Newsletter             M_CAN     Sept-Oct 2008

Greenhouse Gas Reduction is the name of our game.

Table of Contents Links

Mark Your Calendar
October M-CAN Events
Our Mancos Days/Farmers Market Booths
4 Corners Recycling Initiative/Grant Update
4 Corners Recycling Initiative Sign
Home Energy Makeover and Expo Report

Green Team News
Desert Rock Update
Tri-State, Welcome to the 21st Century!
Climate Change Lesson for Sept-Oct

1st Annual M-CAN Celebration
CFLs and Mercury
Recycling Spotlight - Belt Salvage
Al Gore's Challenge
Sustainability TIPS

Mark Your Calendar

Saturday September 20, 10:30am at
Let It Grow Nursery and
Garden Market
Composting 101
by Shawn Collins

Saturday, October 4, 6:30 pm
at Cortez Rec Center
M-CAN Annual Celebration!
Local Foods Pot Luck, Costumes, Music,
Green Team Updates
Description in this newsletter.

Saturday, October 18, 7pm
at Empire Electirc
Air Quality, Energy, Climate Change
Presentation by
Patrick Cummins,
Air Quality Director of the
Western Regional Air Partnership

Wednesday, October 22, 6pm
at Empire Electric
Climate Change Update
Presentation by
Dr. Kristin Averyt, Scientist,
former Staff Member IPCC
(see writeup in this newsletter)

Stay Tuned for the visit of Sören Hermanson
of SamsØ,Norway. SamsØ is the town that accepted the government challenge to install renewable energy and adopt a sustainable, low carbon lifestyle.
Europe leads ‘green’ revolution at
Maybe late October or early September.

October M-CAN Events

October is going to be the month we have great opportunities to learn more about global warming and climate change. We're fortunate to have two very knowledgeable people visiting Montezuma County in October.

Patrick Cummins
Air Quality, Energy and Climate Change

On Saturday, October 18, M-CAN will sponsor a presentation by Patrick Cummins on "Air Quality, Energy and Climate Change" at Empire Electric, 7pm. Patrick is the Air Quality Program Director  for the Western Regional Air Partnership of the Western Governor's Assocation, representing the Governors of 19 States and 3 U.S. Flag Pacific Islands.

Dr. Kristin Averyt
"Climate Change Update"

On Wednesday, October 22, Dr Kristin Averyt will present a “Climate Change Update” at 7pm in Empire Electric’s Calvin Denton Room.

Again on Thursday, October 23, Dr. Averyt will speak in Durango at Fort Lewis College at 7 p.m. in 130 Noble Hall. Her talk will be one of the FLC Life-Long Learning Lecture Series.

This is an unparalleled opportunity for Four Corners residents to learn about climate change.

Dr. Averyt is currently a Research Scientist, Western Water Assessment, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado/NOAA. She is currently crunching climate data to determine the probable impact of climate change on the state of Colorado.  The report is due to Governor Ritter in early October.

Her immediate past position was Staff Scientist with Working Group I, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The IPCC and former president Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Working Group I focused on the physical science behind climate change.

Dr. Averyt’s visit is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Educational Fund, Oxfam America, The Durango Herald and Cortez Journal.  Her visit has also been facilitated by the League of Women Voters of both LaPlata and Montezuma Counties as well as Montezuma Climate Action Network and San Juan Citizens Alliance.

Our Mancos Days and Farmers Market Booths

Our Mancos Days booth was a success and a number of you participated by taking a several hour shift during the long weekend. Combined with our booth at the Mancos Farmers Market, we added substantially to our membership list and we hope those of you who signed up will enjoy our newsletter and alerts.

Four Corners Recycling Initiative - Grant Update

The following was contributed by Ashton Hargrave of the FCRI.   M-CAN collaborates with FCRI to publicize their recycling accomplishments. Look below for their sign including restrictions.

    Greetings MCAN Membership.  We received our order of 30-yard roll-off containers at the Montezuma County Landfill in mid-August and have placed some of them in their final locations.  Progress on the grant project is moving along on schedule and on budget.

    Public drop-off locations for corrugated cardboard, mixed papers, and mixed metals are located at the Dolores Public Lands Office, Mancos School Complex, and the Montezuma County Landfill.
     Since the last newletter, Stephanie Ogburn, the FCRI Education and Outreach Coordinator, has been very busy.  She created our logo and designed signs and stickers.  She has amassed a large collection of educational materials, organized all of our media advertising, and  been the public relations contact during the roll-out phase of our Recycling Initiative project. She appreciates any feedback on advertising you hear, or suggestions on additional education materials for schools.

