Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best deal in building to learn? $50 to spend a week in East Texas, working on an Earthship with Michael Reynolds and crew!

From Earthship Biotecture:
Earthship Texas: Special Intern Opportunity

Earthship Biotecture is announcing a new opportunity to learn alongside the Earthship Biotecture crew.
We will be building a new 2 bedroom Global Model Earthship halfway between Crockett and Lufkin, Texas.
Construction will commence near the end of October and continue for one month into November.
This is a chance to learn Earthship construction techniques like tire pounding, bottle wall construction, mud plaster while working from the ground up on a new Earthship.
Interns work alongside the Earthship Biotecture Crew led by Michael Reynolds.
We will accept 12 interns per week on a first come, first served basis.

There is a $100 scheduling fee ($50 is refundable upon your arrival at the site).

Earthship Texas Work Weeks
Week 1: October 26-30
Week 2: November 2-6
Week 3: November 9-13
Week 4: November 16-20

To sign up call us at 575-751-0462 or follow this link and fill out the form.

Organic shrimp farm thrives in West Texas

SASL member and student of permaculture, Joe Barfield pointed out a story that appeared in the fall edition of Edible Austin about Bart Reid's Permian Sea Organics which raises shrimp using saline aquifer water in Imperial Texas.

The Edible Austin article is an excerpt from "Growing Good Things to Eat in Texas-Profiles of Organic Farmers and Ranchers across the State" by Pamela Walker. In the excerpt she points out that the removal of aquaculture from the National Organics program almost ruined Permian Sea Organics.

In 2006 Granvil Tree of Texas A&M wrote an "Update on Inland Shrimp Farming in West Texas" about attempts to use saline aquifer water in West Texas dates back to 1972. He details the ups and downs of the attempt. Some shrimp was produced over the years but much money was lost.
In 2003 Carlo Guerra wrote "Farms producing Texas shrimp -- West Texas shrimp, that is" in the Express-News about Mr. Reid's shrimp operation. Mr. Reid notes that when people call him a pioneer he reminds them that people shot arrows at the pioneers.

It seems as though the Reid family at one time operated a restaurant in Imperial or Fort Stockton but I couldn't find any current references to it.

Thanks to Joe Barfield for pointing out this company.

Of course in San Antonio we still have available the most green factory grown shrimp imaginable from Shrimp Station who sells at the Pearl Farmers Market.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

What do you want a windmill for? This man changed lives with the ones he built.

Tierra y Cal announces 3 Compressed Earth Block Workshops for Oct & Nov 2009 (1 in San Antonio, 2 in San Miguel Allende)

2010 UPDATE: Link to 2010 workshop info

The folks at Tierra y Cal have three workshops planned. Two in October will take place in San Miguel de Allende. The November workshop will be in San Antonio at the AECT factory. If you attend be warned that Jim will convert you completely to faith in nopal juice, lime plaster and lime stabilized block.

November 5, 6 and 7 Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Construction, CEB machines and plaster in San Antonio Texas at Advanced Earthen Construction Technology:
Two earth building companies and their personnel are pooling their talents to bring you this class. From Texas, Lawrence Jetter and crew of Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies bring their knowledge of pressing machinery. From San Miguel de Allende, México, Jim Hallock, Mónica Healy and Jeff Rottler of Tierra y Cal, Proyectos Sustentables, bring their knowledge of lime stabilization in combination with compressed earth block construction. Students who persevere through all of the sessions through Q. and A. on Saturday afternoon will receive a Certificate of Completion. Class cost includes an Earth Block Construction manual.

