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Education, learning, schools, colleges

Are You All Natural?

All Natural ?

Fairtrade, 100% Organic, All Natural, Salmon Safe, CSA Sustainable Forest Management. All of those sound great and are the sort of labels that many of us look for on the food and other products we buy. But, what do all of those labels REALLY mean? Food labeled USDA Organic is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. On the other hand, a, 'All Natural' label doesn't mean much at all.

Conservation Parks - No Swingset Needed

Owen Conservation Park, Madison, WI - Bumble Bees

After our tour of National Parks last fall it's good to be reminded that good things come in small packages. We visited friends and relatives in Madison, Wisconsin and among all the usual vacation fun we checked out a local conservation park. Throughout Madison are 14 conservation parks, totaling over 1600 acres, dedicated to preserving native plant and animal life in the metro area. Our 8 year old guide showed us there was plenty of fun to be had, even without a swingset.

Here are a few images from the Owen Conservation Park in Madison, WI.

Screw Earth Day?

Earth Day - I'm with stupid

What does Earth Day mean to you? Is it a call to action, urging each of us to respect and protect our planet? Or, is it just another marketing ploy, seducing us into buying another 'recyclable' gizmo? Some folks have grown so jaded by the commercialization of Earth Day (sound like another holiday to you?) that they are saying Screw Earth Day! Scientists and environmentalists have been ringing the alarm bells so loud and long that deafness has become an occupational hazard.

Good Book, Bad Cover

Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air, book cover

Don't judge a book by it's cover, especially when the cover is this bad. Fortunately the book 'Sustainable Energy - without the hot air' by David JC MacKay is a much better book than its wrapping suggests. Professor McKay makes a case for, of all things, a fact and number-based energy policy. The idea that rational decision-making should drive energy policy shouldn't be a radical idea, but strangely enough it is.

Foreclosing on the Wasps

Wasp Nest, foreclosed

No, this has nothing to do with sub-prime mortgages or the bank meltdown. This is about some very surly 'social' insects. I discovered wasps in our compost bin this summer. Or, more accurately, the wasps notified us that they had moved in. After my wife and I were each stung in two days I found a wasp nest in the compost bin. Given their anti-social nature and their new residence in the compost bin I couldn't use toxic insecticides. So I did some research.

Is "Regular Clean" Clean Enough for your Family?

'Clean Coal' harnesses the awesome power of the word clean!

Get Clean Coal clean! by the Coen brothers

Southwestern Power and Coal News:

Powerful Thirst - Future of Water in the Southwest

Rio Grande near Albuquerque, NM at Sunrise

The local newspaper recently ran an article headlined 'Water experts: Southern N.M. has ample supply'. That headline is grossly misleading and is contradicted twice within the first 4 sentences of the article.

You Say You Want a Revolution

Revolution 45rpm label

Are you ready for a transition away from fossil fuels? Are you or your town ready to live sustainably? What do local resilience, powerdown, and permaculture mean? There is a revolution afoot and it is called the Transition Town movement. The Transition Town movement is helping villages, towns, and cities like Santa Fe prepare themselves for a future without fossil fuels.

Pinheads Unite!

Telemark Trak by Dirk Groeger

What: Tony Forrest Telemark Workshop
When: January 31 and Feb 1, 2009
Where: Ski Santa Fe

This amazing Telemark Workshop is now in its 22nd year. We hope you will come and join Tony Forrest and a host of other fantastic instructors to learn the latest in telemark technique. New tele skiers are welcome, however the workshop is not for someone who has never skied downhill (alpine or tele) before.

The Tony Forrest Telemark Workshop includes four hours of lessons each day.
Class: Saturday and Sunday, January 31 and Feb 1, 2009
Time: 10 am - 3pm

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