Letter from the Editors
This week in sustainability features many big stories that made global headlines. The most significant is the dire conditions in the U.S. midwest due to the worst drought in over 50 years. Corn, soybeans, grains, and a host of other crops are in danger, including the livelihoods of many farmers, as well as a massive chunk of the U.S. economy devoted to exports. Water shortages and restrictions are prevalent all over the nation in the middle of one of the hottest summers on record. On another agricultural note, the Genetically Modified Foods Debate in Washington is heating up with the passing of new provisions deregulating most of the GM industry, with the USDA stating environmental policy has no bearing on the reviews of GM crops, not even when considering toxins and pesticides, and the health of other species.
Apple made global news some time back when they announced they weren’t going to participate in a green certification system for their products. This week, Apple retracted the proclamation, calling it a big mistake, after the criticism from consumers became too great. Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is a green registry and rating system for electronics that helps many governments and businesses determine what to purchase when looking to be environmentally conscious. Apple is one of the largest multinational corporations and many believe it was a mistake for them to not lead by example.
Protests in Japan over the reactivation of nuclear reactors are increasing. Bringing back nuclear power is moving slowly despite the universal worry over recreating the nuclear meltdown disaster resulting from last year’s tsunami, as well as the Japanese government’s commitment to expanding renewable energy all over the country. Unfortunately, Japan is suffering an energy crisis and is being forced to import fossil fuels at massive levels.
Moving away from the heavy stories, there is also plenty of content pertaining to technological innovation and green business ventures. A California dairy has become the first to use solar cogeneration to supply electricity and hot water. A company in Israel has invented a microbial fuel cell which, when applied to wastewater treatment, not only improves the process by cutting down on sludge, but actually generates electricity. There is also a restaurant in Illinois that powers its building and cooks most of its food using its own wind turbine.
Greenpeace activists shut down 74 Shell petrol stations in Edinburgh and London in a protest against the company’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic that saw 24 campaigners arrested. The campaigners are attempting to shut off petrol to London’s 105 Shell stations and Edinburgh’s 14. Seventy-one have been closed in London and three in Edinburgh.
The protest is part of Greenpeace’s Save the Arctic campaign, which is aiming to prevent oil drilling and industrial fishing in the Arctic by having the region recognised as a world park. The organisation understands that Shell is going to begin drilling in the Alaskan Arctic in the coming weeks, with the Russian oil company Gazprom also due to work in the region. Read more here.
Learn more about the Shell Arctic Drilling controversy and its escalating opposition here.
African Researchers in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) have called for villagers across the region to be made aware of the negative effects of climate change and encouraged to pursue adaptation measures. “Data from 1970-2000 show that rainfall during the period decreased by about 12 per cent in northern Cote d’Ivoire,” Bama Kone, coordinator of the research, told SciDev.Net. He added that annual temperatures increased by almost one degree Celsius during the same timeframe.
Kone said that the rainy season has shortened, while the dry season has become longer.”Conditions in the region have become harsher and longer, vegetation has been damaged, many species are endangered, and many rivers and streams have dried up,” he said. Read more here.
94 of the world’s 103 lemur species are at risk of extinction according to a new assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released by the group’s Species Survival Commission during a workshop this week.
Lemurs, a group of primates that is endemic to the island of Madagascar, are threatened by habitat destruction and poaching for the bushmeat trade. The update to the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species shows that 23 lemurs are now classified as ‘Critically Endangered’, 52 are ‘Endangered’, 19 are ‘Vulnerable’ and three are ‘Near Threatened’. Only three lemur species are listed as ‘Least Concern’. Read more here.
In light of the Israeli environment minister’s proposal to cut Gaza’s electricity if supplies are running low, it makes perfect sense for Palestinian explore their own energy possibilities. As it stands Palestinians are almost entirely dependent on Israel for electricity and that is not a comfortable place to be for any nation. Indeed, these damning findings convinced investor Hanna Siniora [member of the Palestine National Council and the chairperson of the Palestinian-American Chamber of Commerce] and economist Iskandar Najjar [Professor Emeritus at Al-Quds University] to establish a solar energy project near Jericho.
Palestinians consume about 1,000 megawatts of electricity – 700 in the West Bank and 300 in Gaza. Israel consumes roughly 12,000 megawatts. In the Gaza Strip, a local power station provides 40% percent of the electricity needed and Palestinians buy electricity in small levels from Egypt and Jordan. However, but this doesn’t change their dependence on Israel. Siniora and Najjar developed contacts with American and European investors and hope to launch the project near Jericho in 2013. Read more here.
“We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system,” Apple’s senior vice president for hardware engineering, Bob Mansfield, said in a statement. “I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.”
EPEAT primarily measures a product’s recyclability and energy efficiency. The certification covers laptops, desktops and monitors, but not tablets and phones. Apple would not say why it had left the green certification system, but it was widely speculated that its new line of MacBook Pro laptops, which had not been reviewed by EPEAT, might be too difficult to recycle to earn the certification. Unlike in previous models, the battery of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is glued to its metal case. Reviewers have complained the laptops are nearly impossible to disassemble. Read more here.
Since Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda decided to restart two of Japan’s 54 idled nuclear reactors, the protest has swelled into a mass demonstration blocking the streets of Japan’s political center.This rare display of public discontent by the Japanese, bringing together citizens from all walks of life, shows no signs of waning, exposing how deeply the nation is divided over the form of energy that until recently powered one-third of Japan’s economy. The nation has no known fossil-fuel reserves of its own, and began relying heavily to nuclear power as a home-grown resource after the global oil shocks of the 1970s. The nation’s faith in the safety of its nuclear fleet was shattered when the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami touched off the crisis at Fukushima. Since then, Japan has been ramping up fossil-fuel imports, aggressively promoting renewables and conservation, and trying to plot a new energy future.
While debate continues on a long-term plan, though, Noda concluded Japan couldn’t make it through summer without some measure of atomic energy-a decision that now has driven opposition into the streets. Imports of fossil fuel have skyrocketed, with shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG), mostly from Asia, hitting a record high of 83.18 million tons in the fiscal year that ended in March. The $66 billion in fuel costs pushed Japan into a trade deficit for the first time since 1980. Read more here
A new microbial fuel cell creates energy during wastewater treatment and also vastly reduces the amount of sludge produced. Israel-based company, Emefcy, named as a play on the acronym for microbial fuel cell (MFC), starts with the same principle as most wastewater treatment-water is aerated so bacteria in the liquid break down organic material in a closed series of containers known as a bioreactor.
