Sustainability Almanac for October 11 to 18



Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors

Fruit Tree Planting more fruit and nut trees in public areas is a grand concept. One that Vancouver, British Columbia has jumped on by planting hundreds of trees along sidewalks, public parks, and other city lands. The reasons? Besides aesthetics, they help manage stormwater runoff, improve air quality, and promote biodiversity. Oh, and they provide free food; something of great importance for the impoverished and hungry. Public fruit and nut trees are public food banks. Cities planting fruit trees are encouraging their dwellers to pick from the branches instead of buying sugary, fattening snacks from any convenience store. The planting of food trees is a prime example of utilizing public urban spaces for community-building and health objectives. In addition to bringing more people out from indoors, the edible nature of these trees means more interest in gardening and locavorism. Imagine a whole city covered in produce.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, residents are packed tightly into high rises on the island and space is at a premium unlike anywhere else in the world. Here, people concerned about tainted food products imported from China are growing organic rooftop gardens to free themselves from Chinese mainland food imports. Although there is no official count of rooftop farms in Hong Kong, they are clearly part of an international trend happening also in other dense cities like New York, Berlin, and Tokyo, where one farmer has gone beyond growing vegetables on roofs to include planing beds in what was an underground bank vault.

Someday your clothing will save humanity from its own filthy ways. That’s according to conclusions drawn from university researchers that created an additive for laundry detergents that attaches to clothes and eliminates pollutants in the air. The additive is nanoparticles of titanium oxide that react to and oxidize nitrogen oxide in close proximity. More studies need to be done on the long-term health effects of wearing these nanoparticles, but the hypothesis is that wearing them on clothes could, in essence, clean up after people by purifying the air around them.

Leaf Bullet Global News

Shirts hanging on clothesline Pollution-Cleaning Clothing Created With Special Laundry Detergent

Pollution-cleaning clothing apparently isn’t too far off from being a reality. Simply by walking around in your own favorite jeans and t-shirt, you could help scrub the air of nitrogen oxides. The secret is in the detergent.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield are developing an additive for laundry detergents that contain particles of titanium dioxide, which react with the nitrogen oxides in the air to eliminate them. Read more here.

The eastern half of the Maya Biosphere Reserve not only harbours much of Guatemala's biodiversity, but it also includes historic Mayan sites. The fight to save Guatemala’s Maya nature reserve from drug gangs

The 200-foot summit of Temple IV in the ancient Maya city of Tikal provides a spectacular view of Central America’s largest expanse of intact rainforest. This lowland forest is the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve of northern Guatemala, a 2.1 million-hectare (5.2 million-acre) sanctuary that covers 19 percent of the country and contains roughly 60 percent of its protected area. The UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve sustains a wide array of biodiversity.

But this sanctuary’s biodiversity is being pressured not just by the standard threats common to tropical regions, such as illegal logging, fires, and commercial hunting. Also included are Mexican drug cartels that cut into the forest to build airstrips to transport drugs, Salvadoran gangs that carve out huge cattle ranches to launder drug money, and Chinese organized crime groups moving their illegal logging network toward the reserve to supply Asian markets with prime tropical hardwoods. Much is at stake, as the reserve and the surrounding Selva Maya are the largest block of intact forest north of the Amazon Basin. Read more here.

Mecca Holy Mecca will be Saudi’s First Solar City

Saudi Arabia’s government has confirmed that it will develop and build a $640 million solar power plant in the holy city of Mecca. It continues the country’s recent talks of bolstering its clean energy sector and with the holy pilgrimage of Hajj beginning, the government believes this is the best time to announce the massive project.

More importantly, however, the announcement of the solar power plant, one of the largest in the Middle East North Africa region, comes as numerous reports, including one from Citibank, have said the country could become a net importer of oil by 2030, making it difficult to meet the energy needs of the population. Read more here.

Plots like the rooftop City Farm are sprouting across Hong Kong amid fears of tainted imports. In Organic-Hungry Hong Kong, rooftop farms grow amidst fear of tainted imports

HONG KONG – Kimbo Chan knows all about the food scandals in China: the formaldehyde that is sometimes sprayed on Chinese cabbages, the melamine in the milk and the imitation soy sauce made from hair clippings. That is why he is growing vegetables on a rooftop high above the crowded streets of Hong Kong.

