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Sustainable Tulsa Newsletter           May 2012
In This Issue
Director's Update
First Thursdays!
Eco Ladder
Wind Jobs
City of Tulsa Update
Water and the 3 P's
Our Sponsors

Ihloff Salon and Day Spa Employees 'Jeans Day Program'


Southside Rotary Club of Tulsa




Green Star


Become a member today!

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

Homemade Liquid Organic Fertilizers


As a rabbit owner, I have been recently researching ways I can use Sasha's droppings as a useful way to fertilize my garden. Because Sasha is a herbivore and eats a strict diet of only the freshest, organic vegetables and occassionally fruits, she is a prime candidate to be used to support her own food source through a garden.


Most of our cuddly, veggie-eating counterparts can provide a great resource for fertilizer to feed not only our animals but also our families as well.


Brewing Manure Tea

Manure is nothing more than digested plant material. Herbivores are just living compost tumblers that quickly break down organic materials. Any manure is fine except cat and dog. Those shouldn't be used on vegetables because of the parasites they may contain. Some prefer poultry manure because it contains more nitrogen than other types. Poultry manure contains the urine as well as solids, but many of us do not have birds in our yards and houses so any herbivore manure will work.


Manure Tea Recipe


Fill a five gallon bucket half full of manure and then to the top with water. Cover the bucket, with holes in the lid for air. Leave it to stew for at least a month, stirring about once a week. That's it. When using the tea, dilute it with one part tea to about 10 parts water and apply at the base of your plants. It is ok to strain the tea but the residue from the composting can also be used at the base of your plants.


If not making compost tea, I always recommend that when using manure to grow food for your pets and loved-ones, age the manure to avoid contamination.


Information provided by Will Huffman, newsletter editor and co-owner of Green Country Permaculture (GCP).


For more information on permaculture practices, please contact GCP at 918.978.4465



Green Jobs


For Information on Green Jobs in Oklahoma visit:

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.

Good Things Happening!

Director's Update

by Corey Williams

Sustainable Tulsa has been busy for the last month with the McLain Renewable Energy Laboratory, First Thursdays!, Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards, and saying thank you to our longest supporter Ihloff Salon and Day Spa Employees. See some of our pictures from this month as well as our 2011 Year in Review. See the breadth of Sustainable Tulsa and the breadth of sustainability. Thank you to you all for your support to Sustainable Tulsa and moving Tulsa toward a healthier and more sustainable community.



ST Pictures April 2012 

First Thursdays!


Green Collar Jobs


By Patrick H. Green, Green Training Program Manager
Tulsa Community College, Northeast Campus


May's First Thursdays! topic will focus on 'green collar' jobs and local programs to grow this job sector in the Tulsa area. Patrick Green with Tulsa Community College North East Campus and the Center for Energy Excellence and Innovation will discuss how TCC is a part of Oklahoma Project Green.


The Oklahoma Project Green is a grant-funded green-job training program administered by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. TCC's program has a goal of training at least 387 individuals for "green collar" jobs. We offer several training programs including LEED, BPI, and RESNET energy auditor, sustainability management, fuel-efficient truck driving, and alternative energy technician. This training is important and impactful because it provides real, tangible skills students can use to work in the green sector. To date we have helped over 150 participants enter employment in green jobs. 


Patrick Green is the Green Training Program Manager at TCC where he focuses his work on bringing relevant and impactful green job training to Tulsa and helping grow the green economy. Prior to joining TCC, Patrick worked as an environmental attorney in Tulsa. He possesses an undergraduate degree in political science from Oklahoma State University, a law degree from TU, and a master's degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.


Climbing the 'Green' Ladder


by Monica Roberts, marketing consultant, freelance writer, and mom


Creating a way to feel superior to your neighbor is just human nature.


In my grandparents' day, it was whether or not you ironed your bed sheets and tea towels coupled with how often you went to church.


During my adolescent years, self-worth was often linked to how much a person weighed, namely me. This was ironic because my mother has always struggled with her weight. But, by golly, she had a daughter who wore a size 6, so that made everything OK. Plus we attended church every time the door opened. Self-esteem was at an all-time high.


One of the great benefits of our day and age is that we have so many more ways to one-up the next guy. For example, depending on your perspective and priorities, you can feel better about either sending your child to a public school in need of kids from stable homes or a private school in need of poor kids to help level out the demographics. We do both, which puts our family on a real high horse.


But my personal favorite category of modern one-upmanship is how eco-friendly one's lifestyle might be. Here, the possibilities are almost endless, but there's clearly a pecking order to how sustainable you really are. Probably at the top of the pyramid are those who catch rainwater in barrels, install solar panels on their roof, grow their own food (sans meat) and heat and cool with a geothermal system. Next, would be those who only travel by foot or bike followed by people driving something like a Toyota Prius or Honda Fit followed by drivers of some hybrid vehicle (that's not an SUV) who mostly shop at farmer's markets. Then there's the category I'm in.


The bottom of this eco pyramid is filled with people who really do want to be sustainable in most of their life, but only if it's convenient, affordable and I can still look cool doing it. Wearing Tom's shoes is a great example, as is buying only organic when I'm grocery shopping right after payday. Offering my reusable shopping bags to the check out girl is another sustainable practice I can pull off when I happen to remember to get them out of the trunk of my car. Making my boys bathe together also saves us tons of water each month, except when they fill the tub high enough to bathe the entire family.


But more than anything, I'm reminded just how much higher I am on the eco ladder than most of my neighbors every two weeks on recycling day. Plopping down my green bins on the curb gives me great satisfaction, as I'm able to smugly show off my superior love for the planet to my neighbors, many of whom receive the Tulsa World every day and pitch them in the trash. Seriously, I'm not sure how they sleep at night.


