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The Sustainability Issue 2019

Earth Day Events

The Sustainability Issue 2018

Electric cars, organic farming, water conservation and more

Your Recycling Re-Education

Do you recycle? Well, you're probably doing it wrong.

The Green Issue 2017

420, Earth Day, Veganism... it's all in there.

Earth Day Movies

Edu-tainment for everyone

The Green Issue: Earth Day

All Hands on Deck

"Bikes vs. Cars"

Under the Ice

Glacier cave explorers look for answers

The Greener Side of Life

VegNet Bend

SUSTAIN Central Oregon

Earth Month Events

Ochoco Creek Restoration

A Sign of the Apocalypse

Droughts, droughts everywhere, but how many drops are being conserved?

It's Not the End of the World

Why planning and resilience trump panic and retreat

The Doom and Gloom Shopping List

A beginners' guide to preparing for natural disasters and more

Too Little, Too Late, and Probably Not At All

With little hope for stopping global warming, the question becomes how to adapt and survive

Choose Your Earth Day Adventure

With this handy flowchart and calendar

Simply Her Best

“The Butte Lady” leads efforts to restore Bend’s iconic Pilot Butte State Park

Change Starts at Home

Local grad encourages community conversations

Clearly Marked

Sign project aims to mitigate damage to public lands

Giving More Than They Take

Small changes for Bend Park & Recreation make a big difference

Dive In

The top 10 water-logged controversies in the High Desert

Climate Change Hits Home

Declining snowpack will be an issue for Central Oregon

Use All You Want

When it comes to water rates, Bend has it wrong

Is Your Toilet Running?

Better go and catch it!

Green Machine: Energy Transformation

Maybe it’s something in the water, or the upholstery of our Subaru Outbacks that makes Central Oregonians so environmentally conscious, a fact that’s readily apparent in our recycling rates (almost 45 percent of our waste is now repurposed) and our embrace of solar power. (We’re home to half a dozen installers and recently added two of the biggest solar systems in state at Bend Broadband’s data center and Facebook’s new server farm in Prineville.)

Whatever the reason, sustainability isn’t just a way of life in Bend -- it’s an industry that includes everything from small windpower producers like Redmond’s Abney Electrix to a people-powered cycle pub in Bend. This year’s Green Issue is a snapshot of how Central Oregon is putting itself on the forefront of the sustainability movement both individually and collectively. While there are dozens of interesting examples of how entrepreneurs, public agencies and private citizens are blazing a green trail, we’ve narrowed our focus to seven projects that show how Central Oregonians are putting their values into practice; examples range from a multimillion dollar community forest project to a natural soap making business. Read it, share it and then recycle it. (EF)

Get Comped for Your Commute: Commute Options understands the power of an incentive

Did you know that if you complete 45 round-trip commutes to work by walking, bicycling, or utilizing a car/vanpool, bus, pogo stick, mule, etc., you are eligible for sweet prizes, like free beer, via the Commute Options' rewards program? Yeah. All you have to do is fill out an online form that automatically notifies Commute Options when you've completed 45 alternative transportation commutes - commutes that don't involve solo drives.

Commuter Kit: Bike Commuting Made Easy

One of the simplest (and most fun!) ways to flex your green muscles is to commute by bike. With gas ringing in at $4 per gallon, lots of folks already do it, but we suspect there are even more out there who like the idea of a pedal-powered commute. They just don't know how to go about it. In bike-crazy Bend it can be intimidating to get out there and mix with the racer nerds astride their high-zoot contraptions. We're here to lend a hand. This list will help you organize your commuter kit in the hopes that you, too, can take your ten-speed to the streets.

Going Native: Get your spring planting started right with OSU-Extension Service approved plants

Snowberry The snowberry's pink flowers give way to round white fruit in the fall that become a draw for birds - good news for the ornothologically inclined! This relatively hardy bush grows four to six feet in diameter and can withstand the high desert's wide temperature fluctuations with modest watering needs. Bitterbrush The iconic high desert plant is familiar to anyone who has hiked or biked a trail around Bend. Incredibly drought and temperature tolerant, the semi-evergreen produces pale yellow flowers and red berries.