     Now the ramp up phase begins.  In the coming weeks Stephanie will be in the public schools talking to the students.  She is also working very closely with a handful of  teachers on developing a learning curriculum.

    We expect to work out some of the operational kinks with the first loads.  Baker Sanitation, a grant partner, has been contracted to haul the bins to the Montezuma County Landfill as they fill. 

    We would like you all to participate!  The sustainability of our Initiative depends on our ability to recycle as much material as possible.  Signs on the bins show what you can and cannot recycle.  Please haul out any trash taken to the bins by accident.  In the future we hope to have trash cans available onsite. 

    Soon the FCRI steering committee will meet to discuss our progress.  We are a grass-roots organization and appreciate public feedback. Eric, Stephanie, and myself can be contacted through the MCAN Green Team.  Our website is up and running with new content and information for you to stay informed:

    -Ashton Hargrave

Home Energy Makeover Workshop and Expo Report

On Saturday, August 16, LaPlata Electric Coop and Empire Electric Coop organized a Home Energy Makeover Workshop at Fort Lewis College. As the name implies, the focus was on conservation, but renewable energy was also on the agenda. Co-sponsors included Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Colorado Rural Electric Association and Colorado Association of Municipal Utilities.

In addition to the many sponsor and vendor display booths there was a full day of presentations.

What is Netmetering ("grid tied")

If you want your own generation equipment (solar, wind, etc), you can either keep your equipment separate from the power companies' lines (so you flip a switch manually to select their power or yours) or you can have it connected (grid tied) so that any excess power you generate is sold back to the company and if you need more power than you can generate, they automatically supply it.

A grid tied connectiion to the companies' lines means you do not need a bank of batteries to store the electricity you generate but you will need the type of "inverter" that can automatically disconnect when there's a power outage on the lines. This automatic disconnection is for the safety of the linemen working on the outage. The power company will also install a special meter in place of your old one that can measure power going either way (to you or to them).

Grid tied may ultimately be the simplest arrangement because it operates automatically. However, in case of an outage on the grid, your equipment will not provide you power unless you buy the type of grid tied system which can operate  with batteries to provide power during line outages. The batteries add cost and maintenance to your system.

If you can't afford enough generating capacity to provide your power needs under all circumstances, selecting a grid tied arrangement will keep open the option of  automatically using grid power when you need it.

Netmetering Requirements

At the Home Energy Makeover Expo, Dan Harms of LPEA described their netmetering program and  the requirements that homeowners must meet to connect their power generation equipment to LPEA's lines.

If you do it, you will need to get an application from your coop and submit it as well as having your installation inspected before actually connecting. We suggest that you talk to your coop well before buying equipment. They can't be responsible for your equipment installation, but will be helpful in understanding the choices you will have to make and in anticipating and avoiding problems.

Other than paperwork, the primary requirement for a grid tied system is connection equipment that  is certified safe. The power companies' concern is primarily the safety of their linemen when working on lines with residential generation connected. Most residential equipment on the market is certified safe by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc (UL). Athough there are other certifying organizations, UL is the best known. Ask your coop what they will accept before buying.

Empire Electric's Time of Use Rate

Empire has a tri-fold brochure explaining their time-of-use rate offering. Here is a summary:

Your regular rate is 10.234¢ per KwHr with a $16.50 basic charge. Time-of-use only changes the rate. Off-Peak is 4.278¢ per KwHr and On-Peak is 17.2¢ per KwHr. The schedule is as follows:

Winter Sept 15 - May 14

On-Peak is Mon-Sat 6am-11am and 5pm-10pm.

Off-Peak is Mon-Sat (all day Sun) 11am-5pm and 10pm-6am.

Summer May 15 - Sept 14

On-Peak Mon-Fri 10am-10pm

Off-Peak Mon-Fri 10pm-10am & all day Sat and Sun.

For further information or to sign-up, call Empire Electric at 565-4444.

Off Peak Heating Solutions

To take full advantage of the Time-of-Use Rate you should be sure you can shift your primary electricity usage (heating for example) to the off peak hours. Without some assurance that your electricity use will primarily be during off-peak hours, you could spend more money for electricity than if you remained on the standard rate plan.

