This is a start. Thanks to the help of Wheatsville Coop’s Resource page we were able to add a few extras that I might have overlooked and I notated them with an astrix. I will continue to collaborate ideas from local businesses, for profits, nonprofits, and small scale business owners among others. Eventually I hope to add different communities across the U.S. with more resource information.
The Austin Environmental Directory
For the best access to all things green in Austin, grab a copy of The Austin Environmental Directory 2013, The Water Edition. It has everything you could ever want in it. Paul Robbins created it and I’ve been told that he invests all of his heart, soul, energy, and appetite into the production of this free publication. You can get a free copy if you didn’t receive one in the mail, from Half Price Books on the corner of 2222(Koenig) and Lamar, in Austin. Topics include Gray Water, Water, Lighting, Environmental Groups, Businesses, Nonprofits & Associations, Food, Recycling, Green Building, Clean Energy, Air Quality, Reusing, Conservation Methods, Volunteering, and everything you want to learn about Environmental Possibilities in and around Austin, Texas. If you get a chance send them a thank you and donation to assist with the continuation of this publication. It’s a life changer, eye opener, printed book of gold that you won’t want to miss! Questions answered, fret no more, read all you can to your hearts content in this free resource reference immaculate galore!
View the online edition at www.enviornmentaldirectory.info
Action For Animals*
“Speaking up for those who can’t. Action For Animals is a local, grassroots, nonprofit 501(c)3 group based in Austin, Texas. Our sole purpose is to defend and protect the rights and lives of non-human animals.” *Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
Austin Groups for the Elderly*
Austin Groups for the Elderly is a non-profit organization empowering caregivers, the elderly and their families through education, advocacy, resources and support. They accomplish this mission through their four programs: Elderhaven Adult Day Centers The Caregiver Resource Center SeniorNet Computer Learning Institute The Historic AGE Building office space and shared resources
Austin Herb Society*
The Austin Herb Society (AHS) is a member supported nonprofit organization in Austin, Texas providing education regarding the benefits of cultivating and using herbs to promote better health and well-being, encouraging the growth and use of herbs for many beneficial purposes, and providing charitable and volunteer support to community gardens, libraries and/or other community projects.
Austin Independent Business Alliance
This organization promotes and supports locally owned businesses through advocacy, consumer education and services to their members. Check out their website to learn more about their impact in Austin.
Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary
“Austin Zoo is a nonprofit organization whose goals are Rescue, Rehabilitation, Education and Habitat Preservation. Adults and kids alike can enjoy the great outdoors and experience a close-up look at animals from around the world…all in family friendy environment.”* Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
I recently volunteered here and helped to rebuild the local serval and wolf habitats one Saturday in September of 2013. They have rescued over 350 wild animals that have been subject to cruelty.
“Dreamtime Sanctuary was founded to provide hope to animals such as sheep, goats and pigs and operates on the promise that those welcomed into our midst are given permanent sanctuary to live out their lives with care, peace and dignity. The sanctuary is located on a rural road about four miles outside of Elgin, Texas.” Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
Eastside Compost Peddlers
This is as it states. They bike around East Austin collecting food scraps, waste, and other recyclable items from homes and businesses within the Austin community. How cool is that?! They are a for profit small business that is clever in their marketing approach. They hosted a photograph booth at the In.gredients Annual event this past summer to help get their name out. Some of their partners include SFC, Hope Farmer’s Market and more. Great people making an impact on our environment, using small scale economics, and reusing waste. For a list of what you can compost visit their scrapple list.
Edible Austin is a quarterly publication that promotes local food in Austin and Central Texas. You can find this paper bound resource in your CSA box from Johnson’s Backyard Garden or disbursed throughout markets and groceries in and around Austin. This book is a great way to learn more about what sustainable changes are happening in Central Texas. It includes articles on local brewers, restaurants, bakers, chefs, and farms. The advertising focuses on local small business owners. You can also get great recipes and resources from a single publication. I highly recommend it. I have several in storage along with all of my saved cooking magazines. I have tried several of the recipes including an incredible gnocchi recipe a couple years ago. You will be a fan the moment you get your hands on one of their paperback magazines. Online references are just as good and they have posted reviews on local farmers markets among other useful information.