8:00 - 8:15 - In the Classroom - Coffee and Introductions
8:15 - 11:45 - How to Build a Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Building - Foundation through Bond Beam. The partners of Tierra y Cal present the step-by-step sequence using the manual you will have received.
1:00 - 4:45 – Soil selection and block manufacturing with Lawrence Jetter and lime stabilization with TyC. You will have the opportunity to press and test some blocks (bring 5 gallons of your dirt if you wish), and help to operate a pressing machine.
8:00 - 11:45 – Hands-on construction of a small CEB building.The class will learn to build a wall to the speed lead and string and construct an arch using blocks pressed on the site. We’ll place door and window bucks and set in an electrical circuit with a few plug boxes as we build the wall.
1:15 - 4:45 – Construction continues.
8:00 – 11:45 – We are again at AECT’s facility with a focus on lime and clay plasters.
1:15 – 3:00 – Plaster continues.
3:00 – 4:45 – Q. and A.Certifi cates of Completion handed out.
Class limit: 35 students

Cost: $350.00 per person.

The class will close when filled. Please register early to preserve your place. The first payments to clear will be registered and the attendee notified. Please let us know by email that you are planning to attend and will be supplying the registration fee, as soon as you have made that decision. Thank you

October 22, 23, and 24, 2009 Mexican Vaults and Domes Workshop in San Miguel de Allende:

Do you want to know the characteristics of the blocks and to construct a dome or vault? Come to our theoretical-practical course in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico,"MEXICAN VAULTS AND DOMES WORKSHOP" October 22 - 24, Featured Presenter: Arq. Ramón Aguirre, (UNAM – Posgraduate in light covers and roofs, UNAM).

· Study the historical and cultural importance of the vault, as architectural knowledge passed through generations.
· Understand the convenience and beauty of this inexpensive technique · Realize the low environmental impact of this system Study and understand the structural value of the vault and dome
· Participate in the construction of a vault done with compressed earth blocks
· Construct your own vault in the future with this knowledge

How long is the workshop? 3 ½ DAYS Our goal is to present all the information we can about the modern method of constructing vaults with compressed earth blocks. We require your participation for three and one half days to complete the course. You will leave with new understanding of this local and traditional method of economic construction combined with knowledge and experience with Stabilized Compressed Earth Blocks…the truly environmental building material.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? $3,500.00 PESOS or $275.00 usd per Person and includes Lunches, Manuals and Construction equipment

Call now to: (0155) 22 22 25 49 or (045)55 1798 7131 or email: and reserve your place. We have special prices for groups of 3 people and more
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Tel
(415) 120 2162

October 29, 30 and 31, 2009 Compressed Earth Block (CEB) Construction, CEB machines and plaster in San Miquel de Allende.

This workshop is very similar to the one offered the next week in San Antonio. The cost in US dollars is $275 per person which in Mexico includes lunches. Call (0155)2222 25 49 (044 55) 1798 7131 Or email for more information, a brochure in pdf form or to make reservations.

Less than two weeks old and already "San Antonio Permaculture in Practice" has two great meetups planned

San Antonio's first certified Permaculturist, Dodrick Evans has established the SA Permaculture in Practice meetup group.

Already the group has two meetups planned.

On Thursday October 1, 2009 Doddi will lead a workshop on medicinal herbs.
Here's what he has to say about it:
Learn about the wealth of medicinal herbs that can be grown in local gardens at a 1 hour workshop taught by Doddi Evans.

The workshop will focus on the role of herbs and herbal medicine in preventing and treating disharmonies. "I'll discuss how to use garden plants for health and wellness, including how to make teas and other preparations from plants and weeds you'd find in many backyard gardens," says Doddi.
During the workshop, Doddi will discuss sources of medicinal plants, how to select plants, what plants do well in San Antonio gardens, and how to harvest herbs.

There will be a sign by our sponsor Permaliving with my name "doddi" on it.
To find the place and more details go to the SA Permaculture in Practice meetup site.

On Sunday October 18 at 12 pm the group is planning a field trip to an intentional community that practices permaculture.
The term Intentional Community is inclusively used for eco-villages, co-housing, residential land trusts, communes, student co-ops, urban housing cooperatives, alternative communities, and other projects where people strive together with a common vision.

We'll have a day visit to the Santuario Sisterfarm intentional community. This will be an awesome opportunity to see some permaculture in practice! Just remember, every permaculture site is different.