“We didn’t invent anything scientifically new,” says Ely Cohen, vice president of marketing and business development for the four-year-old company. The novelty factor: instead of using electricity to push air into the water, Emefcy uses a permeable filter that allows air in but doesn’t let liquid out, much like how a diaper works. The polyethylene plastic membrane, similar to materials used in construction, surrounds the fuel cell chamber into which wastewater flows. Read more here.
Israel is becoming one of the premier innovators in renewable and health-focused technology; another example is Biozone, whom created a system that improves the quality of the air we breathe by inserting probiotics–live microorganisms that are healthy for humans–into air conditioning systems at home, in the office or in hospitals.
Two-thirds of pet owners say they try to be good to the environment for the sake of their pet as much as a family member, according to new research from the Purina Together We Can campaign. The survey suggests that pet owners want to ensure that their pets can enjoy the great outdoors and they also want to preserve the planet for future generations of their beloved cats and dogs.
When asked specifically about recycling, 29% of pet owners said that they do it to protect the environment for their pet. Overall, Britain’s pet owners are setting a great example with 88% of them recycling their household waste either ‘always’ or ‘often’. According to the research team, the new findings highlight a growing realisation that environmental concerns and recycling efforts are aimed at protecting the planet for the future of pet, as well as human, generations. Read more here.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – Grass and freshly planted trees are sprouting in a new town park that sits atop the site of a vermiculite plant that once spewed asbestos dust across the mountain community of Libby – a welcome dose of normalcy for a city that has become synonymous with lung disease and death. It’s a major milestone for the mining town of about 3,000 people near the Canadian border where an estimated 400 people to date have been killed by asbestos exposure. More than 1,700 have been sickened. Lethal dust from the WR. Grace and Co. plant and the company’s nearby mine once blanketed the town, and asbestos illnesses are still being diagnosed more than two decades after the mine was shuttered.
Following a 12-year cleanup, Riverfront Park hosted a wedding. Officials said another wedding and a blues festival are scheduled for early August. For Mayor Doug Roll, the federal government’s recent transfer of the park to the city offers a symbolic break from Libby’s lethal past. “It’s sort of like Phoenix rising from the ashes,” Roll said Read more here.
Since the early 1880s – when Edison and Tesla pioneered the distribution of electrical power into our homes – most of that power has come from the process of burning coal.
Four years ago, something started to change. First it was slow, and then this past month that change became dramatic. Coal now generates just 34 percent of our electricity, down from about 50 percent just four years ago. Now, the loss of coal as the dominant energy source is having damaging effects on the towns that once relied on the black rock for their livelihood. Read more here.
Buried in the House Farm Bill, approved by the House Agriculture Committee, is the agribusiness industry’s latest attempt to shed regulations restricting new genetically engineered (GE) crops. While the bill’s massive food stamps cuts elicited widespread outcry, the industry quietly inserted provisions to rush new crops onto the market after only a cursory review of their safety.
Three sections tucked into the middle of the bulky bill work together to eliminate any real review of GE crops. This “Monsanto Rider” got its name from the corporation with a choke-hold on most of the country’s staple crops; Monsanto owns the patents to genetically engineered strains of soybean, corn, sugar beet and cotton, to name a few, as well as many controversial chemical herbicides. Here are some of the rider’s most egregious game-changers: Read more here.
For all you urban energy harvesters out there, here’s a little something to go with your micro wind turbine and your rooftop solar thermal-electric array: a small-scale, energy-efficient system for harvesting algae in preparation for producing algae biofuel.
Finding an inexpensive way to separate the fully grown microalgae from its watery environment is one of the key challenges for producing cost-competitive microalgae biofuel, and this is the part that the Algae Appliance addresses. The algae-water solution requires no pretreatment. The Algae Appliance subjects it to carefully calibrated electromagnetic pulses, which cause the algae to clump together, making it easier to almost all of the excess water. The device also provides a low-energy way to crack open the cell walls of the algae in order to extract the oil. Read more here.
With a solar facility on its fleet maintenance center, diesel trucks that have been converted to cold plate technology and the use of a freon-based cooling system instead of ammonia, San Francisco Bay Area dairy Clover Stornetta Farms is no stranger to sustainable business practices.
The Petaluma, Calif.-based business works with a few dozen family-owned local dairies to process between 60,000-75,000 gallons of milk a day. Clover Stornetta became the first dairy in the U.S. to generate electricity and hot water through a hybrid solar technology known as cogeneration. Read more here.
The drought scorching the U.S. Midwest is the worst since 1956, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a report posted on its website on Monday. Drought is affecting 55 percent of the land mass in the lower 48 states.
The corn crop is in the greatest danger. Plants are trying to pollinate to let ears fill with kernels, a period when adequate moisture is vital for final yields. The United States ships more than half of all world exports of corn, which is made into dozens of products, from starch and ethanol to livestock feed. Read more here.
You may also read the climate report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Nevada authorized the commercial trapping of crayfish after Mr. Jackson and a local scientist persuaded state authorities that it would be good business. And not only that, it would improve the famed, though vulnerable, water clarity of one of America’s greatest natural treasures. Introduced to Lake Tahoe more than a century ago, the crayfish population has swelled to 280 million, up from 200 million just six years ago. The crustacean lives, eats and excretes in the lake’s shallow waters, contributing to algae growth, which clouds the water. Reducing their numbers would help keep the lake blue.
Commercial fishing’s resumption here seems to be riding a confluence of trends. Some environmentalists are exhorting people to combat the growing problem of harmful, invasive species by eating them. Crayfish harvesting is also in keeping with the more established locavore movement, which steers diners to locally grown food. Besides crayfish, other newer invasive species found in shallower waters, including Asian clams and Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic weed, are causing the clarity to deteriorate. Read more here.
Great Escape Restaurant is not a dream or some fantasy game with a green theme; the restaurant is in Schiller Park, Illinois and it uses a 108KW wind turbine the owners installed in 2009 to supply up to 70 percent of the electric power – depending on wind conditions – used in the business, which includes Fish Fry Friday and Saturday’s ever-popular Prime Rib Nite.
