February 2022 Sustainability Newsletter

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February 2022 Newsletter

Love to Each Other and the Earth!



Avo holding the earth

love earth

Santa Fe County Adopts GHG Emission Reduction Plan

January was a landmark month for local sustainability policy in Santa Fe County. On January 25, the Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a resolution adopting the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan for Government Operations, crafted by the Sustainability Office in partnership with Public Works. The plan lays out the steps and strategies needed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, in alignment with the Paris Agreement. The plan is intended to be a living document, allowing staff to stay nimble as policy, technology, research, and funding conditions change. This “living plan” will be available soon on the Sustainability Office’s website. The next step will be to create a similar plan with projects and programs to implement the net-zero emissions goal across the entire community of Santa Fe County.

On January 25, the Board of County Commissioners also passed a resolution in support of the State House and Senate Memorial to study a state-level public utility model for New Mexico. If passed, the Memorial will instruct the Public Regulation Commission to conduct and oversee a study to determine the public, rate payer, environmental, and economic benefits and costs of a public utility. There was a lively public comment session in support of the resolution, which you can view on the County’s YouTube page, where you’ll also find a recording of the Sustainability Office’s presentation of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan. The State Legislative Session is in full swing, so we will update you on state-level sustainability policy actions in next month’s newsletter!


Show the Earth some love this Valentine's Day

Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day outing? Try venturing outdoors! Spending time outside, even briefly, can help to reduce stress and benefit overall wellbeing. A 2019 study found that spending just 2-hours in nature a week was associated with good health and wellbeing. Whether you are an avid mountain climber or enjoy peaceful afternoon walks, Santa Fe County is full of opportunities to experience the outdoors! The County is designated a Silver Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and has been recognized as a top outdoor destination. Below are just a few ways to love the outdoors this February:

Plan your adventure: Check out the new Santa Fe Experience app for itineraries on local adventures both indoors and out! Download the Santa Fe County Trail Maps app for more details on local hiking. Want to get outside, but are short on time? Try taking a quick walk after lunch or incorporating an outdoor adventure into your commute by walking or biking.

Be prepared: Monitor weather conditions and wear appropriate clothing for the activity and the season. Conditions can change quickly, so it is often best to dress in layers. Click here for tips from a dogsledder on staying warm outside. Remember to bring plenty of water, food, and a first aid kit on your adventure. Be sure to choose activities that match your skill level and arrange for a trip with an experienced guide if you are trying something new. Visit the Santa Fe County tourism page for information on guiding companies and click here for more outdoor safety tips.

Recreate responsibly: Show the Earth some love and preserve Santa Fe County’s natural resources by recreating responsibly. Stay on designated trails. Venturing off trail can damage fragile living biological soil crusts that help to retain soil moisture and protect our treasured landscapes from erosion. These crusts can take years to regrow once damaged. Remember to also pack up all trash. Even compostable items, like apple cores and banana peels, can take years to disappear in our high and dry climate if improperly discarded. In addition, bacteria from pet waste can pollute waterways and pose a health risk to both people and pets. Clip a bag dispenser to your pet’s leash so you are always prepared. To make clean-up even easier, consider purchasing a small backpack or pouch for your pet to pack up their own waste or invest in a scent proof container to carry pet waste until you can find a trash can.

Happy Valentine's Day and thanks for the care you give to our precious landscapes, so that future generations can continue to love the outdoors!

Winter Weatherizing

What Can I do? Weatherize!

This is the time of year when we are all reminded that we have some drafty windows and doors, and energy bills reflect higher costs due to heating. Weatherizing your home in the winter can save up to 30% in energy costs. Simple and effective tricks such as caulking cracks in walls, adding heavy curtains to close at night, installing weatherizing strips for gaps in the door frame, or sealing windows with plastic can help reduce wasted energy tremendously. More investments can be made through purchasing a lean to passive solar greenhouse kit for the south side of your home, which will add to the solar gain capacity of south facing walls and warm that portion of the home naturally on sunny days. If replacing doors and windows, be sure to purchase energy star rated products for our high desert zone. Small steps add up to big savings and save the planet from unnecessary pollution from greenhouse gas emissions. With up to three more months of bitter cold nights ahead, it isn't too late to make improvements; check out the many ways that you can save today!   

Our February Picks

(Click on orange title and text below for associated links and information.)

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams: Pure Photography

January 29- May 22

Visit the New Mexico Museum of Art to view a special exhibit featuring nature photography from Ansel Adams.

Conservation Trust

Santa Fe Conservation Trust Vamanos Hike

Sat, February 26

10:00 AM- 12:00 PM

Enjoy some fresh air during this hike hosted by the Santa Fe Conservation Trust in the Galisteo Basin.

Botanical Garden

Santa Fe Botanical Garden Book Club

Tues, February 8

1:00 PM

The Santa Fe Botanical Garden Book Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month via Zoom to discuss a new book. Now reading "Ravens in Winter" by Bernd Heinrich.


Connecting the Dots: Effective Land Stewardship Through Monitoring

February 17 and 24

March 17 and 24

11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Attend this webinar series hosted by the Quivira Coalition and Western Landowners Alliance to learn more about resource monitoring. 

Love your river

16th Annual Love Your River Day

Sat, February 12

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Join the Santa Fe Watershed Association for a community-wide river and arroyo clean-up event!



In search of local food this Valentine's Day? Visit the Agrigate website to learn about local growers and restaurants that buy and serve local food.

Sustainability Comments or Questions?

We are your local advisors on all things sustainability in Santa Fe County. Call us about anything from water conservation, cleaner transportation, solar and renewable energy, composting, recycling, etc. Or let us know what you would like to learn more about in our newsletter. 


Jacqueline Beam, jybeam@santafecountynm.gov

Adeline Murthy, amurthy@santafecountynm.gov

Caitlin Weber, cweber@santafecountynm.gov