"Santuario Sisterfarm is a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by Latina women and Dominican Sisters and co-directed by Adrian Dominican Sisters Carol Coston, OP and Elise D. García, OP. Located in the Hill Country of south-central Texas and rooted in the rich multicultural legacy of the Borderlands, Santuario Sisterfarm is dedicated to inspiriting the work of transforming human relationships with Earth and among ourselves, from dominance to co-creative partnerships."

Please visit their website for more information:


I've visited several eco-villages and intentional communities around the world. Most that I've visited were composed of people from diverse social-economical, ethnic, professional, religious, and cultural backgrounds, who share the common goal of living sustainably.

In my opinion, "sustainable living" needs three functional elements:

Economic Sustainability - Micro-Industries (small business that can be established utilizing local resources and community member's skills, educations, professions, and talents).

Cultural Sustainability - Events and activities that address social needs of every member of the community.

Enviromental Sustainability - Use of rainwater catchment, solar and wind energy, organic gardening, and recycling etc.

Permaculture is often practiced by Intentional Communities because it's ethics and principles can easily be applied to address all of these needs.

During our visit to Santuario Sisterfarm, I recommend you to look for evidence of these three elements and assess their levels of functionality.

Santuario Sisterfarm requests a $10 per person donation for the tour of their permaculture site. So, please RSVP as soon as possible so we make car-pool arrangements and we may get a group package!

Dodrick Evans and Adhana McCarthy present the principles of permaculture at SASL August meeting

Dodrick Evans of has an ambitious series of workshops and presentations in the works. At the August San Antonio Sustainable Living meeting, he and Adhana McCarthy gave a presentation on the principles of permaculture. Their presentation was put on video by OrganicTexas.

On Wednesday September 30, Dodrick will give a presentation on Medicinal Herbs, Plants and Spices from 7 to 8 pm at Henry A. Guerra, Jr. Library, 7978 Military Dr. West, San Antonio, TX 78227

Learn how to save money and help the environment with information from is a partnership of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, VIA, SAWS, CPS, Drive Clean Across Texas and Alamo Tree Partnership.

On their site you will find information on ridesharing, alternative fuels, and the Walk and Roll program.

A Rocha (uh-RAW-sha) in Fredericksburg and elsewhere mobilizing Christians to care for creation through action and education

Pronounced (uh-Raw-sha meaning the Rock in Portuguese) and based in Fredericksburg, Texas, A Rocha USA is part of an international family of conservation organizations. They work to present to Christians the biblical basis for environmental stewardship and the scientific understanding of the causes and effects of environmental degradation and the best methods for correcting it.

Local communities in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obisbo, California, Boise, Idaho, Seattle and Lynden, Washington, Wilmore, Kentucky along with Fredericksburg, Texas take actions ranging from bird banding and trail repair to establishing community gardens as do A Rocha college chapters at Wheaton College, Asbury College, Grove City College, Westmont College, Grace College and Ohio State University.

Their education program has numerous downloadable fun and educational activities for kids including building a caterpillar habitat and a making a window ledge grow bag.

UTSA's Autonomous Control Engineering lab works on Energy Systems of Systems to integrate renewables into power grid

Every day it seems that progress is made in the production of some sort or renewable energy. But how can these energy sources be integrated into the power grid efficiently and effectively?

At UTSA the Autonomous Control Engineering lab or at least part of it is looking into it. At the Fredericksburg Renewable Energy Roundup a UTSA student representing the department explained how his work involved looking into making the conversion of DC power to AC power and back again for some appliances more efficient.

That is just part of a larger effort to build Energy System of Systems (SoSE) technology which would allow existing and new power sources to be integrated with improved performance and at a reduced cost.

SoSE grew out of Defense Department needs to coordinate and integrate a large number of diverse systems in an environment of uncertainty. In recent years this approach has been applied to complex systems that arise when various systems interact with one another. The complexity itself creates uncertainty which the engineers must deal with, but in many environments the systems themselves are subject to change which creates even more uncertainty.

UTSA professor and director of the Autonomous Control Engineering Center, Mo Jamshidi, Ph.D. is among the world's leading experts on SoSE. As we switch from a system in which our electrical energy came from a small number of roughly similar plants to a system that will include generators that harvest wind and solar power along with such seasonably variable sources as biomass energy the need for Systems of Systems Engineering will continue to grow.

