Given the importance of conserving energy and our planets natural resources the US Department of Energy has created the Solar Decathlon Competition that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The competition was started in 2002 and since then has been held biennially. The purpose of the competition is for students to design and construct an affordable dwelling unit that is attractive to the public but also incorporates energy efficient measures including appliances, heating and cooling, water reuse, landscape and renewable energy systems. There were only 20 teams selected to enter the final round of the competition for 2013. The team’s projects will be on display in Irvine, CA October 3-13, 2013. For more information please visit the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon website. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/
I have had the pleasure of guiding and assisting the UNLV team with their DesertSol Project in achieving LEED for Homes Certification. As a former architecture student, the experience to work on a project of this stature is a grand opportunity. The team consisted of students and faculty from Architecture, Engineering and Communications. Several professionals with expertise in this industry were also involved and donated their time to guide the students through proper design and implementation of energy efficient measures such as Passive House to meet their NetZero design.
The students have gone above and beyond in creating a sustainable, affordable and eye attracting project that is nearly self sufficient. Some of the highlight design features of the project are a tightly sealed envelope for proper Passive House design, Solar Panels, LED Lighting, Rainwater Harvesting and reuse for evaporative cooling, solar thermal domestic hot water, reclaimed wood and environmental preferable products for finishes and native drought tolerant plants. For more information on the design and specific materials used on the project please visit the teams website. http://solardecathlon.unlv.edu/
It is that time of year again for Yogi’s to unite and celebrate this beautiful practice. When I first began my journey with yoga, it was initially just for the physical benefits. But as I began to deepen my practice, I began to realize that there is so much more to it. Yoga really is about The Union between the Mind, Body and Spirit. Taking the time to disconnect from our everyday lives and spend an hour on our mats is such a gift. I love to take the time at the beginning of each class to allow my students to disconnect from their existing thoughts and come into the present moment and connect with their bodies. Living in the Los Angeles culture, we are always on the go and our bodies take a beating. Allowing ourselves the time to rejuvenate and release stress allows our bodies to heal and continue to function at full capacity.
In honoring the yoga practice, I collaborated with the amazing women from People’s Yoga LA in hosting a Free Yin Yoga class at Vista Hermosa Park in Downtown LA. The park has an amazing skyline view of the city and will be a wonderful backdrop for our class. A community potluck immediately followed the class. It was the perfect weather to be able to practice out in the open and feel the warm sun on our skin and hear all the animals in the park, the breeze whistling through the tree’s and plants and even the children playing nearby. I personally do not take enough time to bring my mat outdoors and practice out in nature. It was such a rewarding feeling to be able to connect on so many levels during our class on Sunday. I left the park with a feeling of being whole and blessed. So I urge everyone to take their practice outside and allow yourself to be open to what nature has to offer.
As a Sustainability Consultant it is one of my top priorities to educate my local community on healthy and sustainable buildings. Given that we spend about 90% of our lives in enclosed spaces, buildings have a huge affect on our health and livelihood. They can affect our mood, our productivity and our bodies. One of the most important spaces to put our focus is on schools, creating healthy learning environments for our future generations.
The Center for Green Schools at the US Green Building Council has created a global movement called GREEN APPLE that promotes learning environments with clean air, renewable materials and energy conservation enhancing the students ability to dream of a brighter future. In full support of this movement, I have committed to hosting a Green Apple Day of Service in my community.
For this years Green Apple Day of Service, I have the honor of collaborating with the San Gabriel Valley Conservation Corps (SGVCC) and Bentley Mills, Los Angeles in planning a fun filled afternoon of learning about sustainability. The event will be held on Saturday September 28th at the SGVCC Earthworks Farm & Community Garden in the city of South El Monte. The program will include a speaker from the County Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County, Composting Workshop, Flower Pot workshop and a Solar Panel display. Guests can purchase fresh produce from the farmers market grown in the Earthworks Farm. Hope to see you there!
The event is Free. If you would like to volunteer you can sign up on the event webpage: http://service.mygreenapple.org/page/event/detail/takeitoutside/4jjlb
Go look in the mirror and say “I love me”. Then say it again “I love me”. Now scream it at the top of your lungs “I LOVE ME!!!” Now go have yourself a wonderful day!
We tend to be the worst critic of ourselves and are usually harsh and negative with our own thoughts. What we forget is that we must love ourselves above all else. We should not beat ourselves up on occurrences in our lives that we are not happy or satisfied with, but we should take the time to pamper and reward ourselves for goals that we have reached and achievements. We must acknowledge our strengths and boost our ego with positive affirmations. A healthy and well-balanced state of mind helps us to stay focused and successful!
“A person starts to live when he can live outside himself.” – Albert Einstein
Taking responsibility for one’s own life is a powerful decision. The context in which I speak about responsibility is not blame and credit, but an awareness and consciousness that everything in your life is created by you as an outcome of your decisions, actions, thoughts, etc. Your happiness, your family, your relationships, your friends, your wealth, your energy, your health, your body, your beliefs ultimately all depends on you. When we choose not to take responsibility for our lives, then we experience anger, stress, hatred, war and sickness.
Just like the water on this planet reflects the blue from the sky, those around us reflect ourselves. Karma, The Golden Rule and Law of attraction all stimulate around the same theme; what you put out into the universe is what you will receive in return. If you put out positive thoughts you will get positive results and visa versa. It is a gift to have choice and there are infinite possibilities to how we can lead our lives. We are responsible for the limitations that we set ourselves as well as responsible for the infinite possibilities we open ourselves to.
So with that said, take a stand for your life and take responsibility for the infinite possibilities that you can create!
Credit for the awareness of my own infinite possibilities goes to Bettie Spruill from her Living in Mastery Training and Maggie Ramirez for pushing me to take the training!
Which Part of Your Body Hurts? And What’s The Spiritual Message?.
It is so important to really listen to our bodies and give it what it needs. Our bodies are clock work, and they will release all toxins when they need to, no matter how much we may try to fight it. If we do not allow our bodies to rest, heal and release when we should, then our body will find an alternative way to release toxins, stress and so on, through diseases such as cancer. The saying “Your body is your Temple” definitely has truth to it, in the sense that we must honor, respect and love our bodies, given our lives depend on it. Those living in rural areas, live such fast paced lifestyle that we fail to allow ourselves time to give our body what it needs. I, for one, am definitely guilty of this. I am always moving at warp speed trying to serve everyone I can. But at the end of the day, I need to remember to serve myself first, before I can serve others around me.
A mantra I shared with one of my yoga class’s that I love to use and would love to share with you is:
“Love me, heal me.
Love me, be me.”
As a woman in the Sustainability Industry I get empowered by the women I am surrounded by who are also involved with Sustainability and Environmental Leaders. Having the opportunity to connect with such motivating and industry setting individuals is inspiring. I came to learn about this Forum a bit too late, and will not be able to attend. But I definitely look forward to attending next years “Women In Green Forum”. Healing the Environment is our responsibility, and we must come together to make an impact! (Click on Image for more information on Women in Green Forum.