Special Called Joint Meeting of the Electric Utility Commission and the Resource Management Commission to discuss the Kema report (see right)
SFC Farmers' Market East
SFC Triangle Farmers' Market
3:00pm - 7:00pm
"Shades of Green" Talk Radio on KOOP 91.7 FM (West Austin Battle Over Mega Sports Complex and Light Pollution)
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Pre-Conference Intensives for Herbalismo! Medicinal Plant Festival
8:30am - 12:30pm
Herbalismo! A Medicinal Plant Festival of the Deep South 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Herbalismo! A Medicinal Plant Festival of the Deep South
8:30am - 5:30pm
Herbalismo! A Medicinal Plant Festival of the Deep South
8:30am - 5:30pm
9:00am - 1:00pm
Barton Creek Farmers Market
@ Barton Creek Mall
9:00am - 1:00pm
9:00am - 1:00pm
9:00am - 5:45p
UT Concho Community Garden Workday
8:30am - 11:00am
Barton Creek Farmer's Market @ Highland Mall
10:00am - 2:00pm
HOPE Farmers Market
11:00am - 3:00pm
*Green Corn Fall Festival at Boggy Creek Farm*
*Calendar items* = expanded info in the right-hand column.
Organizations in Orange are Austin EcoNetwork Partners.
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Planning Ahead Mark Your Calendar:
Rainforest Partnership's 5th Annual Celebration Dinner: Birds of Paradise: From Austin to the Amazon
Defense Energy Summit
Correct DATES: November 11th - 13th
AT&T Conference Center
Please use our 10% off registration discount code: 13AEN10
Service-learning Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) course designed especially for folks who are investing talents in community projects. You get to substitute service hours for much of the tuition.
Saturday, November 23rd
CATEE 2013 Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency Conference
San Antonio, TX
Check out the 2013 EcoCalendar Preview for the year!
CLICK HERE to see FULL Austin EcoCalendar
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Austin Researchers Study Energy Efficiency in Low-Income Household
by Paul Batistell
For most people, energy bills are an inconvenient yet essential expense. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average American household spends more than $1,900 annually on heating, cooling, appliances, lighting and electronics. But for some low-income families, paying for these commodities is nearly impossible. Compared to middle or upper-class homes, low-income households spend about double the percentage of their income on energy. Now, Austin, Texas-based Pecan Street Inc. has taken initiative to empower low-income households to save money and better understand their energy consumption.
Research with an immediate impact
With the support of the Verizon Foundation, Pecan Street Inc. has begun a two-year study focused on better understanding how low-income multi-family households consume energy, and how to help these families save energy and money. The study will give 140 low-income households in Austin an energy monitoring system, including a Nest thermostat and eGauge power circuit monitors, both of which can compile data and provide valuable energy and cost-saving feedback to the residents.
Read the full blog
America’s Low Carbon Energy Revolution - Texas Renewables 2013, A National Stage in San Antonio!
by Debra Dubay
America is in the midst of a low carbon energy revolution. New energy technology has delivered much needed energy independence to the U.S. In San Antonio, nationally recognized speakers showcase the “All-of-the-Above” energy world and impacts of drastically reduced carbon emissions at Texas Renewables 2013, a Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) conference, runs Monday, November 11th to Wednesday, the 13th in San Antonio, TX. The conference and exhibit is organized to provide a solid understanding of forces at play, of economic and environmental benefits, and strategies on continued growth for all Texas energy providers. This exciting new conference experience includes TED style talks, video transitions, industry CEO panels and an exceptional lineup of speakers. Leading keynotes and speakers include:
Big picture topics include:
by Chris Searles
- A Baptist preacher speaks on science and climate change
Reverend Don Searles caught my attention: “Did you hear Roger’s statement on climate change?”
Reverend Searles had my attention not just because he’s my dad (or because he’d just caught me running late) but because I’d never heard Dr. Roger Paynter – the senior pastor at First Baptist, Church Austin, speak about global warming before. Ever.