UTSA intends to be at the center of SoSE developments.

Solar Tour this Saturday!

14th annual National Solar Tour to ramp up on October 3, 2009 highlighting new ways to save money on energy bills.

Part of the world's largest grassroots solar event, the 2009 National Solar Tour is coming to San Antonio through the efforts of Solar San Antonio and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES). More than 150,000 will attend the ASES National Solar Tour to learn how to slash monthly utility bills and go green. The general public is invited to attend open-house tours of solar powered and energy efficient homes in some 3,000 communities in 48 states across the U.S. Locally, Solar San Antonio is bringing together 10 homes and businesses in Bexar County to help educate people about the benefits of solar in their homes.

What: We invite you to join us and take self-guided tours to see how neighbors are using solar energy and energy efficiency to reduce their monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change - and how you can too! Meet San Antonio solar installers, get answers to your questions from homeowners, and learn what it means to go solar. What makes this event so powerful are the neighbor to neighbor discussions that can help you gain the insight needed to make smarter energy choices.

When: Saturday, October 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..

Please visit to download a tour map and brochure. We will also have these maps available at all tour locations.

FREE to all attendees.

Each tour stop will have additional exhibits and give-aways including:
• Free copies of the ASES's Get Started 2010 buyer's guide
• Electric vehicles from the Alamo City Electric Auto Association
• Information and CFL light bulbs from CPS Energy
• Natural Awakenings magazines
• Information on EchoTown's GetGreen cards
• EnviroBags from Clothesline Cleaners along with $10 FREE cleaning coupons
• Fans from San Antonio Water System
• Solar San Antonio t-shirts
• Plus more!

With solar costs 30-40% lower than just a year ago and incentives now covering 1/3 to 2/3 the costs, more families and businesses are going green to save money during tight economic times. Federal incentives have increased significantly. CPS Energy currently offers a solar rebate program and will begin its Solartricity Producer Program in January 2010. Now is an excellent time to go solar and the National Solar Tour is an easy way to get started. The ASES National Solar Tour features property-owners who open their doors to neighbors to share how they are using the latest solar & energy efficient technologies to drastically reduce monthly energy bills, reduce harmful carbon emissions, and enjoy tax credits and cash incentives as they improve their property values.

According to survey results from last year's National Solar Tour, 76% of participants said they are very likely to invest in solar or energy efficient technology after the Tour, compared to less than 50% before the Tour. A stunning 74% of participants indicated that they had never visited a solar or green-built home prior to this event. Last year's National Solar Tour attracted close to 140,000 people.

Solar San Antonio would like to thank the homeowners and businesses that made this tour possible! Installers who are participating in this year's tour include Novastar Energy, Ecowatt Design, Standard Renewable Energy, Solar Specialty Products, and Meridian Solar.

If you would like to volunteer at this year's tour we would love to hear from you. Please email or call our office at 210-354-0236.

For additional information on the 2009 National Solar Tour please visit us at and our other social media spaces:

Machine to produce wall length Compressed Earth Blocks in development by Earthco Building Systems of Ranger, Texas

As Larry Williamson sees it the problem with compressed earth blocks is that they are too small. They are so small that they have to be laid by hand. Laying by hand means hiring laborers and hiring laborers means liability. It also slows down the process of building.

So, several years ago he began working on a machine that would produce compressed earth blocks that would be large enough to place by machine, blocks so large that a single one could run the length of a wall. He received patent number 7311865 for a Block Ramming Machine on Christmas Day 2007. He has numerous other patents for his machine pending.

His prototype machine produces blocks that are 12 inches high, 18 inches thick with a length as long as you want. It takes 15 minutes to produce a block that is ten feet long. His next machine will produce two blocks in that time by putting otherwise idle hydraulic fluid to use in a second compression chamber.

