ideas for creating beautiful gardens that also provide wildlife-friendly habitat. The 12th annual event, set for May 1-3, spotlights five unique gardens, chock-full of plants, waterscapes, pathways, structures and other very interesting features.

SPRING GARDEN FESTIVAL’S “CONSERVATION IN BLOOM” HIGHLIGHTS WATER CONSERVATION, CULTURAL CONSERVATION, AND CUYAMACA COLLEGE’S BIGGEST PLANT SALE OF THE YEAR

Drawing to win a High-Efficiency Clothes Washer or Home Landscape Re-design April 18, 2009 (RANCHO SAN DIEGO)—On Saturday, April 25, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m,, 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 sixteenth annual Spring Garden Festival. “Conservation in Bloom” is the theme at this family festival that includes tips on green living, and both free admission and parking.

SAN DIEGO EARTH WEEK FEATURES NEW EVENTS IN 2009

GREEN JOBS FAIR AT SDSU AND A GREEN CITY LEADERSHIP FORUM ARE NEW THIS YEAR; EARTH FAIR KICKS OFF WEEK'S ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES April 17, 2009 (San Diego)—Earth Day Week in San Diego kicks off with Earth Fair 2009 in Balboa Park on Sunday, drawing more than 70,000 visitors. Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair features more than 400 exhibitors, special theme areas, a Food Pavilion, a special Kids’ Activity Area, three entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth Parade, the Earth Gallery art show, and the Cleaner Car Concourse.

GREEN BULIDING QUESTIONS ANSWERED AT ECO BUILD SAN DIEGO

By Rachel Hutman

(California Center for Sustainable Energy)

April 9, 2009 (San Diego) - The Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) hosted the EcoBuild San Diego on Saturday, April 4. Over 350 people attended the free expo to get straight answers about green building. Lauri Walker, Program Manager of the event, observed, “People will visit exhibitors and get a better understanding of green building, and that it is not as expensive as they may think.” A lot of questions were answered throughout the four workshops: Green Building 101, How to Plan and Budget Your New Green Home, Solar for Homeowners, and Fire Survior Panel Discussion: The Decision to Rebuild Green. All can be seen online at www.rebuildcentral.org and will be posted for the next month.

GET THE JUMP ON GOING GREEN:  FEDERAL INCENTIVES FOR RENEWABLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

April
10, 2009 (Washington D.C.) - Looking for your own version of a bail-out?  How
about a federal incentive to make your home, business or community more energy
efficient and/or powered by renewable energy such as wind, solar or biomass? 

Here are some handy links to tax credits and grants available for homeowners,
businesses and local governments to apply for funds under the Obama administration’s
economic stimulus program. 

SDG&E PARTNERS WITH NISSAN TO GET SAN DIEGO ‘PLUG-IN’ READY

New, Zero-Emission Electric Vehicles to Reach San Diego
Next Year

April 1, 2009 (San Diego) – San Diego County will become one of the nation’s
first “plug-in” ready green regions and start the transformation into a clean
transportation community with San Diego Gas & Electric’s landmark partnership
announced today with Nissan Motor Co. and the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

CA DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO CONSIDER RESOLUTION TO PROMOTE ON-SITE RENEWABLE POWER GENERATION AS ALTERNATIVE TO NEW TRANSMISSION LINES, MASSIVE WIND OR SOLAR FARMS

March 20, 2009 (El Cajon)—The East County Democratic Club has adopted a resolution calling for local, on-site generation of solar and wind power as alternatives to massive wind and solar farms, which would require new transmission lines including Sunrise Powerlink. Advocates hope to persuade the State Party’s Resolutions Committee to allow the measure to be considered by delegates at the California Democratic Party convention in Sacramento in late April.

DRY TIMES: WATER-SAVING LANDSCAPE ADVICE

April 4, 2009 (San Diego)—With water districts urging consumers to cut outdoor water usage by 40% amid the drought, homeowners are left wondering how to maintain an attractive yard without being water hogs—and paying hefty prices to be levied against heavy water users. The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) offers some recommendations for consumers to make smart choices and protect the environment even with mandated water reductions.

GROW THE GREAT PUMPKIN: VALLEY CENTER FARMERS’ MARKET HOSTS PUMPKIN GROWING CONTEST—FREE SEEDS IN APRIL!

April 8, 2009 (Valley Center) - Remember Charlie Brown's quest to grow the Great Pumpkin? Now you can grow your own jumbo-sized jack-o-lantern. The San Diego County Farm Bureau is putting on the first Valley Center Pumpkin Growing Contest at the Valley Center Certified Farmers’ Market. Anyone interested in participating can pick up free pumpkin seeds from the farmers’ market manager, Lorrie Scott, at the Thursday markets during the month of April.

COMPOSTING IS EASIER AND MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK

By Rachel Hutman

April 1, 2009 (San Diego's East County) - Sure, you recycle, but do you compost? You probably know a little about composting and have heard it’s important for the environment. However you have always pushed it into the back of your brain saying “maybe someday” or “I don’t know how to start.” However composting is much easier than you think, and there are many nearby resources available to help you. The most important reason to start now is the positive difference you will be making in the environment by recycling valuable organic materials. It’s estimated that 50% of your everyday waste can be composted and reused.

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