Among the Expo vendors showing there wares was Steffes Corporation (, manufacturers of electric heaters desgned to store heat during off peak hours for use in your home during peak rate hours.

The Steffes heaters contain massive stacks of ceramic heat storage bricks. These are not normal bricks (though they look similar) but are special bricks of proprietary material which are designed to absorb and keep large amounts of heat. They are capable of reaching very high temperatures which allows them to store a great deal of heat.

More about the Expo

The expo was coordinated with a Utility Efficiency Exchange for utility and government organizations held Friday, August 15. Only the Saturday event was open to the public.

Many of the presentations are on the websites; and

Green Team News

Carbon Footprint Reduction Team

Start your own club !

Would you like to start your own Low Carbon Club or become a club member? Our Green Team has been working hard to complete the final details for the clubs you've been hearing about for the past several months, and we're now ready to explain the program to you. Join us at M-CAN's annual event on October 4th for club details.
contacts: Sue Whitehead,                Roger and GLoria Woody

Community Food and Farms

Our five point initiative for Montezuma County at this time: 1) Farm/Ranch to School food program, 2) community gardens, 3)creating awareness of the availability and benefits of locally produced foods, 4) school programs including gardening and knowledge of local agriculture and 5) support for local farmers/ranchers to find markets close-to-home.

    Our specific concentration this summer is the pursuit of grant monies to fund a Community Food and Farms Project Director position to lead the implementation of the program outlined above.  Community members interested in furthering local production, processing, storage and consumption of locally grown foods are welcome to join the CFF Green Team.

Our aim - Relocalize Agriculture!!

Contacts: and

Renewable Energy

The RE Team has been attending EEA Board Meetings and presenting to EEA Board members various articles regarding renewable energy, M-CAN, etc.  

The RE Team wants to establishes a "Residential Renewable Energy Users Group" - yet to be named.  The group will hold its first meeting in November - time and place to be determined at the October 4 M-CAN meeting.  If you think you might be interested in exchanging this kind of information, come to the party and connect with the rest of us who also are.

The purpose of the user group includes the following:

  • Create a resource group of those interested in
  • installing solar, wind or other renewable power
  • solar hot or geo thermal heating
  • renewable power transportation
  • Share information on grants and rebates for residential users
  • Share technical installation questions, answers, tips
  • Share product and supplier information

The RE Team is spreading the word about Empire Electric's Green Energy Credits program using a flyer created by the team to explain the program's workings, cost and how to sign up.  Empire is charging 4/10 of a penny per kilowatt hour for renewable power.

Here are a few excerpts from the flyer:

"Beginning January 1, 2008, Empire's customers can buy a percentage of their power from renewable resources. The power you decide to upgrade to renewable with your purchase will be in addition to the renewable power mandated by the state."

"You decide what percentage of your average power you want to convert to Green Power and that amount will add a charge to your regular bill. (You select the % at signup, not month by month)."

Sign up by calling Empire Electric at 565-4444 and help incude our county's carbon footprint by driving the demand for more renewable power on the grid.


The fourth Saturdays have been scheduled at EEA's Calvin Denton Room. Movie Night starts soon!


The Recycling team is working on three inititatives;

  • a matrix/directory of recycling location by type of item
  • spreading the word about the Four Corners Recycling Initiative (see their article and sign in this newsletter)
  • working with the Cortez WalMart to expand its in-store plastic recycling program to an outside location convenient to local residents. 

We are ALWAYS looking for more volunteers and good ideas! Recycling Green Team questions or volunteers, contact Susan Thomas (
Desert Rock Update

After issuing the air quality permit for Desert Rock Energy Project on July 31, under intense public pressure EPA extended the protest period an additional 30 days to October 2.  San Juan Citizens Alliance joined other groups opposing the permit in filing suit against the Environmental Protection Agency, stating that it did not comply with provisions of the Clean Air Act in evaluating the impacts of the proposed power plant.  Dine Care, a grassroots environmental group that has been active in leading the campaign against Desert Rock, is now working to get resolutions supporting renewable energy development from each of the 110 Navajo Nation chapters.  To date, nine chapters have adopted resolutions advocating clean energy projects instead of coal-fired power sources like Desert Rock

Tri-State, Welcome to the 21st Century!

