Tag Archives: sierra

“Riding the Green Wave” – Live from Lake Tahoe Eco Symposium

Do you know where you food comes from?  WHY NOT?

Mark Estee, owner of several local Truckee, CA restaurants- Moody’s Bistro, Baxter’s Bistro and Burger Me – discussed ways to go green locally.  He said the number one way he has become eco-concious as a Truckee restauranteur is to go green by purchasing produce from local farmers.  He presented the question:

Do you know where you food comes from?  WHY NOT?

Estee promoted the Slow Food movement – he helped start the Lake Tahoe chapter.  He said it is important to keep business green and sustainable even if it doesn’t make fiscal sense in the beginning – don’t give up.

“Success does not mean it was easy,” said Carlo Luri of Bently Biofuels.  He reported on the history of the formation of Bently Biofuels in Minden, NV.  He gave information regarding biofuels and biofuel conversions.  Learn more at the Bently Biofuels web site.

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“Feed Your Mama”

Mark Ofarrall from  Hungry Mother Organics in Carson City, NV began his presentation by asking members of the audience a variety of questions…

What did you have for lunch?  Chicken Caesar Wrap.

Do you know where it came from? No.

Do you know how the wrap is made?  No.

What type of car do you have? A Subaru.

Do you know where it came from?  Indiana.

How does it run? Gas.

The point is we know where our cars and fuel come from, but often we do not know where the food we put into our bodies comes from or how it is made.   Ofarrall showed off his hanging lettuce basket, as well as a snow pea/lettuce ensemble. “The tagline for our company is Feed Your Mama,” said Ofarrall.  “We hope people will want to go home and grow their own food.”

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“We have two electric vehicle charging stations that have been in place for over a year,” said Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Sustainability Coordinator Cheri Chastain.  “They have never been used.”

A collective gasp from the audience.

Chastain expanded on the importance of getting to know your farmers – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company (SNBC) has a relationship with local barley farmers.  She also discussed sustainability.  What does sustainability mean to you?

SNBC leads by example by being sustainable in everything they do from energy efficiency (heat recovery, lighting, etc.) to generating their own electricity through a fuel cell installed on site, as well as using solar panels.  They reuse as much as possible, and then recycle everything else.  Currently, SNBC is working on creating a composting facility.


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Green Business in the Sierras

Sierra Business Council

Sierra Business Council President Steve Frisch focused his presentation on the challenges facing sustainable business.  He persuaded moving past talk into action.  “We need to balance between regulatory approach and market drivers,” said Frisch.  “The piece driving change currently is non-profit and government non-regulatory.  We need this to flip. We need the courage to lead.”

What drives a better economy?

What is the right thing regarding green business and green development?

What is the new voice of business?

“Restoring resources from beginning to end.  We have to embed this in everything we do.” – Steve Frisch

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Many Shades of Green by Tracey Grose –  NEXT 10

California per capita energy usage has decreased while the rest of the nation has increased energy use.  Why is this?  According to Grose, California leads in innovation and forefront in green technology – it is diverse, growing faster than local economy.  Employment in green business has grown 36% compared to 13% growth in total economy.  A vast array of green economic growth exist – to learn more, download the presentation here.

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Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan

Trish Kelley presented on the Lake Tahoe Prosperity Plan.  This is a lake-wide collaborative plan to promote economic growth and environmental protection in the Tahoe region.  The Tahoe basin is losing jobs compared to the rest of the region; the existing aged development is contributing to environmental degradation.

“There is a need for a transformation and revitalization of the economy,” said Kelley.  “If we make the right policy to allow business innovation, we can change the trajectory of the economy in the basin.”

“Unfortunately, the basin is not very sustainable,” said Kelley.  “Someone recently said the basin was the brownest green area that they had ever seen, so that is our challenge.”

Read an article about the prosperity plan published in the Sierra Sun.

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“We Can Do This – How Greening CA Businesses will make money for CA Businesses!”

Presented by Hank Ryan – Small Business California

“This room is not full.  This room should be overflowing with people who have these attitudes,” said Ryan.

Small biz must be proactive by being energy smart.  This requires 3 basic tools:

  • energy savings = easily measured
  • access to capital that allows business to invest in energy savings
  • regulations that encourage business to earn profits by saving energy

Ryan discussed “smart meters” – ping information about energy devices in order to save.  This is projected to cut use by 5-10%.  Are you paying the right energy rate as a business? Websites and devices being created to help us power down.   Can computers help in the revolution of energy savings?