The following ethical clothing companies were recommended by
Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed:
*purchase 100% organic cotton
*more vendor/producer listings on Fibershed.com
*purchase 100% organic cotton
*more vendor/producer listings on Fibershed.com
Sustainable Fairfax endorses Measure AA to improve the overall health of the bay and to help protect our communities from sea level rise, a very real and imminent threat to surrounding infrastructure.
Measure AA is a $12-per-year parcel tax on the June 7, 2016 ballot in all nine Bay Area counties that would generate $500 million over 20 years for critical tidal marsh restoration projects around San Francisco Bay. These restoration projects will improve the bay’s water quality, restore a healthy habitat for fish, birds and wildlife and protect against sea level rise. We believe it is most efficient to address these issues at the regional level, so that the governing board can make decisions to fund projects in each county that will have the greatest impact on the the San Francisco Bay as a whole.
Read the full text of the measure and impartial analysis here.
If passed by 2/3 of the total Bay Area voters casting ballots in the June election, Measure AA funds would be provided as grants to restoration projects throughout the Bay Area. See a map and list of potential projects Measure AA would fund here.
Measure AA has been placed on the ballot by the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority after six years of public hearings and research. The Authority’s governing board of elected officials from throughout the Bay Area would provide and administer project grants from Measure AA funds, with input from many community members on its Advisory Committee, and oversight from an Independent Citizens Oversight Committee. Learn more about the Restoration Authority here:www.SFBayRestore.org
As a senior in Drake High School’s environmental studies academy SEA-DISC, one of my many activities is an internship with the local non-profit organization Sustainable Fairfax.
Recently I have been working with Sustainable Fairfax on their water program, conducting interviews with various experts on water use, waste water, and watersheds in Marin County and getting a great perspective on these issues. Along the way I also discovered a few other exciting projects that are leading the way to sustainability in Marin.
At the Sky Oaks Watershed Headquarters near Lake Lagunitas, stewards of the watershed face daily challenges to ensure that the land stays healthy in order to provide enough clean water for the region’s water demands. Removing non-native scotch broom and preventing pollution are regular tasks, but a challenge most aren’t aware of is the threat of wildfire to our water supply.
According to Mike Swezy, the Watershed Lands Manager at Sky Oaks, fire is one of the main concerns for the health of our watershed. Fires not only change the scheme of an ecosystem on the large and visible scale but even at the molecular level. According to a 2004 Colorado State University article in the Journal of Forestry, high soil temperatures consume the layer of leaf litter and organic material on the surface of the soil which causes a physical change in the charged particles of the soil, creating a “tin roof” effect; the soil actually repels water and it runs off quickly.
Burns, whether prescribed or naturally-occurring, also prompt a type of erosion called dry ravel, in which dry soil and rocks slide downhill without any precipitation moving it. And, exposed soil without any plants to shield it or roots to hold it washes away in heavy rains. Accelerated erosion fills streams with sediment, which has a negative impact on the clarity and quality of water.
However, managing fire risk is not a matter of putting them out, Swezy says. In fact, preventing fires entirely could make the situation worse. “Native Americans had carefully used fire for 12,000 years, so the vegetation is shaped for fires.When Europeans arrived we entered an era of fire suppression, and in the early 20th century we got better and better at putting out fires and ended up with too much vegetation. Its sort of a paradox.”
So how do we protect our forests and watersheds from fire without creating more risk? Sky Oaks is working on solutions that include fuel breaks and restoring areas to resemble old-growth forests (think large, old trees with less underbrush), which are more fire resistant. “An open forest is more fire hardy and yields more water…if you think of your forest as a carbon bank, it is safer to have larger trees that won’t burn entirely and are more spread out than to put all of your carbon into many little trees that burn up quickly.”
Want to know more about greywater reuse? Greywater Action has an informative evening slideshow presentation: “Drought-Proof Your Landscape with Greywater.” Learn about common types of systems, advantages and limitation of different systems, what soaps and products are plant-friendly, water saving potential, costs, and about codes and regulations. Discover what types of greywater systems may be best for your home.
Ready to design or install a system at your house?
Attend a Greywater Design and Installation workshop. Go through the design process for a “laundry to landscape” (L2L) greywatersystem, which is the most popular, simple, and easiest-to-install residential system, and it doesn’t require a permit (so long as basic guidelines are followed). Whether you install the system yourself, or you hire someone to assist you, this workshop will prepare you for the experience. You’ll put together a “mock-up” of a real system, as well as get individual advice from experienced instructors about your site. You’ll leave with a system design and materials list to construct your own L2L system. Note: You must have a flat or downwards sloping yard to irrigate with this type of system.
Below are some great resources for water conservation and management. Please check them out, and let us know if you have resources to add.
Receive a free residential garden evaluation from a Marin Master Gardener. Get expert advice on water-wise planting and tips for a beautiful, healthy landscape. Call 499-4204 to schedule or to learn more click here.
Receive a free indoor efficiency evaluation from one of California Youth Energy Services’ friendly and professional young staff, plus free installation of energy- and water-saving equipment. To learn more, go to www.marinwater.org or call (510) 665-1501 ext. 10 to schedule.
A collaborative group of educators, designers, builders, and artists who educate and empower people to build sustainable water culture and infrastructure.Using water from sinks, showers and washing machines to irrigate plants is a way to increase the productivity of sustainable backyard ecosystems that produce food, clean water, and shelter wildlife.
The County of Marin provides information on gray water systems with a “Laundry to Landscape” pamphlet.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has a great manual for a DIY gray water installation.
The Bay Institute is the leader in protecting and restoring the entire watershed which drains into San Francisco Bay.
MMWD is a public agency that provides drinking water to 185000 people in a 147
Get a FREE Water Use Survey – Are you looking for ways to reduce your water use and your water bill? Through MMWD’s Conservation Assistance Program (CAP), MMWD offers FREE, personalized water use consultations for your home or business. Click here for more information.
Weekly Watering Schedule: Not sure how much water your garden needs? MMWD’s Weekly Watering Schedule is updated every Friday based on current weather conditions, so your plants always get just the right amount of water.
North Marin Water District serves a suburban population of 61,000 people situated in and about the City of Novato which is located in a warm inland coastal valley of Marin County, California and several small improvement districts in the West Marin area near the coast.
The Council is deeply committed to supporting and encouraging active stewardship of the natural resources in the Tomales Bay watershed. They also provide current health status of the beaches within their stewardship.
The North Bay Watershed Association (NBWA) is a group of 16 regional and local public agencies located throughout Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties.
Explore water conservation with the water use calculator
This survey takes 10 minutes and greatly helps us know what you have already done to conserve water and what steps you might take to save water in your business.
We want Fairfax to be the Water Heroes of Marin and lead the way to living sustainably in our water shed. Please Join Us!
We will be sending information via email specific to your water needs.