Letter from the Editors
In support of farming and healthy food, the American demand for locally-grown crops has led to a marked increase this year in urban farmer’s markets with California and New York leading the way. The number of farm stands registered with the USDA has jumped by 9.6 percent in just the last 12 months, and seven-fold in the years between the the mid 1990s and now to at total of almost 8,000. Good news for American agriculture and filling in urban food deserts with goods grown close to home.
In another article about consumption and supply, the U.S. power grid is having difficulty responding to our nation’s hunger for energy. Some are predicting that we’re destined eventually to experience the kinds of outages happening in China and India where demand has outgrown capacity. As a further complication, the earth’s supplies of rare minerals are becoming more difficult to source, many of which are used in renewable energy technologies as well as high-tech devices.
The effects of changes to climate and ocean conditions is the theme behind two articles that may also alter our lifestyles. Ocean acidification is making it impossible for crustacians to produce hard shells. This allows them to be more vulnerable to predators, potentially leaving fewer shellfish survivors for mankind’s dinner plates. And, in Alaska, native peoples are finding their traditional village structures threatened by warming and wildlife losses. For example, some Alaskan villages will have to move away from coastlines due to melting ice and rising seawaters. Others are having problems with building ice cellars, and with whales diminishing in numbers, the iconic whale bone structures that Inuits build may no longer be part of village life.
The tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan drew international attention a few years back for saying gross national happiness should trump gross domestic product when measuring a nation’s progress. If you’re going to prioritize happiness, the Bhutanese thinking goes, you’d better include the environment and spiritual and mental well-being in your calculations. (Not everyone in Bhutan is happy, and many leave as refugees, as Human Rights Watch and others have noted.)
But Bhutan, which has only 700,000 people – most of whom are farmers – has another shot at international fame if it can make good on a recent pledge to become the first country in the world to convert to a 100 percent organic agricultural system. Read more here.
Gibson Guitar Company has avoided criminal prosecution under the Lacey Act – a law that aims to curb illegal logging abroad – by settling with the Department of Justice. Gibson had been charged with importing timber illegally logged from Madagascar’s rainforests in 2008 and 2009. The instrument-maker was also under investigation for sourcing questionable rosewood and ebony products from India.
Under the settlement, Gibson will pay a $300,000 fine for violating the Lacey Act and pay $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to be used to “promote the conservation, identification and propagation of protected tree species used in the musical instrument industry and the forests where those species are found.” Gibson will also forfeit $261,844 worth of Madagascar ebony and implement a compliance program to avoid importing illegally logged timber in the future. Read more here.
Ocean acidification caused by climate change is making it harder for creatures from clams to sea urchins to grow their shells, and the trend is likely to be felt most in polar regions, scientists said. A thinning of the protective cases of mussels, oysters, lobsters and crabs is likely to disrupt marine food chains by making the creatures more vulnerable to predators, which could reduce human sources of seafood.
“The results suggest that increased acidity is affecting the size and weight of shells and skeletons, and the trend is widespread across marine species,” the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) said in a statement of the findings. Read more here.
More than 750 million users, 532 million kilowatt-hours of energy consumption and the attendant 285,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide: those are Facebook’s numbers for 2011. That means, as the social networking company wrote in an August 1 Facebook post (naturally) releasing the data on energy use, that “one person’s Facebook use for all of 2011 had roughly the same carbon footprint as one medium latte. Or three large bananas. Or a couple of glasses of wine.” That’s 269 grams of CO2 per “active user,” and another invisible impact of the computing cloud.
But that cloud has a very tangible physical impact. Although the individual number may sound small, when added up, Facebook’s-and the world’s-use of row after row of computer servers stored on racks in massive, refrigerated, windowless warehouses consumes a growing share of the globe’s energy. Read more here.
If you think renewable energies will become an increasingly cheaper alternative to petrol – think again now that there’s peak minerals.
As the world moves toward greater use of zero-carbon energy sources, the supply of certain key metals needed for such clean-energy technologies may dry up, inflating per unit costs and driving the renewable energy market out of business. We’ve talked about peak phosphorus for food; now consider that rare earth metals like neodymium which are used in magnets to help drive wind energy turbines, and dysprosium needed for electric car performance are becoming less available on the planet. Read more here.
