Environment & Infrastructure

Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Monday, 06 June 2011 00:02

Virtuous Cycle

We use a bit of technology to enhance the Nature. The VermiSoks system is a virtuous cycle of green that converts consumable food by-products into lush organic growth. The system is beautiful in its simplicity and provides exponential benefit to all parties involved.

  • Fruit, vegetable and food scraps are collected from restaurants, hotels and homes
  • The food waste is processed to produce gallons of VermiSoks Worm Wine™
  • Worm Wine is applied to VermiSoks – photodegradable mesh tubes – where we harness the power of earthworms to create nutrients to grow organic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers
  • When ready, the crop is harvested and made into tasty dishes
  • Whatever is left over re-enters the cycle to close the gap on hunger and generate health and wealth for our planet and for us

Click here to learn more and get involved.



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Gardens as Artful Habitats
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Sunday, 05 June 2011 22:22

"When we come together in the creation of any art form - garden, mosaic, mural, pathway or water feature - a community of caring people is born. The quality of work we create generates pride, self-reliance, and a genuine respect for plants, creatures, and ourselves."

-- OUR LEGACY - Gardens for Humanity Website

As spring energizes our garden, many flowers bloom and birds return. What was previously a grey palette is now vibrant with color and fragrance. This year, for the first time in the twenty-nine years we have lived here, a pair of summer tanagers have taken up residence in our garden. The male is red and the female is yellow-green. They are now co-residents with robins, cardinals, orioles, hummingbirds, doves, quail and myriad other species. To create a garden is like creating a form of art.

This month, art is in the forefront of our newsletter. Visual, written and spoken art are our songs and flowers and winged flights. Gardens for Humanity will be connecting people with several art events to complement our garden work. Our founder Adele Seronde and friend Lisa Dahl will feature their books that celebrate life and beauty at an event called "An Earth Lover's Rendezvous About Hope and Solutions."

An on-going project, "Earth Cups," which artist Nancy Robb-Dunst is spearheading, invites you to make ceramic cups each Tuesday at the Sedona Art Center, and calls upon artists to paint them on Monday, May 30.

As we assist school communities to develop school gardens, we are encouraging collaboration with artists around the themes of nature and transformation. Art programs in schools complement the skills, knowledge and message of gardening. These themes are increasingly important as our communities strive to become more green, self-sufficient, healthy, humane and hospitable places to live. Gardens for Humanity is dedicated to be a catalyst for this process.


President, Gardens for Humanity



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An Earth Lover's Rendezvous About Hope and Solutions
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Sunday, 29 May 2011 00:00

Featuring Adele Seronde and Lisa Dahl - May 29, 2011


Enjoy Music, Book Debuts, Poetry and Speakers


Sunday, May 29, 2011, 2-4 pm

Sedona Creative Life Center - Great Room


Featured Authors

·    Adele Seronde,  "Our Sacred Garden-The Living Earth"

·    Lisa Dahl, "The Elixir of Life: Finding Love and Joy in The Passionate Pursuit of Food"


Speakers on the Subject of Respecting and Restoring the Earth and Creating Community

·    Tom O'Halleran, President, Keep Sedona Beautiful

·    Richard Sidy, President, Gardens for Humanity

·    Katrina Themlitz, Director, Sedona Community Farmers Market

·    Others


·    Adele Seronde

·    Christopher Lane


·    Fitzhugh Jenkins and Band


Admission: $10 to benefit Gardens for Humanity's Educational Programs.

·    Author's books will be for sale.

·    Cookies and iced tea will be available.

·    Hosted by James Bishop, Jr., author of the forthcoming "Tales of the Pink Nectar Café."

·    More info: Bishop, 928-300-1301.

Click here to learn more about the Event



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Community Events and Projects
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:47

The Verde Food Council continues to offer free community classes on a variety of topics concerning food preparation from seed to plate. These fun classes are taught in several locations throughout Sedona and the Verde Valley by volunteer cooks, nutritionists, gardeners and other educators. They inspire healthy cooking and food preparation, nutritional awareness and simple gardening techniques including composting and seed saving. Donations for classes are appreciated.


Download a complete calendar of classes.


Mosiac Classes

Garden Mosaics Classes: This summer Earth Art Works will present a series of classes from beginning to intermediate levels on creating mosaics for the garden.


For more information download a flier here.




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School Gardens
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:44

We received this note from Red Rock High School Garden Club sponsor Elaine Watkins:


Yesterday, we had our first harvest from our new garden. We pulled five pounds of greens and cleaned and bagged them.  We're donating them to our elementary school's Backpacks for Kids families.  Ten children each take home a backpack of nutritious foods each Friday.  This week they'll also have fresh green salad.