The wind turbine actually has the capacity to supply 120 percent of the electric needs of the restaurant. The 80-foot tower, with three 32-foot blades, cost $375,000 to build in 2009. The restaurant owners mortgaged their building in order to finance the project, which began in 2007. The Great Escape’s unused power goes to supplement the power needs of the community. The turbine can provide enough clean energy to power more than 30 homes, depending on wind speed – and now can power electric vehicles, too. Read more here
One thing that hasn’t changed in the valley in 20 years is the region’s close, sometimes fraught relationship with energy extraction. Since World War II, by far the biggest employers have been the three coal mines that sit out of sight 8 to 10 miles upriver. They’re still active, but running out of coal. Many locals strenuously object, while others look forward to the jobs it would create. But generally the relationship between the towns and the mines has been one of respectful coexistence if not loyalty, with local environmentalists conceding that the mines have been responsible corporate citizens.
A new contest between heavy industry and the valley’s evolving brand of sustainable agriculture intensified. This time it wasn’t about coal; it was about natural gas. Despite assurances from industry leaders that it can regulate itself, there have been controversial messes-not just flaming faucets propaganda, but well-documented cases of air and groundwater contamination-and mounting concerns about threats to public health. Read more here.
The production, processing, and disposal of materials in our modern throwaway economy wastes not only materials but the energy embodied in the material as well. The throwaway economy that has evolved over the last half-century is an aberration that is now itself headed for the junk heap of history. The challenge is to re-evaluate the materials we consume and the way we manufacture products so as to cut down on waste. Read more here.
Social change of real value is slow-going indeed. How do we manifest responsibility to the planet? A serious consensus is building across the globe that doing so is crucial, that the weather extremes of recent years are no less than global warming in action, the result of centuries of unbridled, industrial-age irresponsibility toward the planet, and something fundamental has to change in how we live our lives and sustain ourselves, but our leadership, certainly in this country, seems incapable of addressing an issue of such complexity.
President Obama, who campaigned as a new kind of leader, perpetuates, in the name of national security, assassination by drone. Meanwhile, every real issue of national security, including climate change, is ignored. Every problem we face either has an us-vs.-them solution or no solution at all – indeed, no existence as a problem. A year ago, when wildfires ravaged the state of Arizona, the best John McCain could do was blame it on illegal immigrants. We’re stuck in a paradigm of domination, but we can’t fight our way out of the ecological disaster we’ve brought on ourselves. Perhaps, having brought the hell of war to the Middle East over the last two decades, we’re symbolically reaping what we’ve sown. Read more here.
All over the country, people-like the workers of Chicago’s New Era Windows-are building worker-owned cooperatives that root jobs in the communities that need them.
If there is one lesson from the early days of worker ownership attempts, it is that building a powerful local and national support group of public figures, nonprofit organizations, national labor and religious leaders, and others can be of great and unexpected importance. It can help keep the story alive at critical times, and also help create and sustain a market. Read more here.
The turbine’s completing was celebrated with much fanfare in January, and Gov. Deval Patrick joined company and city officials during a ceremony at the facility. The turbine is expected to offset roughly 70 percent of the Airport Road building’s energy use, and the company received more than $500,000 in grants from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to determine feasibility, design and construction.
The turbine, which is the largest in the state 415 feet tall, is part of the company’s plans to go “net zero,” meaning its facilities will leave no impact on the environment. Spokeswoman Silvie Casanova said the company’s eyes are on the Fall River effort. Read more here.
Local bans proliferate from plastic water bottles to swearing to leaf blowers
Future archeologists who stumble upon the annals of local government, circa 2012, may find this era remarkable for the things we tried to get rid of: enormous sodas, small plastic water bottles, public swearing, fatty food, loud leaf blowers.
Chelsea, Lynn, and Brookline have joined Cambridge and made the news, with the coverage sometimes favorable and sometimes mocking, for passing bans that tried to make their residents healthier, quieter, more environmental. But the expanding list of potentially prohibited food, drink, and noise has spawned its own debate: Do the bans work? And are they necessary? Read more here.
Cape Codders who were exposed during childhood to a chemical solvent in their drinking water have an increased likelihood of vision problems, according to Boston University researchers. The study is the latest in a BU series that has explored links to birth defects, mental health problems and addictions among people exposed to tetrachloroethylene (PCE) through drinking water in eight Cape towns.
It found exposed individuals exhibited poorer color-discrimination abilities than unexposed people. The 29 exposed subjects, who were all born between 1969 and 1983, had more problems lining up a group of colored caps on a full color spectrum than the 25 who were not exposed, lead researcher Ann Aschengrau said. A neurotoxin, PCE was used to apply the vinyl liner of hundreds of miles of drinking water pipes in Massachusetts, mainly in the 1970s. The pipes in Cape towns in the study were all fitted with a vinyl liner that was improperly cured, BU officials say. Exposure to PCE came not just by drinking water carried by the pipes but also by inhaling vapor during showering and even absorbing water through the skin while bathing, researchers say. Read more here.
STEM summit plants career seeds for New Bedford High students
The New Bedford Education Foundation-sponsored event, “The Arts and STEM Innovation Summit,” was organized and facilitated by architect, consulting and environmental education firm Studio2Sustain.
About 50 NBHS students spent the morning learning about the potential for innovation when science, technology and art combine, and then putting what they learned into action. Students broke off into groups and, using a variety of materials, built models of a project idea that could be used at a specific site in New Bedford with the intention of promoting sustainability and improving the quality of life for residents. Then, later in the day, the presented their projects. The project ideas included a generator powered by the force of ocean tides, solar-powered art or lawn ornaments, an aesthetically pleasing windmill, and a variety of solar-powered innovations, including a water purification system. Read more here.
A new natural gas pipeline, still in the evaluation phase, may bring natural gas from Pennsylvania to southern New England, possibly through Rhode Island. The pipeline would be built by the Houston-based natural gas company Spectra Energy Corp., a parent company of the Algonquin Gas Transmission, which has contracts with National Grid in Rhode Island. An existing Algonquin pipeline currently cuts through the northwestern corner of Rhode Island, carrying fuel extracted from the Marcellus and Utica gas fields in Pennsylvania, Ohio and New York, to as far north as Massachusetts.
Spectra outlined its extensions to the project as “located in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York,” but a spokesman for National Grid said recently that “we’re not sure if the path of the pipeline would run through Rhode Island.” The state Office of Energy Resources hasn’t responded to a request made last month for more information. The southern New England extensions will cost Spectra about $500 million to build; if permitting moves forward smoothly, they could come online in late 2015. The pipeline is part of a substantial shift in energy usage in the region. According to Spectra, natural gas-fired electric generation has increased from 15 percent to 52 percent of total electric energy production in New England. Read more here.