Seriously, who does that during a sermon? What’d he say? I asked. Dad heard: “Climate change is real and it’s being caused by us. It’s our responsibility to respond to it, and even if we’re not causing it – it’s our responsibility.”
The funny thing about growing up in First Baptist Church, Austin, is ...
Read Chris' full blog
Monday, October 21st, 2013
EcoBits by EcoBrandi
This is the week of weeks, so to speak. It is simultaneously Reuse Week, Food Day/Week, and Native Plants week (see below for more on all three).
In addition to an abundant fall harvest of amazing green activities (including the 2-year anniversary of our partner Treehouse!) we have some... drama and suspense in the green world this week. We've got the scoop on a law suit, a possible merger and a 1:00pm Thursday radio show about the "West Austin Battle Over Mega Sports Complex and Light Pollution."
We also have three blogs today about Texas Renewables, Research on low-income residents and energy efficiency, and one from Chris Searles the outreach chair for Interfaith Environmental Network.
Thanks to everyone who came to our conversation on Friday. We shared highlights of events and tried to draw some thematic connections.
Appropriate for Native Plant week Central Texas is host to a medicinal plant festival/conference this week called Herbalismo. It starts on Thursday with morning pre-conference workshops and the full conference with nightly entertainment starts midday Thursday through Sunday. (Note: the event can be attended with day passes on Thu, Fri, Sat)
It takes place at the lovely Flat Creek Crossing Ranch where you can learn from well-known practitioners like Rosemary Gladstar, Matthew Wood and Paul Bergner as well as connect with herbalists, and naturopaths and enjoy live music and participate in an authentic Dia de los Muertos procession.
They have a full schedule of sessions & workshops in the following areas: Materia medica, Preparations, Ceremony/Folk Traditions, Bioregionalism/Nature, Clinical Wisdom and Experience, and
Herbalism for Social Change.
Conference schedule is here.
The event is co-produced by former Austin EcoNetwork staff Nita Durant and with the assistance of AEN Partner Green Fern Events the entire conference will be a zero waste event!
Big news in the local cycling universe... there are discussions underway to explore a potential merger between AEN partner Bike Austin and Austin Cycling Association, which both share the goal of getting more people on bikes in Austin. They have slightly different other priorities but are aligned enough that they will be voting on a declaration of intent to pursue a professionally facilitated merger exploration process at the October 27 Bike Austin Annual Membership Meeting.
Also, bike related... Learn about the “Your Path to Austin” plan – a citywide network of connected trails and on-street bikeways protected from cars - and get involved:
Tuesday, November 12th - Cities for Cycling Road Show + Bike & Urban Trails Plan | Central Open House
5:30pm - 8:30pm at St. David's Episcopal Church
Wednesday, November 13th - Bike & Urban Trails Plan | North Open House
5:30pm - 8:30pm at Lanier High School Cafeteria
If you missed the Barton Springs University sessions at Barton Springs Fest in August, now you can see them online. Check out the videos of experts on the biology, hydro-geology, conservation, history, culture, and Native American religious significance of Barton Springs. The SOS Alliance expects these to be the first in a series of teaching sessions on all things Edwards Aquifer. Stay tuned.
Reuse Week - a full week to celebrate the many ways that groups are helping further the environmental, social and economical benefits of reuse - began yesterday, with Reuse Day.
Share tips for Reuse on Austin Recycles' facebook page.
The new Watershed Protection Ordinance was passed by council last Thursday! Among other change highlights are new headwaters protections for 363 miles of eastern watersheds creeks, floodplain protections that will help restore our forested riparian zones, simplified buffer rules and gross site area, and no boundary street deduction.
Then council made a few amendments:
Tonight, Monday, October 21st at the special called joint meeting of the Energy Utility Commission and the Resource Management Commission, Austin Energy and Kema -- a consulting group - will be presenting their report on:
1. The analysis of the LSAC' s local solar plan to get to 400 MWs of solar by 2020, including 200 MW of local solar. Read report. Kema found that the LSAC goals are technically feasible, but they were overly optimistic on costs and savings. Basically Kema came out more conservative (anti-solar) than LSAC, but less so than Austin Energy. There may be space for upping the goals at Austin Energy.