As millions of Hong Kong consumers grow increasingly worried about the purity and safety of the fruits, vegetables, meats and processed foods coming in from mainland China, more of them are striking out on their own by tending tiny plots on rooftops, on balconies and in far-flung, untouched corners of highly urbanized Hong Kong. “Consumers are asking, will the food poison them?” said Jonathan Wong, a professor of biology and the director of the Hong Kong Organic Resource Center. “They worry about the quality of the food. There is a lack of confidence in the food supply in China.” Read more here.

Other Global Headlines of Interest

Rival Peanut Butter Factories Fight Each Other to Save Haiti
Scientists Close in on the Cause of Arctic Methane Leaks
UN revises world hunger figures to just under 1 billion

Leaf Bullet National News

South Carolina Coast South Carolina Offshore Wind Farm Could Produce Thousands of Jobs, Billions in Wages and Government Revenue

Besides producing a massive amount of clean, renewable power for local and regional use, building an offshore wind farm off the South Carolina coast could produce thousands of green jobs and millions of dollars in wages and state and local government revenues, according to a study by Clemson University’s Restoration Institute

South Carolina’s government, along with those of most southeastern US states, has shied away from enacting strong, proactive renewable energy policies and programs, despite having ample solar as well as wind energy resource bases. South Carolina, and the US as a nation, have zero in the way of commercial offshore wind generation capacity installed despite having among the most extensive coastlines and coastal waters of any country in the world. In fact, South Carolina has zero in the way of utility-scale wind power capacity, onshore or offshore. Nonetheless, South Carolina businesses are playing a vital role in the US wind energy industry. The state is home to businesses that together play “an important role in the nation’s wind energy supply chain,” according to a Clemson University News report. Read more here.

Coal Plant More US coal plants to retire due to green rules: study

More U.S. coal-fired power plants could retire due to environmental regulations and weaker-than-expected electric demand, costing the industry up to $144 billion, economists at consultancy Brattle Group said. In a new study, Brattle’s economists forecast 59,000 to 77,000 megawatts (MW) of coal plant capacity would likely retire over the next five years. That was about 25,000 MW more than the firm had estimated in 2010, Brattle said in a release. There is about 317,000 MW of coal-fired capacity now in the United States.

The economists estimated the power industry would have to invest $126 billion to $144 billion to retrofit and replace the coal capacity. Read more here.

Chicago Steak n' Egger The greenest mile: Chicago pushes the limits on sustainable streets

Cermak Road on Chicago’s West Side is a historic, industrial artery that time almost forgot. The area is cluttered with smokestacks and corrugated steel warehouses, crisscrossed with train tracks and barbed wire fencing, viaducts and underpasses. At its center stands the brick edifice of the soon-to-be-shuttered Fisk coal-fired power plant. It comes as something of a surprise, then, to learn that this week, city officials will unveil a dramatic overhaul that they says makes a 1.5-mile stretch of Cermak Road the greenest street in the country, and possibly the world.

The unlikely marriage of sustainability and this gritty corridor isn’t accidental. The Chicago Department of Transportation has spent two years and $16 million on this stretch of Cermak, which serves as the southern gateway to the city’s Pilsen neighborhood. David Leopold, project manager for the CDOT, says he took everything that would make a building LEED platinum and built it into the streetscape. Improvements range from solar-paneled bus stops to native plants and pavement that sucks up rainwater. Other cities are studying the project as a blueprint for change. Read more here.

Water Treatment New Water Treatment Process Could Help Bring Dead Zones Back to Life

The number and extent of so-called marine “dead zones”-areas of coastal ocean waters where nearly all forms of marine life have been snuffed out due to lack of oxygen-has been on the rise for decades now, posing increasing threats to commercial and subsistence fisheries, recreational fishing and human health. Terrestrial runoff containing relatively high levels of phosphorous, primarily from agricultural fertilizers, has been identified as one of the main culprits.