Patrick addresses energy group as negotiators work on reform bill
Massachusetts needs to lead the nation in energy efficiency and clean energy because the state is “at the end of the pipeline” for oil and other natural energy resources, Gov. Deval Patrick told a crowd at a Beacon Hill restaurant. “Today in Massachusetts we lead the nation in energy efficiency,” Patrick said, citing the state’s number-one ranking, beating out California, in last year’s American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy scorecard. “We’re attracting tremendous amounts of private capital…and creating thousands of jobs.”
In a speech delivered at Scollay Square to the Alliance to Save Energy, Patrick echoed themes from a speech he gave in May at a clean tech firm in South Boston, listing the ways the state has boosted clean energy, pushing for more wind and solar energy production and describing the risks that have led to failures in the clean energy field. Read more here.
BOURNE – Beaten back by blight, the American chestnut is just a footnote in today’s forest. But a hardworking pack of junior rangers focused on the future of the tree on Monday, planting 20 chestnut saplings in an orchard behind the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Midway Recreation Area.
Back in the day, the American chestnut tree was a woody superstar, celebrated in song and poem and prized by foresters for its useful timber. The tasty nuts provided a valuable food source for people and animals. Then, it all went wrong. An invasive fungus killed 50 million chestnut trees along the East Coast. Chestnut tree lovers have picked up the pieces and moved on. Now they try and figure out ways to beat back the still-active blight. This takes time, genetic jiggling and orchards, such as the one in Bourne. Read more here.
Community Preservation Act will be on Fall River ballot
City residents in the next few months will address at the ballot box whether to set aside a small, new and separate tax to preserve land for parks and recreation or historic buildings and sites.
That’s as a result of the City Council last month voting unanimously to join nearly half of the state’s municipalities and consider enabling legislation under the Community Preservation Act. Enabling legislation means the state allows communities to adopt the law if they choose to. The CPA, established about 12 years ago, allows cities and towns to “dedicate a funding source” that’s up to 3 percent of its tax levy. It can also set conditions and exemptions as the one proposed for Fall River does. Read more here.
Residents on Foundry Street had complained this week of clouds of black soot drifting from the site of the former Belcher Foundry, but work has been halted because the work crews did not file the proper paperwork with the Department of Environmental Protection, state officials said. The demolition is on hold while the state works with the site owner and contractors about how to best remove the asbestos. Read more here.
Before the tugboat tour, Buzzards Bay Coalition senior attorney Korrin Petersen explained to the 10 visitors how in 2003 a Bouchard barge hit exposed ledge in the bay, spilling 98,000 gallons of oil, fouling 100 miles of Massachusetts beaches. As a result of the spill, she said, a Massachusetts law was passed in 2004 requiring all oil barges to be escorted through Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal by local tugboats familiar with the navigational channels.
“Before the spill there were very little regulations about oil barges and there are a lot of reefs and rocks at the mouth of the Bay that are tough to navigate,” she said, adding that the average oil barge draws about 25 feet, but parts of the bay are only 22 feet deep. The New Bedford-based tugboat escorts only lead the oil barges, which are already being towed from their point of origin to their destination by other tugboats. Read more here.
Foster, 50, a resident of Crawford’s Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation who suffers from multiple sclerosis, had a rare treat. She was able to feed herself with the robotic arm, something she hasn’t been able to do in quite a while. Foster described the experience as one of “independence.” “You don’t have to rely on somebody else to do it,” Foster said. “You don’t have to wait for someone to feed you.”
Fall River resident Mohamed Kante helped create the robotic arm as part of a senior class project to help Foster and other patients who are paralyzed. Read more here.
Acushnet energy committee to explore solar farm sites
The town took another cautious half-step forward Monday on solar farming with selectmen directing the Alternative Energy Committee to explore town-owned properties suitable for a public-private solar farm enterprise. Officials took the action with an eye toward eventually cutting municipal energy bills. Tracts being looked at include 60 municipal acres beyond the P.J. Keating Co. quarry off South Main Street and a 20-acre ravine at the Quaker Wells property off Main Street.
Mainline Solar/Tangent Energy Solutions of Pennsylvania is interested in the town land beyond the quarry. Tangent seeks an exclusivity agreement with the town, but selectmen said they prefer a request for proposals process that could conceivably prompt multiple solar-farming bidders and the chance for the board to pursue the best deal. Read more here.
There are almost 2,800 miles of rivers and 44,000 acres of lakes in the Narragansett Bay region. These fresh waters are a critical resource, providing habitat for fish and wildlife, exceptional opportunities for recreational boating, fishing and swimming, and drinking water for nearly 2 million people.
The Narragansett Bay watershed was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. For decades, many of its working rivers were heavily utilized for industry, commerce and other human purposes, including wastewater disposal. This legacy of industrialization continues to affect water quality, particularly in the urbanized portions of the Woonasquatucket and Blackstone rivers. The water quality of our rivers reflects the activities occurring in the surrounding watershed. Rivers are relied on to receive wastewater and industrial discharges and stormwater runoff from developed land. Urban stormwater conveys a variety of pollutants, such as fertilizers that can be a source of excess nutrients. Read more here.
Green groups blast highway proposal in Maine
Environmental groups took aim Monday at a proposal to build a privately funded toll highway across the midsection of Maine, claiming the road would pose a threat to the state’s environment and tourism economy. A 220-mile highway creating a direct link from Calais, on the New Brunswick border in eastern Maine, to Coburn Gore along the Quebec border in the west, would cross or come close to more than 60 significant conservation and recreation areas, the heads of the Forest Ecology Network and Restore: The North Woods said at a news conference.
They maintained that a four-lane highway would hurt Maine’s tourism economy and generate few jobs and economic benefits. They said the highway’s right of way could also serve as a corridor for oil and natural gas pipelines and large electrical transmission lines. Read more here.
This Week in Sustainability
Thursday, July 19, 6:00PM – 8:00PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
The Lloyd Center seeks volunteers to conduct beach walks on various shoreline areas throughout Buzzards Bay from Westport to Wareham searching for birds that have washed ashore. On their beach of choice volunteers collect basic environmental information about their beach and identify live birds seen during walks. Volunteers also conduct measurements and take photos of beached birds found at their site.
This project yields important information about beached bird deposition patterns, which ultimately answers questions about overall marine health and the status of seabird populations. Detail of Workshop are here. To register, please call / email Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 x23 or here.
Friday, July 20, All Day Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford, MA
The Zoo will be open FREE to the public on Friday, July 1 thanks to the Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday program. The Zoo will be open regular hours of 10 AM to 5 PM with last entry at 4:30 PM. Train and Carousel rides will be available for standard ticket prices.