The Grass is Always Greener: Five Easy Ways to Make Your Backyard Eco-Friendly

Install a Smart Irrigation timer: The latest irrigation technology allows you to program your system to target specific plants and soil types, making it less likely that you'll over water. Some timers can sense moisture levels and precipitation, i.e. no more watering in the rain. Kill Your Lawn: O.K. put down the blowtorch. We don't mean it literally. But many homes around Central Oregon have an over abundance of turf. Consider scaling back on the bluegrass, expanding natural areas with rock and native plants. Remember, the desert look is right at home in the desert.

Dear Earth, I'm Sorry: Confessions of a non-composting, methane maker

I have a confession to make, I'm not composting - at least not in the way that I know that I'm supposed to. I'm mulching my grass and all, but my orange peels and coffee grounds are still going down the drain or into the garbage. It's not that I'm not aware of the benefits of composting, or that it's too much work. Like most people, I'm just too lazy and cheap to make the initial investment of time and money. Don't get me wrong, I actually care about the waste I'm putting into the landfill - an issue that was hammered home during a recent visit to said landfill for a story about a new methane gas conversion project.

Reduce Your Energy Costs

Save money! Pollute less! You can dramatically improve your home's energy efficiency with these key tips. Weatherize: Get yourself a caulking gun and some weather stripping and go to town sealing all the little air leaks around windows and doors.

Top 10 Tips for Reducing Energy Usage While Cooking

1. Avoid preheating Most modern ovens are so well insulated that preheating isn't as necessary as it used to be. Unless you are baking bread or something very heat sensitive like soufflés, you can generally skip the preheating step, or only preheat for a few minutes. 2. No oven peeking Once food is in the oven, don't open the door. Each time you peek, you risk leaking as much as 50 degrees of heat. Use the oven light instead. 3. Use the right burner for your pan The coil of an electric burner should not extend beyond the bottom of your pan. Flames from a gas burner should not lick the sides of a pot. If these things are happening, you are using more energy than necessary for the pan you are using.

Buy Local and Organic

You should be buying local food! When you do, you help ensure that lands in our area will be devoted to food cultivation and protected from more intensive development. And you cut down on food transportation costs that, according to some studies, now account for about 10 percent of the world's carbon emissions.

Water Conservation

Water in our area comes from streams and aquifers. Every gallon you use means one less for fish, and one less gallon in our underground reserve for future generations.

Blowin' in the Wind: New small-wind power business could open up another green industry in Deschutes County

Dean Abney started his sustainable energy career more than three decades ago installing small inverter systems in rural eastern Oregon. The modest units powered television repeaters that he and his father were licensed to install, bringing network television to ranchers whose children were clamoring to watch the Brady Bunch and other shows. Back then there was no DirectTV, and certainly no cable television or Internet. Abney's repeaters were a lifeline to the outside world in remote places like Harney and Wasco counties.

One Man's Trash: A new recycling program is helping Bear Creek students turn slop into soil

It's lunchtime at Bear Creek Elementary School, and principal Matt Montoya rolls the last lunch table into place as the parade of children begins streaming in through the cafeteria doors. Stations are set up for students to pay their lunch money, get milk out of the cooler, select fresh fruit and veggies, and pick out a hot lunch option. When the masses finish their meal, they give a "thumbs up" and get up to visit the final lunch stop: the disposal station, including a new lunch composting bin - the first of its kind in Central Oregon schools.

Three Easy Ways to Green Up Your Act

Get Your Dog Food (Bag) Out of the Garbage If getting your pet a premium, meat-based dog food developed right here in Central Oregon weren't reason enough to consider the possibility of switching from the supermarket brands to Orion's Choice dog food, then the fact that it is delivered to your door in a recyclable bag probably ought to be. Find out more about how this local dog food company is going against the grain at orionschoice.com.

On the Solar Grid: Bend Broadband teams with Sunlight Solar for Central Oregon's largest solar installation

The sun has made a comeback in Central Oregon after a long, gloomy winter. The sunshine has returned just in time for the opening of Bend Broadband's new data center, dubbed "The Vault," which has become a showcase for the latest solar panel technology. Bend's own Sunlight Solar took on the project, which stands as the homegrown company's biggest installation to date. When it came to Bend Broadband's new data center, the company wanted to make the facility as green as possible. Bend Broadband execs said incorporating such a large solar installation was important because typically, the energy-intensive data center industry hasn't gone out of its way to be clean and green.

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25th Annual Sisters Folk Festival

25th Annual Sisters Folk Festival - Sisters Artworks

Sat., Oct. 1, 12 p.m.-12 a.m. and Sun., Oct. 2, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
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