Trees, Water & People Partners with Albertsons

Trees, Water & People (TWP) has joined Albertson’s Community Partners program, which gives back to the community one shopping cart at a time! Albertsons has linked the Community Partners Card to the Preferred Savings Card, so organizations can earn a rebate as supporters shop just by scanning it.

Organizations receive 1% on the first $50,000 supporters spend and 5% on everything over $50,000 per quarter.

By choosing TWP as your organization, you can help save the planet! For more information on how to receive your Trees, Water & People Community Partners Card, contact Heather Herrell at or call (970) 484-3678.

Trees, Water & People: Odell Charity of the Month

TWP has been chosen as Odell Brewing Companies Charity of the Month! On October 16, ten percent of all sales will be donated to us, and throughout the month, we will receive all taster tray proceeds.

Odell’s Charity of the Month program allocates proceeds to non-profit organizations serving environmental, educational or humanitarian causes. The Tasting Room donation averages $1500 each month to the chosen charity.

Odell is a long-time supporter of us and is an in-kind sponsor of our “Renew the Rockies” fundraising event, which raises money for the clean energy and environmental education programs. We are so honored to be selected as the October Charity of the Month and look forward to continued valued partnership with Odell Brewing Company.

Camp Fire Coffee: Warming You and the Lakota Sioux

TWP is excited to announce our new partnership with Lakota Coffee Company! Proceeds from the sale of the new Camp Fire Coffee (organic Columbian/Sumatra blend) will benefit our Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program which harnesses the power of nature to improve the lives of Native American families living on reservations across the Great Plains.

Skip DuCharme, owner of Lakota Coffee Company, was inspired to open the popular Columbia, Missouri coffee shop by the Seven Sacred Campfires, known as the Western or Teton Sioux, Lakota — meaning “friendly people.” Through his generosity, every bag of Camp Fire Coffee sold will help TWP install cost-effective solar heaters, plant important windbreak and shade trees, and train tribes about the many benefits of renewable energy.

Beginning October 2008, Camp Fire Coffee may be purchased at the Lakota Coffee Company website, and soon after at TWP’s online sustainable gift store.

Trees, Water & People Awarded Seal of Excellence

Trees, Water & People (TWP) has been awarded the prestigious “Best in America” Seal of Excellence from Independent Charities of America (ICA). The seal is given only to members of ICA who meet the highest standards of public accountability, program effectiveness, and cost effectiveness. Of theone million charities operating in the United States, only five percent meet these expectations, and fewer than two thousand charities have been awarded the exclusive seal.

TWP’s conservation efforts have been recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.

TWP Presents 10K Check to Local Elementary School

On Saturday, September 13th I had the great honor and pleasure of presenting a large and rather beautiful check for $10,000 to Ann Alfonso, the principal of Bethke Elementary School at the new school’s dedication

ceremony. This funding will initiate the installation of a 10kw photovoltaic solar electric system on the school and was the culmination of a year’s worth of work here at TWP. It is also the kickoff of a program that is sure to result in many more renewable energy installations throughout Fort Collins and Northern Colorado.

Trees, Water & People’s Clean Energy Program’s initiative called Renewables on Schools raises money through our annual Renew the Rockies fundraising event to initiate the acquisition of renewable energy installations on area schools. Bethke Elementary was the first of hopefully many schools! After thewonderful success of Renew the Rockies last year, we are already starting to pursue sponsorships and make plans for next year’s Renew the Rockies– The Future IS Clean Energy! Scheduled for March 7th, 2009, it will benefit another school in Fort Collins, likely Kinnard Junior High, which was pre-wired for a 10kw photovoltaic solar electric system when it was built in 2004. With a futuristic theme, we plan to celebrate the promise of renewable energy and do our part to bring that technology to the present. If you or someone you know is interested in being involved as a sponsor or auction donor, please contact Elizabeth Mozer at (970) 484-3678 or .

Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center Gets a Loft Built!

Greetings from Richard Fox, TWP’s National Director.  I just got back from another trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. For the last five years I have worked with Henry Red Cloud who owns Lakota Solar Enterprises.  Henry is a direct descendant of Chief Red Cloud, the last war chief of the Lakota.

Slowly, we have been building the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center as a place where Native Americans can come and learn about renewable energy and get hands-on training in various family and facility sized renewable energy applications.

This last week, Henry and the LSE crew, working in conjunction with our friends and many voluneers from the Re-Member organization, built a loft in our quonset hut that will become two bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom for members of other tribes who come to the Center for renewable energy training.  The main platform and walls are in but there is a lot to do. 

A lot has already been done there too to make this into a place for Native Americans to learn about sustainable living and renewable energy.  We have already installed more than 200 solar air heating systems at Pine Ridge and 9 other reservations.  The quonset hut acts as our solar manufacturing and development facility. 

We have several of our solar heaters there as well as a wind break and shade trees we planted.  There is also a small straw bale office there as well as a greenhouse, sweat lodge, a small camping area and some of the Red Cloud buffalo herd.  Come spring time we expect to install either a solar electric array or a wind turbine as we slowly develop this center as a major training facility.

Recently, Henry was awarded the maintenance contract for the wind turbine at the Kili Radio Station.  This turbine will supply about half of the radio stations electricity needs and is a big step forward for energy independence.

We are currently beginning to consider opening up a spot or two for interns who are willing to live and work at Pine Ridge.  There is currently no funding for salary, and living conditions would be primitive, but it would be an incredible opportunity to learn about renewable energy while making a major contribution to a people that have suffered much over the years.  If interested, email me at  If you are interested in learning more about what we are doing or want to contribute to the project, check us out at and look at out Tribal Land Program area.

Be well…


Stove Camp 2008

In our quest to improve our stove designs, I attended Aprovecho Research Center’s Stove Camp 2008 in Cottage Grove, Oregon. There were over 20 of us participating: representatives from international development NGO’s, companies, universities, the government, and new converts to the world of fuel efficient stoves from many walks of life.

Marvin, Paul, and Sebastian demonstrate Paul's gasifier stove
Marvin, Paul, and Sebastian demonstrate Paul's gasifier stove

The inventor of the Rocket stove, Dr. Larry Winiarski, reviewed his Ten Design Principles for Wood-burning Cookstoves. Aprovecho staff reminded us of the equally important principle of making stoves women like. If the women you give a stove throw it out the minute you leave, it doesn’t matter how fuel efficient it is, you will not accomplish your goals of reducing their exposure to Indoor Air Pollution (IAP), reducing greenhouse gas emissions, or reducing deforestation! So compromises must be made between competing principles to have a successful stove design.

Our mission for Stove Camp was to design and build the most appropriate stove model for refugees in Darfur, Sudan. We cooked posho (similar to polenta), the region’s staple food over numerous stoves to see which stove performed the best in terms of speed, safety, fuel-efficiency, portability, and IAP. Some stove designs could be made from locally available materials, while others would have to be imported but would be easier to guarantee quality control for.

Our Controlled Cooking Test with posho incorporated Aprovecho’s Portable Emissions Monitoring System and backpack Indoor Air Pollution Meter to quantify how much carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter (think of smog) are created and inhaled, respectively, while cooking with a given stove.

In addition to stove design, we discussed pot design, a generally overlooked part of the cooking equation. Pots with small openings or with metal “fins” increased fuel efficiency by a ton!

Stove camp was a fun and educational experience. It was a great opportunity to step back from our existing stove designs and think how we could improve them by bouncing ideas off of the experts. I plan to share their suggestions with our local partners in Central America and Haiti in the coming year.

Allison Shaw

Assistant International Director