"Backpacks for Kids" is a program that the Verde Food Council started first at Beaver Street School in Rimrock, and now at West Sedona School. In cooperation with the food-bank and the school, needy children take home a backpack of food for the weekend. A reality of hunger is that for many children, school is an essential source for nutrition.


One of our objectives as we start more school gardens will be to increase awareness and resources for healthy food at each of our schools.

Desert Star Community School:

Students at Desert Star Community School in Cornville with the guidance of artist Caitlin Flynn have created notecards celebrating our planet and environment. The Verde Food Council is making sets of them available for purchase. Proceeds from sales will benefit more school art projects that aim to teach about being good stewards of our earth.




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Earth Cups
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:40

Make Earth Cups!

Join us every Tuesday from 1:00 to 4:00pm and create clay tea cups and coffee mugs

Making Earth Cups

in the "clay studio" at the Sedona Art Center. You don't have to have prior clay experience to participate. On August 13, we will hold a social at the Art Center titled, "EARTH CUPS: Planting the Seeds..." to sell the cups and mugs, as well as other art. Guests will enjoy teas, herbal infusions and treats made from local foods. Proceeds from the sale will go toward bringing artists into the schools in conjunction with gardening programs to teach students about nutrition, how to create a garden, grow vegetables, and care for the earth.


Paint Earth Cups!

Earth Cups

Our first Earth Cups painting party will be held on Monday May 30 from 10 am to Noon in the lower classroom at the Sedona Art Center. We are asking artists and painters to paint with glazes on bisque fired cups. Your personalized signed and painted cups will be "one of a kind" beautiful contributions to our event in August. There will be additional painting parties as more cups are produced in the future.







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Department of Energy Names Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition #2 in the Nation
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by One Planet Volunteer   
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 12:39

The 88 Clean Cities Coalitions nationwide are ranked each year by the U.S. Department of Energy based on the amount of petroleum fuel they displace within their markets. The Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition has always ranked as one of the leaders in the efforts of decreasing air pollution and in reducing the region's dependency on foreign oil. As number two, we are pushing to be number one in both of these extraordinary efforts that are currently under way in all regions.

This charge is being led by the Valley of the Sun major municipal fleets and local utilities. As a result of this outstanding performance, Arizona has been selected for roll out markets involving new fuel efficient infrastructure and clean vehicles.


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The Worst Disaster I Have Ever Seen
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Monday, 15 March 2010 12:00

Appalled by the amount of medical waste she witnessed in her medical career, humanitarian and social entrepreneur Lisa Hopper was compelled to make a difference.

To respond to the need for clinics, medical supplies and basic school supplies, Lisa began collecting supplies in her Tucson, Arizona garage in 1994. She moved the World Care operation to a school building in 2005 when World Care earned its non-profit corporate status in 1996. Since then, World Care has collected and redirected over 15 million pounds of resources valued at over $25 million dollars to aid in humanitarian efforts worldwide.

These efforts have been accomplished with less than 3 percent of annual funds going to administration, making World Care one of the most efficient non-profit organizations in the country.

Through Lisa Hopper’s leadership, World Care has provided relief efforts following many recent disasters:

§ the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York,

§ the December 26, 2004 tsunami in Thailand,

§ Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 in New Orleans, and

§ the January 12, 2009 earthquake in Haiti.

When Haiti was shattered by the January earthquake, Lisa opened the doors of World Care to accept food and other donations for the Haitian survivors. Within a month of the earthquake, a World Care team, with Lisa at the helm, traveled to Haiti to assess the distribution system of donations collected by World Care.

Lisa has experienced the world’s most recent catastrophic events during the 15 to 20 years she’s been working in forensics, and she observed that “Haiti is the worst disaster I have ever seen.”

World Care’s introduction to Haiti began seven years ago when the organization began working with local Haitian orphanages. “We have a real big heart for Haiti” and its people, noted Lisa.

One Planet magazine has been to World Care’s headquarters in Tucson and knows Lisa. Lisa sat down with us for a One Planet conversation and shared some of her poignant observations following her week-long trip to Haiti and on the heels of the earthquake in Chile.

Lost So Much

Lisa and World Care project manager Krista Kinnard, videographer Holly Romero and Elise Harper explored the streets of Port-au-Prince, gaining a glimpse of the magnitude of the devastation, where people “walked around in a daze.” Lisa said the people “lost so much and knew that whatever infrastructure they did have was completely destroyed and people continued to salvage whatever they could from what little they had” and tried to find their loved ones and pulled out bodies and skeletal remains to see if that person was one of their loved ones.

