Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Port of Houston signs Direct Energy utility deal

via Houston Business Journal - 12:11 PM CST Wednesday

"The Port of Houston Authority is going a little green. The entity signed a three-year agreement with Direct Energy for retail electric service that will make five percent of the Port's 129 million kilowatt-hours wind power-generated electricity....

The port is the first announced commercial renewable customer for Direct Energy, which has signed long-term power purchase agreements from three west Texas wind farms -- Buffalo Gap, Buffalo Gap 2 and the Sand Bluff Wind Farm.

Direct Energy has contracted for a renewable energy supply equal to approximately 10 percent of its peak load."

Read more via Houston Business Journal

"Going ons" about town

What:The Rice Design Alliance and The Menil Collection are co-sponsoring a lecture by Marcel Franciscono. The lecture, "Paul Klee and The Bauhaus,"

WHEN: Wednesday, November 29, at 7 p.m.
WHERE: The Menil Collection, 1515 Sul Ross. Admission is free and open to the public.

Mr. Franciscono is the author of Paul Klee: His Work and Thought, a historical and critical study published in 1991. He teaches art history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For more information about the lecture, visit :
For more information about the exhibition at The Menil, please see the web page at:

WHAT: Rich Levy and James Adams Reading at Brazos
WHERE:Thursday, November 30, 7 PM

James Adams:
Noble Savage is the debut poetry collection of Houston poet James Adams.
Noble Savage has been nominated for a 2006 Pulitzer Prize.

Rich Levy:
Rich Levy is a poet and (since 1995) executive director of Inprint, a nonprofit literary arts organization that serves the needs and passions of readers and writers in Houston.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Turn your garden and kitchen scraps into gardening "gold" by composting. Compost improves both the physical condition and the fertility of the soil when added to the landscape or garden.

Composting can also reduce yard waste by 50 to 75% that would otherwise be hauled to the dump.

Composting involves mixing yard and household organic waste in a pile or bin and providing conditions that encourage decomposition.

1) Position your bin or pile in an area with good air circulation. Placing your compost next to your home or other wooden structures is NOT a good may cause the wood to rot.

2) Some shade is a good so that your compost doesn't get overheated.

3) Make sure the spot of land where you place your heap gets good drainage.

4) pile should be no smaller than 3'x3'x3'

5) your compost should be moist. Not soaking and not dry to maintain the microbes. A good rule of thumb is the more green material (cut grass, weeds, leaves) you put in, the less water you'll need to add.

6) Aerate your pile by turning or mixing. Oxygen is also required to maintain the microbes

+ On Composting bins

+ Build your own bin

+ More tips


Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays! Do you have any ripe pumpkins lying around and are not composting?

Pumpkins make great face masks and body scrubs. High in Vitamin A (skin healing), C (anti-oxidant) and Zinc, the pumpkin soothes, moisturizes and acts as a carrier, assisting the other mask ingredients to absorb deeper into the skin and intensifying the results.

2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed
one-half teaspoon honey (humectant, regenerative) one-quarter teaspoon milk (or soymilk)(alpha hydroxyl acid, enzymes digest skin cells)

add some brown sugar to exfoliate.

For Oily Skin
one-quarter teaspoon apple cider (tonic action promotes skin circulation; alpha hydroxyl acid; regulates pH).
one-quarter teaspoon cranberry juice (high in antioxidants critically important to the utilization of essential fatty acids to maintain balanced, nourished skin.

Found via

Thursday, November 16, 2006

UH, HARC work on landing Texas wind research center

[via Houston business journal]

"The University of Houston and The Houston Advanced Research Center are part of a coalition that is trying to help Texas win a nationwide race for a giant new U.S. Department of Energy-backed wind turbine research and development center.

The Lone Star Wind Alliance, a Texas-led coalition of universities, government agencies, and corporate partners, submitted a proposal for the project to the federal government Nov. 13."

read more

Other sources:
+ Texas Wind Energy Resources
+ Wind Energy Maps
+ The Texas RPS-via-renewable energy world

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tax Credits for Consumers

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 offers consumers a tax credit for replacing old appliances and home products with energy efficient models, including windows and skylights.

Read more on window replacement credits.

Just file the appropriate tax form and submit with your Federal taxes.

Remember, these items must be placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005 and before Jan. 1, 2008.

To learn more about tax credits for other ENERGY STAR products please visit

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Guidance Notices . It is not intended as legal advice, and you should consult a tax professional with specific questions.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

WWF- Living Planet Report

Established in 1961, WWF operates in more than 100 countries working for a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. They are currently funding around 2,000 conservation projects and employ almost 4,000 people across the planet.

The Living Planet Report is WWF's periodic update on the state of our world's ecosystems.It describes the changing state of global biodiversity and the pressure on the biosphere arising from human consumption of natural resources.

The report is developed around two indicators:
+ the Living Planet Index, which reflects the health of the planet’s ecosystems; and

+ the Ecological Footprint, which shows the extent of human demand on these ecosystems.

These measures are tracked over several decades to reveal past trends, then three scenarios explore what might lie ahead.

+ Read more
+ Read Report