The City of Sydney looks like it will claim the crown for the country’s largest rooftop PV installation, with a 1.25-megawatt (MW) installation edging out current record-holder University of Queensland’s 1.2-MW system by just 50 kilowatts (kW). Although questionable whether the arrays constitute a single monolithic ‘system’, the tender for the project encompasses greater nominal peak capacity than any other rooftop project in Australia.
Further proof of its desire to stand out as a leader amongst Australia’s local councils in the field of greenhouse gas emissions abatement, Sydney has even chosen to forego the effective federal government subsidy that is usually afforded to renewable power generation systems through the Renewable Energy Target. The city chose to ‘retire’ the Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) rather than sell them. This was done “so that the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy projects will go beyond the Federal Government’s Renewable Energy Target – increasing the amount of renewable energy generated in Australia,” according to a tender committee document. Read more here
As human activities put increasing pressures on natural systems and wildlife to survive, 200 scientists around the world carved up pieces of the puzzle to present a clearer picture of reality and find ways to mitigate the destructive forces at work. The study, which looked at more than 30 different categories of species, from butterflies to large predators, within protected areas across the tropical regions of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, concludes that many of the world’s tropical protected areas are struggling to sustain their biodiversity.
While most reserves were helping to protect their forests, about half were struggling to sustain their original biodiversity, including old-growth trees, big predators and other large-bodied animals, many primates, stream-dwelling fish and amphibians, and other wildlife. The researchers found that reserves that were suffering most were those that were poorly protected and suffered encroachment from illegal colonists, hunters, and loggers. Read more here.
When he returned to MIT he set out to develop a technology that could provide a clean source of electricity and heat, the result of which is called a solar ORC system.
Phys.org reports, “The patented technology they developed uses a mirrored parabolic trough to capture sunlight, heating fluid in a pipe along the mirror’s centerline. This fluid then powers a sort of air conditioner in reverse: Instead of using electricity to pump out cold air on one side and hot air on the other, it uses the hot fluid and cold air to generate electricity. At the same time, the hot fluid can be used to provide heat and hot water – or, by adding a separate chiller stage, to produce cooling as well.” Read more here.
This stretch of Georgia is in its second year of drought – the worst since the 1950s, Cox said. “If we had not had irrigation we would be filing insurance right now,” he said. “That’s plain. I could plant it, and without irrigation we would be broke.” Cox’s edge comes through technology developed over the last decade by the University of Georgia. The innovations are seen as the biggest advance on irrigation systems in decades. The lower Flint River basin, where Cox farms, is one of the top agricultural areas in the south-east, producing the country’s biggest pecan, peanut and cotton crops. But its weather is increasingly unpredictable, careening between flood and drought. Scientists see the extreme variability of the last 15 years as evidence of climate change and expect it to get worse over the coming decades.
Farmers are going to have to make smarter use of water to remain viable. The technology developed at the University of Georgia, and rolled out in partnership with the Nature Conservancy and the Flint River Conservation Project, relies on GPS technology and low-cost sensors. Read more here.
Also read Rains provide some relief on crops
More quickly than any other place in the United States, the Alaskan Arctic is being transformed by global warming. The impacts of climate change are threatening a way of life. The dilemma for the federal government – and state and local officials – is whether to try to preserve, if it is even possible, the heritage of the Inuit villages, their ice cellars, sod ancestral homes and cemeteries ringed with spires of whalebones. Or spend the hundreds of millions of dollars it would cost to move even one village.
Point Hope, with a 4,500-year history, has much to lose. “So much of our culture is being washed away in the ocean,” said Oomittuk, 50, who was born in a sod house, common here until the 1970s. “We live this cycle of life, which we know because it’s been passed from generation to generation. We see that cycle breaking.” Read more here.
Rejecting entreaties from consumers and activists, WalMart Stores Inc. says it has no objection to selling a new crop of genetically modified sweet corn created by biotech giant Monsanto. Environmental and health activists expressed surprise and disappointment at WalMart’s decision. Earlier this year, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills said they would not carry or use the genetically modified sweet corn.
Monsanto’s genetically modified sweet corn is resistant to a common herbicide, which allows farmers to kill weeds without killing the corn. It also contains a toxin that fends off certain pests. Read more here.
FRESNO, Calif. — As demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables has increased, so too has the number of urban farmers markets sprouting up across the nation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that the number of direct-sales markets has increased 9.6 percent in the past year, with California and New York leading the way.
