National Geographic close to going Green for it's paper source

According to Green America's Better Paper Project latest report, (more info click here) the organization has succeeded in getting one of the largest, most influential magazine publishers in the country to admit the benefits of using recycled paper.

The Plastic Bag Debate


By Jessie Emerson, Chapter Zero Waste leader
The National Climate Data Center released a report early January 2013 saying that 2012 was the warmest year on record in the US since it started keeping records in 1895. The Federal government released its crop report January 14th of this year: there have been crop losses caused by the worst drought since the 1950’s.

It is clear that the planet is in a warming cycle that is accelerated by
industralization and carbon emissions, ie. by fossil fuels. Steven davis of
the University of california states,” The only real solution to climate change
is to stop dumping CO2 into the atmosphere altogether.”

This article will focus on how plastic bags contribute to global warming,
environmental degradation and human health problems. We will also
discuss the use of corn plastics.

NASA’s Climate Kids idea: Make your own recycled paper greeting cards—and then plant them!



There’s a fun new activity on NASA’s Climate Kids website. Instead of just emptying the paper-shredder receptacle into the recycle bin, recycle it yourself! Make your own recycled paper greeting cards—and then plant them! This “seed paper’ activity is easy and fun, and produces a greeting anyone would find endearing for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day. Visit

Check out these great sites for kids:

Zero Waste information and brochure


Zero Waste is a concept based on nature. Nature doesn't generate waste or pollution. What is waste for one organism is food for another.

Zero Waste focuses on reducing waste by reusing products and composting rather than recycling.

The Sierra Club Policy
The Sierra Club adopted a Zero Waste policy in 2008. It addresses not only the qauntity of waste we generate but also its toxicity and its important link to corporate responsibility and climate change.

Dairy groundwater protections in danger

By Dan Lorimier, Chapter Conservation Coordinator and Lobbyist

After almost three years of wrangling with New Mexico’s dairy industry, calling themselves the Dairy Industry Group for a Cleaner Environment (DIGCE), and the New Mexico Environment Department’s Groundwater Quality Bureau, the Rio Grande Chapter saw the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) implement new regulations specific to the dairy industry early in 2012.

UPDATE - additional 41 acres to be added to Valle de Oro - Two NEW New Mexico wildlife refuges dedicated

Wildlife refuge photo by Jeff Potter

UPDATE (August 2, 2013) Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Adds 41 Acres

The next 41 acres of a planned acquisition of the 570-acre Price's Dairy was conveyed to the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, said The Trust for Public Land, Bernalillo County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on July 30.

The transfer represents the second phase of the Refuge's three-phase acquisition plan. More details in attached press release.

Plan for Middle Rio Grande released

Expanding programs such as the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program

By Dave Simon

The Rio Grande is one of the world’s great rivers. Over 1,800 miles in length, the Rio Grande is the fifth-longest river in North America. More than 500 miles of the Rio Grande form the heart of New Mexico—the state’s primary drainage feature and most valuable natural and cultural resource.

Group leaders named to State Land committee

New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell in May 2012 named Rio Grande Chapter leaders Norma McCallan and Ken Hughes to be part of a 12-member Conservation Advisory Committtee for the State Land Office.

Member Story: House Savings

Norma Reyes

Member Story: House Savings

Four years ago, I started greening my house as I made needed repairs. First I replaced the main windows with double-pane, energy-saving windows (which also reduced outside noise considerably). I have followed up with Energy Star toilets (rebate water credit paid for them entirely), showerheads, refrigerator, dishwasher and entry door. I’ve also installed an energy efficient garage door and put a thermal blanket on the water heater.

Solar Saves the Day

photo by Ken Hughes

Solar System kept water pumping when fire knocked out other power
(From the New Mexico Energy and Minerals Department)

RUIDOSO, N.M. – A solar photovoltaic system installed by the Sun Valley Water and Sanitation District kept the water pumping to volunteer firefighters fighting the Little Bear Fire when all other power in the area was lost.

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