After my eco-inspired road trip, I had a hard time getting involved with sustainability initiatives in the Dallas Metroplex area compared to my time in Oregon. However, during Earth Day weekend, April 20-22 (with Earth Day on April 22), Dallas hosted its annual EarthX Expo, and I was excited to attend for my second year in a row!
“The festival, formerly called Earth Day Texas, is the world’s largest environmental festival, having drawn as many as 130,000 people. The main festival costs $5 and runs from Friday through Sunday at Fair Park.
But there are also two weeks’ worth of events, including a film festival and professional conferences that aren’t open to the public.
The three-day expo draws the general public with a tiny house village, a petting zoo, goat yoga, a scuba diving pool and about 1,000 exhibitors. At the same time, the festival is hosting conferences to discuss sustainability initiatives in the oil and gas industry and the E-Capital Summit to link investors with clean technology startups.” – Dallas Morning News Article
Last year in 2017, I went to EarthX for networking purposes and to drum up new business for the marketing agency I was working at. And the experience was more than inspiring getting to talk with hundreds of vendors/exhibitors, touring the tiny house community, watching some award-winning documentaries, and seeing cutting-edge sustainability initiatives and technologies!
I spent the majority of Tuesday driving from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to Lubbock, Texas, where I went to college at Texas Tech University – and stayed with college friends, Kelly Kingston and Sidne Smith, in their downtown bachelorette loft!
This is a view of downtown Lubbock, and yes, there are high-rise buildings in West Texas!
“Valverde Commons was conceived as an active adult CoHousing community in 2006 and developed from pastureland starting in 2011. Currently there are 22 energy efficient houses with 6 additional ones expected by 2023. Thirty four people live in the community as of 2018. The community is located in the heart of Taos, New Mexico and a short walk from the historic Taos Plaza.
The individual homes are clustered on 10 acres surrounding an almost 4 acre common green space, plus an adjacent 10 acre park with walking paths and gardens.
Our beautiful common house has a full kitchen, large meeting room, library, and laundry facilities. It is frequently used for group dining, parties, meetings, classes, and entertainment. The common house has rooftop solar energy to promote sustainability. We also have a barn building for communal garden tools, tractor, and garden carts. The barn also includes a complete professional wood working shop and other studio facilities.” – Valverde Commons FIC Profile
I left Valverde Commons late in the afternoon, with enough time to get back to the Commons on the Alameda and eat dinner with the community – OR – check out Meow Wolf, an interactive art exhibit, which I stumbled across the day before. (I didn’t regret my choice!)
“Meow Wolf is a Santa Fe, New Mexico based arts and entertainment group that established in 2008 as an art collective and is rapidly growing into a leader in the immersive art world.
After saying goodbye to my mom until I returned to Texas, I left Mountain Shadows golf resort in Scottsdale, and headed south to The Bee Oasis, a 1/4 acre, urban permaculture homestead in Mesa, Arizona, owned by Don Titmus, a British transplant, and his daughter Lily.
“It include about 500 sq ft of organic veggie gardens, chickens, rainwater harvesting, composting, an edible/functional landscape and much more as a sustainable model in the PC community. Don’s homesite is a teaching space; he has tours, classes and workshops. It is a great place to experience an alternative life. Don also has a Xeriscape Garden Maintenance business, and is also a Conscious Dance DJ.” – Bee Oasis FIC Profile
Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home and student learning facility is preserved by the FLW Foundation, and is still an active student facility for architecture students. “As Taliesin West extends the legacy of innovation by showcasing unique design, sustainable practices, and education, the preservation team maintains a reverence for the history of the site.” – The Whirling Arrow Blog Post