Archive for September 2012 | Monthly archive page

Join the Central Coast Bioneers for their annual conference this October 19-21 at their headquarters at the Monday Club in downtown SLO (1815 Monterey St).  Speakers will deliver lectures that focus on real-world, practical solutions to the political, economic, and environmental challenges facing our society.  Hoping to leave a rich ecological and cultural legacy to future generations, the Bioneers seek to showcase the innovations and progressive ideas of thinkers from across the globe that honor the web of life on which all humans depend.  The conference will feature a number of talks and activities throughout the weekend including workshops, field trips to local libraries, organic farms, and nature preserves, and a keynote address by Dr. Richard Joseph Jackson.  Food, music, movies, art and yoga fill the schedule with enlightened fun.

Pre-Conference Field Trip – Thursday, October 18 – 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (approx.) To Wind Wolves Preserve near Maricopa.

Live Satellite Feed from the Main Bioneers Stage in San Rafael – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 19-21, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Hear from the great thinkers of our age, including Bill McKibben, Paul Hawken, Marina Silva, Mike Brune and Sandra Steingraber.

Six Major Topic Areas of Interest to our Central Coast Communities – Friday, October 19, 2:00 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, October 20, 2:00 to 10:00 p.m., Sunday, October 21, 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Renewable Energy Track: Community Choice Aggregation, Solar Roadways, Changing the Story-Building a School’s Renewable Energy Infrastructure. Ecopreneurship/Locanomics Track: Corporations with a Conscience, Slow Money Alliance-Catalyzing Investment in Local Food Systems, Earth-Our Local Conversation: Tapping the Collective Genius of Our Community including introduction to the Central Coast Hour Exchange. Food and Farming Celebration/Track: Screenings of “Truck Farm” and “Nothing Like Chocolate,” Green Chef Cook-off dinner and dance, and Organic Farm Tour. Health/Nature/Spirit Track: The Work that Reconnects, The Importance of Rights of Passage for Men and Boys, Empowering Ourselves Through Ceremony. Activism/Social Justice: Unacceptable-Living in a Nuclear Evacuation Zone, Youth Activism Panel, Standing on their Shoulders-Field Trip to Environmental Archives of Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library. Green Design: Keynote Lecture by Dr. Richard Jackson on designing healthy communities, Green Home Tour and Green Schools.

Dreaming the Salinas Update: Two workshops on efforts to restore the Salinas River, including the Hind River Ranch project.

For a more detailed schedule, speaker biographies, or to register for tickets, visit the Central Coast Bioneers website!



Join San Luis Obispo public radio station KCBX in presenting Democracy Now host Amy Goodman, October 20 at the Spanos Theater on the Cal Poly Campus, beginning at 1:30pm.  Goodman will be speaking as a part of The Silenced Majority tour, a 100-city journey to promote the book of the same name.  The tour  began at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and will continue until Election Day.  Traveling through electoral swing states, the tour will examine how and why citizens are organizing across the US, discuss voter ID laws, and address the impacts of Citizens United and massive campaign contributions. Goodman, along with Denis Moynihan, will be speaking about the sequel to their 2006 New York Times bestseller, Breaking the Sound Barrier, as part of a fundraiser for KCBX.

Goodman is the veteran host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, the independent war and peace report that airs on weekdays on public radio stations across the world.  She is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, popularly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”  Among her many accolades, Goodman is the a co-recipient of the Izzy Award presented by the Park Center for Independent Media, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Reporting, the American Women in Radio and Television’s Gracie Gracie Award, the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship, George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.

Tickets can be purchased for $25 per person through the KCBX website.


Far and away, the most common piece of trash we see littering the sides of freeways, clogging gutters, and disgracing our creeks and streams is the single-use, plastic bags. In San Luis Obispo County, shoppers consume nearly 130 million carryout plastic bags a year.  In California, less than 5% are actually recycled.  On average, the bags are used for less than 12 minutes before being thrown away, making their way into our landfills and marring the scenery.

Being near the coast, SLO County residents have a special responsibility to halt the flow of plastic into the sea.  Studies have shown that in the Pacific Ocean, 92% of seabirds and 35% contain petrochemicals in their stomachs.  Pacific trash gyres are composed extremely high concentrations of plastics with bags being a main contributor to marine pollution.  While we think that these bags are “free”, we pay for them in environmental, municipal, and social costs.  So, what is a concerned citizen to do?