Mr. Williamson, like Lawrence Jetter of AECT, is an advocate of placing unstablized blocks directly into walls and allowing them to cure within the wall, though his machine can also produce lime or portland stabilized blocks. By taking the blocks directly from the machine to their final resting places in the wall a structure can be dried-in extremely quickly. Placing a block takes one and a half minutes. Once it is placed, measurements can be taken to determine the length of the next block to be produced.

The machine extrudes compressed earth blocks in four inch increments. The blocks can be trimmed as needed. He says that when the blocks come out of the machine they are somewhat flexible like PVC pipe, but his lifting and carrying devices move them safely without damaging them and allow precise placement of the blocks which weigh well over a ton.

In developing his machine he has been assisted by students and staff from the Texas Tech Department of Engineering. He hopes that major manufacturers of earth moving equipment will license his designs and produce machines that can then be leased to builders. Since the walls can be created quickly, the heavy equipment is only needed a short time at each building site.

The machines were used to build an environmental center at Rio Blanco Girl Scout Camp in Crosbyton, Texas and Williamson is fielding inquiries from builders and non-profits interested in experimenting with his technology.

In the video below Larry Williamson demonstrates the machine and talks about uses for the blocks in highway construction.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Texas Chicken Tractors ready made in Burnett or in kit form for backyard chicken ranchers

With more and more people in San Antonio raising the three chickens (or more) allowed by law, more and more people need coops.

While it can be fun to build one yourself, Josh and Michelle Hudgins of Burnett, Texas are happy to build one for you. Alternatively they will sell you a coop in kit form.

Some of their coops are mobile, chicken tractor style coops. As the chicken tractor is moved about a property, the chickens do their business of insect control, tilling and fertilization one small spot at a time.

You can learn more about coops and mobile chicken coops at

September Meeting Announcement

Tuesday's topic at the San Antonio Sustainable Living monthly meeting will feature the latest information on electric tankless water heaters. Please join us at 7pm on the 29th to welcome Ron Kraemer, Sr. Vice President of Seisco International. When it's time to purchase that new or replacement water heater, there are many things to consider. What is the best fuel to use, solar, natural gas, or electricity? Which is the most efficient, and is that choice the best for the short term, long term, or both? Which is the more reliable? What, if anything can be done to combat all the suspended minerals? Please come to the meeting and ask these and other burning questions. Hope to see you there. To get some information in advance of the presentation,go to

Wind Turbines a popular item at 2009 Renewable Energy Roundup

In addition to the Honeywell home wind turbine a number of other innovative and improved wind turbines were on display at the 2009 Renewable Energy Roundup.

Joe Kaminski of Wilson Energy demonstrated Aquilo Power's vertical windmill.

Abundant Renewable Energy of Newberg, Oregon displayed their super strong power generating windmills.

The Energy Ball windmill from Home Energy Americas LLC, (a division of Sweden's Home Energy) and installed by Round Rock's Casa Bella Verde operates at very low wind speeds. Tests indicate that it's sound is not detectable above background noise. San Antonio company Southwest Clean Energy also sells and installs the Energy Ball.

Permeable concrete from Chino's Concrete on display at Renewable Energy Roundup 2009

Permeable concrete that allows water to pass through was on display at the 2009 Renewable Energy Roundup. Chino's Concrete of Austin put a slab of their concrete in a tank and poured water over it. A good portion of the water made its way through the concrete and into the lower portion of the tank.

The concrete has no re-bar and looks like a conglomeration of small balls of concrete.

When installing a permeable hardscape according to Brad Lancaster it needs to be installed so that it receives rainfall but not runoff, since runoff will contain matter that will eventually clog it up. So if it used for a sidewalk for instance it should be higher than the surrounding lawn.

Honeywell branded Windtronics home wind turbine displayed at Renewable Energy Roundup 2009 (Updated Dec 2010)

2009 Windtronics windmill
Some of us got our first look up close at the Windtronics home wind turbine that is being sold under the Honeywell name. Windbucks a Fredericksburg company that intends to become a certified installer had the turbine on display.