Veolia Water North America found that adding its Actiflo Carb technology to the traditional wastewater treatment process removed 75 percent of selected PPCPs and reduced phosphorous concentration to 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or less, a level well below the EPA’s 1.0 mg/L threshold. Read more here.

Brian Gramm, chief executive of Peppermint Clean Energy, shows off a protype of the Forty2. Solar device looks to add outlets to remote spots

South Dakota entrepreneur Brian Gramm was tailgating outside a college football game one sunny day when he wondered why he couldn’t use that energy to plug in a radio. The first-world inconvenience led him to develop the Forty2, an all-in-one “utility in a box” that Gramm now thinks could change millions of third-world lives.

The device, which looks like a quadruple-sized laptop computer, could generate and store enough solar power in a remote African village to run a dorm refrigerator filled with medicine, a couple of fans and a dozen LED lights, said Gramm, founder and chief executive of Peppermint Energy. “We changed it from how could we run a TV and a satellite dish and a stereo, to being able to run that fridge around the clock 365 days a year, being able to charge cell phones because that’s their only link to communication, being able to get them indoor cooking,” said Gramm, of Sioux Falls. Darin Fey, who volunteers at orphanages in South Africa’s Pretoria, said he sees a great need for that kind of power. Read more here.

Other National Headlines of Interest

Sioux Nation Races to Buy Back Sacred Lands
Chipotle Grill finally agrees to support tomato workers’ rights
Jobs Blow Away as Congress Fails to Act on Wind Energy

Leaf BulletVoices

Planting fruit trees on city streets All-You-Can-Eat Food Forests: Coming to a City Near You

Fruit and nut trees are basically free food banks. (That’s not to mention that the three other perks also affect the food supply in indirect ways, as evidenced by the 2012 droughts that have taken their toil on farmlands stateside.) Food banks are practically synonymous with processed, prepackaged food-and for good reason: It doesn’t spoil; it’s easy to transport, and it’s cheap to buy. But low-income people need access to more healthy food, not less of it. The good news is, here in the U.S., a trend of grow-it-yourself food support appears to be sprouting.

With more than one in seven Americans on food stamps in the U.S., we’re certainly ripe for new solutions to hunger. So what do you say, FDA? Isn’t it time to allot more funds toward fresh fruits and veggies? Johnny Appleseed would surely agree. Read more here

Protest The New Values Voters: Faith Groups And Climate Change

For years, polling analysis on the environment has been grouped with other policy concerns like the economy and national security, rather than with “culture” issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. But when the idea of environmental stewardship and care for the earth is articulated as a moral concern, this takes priority with voters above those traditionally listed culture issues. For their part, faith groups on both sides of the aisle are becoming bolder in their commitment to tackling climate change as a moral issue. All faiths work for a healthier planet!

There is no doubt that the economy is the first priority of this election. But a grassroots movement at the nexus of science and faith has been growing across party lines in an effort to tackle climate change. Due in large part to economic concerns, climate change, energy, and environmental issues had declined somewhat in priority among polled Americans since 2008. But numbers are rebounding, and the organizing energy at the grassroots-especially among faith groups-helps tell us why. Read more here.

Illustration The New ‘Golden Age of Oil’ That Wasn’t

Last winter, fossil-fuel enthusiasts began trumpeting the dawn of a new “golden age of oil” that would kick-start the American economy, generate millions of new jobs, and free this country from its dependence on imported petroleum. Once this surge in U.S. energy production was linked to a predicted boom in energy from Canada’s tar sands reserves, the results seemed obvious and uncontestable. “North America,” he announced, “is becoming the new Middle East.”

It turns out, however, that the future may prove far more recalcitrant than these prophets of an American energy cornucopia imagine. To reach their ambitious targets, energy firms will have to overcome severe geological and environmental barriers-and recent developments suggest that they are going to have a tough time doing so. The “unconventional” oil that is to liberate the U.S. and its neighbors from the unreliable producers of the Middle East involves substances too hard or viscous to be extracted using standard technology or embedded in forbidding locations that require highly specialized equipment for extraction. Think of it as “tough oil.” Read more here.