Lisa spoke with compassion as she recalled the experience. She reflected, “People were running up to us, saying, ‘Please, help us. Is there a way you can get the word out to help us get some tools in here so we can find the people we have lost.’ ”

Lisa has spent her entire career in medicine and she was devastated by the lack of medical care in Haiti. One example she shared was seeing a survivor who lost a hand in the earthquake and who received medical attention once but it was uncertain whether that individual would receive additional medical attention.

“There are thousands of these images in our heads where somebody lost a hand and they’re standing there with a bloody bandage.” Lisa said those who were injured like that may not get treated again because of the lack of infrastructure to support their medical needs.

“These are the things that we look at as organizations and say they need to have this continual infrastructure so we can help them build or provide infrastructure in the long term and we can infuse those people into these processes and into these systems that they can benefit from and manage themselves.”

“These are desperate people who need basic necessities in order to survive,” said Lisa, adding, It’s really important for governments, agencies and organizations to work together for the same goal to help the survivors.

One Planet publisher Annie Loyd and Lisa Hopper were both in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and witnessed the confusion and challenges by government entities in the United States, a fully-developed country. Annie posed the question: “How does a country like Haiti begin to re-build when they don’t even have a functioning government?”

Lisa responded, “When you don’t have a system in place, it’s much easier to infuse that system and then people begin to learn that that’s the system they need to work with. A lot of these systems are built with people who think it’s about them and it’s not. You have to stay focused on the reason you’re there and what you need to do in order to manage your task and that takes discipline. If you don’t have discipline and if you have private agendas, things are going to get off kilter.”

When the earthquake happened, we recognized very quickly the number of people who died and were going to continue to die because they don’t have the infrastructure to manage this type of disaster — it was definitely a call for World Care, the Tucson community, Arizona and the world to really embrace this so we can make some change there.”

Managing a Sustainable Supply Chain

The business of providing disaster relief is managing a sustainable supply chain that provides resources for days, decades and often generations particularly in the case of these recurring mega-disasters.

“It’s not just about the immediate disaster, it’s about how do we manage it to sustain a good supply chain in order to allow them to have those resources for a long period of time.

“Our job was to go in and make sure the supplies we collected, sorted and organized from donors in Arizona were being managed and distributed appropriately and that people were actually benefitting from what we had done here. You have to stay on task. You can’t let your emotions over-ride because it would almost paralyze anybody to look at what we look at through all these disasters because you have to get your job done — that’s our responsibility.

“It takes leadership and individuals who know how to organize things on the ground. It doesn’t matter if it’s in Asia, New Orleans, Africa, or Haiti. If you don’t have organization skills, it’s going to get botched up.”


Lisa believes our planet is experiencing bigger, more frequent mega-disasters.

“In our lifetime we’re seeing disasters we haven’t seen before. It’s because we do have a lot of assets and Mother Nature’s pissed! I think she’s really irritated about something. We have to look at the environment and how we’re treating this very earth we stand on.”

World Care’s Systems

Lisa is proud of the systems at World Care, which responds to million in need down the street, or 800 to 8,000 miles away.

“One of the things that World Care does right is follow the rules,” said Lisa. World Care knows how to manage and package resources and how to participate in complex, collaborative processes to get resources through the delivery system. “If you just shovel stuff in a container, that’s going to be a problem on the other end. A lot of people have this illusion that you hand someone a pair of socks one day or a bag of rice and it’s somewhere across the world the next day. It just doesn’t happen that way.”

This issue of One Planet focuses on relationships and empowerment. Lisa has devoted her life to relief causes around the world and in her own backyard, so we wondered: What relationship did she have that empowered her for the challenges associated with World Care?

When Lisa was 18 in 1980 when she joined the Women’s Army Corps, where she studied physics and radiological technology medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. She rose through the ranks and received and honorable discharge in 1984. In 2005 she became the honorary commander for the 355 Aerospace Medical Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for her leadership in the Tucson community. With that, you might assume that Lisa’s military training provided her with the discipline and systems to run an organization like World Care.

Not so. Lisa gives credit to her mother.

She said, “My mother raised me to have really great coping skills. She said, ‘Lisa, craps gonna happen and I want you to be able to handle things. You gotta suck it up and just do it.’ The military was pretty easy after I lived with my mother for 18 years,” said Lisa with a laugh. “She taught us responsibility.”

One Planet and World Care share a common principle: Those who have the capacity to help, must help. It’s not an elective. To have the capacity to help is a privilege.

Hopper reflected on her early days with World Care. She almost quit when no one would donate a pen or a piece of paper. Had she quit in those early days, World Care wouldn’t be here today.