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA)
FARFA is dedicated to representing non-corporate agriculture and livestock owners. FARFA represents farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders through public education and lobbying within our state to assure farmer independence in the production and marketing of their food, and to assist in the prevention of unnecessary FDA, USDA and other unnecessary regulations imposed.
Green Gate Farms
Volunteer locally at this Organic Farm and learn more through their New Farm Institute. As quoted from their page their, “vision is to provide sustainable housing in the design phase by Stanley Studios(2013), land, and mentorship.”They have 2 farm locations in Central Texas. This is a great place to gain first hand experience by volunteering on a small scale organic farm. Their produce is sold in local farmers markets and also offered through their weekly CSA boxes. I have volunteered here in the past and learned more about them through the Spring 2013 Sunshine Gardens event.
GreenGirls.net is a network of powerful women who care deeply about our environment. We find that coming together with other women to learn and take action keeps us feeling positive, hopeful, and strong in our beliefs and actions as citizens and consumers. Be part of our network and have fun being powerful together.
The photo listed above is from their Annual party in the summer of 2013. They are a local community grocery in East Austin. They sell organic products in bulk including items for your home and body. They sell baked breads from a local baker, duck eggs from our friends Organic Duck farm in Manor, Texas, local produce from organic farms in the area, organic coffee and have local beer on tap among other things. What’s great about this place is the local community atmosphere, access to local produce and cottage goods in East Austin, and availability in addition to the fact that you can bring in your own containers to reuse. They have wonderful events on a regular basis and this is a great place to meet new people who share common interests and desires. They were listed by Austin’s Chronicle in 2012 as best new local business. Even if you can only stop by once because they aren’t local to your area, it’s a great way to gain some ideas on how to live more responsibly. Their mission alone embodies greatness, ” to be a different kind of grocery store – one that is responsible to the environment and community and one that facilitates a healthy lifestyle. healthy soil + healthy air + healthy water = healthy people.”
Johnson’s Backyard Garden
This is the first organic farm that I volunteered for in Austin in 2010. They hold regular events on the farm and have recently added a new nonprofit program for farmers learning to have their own plot of land. If you would like to volunteer for a five hour shift you may email them inquiring about availability and locations to volunteer. I have volunteered in the field planting crops as well as in the barn preparing the CSA boxes and produce for market. Be prepared to get dirty, learn some new skills, meet cool people, and engage in conversations with others while volunteering at this organic farm. The owner has been a guest speaker in the past at SXSW Eco. Sign up for their regular newsletter which also has cooking ideas included.
Lifelong Friends Pet Adoptions*
An independently owned 100% no kill animal shelter in Lago Vista. * Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
Hands down this is our place to go to when we want to cook up a delicious Muscovy Duck or use some Duck Eggs in a moist batch of brownies, fritatta or omelette. Our friends own this farm just East of Austin in Manor country. They are a part of the WOOF alliance and welcome volunteers who want first hand experience learning how to process duck, learn some basic permaculture methods, and homestead organic farming from a rural local. We have met wonderful interns and Woofers through our relationship with the owners. We have also gained insightful knowledge and experience through processing Muscovy’s with them over the holidays.
The Natural Gardener
This place has been around for quite sometime and is a wonderful garden center to join if you are a newbie and want to be able to learn a bunch more while shopping. During different months of the year they hold free classes on a variety of topics. They focus on local plants and have a great layout for you to visit and gain ideas from. The owner John Dromgoole also does regular radio shows on Saturdays(9-11am CST) and Sundays on KLBJ AM 590 discussing different topics pertaining to your gardens. They have other free resources available at their store including NEW COPIES OF GROW GREEN Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Grab a copy of your today!