2. An analysis of the Value of Solar rate paid currently by Austin, and a planned adjustment of the rate.
There is the opportunity for public comment and questions during the meeting. Read agenda.
You have until this Friday, October 25th to apply to Keep Austin Beautiful on behalf of your elementary, middle and high school to be recognized in the Good Sports Always Recycle Program. If your K-12 school has outstanding recycling and environmental efforts then your students could be recognized during halftime of UT football game. All schools in the Austin area are invited to apply. More details.
Last Monday, "the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) filed a legal challenge to a claim of sole ownership of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) trademarks by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (WC) at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). The
UT claims they are only pursuing SITES’ trademarks to protect the IP and intend to give full unrestricted rights to their partners—ASLA, and the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG). We will keep you posted.
Recently Thea Bryant announced they are having a donation only tour of the Earthbag house this Sunday, October 27th from 1:00pm - 3:00pm, due to the response she has gotten from the write up in Tribeza magazine. Plan to stay awhile as the group goes through a detailed discussion about the story, process, the why and what the future holds in store for Natural building for us in Central Texas and for our planet.
Along with the tour, she is launching the Natural Neighborhood Development Coalition. Go on the tour to find out more (and stay tuned here). More tour info.
Native Plant Week is from Sunday, October 20th to Saturday, October 26th, with events happening all over town.
Native plants are acclimated to local climate conditions and soils, provide habitat for wildlife, typically require less water and maintenance once established, and do not rely on chemical fertilizers and pesticides to thrive. They also give us a sense of place and help maintain the region's wide variety of flora and fauna. Not only do they provide all of these wonderful benefits, but they are beautiful, too! More info and FAQ
Wednesday, October 23rd - Native Plants for Pollinators 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Wednesday, October 23rd - Eliza Spring Daylighting Project Stakeholder Meeting 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Wednesday, October 23rd - Native Plants of Central Texas Walk & Talk 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Thursday, October 24th - Native Tree Walk 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Friday, October 25th - Habitat Conservation Plan Renewal Event 10:00am
Saturday, October 26th - Views of Austin and Native Plants 8:00am - 11:00am
Saturday, October 26th - Wildflower Walkabout 9:00am - 10:30am
Saturday, October 26th - Arbor Day Celebration 9:00am - 1:30pm
The Sustainable Food Policy Board is hosting a Community Discussion on Tuesday, October 22nd from 6:00pm - 8:00pm at the fabulous new Sustainable Food Center's new building at 2921 E 17th St., Building C. "Hear about local food policy successes and challenges, and share your ideas for affordable, healthy, sustainable food in a forum that motivates and educates through the inclusion of all voices." More info.
Food Day at UT Austin will be celebrated on next Wednesday, October 23rd from 12:00pm - 3:00pm at the Student Activity Center (SAC) Lawn, activities provided by different companies and student organizations. More info.
We are perhaps most excited about the Local Food Day Potluck our partner Greenling has put together at Green Gate Farms from at 6:00pm - 9:00pm. Bring the whole family and a dish to share with your fellow sustainable-minded foodies. Local and organic ingredients encouraged! Some food and beer will be provided. More details here.
Celebrate day of, on Thursday, October 24th, by helping sort food at the Capitol Area Food Bank! Shifts are available from 9:00am-12:00pm, 1:00pm-4:00pm and 6:00pm-8:30pm. Individuals as young as 8 years old are permitted to volunteer.
At 5:30pm on Wednesday, October 23rd the Hill Country Conservancy (HCC) is hosting a Happy Hour at the Rattle Inn introducing the Violet Crown Trail, with 10% of sales during the event going to HCC. Complementary appetizers, cash bar, and door prizes. Read more.
TreeHouse is celebrating 2 years on Saturday, October 26th! Come join the fun.