This article was written by Susan Thomas and first published in the September, 2008, Free Press on p28. It is reproduced here with their kind permission.

Recently Tri-State Generation & Transmission was the feature film at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, and it offered a fascinating show for those concerned with climate policy and electric power costs. Although the PUC can not regulate the rates Tri-State charges its members, every four years the G&T co-op is required to file a resource plan compliance report with the Commission detailing demand forecasts, resource assessments and reserves. This report was the topic of Tri-State’s hearing before the PUC on August 13. And, as Chairman Ron Binz reminded the co-op executives present, the PUC must give its approval to any new power plant that Tri-State wants to build in Colorado. The second largest electricity provider in the state, serving 14% of its residents, Tri-State has lagged far behind other providers in acknowledging that coal no longer is an environmentally acceptable source for power nor is it a prudent one financially. Both major presidential candidates say they will regulate carbon dioxide – probably through some kind of tax – and coal-fired power plants emit more CO2 than any other single source.

A recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a leader in U.S. energy research, found that Tri-State has the most carbon-intensive resource plan of 16 of the West’s leading utilities by a significant margin. Lawrence Berkeley also found that Tri-State was one of only four utilities that did not account for the likely financial risks from carbon-based regulations, and that its power source portfolios remain heavily oriented toward coal without carbon capture and storage, while renewables and energy efficiency amount to a very limited <10% of new generation. In fact, Tri-State is one of only three utilities that did not develop its final energy-efficiency targets through some assessment of cost-effectiveness. The G&T has not acknowledged the rising cost of coal in its resource planning, nor has it updated escalating construction estimates that are now two years old for its proposed power plant in southwestern Kansas. According to an analysis by Synapse Energy Economics, the cost of building a power plant has doubled since 2005, and now is close to $3,500 per kilowatt of capacity. The administration of Governor Kathleen Sebelius denied the required air quality permit for the Holcomb plan last year, yet Tri-State is still fighting in court to overturn the denial as it continues to plan around coal for its new power sources.

Over the past year the PUC has made it a mission to coax, push and insist that Tri-State start planning for the realities of climate change in our fast-changing world. Still a massive economic and policy challenge on the federal level, under the leadership of Governor Bill Ritter Colorado has taken the lead in defining and moving toward a new energy economy. Unlike Xcel, an investor owned utility traded (NYSE: XEL), Tri-State is owned and regulated by its 44 member rural electric cooperatives. With little or no oversight, individual ratepayers have found it hard to hold their wholesale power provider accountable for its resource plan decisions, even though ratepayers will be the ones to inherit the negative financial consequences in their rising electric power bills. As PUC Commissioner Matt Baker pointed out at the August 13 public hearing, much of Tri-State’s territory contains some of the best renewable energy resources in the country and other power producers are aggressively pursuing them. Saddled with an old-fashioned reliance on coal and its future regulatory costs, overlooking new opportunities for clean energy production and associated rural economic development in the form of wind and solar facilities, Tri-State may end up delivering ever-higher costs and lost opportunities to its members along with their electric power supply. Tri-State needs to step into the 21st century, for the benefit of the global environment and good of the rate-paying public, and re-invent itself as the rest of the world is doing these days.

Climate Change Lesson for Sept-Oct

In the July newsletter we talked about "Carbon Footprint" and left hanging what difference it makes that we have lots of CO2 and other "greenhouse gasses" in today's atmosphere.

Lets review a little then discuss the greenhouse effect.

The element that's common to all of earth's biology and a basic component of the most common and therefore most potent greenhouse gasses.

How much greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to an individual or to anything else like a country or a factory whose "carbon footprint" we're calculating. This can be "primary" (your car burned the gas) or "secondary" (you bought something and its manufacture or distribution caused the gas emissions). Tracking secondary emissions will keep the carbon accountants busy.

Greenhouse Gas?
  • The sun's energy reaches earth as visible, infra-red (IR) and ultra-violate (UV) light and the light heats whatever it hits (duh).

Now comes the less well known part.
  • Hot things cool off by radiating infra-red (IR) light. This takes a bunch of the "heat" back into outer space (somewhat like a reflection whose color has changed).

That's not the only way things cool off, but its an important one.

Here's the "greenhouse" trick part.
  • CO2, methane, etc, can pass visible and UV incoming light but absorb and are heated by IR light going both ways. The amount of these gasses in the atmosphere determines the amount of the IR that gets out vs the amount trapped as heat.