What's great about this pyramid is that every day you can discover yet another way to get a toehold on the next rung of sustainability, thus boosting your street cred and status among those of the enlightened, earth-friendly set.


I caught a glimpse of the next rung just last week when I dropped my son off at preschool. Bringing in their daughter at the same time was a very cool, fashionable, hip looking couple with nary a Birkenstock or dreadlock in sight. Their daughter held a terra cotta pot with handmade flowers in it. I thought it was really pretty-surely a teacher gift designed to get their child extra attention in school.


"Oh, I love your flowers!" I exclaimed. "Are those made of felt?"


"Styrofoam," the mom answered coolly. "Biodegradable."




Oklahoma Jobs Blow in with the Wind


by Justin Hayden


The potential for wind energy generation in Oklahoma is staggering, and with increased demand, an influx of jobs has occurred. According to Kylah McNabb, Wind Energy Development Specialist at the Oklahoma State Department of Commerce, despite this demand, there aren't enough qualified technicians in Oklahoma to perform maintenance on the state's wind turbines.


"The need is definitely national, and as well as in Oklahoma. Industry averages, you usually see one turbine technician for every 10 turbines on the ground, says McNabb."


Industry experts recommend doubling the industry average, which would create more jobs that pay in excess of $20 an hour. The U.S. Department of Labor's Green Grants program offers grants to cover the cost of attending one of the many training programs at community colleges, technology centers, and universities around the state.


The only prerequisite for the job is a high school diploma or GED, the appropriate training, and the physical (and mental) capacity to climb the towers, which can be as tall as a football field is long (300 feet).


Currently, Oklahoma has 1,995 megawatts of wind generation either currently in operation or under construction. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has calculated that the panhandle alone has the potential for 8,400 megawatts of wind power production, with an additional 7,000 MW from western Oklahoma.


With so much potential for clean energy and good paying jobs, the wind generation industry in Oklahoma can serve as a means to solve both our economic and environmental woes.


For more information, please visit:



Alternative Fuel Vehicle Building Codes


by Brett Fidler, City of Tulsa - Sustainability Director


As I mentioned in last month's article, the City of Tulsa is working to incentivize citizens to purchase alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) in order to save money, boost the local economy, and improve air quality in our region. However, one of the biggest roadblocks for anyone looking to add one of the new compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, electric vehicles (EV), or plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles to their garage is finding convenient fueling options. Public EV charging stations are non-existent in Tulsa and CNG-station availability is only slightly better with a handful of publicly accessible stations open in town. While officials work to improve access to stations around town and around the state, potential AFV owners should know they have the option of having a fueling station installed in their own garage. This is the most convenient way as the vehicles can be connected to the fueling unit in the evening and be ready with a full tank by the time you leave in the morning.


In order to bring attention to the home fueling option and reduce the financial costs associated with AFVs, city officials are working to amend local residential building codes to require utility service to a suitable location in garages of new homes to allow for installation of a CNG compressor and/or EV charger. Everyone knows these vehicles are more expensive to purchase, but much cheaper and cleaner to operate, and most owners will see a return on their investment during the time they own the vehicle. However, reducing the cost of running natural gas lines or electrical wiring may be just enough to help a potential AFV buyer become a proud owner.


Providing natural gas service to an additional spot in the garage to facilitate fueling is fairly straightforward. The current residential gas service is adequate, and no special equipment is needed as long as the use of the new gas line doesn't "starve" other appliances for fuel. This issue is dealt with during design and installation. The current plan is to have the extra gas line located in the external wall of the garage with both internal and external stub outs. This would allow the homeowner to choose a compressor unit that is located inside the garage or one that's outside. The world of EVs is a little more complicated. There are actually 3 levels of EV charging: 120V, 240V and 480V/3 phase. However, only the first two are used in residential applications with the latter used to charge commercial or fleet vehicles quickly. Level 1 charging is slower and may take 8 hours to fully charge the vehicle. Level 2 chargers can fully charge a vehicle in about 4 hours, and this type of charging is the only option on some EVs on the market today, so it makes sense to require the necessary equipment for level 2 chargers in the new building code. Level 2 charging does require a dedicated circuit and a 240V receptacle, but this equipment is most likely already present in the home and is something the electrical contractor probably carries on his truck.


The goal is to require the addition of this infrastructure to promote the use of AFVs without adding substantial costs to the construction of the home. Industry experts have estimated that both the natural gas line and electrical service line can be added for less than $500 per home. Such a small cost will easily be recouped through lower fuel prices and the convenience of fueling at home.     
Tap Water and the Three P's
by Graham Brannin, City of Tulsa Water and Sewer Department - PW Planning and Intergovernmental Administrator

Drinking water systems have a great impact on People, Profit, & Planet. Quality of life, including health, is greatly enhanced with the affordable availability of safe water to our homes and businesses. This is something that "People" take for granted in Tulsa but is not common throughout the world. Commercial and industrial businesses rely upon our dependable water distribution system to run their business at a "Profit". Some industries decide to locate in Tulsa partly because of the high-quality water service. Finally, an efficient and conservation-minded water system can lighten the load on our "Planet".

Improving the sustainability of a drinking water system can take many forms. Proper planning, infrastructure upkeep, and adequate funding are critical to the long-term functionality of a water system. Energy conservation and efficiency measures can have a tremendous impact on sustainability in our community. The water treatment and distribution system is by far the largest user of energy in our local government and one of the largest PSO customers in the state. Energy management can also directly impact the citizens' pocket book, and thus, the rates we pay. Finally, water conservation can have an impact on infrastructure enhancement costs and long-term service.

In short, drinking water is a big and undervalued player on the sustainability scene. Stay tuned for next month's article digging further into the energy side of drinking water.