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Can clean water be green? 

In an age of rising oceans and hybrid SUVs, sustainability is a buzzword with implications far beyond the hippies of Humboldt County. Sustainability has found its way into popular building techniques and community planning, clothing, cars--even food. But what of it is actually sensible and what is placebo? That's to say: Which new technologies will make you feel better and which ones will actually bring significant change?

At the forefront of this debate is SLO Green Build, a group that's hosted a number of public get-togethers, mostly focused on green building techniques. Its latest effort, set for Feb. 6 and 7, is a collaboration with the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club, Surfrider, and HopeDance. It is focused on water conservation.

The big question is whether appropriate technology can help solve water resource issues in Los Osos and other thirsty cities in the county. Keynote speaker Jonathan Todd, a leader in sustainable design and natural resource planning, will address alternative sewer solutions.

The conference is taking place at several locations around the county--including the SLO Botanical Garden in El Chorro Regional Park. For more information on locations, times, and specific events, see SLO Green Build's website at

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