Leaf Bullet Local News

The former Uniroyal tire plant in Chicopee, part of a huge, unfinished brownfields project in that Western Massachusetts city. Budget cuts and time-consuming remedies slow state’s cleanup of toxic chemicals from so-called brownfield sites

At least $100 million from taxpayers and developers has been spent over the last two decades to clean up a toxic mix of chemicals that has contaminated land, tainted waterways and imperiled the health of residents throughout Massachusetts. Despite that costly undertaking, thousands of contaminated sites remain, a blight of useless land and abandoned buildings in cities and towns across the region, the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found.

In Massachusetts, the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) counts between 30,000 and 40,000 contaminated sites on its list of toxic properties, but said there are likely many more lying undetected and unreported. Only about 1,000 of those properties – those most likely to pose a health hazard – are designated as brownfields, a status that puts them on the list for future cleanup, said Kerry Bowie, DEP’s brownfield program coordinator. Read more here.

Erecting the Urban Wall An Urban Wall That Connects to the Environment

It was a true eco-challenge: Merge modern urban architecture with greenscapes to engage the public. Yet David Mah and Leire Asensio, visiting lecturers at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and their students rose to the challenge, coming up with an intricately carved garden wall that incorporates moss into its hollows. The lattice-like sturdy wall, called Surface Deep, was featured at the 2012 Grand Metis International Garden Festival Show in Quebec. A sister spiral twisted planter was featured at the 2012 Canada Blooms garden show in Toronto.

Mah and Asenio attempt to merge the landscape and ecology into city planning so the concrete world is not completely cut off from the natural environment. Read more here.

Suit alleges Cape Wind violates endangered species law

The Cape Wind project targeted for Nantucket Sound violated federal protections for threatened and endangered species, including the North Atlantic right whale, project opponents and conservation groups argue in a brief filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, which has vowed to prevent the project from being built, said the new suit is one of five federal suits facing Cape Wind, a project that proponents hope will set a new standard for offshore wind production in the United States. The suit also alleges serious risks to four species of federally protected sea turtles and several species of migratory birds. Read more here.

BCC awarded $600,000 state grant to help build wind turbine

FALL RIVER – Bristol Community College is getting a wind a turbine with the help of a new $600,000 state grant. “We want to demonstrate that BCC is putting its money where its mission is and we’ll be modeling just what we preach and that’s sustainablility and the importance of sustainability,” college President John Sbrega said, referring to the number of sustainability-themed programs and events at the college.

The grant, awarded by the Department of Energy Resources, will cover about 20 percent of the turbine’s $3.2 million cost. The rest of the money will come from the state’s Clean Energy Investment program, which provides low-interest bonds that are then paid for through energy savings. Read more here.

styrofoam Styrofoam: Made Rock-Hard and Shipped to China

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Styrofoam is recycled in Rhode Island, but not at the curb or at the Central Landfill in Johnston. Thanks to a proprietary process, KWD Inc. allows drop off of Styrofoam, aka polystyrene, at its warehouse at 582 Great Road. Several municipalities in Massachusetts, including Natick, offer Styrofoam collection and deliver it to KWD.

Although the world would be a much cleaner and healthier place without Styrofoam, at least there is a down-cycle use for it. There also is a pretty cool machine that packs Styrofoam into 200-pound, rock-hard slabs. Twelve -hundred-pound pallets of the compressed foam are shipped to China for use in car manufacturing and the making of other plastics. This raw material sells for 50 cents a pound. Read more here.

Durfee Mills A working mill community: Economic success in the 21st century

Shannon Khouhry is the chief operating officer of the Durfee Union Mills, located in the center of Fall River. She is one busy woman who has a lot to say about business and industry in Fall River. Khoury emphasizes that what makes her mill community thrive is a diversity of business enterprise all housed in her mill buildings, in close proximity to one another, near the center of the city where so many kinds of essential services are easily available.

Durfee Union prefers companies that plan on staying. “We look for solid companies who want a long-term presence, here,” Khoury said. “What is not helpful is a company that moves in for a few months and then moves out. We put a lot of planning and effort into working with business owners, and we want them to succeed.” Read more here.