It looks like a giant bicycle wheel with small pieces of plastic to catch the wind and make it spin. There are some magnets mounted at the top of the white fender-like frame. As the wheel spins past the magnets electricity is produced.
A notice on the booth said that the installed cost for the turbine would be $5,200 after tax rebates.

Residential Wind Turbines can qualify for a tax credit of 30% (including labor and materials with no maximum.) Of course talk to a trusted tax adviser before you make any purchase based on an expected tax credit.

June 26 post on Honeywell turbine.


December 2010 update
This post continues to get lots of hits.  I've been meaning to do another one based on my conversations with the folks at Windbucks at the 2010 Renewable Roundup but since folks are still coming to this post I think I just zip out a few paragraphs here.

According to the guys at Windbucks, the white model was not ever made available for sale.  It didn't pass muster somehow.  

The 2010 Windtronics Windmill 
The new model (the black one) has passed muster though and Windbucks folks will do a turn key installation on it.

As best I can  tell it is a bit larger than the previous model.

I believe the specs on it are a bit different as are the suggested uses.  It is still able to generate power with a light breeze and it has the same basic design principles as the 2009 model but it seems stronger and more substantial in 2010. 

Folding electric Yike Bike travels at 6 miles at 12 mph

Here is a neat idea. The electric Yike Bike folds into a two foot by two foot space. (It takes 20 seconds or more to fold it.) It travels up to 6 miles at a maximum speed of 12 miles per hour and will cost 3,900 euros ($5700 USD) when in goes on sale in mid 2010. It can carry up to 220 pounds.

It won't be sold initially in the USA.

Here's a link to the YIKE BIKE YouTube Channel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sol Center presents: Caring for the Earth: the Edwards Aquifer

This course has already started and it is probably too late to attend but it sounded interesting so I wanted to include information on it on the chance that you may be able to catch the last three sessions. Call the SolCenter office (210-732-9920) to find out.

From their website:

In this class, we will explore our interconnectedness and interdependence with the natural world through two lenses: 1) New legal approaches and 2) The needs of the Edwards Aquifer. We will share moments of prayer, reflection, and discussion based on short readings. Each of the four sessions will explore a specific approach - regulation, property, precaution, and rights - and several strategies within each approach, considering ways each strategy might or might not help the Edwards Aquifer.

Participants should attend the films, Trouble the Water, on August 29, 6:30 p.m. and Hurricane Ike Documentary on September 13, 6:30 p.m. This course is for any interested person who wants to further his or her Earth literacy and is curious why the legal system is not better protecting the Earth: teachers, grant funders, religious leaders, policy makers, activists, attorneys, volunteers, and students.

About the instructor: Libby Comeaux, a Texas native and Colorado lawyer, recently spent a year in Miami and Orlando at the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, founded as part of the Great Work envisioned by the late Thomas Berry.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sol Center presents "Earth, Water, and Working for the Seventh Generation" October 6, 13, 20 & 27

The Sol Center, part of University Presbyterian Church located adjacent to Trinity University, is offering a unique examination of water issues entitled "Earth, Water, and Working for the Seventh Generation".

The presentations will take place from 7 to 9 pm each Tuesday in October. Tuition is $45 and the deadline for registration is September 29, 2009.

Presenters include Alyssa Burgin and Sisters Linda Gibler, Elise Garcia and Carol Coston and Dianne Monroe who will participate in a panel discussion for the October 6 session.

The second session, Water: Cosmic & Sacred Stories, on October 13 will be led by Sister Linda Gibler OP. She will trace the scientific and sacred stories of water from the Big Bang to today.

Alyssa Burgin will lead the October 20 session, "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink”, which will address the irony of water shortage in a time of rising seas which will "inundate coastal communities by the year 2100. Under the same sky, we will face a situation in which the Chihuahua Desert will expand farther eastward through West Texas."

Sister Elise Garcia, OP and Sister Carol Coston will give a presentation on about a nearby ecological model of living more lightly (using less water) on Earth, Santuario Sisterfarm .

Here is a link to registration. Call the SolCenter office (210-732-9920) if you have questions or concerns about your registration.

