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Sustainable Tulsa Newsletter              July 2012
In This Issue
First Thursdays!
Water and Energy
Another Day in the Garden
Our Sponsors

Ihloff Salon and Day Spa Employees 'Jeans Day Program'


Southside Rotary Club of Tulsa




Jenkins Consulting Group


Green Star


Become a member today!

Click here and 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




1. Get a breeze going


Your body is constantly generating heat, in amounts comparable to what's put out by a 100-to-300-watt light bulb. You're uncomfortable in hot or humid weather because your body has a harder time ridding itself of that heat. That's when ceiling, window, or floor fans are useful. Why keep 25,000 cubic feet of living space refrigerated in order to keep two or three people cooled off? Air moving across your body is highly effective in helping you shed heat; some of the newer portable fans do an even better job than the traditional box fan. Attic or whole-house fans, when turned on in the evening after the outdoor temperature has dropped, replace hot air that has accumulated inside during the day with fresh, 

cooler air.



 2. Unplug


 Any household device that runs on energy in the form of electricity or gas also releases much of that energy as waste heat. The fewer things you have turned on, the less heat you have to deal with. There's a reason that around the world, kitchens traditionally have been separated from the main house. Cut back on boiling and baking especially. Keep any unneeded lights turned off. Energy-efficient light bulbs and refrigerators pump out less heat than conventional ones. Take tepid or cold, not hot, showers, to relieve the house of a big load of humidity (and remove a lot of heat from your own body). And use advanced solar technology--

 the clothesline--to dry the laundry.



 3. Get wet


For more sustainable living tips for home, work, and travel, please visit

If it's not feasible to hit the lake or local swimming pool, but if water supplies are sufficient and the garden is getting dry, set the sprinkler to overshoot a little and send the kids (or yourself) out to cool off in it. In drier regions where water may be scarce and air humidity is low, evaporative ("swamp")

coolers are a highly effective use of available water. Remember, sustainable gardens and landscapes often are supported without city water supplies so it is important to make sure we only use city water to cool ourselves off when the water used is to support other functions (gardens, food production, etc.)


4. Make shade

Vegetation cools twice, by

shading and by evaporation. For the long run, plant trees, especially on the south and west. In the shorter run, or if trees won't work, put other types of tall plants--giant reed, sunflowers, or even corn--along the sunbaked sides of the house.





Workers of the world, thaw

In the workplace, we often have much less control over the indoor temperature than we do at home. The number-one summer complaint of people working in large offices is that it's too cold. If, instead of blowing on their

hands or taking sweaters or space heaters to work, the nation's overchilled employees united to demand a less frigid summer work environment, there is no telling how many power plants could be closed down. 






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



Libby Auld

Jessica John-Bowman

Dan Cameron

Brett Fidler

Richard Gajan

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







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.

Director's Update


by Corey Williams

Sustainable Tulsa, Director


General Poster

Join us this Friday, June 29th for SalsaFest! Eloté Café and Catering will present the 4rd annual SalsaFest at the H. A. Chapman Centennial Green in the heart of downtown Tulsa on Friday, June 29, 2012 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm to benefit Sustainable Tulsa.


SalsaFest is family friendly event that is a free outdoor, festival where the main attraction is a salsa-making/tasting contest. Local restaurants and home cooks are invited to compete to see if their salsa really is award winning. Salsa Music Dancing featuring Sol Azteca and Salsabor, Tulsa Children's Museum in the Kid Zone, Food Truck by Bohemian Love, DJ Dialation. Taste salsa's made by individuals and restaurants such as Mi Cocina, La Boca Loca and Casa Laredo.


Salsa contestants use at least one Oklahoma grown ingredients for the public and celebrity judges to taste and vote for their favorite. There are three categories for contestants to enter their salsa: Spicy, Traditional and Alternative. Awards will be given out to the three public chosen winners, an overall winner, the celebrity judges winner, and the salsa maker using the most local ingredients.


In additional to the Salsa contest there will be a chili pepper eating contest and Chihuahua costume contest and race.

