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Madison, Wisconsin a Climate Showcase Community


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Madison, Wisconsin is one of EPA's 50 Climate Showcase Communities. Sustain Dane, the City's only comprehensive sustainability organization, runs the MPower Business Champion program. It is a voluntary program that helps businesses identify and accomplish five carbon reduction projects over the course of a year. Sustain Dane provides the resources and tools that businesses need to achieve their carbon reductions, and the businesses save money. Interested in learning more and replicating their project?





SustainAbility Newsletter Archive Article (random)

Fertilizer Buying Guide

FertilizerA sustainable lawn or garden starts with healthy soil. Natural fertilizers promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, earthworms and fungi that build soil structure and foster healthy plants.

The best fertilizer for your lawn and garden is homemade compost, made from food scraps, lawn clippings and fall leaves. If you still need store-bought products, here are a few tips.

Compost: Commercially made compost has high levels of naturally occurring phosphorous and nitrogen that is released gradually and is absorbed more easily by plants. Other soil improvers, such as worm castings, Epsom salts and decomposed organic matter called humates, add nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Watch out for commercial fertilizers, even those labeled "organic," that contain harmful ingredients, such as animal byproducts or sewage sludge. Animal byproducts, such as bone meal or fish meal, may have come from industrial farming operations, and sewage sludge, could be contaminated with diseases or heavy metals.

"NOFA Approved" and "OMRI Listed": The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), an accredited certifying agency for the USDA National Organic Program, approve products that have been composted according to USDA Organic standards. The only synthetic materials that can be added to NOFA approved compost are those allowed in organic crop production.

An organic lawn or garden starts with healthy soil. Natural fertilizers promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, earthworms and fungi that build soil structure and foster healthy plants.

  1. Have your soil tested by your local USDA Cooperative Extension Service to determine pH and what nutrients, if any, your grass is missing, or test it yourself with a soil testing kit.
  2. Once you know the pH, you can add organic matter to help balance it. Lawns prefer slightly acidic soils with a pH range of 6.5 to 7, but flowers, shrubs and trees vary in their pH preferences. Lime helps balance acidic soil, while sulfur helps with alkaline.
  3. To find out the nutrient content of a fertilizer, look for the "NPK" number (NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium). A "5-6-5" NPK number, for instance, means that a fertilizer is 5 percent nitrogen, 6 percent phosphorus and 5 percent potassium with the remaining 84 percent representing filler material.

 - excerpted from NG's GreenGuide for Everyday Living



References and Sources used in this issue of SustainAbility Newsletter Include:

Audubon Lifestyles

The International Sustainability Council  

The Reserve at Lake Keowee

The Old Collier Club

The Rim Golf Club




Energy Star 

The Village of Blume 

Taylor Properties Group  


National Geographic 

American Society of Golf Course Architects

The United States Golf Association (USGA)


$25 Annually $100 Annually $250 Reg / $100 Annually


Sponsors are a critically important part to the success of ISC-Audubon. As a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating sustainability, we offer all of our programs to our members free of charge, and are publicly available for download on our website.

ISC-Audubon is proud to extend the opportunity to select businesses and organizations to become sponsors of our sustainability education and advocacy programs. As a sponsor, your business or organization can realize significant value.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity. 


A Coalition for Good - Spreading the Seeds of Sustainability

ISC-Audubon is a coalition of non-profit organizations and initiatives that include The International Sustainability Council (ISC), Audubon Lifestyles, Audubon Outdoors, Planit Green, Broadcast Audubon, and the Audubon Network for Sustainability. 

Funds generated through memberships and donations are used to provide fruit & vegetable seeds, wildflower seed mix, and wildlife feed & birdseed to urban and suburban communities around the world. These seeds are used by communities to establish fruit and vegetable gardens, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the beautification of urban and suburban landscapes by creating flower and native plant gardens.

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