Green Events: Aug. 16-23

Austin Energy saves you money, Whole Foods celebrates the greenest school year ever, and more.

Austin Energy saves you money, Whole Foods celebrates the greenest school year ever (since the Seventies, anyway), City Council cleans up Barton Springs, and the U.S. Green Building Council teaches you how to conserve water. And that's not all. This week, greenness abounds.

Thursday, August 16

CITY COUNCIL CLEANS THE POOL DAY Join the Austin City Council this morning (9am) for updates on the Barton Springs Master Plan, presentations on the pool's needs during droughts and floods, and a tour led by city biologist Laurie Dries. (E-mail to RSVP.) Afterward, the pool-cleaning shifts begin at 10:15am and run all day; if you'd like to sign up for one, send an e-mail to Barton Springs, 2101 Barton Springs Rd., 476-9044.

LUNCH & LEARN: WATER CONSERVATION A lunchtime seminar hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council. noon-1pm. North by Northwest, 10010 Capital of TX Hwy. N., 467-6969. $10.

Friday, August 17

PERMACULTURE: SUSTAINABLE DESIGN INSPIRED BY NATURE features useful tips for the environmentally conscious (or aspiring to be), covering everything from local food to green building to community activism. Fridays, 9:15am. Ruta Maya, 3601 S. Congress Ste. D-200, 707-9637. Free with cafe purchase.

Saturday, August 18

AUSTIN FARMERS' MARKET Saturdays, 9am-1pm. Republic Square, 422 Guadalupe, 477-1566. Free.

CHILE PEPPER FEST AT SUNSET VALLEY FARMERS MARKET Postponed from last week, today's fest features fresh roasted Hatch chiles (you can order a 50-pound sack ahead by calling 415-2042), along with chile pestos, jams, breads, and even crafts – plus, you can get your week's supply of fresh summer produce, too. 9:30am-1pm. Toney Burger Center, 3200 Jones, 280-1976. Free.

FOOD GARDEN MENTOR TRAINING Got a green thumb you wanna share with the rest of us? Learn how to help underserved communities cultivate food gardens in back yards and schools and other institutions at this all-day workshop hosted by the Sustainable Food Center and the Green Corn Project. Call to register. 9am-5pm. Garza High School, 3000 S. I-35, 236-0074 x8.

GO BACK GREEN! Go back to school green, that is, with Whole Foods' handy coupons, podcasts, and recipes tailored for students from kindergarten through college, and stop by today for the Local Taste Fair, organic-cotton fashion show, skateboarding demo, whole-body natural makeovers, and a raffle and silent auction to benefit LifeWorks' GED and life-skills programs. 11am-3pm. Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar, 476-1206. Free.

Sunday, August 19

AUSTIN PROJECT FOR A PARTICIPATORY SOCIETY BOOK GROUP meets to discuss this month's book, Cynthia Kaufman's Ideas for Action: Relevant Theory for Radical Change, which provides a back story for leftist politics by looking at its various traditions, including Marxism, anarchism, anti-imperialism, poststructuralism, feminism, critical race theory, cultural studies, and environmentalism. 2pm. Carver Library, 1161 Angelina, 974-1010. Free.

HAPPY LIVING WITH JUSTICE replaces the usual weekly yoga session today with a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, followed by a discussion on (and opportunity to join) the Low Carbon Diet program. Light refreshments provided. 3pm. Carver Library, 1161 Angelina, 292-8093. Free.

Tuesday, August 21

NATIVE PLANT SOCIETY OF TEXAS MEETING Native Texas Nursery's Rich Zarria leads tonight's talk on collecting and propagating native seeds and plants. 7-9pm. Wild Basin Wilderness meeting room, 805 Capital of TX Hwy. N., 472-1062. Free.

Wednesday, August 22

LEARN HOW YOUR BUSINESS CAN SAVE MONEY The Austin Chamber of Commerce hosts this presentation from Austin Energy's Bill Sparks and Clean Energy's Jose Beceiro. Find out how you can benefit from energy efficiency and the many rebate programs designed to encourage it. Register online. 11:30am-1pm. Omni Hotel Downtown, 700 San Jacinto, 476-3700.

MIDWEEK AUSTIN FARMERS' MARKET Wednesdays, 4-8pm. The Triangle, 46th Street, between Guadalupe & Lamar. Free.

Other Notable Green Happenings

WANTED: VOLUNTEER WEATHER OBSERVERS The Colorado-based Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network is setting up shop in Texas, where it seeks weather enthusiasts interested in gathering precipitation data. The information gathered by the network is used for all kinds of research and educational projects, and the coordinator for Texas is none other KVET/KASE/KFMK chief meteorologist Troy Kimmel, to whom you can e-mail your questions at 335-6472.

TAKE THE LIVE EARTH PLEDGE On July 7, eight 24-hour concerts took place simultaneously in different cities across the globe to raise awareness about global warming. In case you missed them, you can watch them online at, where you can also sign the Live Earth pledge and commit to five Earth-saving behaviors. Five! Easy peasy!

TREEFOLKS' CARBON OFFSET PROGRAM TreeFolk's eagerly anticipated carbon offset program is finally here. It allows you to calculate your own carbon emissions and offset them by donating money to projects that help combat global warming. While there are countless similar carbon-offset programs out there, this one's unique because it lets you donate your money to local projects that you can see for yourself and directly benefit from. Yay!

YELLOW BIKE PROJECT SURVEY YBP wants to know how its projects affect the community (i.e., you), so take their new online survey, and let 'em know.

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