Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Emphasis on Weatherization Represents Shift on Energy Costs

Did you know that spiderwebs around intrusions in your basement ceiling may indicate an energy leak? I didn't.

Read on in today's New York Times for more on the topic of the season: WEATHERIZATION.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Passive Houses

New York Times: No Furnaces but Heat Aplenty in 'Passive Houses'

Innovative homes pioneered in Germany are encased in such an airtight shell that barely any heat escapes.

For more information on passive houses in the U.S. Click on PHIUS.

Learn more about similar design principles in Alaska at the Cold Climate Housing Research Center

Monday, November 17, 2008

Juneau Non-Motorized Transportation Plan Update

Hey Walkers and Bikers!

The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan is all about you!


The current plan was completed in 1997 and needs updating to reflect today’s conditions and priorities for biking and pedestrian routes. The purpose of this plan is to provide safe and efficient links between community destinations and to encourage the community to choose active forms of transportation.

What you can do....

Come to a public meeting in your neighborhood!

Five public meetings will be held between December 1st and December 15th, 2008. Each meeting will focus on a specific Juneau sub-area as well as area-wide commuting routes. At each meeting, we will discuss current non-motorized routes, review recommendations from existing plans, and ask residents about walking and biking destinations, missing links, safety concerns and other obstacles along the routes.

Mendenhall Valley to Echo Cove area – Monday December 1, 2008
Floyd Dryden Middle School Library, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Douglas Island – Wednesday December 3, 2008
Douglas Library, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Downtown and Thane Road – Wednesday December 10, 2008
CBJ Assembly Chambers, 155 S. Seward St, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm
Mendenhall Valley to Echo Cove area – Saturday December 13, 2008
Mendenhall Mall, Mendenhall Library, 1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Twin Lakes and Lemon Creek area – Monday December 15, 2008
Dzantik’l Heeni Middle School Library, 6:30 pm-8:30 pm

COMMENTS and Planning Schedule
After the meetings during the first part of this coming December, comments will be accepted by the public through DECEMBER 31. A draft of the plan will be completed and available for public review in February 2009.

The final plan is set to be completed for adoption by the CBJ Assembly by April 2009.

Contact Information
If you have questions, comments or wish to be added to a project contact list, please call ZoĆ« Morrison at Sheinberg Associates at 586-3141 or zmorrison@gci.net. For more information, go to www.juneau.org/parkrec and click on the link under ‘plan updates’ or download the current Non-Motorized Transportation Plan.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


An Energy Plan for Alaska without Oil:

The Technology. The Possibilities. The Plan


This easy to understand presentation will show the possibilities for Alaska and the rest of the United States to get off our oil addiction by using alternative energy. History, practical applications of alternative energy, and basics for a plan in Alaska that can be implemented and completed within ten years.

Presentation includes pictures, diagrams and demonstrations.

Egan Lecture Hall, University of Alaska Southeast Campus

Want to Know What's Going on in Your Local Government?

Check out the new blog, http://assemblydiary.blogspot.com/. A great way to keep track of what's happening at City Hall!

Host and Assembly Member Jonathan Anderson writes:
"Juneau citizens sometimes feel they are not informed about what goes on in the Borough. While some information gets into the news, a lot does not. To partially meet this need I have been keeping a Assembly Diary/Blog which will try to note the various issues I am aware of happening. It won't get everything, but I think you will find it useful to track."
Thanks, Jonathan!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Celebrate National Public Lands Day Saturday, Sept. 27

One of every three acres of land in the U.S. – 600 million acres in all – belongs to each and every one of us. These lands represent the country’s special, one-of-a-kind natural resources – the national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges, coastal preserves, forests, grasslands, marine sanctuaries, lakes and reservoirs that all of us use to hike, bike, climb, swim, explore, picnic, or just simply relax.

Every September, Americans by the thousands come out for a day-long, coast-to-coast effort to preserve and improve the lands they love as part of National Public Lands Day. The volunteers build trails and bridges, plant trees, clear brush, and remove trash. This year, Juneau will be cleaning and trail building at Mendenhall Glacier to join in the preservation of our nation’s public lands on Saturday, September, 27.

There are a few features that will distinguish National Public Lands Day 2008 from previous years. This year National Public Lands Day will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Famous for planting over 3 billion trees in the 1930’s, the Civilian Conservation Corps played a leading role in restoring America’s deteriorating forests. Their legacy continues as the newest generation of conservationists work to plant one million trees in the weeks leading up to National Public Lands Day.

This country-wide effort is coordinated by the National Environmental Education Foundation. Chartered by Congress in 1990, the National Environmental Education Foundation is a private nonprofit (401c3) organization that develops and supports environmental learning programs to meet social goals.

More information about this event and it’s history, along with a list of sites across the country can be found at National Public Lands Day. Get involved by lending a hand to America’s lands, specifically the Mendenhall Glacier area. Please contact SAGA to get involved in this special day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Farmers' Market Survey

Did you attend or participate in the Juneau Farmers' Market and Food Festival on August 30?

Well, we're looking for your feedback on this event!

Please complete this short SURVEY and tell us how we can make it an even better event next year!

PHOTO: Produce from Rick Bellagh's garden on Shelter Island on display at the
Juneau Farmers' Market and Food Festival

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Juneau's Farmers' Market and Food Festival-- A Success!

Thank you to the following businesses and agencies whose generosity helped make this event possible for the community:
Juneau Arts and Humanities Council
Don Kurilec - Graphic Artist
Cooperative Extension Service
Capital City Weekly
Heritage Coffee
AK Dept. of Fish & Game
City & Borough of Juneau

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


THIS SATURDAY-- 9am to 2pm


Admission is free!

Buy locally grown and produced seafood, baked goods, vegetables, preserves and more!

Farmer's Market/Food Festival
Juneau Arts & Culture Center Gallery
Presentation Schedule
In the JACC Conference Room:
9:00am - 9:30am How to Grow & Process Garlic in SE Alaska
9:30am -10:00am Backyard Greenhouse Construction & Operation
10:00am-10:30am Making Cheese
10:30am-11:00am Creating Flavored Vinegars
11:00am -11:30am BREAK
11:30am - 12 noon Wild Edible Medicinal Plants
12:00noon-12:30pm Raising Chickens for Eggs
12:30pm - 1:00pm Free Local Resources for Gardeners
1:00pm - 1:30pm Composting
Under the Outdoor Tent:
11:00am-12 noon You Caught the Fish, Now What?!
Fillet Demonstration and Tips on Smoking Fish

For more information, please contact 586-ARTS or sustainablejuneau@gmail.com
See you there!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Environmental Cost of Transporting Food

This article on the environmental impact of globalized food appeared in the New York Times earlier this year, but bears another read in light of the rising costs of bringing food to our table.

To learn how to eat closer to home, come to the
Juneau Farmers' Market on August 30!

See a demonstration by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on how to clean and preserve deer and fish. ADF&G will be cleaning a deer and filleting fish in a tent outside the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Inside the building, you can enjoy browsing the booths of produce, seafood, and baked goods for sale!

Friday, August 8, 2008

From Grist: How to Green your Grocery List

Keeping with the theme of promoting greater food sustainability, Grist offers some suggestions on how to choose healthier and greener at the grocery store. Check out:

How To Green your Grocery List

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Sitka Public Markets this Month

Seems everyone is getting into the Farmers Market swing!

Check out the three market events scheduled in Sitka this month, by visiting:

Sitka Farmers Markets

Featuring Locally Grown Produce, Fresh and Frozen Seafood, Food Vendors, Roasted Coffee, Kids Activities, Crafts, Entertainment and More!

Photo courtesy of http://roadmarx.wordpress.com/2007/01/24/heads-up/

Friday, August 1, 2008

POLL: Should the Juneau Farmers Market Include Produce from Around the State?

No doubt you've noticed the particularly cold, wet, dreary summer we've been having. Recognizing too, that starting a farmers market tradition takes time to catch hold, we have a question for you:

Should we open up the market to produce from other communities around Alaska?

Post your response here!

Either way, the Farmers Market is shaping up to be a great event, so don't miss it! Remember to save Saturday August 30th.

Offerings will include:

Individuals selling locally grown and harvested foods and products
Local Businesses showcasing their locally produced foods and garden products
Non-Profits Organizations offering garden products and baked goods with local fruits
Door Prizes
Informational tables on gardening and harvesting resources

Presentations and Demonstrations!
Backyard Greenhouse Construction (Art Chance)
Local Edible and Medicinal Plants (Carol Biggs)
Dressing Wild Fish and Game (Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game)
Local Resources for Gardeners (Ed Buyarski)
Edible Bulbs: Growing Garlic and Onions (Joe Orsi)
How to Make Your own Cheese (Missy McMillan)
Using Flowers for Vinegar Flavoring (Sonja Koukel, UAF Cooperative Extension Service)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Our Neighbors in Sustainability

Juneau isn't the only Alaska community striving to become more sustainable. Grass roots efforts are underway in several other cities, including Kodiak, Homer, Sitka and Haines.

Check out these links to learn more:



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

July 14: Assembly approves Sustainability Fund


"The CBJ Assembly has approved the creation of a fund within the CBJ general fund to receive donations earmarked for energy savings projects. Private donations would initially stock the Sustainability Fund.

"At Monday night's Assembly meeting Mayor Bruce Botelho said that amount could be between $500,000 and $1 million dollars depending on the number of participants. The fund would be used as a source of capitol for energy conservation devices and projects that the city manager forwards to the Assembly for consideration. The money that's saved would be deposited back into the fund to replenish it along with the private funding sources. Private donations would initially stock the Sustainability Fund.

"At last night's meeting Finance Committee Chair David Stone said several private companies have expressed interest in contributing to the fund but he was not at liberty to identify them. However, last night, Kirby Day of Princess Cruises spoke in support of the fund."

Monday, July 7, 2008

Energy Efficiency Can Pay for Itself

Alaska Housing Finance Corporation has $100 million set aside for energy rebates to help homeowners of all incomes make their homes more energy efficient. Another $200 million has been set aside to provide weatherization assistance to low and moderate income renters and homeowners. See article in today's Anchorage Daily News.

For more information on how to take advantage of these programs that will help you save on energy costs, go to AHFC.

Image courtesy of All Cape Insulation, MA

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Home Depot will collect CFLs for recycling

Today in Grist:

"Home Depot announced Tuesday that it will collect compact fluorescent light bulbs and send them off to be recycled. The home-improvement behemoth hopes the new program will keep the bulbs, which contain a small amount of mercury, out of household trash and recycling bins. IKEA also collects CFLs for recycling but doesn't have the market saturation of Home Depot; more than three-quarters of U.S. households are estimated to be within 10 miles of a Home Depot store. The company's 1,973 U.S. stores will also switch to CFLs in light-fixture showrooms by the fall, a move expected to save it $16 million annually in energy costs."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TerraPass Carbon Offsets

The first step you can take to fight global warming is to reduce your carbon footprint through conservation. Drive less. Turn down the thermostat. Buy locally produced goods.

Then use TerraPass to balance the emissions you can't reduce. When you buy a TerraPass, your money funds clean energy and efficiency projects such as wind farms. These projects result in verified reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Monday, June 16, 2008

JCOS comments on the Parking Garage/Transit Center Project

The Juneau Commission on Sustainability outlines eight sustainability challenges for this project and offers solutions to meet those challenges. Click here to see the Commission's comments.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Draft 2008 Capital Transit Development Plan Open House June 16

On Monday June 16, from 5-8pm, an Open House presentation on the draft Transit Plan will be held at Centennial Hall.
Come learn about what is planned to improve public transportation in Juneau!
For more information, see the CBJ Transit Plan website.

Eating Alaska

Sitka Film Maker Ellen Frankenstein is putting the finishing touches on a fascinating new film, Eating Alaska.

Eating Alaska is a serious and humorous film in progress about connecting to where you live and eating locally. It is about trying to break away from the industrial food system when that means not only buying fresh seasonal food from local farmers, but taking part in a world of hunting and gathering. Made by a former city dweller now living on an island in Alaska and married to fisherman and deer hunter, it is a journey into regional food traditions, our connection to the wilderness and to what we put into our mouths.

Stay tuned for details about a screening of this film in conjunction with the Juneau Sustainability Commission's Farmers Market and Food Festival on August 30, 2008 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

For more information about the film visit Eating Alaska.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Making Energy Security Affordable and Permanent

The Cooperative Extension Service is hosting a presentation by Richard Seifert, UAF Energy and Housing Specialist titled "Making Energy Security Affordable and Permanent". He will give an overview of Juneau's conservation successes, an update on the $300 million weatherization and energy conservation program and how to take advantage of it, appliance efficiencies, preparing for future high energy costs and renewable energy sources.

June 6th at 5:30 -7:00pm at the Bill Ray Center, 1108 F St. room 154.

For more information please contact the Juneau District Cooperative Extension Service office at 796-6221.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Should Juneau Consider a City-wide Phase-out of Plastic Bags?

Why or why not? Post your comments here.
Read about bag-reduction efforts in other Alaska communities:

For statewide initiatives, take a look at Senator Elton's Bill, SB 118.

photo credit: www.waterencyclopedia.com

Thursday, May 15, 2008

UAS Seminar on Climate Advocacy and Activism, June 9-15

Join UAS professor Kevin Maier in a week‐long, action‐oriented conversation aimed at bringing concerned citizens and students together to explore potential solutions to the pressing environmental problem of climate change. The class will read prominent case studies and reports on climate change, but the primary goal will be to explore creative ways to facilitate social change for our community, region, and, ultimately, our planet.

Thanks to a grant from the International Polar Year, UAS is pleased to offer this 1-credit course free of charge. For more information on the course and how to enroll, see the Flyer.

Hurry, the class is filling up quickly!

Monday, May 12, 2008


The Commission on Sustainability is sponsoring a Farmers Market and Food Festival to support and celebrate local food production. The event is scheduled for Saturday August 30, to give growers and food gatherers the summer to prepare. This event is open to individuals, families, groups, as well as businesses and non-profits to reserve a table to sell their locally grown and prepared foods.

More information and the table registration form - Word document

More information and the table registration form - PDF document.

Join us for the next planning meeting on Monday, May 12, noon at the Silverbow backroom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


A Community-Wide Conference on Energy Use
Sponsored by the Juneau Commission on Sustainability

See the FLYER


DATE: May 10, 2008
PLACE: Mendenhall Mall and Library
TIME: 10 AM to 6 PM

Monday, April 21, 2008

Message from Alaska Electric Light and Power Company

Call for Energy Conservation

After last week's avalanches damaged five transmission towers near the Snettisham Hydroelectric facility, AEL&P immediately began supplying Juneau's energy needs with diesel-generated power. Due to the high cost of oil, we will all see a dramatic increase in energy rates. It is therefore extremely important that we all make a serious and concerted effort to curtail our energy use.
AEL&P's energy checklist

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Energy Efficiency and Financial Assistance

Please check out our energy-efficiency section (see right)on financial assistance programs that are available to help individuals cope with high home-energy costs, make energy-efficient upgrades and to weatherize homes.

Included are funding opportunities for small businesses to undertake independent alternative and renewable energy projects.

Check back as we update this section to include more tips and information.

USDA Offers $221 Million in Clean Energy Loans and Grants

USDA Offers $221 Million in Clean Energy Loans and Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on March 6 that it will accept $220.9 million in loan and grant applications under the agency's Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. Loan guarantees and grants are available to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Since 2001, the USDA has invested $674 million in more than 1,763 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, including renewable fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel and renewable energy sources such as methane gas recovery systems and wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy systems.

Eligible applicants may seek loan guarantees to cover up to 50% of a project's cost, not to exceed $10 million. Grants are available for up to 25% of a project's cost, not to exceed $250,000 for energy efficiency improvements and $500,000 for renewable energy systems. Grants will be awarded through two separate competitions, with the deadline for the first being April 15 and the deadline for the second being June 16. Applications for loans or loan and grant combinations are due by June 16.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Join in the Earth Day festivities this Saturday, April 19, from 11am to 3 p.m. at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center.

Events include:

11:00: Opening Ceremonies:Rep. Andrea Doll, District Ranger Pete Griffin, Cy Peck
11:30: ”Plastics In The Ocean” Presented by Turning the Tides
12:00: ”Heartstrings” concert
12:30: ”The Lorax” Tim Miles
1:00: Liz and Leif Saya
1:30: All Nations’ Children dancers
2:00: Daughters of the New Moon

Woodsy Owl”
Recycle Crafts
Scavenger Hunt


Juneau Alaska Youth for the Environment. SAGA. Oceana. Turning the Tides. SEACC.Juneau Audubon. Nat’l Weather Service. Juneau Raptor Center. Friends of Recycling.Alaska Biofuels Alliance. Juneau Watershed Project. Friends of Berners Bay. Carol Biggs.Dick Callahan. Sandy Harbanuk. Trentyn Days. Bill Leighty.USFS Wilderness Rangers. Juneau Commission on Sustainability. AEL&P.Waste Management.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

"What U.S. Energy Policy Should Be" Wednesday April 16, 5:30 PM

Sponsored by the Juneau World Affairs Council, speaker Robert Ebel currently heads the Energy and National Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. He has held leadership positions in the CIA, Interior, Energy and directed ENSERCH and the Washington Export Council. He has an almost unsurpassed knowledge of energy and energy policy and can speak on the world oil supplies, oil prices, OPEC, energy security, imports, renewable energy, and world energy supplies.

The event begins at 5:30pm, Wednesday, April 16 at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center (Formerly the Armory).

For more info visit the The Juneau World Affairs Council.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Juneau Commission on Sustainability Retreat April 12

The Commission meets next for a retreat on Saturday, April 12, from 1-4pm at the Glacier Visitor's Center. The retreat is open to the public. Visit our home page on the City and Borough of Juneau website for more information.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

UAS Spring Forum This Friday April 4

The UAS Forum on Sustainability and Juneau Energy is scheduled for this Friday, April 4 from 8 AM to 5 PM in the Egan Lecture Hall on the university campus.

Speakers will present on the following topics:

*Local and global perspectives on sustainability
*Peak oil
*Hydroelectric Power vs. Fossil Fuel Burning
*Prospects for renewable energy in Southeast Alaska
*Impacts of climate change on runoff and hydro-electric potential in Juneau
*Biodiesel Production
*University of Alaska Southeast efforts toward becoming sustainable

For more information visit Sustainability Forum.

And don't forget to take the UAS Energy Survey! Results will be presented at the forum.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Question for the week: Carbon Tax?

Carbon taxes have their supporters and detractors. Both sides have merit. What do you think? Would a carbon tax in Juneau work? Are carbon taxes an effective way to reduce carbon emissions?

For one view, read On Carbon, Tax and Don't Spend and share your comments here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

How Do You Envision Juneau Becoming Sustainable?

Post your thoughts! Click on the Comments link below.

Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission: Final Report

The Alaska Climate Impact Assessment Commission today released its final report of the social, environmental and economic impacts of climate change on Alaskan communities and resources. To read the report, click here.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Take the UAS Energy Survey!

The University of Alaska Southeast is conducting an energy survey. The results will be presented on April 4, during their Energy Forum, an event of speakers on a wide variety of energy issues.

To take the survey, click here: UAS Energy Survey