Search underway for new Headwaters Coalition director

The Headwaters Coalition, the group established by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word to protect the remaining parts of the headwaters of the San Antonio River on the grounds of theUniversity of the Incarnate Word, is in the process of finding a new director due to the departure of Lacey E. Halstead for a new position in Virginia.

Her departure comes soon after the completion of a Sanctuary Master Plan for the property.

(POSTPONED per CPS) CPS sponsors LiveGreenFest at Olmos Park, Saturday October 10, 2009 10 am to 4 pm

LiveGreenFest Postponed

CPS Energy has been forced to postpone the upcoming LiveGreenFest at Olmos Basin Park due to last weekend’s heavy rains and flooding as well as more rain in the forecast this week.

CPS Energy regrets having to postpone the event and will look for a future date to continue the tradition of offering a showcase of energy efficiency and conservation opportunities to help customers save energy and money.                      

The event had been planned for this coming Saturday, Oct. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Details of a rescheduled event will be distributed when they become available.

Original Post from CPS:
Do you consider yourself environmentally conscious? Maybe you ride the bus to save money and reduce air pollution. Maybe you're committed to recycling. Or, perhaps, you’re one of CPS Energy’s Windtricity® customers who believe renewable energies are a viable option to fossil fuels. If so, you’re making a difference. But what else can you do to achieve that full-fledged green status?

It's likely that you'll find some answers on Saturday, October 10, at CPS Energy’s LiveGreenFest in Olmos Basin Park, one of our community’s most centrally-located green spaces and a great environment for learning how to live green. You and thousands of your neighbors are invited to our annual day in the park to become part of the local green scene. At this year's LiveGreenFest, you can:

* Speak with dozens of businesses and organizations eager to offer tips on green building, energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, commuting solutions, alternative energy ideas and earth-friendly products.
* Pick up a free tree from CPS Energy (available on a first-come, first-serve basis)
* Get a free emissions test for your vehicle from AACOG.
* Bring your kids by the San Antonio Library's Scholastic School Bus that will be loaded with environmental information suited for them.
* Take advantage of a variety of green activities and crafts for the kids.
* Drop off used clothing and household goods to be recycled through Goodwill.

The event is free, so make it a full day in the park and also enjoy live music, food and drink.

Parking is available near the park (see map), or try Alamo Stadium and take a free shuttle bus to the event.

Workshop to build an entire Cob cottage near Bastrop from the ground up! October 21-29 near Bastrop

From Barefoot Builder:

Owner Builder Workshop
October 22 - 29 2009
Bastrop, TX (near Austin)

The 'Owner Builder' is the most in-depth workshop we offer. This workshop will be a hands-on building intensive and is designed to prepare you to build you own cob home.

This workshop will take place in a beautiful wooded setting next to a lake. You will learn all the basics of building with cob for anything from a small outbuilding to your entire house. In this workshop we will actually construct an entire cob cottage from the ground up!

You will have the chance to get hands on experience with every stage of cob building so you can go home with the confidence and skills to build your own house. We will cover foundations, walls, windows, doors, roofs, plasters, sculptural work, testing your cob mix, using a tractor to mix cob, passive solar design, rainwater collection, dealing with the building department, electricity, plumbing and more! This is an ideal workshop to take if you are considering building your own cob home or any fully enclosed building.

Workshop fee includes all vegan friendly, mostly organic, 'whole food' meals with raw chocolate served daily, from dinner October 21 to breakfast October 30, morning yoga classes and camping! An extension cord is available for your tent for $10.00 or your R.V. for $20.00. We offer some discounts for families and groups of 3 people or more.

Work exchange available for this workshop before the workshop and will take place on the Bastrop property. email or phone 619-454-4001

Instructors: Christina Ott & Craig Sommers
Teachers Assistant: Phyll Fanolla-Williams
Guest Teachers: TBA

This workshop can be paid for over the phone with a credit card.
Call Craig @ 619-454-4001.

Receive a 10% discount if you mention Design Build Live of Austin.

