Build It Green

Last week our friends at Build It Green hosted their Water Wise Homes Conference, where building professionals learned from other builders and designers about water-saving practices and technologies. From the simple to the complex, experts covered everything from appliance choices to best practices related to conveyance of hot water. Babak Tondre of the design and building firm DIG Cooperative discussed the wide variety of grey water and rainwater catchment systems options.  Systems like these that DIG installs help with drought resilience and erosion reduction.  Participants also heard from presenter Chie Kawahara who spoke from the vantage point of the homeowner learning about water saving measures and her process of choosing the retrofits and contractors that best matched her home’s needs and her budget.  An afternoon panel included affordable housing developer, Eden Housing. Staff from Eden from spoke about the cost savings that investing in major water and energy efficiency projects has generated for their multi-unit affordable dwellings.  Thanks to Build It Green for inviting Rising Sun to participate!

2015 Green Urban Art Competition

PR event flyer jpegClick here to submit your expression of interest through this Google form!


  1. The competition is open to everyone ages 12 and up.
  2. Artwork can be existing or newly created, but must adhere to the following criteria:
    1. highlight a water issue or water conservation practices/solutions, and
    2. if water is used in the art/installation, it must incorporate greywater practices.
  1. In addition, the artist must choose at least one of the following concepts to incorporate into the art piece:
    1. Use of recycled materials
    2. Illustrate the relationship between the natural environment in the context of an urban setting
    3. Create a piece that shows a visual image of the Rising Sun logo
    4. Demonstrate the use of non-toxic materials
    5. Watershed and riparian ecosystem awareness
    6. An urban response to water conservation
    7. A scientific issue involving water conservation
    8. California water issues and problems
    9. New technologies in water conservation
    10. Incorporate water wise landscaping into the art/installation
    11. Greywater systems
    12. Rainwater capture
    13. Industrial water uses, fracking, agriculture, livestock production, etc.
    14. Spoken word
    15. Performance Art

James’ Benevolent success

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Rising Sun Energy Center’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. Through our California Youth Energy Services (CYES) and Green Energy Training Services (GETS) programs, we strive to achieve our mission and have the most meaningful impact on our participants and for the environment.

One thing that motivates and excites us to continue our important work is when we see our program participants empower themselves to reach higher. We can see this in James, a GETS participant from our spring 2014 cohort, who has shown superior dedication to the training provided by Rising Sun, but also to energy efficiency and renewable energy as a green career pathway. Based on the current level of unemployment in California, getting a full-time job is a difficult endeavor. However, James went the extra mile to increase his chances of becoming employed as a Solar Installer. In order to accomplish this, he successfully raised the funds needed to buy the required tools by reaching out to the community—crowd-funding through Benevolent Website. Now if that isn’t empowerment, tell me what is!

Thumbs up, James, and all the best in your venture!

We are coming to Stockton this fall!

After a record-breaking summer, serving 15 cities in the Bay Area, we finally have the opportunity expand to the Central Valley.  We are launching California Youth Energy Service (CYES) in the Central Valley, starting with a fall program in Stockton. But this is just the start! In the summer of 2015, we will be expanding to 4-5 surrounding cities in San Joaquin, Merced, and Stanislaus counties.

Are you curious about where exactly in Stockton Rising Sun will be serving? Everywhere! We can provide a Green House Call to anyone that is a Stockton resident and pays a PG&E bill. There are no income qualifications - everyone is eligible, including home owners, apartment owners, and renters. Additionally, the best part is that the program comes at no cost to residents and will be running from October 27th to December 12th of this year.  We have hired local youth and young adults between the ages of 15 and 22 from Stockton’s high schools and colleges. We will be performing energy audits in homes, and all you need to do is register anytime throughout the program for your homes to receive no-cost audits, energy and water efficiency upgrades. To get a Green House Call, you can sign up at  Green House Call Sign Up, contact us directly at or call us on (510) 883-4015.

Rising Sun’s 2014 Staff Retreat

At Rising Sun Energy Center we strive to think of our annual staff retreat as an opportunity to continue to build a robust sense of connectedness and community amongst our staff. As a whole, according to Elena Foshay, Director of Adult Programs, and Julia Kim, Marketing and Development Coordinator, the retreat was a great opportunity for the staff to get to know each other better and to reconnect to the history and mission of Rising Sun, from Late Night Art at Green Gulch Zen Center to a hike and BBQ at Muir Beach.


LATE NITE ART was a perfect forum to facilitate this process.  Adam’s leadership and guidance created a space where the staff of Rising Sun could let go of inhibition and share parts of ourselves in a novel and expressive way. We were able to tackle the questions of why we work for Rising Sun, what inspires us and challenges us in our job, what passion we bring to the table and what we need from each other in order to continue to grow and build stronger programs for our community in an innovative and exciting way. We spent time letting go, and letting others draw for us. We let in the ideas and stories of the people around us, and most importantly we had a lot of fun with each other! The collective creative process that LATE NITE ART fashioned was invaluable to our organization and added to the overall experience of the retreat.


Dancing and painting… at the same time? Now that was enlightening!


Painting together and trying to get to know each other was a really interesting experience. It completely removed the barriers that may exist in an office. Every single person in the room jumped in the game and let go their creativity.  - Nico, Collabriv Intern


An opportunity to chat and be creative, all at once.



It was refreshing to see everyone work together in such a creative and collaborative way, and it was awesome to see us tie in our mission into a natural environment.  – Jennifer, Regional Outreach Manager


And the final reward: a work of art that explained to us the benefit of working together as a team, irrespective of our differences or the shortcomings we thought we had.




The late night art was mind-blowing, it gave us the opportunity to let go of the limitations we felt both individually and as a group, and then release our inner creativity.It’s an engaging activity for both individuals and the organization at large.  - Toni, Collabriv Intern