March 2012



Sustainable Tulsa Newsletter
In This Issue
First Thursdays!
Bellmon Nominations
Office of Sustainability
Green Country Permaculture LLC.
Our Sponsors

Ihloff Salon and Day Spa Employees 'Jeans Day Program'

Our Sponsors

Become a member of Sustainable Tulsa today!


Sustainable Tulsa members receive our free updates and can request a free copy of the 2010 Tulsa Area Green Directory. Your membershiphelps support:


Sustainability education in the Tulsa area


Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards


Elote SalsaFest


McLain Renewable Energy Program


CNG School Bus Partnership


'First Thursdays!'


Launching Sustainable Tulsa Business Program

Green Tips

Cutting Down on Junk Mail can help you rid your life of all that waste and all that hassle by contacting the 20-30 direct mail companies that send you a majority of your bulk mail. The cost is $41 per household and covers the household for 5 years, no matter if you move, change your name, or get married. One-third of the proceeds are donated to EarthShare.


Please visit for more information.




Green Jobs


Up with Trees


Administrative Assistant

For more information, call 918.592.1138



Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture


Administrative Assistant


This position provides general administrative and clerical support. Qualified applicants will have excellent organizational, verbal and written communications skills, and be able to interact well with our staff and farmer/rancher clientele. Business experience in an office and/or customer service environment a must, along with strong skills in Microsoft Office Suite. A Bachelor or Associate degree specialized in office training desirable. Position requires light travel and some weekend work. Successful candidate will have access to an excellent benefits package with salary commensurate with education, experience, and ability. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Please submit your resume with three references along with a cover letter to:


Kerr Center

Attn. Melanie Zoeller

P.O. Box 588

Poteau, OK 74953






Who We Are


Corey Williams


Newsletter Editor

Will Huffman


Board of Directors


President: Marilyn Ihloff


Vice President: Denise Reid


Treasurer/Secretary: Connie Cohea


Members: Libby Auld; Jessica John-Bowman; Dan Cameron; Brett Fidler; Bryan Osborne; Brandon Perkins


Leadership Tulsa Board Interns

Kenton Grant

Joanne Ferguson

About Us


Sustainable Tulsa aims to educate and share in the process of developing a sustainability force through our volunteer program. Please see the list below of the many Sustainable Tulsa volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer opportunities include:


  • Elote SalsaFest
  • Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards
  • Green Directory
  • 'First Thursdays!'
  • Website Champion
  • Green Mentor

'First Thursdays!'


Sustainable Tulsa also meets the first Thursday of each month at Elote Cafe and Catering, 514 S. Boston Ave., in downtown Tulsa. You will find us all the way in the back. We meet at 12:30 PM for lunch and from 1:00-2:00 PM we have a guest speaker and networking. Please join us!!


For more information, please contact Corey Williams at





Contact Us


Phone: 918.808.6576






Facebook: Sustainable Tulsa (Official)


Mailing Address:


Sustainable Tulsa

P.O. Box 3543

Tulsa, OK 74101-3543



Sustainable Tulsa promotes responsible economic growth, environmental stewardship, and quality of life for all. Sustainable Tulsa is working toward Tulsa being recognized as the leader in sustainability of the Midwest. Sustainability is the triple bottom line; the balance of people, profit, and planet.

First Thursdays! in March

Winds of Change: PSO's WindChoice


Michael Gordon, PSO's Small Commercial Program manager, will be speaking at Sustainable Tulsa's 'First Thursdays!' at Elote Café (514 South Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK, 74103) on Thursday, March 1 from 12:30 to 2:00 PM. Michael will be speaking on behalf of the Public Service Company of Oklahoma's new WindChoice program, which he helps coordinate through PSO's Consumer Program Department. The WindChoice program is in response to Oklahomans' request for more renewable energy. WindChoice will give both homes and businesses alike the option to use wind energy and the choice on how much to use. The wind energy is generated from 62 wind turbines in Minco, OK and is Green-e Energy certified, the nation's leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy. Consumers have told PSO they want to do business with those who support environmental issues and PSO will help publicize WindChoice leadership by featuring those involved in artwork, press releases, and decals that display a strong commitment to renewable energy in Oklahoma. Businesses involved in the program will also have the option to be featured on PSO's 'Participating Businesses' website. Becoming a WindChoice purchaser gives your organization the opportunity to gain: recognition as an environmental leader; positive attention in your local community; differentiation of organizations and brands from the competition, increased organizational competitiveness through sustainable management; and allows your organization to reduce its carbon footprint. With Oklahoma's abundant wind resources, WindChoice will play an important role in our nation's energy future as we move toward greater energy independence, less dependence on fossil fuels, a cleaner environment for our children, and much needed high-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.  

To sign up your business, visit or contact Dawn Casey at 918-599-2407. To sign up your home, please call our WindChoice Experts at 1-888-776-1367.





Bellmon Nominations Open March 6th

The Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards will open up nominations March 6th for 2012.  We are seeking nominations from individuals, agencies, organizations, or companies that dedicate themselves to a balanced approach toward quality of life, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship. Nominees must implement their work in Oklahoma to be eligible.  The opportunity to nominate your efforts will remain open for the 2012 awards from March 6th to May 7th.  If you would like to see our past award winners, you can visit our Bellmon website and watch the videos prepared by our Media Partner, Channel 8 News


You can make your nominations at: 


If you have any questions regarding nominations, please contact Corey Williams at or call 918-808-6576.


Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards is the brought to Oklahoma through the partnerships of Sustainable Tulsa and Southside Rotary Club of Tulsa.

City of Tulsa Sheds Some Light on Sustainability


by Brett Fidler

Director of City of Tulsa's Office of Sustainability


The City of Tulsa has identified several municipal lighting projects that have been funded by our U.S. Department of Energy grant. The projects undertaken by the city have been diverse and we are just starting to receive efficiency and savings data resulting from these projects.


Our first lighting project involved replacing 1,700 incandescent tri-color traffic signal heads in downtown Tulsa with high efficiency LED (light-emitting diode) units. This project was especially attractive because it makes energy-efficiency efforts visible to the citizens, increases traffic safety, and helps the city meet updated Americans with Disabilities Act requirements by upgrading to easier to read crossing signals with LED countdown timers. 


The next lighting project upgraded taxiway lights at both Tulsa International and R.L. Jones airports to high-performance LED technology. Although LED lighting has not been approved by the FAA for all runway lighting applications, it is being used on taxiways across the country. The new LED units have decreased electricity use by an impressive 59%, according to preliminary data. 


The third lighting project replaces lights inside City Hall and the rest of the One Technology Center building. When the City moved into the facility in 2008, most of the lighting was fairly efficient and consisted of a mixture of LED, high-efficiency fluorescent, and compact fluorescent technologies. However, the City saw an opportunity to make the building even more energy efficient and took advantage of federal grant funding to begin replacing/relamping 7,700 fixtures.

Look No Further Than Your Own Backyard

Presented by Green Country Permaculture LLC.







Sitting at the top of Turkey Mountain the other day, I found myself gazing out over the landscape and imagining how it looked five hundred years ago. I saw herds of buffalo and pronghorn grazing native grasslands and drinking from the Arkansas. A summer dry spell moved in and a flash of lightning ignited a fire that swept the land clearing the dry brush from last year and leaving behind fertile soot and supreme conditions for the returning grass and migratory herds. This was sustainable management. The herds along with the fire kept back the succession of dense trees (which shade out grasses), while the fire and indigenous peoples kept the herds from overgrazing one particular spot. When the new settlers arrived on the prairies, they found incredible topsoil and thriving communities of animals, plants and indigenous tribes all co-managing the land.

Today, such land practices are visions of the past and more "efficient" industrial systems prevail. Our needs are no longer met from our immediate landscape but from ones far away. And as a result, our local landscapes have been freed up to either go unused (wasted) or to be converted into resource guzzling lawns and ornamental gardens.

 Modern land management techniques have created very productive systems, but these systems are largely inefficient and rely on cheap energy, stable climates, and ample supplies. Mowers now do the grazing but instead of running on grass, they run on gas from the Middle East. The varieties of grass have shifted from drought tolerant natives to very thirsty ones which require sprinkler systems. Where the growth of the native grass was once recycled back into the soil where it grew, thus returning nutrients, it is now bagged up and shipped to a dump site. Outside nutrients have to be shipped in as chemical fertilizers which are devastating our waterways from runoff. Lawns managed in this way are not aligned with nature.

Permaculture is a concept that models itself from the ecological principles of nature. It recognizes that there are natural forces on the land and we can use those as advantages rather than see them as problems. Let's see what a Permaculture landscape might look like.

Soil is the heart of any ecological garden. The soil fauna (earthworms, fungi, bacteria) make the soil; we just have to feed them, not sterilize them with chemicals. We can layer biomass (leaves, grass clippings, kitchen scraps, card board) on our beds to feed the soil the fertility it needs. This free mulch also blocks light from weeds, turning them into worm food and retaining moisture in the soil. As the soil builds itself quickly, it becomes like a sponge that can hold enormous amounts of water reserves. Plants grown in this type of soil are healthier and more immune to diseases and pests. A diversity of plants creates a diversity of beneficial insects like pollinators and predators of pests. Biocides become obsolete. The plants all serve multiple functions. Some fix nitrogen, others draw minerals from the subsoil with long taproots, a few repel pests, and most importantly the plants are either edible (vegetables, berries, and edible flowers), herbal (cilantro, stevia), or medicinal (chamomile). These are plants we can use. A system like this relies almost solely on its own interactions; inputs and outputs circulating through a highly efficient cycle where each organism plays an integral role. It rivals the beauty of any lawn or ornamental hedge, visually and ethically.

 Land managed with alternative methods that are more able to adapt to changing circumstances in the environment and economy will become increasingly more valuable. To start these systems in our backyards or neighborhoods is not a radical notion. A shift in something as small as our land practices can have positive and powerful impacts in our environments and in our communities. If you want to see change in our society, then look no further than your own backyard.


Written by James Spicer and Sam Sneller of Green Country Permaculture LLC., an organization of certified permaculturists. To contact us, please call Will Huffman, business manager for GCP LLC., at (918) 978-4465.