Seeds of Sustainability Club Planting “Seeds of Sustainability” at BCC

Mark Zajac, 45, has earned his associate’s degree in organic farming from BCC, and is in the final stages of applying to the Peace Corps. Currently he is a co-founder of the student club “Seeds of Sustainability.” The club – SOS for short – has started the academic year with a series of free, do-it-yourself, sustainability workshops open to the entire SouthCoast community. The hour-long hands-on lessons are held every Wednesday at the BCC Fall River campus through Nov. 28.

Not only are these weekly seminars free, but they are fascinating. With lessons on everything from learning to cook the acorns and weeds that grow in your own backyard to making your own laundry detergent, these are not your typical eco-lessons. Read more here.

Employees at New City New City clothing store has warm sentiments for low-income customers

FALL RIVER – Bargains on clothes, shoes, pocketbooks, menswear and household items should be enough of a draw to get customers flocking to New City, but the knowledge that those in need get an even greater discount is an added bonus. New City, a chic-looking store selling cleaned and gently used clothing and related items and new merchandise and jewelry, is the latest venture to open at Commonwealth Landing, 1082 Davol St.

The store – actually a ministry of the New Life Church, also located in the new building in the former Quaker Manufacturing headquarters on Davol Street – gives an additional 50 percent discount on the already low prices to customers with Electronic Benefits Transfer cards. Read more here.

Kayaking the Slocum River Slocum River regatta benefits the Lloyd Center in Dartmouth

The waters of the Slocum River estuary, sparkling in the warm sunshine, provided an inviting venue for the Lloyd Center’s eighth annual Slocum Challenge regatta on Saturday morning. There were 75 entries this year, according to the center’s administration director Fern Allen. Canoes, rowboats, shells, kayaks, whaleboats and pilot gigs were just some of the craft taking on the scenic two-mile loop course with the smaller craft launching from Demarest Lloyd State Park. “Paddle boards are big this year,” Allen said. “We had 10 entries. Last year there were only two.”

“This is a great event to raise awareness for the Lloyd Center to get people to come here,” said kayaker Chris Dacey. “I grew up here and live in West Bridgewater now but i like to keep in touch with local events.” Read more here.

Taunton Police K- 9 Officer searches at the edge of the stream that feeds Lake Winnecunnet. Invasive plants choking Norton’s Lake Winnecunnet

Norton – The town’s Water Bodies Committee educated its members on invasive plant species and the state of the town’s lakes and waterway and were shocked at the shape Lake Winnecunnet is in. A survey the committee commissioned showed the lake has lost 14 acres of open water habitat since 2005 and has lost all 22 acres of its moderate density coverage since then to invasive plants called fanwort and milfoil.

“It’s killing off all the native plant growth that’s supported the lake for years,” Water Bodies co-chairman Brian Brady said. “It’s just smothering everything.” According to the report, beyond the impediments to recreational use of Lake Winnicunnet, the dense growth means less oxygen due to decaying plants and will result in fish kills or at least in reducing the fish population. Read more here.

Renewable Energy Sources State Rankings: R.I. Still an Energy-Efficiency Leader

Rhode Island dropped in the national energy-efficiency rankings, but remains one of the top states in the country for conserving energy. After climbing for three straight years, Rhode Island fell from fifth to seventh place in an annual scorecard released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Massachusetts retained its No. 1 spot for the second straight year. Read more here.

Boost in donations helps Salvation Army stock pantry shelves

“We’ve had wonderful donations ever since that story ran in the newspaper,” Lilian Costa of The Salvation Army said of an Oct. 2 report on the shortage of food in area pantries. People are not only donating money but are bringing food to the Purchase Street facility. A local farmer has been making daily trips with donations. Bins full of squash, pears, lemons and more sat ready in the food pantry, as well as the daily delivery of bread and other goods from the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Naughty & Notorious AHA! Night

Thursday, October 11, 5 pm – 9 pm Downtown New Bedford
Join us on AHA! Night when Art, History & Architecture come alive in New Bedford! On October 11th we will be showcasing the Naughty & Notorious side of NB. Get ready for pumpkin decorating, graveside chats, lantern tours, alien parades, street performers, live mannequins, controversial art & a whole lot more. It will be wicked. Read more here.

