Friday, March 31, 2006

Suggested Plants for the Greater Houston Area

Native Plant Society of Texas
Houston Chapter

P.O. Box 131254
Houston, Texas 77219-1254

Might also want to check out Plant Database you can look up all sorts of scientific information and even pictures.

FotoFest 2006

March 10 - April 23, 2006

FOTOFEST2006 is the eleventh International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art in Houston, Texas. In 2006, there are two themes. The Earth and Artists Responding to Violence. They are independent and inter-connected.

The capacity of human society to inflict violence upon itself and the earth is expanding with the ever increasing spread of technology and population. The physical and mythic force of earth presents itself in art in many guises. FotoFest 2006 is presenting work that engages The Earth metaphorically and figuratively.The art encompasses mixed-media work, classical photography, video and film. It addresses both human and non-human life in broad existential ways as well as issues of land use and geophysical history.

Check out the upcoming openings and + events +

More cool canoe tours

Birding and Botany Canoe Tour
Saturday, May 13, 12:30-5:30pm
$52 per person
Group limit is 18

Keep Buffalo Bayou wild! Join birder and zoologist Doug Phillips as he discusses the variety of birds that call Buffalo Bayou their home. Canoe the bayou and experience the greenbelt’s unique flora and fauna. In the past, lucky canoeists have glimpsed two-foot turtles and graceful herons, so bring your binoculars and get ready for the adventure. Don A. Greene will also be your guide. His knowledge and experience include past president and chair of the Bayou Preservation Association who currently teaches earth science to Kinkaid and other schools of HISD.

Twilight Wilderness Tour and Dinner at Rainbow Lodge
Sunday,June 11, 4-8:30pm
$64 (includes lunch) per person
Group limit is 18

Say goodbye to the stress of the city and see Houston from a whole new angle at dusk. Canoe the bayou and experience the greenbelt’s unique flora, fauna, and geology. In the past, lucky canoeists have glimpsed two-foot turtles and graceful herons while listening to the music of dozens of birds. Sit back and enjoy the magic lights and evening wildlife followed by dinner at the scenic Rainbow Lodge.

For more information, or to register, call 713.752.0314 ext. 3 or e-mail


Canoe Registration Form (doc) – fax to 713.223.3500 or mail to:

Buffalo Bayou Partnership
Vine Street Studios
1113 Vine Street Suite 200
Houston, TX 77002

Urban Ecology along Buffalo Bayou

In conjunction with the Houses on the Bayou architecture tour, Buffalo Bayou Partnership has organized a canoe trip along the same stretch of the bayou that the tour featured.

The trip addresses the dynamic river and riparian ecology and geology as well as the history of attempts of flood control and erosion along the bayou. Canoeists will study various preservation and conservation efforts on the bayou corridor. Don A. Greene will be your guide. His knowledge and experience include past president and chair of the Bayou Preservation Association. He currently teaches earth science to Kinkaid and HISD schools and serves on the rivers advisory board for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

All canoe trips are guided by National Parks outfitter Don A. Greene of Whitewater Experience. Don is an award-winning National Park Service outfitter with over 30 years of experience working in Houston to preserve Buffalo Bayou.

All trips include canoe rental, paddles, shuttles, personal flotation devices and snacks. Under normal water conditions, only minimal experience or skill is necessary to enjoy these floats.

All canoe trips leave from 5000 Memorial Drive.
Reservations and payment must be made in advance. Cancellations must take place 72 hours prior to the canoe tour.

Urban Ecology along Buffalo Bayou
April 1, 2006, 1-5pm
$52 per person
Tour is limited to 20 people

For more information, or to register, call 713.752.0314 ext. 3 or e-mail


Each day, more energy falls to the earth from the sun's rays than the total amount of energy the planet's 5.9 billion inhabitants would consume in 27 years.

Check out Vote Solar website
In November 2001, San Francisco voters approved a $100 million revenue bond for renewable energy and energy efficiency that pays for itself from the savings.... and costs taxpayers nothing.

This website offers tools, advice, and information for those seeking ways to build on San Francisco's success with the revenue bond model. You can also contact them for more help or to sign up for email updates on the initiative's progress.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Site Specific Public Art Project for the Sacramento International Airport

I would like to share this out of my love of aerials.
Artist Sayed Alavi has created a "carpet installation" at the Sacaramento International Airport. This project consists of an aerial view of the Sacramento River that is woven into a carpet for the floor of a pedestrian bridge connecting the terminal to the parking garage. This image represents approximately 50 miles of the Sacramento River starting just outside of Colusa, California and ending about 6 miles south of Chico.
read more about this on his site HERE


Originally uploaded by john_h_drain.
Had to post this.
I thought it was beautiful!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Green BEER

Happy St. Patty's Day!

[see full story @]

"Brooklyn Brewery, located on Brewer's Row in Brooklyn, New York, is one of a handful of breweries around the country that uses sustainable energy when producing its beer.

Its choice of method is wind power, which provides 100 percent of the brewery's energy needs, making the 1,658,000 gallons of beer it produces green year-round. Brooklyn Brewery's energy bills are 10 percent to 13 percent higher than they would be otherwise, but its operators say leaning on alternative energy just makes sense....Brooklyn Brewery isn't equipped with wind turbines on the warehouse roof, however. Instead, the brewery pays a premium rate to Con Edison so that the 285,000 kilowatt-hours it uses off the grid every year is replaced by energy produced at a wind farm located in Madison County, in upstate New York....