Learn more here
Friday, July 20, 6PM – 8PM (Repeat every Friday until September 7, 2012), Westport Rivers Vineyard, 417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA
Until Friday September 7th, the winery will feature live entertainment as the sun sets over the beautiful vineyard. It’s a picnic style event, so either pack in your own food or buy some dinner from our friend Wayne Gibson’s South Coast Local (who will be serving up a variety of BBQ, from pulled pork sandwiches to hot dogs for the kids). Don’t forget a blanket, chairs, bug spray, glasses or a cork screw. Admission is $10 per carload and beer, wine and SoCo local food will be served for a fee. The event is weather permitting and NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL is permitted.
The entertainment schedule for the summer is as follows:
July 20th – Neal McCarthy/Michael Lavoie
July 27th – One Bad Ant
August 3rd – Putnam Murdock
August 10th – Jumpin Jubah
August 17th – Kenny Richards
August 24th – Red Eye Flight Band
August 31st – The Becky Chase Duo
September 7th – Jason Valcourt
For more information, call 508-636-3423.
Beginning Organic Grower Workshop: Harvesting, Weeding, Cultivating Fall Crops and Applying Fish Emulsion
Saturday, July 21, 10AM – 11AM Brigham Community Garden, Bridgham and Westminster streets, Providence, RI (English) and Templot Community Garden, 40 Appleton St., Olneyville, RI (Spanish)
The free workshop will teach new (and experienced) gardeners best practices for weeding, harvesting, applying fish emulsion and getting ready for the fall planting season. To register or for a complete list of workshops, visit plantprovidence.org.
Saturday, July 21, 9:00AM – Noon Cornell Farm, Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA
Paddle through the hidden creeks and marshes along the Little River that connect to the Trustees’ Cornell Farm. Meet at Cornell Farm and take the van to put in area. Pre-registration & pre-payment is required. Cost – Members: $30. Nonmembers: $40. Details here or call 508.636.4693 x13.
July 21 and 22, Saturday and Sunday, from 9:00am – 3:00pm (Sunday at 1:00 pm everything is free), 153 Rockland Street, So. Dartmouth, MA, off Dartmouth Street
Items are Collectibles, furniture, jewelry, glassware, kids toys, household items, paintings and art, garden items and plants, and lots more at great prices. The money raised will spay and neuter abandoned dogs and cats, and pets living with people struggling financially. We happily accept yard sale items for our good cause, call us at (508) 991-7727, (774) 888-9008 or visit email@example.com. Animal Advocates, Inc is a nonprofit charitable tax-deductible animal organization preventing pet overpopulation.
July 21 and 22, Saturday and Sunday, various locations in Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth
A self guided open studio tour featuring 73 exhibiting artists living and working in the coastal communities of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth. Along the way you’ll discover artists working in different mediums, such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, sculpture, basketry, textiles, shells, ceramics, glass, wood, paper, jewelry and recycled materials.Taking place on two weekends, July 21 and 22 and August 18 and 19. For the map and more information, click here to see a brochure.
Sunday, July 22, 9AM – 3:30PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Participate in this unique daylong scientific research project, sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association. Counting for the Bristol County area will take place in Dartmouth and New Bedford. Participants should bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided. Long pants and a hat are recommended. A copy of the NABA summary report can be purchased for an additional fee. Butterflies are one of the most beautiful elements of the natural world, and scientists now recognize that they can also serve as an important indicator of the health of ecosystems. Price: Lloyd Center members: $8 Non-members: $10. Pre-registration required by noon on Saturday, July 21st Register here or call 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, at 508-990-0505 x 22.
Sunday, July 22nd (optional) – Friday, July 27th, 9AM – 3:30PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
The Lloyd Center has initiated a biodiversity monitoring program to document the current status of our region’s natural resources as a baseline to compare and prepare for climate change. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) are a major link in the food web and changes that affect these species will have an impact throughout the ecosystem. The Lloyd Center is offering a week-long program geared towards high school students looking for a research experience to participate in the Lloyd Center’s Biodiversity Initiative, focusing on moths and butterflies in the Slocum/Paskamansett watershed during National Moth Week. National Moth Week is a week long, global mothing event to promote the understanding and enjoyment of moths and to raise awareness about biodiversity. Please join us as we celebrate moths, biodiversity and the natural world around us. Participants will collect, photograph, prepare specimens, and submit data to the Butterflies and Moths of North America database during National Moth Week. They will learn basic moth identification of the more than 1,000 species of moths in our area as well as collecting techniques for both adults and caterpillars. Students will also participate in one overnight collecting experience at the Lloyd Center. Price: Lloyd Center members: $325 Non-members: $375, Pre-registration required. For more information or sign up for the program, please call Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, at 508-990-0505 x 22 or email here.
Thursday, July 26, 6:00PM – 7:00PM Engelnook Farm, 365 High St, Rochester, MA 02770
Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers you trust. Buying local food gets you outside, keeping us in touch with our neighbors, the seasons, and the harvest calendar. At this seminar, learn more about why supporting our local food system is important: ecologically, economically, and socially — and how YOU can support your local food system! Free to attend. Must RSVP. Learn more here Contact Sarah Cogswell from SEMAP at email or 508-542-0434.
Save The Date
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29 Starseed Healing Sanctuary and Holistic Treatment Center – Savoy, MA
Join Jeremiah Wallack, Joseph Rotella, and Aravinda Ananda for a weekend of Deep Ecology as we explore the challenges we face on our beautiful planet and draw on our collective power, strength and wisdom to act for the healing of our world. We will embark on a rare journey together, building our weekend community and engaging in a powerful series of Re-Earthing rituals created by John Seed, Joanna Macy and others, designed to help end the sense of alienation from the living Earth that many of us feel. This weekend will incorporate many practices from the Work That Reconnects, and Saturday will culminate with a Council of All Beings. Sunday will have a special focus on building support for going forth in our work for the healing of our world. This workshop will renew the spirit and vision of those who serve the Earth and connect us with deep sources of joy and inspiration as we build strength and solidarity in our connections with each other and the web of life. The cost for this weekend is on a sliding scale of $200-$300 which includes program, delicious vegetarian meals, and a tent site. For an additional $45 per night, you can stay in a shared room in the retreat house. Some partial barters are available. For more information or to register, please email Aravinda at here. Learn more about Starseed Healing Sanctuary here.
Friday, July 27, 2012, 8:00PM – 9:30PM, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Flickering flames, songs, stories and marshmallows are all part of a memorable campfire evening. Bring the family and join our naturalists around the campfire to discover the legends of the night sky. Begin with a brief background in astronomy and what stars and constellations are visible this time of year. Then listen to a few stories from different cultures explaining why the stars and the night sky look the way they do. End the evening with a marshmallow roast! After all, what campfire would be complete without S’mores? Advanced registration is required. For ages 8 and up. $10/member adult/child pair; $5/each additional member. $12/non-member adult, $6/non-member child. For more information or to register, please email firstname.lastname@example.org call (401) 949-5454 ext. 3041.
Saturday, July 28, 6:00PM – 8:00PM New Bedford Harbor – 66B State Pier
Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity is hosting a sunset cruise to fundraise for the organization’s work in developing affordable homes for local families in need. The cruise will leave from New Bedford Harbor – 66B State Pier, out to Clark’s Cove, through Padanaram Harbor to Mishaum Point and then return to New Bedford. The Sunset Cruise with offer a “Taste of Southcoast” with light fare served and music by locals Grace Morrison, Ben Moniz and Marta Rymer. Tickets are a $50 donation and $15 per child’s ticket with an adult ticket purchase. Tickets may be purchased online at BuzzardsBayHabitat. For more information contact Hope Aubin here or 508-758-4517.
Wednesday, August 1 Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Girls’ night out! Enjoy canoeing the historic Slocum River. Transportation to launching site and all equipment provided. Bring footwear that can get wet, as well as a snack and beverage (non-alcoholic). Pre-registration required by noon on Tuesday, July 31st Limit: 12 Prices: Members: $20 Non-members: $25 Preregister here or call 508-990-0505 x10. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jasmine at 508-990-0505 x13, or email here.
Friday, August 3, 2012, 4:30PM – 6:30PM, Goosewing Beach Preserve, 140 South Shore Rd., Little Compton, RI
Free! Bring the whole family for this exciting annual event! Learn from visiting environmental experts, meet surprise animal guests, and explore Goosewing Beach with those who know it best! For more information call 401.331.7110 x. 33 or email email@example.com.
Sunday, August 5, 2012, 10:30AM – 11:30AM, Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 Third Beach Rd, Middletown, RI
Trophic Relationships in Birds: Niche Fulfillment — Birds in temperate zones liike ours experience a broad range of climatic variables that make resource abundance changes on a temporal scale. In the tropics, avian species must divide resources temporally and spatially, with many birds adapting arboreal and cursorial lives to monopolize resources. This lecture will explore the difference between species that adopt specialized vs. generalized foraging habits and unique physiological processes that allow them to thrive. Charles Clarkson currently serves as co-chair for the Conservation Committee for the Waterbird Society and teaches Ornithology, evolution, and ecology for The Semester At Sea.” His use of photos and videos make these presentations exciting and interesting for birding enthusiasts of all levels. Free for Members, $4 for Non-members. For more information go to www.normanbirdsanctuary.org/.
Friday, August 10-13, 8:00AM, UMass Amherst
Come for 225+ workshops on organic farming, gardening, land care, draft animals, homesteading, sustainability, nutrition, food politics, activism, and much, much more. Special workshops designed for kids and teens. An educational, fun opportunity for your children to bond with others from the Northeast while you attend workshops and events. Entertainment for the whole family: Music and dance, an old-fashioned Country Fair, farmer’s market, games and fun. Modest registration, inexpensive dorm rooms, camping and delicious, wholesome organic meals. More information at www.nofasummerconference.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 413-230-7835.
Saturday, August 18, 10:00AM – 1:00PM 24K Heirloom Tomatoes – 538 Horseneck Rd., South Dartmouth, MA
This 3-hour workshop will be held at Bob Feingold’s 8-acre property in South Dartmouth and will cover why Bob loves and grows heirlooms, how to select varieties of heirlooms to grow, and tips for successfully growing your own heirloom tomatoes. Cost: $25 per person, $20 for SEMAP Members. Limited to 15 participants. Contact Kristen Irvin from SEMAP at her email for details. Learn more here. Register here
Saturday, August 18, 11AM – 3PM Verrill Farm – 11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA 01742
Verrill Farm’s annual Festival featuring its two most popular crops – corn & tomatoes! Taste over 30 varieties of our own tomatoes & up to 8 of corn. There will also be samples of dishes made in the farm stand kitchen. Additional food & beverages available a la carte. Pony rides by Giddy Up Ponies & Hayrides Live music by Monadnock Blue Grass. Call 978-369-4494 for more information or go here.
August 18, 5:30PM – 7:30PM Westport Town Farm, 830 Drift Rd., Westport, MA
Join the Westport Land Conservation Trust and The Trustees of Reservations for a family concert on the grounds of the Town Farm. The South Coast Chamber Music Society will perform.Bring your own picnic suppers, chairs, blankets and flashlights. This concert is supported by the Westport Cultural Council through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust administered by Bank of America. Help us bring more concerts to the Town Farm through your free-will donation!
Donations Requested Details here.
August 18 and 19, Saturday and Sunday, various locations in Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth
A self guided open studio tour featuring 73 exhibiting artists living and working in the coastal communities of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport and Dartmouth. Along the way you’ll discover artists working in different mediums, such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, sculpture, basketry, textiles, shells, ceramics, glass, wood, paper, jewelry and recycled materials. For the map and more information, click here to see a brochure.
Saturday, August 25, 6:00PM – 10:30PM, 253 Horseneck Road, Dartmouth (1 mile south of Russell’s Mills Village)
Please join Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and its local supporters for a fun-filled evening of delicious food and lively square-dancing to benefit land conservation in Dartmouth. Silent Auction. Lowest priced ticket is $85 per person. For more information, to view silent auction items, or to reserve tables and make donations, go to http://www.dnrt.org/sp_event.htm.
August 25, 9:00AM – 3:00PM, Departs from Woods Hole
Join the Buzzards Bay Coalition this summer for a Bay Adventure to Penikese Island. Participants on this full-day excursion will explore beautiful Penikese Island in the middle of Buzzards Bay. Planned activities include an oyster farming demonstration, tour of Penikese Island School, and coastal exploration activities with Bay Coalition education staff. Cost: $60 for Bay Coalition members, $75 for non-members, $40 for children. Reservations required and space is limited. Email Margo Connolly or call 508.999.6363 x224 to make your reservation. Program cost includes boat transportation to and from the island. Details here.
