Monday, April 30, 2007

Gray Water Signed into Law!

Matt Elsaesser (S.A.V.E. Director and Lobbyist), Tyler Evilsizer (S.A.V.E. intern/lobbyist), Kyle Perkins (S.A.V.E. Driver / inspiration for bill), Representative Reinhart's Grandparents, and her uncle Sam join Governor Schweitzer and Representative Reinhart for the signing of HB 259 to make Gray water legal in Montana.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Trash for Trees a Success! Next plastics collection week June 1-8.

Pictures: Tons of recyclables collected, plastics baling at Pacific, an event for all ages.

Trash for Trees by The Growing Friends of Helena and The S.A.V.E. Foundation was a huge success with hundreds of participants bringing in their recyclables to support planting trees and expanding recycling in Helena. The brought in over 80 yards of newspaper and magazines, more than 40 yards of glass, 45 plus yards of plastics, and several bins of aluminum and tin. Final totals to be posted soon.


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Friday, April 27, 2007

S.A.V.E. Makes Graywater Legislation a Bipartisan Success at Capitol

For Immediate Release:

S.A.V.E. Makes Graywater Legislation a Bipartisan Success at Capitol

(Helena, MT) Governor Schweitzer will sign HB 259 into law today at noon. HB 259 makes graywater systems legal in the state of Montana. A gray water system allows homeowners to separate non-septic wastewater, like that from showers, sinks, and washing machines to water their plants or lawns. This legislation is a return to Montana's rural ranching past, when reusing water was a common sense issue in a state where water is at a premium.

The Student Advocates for Valuing the Environment (S.A.V.E) Foundation helped to bring together both sides of the aisle to get this conservation solution through the legislature. Rep. Michele Reinhart (D-Missoula) was the bill's sponsor. She said, "This a good bill that allows an important water conservation measure, especially as continued drought reminds us how important water is to Montana."

The bill's co-sponsor, Rep. John Ward (R-Helena) is the owner of Little John's septic systems. He explained, "The impact of this bill will not be felt for a few years. It is farsighted, it lays the groundwork in a category of water appreciation where we have only begun to scratch the surface. It's ahead of it's time and good to have it on the books."

"Protecting the environment is something we can and should do on a daily basis with our choices and habits," said Matthew Elsaesser, S.A.V.E. Director, "measures such as this play an important role."

About S.A.V.E.:

S.A.V.E. a started as a recycling effort at Carroll College in Helena and is now known for expanding recycling in Helena, crossing the state with country music and an old truck with their Biodiesel Montana program, and working on common sense policy to enable environmental stewardship through the 3 Rs of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
S.A.V.E. has also worked to pass the following other bills:
* SB 185: Montana became the first state to allow medium speed electric vehicles;
* SB 449: Requires increased fuel efficiency for state vehicles. Most state vehicles must meet or exceed CAFE standards (the federal efficiency standards);
* HB 555: Recognizes the challenges of electronic waste (like old computers) and funds a public education program through DEQ.

More information:

Gray Water Fact Sheet One

Gray Water Fact Sheet Two


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

S.A.V.E. Director awarded for helping with recycling in Montana Senate

Senate staff Ryan and page recycle glass and plastics from the Senate and hallways of the Montana Capitol with bins maintained by The S.A.V.E. Foundation.

Matt Elsaesser, Executive Director of The S.A.V.E. Foundation was awarded for "His work to better the Montana State Senate Recycling Program." Elsaesser was not able to be at the Capitol to receive the award in front of the Senate yesterday, but was "pleased that S.A.V.E. was able to provide an outlet for plastics and glass recycling" during the session. The award is from the Sergeant of Arms office.



Monday, April 23, 2007

Earth Day Helena 2007 a success!

Earth Day Helena 2007 a success! (quick link, to be expanded soon)

Huge thanks to all the volunteers, speakers, sponsors (links below), guest exhibits, and all the participants that made it Earth Day Helena 2007 a memorable success. Here are a few photo highlights, links to some of the print coverage, and tidbits from the days events. Special thanks to the City of Helena for making plastics recycling possible at the event, Montana Department of Transportation for providing a functioning exhibit to recycle mercury containing light bulbs, The Third Wheels, S.A.V.E. students of Carroll and the College for being our host, Scott Settle for providing beef for our barbecue (local organic), and, again all the volunteers who helped plan, setup, take down, run the plastics drive, and the rest.

The S.A.V.E. Awards:

Student Advocate of the Year: Tyler Evilsizer
S.A.V.E Legend (highest honor): Jason DeShaw


Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO)
Montana Renewable Energy Association (MREA)
The Real Food Store
Saturn Resource Managemental

The S.A.V.E. Foundation, 501(c)(3)

Featured Speakers:
- Steve Loken
- Bob Raney
- George Ochenski
- Senator John Brueggeman


- Opening Music, The Recycling Games (Youth Activity), Slack Line Competition by, Plastics Recycling, The Third Wheels of Helena, and environmental exhibits.

Articles (more added soon):

More photos of Earth Day Helena 2007 here

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SB 185 signed by Governor Schweitzer, Montana first state to allow for medium speed vehicles!

SB 185 signed by Governor Schweitzer, Montana first state to allow for medium speed vehicles!

