Happy New Year to you all! We wanted to write and thank everyone who has so graciously supported us this year through donations of time, sweat, ideas, and money. We had a slower year than normal in order to obtain our conditional use permit but are proud to announce that all of the requirements have been completed! We are excited to ramp up food production, continue our educating efforts, and build more connections in our community through partnerships and collaborative projects. We hope to see you soon and wish you the very best in 2016. Below are EcoRanch facts and accomplishments over the last few years.
We strive to promote resource conservation, waste reduction, and community relationships and hope that sharing our experiences will help to educate others on the importance of these issues.
Education and Interest
- 342 hours (2012-2015) have been donated to the Flagstaff community (schools, programs) through educational presentations, consulting, and volunteering.
- 7,248 volunteer hours (2012 – 2015) have been donated to the Flagstaff EcoRanch from community members, Master Gardeners, local college students, interns, WWOOFers, neighbors, and high schools students.
- Over 25 educational tours of the EcoRanch have been conducted. These tours provide a tangible example to reinforce environmental and sustainable theories learned in the classrooms.
- We provide a space for students to fulfill volunteer hours and put what they have learned to use.
- In 2015 we saved over 6,170 gallons of water by using alternative flushing methods including using recycled shower water.
- We collected over 6,000 gallons of rainwater between 2013 and 2015 and have met with neighbors to discuss/educate about rainwater collection practices.
- Total EcoRanch water use for 2015, which includes us living here full time, our vacation rental guests (April – October), volunteers and interns, plus all irrigation needs = 30,870 gallons of water. That is 102,961 gallons LESS than the equivalent amount of people using water at the average American rate of 100 gal/person/day!
- Gardening efforts include buried drip irrigation, dry land farming techniques, installing a new 1500 gallon rain barrel, and other water saving strategies.
- We have low flow toilets, shower timers, low flow faucets/shower heads, use only biodegradable soaps, and collect and reuse shower water for flushing.
- Permaculture techniques have been applied and berms have been built to keep any rainwater/runoff on our property to help recharge the aquifer.
- 3,567 lbs. of food grown between 2013 and 2015.
- 1,057 lbs. of food donated to local food banks and nonprofits that help support underserved populations.
- 2,510 lbs. of food sold to local businesses and markets or used to supplement our diets.
- We do not use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers (only compost, manure, and non toxic chemicals).
- We purchase 100% renewable energy from APS (their “Green Energy” program) for all of our energy usage.
- New roof with R-24 insulation has been installed to reduced energy losses.
- We have insulated all windows, electrical outlets, and hot water lines.
- All electrical cords are unplugged when not in use.
- We use passive heating and cooling whenever possible.
- In 2015 we replaced the refrigerator, washer, and dryer with more efficient upgrades.
- We regularly air dry laundry. This has saved us about $62 this year and reduced our carbon footprint by 803 lbs. and coal usage by 397 lbs. (based on the standard energy mix for Arizona).
- We are phasing in LED lights as older lighting technology (CFLs) burn out.
- We weigh all of our trash and recyclables each month to increase awareness of our inputs and outputs.
- EcoRanch = 0.98 lbs./person/day vs. the average American = 4.38 lbs./person/day
- All food waste is fed to chickens or composted
- In the US, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions (a greenhouse gas 27 times more potent than carbon dioxide).
- In the USA, 30-40% of the food supply that is produced is wasted, equaling more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.