This means the earth and its atmosphere trap some of the sun's energy but lose some back into space.

The amount of energy (heat) trapped has kept the planet comfy or cold (ice age) due in large part to the rising or falling greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

But now the excess greenhouse gasses we're creating are building to levels that haven't existed on earth since back near the dinosaur's reign and beyond when the planet reached much higher temperatures (as much as 12C or 21F higher on average).

Heating something as large as our planet takes a while, and in spite of the tremendous amounts of extra energy being trapped, the temperature hasn't moved much yet (not quite 2F). Picture heating a cast iron frying pan to cooking temperature with a heat lamp.

How Long Do We Have?
The main scientific discussion now is how long before we lose the ability to affect whether the temperature rises to a level that makes life as we know it difficult or impossible.

Once in the atmosphere, CO2 lasts a long time. Additionally, the rising temperatures will eventually release huge stores of methane which is now trapped in the frozen arctic tundra and under the ocean floors as frozen methane hydrate. Methane is about 23 times as effective at trapping heat from IR light as CO2 is. Once this self-sustaining methane release feed-back loop gets rolling, we will have little if any ability to affect the outcome.

There are strong global hints in the expansion of deserts, melting glaciers, rising oceans, increasing scarcity of fresh water, reduced productivity of oceans and soils, movement of habitation zones toward the poles, etc, that we have a very short time to act... maybe as little as 10 years.


Join us for our
1st Annual M-CAN Celebration

Saturday, October 4th
6:30 - 8:30 PM

Cortez Recreation Center

  • Local Foods PotLuck (Bring your favorite local foods dish along with the recipe and we’ll create a recipe book.)
  • Live Music
  • Attire: “Green” Costumes if you like.These can be: the color green, made from recycled materials, or have a green theme.
  • Kermit recognition for community members exemplifying green living at home or in their workplace (See guidelines in this newsletter.)
  • Green Team Reports featuring the latest in local recycling and the introduction of Low Carbon Clubs

Come schmooze with your friends and meet new M-CAN supporters. Share green stories and carbon reduction tips. But most of all – let’s have fun and celebrate our accomplishments!!!

CFLs and Mercury

How much mercury in a CFL?
CFLs (and any fluorescent) have a small amount of mercury inside. Mercury is a well known neurotoxin. According to the EPA;
"CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 4 milligrams – about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury – an amount equal to the mercury in 125 CFLs".
"No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact (not broken) or in

Recently manufacturers have been reducing CFL mercury content to as little as 2mg.

CFL context, Our Mercury Problem
Also, according to the EPA;
"...the U.S. is responsible for the release of 104 metric tons of mercury emissions each year. Most of these emissions come from coal-fired electrical power. Mercury released into the air is the main way that mercury gets into water and bio-accumulates in fish. (Eating fish contaminated with mercury is the main way for humans to be exposed.)
Most mercury vapor inside fluorescent light bulbs  becomes bound to the inside of the light bulb as it is used. EPA estimates that the rest of the mercury within a CFL – about 11 percent – is released into air or water when it is
sent to a landfill, assuming the light bulb is broken. Therefore, if all 290 million CFLs sold in 2007 were sent to a
landfill (versus recycled, as a worst case) – they would add 0.13 metric tons, or 0.1 percent, to U.S. mercury
emissions caused by humans."

According to Mary Uhl of the New Mexico Environment Department Air Quality Bureau,
"In 1999, coal fired generators emitted 48 tons of mercury (approximately 37% of mercury emitted)."

CFL vs Incandescent re. Mercury
According to the EPA, the mercury emitted at a power station to light a 60watt incandescent 24 hours a day for most of a year (8000 hours) is 5.8mg (using national average emission figures) while that for a CFL of the same light output (including the mercury inside the bulb assuming it ends up broken in a landfill) is 1.6mg.