Brookly Brewery also pays farmers in New Jersey to swing by and pick up the "spent grain" -- the remaining husks that are left over after brewing. The farmers then feed the nutritious grains to their livestock, making good use of Brooklyn Brewery's waste.

But Brooklyn Brewery isn't alone in its conservation efforts. New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, has developed a unique method that uses its waste to power its factory...." read more HERE

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

2035 Houston Region Forecasts

Quick analysis :These forecasts will be used to study traffic modeling for the new Regional Transportation Plan, which will set a direction for the next few decades. The most obvious observation that can be made is that enormous quantities of greenspace will disappear from the region in the next 30 years. In fact, all large green areas remaining in Harris County will vanish. It's first important to understand that H-GAC's forecasts are essentially based on recent trends and policies. So the projections do not reflect choices that can be made about public policies, particulary about transportation policy. As Metrostudy president Mike Inselmann has said "The city grows where developers buy land and they buy land where new transportation corridors get developed." An example of this dynamic is evident in the maps: they show significant new development happening all along the proposed Grand Parkway, which is shown on H-GAC's maps as a new transportation corridor - although most of it doesn't exist yet, and no construction contracts have been let for expansion.

Forecast Coverage:
The forecast covers eight counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller

29th Annual RDA Architecture Tour

29th Annual RDA Architecture Tour
Saturday and Sunday
March 25 and 26, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Presented by the Rice Design Alliance in collaboration with Buffalo Bayou Partnership

The Rice Design Alliance 2006 architecture tour investigates the varied and fascinating approaches that architects and landscape architects have taken when designing houses and landscapes on Buffalo Bayou and its tributaries.

The tour is open only to RDA and Buffalo Bayou Partnership members and guests. RDA Memberships beginning at $35 can be purchased at any of the houses on the tour and include one complimentary tour ticket (Family level and above include two complimentary tickets). Tickets for all eight houses are $20; $10 for students; and $15 for senior citizens (65 years and older).

Civic Forum
In conjunction with the Houses on the Bayou Tour, Rice Design Alliance presents a civic forum on the history of Buffalo Bayou and the engineering that has and will continue to affect the preservation or destruction of the natural habitat and valuable community resource. Two tour homeowners will describe their experiences of living on the bayou and how they foresee its future.

Admission is free and open to the public.
Wednesday, March 22, 7 p.m. at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Local Green Materials website for Houston, TX

This site is brought to you by the Houston Advanced Research Center's Cultivate Green Program. The program is a demand side knowledge building and knowledge transfer program intended for the general public of the Houston area.
The basics of the system are pretty simple; there is a residential green products inventory of knowledge and a commercial/institutional component.

Some of the HOME CATEGORIES include:
Interior Finish & Trim
Caulks & Adhesives Lighting
Mechanical Systems/HVAC
Distributors & Retailers
Doors Windows Insulation
Outdoor Structures
Electrical Paints & Coatings
Exterior Finish & Trim
Flooring & Floorcoverings
Foundations, Footers & Slabs
Sitework & Landscaping
Furniture & Furnishings
Renewable Energy
Structural Systems & Components Sheathing

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Texas Incentives for Renewable Energy

DSIR is a database of incentive for Renewable Energy by state.
These include: Financial Incentives such as Property Tax Exemption,

Rules, Regulations & Policies-includes: Construction/Design Standard-
Alternative Energy in New State Construction

Some Related Programs & Initiatives

Green Power Network: Buying Green Power in Your State
The U.S. Department of Energy's Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. This site provides state-by-state information on Green Power Marketing in Competitive Electricity Markets and Utility Green Pricing Programs.
In addition, the site lists marketers of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)(also known as green tags or tradable renewable certificates), which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from a renewable energy project. Whether or not consumers have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer, consumers can purchase RECs without having to switch electricity suppliers.

Million Solar Roofs Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy's Million Solar Roofs (MSR) Initiative brings together business, government, the energy industry, and community organizations with a commitment to install a set number of solar energy systems by 2010. Activities typically include consumer education, professional workshops, and other outreach activities to help individuals and organizations who are considering installing a solar system. Click here to find Partnerships in your state.

Wind Powering America
The U.S. Department of Energy's Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state wind project information, including validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, legislative briefings, wind working groups, and state-specific news.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Green Building Initiative - Houston

Great site that provides plenty of resources, guidlines and checklists to building green in Houston.

Also check out the handbook provided by the Department of Energy:
Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 1-Builders and Buyers Handbook for Improving New Home Efficiency, Comfort, and Durability in the Hot and Humid Climate

"Building America's system design recommendations and process improvements can help all builders interested in re-engineering their home designs to achieve high performance. This best practices handbook helps builders develop durable, comfortable homes that achieve 30% energy savings in space conditioning and water heating in hot and humid climates. The handbook contains chapters for every member of the builder's team—from managers to site planners to designers, site supervisors, the trades, and marketers. There is also a chapter to help homeowners select the best systems for their new home."

Building America Best Practices Series: Volume 1 (PDF 8.1 MB)

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I love this commercial...cracks me up!

TV Commercial found with the help of Clipland

... but to not steer away from a theme did you know about:
Peugeot’s New Stop & Start System: 6-15% Fuel Savings