“Farmers markets are a critical ingredient to our nation’s food system,” USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said. “These outlets provide benefits not only to the farmers looking for important income opportunities, but also to the communities looking for fresh, healthy foods.” After 18 years of steady increases, the number of farmers markets across the country now registered with the USDA is 7,864. In 1994, there were 1,744. Read more here.
By now, much of the world has heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. For the uninitiated, it’s a huge island of trash in the central Pacific, a majority of it said to be composed of fast food packaging. Though there’s been a lot of work done to measure it and analyze it. But there’s not been much movement around what to actually do with what’s already there. Until now.
Cleaning product company Method has come up with a novel way to take action, while engaging the communities affected by it. Hawaii’s beaches are frequently the final destination for debris from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, as the winds and currents carrying the garbage there. Method hosted numerous beach cleanups and collected more than 3000 pounds of usable plastic material. Method went further, and is incorporating it into its already 100% post consumer packaging for its new Sea Minerals line. Read more here.
The term “grid” suggests a certain uniformity to the power system’s structure, but the network more closely resembles a patchwork quilt stitched together to cover a rapidly expanding nation. The United States doesn’t yet face the critical shortage of power that has left more than 600 million people in India without electricity.
But the U.S. grid is aging and stretched to capacity. More often the victim of decrepitude than the forces of nature, it is beginning to falter. Experts fear failures that caused blackouts in New York, Boston and San Diego may become more common as the voracious demand for power continues to grow. They say it will take a multibillion-dollar investment to avoid them. Read more here.
In a push to produce more of its own energy, a wastewater treatment plant in Gresham, Ore., is turning to an unlikely source to generate power: the gray-white grease-filled wastewater that flows out of restaurants and other places where food is prepared. This month the treatment plant aims to begin using restaurant wastewater to make heat and electricity in a process dubbed “fats, oils and grease” for its contents.
The method makes use of anaerobic digesters that the facility already deploys to process solid waste. As the digesters’ microbes break down the waste, they release a mix of methane and carbon dioxide similar to natural gas. Read more here.
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign has been savaging what it calls President Barack Obama’s “unhealthy” obsession with “green jobs.” The Republican challenger criticizes the government program that propped up solar manufacturer Solyndra, and he mocks Obama’s vision of a boom in employment, citing a European study to argue that new solar or wind-energy positions would destroy jobs elsewhere. But when a campaign spokesman said last week that Congress should let a tax break for wind energy producers expire at the end of the year, some Republicans were concerned the candidate had gone too far.
The backlash on the wind tax issue shows the risks Romney takes in targeting a fast-growing and popular industry that Obama has embraced. However, Romney’s aides argue the campaign is just making a principled economic argument against excessive government interference in the marketplace – one that the conservative movement, which Romney has struggled to win over, has praised. Critics contend that Romney, who counts members of the fossil fuels industry as major financial supporters and relies on the head of an oil company as his energy adviser, has backed himself into a corner. “I think it’s really a knee-jerk reaction to what this president has done,” said Jeff Gohringer, a spokesman for the League of Conservation Voters. “He (Romney) is actually going to states and advocating cutting thousands of their jobs.” Read more here.
There was a time during medical school and residency when I regarded abnormal clinical and radiographic findings with intrigue. I remember the excitement of hearing my first heart murmur. Of palpating a thyroid nodule. Of visualizing an ovarian mass on pelvic ultrasound. But after years of clinical practice and countless patient encounters, I now find it difficult to view abnormal findings separately from the human lives they affect. I see an elderly woman’s hip X-ray, knowing that the fracture line coursing through the femoral neck likely spells the end of her days of independent living. A peculiar bright patch lighting up in the brain’s left hemisphere on an MRI scan signifies that a man will no longer be able to grasp a pen or a coffee mug in his right hand, will never again be able to speak a meaningful word to his family
We sit together in a room in a modern emergency department in a rich country, a land where highly trained specialists confidently wield the newest technologies and expensive pharmaceuticals. But these treasures are not accessible to all, for ours is also a land where private health insurance is bought and sold as a commodity. Ours is a system known to shake down sick people for money they don’t have. Ours is the only wealthy democracy that fails to guarantee health coverage to all of its citizens. Just as it is failing now. Read more here.