Recycling CFLs
There are a number of places to recycle unbroken but non-functional CFLs in Montezuma County. Empire Electric and the county are  cooperating with the following locations to collect CFLs for recycling by Veolia, a leader in recycling technology
  • Bright Ideas
  • Carharts
  • Choice Building Supply
  • City of Cortez
  • City of Montecello
  • Dolores Food Market
  • Dolores General Store
  • Empire Electric
  • Montezuma County
  • Monticello Mercantile
  • Slavens
  • Town of Mancos
  • Town of Dove Creek
  • Town of Dolores
  • Ute Mtn. Ute Tribe

What to do with a broken CFL
The info below is from the EPA website;

If you break a CFL, be careful how you go about cleaning it up and disposing of it. For instance, you should immediately open windows to get good ventilation.
What Never to Do with Mercury
  • Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean up mercury. The vacuum will put mercury into the air and increase exposure.
  • Never use a broom to clean up mercury. It will break the mercury into smaller droplets and spread them.
  • Never pour mercury down a drain.
  • Never wash clothing or other items that have come in direct contact with mercury in a washing machine, because mercury may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage. Clothing that has come into direct contact with mercury should be discarded. By "direct contact," we mean that mercury was (or has been) spilled directly on the clothing.
Before Clean-up: Air Out the Room
  • Have people and pets leave the room, and don't let anyone walk through the breakage area on their way out.
  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  • Shut off the central forced-air heating/air conditioning system

Clean-Up Steps for Hard Surfaces

  • Carefully scoop up glass pieces and powder using stiff paper or cardboard and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • Wipe the area clean with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place towels in the glass jar or plastic bag.
  • Do not use a vacuum or broom to clean up the broken bulb on hard surfaces.

Clean-up Steps for Carpeting or Rug

  • Carefully pick up glass fragments and place them in a glass jar with metal lid (such as a canning jar) or in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Use sticky tape, such as duct tape, to pick up any remaining small glass fragments and powder.
  • If vacuuming is needed after all visible materials are removed, vacuum the area where the bulb was broken.
  • Remove the vacuum bag (or empty and wipe the canister), and put the bag or vacuum debris in a sealed plastic bag.

Clean-up Steps for Clothing, Bedding and Other Soft Materials

  • If clothing or bedding materials come in direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from inside the bulb that may stick to the fabric, the clothing or bedding should be thrown away. Do not wash such clothing or bedding because mercury fragments in the clothing may contaminate the machine and/or pollute sewage.
  • You can, however, wash clothing or other materials that have been exposed to the mercury vapor from a broken CFL, such as the clothing you are wearing when you cleaned up the broken CFL, as long as that clothing has not come into direct contact with the materials from the broken bulb.
  • If shoes come into direct contact with broken glass or mercury-containing powder from the bulb, wipe them off with damp paper towels or disposable wet wipes. Place the towels or wipes in a glass jar or plastic bag for disposal.

For more details, see
Recycling Spotlight-

Belt Salvage

Located on 491 just south of the airport turnoff (road G), Belt Salvage will take almost anything metal, and sometimes pay you for it. One outstanding exception is fluorescent ballast. Also, propane bottles must be kept separate from your other metals.

Otherwise, they take anything metal from steel soup cans and aluminum drink cans to automobiles and appliances. When you take your household cans to them, you don't have to separate them into steel and aluminum, but will be paid more if you do. They can be crushed or not.

Refrigerators should first have their refrigerant removed for recycling by an appliance repair business or at the county landfill. The refrigerant is a greenhouse gas and should not be released into the atmosphere.

They are open 8-5 Monday thru Friday and 8-12 Saturday. They may be closed on some holidays.

Empire Electric

There are bins for household batteries as well as for CFLs at locations listed under the CFL article in this newsletter.

Al Gore's Challenge

"Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years."

"This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all Americans - in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen."

Earlier in his speech, Al Gore said that the "three seemingly intractable challenges" of our economic problems, our "energy tsunami" and the national security threat of the climate crisis have a common thread "deeply ironic in its simplicity: our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges"

He also said
"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet."
"Scientists have confirmed that enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world's energy needs for a full year. Tapping just a small portion of this solar energy could provide all of the electricity America uses."

"And enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand. Geothermal energy, similarly, is capable of providing enormous supplies of electricity for America."

Sustainability TIPS

Take your own shopping bags everywhere (keep some in the car)
Buy natural fiber clothes

Avoid styrofoam and 

Reuse your packing materials and

Recycle your packing materials by donating them to your local shipping store.

Use refillable water bottles. Install a water filter at home if necessary and avoid commercial bottled water.

Buy LCD TVs instead of plasma - they use less power

Use low VOC paints and other less hazardous products

Avoid printing something you can read on screen

Send Us Your Tips
Email to
with the subject "Tips".