Click here for more information on the Chihuahua Race and Costume Contest.  To learn more contact Sustainable Tulsa at 918-808-6576 or

First Thursdays!


"Dan's War on Poverty: Creating the patchwork quilt of a just and sustainable society."

By Ann Patton, Writer and Consultant



We live in a patchwork-quilt society. It takes us all to stitch together a just and sustainable society, starting here at home with a Sustainable Tulsa. A new book, "Dan's War on Poverty," tells the inspirational story of Tulsa's human rights struggles in the 1960s and 1970s, focused on the life and times of Dan Allen, the crusading priest who founded Neighbor for Neighbor and fought for the poor.

Tulsa author Ann Patton calls her book a collection of stories, "true parables." Learn how Dan and his volunteers changed our world - ordinary people doing extraordinary things on behalf of the common good, working together to create a just and sustainable community. Don't miss Ann Patton: "Dan's War on Poverty: Creating the patchwork quilt of a just and sustainable society."


Ann Patton is a Tulsa-based writer and consultant. She has spent more than 40 years writing about and working on community issues, in Tulsa and around the country, including disaster management, poverty, human rights, and sustainability. In Tulsa these days, she is best known as mother of Michael Patton (the M.e.t.) and mother-in-law of Anna America (Up with Trees and School Board). For one all-too-brief and shining moment in the 1990s, she worked with Corey Williams. Ann is the author of a new book, "Dan's War on Poverty: A Grassroots Crusade for Social Justice."

Ann Patton


facebook page -

email for those who wants to be added to her newsletter, etc,


First Thursdays! with Sustainable Tulsa are free and open to the public and chance for you to network with your community and learn about sustainability happening in the Tulsa area. We have guest speaker each month on a variety of topics. This is also an opportunity to let others know about what you are working on! Come learn and share! We meet the first Thursday of each month at Eloté Café and Catering, 514 S Boston, Tulsa, OK. We gather at 12:30 for lunch and 1:00 to 2:00 for the guest speaker and networking. For more information click here or contact Corey Williams, 918-808-6576. July 5th is our next First Thursdays! with Ann Patton and"Dan's War on Poverty: Creating the patchwork quilt of a just and sustainable society."

Join us!

Thank you to Covant Energy

and Jenkins Consulting Group for their sponsorship of First Thursdays!

Drinking Water Conservation & Sustainability    

by Graham Brannin

City of Tulsa Water and Sewer, PW Planning and Intergovernmental Administrator


Conservation of our drinking water impacts all 3 legs of the Sustainability stool: People, Profit, & Planet. As mentioned in last month's article, water treatment and distribution requires significant energy. Water conservation can significantly reduce energy consumption which reduces the impact on the earth.

Conservation can also lower operational/maintenance demands and delay required plant upgrades. This can delay or minimize water rate increases and help out everyone's bottom-line. These infrastructure enhancement reductions also lessen the use of other natural and man-made resources, also lightening the load on our planet. A strong drinking water delivery capacity, allowed through conservation, can also allow for economic development in our community.

Tulsa is blessed with a relative abundance of water due to its geographical location and visionary planning by our City founders. However, water is a finite and valuable resource that should be protected and used wisely. It is simply, "the right thing to do".

The next month's article will delve into ways to conserve water at home & the workplace.

Another Day in the Garden
Part 2


Becky Eagleton, gardener


 My job in the Tulsa Rose Garden has some perks, one of which is that I meet a lot of interesting people who share their stories with me. If I stood twenty yards outside the park in the parking lot, I'm fairly sure no one would approach me and volunteer that tidbit about her upcoming cancer treatment or his recent job loss. But if I'm crouched in one of the rose beds, sweating profusely and digging out weeds, then somehow I have become part of the public property and thus, public domain. 


 In most cases this is a blessing to me. Occasionally a grouch will stop me and demand to know why the hell the garden does not look the way it did thirty years ago, and my usual response is "sir, you are just the type of volunteer we are looking for and the volunteer forms are over there in the Garden Center." Yes, I admit I have thorns of my own.