If, back in the 18th century, you could see all the way across the Atlantic, you would find an unbroken line of plantations that stretched from Buenos Aires to Baltimore. Down this entire line, slaves harvested sugar for British tea, rice for the West Indian consumption, and cotton for the textile mills of New England. These were vast monocrops that broke the body and ruined the soil – but made money for planters and big companies that traded the goods. Here, you see the logic of the modern industrial food system in its rawest form – a logic of prioritizing profit over human and environmental welfare. A lot has changed in the 400 years since the Elmina Fort was built, but this principle has not gone away. The logic of the plantation is the logic of today’s industrial food system.
In this system, it is in the interest of the middleman – large companies that dominate the processing and distribution of food’to squeeze farmers and externalize costs. The industrial model may work for some things, but it’s time to admit that it doesn’t work for food. Read more here.
8 Reasons Young Americans Don’t Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance
Traditionally, young people have energized democratic movements. So it is a major coup for the ruling elite to have created societal institutions that have subdued young Americans and broken their spirit of resistance to domination. Young Americans – even more so than older Americans – appear to have acquiesced to the idea that the corporatocracy can completely screw them and that they are helpless to do anything about it.
A 2010 Gallup poll asked Americans “Do you think the Social Security system will be able to pay you a benefit when you retire?” Among 18- to 34-years-olds, 76 percent of them said no. Yet despite their lack of confidence in the availability of Social Security for them, few have demanded it be shored up by more fairly payroll-taxing the wealthy; most appear resigned to having more money deducted from their paychecks for Social Security, even though they don’t believe it will be around to benefit them. How exactly has American society subdued young Americans? Read more here.
Tomgram: Michael Klare, Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Becomes Everyday Reality
The Great Drought of 2012 has yet to come to an end, but we already know that its consequences will be severe. With more than one-half of America’s counties designated as drought disaster areas, the 2012 harvest of corn, soybeans, and other food staples is guaranteed to fall far short of predictions. This, in turn, will boost food prices domestically and abroad, causing increased misery for farmers and low-income Americans and far greater hardship for poor people in countries that rely on imported U.S. grains.
This, however, is just the beginning of the likely consequences: if history is any guide, rising food prices of this sort will also lead to widespread social unrest and violent conflict. Food — affordable food — is essential to human survival and well-being. Take that away, and people become anxious, desperate, and angry. Read more here.
In the last three years, Fall River-based Philips Lightolier has increased its LED products to 20 percent of the company’s sales, making it a leader in renewable lighting technology. Zia Eftekhar, chairman of Philips Lighting North America, said it’s the world’s largest lighting company and credits the success in the LED market to a commitment to research and development of green and renewable product innovation.
“I think a combination of making sense financially and supporting a commitment to sustainability gives you a better product. Energy efficiency is paramount,” Eftekhar said. That’s why Philips Lightolier, a division of Philips Lighting North America, is poised to complete the largest lighting retrofit project in New York City recently, Eftekhar said. Read more here.
Held Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 22 city locations, Housing Authority sites, parks and playgrounds, Play in the Park is a new addition to the city’s Summer Lunch program. Free and no registration required, the program, provided by the National Recreation and Parks Association and New Bedford Department of Parks, Recreation & Beaches, gives children the opportunity to take advantage of the city’s “Big Backyard” and nutritious meals.
“It’s extremely important when we’re talking about summer food,” said Renee Dufour, director of the Parks, Recreation & Beaches department. “Seventy-five percent of children (in the New Bedford Public Schools) get free or reduced lunch and potentially aren’t eating in the summer. This program is filling a big gap in the summer,” she added. And not only are these children receiving food, but wholesome food at that. Read more here.
Sustaina-foodies, like other activists, never know where the journey is going to take them. Increasingly these days, it’s taking them to the fermenting crock, or even the fermenting barrel. They are drawn to natural fermentation – a centuries-old technique best known today for sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles – because it is simple, it preserves the local harvest with little or no external energy, and it is believed to help digestion and promote good health.
To locavores, the word sustainability is growing ever more encompassing. It includes how far away a food is raised or grown, how heavily its growth depended on fossil fuels, how the land and soil were treated, whether the growers and field hands were treated fairly, and other factors. Read more here.
Tri-towns, school district enter into ‘power purchase agreement’
MARION – Marion, Rochester and the ORR School District have each entered into a 20-year “power purchase agreement” with a Buzzards Bay-based wind energy company to construct wind power generation facilities that is estimated to save the towns and school district millions of dollars over the life of the agreement. Read more here.