Say No To GMOs!*
Provides information, activities and resources to encourage grassroots action that will insure consumer choice and a genetically viable future. Say No To GMOs! supports mandatory labeling, long-term independent safety testing, more stringent regulation and full corporate liability for damages resulting from the irresponsible introduction of GMOs to the environment and food supply.
Sunshine Community Gardens
With over 200 gardeners, Sunshine Gardens is one of the largest community gardens in the nation. Create your plot today and learn about what others are doing who share your passion to get your hands dirty while promoting a good cause. They are located on the School of the Blind property, also part of the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired located at 4814 Sunshine Drive, Austin, Texas. (Sunshine Drive is just north of the intersection of Lamar and 45th Street.)
At least twice a year they host a sale and sale organic plant starts to the community. Their events include sustainable vendors and booths from local organic farmers including Urban Roots, and Green Gate Gardens. They take cash only for their plant sale but you won’t be disappointed. We went in the spring of 2013 and were able to purchase some very successful, drought tolerant heirloom varieties including some of the hottest peppers in the world; Trinidad Scorpion, and Trinidad Moruga. You won’t be disappointed with their sale selections, but come early to get your hands on the prized plants. You can even upload a document from their event website or review the different plant starts ahead of time and create your own list before you go. They also offer some house and landscape plants and herbs.
Sustainable Food Center
This is a great place that fosters change throughout the communities in Central Texas, with special attention to the Austin, Texas population. They use organic gardening methods and foster relationships with local farmers. They also host hands on cooking classes, nutrition education classes, and provide access and assistance for impoverished families using SNAP or the Lonestar Card, to have local fresh produce through their engagement in farmers markets in the Austin Area. I have visited the MLK Farmers Market and the Hope Farmers Market in Eastside Austin and witnessed their excellence at work. Lonestar cards are accepted at the MLK Farmers Market.
Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association*
“TOFGA is a publicly supported, non-profit association whose members include commercial plant growers, ranchers, farmers, retailers, wholesalers, processors, distributors, consumers, and anyone desiring to support the organic industry in Texas.” * Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
The Travis Audubon Society*
“Promotes the enjoyment, understanding, and conservation of native birds and their habitats. Travis Audubon’s Education Committee is dedicated to providing high-quality classes geared toward environmental conservation, bird identification, and bird-friendly habitat awareness for all ages. Field trips are regularly scheduled, both within the city limits and farther afield.” *Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page.
Texans for Midwifery-Austin*
Texans for Midwifery-Austin is a consumer-based group working to inform families, the medical community and decisionmakers about midwives and midwifery care. Our goals have been to remove barriers to midwifery care at local hospitals (which no longer offer midwifery care) and to protect access to out-of-hospital birth with midwives.
Third Coast Activist Resource Center*
Created to help people in the Austin area in their efforts at sustainable organizing. The Center’s two main goals are: (1) to distribute educational resources and organize community events about U.S. policy around the world, and (2) to strengthen the local activist network that is part of a national and international movement for global justice. The Center offers community education about U.S. foreign policy.
Third Coast Horticulture SuppliesThis is an awesome local business in Allendale, Austin. Stop by their store for help starting up your hydroponics, aquaponics, compost tea, new or existing garden maintenance and more! Are you fed up with the Texas drought getting the best of your plants? Complain no more! They host free classes and events in the community! Take advantage of their invaluable learning opportunities! You will be glad you became aquainted with this small business. They even have a microscope that’s available for customers to test their compost teas and see active fungi and bacteria in their blends. This is a great one stop shop to learn more about other ways to nourish your gardens or farms so that it grows successfully on it’s own. Transform the concept of fertilizing your garden into self sufficient Ecogardening or Ecofarming, using sustainable concepts through biodiversity. There is a slew of information in this field. Start your search today or stop by Third Coast on Burnett and strike up an empowering conversation with owner Shawn Bishop. You can also join the Compost Tea Meetup to meet other local gurus, newbies and learn more. Transform your backyard, the possibilities are endless and this is the perfect place to start!