Wednesday, August 29, 6:00PM – 8:00PM, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You’ll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary, enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shore birds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky. This is a wonderful and relaxing way to explore the delicate ecosystem of this salt marsh. Inexperienced paddlers are welcome. All tours include basic kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Lloyd Center members: $38, non-members: $45. Pre-registration required by noon on Tuesday, August 28. Age 14 and up. (10 spaces available) You can also call the Center’s event line at 508-558-2918. Details here.
Saturday September 15, 2012 from 9:00AM to Noon, Tihonet Village Market at 146 Tihonet Road, Wareham, MA
Run or Walk through the A.D. Makepeace property and bogs. Run through wooded trails, break in and out of the dense forest into the sunshine, around a bog and then back into the tree-covered trail. Pre-Registration Fee: $25.00. Race Day Registration Fee: $35.00. All registrants receive a race t-shirt at registration. LOCAL FOOD CELEBRATION at the Finish Line! No strollers, dogs, scooters, or roller blades allowed. Race will be professionally timed and posted on-line. Medals for overall winners and each age group. For more information, go to the race website.
Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, September through December, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
Enrollment is open for all interested in Organic Farming Practices I. The course is designed for serious gardeners and small-scale organic farmers. Topics will include sustainable agriculture in our future world, extensive soils studies including fertility, conservation, management, crop rotation, and more. This Fall semester course will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from September – December and earns 4 college credits. Tuition waivers may be available for senior citizens and veterans. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at 508 678-2811, ext. 3047 or email@example.com.
Mondays 6 to 9pm, starting in September, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
New Course available: Organic Pest and Disease Control. This course is designed for gardeners and farmers who want to prevent pests/diseases and manage their land with minimal chemical dependency. The course will meet on Monday evenings from 6-9:00 pm for 6 weeks starting in early September. The course offers one college credit and tuition waivers may be available for senior citizens and veterans. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at 508 678-2811, ext. 3047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The River Project 2012 at Slocum’s River Reserve: Ongoing through May 18, 2013
The beautiful Slocum’s River Reserve in Dartmouth is the inspiration and the setting for six large-scale site-specific sculptures that will be on display from June 16, 2012 through May 18, 2013. The Slocum’s River Reserve is jointly owned and managed by The Trustees of Reservations and Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust and is located on Horseneck Road in Dartmouth, 1.4 miles south of Russell’s Mills Village. For more information visit the River Project 2012 web page slocumsriverproject.wordpress.com.
Donations Sought for “Earn a Bicycle” program
Mass in Motion-Fall River is seeking donations of used, retired bicycles for a RECYCLE A BICYCLE program being held this summer at Durfee High School, and continuing in the fall with the Applied Physics Class for the Class of 2016. In each case students are taking bicycles and refurbishing them. After bicycle mechanics comes bicycle safety, learning the rules of the road from the Fall River Police Department, and receiving a bicycle helmet. Finally with bicycles restored comes navigating safely around the City. And for those who complete the program successfully, “Earning a bicycle”. Please help us by donating any used and older models, retired bikes stored in your basement or garage. Some will be restored, some will be used for parts. Drop off can be arranged at Durfee High School in Fall River Mass or at Motion-Fall River, the Health and Human Services Division, located at One Government Center.Contact Contact Julianne Kelly, Coordinator for Mass in Motion-Fall River, at email@example.com or 508-324-2405.
ACUPCC Five-Year Report Underscores Profound Impact
The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and its almost 700 signatories have demonstrated a profound and positive impact in negating the affects of climate change and integrating sustainable practices on their campuses since the initiative’s inception in 2007, according to Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership, the ACUPCC’s five-year report. The report quantifies the progress of the initiative, which represents an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action. These actions includes reducing carbon emissions on their campuses; deploying sustainable practices; revising their curriculums and cultures to raise awareness of sustainability in students and graduates; sponsoring research and developing best case practices; and engaging local economies and communities. The report was released in conjunction with the ACUPCC’s annual Climate Leadership Summit , which was held at American University in Washington, DC on June 21st and 22nd.
The report’s highlights include:
- More than 675 signatories, representing 6 million students or 30 percent of the nation’s college and university population, have committed to the ACUPCC.
- Collectively, entire network has reduced gross greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 2007.
- By 2022, the signatories are projected to reduce their gross emissions by over 50 percent.
- More than 30 percent of signatories have targeted becoming climate neutrality within 20 years.
- Signatories collectively represent the third-largest purchasers of Renewable Energy Credits in the U.S.-enough green power for 130,000 American households.
- Almost 200 signatories offer nearly 10,000 courses focused on sustainability.
The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments from college and universities to accelerate the education, research and community engagement to equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate, and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.
Massachusetts Audubon Society Offers Free Summer Vacation Guide
From Boston.com The Massachusetts Audubon Society is offering a variety of outdoor activities and events this summer. To help families and visitors plan a trip to one of its 50 wildlife sanctuaries, Mass Audubon has created a new online vacation guide. The vacation guide offers something for everyone of all ages and backgrounds. Check out the Vacation Guide here.
Clean Air-Cool Planet is Hiring a Campus Program Associate
CA-CP is looking for a program associate to help us support and continue to develop carbon management tools (like the Campus Carbon Calculator) and programs for colleges and universities.
To apply, please send a letter of intent, resume and list of three references (or letters of reference) and a writing sample to Clean Air Cool Planet, attn.: Lynn Sullivan. Details and Job Description here.
New Job Openings at Buzzards Bay Coaltion
The Buzzards Bay Coalition has the following open service positions:
Commonwealth Corps Environmental Educator
The Buzzards Bay Coalition seeks two energetic individuals to join our team as Commonwealth Corps Service Members. This year-long position is as a core part of our Education and Public Engagement department with an overall goal of engaging the community in active and on-going stewardship of the Bay and Watershed. Specifically, service members will be working on our youth education initiatives which seek to strengthen the ethic of environmental stewardship in the region while also improving academic achievement in the classroom through increased school engagement. View the full job description at This Link
MassLIFT Land Steward
The MassLIFT Land Steward at Buzzards Bay Coalition will serve our communities by advancing the management and stewardship needs of land conservation projects led by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. This includes stewardship of the Coalition’s “river reserves” along the primary tributaries of the Bay, the 20 Conservation Restrictions currently held by the Coalition and new conservation projects now being advanced in partnership with individual town conservation commissions and local partner land trusts. View the full job description at This Page
Visit Save Buzzards Bay for information on all our positions.