KINGSTON – A postdoctoral researcher at the University of Rhode Island has observed a never-before-seen defensive strategy used by a small species of deep-sea squid in which the animal counter-attacks a predator and then leaves the tips of its arms attached to the predator as a distraction. Stephanie Bush said that when the foot-long octopus squid (Octopoteuthis deletron) found deep in the northeast Pacific Ocean “jettisons its arms” in self-defense, the bioluminescent tips continue to twitch and glow, creating a diversion that enables the squid to escape from predators.
“If a predator is trying to attack them, they may dig the hooks on their arms into the predator’s skin. Then the squid jets away and leaves its arm tips stuck to the predator,” Bush said. ‘the wriggling, bioluminescing arms might give the predator pause enough to allow the squid to get away.” Read more here.
Famalore, a paramedic for the Brewster Ambulance Service, said they hope the merchandise will encourage drivers to ‘think twice before doing something dangerous.’ He said he was inspired by a T-shirt he received after taking a driver safety course at the former Weymouth air base that read ‘car accidents are deadly and expensive.’
The Route 24 T-shirts come as state police continue their beefed-up patrols on that highway and Interstate 195. Sunday concluded the second weekend of the crackdown of impaired and dangerous drivers. The previous weekend, state police arrested nine drunken drivers and issued 222 citations after adding 11 patrols. Read more here.
Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust takes issue with NStar tree removal requests
DARTMOUTH – Letters to residents from NStar Electric and Gas Corp. recommending which trees on their property should be removed left out a crucial detail – that owners can say no. “The letter doesn’t state that,” said Sarah Storer-Rickson said, land manager for the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. “I found that out because I called the utility forester because I was concerned” about some of the singled-out trees. The nonprofit Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust is devoted to preserving Dartmouth’s natural resources, waterways and scenic woodlands.
The notices began arriving in Dartmouth mailboxes in the neighborhoods near Allens Neck and Horseneck roads late last month, pointing out which trees on a given property should be removed to reduce the chances of falling branches causing a power outage. Accompanying the letter is a “property owner tree removal form” asking the owner to give NStar permission to level the offending tree. The letter does not explicitly say that property owners can refuse the company’s suggestions, but homeowners should know they can refuse by virtue of the fact that there’s a permission slip, NStar spokesman Michael Durand said. Read more here.
Over the 12 years he served as a state lawmaker, Senator Scott Brown gained a reputation for pleasing environmental groups. As a state senator, Brown voted to impose the nation’s strongest limits on greenhouse gases and to launch the region’s landmark effort to cap carbon emissions from power plants, earning him a perfect voting record on environmental issues in the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s 2007 score card. The following year, after Brown’s last full session in the Legislature, the Massachusetts League of Environmental Voters said he voted its way 82 percent of the time.
But environmental advocates say the senator has taken a very different tack in the two years he has served in Washington, arguing he has toed the line of the GOP leadership on votes the advocates regard as harmful to curbing the impact of climate change and protecting the country’s air and water. Read more here.
Police officer runs flip-flop drive for Liberian orphans
FAIRHAVEN – Town Police Officer Tim Souza and his father Gary are on a mission: to provide shoes for the 52 Liberian orphans Gary has met while stationed in that country as a United Nations Peace Keeper. Tim and Gary, who retired as Fairhaven’s police chief in 2009, have emailed regularly since Gary left for his mission in early December, Tim said.
One day around Christmas, Gary wrote his son about an orphanage he had stumbled upon outside Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. “There were all these kids, mostly between 6 and 12, and they were all taken care of by a 60-year old woman, Mother Wleh, and lived in a 30-by-30-foot hut,” Tim Souza said. “They don’t have mattresses, clothes or shoes.” Read more here.
Counts, Gifford, and Cavacas, all soon-to-be third graders at Wareham’s elementary schools, were participating in a Buzzards Bay Coalition educational program nestled within the summer CARE program at the Wareham Middle School.
The CARE program, which stands for “Community, Academic, Recreation, and Enrichment,” is a six-week program that helps elementary and middle school students sharpen their classroom skills over the summer. Approximately 30% to 40% of CARE students are special-education students, and more than 60% of students are considered low-income, according to CARE program organizer Jane Fondulis. Read more here.
DARTMOUTH – A “horrendous” odor, like rotting garbage, sparked at least one complaint to the Board of Health last month from residents of Gonsalves Court and Hixville Road about what turned out to be large piles of quahog shells stacked along a private dirt road.