The Inside Books Project
I have learned about this non-profit and volunteer-run organization that provides free literature and educational materials to Texas’ incarcerated population by attending the Book Fair at the Capital in Austin. They recruit volunteers to visit with parents and record them reading books so that they can give something to their children while they are incarcerated. They focus their efforts on providing educational materials, as well as trying to provide book requests from prisoners. They also advocate for prisoners’ rights to access to medical care, education and libraries, legal aide, and safety.
Thundering Paws Animal Sanctuary*
“A no-kill, non-profit animal sanctuary located in Dripping Springs. We are home to an ever-changing number of animals, mostly cats, a few dogs and rabbits. We provide our residents shelter, food, water, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, veterinary care, and a lot of love and attention. All cats are tested for FIV and feline leukemia.”*
I recently volunteered to help organize the sanctuary grounds and clean some of the animal habitats. You can help make a difference here by donating $15 a month. This donation goes towards the care and well being of the animals rescued here and towards the maintenance and upkeep of the animal habitats.
United Plant Savers*
United Plant Savers’ mission is to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.
This is one of the organizations that I have volunteered with on a weekday and have blogged about. Urban Youth has established a Organic Farm in East Austin that uses sustainable agriculture to transform the lives of young people as well as increase the access to healthy food in the community. As quoted from their website, “Urban Roots provides paid internships to Austin youth, age 14-17, to work on our 3.5 acre urban sustainable farm in East Austin. Each year, we have a goal of growing 30,000 pounds of produce with the Urban Roots community of youth, community volunteers, and staff. We donate 40% of our harvest to local soup kitchens and food pantries and sell the other 60% at farmers’ markets, through our Community Supported Agriculture Program, and wholesale.”
Thanks to Wheatsville, I’ve extracted some of their useful links and services found on their resource page on my resource page and I must give them credit. They are the “only full service retail coop in Texas,” according to their site. They have been around since 1976. Upon my first visit a few months ago I was hooked. The people surrounding this store on the outside of the entrance were exuberating joy, and the painted brick greats you gladly every time, at the Guadalupe store. I enjoyed reading about their progress and accomplishments in their Coop Newspaper too. This is where I was able to purchase my goat milk to make cheese with. I’ve been a long time fan of local coops since I started going to the Hillsdale Natural Grocery in Hillsdale, Michigan. It was my closest option in our small town to Alternative health methods and supporting local farmers through CSA boxes in a rural town.
Wheatsville Coop recently opened a second location on Lamar and they have one on Guadalupe in Austin, Texas. Stop by there store today and you will be glad you did. You can become a member by making a one time membership contribution of $70. Their mission which I referenced their website for, “is to create a self-reliant, self-empowering community of people that will grow and promote a transformation of society toward cooperation, justice, and non-exploitation.” Their goal is to, “serve a broad range of people by providing them goods and services, using efficient methods that avoid manipulation of the consumers, and minimize exploitation of the producers or damage to the environment. The primary focus for this mission is supplying high-quality food and non-doctrinaire information about food to people in Austin, Texas.” How about being a part of impacting the local community by making better food and home choices and supporting local sustainability by shopping here! I guarantee that you will be glad you did! Especially since they support local vendors and cottage good sales.
An example of the way they outreach the local community is through their 1% donations they make on a regular basis through the Wheatsville Coop Community Fund. “On Wednesdays in November and December of 2013, 1% of store sales will be given to the Wheatsville Co-op Community Fund. The interest earned by the fund will be given annually to local groups working on issues relating to sustainable agriculture and organic food, hunger and social issues, environmental protection and cooperatives.”
Yellow Bike Project*
“Urban free bike program. Learn to build and repair your own bike. Bikes recycled. Donations accepted.” *Quoted from Wheatsville Coop Resource page. Contact 512-457-9880 for more information or to donate.