Generally, though, working in a bed of roses is, well, a bed of roses.  And that "stop and smell the roses" is no light metaphor. I have the opportunity to meet people when they are in a life-reflecting state of mind because I have caught them in the act of stopping and smelling the roses.  So, they share with me, and often their faces open like a rose blossom as they talk. I try to open my heart as much to listen.  They do not really need me, my individual person, to hear them.  They need me as a representative of the public and the community to listen.  If I imagine myself as just another rose bush in the garden, then I can listen and take in their small or large burdens for a brief moment in the sunshine and lay them down in the rose bed after the talker has left.  I consider these conversations as fertilizer, for myself and the plants I tend.  These are sustaining moments.


Everyday in the garden I am reminded that my heartbreaks and despairs, my joys and triumphs, are no greater than nor no less than the ones whispered into the Hybrid Teas, or the Grandifloras or the Floribundas by passersby. Though the Rose Garden is a fixed place, it is a journey as well into memory and healing. 

Eliminating the Idea of Garbage

through Process Design


By Dr. Marc Jensen, University of Oklahoma Lean Institute


As a society, we tend to view garbage as an untouchable subject.  Virtually every public space contains a trashcan, and there is an unwritten social taboo that anything that goes into the trashcan may not be touched, seen, or smelled by anyone else ever again.  Workers come after hours and empty trashcans, so the garbage effectively vanishes magically.  Most people are uncomfortable with the stigma of pulling material out of the trash (after all, only poor people do that...), and yet if one polls a room, a majority of people would reach into a trashcan if they saw a dollar bill in the trash.  If not for $1, then almost certainly for $5, especially if the trash is "clean", etc...  If the dollar value is raised high enough, and social factors like other people watching the act are removed, everyone in the room almost always eventually agrees to that they would reach in to take the money. 


The interesting thing about garbage though is that this mentality usually does not translate into pulling other materials out of the trash that still have value (such as toner cartridges that can be redeemed for credit at office supply stores), and even more importantly, that we often fail to recognize the cost of generating the waste that went into the trashcan in the first place.   For a business, there is little difference between looking in a trashcan and seeing a stack of reports that were printed, filed, and stored only to be shredded later, and seeing a pile of shredded money.  That money is embodied in the form of poorly managed material and labor through a badly designed information flow process, and the evidence of the inefficiency is the fact that it produces garbage.  Materially efficient processes do not produce significant garbage, or if they do, they are intimately connected to a downstream process that uses the garbage as an important raw material.


In teaching Lean Manufacturing as a sustainability tool and approaching the problem of garbage, one of the best ways to begin a dialogue about garbage is to conduct a trash audit exercise.  Use a container of garbage (ideally a whole dumpster), and have people sort out and evaluate all of the contents.  The contents first get sorted into material types and weighed (paper, cardboard, metal, plastic, disposable products, unrecyclable trash, etc...).


This makes it very easy to grasp a breakdown of the contents at a glance, and it allows the audit participants to see where their primary garbage costs lie (hint: in academia, the problem is always paper, in manufacturing, the problem is always packaging).  The next step is to take the biggest spike on the weight graph and start analyzing its contents.  Instead of asking how to reduce that paper spike by more effectively recycling on campus, the Lean question is: What processes generated this paper waste, and how could those processes be improved to involve less handling and disposal of paper?  This is a great tool to select areas for improvement.  Keep breaking that spike down until each category is the product of a single process, and then begin evaluating how those processes could operate effectively while generating less garbage.


Both environmentally and from a pure fiscal perspective, it makes sense to audit our garbage and question the process that generated each piece of waste.  How could you do this process if there was no landfill to send waste to?  Recycling programs are great ways to divert waste from the landfill, but recycling itself is often a diversion that distracts people away from more meaningful but less visible conservation through reduction.  More sustainable organizations have less material being recycled, because they produce less material waste to handle.  Looking up stream and finding ways to stop the garbage before it is produced is even better than recycling.  This is just good business efficiency, and it also lessens the environmental impact of operations.