One Water for America

One Water is a way to manage all water in an integrated, inclusive, and sustainable manner that will allow future generations to prosper. The way we currently manage water is very compartmentalized with stormwater engineers handling the runoff, water utility departments focusing on the supply, and solid waste departments undertaking the waste.

The Orange Energy Bag

When I started working at RDG Planning and Design I was excited to see their commitment to recycling, composting, and an overall conservation mind frame. The kitchen has several bins lined up for compost, recyclable plastics, non-recyclable plastics, and landfill (or trash as most people call it). We try to sort everything into either compost or recycling bins before we resort to the trash bin. It was fascinating and encouraging to hear an update at this months staff meeting of the enormous amount of waste that has been diverted from the landfill by just our one company. Other companies I have been at have had trash or paper recycling, some added plastics and tin, while Minneapolis went a step further with compost. But none of them tracked their waste to see what impact their efforts were making.

I worked in Lubbock, Texas for just over a year when I first started out in planning and recently have been working on a plan for Kermit, Texas, taking me back to the oil fields. Lubbock did not have many operating pump jacks, but nonetheless one of my tasks while there was to map the locations of existing and capped oil wells. Kermit on the other hand is surrounded by oil fields that have a major impact on their community.

The Cost of Driving to Work

This past week we saw temperatures hitting 50 degrees, an incredible gift for January in Nebraska. This also meant the snow was completely melted, making biking an option I would consider. I did take advantage last Saturday with a bike ride up to Benson for some lunch at 1912 and a visit to Infusion Brewing Co. When the weather is nice and I can get to places via biking or walking I tend to get out and explore more.

Google's Teaching Sustainability

While reading the latest issue of Planning Magazine I came across an etcetera piece on Google’s new sustainability resources. I find it refreshing that major corporations are taking an interest in issues that have global affects, especially in a time when our national leaders are attempting to discount scientific research and roll back regulations that aim to prevent further decline. I do wish that they would spend their resources to promote this information half as much as they do on their other products. I would never have stumbled upon the website without hearing about it through my professional organization and this is one that the average citizen should know about.

As is the theme with anything related to reading or writing lately, I’m a little behind on my Planning Magazine subscriptions. Its the beginning of December and I’m just getting to the heart of the October issue. Nonetheless, when I came to the article titled “After the Dust Settles: Revisiting the Buffalo Commons 30 Year Later” it brought back memories of practice exams to prepare me for the AICP exam. I recalled reading a question asking what the Buffalo Commons was with a multiple choice response. With hundreds of other facts and theories to learn, I quickly moved on to memorizing the next statistic.

Rocky Mountain Adventure

Its been almost three months since I camped in Rocky Mountain National Park, but I’m finally getting around to writing about the trip. I’ve been camping before, but never in a national forest like Rocky Mountain. It was amazing to see a moose, elk, deer, and other animals going about their business unaffected set against a backdrop of massive mountains and dense forest. I was really glad not to have come across any bears, given our tent situation, but that didn’t stop me from being nervous the entire time hiking.