According to the Board of Health, the smells were made worse by NStar trucks removing trees and dragging them over the piles of shells, scattering them into the woods at times. Read more here.
FALL RIVER – When a few of Drew Furtado’s buddies made the mistake of berating Fall River, it angered the city native and inspired an art project to prove the naysayers wrong. Furtado, 26, has created 1930s-style travel posters that put the city of Fall River in a good and even swanky light. St. Anne’s Church. The waterfront. The buildings. The mills. The old Nite Owl Diner.
Each poster is bright and colorful and emblazoned proudly with the city’s name. Two other posters are in the works: one of the now-closed Al Mac’s Diner and another that pays tribute to the city’s Portuguese community. “I want to raise awareness that the city is not a bad place,” Furtado said. “I’m trying to get something positive out into the universe about Fall River.” Read more here.
Bike path committee plans Sconticut Neck extension
FAIRHAVEN – The Bike Path Committee is making plans for a bike lane on Sconticut Neck Road to make West Island safer and more accessible for cyclists.
It will cost $6,000 to paint a stripe along the road signaling a bike lane, bike committee chairman Ken Pottel said. He said the committee is brainstorming ways to raise funds for the lane, which would connect to the town’s bike path. He said he hopes the lane could be painted in the spring. “Our goal is to enable people to bike to all the parts of town and to do it safely,” Pottel said. Read more here.
This Week in Sustainability
Thursday, Aug. 9, 2PM-6PM South Coast Business Center, 200 Mill Road, Fairhaven
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2PM-6PM St. Luke’s Hospital, 101 Page St., New Bedford.
Southcoast Health System is offering a series of farmers markets at sites throughout the region as part of an initiative to urge local residents to pick local produce over processed foods.
Thursday, August 9, 6:00PM – 8:00PM, Dartmouth YMCA, 276 Gulf Rd, Dartmouth, MA
Ice Cream donated by Oxford Creamery, Fresh Fruit Toppings from local farms. Tickets: $25 per family – $10 individual All proceeds benefit Sharing the Harvest Community Farm that has provided over 100,000 pounds of fresh produce to date to local food pantries through the Hunger Commission. Reservations are requested, but tickets will be available at the door. Call 508.993.3361 for tickets or visit our website to purchase online.
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 email@example.com. Call 413-230-7835.
Saturday, August 11, 10:00AM – 1:00PM First Congregational Church of Wareham, 11 Gibbs Ave., Wareham, MA
Artisanal Food Educator/Chef Rosa Galeno grew up in the Italian countryside where canning is a way of life. Rich with tradition and innate know-how, Rosa will show us how easy it is for busy families to prepare and process fresh locally grown tomatoes and enjoy them year round. Imagine the fresh taste of heirloom tomatoes in the darkest winter evening, filling your kitchen with the fragrance of fields bursting with juicy tomato goodness. Participants will learn canning, preservation, and recipes.
Monday, August 13, 2012, 10am – 3pm Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Discover the natural world with fun-filled family activities including crafts, animal interview, a shore exploration (weather permitting) and nature stories. No registration is required and programs are free with admission. All ages welcome.
10:00 am -2:00 pm: Nature Craft Table
10:30 am: Shore Exploration
1:00 pm: Animal Interview
2:30 pm: Nature Story
Visit the Audubon Education web site at www.asri.org.
Monday, August 13, 7:30PM – 9:00PM New Bedford Unitarian Church, 71 Eighth Street (corner of Union and County Street)
During this meeting, we will honor the 5th element – ether -, create sacred space, mediate, sing and move, and I’m sure, laugh a lot. And we will also be exploring ‘Honoring Our Pain’, the second section on the WTR Spiral framework. Thus, we will spend some time Honoring Our Pain, especially around environmental issues. More and more, most of us are coming to understand that we humans are damaging Earth through the ways we live. Thus together we will spend some time Honoring Our Pain around these issues because many have found that feeling the feelings triggered by these issues, and sharing them with others, releases energy which one can then use to live life more fully. Learn more here.