Beginning October 1, 2012, all stores in SLO will stop providing single-use plastic bags.  Businesses will provide recyclable paper bags upon request.  Each bag will cost 10 cents, a fee that will reimburse the store for the price of bag.  To avoid the charge and do your part to help reduce unnecessary waste, bring your own reusable sack!  They can be used for years, and eliminate the need for single-use plastics.  For the most part, the use less energy in production, reduce solid waste disposal costs, and can even make a trendy fashion statement.

Here at Bambu Batu, we have several eco-friendly reusable bags for you to carry around with style!  Choose from our Blue Lotus grain and produce bags to store your veggies at the grocery store, bamboo totes, or printed Indian handbags.  Feel good about your purchases and your ecological footprint by making the switch to reusable bags!

After perusing our online catalog, a lot of people have been asking who’s responsible for the superior photography on our website banners. That credit goes to local shutterbugs Maren and Michael Brajkovich of Applemoon Photography based in Oceano.

So impressed were we by their quality, professionalism and affability, that we’ve found ourselves returning again and again to take advantage of their services for both our family and our business. With a cunning eye for detail and an irrepressible sense of imagination, they never fail to produce exceptional portraits in unique compositions.

If you’re planning a wedding or event and need a top-notch photographer, or just want some priceless family shots for posterity, you can count on Applemoon to deliver the highest quality images, and you won’t possibly find an easier pair to work with.

Need a little variety in your vegetables?  Get your garden started by swapping some seeds this October 5 at the Sixth Annual San Luis Obispo Seed Exchange!  The event will be held from 6-9pm at the SLO County Library in the Community Room. Guests will be treated to a “storytelling library” about seeds, plants, and gardens. John DeRosier from With the Grain Organic Farm will be joined by Greg Ellis for a short lecture entitled, “Building a Living Seed Library in San Luis Obispo County.” Admission is free and open to all ages.

The Seed Exchange, organized by Elizabeth Johnson, is an excellent means of preserving cultural and biological heritage within the area.  By saving seeds with high germination rates and histories of high yields, heirloom varieties, and breeds capable of pollinating openly, traders are able to ensure a rich and secure agricultural future for their community.  Due to the increased interest in organic gardening and local food movement, the swap is likely to feature some unusual and interesting specimens.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Johnson at (805) 544-5364, or stop by the SLO County Parks and Recreation Department Office at 1341 Nipomo St.  Visit their Facebook page for updates and details on Exchange!

Bamboo Living Home

Bamboo is undoubtedly one of the strongest, most versatile materials for construction. Lightweight, sturdy and renewable, the grass is perfect for sustainable building projects.  Bamboo Living, a company headed by founded by Jeffree Trudeau and architect David Sands, offers gorgeous prefabricated bamboo homes ready to be assembled in the tropical paradise of your choice. You can assemble many of the designs rapidly, some in as little as two days.

The company chose bamboo for their line of dwellings in order to encourage the trend towards using materials that were both socially and ecologically responsible.  By using bamboo, they could make strides towards curbing climate emissions, restoring the native forests around the world, helping control soil erosion, and raising communities out of poverty.

They planted the first shoot in 1994, when Trudeau and Sands completed their first project on Maui. That home would lead to the construction over 150 others throughout the Hawaiian islands.

In 2002, the company became the first in the world to offer International Code Council approved bamboo green houses. By 2006, Bamboo Living had established the largest bamboo house in the country, and made an international name for themselves.

Currently, Bamboo Living operates through their Bamboo Works facility near Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where they employ over 160 local artisans.  The company has the capacity to design, deliver and build a complete green home within three months.  Buyers can choose from over 8 different sizes and  a variety of lines that includes signature selections.  Models range from individual houses to eco-resorts and development, and each prefabricated structure is backed by a 20 year warranty.  Finally, a cost effective and green solution to out-of-the-box housing developments!

Also check out our article on building a house from bamboo, to learn more about bamboo construction possibilities.

Photo Credit: Bamboo Living Home