UMass Dartmouth’s Living Classroom Program Profiled in Sustainability Journal
UMass Dartmouth’s Living Classroom program is profiled in the April 2012 issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record. The Journal is published by Mary Ann Leibert, Inc., a leading company in authoritative international publications for the Scientific, Technical, and Medical knowledge and information industries. The profile, written by Pamela Marean from UMass Dartmouth’s Sustainability Office, discusses how The Living Classroom stimulates curiosity in students and local residents alike about how sustainability principles work in our lives by applying higher learning concepts to our immediate environmental resources–namely the University’s hundreds of acreage of forests and wetlands. This article represents a great accomplishment for UMass Dartmouth and is bound to bring greater attention to The Living Classroom, as well as all innovative programs under the umbrella of the Sustainability Initiative. Interested readers can view a copy of the article here.
Buzzards Bay Coalition and YMCA Southcoast launch River Exploration Camp
This summer the Buzzards Bay Coalition and YMCA Southcoast will offer the new River Exploration Camp. The camp will run from July 9 through 13 for ages 9 to 11, and from August 13 through 17 for ages 12 to 14. This week-long day camp will be full of hands-on activities for kids explore the Mattapoisett River from its headwaters to Buzzards Bay. Campers will spend the week in an in-depth study of the Mattapoisett River. Starting from a home-base at Camp Massasoit at the mouth of the river, campers will travel upriver to YMCA property on Snipatuit Pond in Rochester, where the river begins. Campers will learn what it takes to be a river biologist while hiking, seining, water sampling, and creating a Mattapoisett River Field Guide. Learn more here.
UMass Dartmouth Included in Princeton Review’s Annual Guide to Green Colleges
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was selected for inclusion in “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition.” This free, downloadable book is a one-of-a-kind resource and is published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The comprehensive guide focuses solely on colleges that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the listed schools based on research it conducted in 2011 of over 700 colleges and universities across the U.S. and in Canada. It provides “Green Rating” scores of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The institutions in the guide represent those with the highest “Green Ratings.”
Interested readers can download a free copy of the guide at Princeton Review’s site or at the website for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.
UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Courses for Fall 2012 Semester Announced
UMass Dartmouth’s Sustainability Studies undergraduate courses for the fall 2012 semester have been announced and listed. Learn more here.
The Marion Institute seeks a Fundraising Professional
The Marion Institute (www.marioninstitute.org) seeks a Fundraising Professional to join the Executive Director and MI team. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of leading and managing all aspects of MI’s fundraising. Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board, the Fundraising Professional will be responsible for shaping and executing the overall MI approach to generating financial support. This will involve building on an existing successful foundation as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the task of setting priorities and implementing specific aspects of the fundraising strategy. This would include MI’s annual appeal, targeted major donor appeals, web based fundraising, special events for constituency/membership development and cultivation, foundation and government grants, corporate gifts, leadership on all special fundraising efforts and the development of a planned giving program. Learn more here.
New Data Quantifies Environmental Impact of Colleges & Universities
The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action, today released new data on the positive environmental impact of colleges and universities across the country in reducing their carbon footprints. Among the findings:
- The 599 colleges that submitted greenhouse gas inventories reported CO2 emissions of 28m metric tons, roughly as much as 2.58m homes or 5.2m passenger vehicles emit annually
- 306 institutions set a target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 or before; 93 pledged neutrality by 2030
- Collectively, the ACUPCC network has purchased more than 1.28 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs), making it the third-largest buyer in the country
The data is publicly available on the ACUPCC’s online reporting system — /www.acupcc.org/reportingsystem — a platform that enables schools to quantify the sustainability activity that is taking place on their campuses, and hold themselves accountable by sharing their progress in a transparent way. The data is available in a variety of formats; contact Ulli Klein for more information.
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program
The SouthCoast Energy Challenge launched its Business Rewards Program at three Dartmouth businesses: Alderbrook Farm, Baker Books, and Mirasol’s Café. A tidy box near the entrance of each establishment signals to customers, “Save money on utility bills… and earn a $10 gift certificate to this establishment!” How does it work? Any customer who registers for and receives a no-cost, Mass Save home energy assessment by filling out an attached slip and dropping it in the box will receive their complimentary $10 gift certificate to that business! It’s as easy as that! And the perks don’t stop there. Simply getting a home energy assessment can save you 3-5% utility costs. During the assessment, the energy experts at Next Step Living make a few simple, on-the-spot retrofits to increase your home’s efficiency. These retrofits include installing energy saving light bulbs, an efficient showerhead, and programmable thermostats if you don’t have them already. They will also make recommendations to increase the efficiency of your home on a deeper level. Added insulation, air sealing, and weatherstripping are some common recommendations. Furthermore, they will help you make a plan to take advantage of state rebates and funding opportunities available through the Mass Save program. For more information, visit the SouthCoast Energy Challenge.
The Top 10 Peak Oil Books Of 2012
“Peak Oil” is the term for predictions about when we will have passed the mark for extracting oil from the earth in its best quantities. After Peak Oil, extraction supplies will only dwindle. Experts say we already passed that mark three decades ago. For the best, most recent reading on the subject, including its effects on the economy, energy supplies, and other factors expected to peak and dwindle, click here.
Regional Bikeway Conversation
Conversations about the Regional Bikeway are heating up and we need your help! The Fall River, Dartmouth, and New Bedford bikepath committees are seeking members. For more information contact:
New Bedford: Angela Bannister firstname.lastname@example.org or Pauline Hamel email@example.com
Dartmouth: Wendy Henderson firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall River: Brian Pearson email@example.com
For information about the regional bikeway, contact Adam Recchia firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about upcoming bikerides, contact Brian Pearson email@example.com.
Essay Contest for Kids and Teens
Like A Drop of Water’s writing contest offers young people, ages eight through seventeen, world wide the opportunity to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. The writing contest is open to all young people in the world from the ages of eight through seventeen (8-17). There is a $400.00 award every month to eight or more young authors with scholarship awards ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 through 2015. In addition, the judges will select the best essay in the calendar year and that young person will receive a $500.00 scholarship award. Yearly the top fifty essays will be sent to the White House and be made available to governments across the world. Bi-yearly, the best one hundred winning essays will be published as an e-book for world wide distribution. Learn about the contest here.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to the Marion Institute’s Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. Donate here.
Weekly Green Tip
Tips for Switching to an Electric Vehicle
As battery technology improves and becomes less expensive, fuel efficiency standards take effect, and charging stations are rolled out across the US, the prospect of driving an electric vehicle (EV) is becoming more feasible than ever. About 17,000 electric cars were sold in the US last year – more than any time in since the early 1900s. Here are some tips for leaving that internal combustion engine behind: Learn more here.
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