Save Some Dates, Save the Planet!

First Friday's Green Street. Photo courtesy of Rob Cromwell, Living EcoSmartGreen living is a broad topic and there are many ways to go about it. From my perspective the overall goal is to live lightly on the planet so as not to exceed the Earth’s ability to naturally sustain the entire diverse tapestry of life, not just us humans. Everything we do is an opportunity once we realize we are responsible for the outcome.

Our homes are a good place to focus since they require a huge amount of materials and energy for construction and operation. The ideal home should not only serve its occupants, but actually improve the world as well. For example, the Living Building Challenge calls for “the creation of building projects at all scales that operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture.” I love that concept!

We can all work to re-align our culture with the natural world. Whether you are a seasoned environmental activist or someone who has just decided to live a little greener, there are some great things happening in the community that provide plenty of opportunity to share ideas and learn from each other.

First Friday’s Green Street

3 Potato 4 at First Friday - mmm mmmm good! Photo: Steve RypkaFor starters, First Friday, the monthly mega-happening that blossoms each month in the Las Vegas Arts District, now includes a Green Street (California Avenue, west of Casino Center), produced by Rob Cromwell at Living EcoSmart. Tomorrow just happens to be this month’s First Friday, and the Eco Lounge at Green Street will feature live music and wine tasting. You’ll find plenty of interesting people to connect with, many of whom work regularly on sustainability issues. From solar energy to green building, Green Street at First Friday is the place to be.

Special Update – Las Vegas’ First Ever Carrot Mob* at The Perfect Scoop!

Enjoy some ice cream (delicious VEGAN versions too!) and help green a local business in the most fun, Vegasey way possible! In this 1,121 square foot shop, the owner spends over $4,640 a year on energy! Let’s help him go green by eating Ice Cream this Saturday, April 6th from 12pm to 5pm.

Be part of a “mob” of customers to buy ice cream at The Perfect Scoop on Saturday to provide a bump in sales that they will use to install energy efficiency upgrades! All sales on Saturday will go towards the project.

Also, listen to some great musicians! Great selection of lactose-free ice cream available too!

Music between 1 -3 PM.

*Why is it called a Carrot Mob? We’re using a “mob” of customers as a “carrot” for energy efficiencies!

The organizers would appreciate your RSVP.

The Perfect Scoop
5035 S. Fort Apache at the corner of Tropicana and S. Fort Apache
Saturday, April 6th

Permaculture Las Vegas Style

Friday also marks the start of a three day conference entitled “Madre Tierra III – An Introduction to Permaculture” presented by Great Basin Permaculture. “Permaculture on Main Street” will be discussed at the Downtown Project Construction Zone from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM on Friday. It is free and open to the public. There is a charge to attend the remainder of the conference on Saturday and Sunday.

Urban Farming

The U.S. Green Building Council – Nevada Chapter has a reputation of quality presentations at their monthly breakfast meetings. I suggest you register for the next one on Tuesday, April 9th. It will feature Steve Ritz of the BRONX Green Machine. Ritz is amazingly energetic and his presentation on integrating vertical farming into his science classroom curriculum will be one you won’t soon forget. Local food production is of vital importance to Las Vegas. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how to blend the ideas of food justice, equality, living wages and quality education that engages students. Every educator, politician, parent and student should attend if they can.

Earth Day

Of course April means Earth Day and there are some great celebrations in the works. GREENFest is moving to the UNLV campus, combining with the Festival of Communities to create an event to honor cultural diversity, our community and the planet. It will take place on Saturday, April 20th from 11 AM to 6 PM. Admission and parking are free. This event is shaping up to be the biggest and best Earth Day gathering in Southern Nevada history. UNLV’s DesertSol project by Team Las Vegas will also be featured. Be sure to stop by for an update on the Solar Decathlon competition and find out how you can help our local team achieve an historic victory.

Wrapped around Earth Day is sus•tain•a•ble, a three day guide to living green in Las Vegas, running April 19th through the 21st at Town Square Las Vegas.

These are just a few of many opportunities we have to come together, learn from each other and build a more resilient, healthy and livable community. More great events are posted on the Green Calendar. The bottom line: There is something for everyone so get involved. Have some fun. Save some dates and save the planet!