“We can’t quit, we can’t stop,” said Lisa. “We’re not a perfect world so when we see a situation like Haiti, it’s an opportunity to rise to the occasion and make ourselves better and make them better.”

By Annie Loyd and Jodi Powers


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Clean Up the World
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Thursday, 25 September 2008 11:59

The Clean Up Story

Seventeen years ago a solo-yachtsman and builder had a simple idea to make a difference in his own backyard - Sydney Harbour.

In 1987, Ian Kiernan AO competed in the BOC Challenge solo yacht race and as he sailed around-the-world he was shocked by the pollution he continually encountered in areas such as the Sargasso Sea in the Caribbean. Having waited years to see the Sargasso's legendary long golden weeds, Ian's anticipation turned to anger and disappointment when he found them polluted and tangled with rubbish.


Ian recalled. "I can't overstate the disappointment I felt when I found this sea of magic and myth littered with rubbish from discarded thongs, plastic buckets and disposable nappies, to toothpaste tubes and plastic bags."

Once back in Sydney, Ian enlisted the help of friends and held Clean Up Sydney Harbour Day (1989) which motivated 40,000 volunteers to remove rusted car bodies, plastics of all kinds, glass bottles and cigarette butts from the harbour.

Ian and his committee believed that if a city could be mobilised to take action, then so could the whole nation. Almost 300,000 volunteers turned out on the first Clean Up Australia Day in 1990 and that involvement has steadily increased over the last 16 years.

The next step for Ian was to take the concept of Clean Up Australia Day to the rest of the world. After gaining the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Clean Up the World was launched in 1993. The uptake of Clean Up the World globally (an estimated 35million people in over 100 countries now participate each year) has demonstrated that this simple Australian idea has universal appeal and the health of the environment is of concern to people worldwide.

In 1998, Ian was awarded the prestigious United Nations Environment Programme Sasakawa Environment Prize. The honour was awarded for "mobilising tens of millions of people around the globe to take responsibility for their own environment." Ian has also been named a Global 500 Laureate while Clean Up the World's ability to bring communities and individuals together has been honoured by a Building World Citizenship Award from the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.


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U.S. Green Building Council's 2009 - 2013 Strategic Plan
Environment & Infrastructure
Written by {ga=Admin}   
Sunday, 14 September 2008 11:55

Dear USGBC Constituents:

It is with great pride and excitement that we would like to share with you U.S. Green Building Council's 2009 - 2013 Strategic Plan. The Plan was adopted by the USGBC board of directors at its July board meeting following a year long process that engaged our many stakeholders, constituency and leadership. The process was one of the most robust, comprehensive and inclusive that USGBC has ever undertaken in its 15-year history. The resulting Plan sets a path for USGBC's future that is both visionary in its goals and relevant to our leadership role in transforming the built environment. The Plan also includes a new guiding principle for USGBC, Foster Social Equity. The work of USGBC's Social Equity Task Force was integrated into the Plan's objectives under every goal area.

The Plan's strategic goals provide a set of priorities that will frame USGBC's direction in the coming years. Each goal intentionally addresses the priority issues that the USGBC must respond to and the role that USGBC should play in its response. The goals are:

Sustainable Cities and Communities: Catalyze and lead the building sector's active participation in the movement to achieve sustainable cities and communities.

Climate Change and Natural Resources: Lead the dramatic reduction and eventual elimination of building construction and operations' contribution to climate change and natural resource depletion.

Green Building Marketplace: Accelerate green building demand, delivery, and accessibility.

Public Policy: Advocate for effective and comprehensive green building policy and codes at all levels of government.

International: Advance green building around the world by developing certification capacity, sharing knowledge, and collaboratively advancing regionally appropriate and effective green building practices and policies.

Organizational Excellence: Leverage USGBC's organizational structure and capacity to support and catalyze the market transformation required to achieve its mission.

This Plan sets the stage for a new era in USGBC's role in creating a sustainable world for all. We would like to thank the Strategic Planning Committee that provided guidance and direct support to the process along with our excellent consultant team, Meridian Institute, and to all of you who participated in the process. You will find the entire Plan on our Web site. A webcast describing the Plan will be available in early October. Please take time to review the plan and work with us to achieve its objectives in the coming years.

Thank you for your commitment to USGBC and its mission, and our future.


Rebecca L. Flora S. Richard Fedrizzi

Co-Chair, Strategic Planning Committee CEO, President and Founding Chair,

Chair, USGBC Board of Directors USGBC

U.S. Green Building Council, 1800 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036


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Weave a 1,000 Flavors

Weave a Thousand Flavors
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