SB 185 was signed today by Governor Schweitzer at 3p.m. on top of a Zenn auto, a electric retro fit of a French car allowed at speeds over 90 km (55mph) in Europe.
The Zenn is currently limited by federal law governing slow moving vehicles at 25 mph, with allowance on streets up to 35mph. With added safety features, SB 185 allows a vehicle with specifications such as the Zenn to go 35mph on road up to 45mpg with a "medium speed electric vehicle" category. SB 185 is the brainchild businessman Don Gompertz of Eco Auto Inc in Bozeman who worked with Senator Hawks and the Montana Department of Justice to bring this bill forward. Montana is the first state to enact this legislation, paving the way for this important conservation measure. Washington state is expected enact similar legislation sometime this week.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Celebrate Earth Day! by Charlie Speicher

Celebrate Earth Day

by Charlie Speicher

In 1970, a few concerned yet passionate individuals joined forces to create the first annual Earth Day. This newly created holiday was to be set aside as a day, amongst other things, to reflect on the impact that humans have upon the earth. It’s also a day which allows us to highlight ways of ensuring that future generation’s quality of life will not be inhibited by our actions in the present. In the spirit of those original Earth Day pioneers, The S.A.V.E. Foundation will be hosting Helena’s annual Earth Day festivities on Sunday, April 22nd at the outdoor commons area of Carroll College from 12 to 4 p.m.

For the past several years, The S.A.V.E. Foundation has held similar Earth Day celebrations in Helena. This year will be no different as S.A.V.E. has gathered a remarkable lineup of speakers, musicians, exhibits, and festivities for the day’s events. This year’s speakers include Steve Loken, a nationally recognized Alternative Building Specialist from Missoula; Senator John Brueggeman, one of Montana’s strongest bio-diesel advocates; Bob Raney, a member of the Public Service Commission and tireless advocate for a clean environment; and George Ochenski, a widely published Montana writer and adventurer.

Local exhibits on conservation will be provided by groups such as the Alternative Energy Resource Organization, Montana Renewable Energy Association, NorthWestern Energy, and several other groups to display key environmental issues facing Montana today. Also, S.A.V.E. will be collecting Type1 and 2 plastics to be recycled throughout the day’s events.

Local musical talent The Third Wheels will be taking the stage at 2:30 with their eclectic blend of booty shaking soul, reggae, and Americana. The ClimbHelena organization will be in attendance as well unveiling their first annual slack-line competition for all brave attendees to participate. Prizes will be awarded to the most successful slack-liners.

While Earth Day is a time to celebrate what we can all do in terms of environmental stewardship, this year will also celebrate some of the proactive legislation that will benefit Montana's environment. Three bills in particular including Senate Bill 449, which will increase the efficiency of state-owned vehicles; SB 185, which creates a new category of electric vehicle to be used by urban residents; House Bill 259, which will legalize the use of grey water systems to conserve household water; and House Bill 555, which will create an education program to help facilitate electronic waste recycling. “These are very simple yet effective bills that allow important conservation choice to take place in Montana,” says S.A.V.E. Director Matt Elsaesser, who was S.A.V.E.'s Co-lobbyist with student intern Tyler Evilsizer of Carroll College. "Our niche this session was legislation that connected us to positive choices for the environment," said Evilsizer, a junior in political science. "This will be another great Earth Day with that same positive message and a fun time for all ages."

For more information regarding this years Earth Day events or SAVE news in general, please visit

Charlie Speicher is a Board Member of The Student Advocates for Valuing the Environment Foundation, a Helena based non-profit that promotes recycling and environmental stewardship. Charlie is Senior at Carroll College majoring in Environmental Studies.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Earth Day Details! Print a flier for you office!

SB 185 Passes the House 70-29!

SB 185, to allow for a new category of electric vehicle passed 3rd reading 70 to 29. HB 822, a tax credit for the purchase of biodiesel, is expected to pass out of Senate Tax committee today with amendments to expand the bill to include all businesses (currently only individuals and small businesses - 16 and under) and set a limit of $400 (instead of $500).


Monday, April 02, 2007

SB 449 (CAFE for State Fleet) Today / SB 210 (tax credit for conservation) Tomorrow

SB 449 will be heard today in House Transportation. This bill would require the state to seek vehicles that meet or exceed the Corporate Average Fleet Economy standards. This will help ensure that state agencies can purchase vehicles with better gas mileage. HB 3, which includes supplemental appropriations for cost overruns in the past biennium, had to include 1.3 million dollars for unanticipated fuel related cost for the state motor pool. Tyler will testify in support of the bill as a place for state agencies to lead on efficiency and hedge against unpredictable costs with fuel.

SB 210 increases the tax credit for household investments in conservation and energy efficiency. It increases the amount that can be claimed for the credit and expands it to include investments by rental property owners and other entities.

Other Recent Legislative News: HB 166 (Biodiesel Production Tax Credit), HB 259 (Gray Water) & HB 555
(E-waste Education) have passed both chambers and will be signed by the
Governor soon. SB 185 (Medium speed electric cars) awaits executive
action in House Transportation. SB 449 (Fleet efficiency in State
Vehicles) will be heard next week in House Transportation. HB 822 (tax
credit for purchase of biodiesel at retail pump) passed third reading
on the House floor 61-38.