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center presents program on global warming, October 3 2009

On Saturday October 3 from 10 to 11 am, Audubon Texas director of conservation and education, Iliana Pena will present a program about climate change, its causes and effects and how you can make positive choices for our environment as a part of the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center's series of family oriented program.

Because space is limited, RSVP is required although the workshop is free. To register email the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center .

Visit Craig Sommers' Smithville Cob Cottage, Saturday October 10, 2009

From Austin's Design Build Live:
This is a great opportunity to see, touch and be inside of a local cob cottage. This home was built for Barefoot Builder co-founder Craig Sommers during their 2008 Owner-Builder workshop. During this site visit you will see:

◊ A two story cob cottage
◊ Passive solar design features
◊ Rainwater harvesting system
◊ Conversion to solar energy in process

Donation: $10 (children accompanied by an adult are free)

Registration required. To register, click HERE.

If you don’t already have a DBL account, you will be asked to create an account. Once you have created an account and are logged in, select “Current Events” from the “What would you like to do?” pull down menu.
Craig will also be hosting two workshops in the near future:
Cob Owner-Builder – October 22 – 29
Cob Oven – November 1
Visit the Barefoot Builder website for details.
The cottage is in Smithville which is southeast of Bastrop on the road to La Grange.

National Brownfields Conference, November 15 to 18 is a great reason to go to New Orleans

As the builders of the Alamodome learned when they had to deal with lead contaminated soil and as the developer of the former Big Tex vermiculite plant site which was contaminated by W R Grace Company learned, building on a site that has already been occupied can have its challenges.

The Brownfields 2009 conference Sunday November 15 through November 18th in New Orleans will address many of the issues associated with the redevelopment of abandoned, underutilized, and potentially contaminated properties in the nation.

The conference will include over 150 educational sessions, film screenings, a large exhibitors hall and more. Best of all registration is free.

PVC Duro Last roofing membrane flat roofs maintains 85% or greater reflectivity

The view from the Tower of the Americas reveals a huge number of flat roofs, mostly on commercial buildings. Since San Antonio does get rain, (except for during the Summer of 2009), flat roofs generally involve a lot of maintenance, a lot of tar and a lot of gravel. Being dark they also don't tend to reflect much of the sun's heat.

A completely white flat roof would be an advantage, and that is what is sold locally by Jaco-Roofing, whose slogan is "White=Green".

The Duro Last Cool Zone prefabricated flat roof white vinyl roof membrane system has a retained reflectivity of 85% or more after three years. The membrane consists of PVC resins, plasticizers, stabilizers, biocides, flame retardants and U.V. absorbents. By prefabricating the membrane under ideal factory conditions they are able to decrease field labor costs and increase quality.

Though the membrane is available in several colors. The white version is being promoted to counteract the urban heat island effect.

San Antonio "Going Green Awards", October 22, 2009 recognizes companies, programs and people who are making a difference

The San Antonio Business Journal is hosting the first annual "Going Green Awards" in San Antonio.

From the journal:
It's easy to think green. But doing green? That takes some planning, patience and some serious elbow grease.

For the first time ever, the San Antonio Business Journal presents the 2009 Going Green Awards, recognizing individuals, companies and programs making an effort to save our planet. Please joing us as we honor the winners on Thursday, October 22, 2009 at Pearl Stable located at 312 Pearl Pkwy Bldg #2. Registration will begin at 11:30 am following with the luncheon and program at noon.

The 2009 Going Green Awards are hosted by the San Antonio Business Journal and co-sponsored by Wittigs Office Interiors l Haworth, Greenstar and Jaco-Roofing. Presenting sponsors include: Sustainable Prespectives Group, USAA Real Estate Co., Holiday Inn San Antonio International Airport, Concord Property Corp., Four Seasons Sunrooms of Texas, Weston Solutions and M.O.T & Associates. Our Association Partners are AIA San Antonio, U.S. Green Building Council, Central Texas chapter and Build San Antonio Green.

Please make your reservations by Oct. 15th. For more information contact Dariela Trevino at (210) 477-0855 or via email.

Single tickets are $60.00