IT"S ON THE HOUSE:
catering from Chil'antro - Inventor of the Kimchi fries,
live screen printing by Ramona Press,
fun for the kids with the Austin Eco School,
big money saving promotions from Dunn Edwards Paint ,
a visit from the makers of SWITCH LED (who has a big surprise)
and much more!
A percentage of the sales from the weekend will go to support The Nature Conservancy.More info.
For Arbor Day on Saturday, October 26th, join Austin Urban Forestry and TreeFolks at the Ruiz Library to celebrate Austin's trees! Volunteers will kickoff the day at 9:00am by planting and mulching 50 trees at the library, followed by an Arbor Day ceremony at 11:00am with a proclamation from Mayor Leffingwell and speakers from TreeFolks, Urban Forestry, and American Forests. The celebration will include family-friendly activities, live music from The Lost Pines, guided tree ID tours, and lunch generously provided by ThunderCloud Subs!
Another great way to celebrate is to plant a tree at your home! Buy a tree at The Great Outdoors on Saturday, October 26th and they'll donate 10% of your tree purchase to TreeFolks! Fall is the perfect time to plant trees in Central Texas, and with all the rain we have been getting, we need more trees in the ground to hold the soil in place and keep the water tables healthy.
Free Trees! TreeFolks hosts sapling days and give away thousands of free saplings through December. The next sapling day will be at Whole Earth Provisions on Saturday, November 9th.
Also, when you sign up as a member of the Arbor Day Foundation, you get 10 free trees! Sign up today.
In honor of Co-op Month, Cooperation Texas is hosting a Cooperative Fair on Saturday, October 26th! From noon to 5:00pm meet members from local cooperatives, become a member of a local cooperative, and enjoy some food, music, & beer from local co-ops, and a silent auction filled with cooperatively- made goodies from around the US. Admission is free and kids are welcome. More info.
Bee Keeping 101 and the Art of Honey Spinning is a free class and live demo from Central Texas Bee Rescue at their apiary at It's About Thyme Garden Center, 11726 Manchaca Road. The class will take place twice this Saturday, October 26th, once at 11:30am and again at 1:30pm. More info.
On Sunday, October 27th, is the 15th Annual Fall Festival with the Green Corn Project at Boggy Creek Farm. "Cook Globally, Grow Locally" Chef Demonstrations, local bands, and silent auction. There are volunteer opportunities. Tickets are $35 in advance and $50 at the door. More info.
The Bike Austin Annual Membership Meeting will be this Sunday, October 27th at 5:00pm - 8:45pm. Not just the culmination of the Annual Board elections, but also, the first Annual Bike Austin Awards and featuring three distinguished speakers on "Accessibility for All Ages and Abilities: Opportunities for Austin". They will be serving dinner, beer, and wine in appreciation of our membership. General admission for non-members $20. Free for members. Read more.
Next Wednesday, October 30th is Rainforest Partnership's 5th Annual Celebration "Birds of Paradise", an evening of South American inspired food, music, and drinks at the beautiful Barr Mansion.
$100 for individual tickets, or inquire about sponsorship opportunities. More info
Mark your calendars for November!
On Saturday, November 2nd celebrate the return of cooler weather and all things Fall with in.gredients' Fall Harvest Festival. Tiny Tails to You, Austin's Traveling Petting Zoo will be here from 3:00pm - 4:00pm with a plethora of baby animals. And there will be a pumpkin painting competition, dog costume contest, burlap sack races, face painting, food & drink specials & live music! 2:00pm - 6:00pm. More info.
Solar First Saturday is happening once more at ImagineSolar Training Center at 4000 Caven Road. Explore advocacy, policy, and opportunity in the solar industry. This discussion will provide actionable insights that participants can use to make a difference.
On Saturday, November 2nd, there will be an update on Austin City Council’s adoption of the LSAC recommendations for local solar goals. The discussion begins at 4:00pm. Participants are invited to arrive early (3:00pm) to observe the hands-on PV System Design & Installation Lab workshop already in progress. More info.