February 23, 2017
Topic to be announced.
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Two housing developments are going up in Central Texas. One is urban the other is agrarian, yet they both share a common theme: SUSTAINABILITY. In downtown Austin the new development is called Fourth&, while the other is called the Elgin Agrarian Community in the rural town of Elgin, Texas east of Austin. Our guests in the KOOP studio discussed these exciting new living spaces.
Scott Sproat is the Marketing Manager for Capsa Ventures, the sustainable developer of Fourth& which is a brand new solar condo community in East Austin. They are all part of a 4-Star Austin Energy Green Building offering solar panels for every residence, LED lighting, variable speed A/C units, pre-insulated steel framing, LED lighting, all set on a concrete structure. Their mission is to change the way Austin is built.
Sean Garretson is the President of Pegasus, the sustainable developer of the Elgin Agrarian Community (or EACo), a 23-acre sustainable, mixed use community featuring 80 cottage-style homes built around a community-supported farm and commercial spaces. Elgin Agrarian is built around the idea that to be truly sustainability as a society, we must create smarter communities that are more connected to their food systems.
Both projects are part of a global movement among developers to create communities that are increasingly more self-sustaining and resilient.
The City of Austin, Texas has a goal of reaching zero waste by 2040. Clothing recycling and reuse is an important part of the equation if we are going to meet our goal. The City of Austin recently signed a contract with a for-profit company called Simple Recycling to provide curb-side pickup of clothing from residences. Several local non-profits such as Salvation Army and Goodwill have criticized the plan indicating it would take away from their programs to received donated clothing from Austin citizens. We had both sides represented on the show this week:
Adam Winfield is President and Founder of Simple Recycling. With a focus on offering simplicity and convenience, Adam created Simple Recycling to dramatically reduce the significant waste stream of clothing, shoes and reusable home goods clogging our nation’s landfills. As the largest and fastest growing curbside clothing collection company in the country, Simple Recycling is highest impact environmental initiative a city can implement for no cost and will no operational requirements.
Traci Berry, Sr. VP of Community Engagement and Education at Goodwill in Austin, Texas. Goodwill has been accepting clothing for recycling, reuse, and repurposing in Austin for almost 60 years. Goodwill is concerned that the new curbside recycling plan will reduce donation to its organization and other non-profits in Austin and possibly reducing jobs and local flow of funds.
Can the for-profit and non-profits co-exsist and increase clothing recycling in Austin? Listen to our Shades of Green Podcast to find out.
Stacy Savage, Janis Bookout, Brandi Clark Burton, Amy Stansbury, Traci Berry, John Hoffner
How did 350.org come to Austin? Our Guests Bobbie and Gil give us the breakdown:
An exploratory meeting held in our living room on October 11, 2016 was attended by about 40 people concerned about climate change who were interested in starting a local affiliate of 350.org. We became an official affiliate in November 2016. We have had several events since our launch (e.g., Austin Stands with Standing Rock, a Holiday Event and our first Open Meeting), the big event on February 9 2017 is our official Kick Off. Our guest on Shades of Green were:
Bobbie Tsukahara: (soo-ka-hara)
Clinical psychologist and co-founder of 350 Austin with husband, Gil Starkey. I made the decision to retire from my practice in order to devote myself full time to launching 350 Austin and to fighting against climate change.
Co-founder of 350 Austin and am committed to bringing the principles, goals, and strategies of 350.org to Austin in the fight against climate change here at Ground Zero of the fossil fuel industry.
Member of the 350 Austin founding organizing team, became active in 2014 with Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal team’s effort to retire the Fayette coal power plant, Co-Chair of the Wildflower [Unitarian-Universalist] Church’s climate action team, and also active with Sierra Club’s Environmental Justice team.
Member of the Core Team of 350 Austin, active in ATX Environmental Justice group of the Sierra Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and the Austin Climate Alliance as well as members of almost every other organization fighting global warming.
Travis County has some of the best parks in Texas and the staff is proud to tell you about them. They also have implemented highly innovative environmental initiatives including a cool recycling program. Often on Shades of Green, we are talking about the City of Austin, so in this episode we give some love to our Travis County friends to discuss their initiatives.
Our guests were:
Shaun Auckland – Senior Conservation Coordinator with Travis County.
Timothy Speyrer – East District Park Manager at Travis County Parks
Tim Speyrer, Shaun Auckland, Amy Stansbury, Janis Bookout, Stacy Savage, John Hoffner
On this week’s show we covered new innovations in recycling. We had some of the City of Austin’s Design, Technology, and Innovation Fellows in the studio to talk about new research they’ve been conducting, looking at how people in Austin, Texas view recycling.
The research study involved meeting people in their homes. Austin residents took researchers on a tour of their home recycling systems, pointing out what was easy or challenging. The interviews were documented with notes, photos, and video recordings. The collection of these stories and observations form the foundation of the research conclusions and will guide the development of service recommendations
The idea is that this new research will help the City of Austin develop more efficient recycling programs in order to reach its zero waste goals.
In Photo: Ron Neumond, Celine Thibault, Emlea Chanslor, Katherine Duong
Austin has a plan for 100,000 electric vehicles on the roadways. Shades of Green guests discussed the future of electric vehicles and the push to bring these large numbers to Austin in the near future. We were joined by Joep Meijer of Climate Buddies and Karl Popham with Austin Energy. Brandi Clark Burton and Janis Bookout joined in from the Austin Earth Day team.
Shown in the Photo: Reed Sternberg, Amy Stansbury, Karl Popham, Brandi Clark Burton, John Hoffner, Joep Meijer
Shades of Green hosts shared their 2017 Green New Year’s resolutions and reflected on resolutions from 2016. Did they make their resolutions stick? We also heard from listeners and what their Green resolutions for 2017.
Shades of Green Hosts:
John Hoffner, Amy Stansbury, Stacy Savage, Reed Sternberg
Shades of Green covered many important environmental and political issues during the year 2016. Listen to a highlights from our shows – we covered the important transportation issues facing Austin, our we had local forums leading up to the local City Council elections. Two major highlights of 2016 were that KOOP radio went solar. Our volunteers completed and started up our 6 kilowatt solar power system that covers about 50 % of our electrical needs. KOOP is now “Solar for People, Not for Profit”. And, on November 8, 2016 Shades of Green turned 10 years old! We have been on the air since 2006. This is a major milestone. Listen to the recap of 2016 and these important events on our Podcast:
On Part 2 of the Hoffner Family Holiday show we featured James Hoffner, a long time advocate for cooperatives (including KOOP radio, Seven Bridges Cooperative, Black Star, and others), spoke about organic coffee, home brewing products, and his latest initiative – a craft beer start-up in Santa Cruz, California call Corralitos Brewing Co.
This year on the Hoffner Family Holiday show Part 1 we featured the Green Team at Hill Elementary School with guests Kate Hoffner and Katie Holguin. They are both talented elementary school teachers that are implementing innovative green initiatives to make their school the greenest in the City of Austin. The green initiatives are collaborative efforts that include students, teachers, parents and staff. The Hill Green Team was recognized by Mayor Adler’s office for its successes in 2016 for increasing recycling and reducing the school’s carbon footprint.