FEE: There is no fee. However, we ask for a free will donation to 1) assist the Church, 2) allow fora revolving fun to help us purchase books; 3) to provide scholarships for people who wish to attend longer The Work That Reconnects workshops
RSVP: Please let us know if you’ll be coming to the meeting. It makes our planning much easier. FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Emily Johns, 508-994-2164, or EMail here
Tuesday, August 14, 9:30AM – 11:30AM Smith Farm Reserve, Dartmouth, MA
Come explore Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust’s Smith Farm on a walk specially designed for kids. Leader: Sarah Storer Rickson, DNRT Land Manager. The walk will be followed by a visit to Salvadors Ice Cream, and all kids who bring a grandparent will get a free ice cream cone! Smith Farm is located on the east side of Smith Neck Road, south of Salvadors Ice Cream and just north of Round Hill. There is a gate and a DNRT sign at the entrance. Parking is along the side of the road. For more information, visit the DNRT web site at dnrt.org.
Tuesday, August 14, 6:30PM The Roman Table, 164 Front Street, Scituate Harbor, MA
Vegetable dishes that step it up! Turn your garden produce into delicious side dishes or meals unto themselves! Cost: $50 per person Cooking Classes must be paid for in advance. We do not accept credit cards for classes. Call 781-378-2015 to register.and for more information. Visit the kitchen web site and learn about visiting artisan chefs at www.theromantable.com.
Wednesday, August 15, 6:00PM New Bedford City Hall, Room 314, New Bedford, MA
On behalf of the officers of the New Bedford Bicycle Committee, we are inviting you to our next meeting to give your input on a proposed bike route that the committee has been working on in recent months. A map of the proposed routes can be found here for your review. Please feel free to share your ideas, questions, concerns and address them to the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org We sincerely appreciate your support and any guidance you can provide, and hope to see you at this important meeting.
Save The Date
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.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 1:00PM – 5:00PM, UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons
What is it that makes you want to stroll a neighborhood? Why do some city centers and town villages draw you to be out on foot? Please join us on September 20th as we host three speakers who will help us envision how Southeastern Massachusetts can transform village and urban areas towards greater walkability. We’ll explore planting trees and other greenery; sidewalks, streetscapes and parking; building designs and vistas for pedestrian centers.
Anyone should come who is interested in greening up their city or town, or sharing how their neighborhood already encourages visitors and residents to park their cars and walk around. We’d like to have participation from municipal planners, environmental activists, and SouthCoast residents. The workshop will include tips and stories of how walkable neighborhoods have been established elsewhere, and it will also offer time for discussion of questions and suggestions from participants. Speakers include
- Wendy Landman, Executive Director of WalkBoston
- Jason Schrieber of Nelson/Nygaard
- Steve Cecil of The Cecil Group
This event is the first in our new series, ‘Sustainable Cities.’ This series, co-sponsored by the Urban Initiative and the Sustainability Initiative of UMass Dartmouth, will involve conversations about the ways we can capitalize on the assets of our urban communities to promote a low-carbon future. Register for the event here. To request more information on upcoming events in this series, contact Colleen Dawicki at email or Susan Jennings at email.
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.
“Change Is Simple” is coming to the SouthCoast
“Change Is Simple” is a young and vibrant non profit start-up based in Massachusetts, whose mission is sustainability education for children through schools and community organizations and assisting business and organizations with “greening”. They have enjoyed success on the NorthShore and they are now booking programs on the SouthCoast. For more information, please feel free to contact me, Marylou Clarke at 508-542-3550, or the founders, Patrick and Lauren Belmonte at LBelmonte@changeissimple.org or PBelmonte@changeissimple.org. View an informational video or visit the Change is Simple web site.
“Books, Arts, and Blooms” at Lakeville Public Library
Content taken from The Standard Times
“Books, Arts and Blooms” is the name of an eye-catching exhibit, currently being showcased at Lakeville Public Library, in which members of the Lakeville Garden Club teamed up with local artists to express their impressions of selected books in the form of floral arrangements and artwork. From sculptures to quilts and collages to acrylic paintings, the various works can be viewed in the Great Ponds Gallery alongside photos of gorgeous bouquets and other floral arrangements.
To view the exhibit, Lakeville Public Library is located on 241 Main Street, Lakeville, MA 02347. Read more about the exhibit here.
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. 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
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 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.
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
Vinegar – an earth friendly alternative to many chemicals
You can reduce the number of environmentally harsh and toxic chemicals used around your home by replacing them with more earth friendly, cheap and common substances such as vinegar. Here are a bunch of handy vinegar tips to get you started. Learn more here.
Category Complete Issue | Tags: