Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Energy Fair October 10, 2009

Need some suggestions for reducing home heating costs?
Are you wondering what an Energy Star appliance is?

Join us Sat, Oct 10 at the Nugget Mall, 10am - 4pm for this FREE community event to provide you information, ideas, and more!

Another Awesome Farmers Market

More than 2,000 people attended the market on a blustery Saturday morning, August 30, 2009. A rich variety of seafood, fresh produce, home-made preserves, and gardening/growing information was available.

Thanks to the presenters of the mini-seminars for sharing your knowledge and experience. Your topics were all so interesting, and well received.

And thanks to the collaborative planning committee that made the event possible:
Juneau Commission on Sustainability, Juneau Economic Development Council, Juneau Arts & Humanities Council, UAF Cooperative Extension Service, and the Alaska Division of Agriculture ('Alaska Grown' Program).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Earth Day Celebration April 18, 2009

Thanks to members of the Juneau Sustainability Commission and other community participants for making the day so meaningful.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Seattle Bans Styrofoam

Full Circle Farm's "Farm Notes" Newsletter this week notes, "On Jan. 1, 2009, a ban on the use of expanded polystyrene food containers in Seattle restaurants and grocery stores went into effect... Seattle's ban is similar to those used in San Francisco, Portland OR, and Albany NY." Read more from UW's "The Daily" at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ban the Bottle

Juneau is fortunate to have a clean public water system that is available to most residents. Give up the bottle and go for the glass. Take our great H2O with you in a safe drinking container.

Friday, February 20, 2009

See the film, EATING ALASKA, March 1 at the JACC

Many thanks to Ellen Frankenstein of Sitka for recently sharing her new documentary Eating Alaska with Juneau-ites. If you missed this film about the choices and challenges we face in eating locally, you can check out the web site Stay tuned for future showings. This movie is an official selection of the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival.

Thanks also to Amanda Rutledge at Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, and the table participants who shared information about growing, harvesting, hunting, fishing, etc. in Juneau.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Juneau Commission on Sustainability - UPDATE

The Commission is currently working on initiatives in three main focus areas:
  1. Energy and Greenhouse Gases
  2. Food Security
  3. Community Outreach
Under Energy and Greenhouse Gases, the Commission is finalizing a baseline inventory of Juneau's greenhouse gases. The inventory is expected to be completed and presented to the Assembly soon. We will then be able to set targets for reductions, and develop a Climate Action Plan to proceed toward making those reductions.

Other initiatives that the Commission is exploring include:

  • A revolving loan program for landlords and businesses to implement energy-efficient improvements to apartment buildings and commercial structures;
  • An "Energy Card" to receive a sales tax exemption on energy-efficient products; and
  • Legislation to provide a municipal property tax credit on energy-efficient improvements.

On the Food Security side, the Commission is planning the 2nd annual Farmers Market ,August 29, 2009. This year, the Commission is applying for a grant from the Division of Agriculture to help expand the Farmer's Market. Let us know if you'd like to help organize, or if you have ideas for mini-seminar topics.

Under Community Outreach, the Commission builds partnerships with other organizations in Juneau to further sustainability projects (eg participant in 2008 Earth Day forum), maintains this blogsite, puts on public events such as the Re-Energizing Juneau Forum (May 2008), and engages in general promotion via radio and the press. In the future, the Outreach committee hopes to start a recognition program to showcase the sustainability efforts of local businesses.

To get involved in any of these projects, come to the next Juneau Commission on Sustainability meeting, March 4 at 5:15 pm in the downtown Library conference room.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Juneau: One of the top 10 low-tax places to retire

From the Anchorage Daily News:

RAIN? WHAT RAIN? . . . U.S. News and World Report has listed Juneau as one of the top 10 low-tax places to retire in America. Here's the list, from Billings, Mont.; Cheyenne, Wyo.; Doral, Fla.; Henderson, Nev.; Juneau; Manchester, N.H.; Nashville, Tenn.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Spokane, Wash.; Stafford, Texas.

So, maybe marketing Juneau as a retirement destination is not a ridiculous notion. With a little work, it could have real economic and socially sustainable potential. With draws like the local arts community, the permanent fund dividend program, great outdoors, indoor fitness facilities (including four athletic clubs, three yoga studios, a pool and a new aquatic center), a regional hospital, the university, and lots of community volunteering opportunities, it’s a possibility.

As a neighbor suggested to me recently, why not have a booth down at the docks in the summer providing some information on retiring in Juneau?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sustainability Commission Vacancy

Next week will be my last meeting as a member of the Juneau Commission on Sustainability, as I will be leaving Juneau for several years.

The Commission is a great opportunity to explore ways for Juneau to become more sustainable, whether it is encouraging local food production, reducing greenhouse gases, improving the livability of our community or developing a more economically sustainable future. The commission takes energy, dedication, and hard work, but the rewards can be well worth it.

If you or someone you know might be interested in serving on the Commission, now is the time to submit an application. For information go to: Board Application.


Sally Schlichting

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Juneau Returns to Diesel Power Following Avalanche Monday

Photo from April 2008 showing tower locations. Photo by Bill Glude, courtesy of AELP's website archive.

It's time to pull together, Juneau. Remember all those great energy saving tips you employed last May? Well, it looks like we'll be needing those again.

As you've heard, an avalanche took out Tower 3/5 (see photo for the location), one of the more vulnerable towers supporting the transmission line from Snettisham to Juneau.

While AELP works to repair the damage, we need to work to conserve our electricity consumption as much as possible. And obviously, it will be more difficult than last spring because of the colder weather and shorter daylight hours.

Still, everything each of us can do will make a difference.

So let's:

  • keep the lights and appliances we're not using turned off
  • limit the hot water usage
  • get creative with cooking in the kitchen
  • if we can, shift to other sources of heat (wood, oil)
  • and most importantly, check on our friends and loved ones who may need extra support and assistance to see them through a possible extended period of higher electricity costs.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Concerned about LANDFILL ODOR?

Come to the meeting this Tuesday, January 13, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the Hickel Room at Centennial Hall.

The Alaska Dept. of Environmental Conservation will hold a Public Information Workshop on Juneau landfill odor issues.

In addition, CBJ will provide an update on progress to implement the solid waste plan, which includes expanding the recycling program.

If you have questions, please contact Weld Royal, Information Officer, DEC at 465-5009.

Tell your friends and neighbors!

Monday, January 5, 2009

A 50-Year Farm Bill

Thoughts on a sustainable agricultural future by Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry for the New York Times