Special Screening: “How to Start a Revolution”

Thursday, October 11, 6pm – 9pm 285 Old Westport Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300 – UMass Dartmouth, Science & Engineering Lecture Hall, Room 228 (Parking Lot 13)
Film Screening and Discussion with the filmmaker, Ruaridh Arrow: “How to Start a Revolution”. Co-sponsored with Center for Indic Studies and The Frederick Douglass Unity House.
HOW TO START A REVOLUTION is the remarkable untold story of The Right Livlihood Award winner Gene Sharp, the world’s leading expert on non-violent revolution. This new film (from first time director Ruaridh Arrow) reveals how Gene’s work has given a new generation of revolutionary leaders the weapons needed to overthrow dictators. It shows how his 198 steps to non-violent regime change have inspired uprisings from Serbia to Ukraine and from Egypt to Syria and how his work has spread across the globe in an unstoppable wave of profound democratic change. How To Start A Revolution is the story of the power of people to change their world, the modern revolution and the man behind it all. Read more here.

The Spirit of Gandhi is Alive and Well and Living in East Boston, A Special Tribute to UMass Dartmouth Prof. Emeritus, Gene Sharp

Friday, Oct. 12, 12 noon – 1:30 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Woodland Commons
A Special Tribute to UMass Dartmouth Prof. Emeritus, Gene Sharp, Co-sponsored with Center for Indic Studies and The Frederick Douglass Unity House. Gene Sharp, PhD, an emeritus UMass Dartmouth professor, has been publicaly acknowledged as, “…the man who changed the world.” (Boston Globe editorial, Feb. 12, 2011). University of New Mexico sociologist, Sharon Nepsted adds, “Thanks to Sharp, we can now realistically envision a world without war.” Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, the subject of a full-length award winning documentary, the brains behind the successful nonviolent strategies of “Arab Spring,” the dictator’s worst nightmare, the author of 11 books, translated into 27 languages, and the world’s foremost expert of nonviolent intervention, we honor our colleague Gene Sharp for his contributions to UMass Dartmouth, to the world at large, to peace and justice, and a nonviolent future for generations to come. Contact Professor Jerry Solfvin at email. Learn more here.

Forest Walk

Friday, October 12, 12:30 pm University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Behind Athletic Center
Description – Fall into the Forest! This autumn season the Sustainability Initiative is hosting six guided forest walks on our extensive trail system and want you to join in! We’ll be meeting in the parking lot behind the athletics building at 12:30 pm and will take roughly an hour to explore the trails of the UMD woodland. Wear sturdy shoes and grab a friend for this fun and informative walk that will match your interests to the talk of the day. If you have any questions you can contact Chance Perks at email or 508-910-6484

Help Westport River Watershed Alliance Plant a Raingarden

Saturday, October 13, 10 am – 12 noon Westport Middle School – 400 Old County Road, Westport, MA 02790
We need your help. Bring your garden gloves, spades and shovels and help us plant the rain gardens at the Westport Middle School complex. We will plant four beautiful rain gardens, with native plants that will help filter pollution and protect the river.
The Westport River Watershed Alliance worked with the Town of Westport and the Norfolk Ram Group to design and install rain gardens to treat storm water runoff from the parking lots and roofs at the Westport Middle School complex. Construction began in August, with the Westport Highway Department doing the work. The project is being funded through the EPA and MA DEP through a section 319 Non-point source Pollution Grant which WRWA helped the Town of Westport successfully apply for.
Here’s a chance for you to do your part to help protect and improve the Westport River – and thanks in advance. Sign up for the event sending an e-mail to WRWA Read more here.

Fall Festival

Saturday, October 13, 10 am Partners Village Store and Kitchen – 865 Main Road, Westport, MA
Music by The Spindle Rock River Rats, an eclectic blend of bluegrass, old-time, folk, popular, western and fiddle tunes. Farmers Market, Alpacas from Golden Touch Farm, Local Author Book Signings and more! Art Stable Gallery and Dedee Shattuck Gallery will be open! Complimentary cookies and hot cider! Read more here.

Coastsweep 2012

Saturday, October 13, 12 noon & Saturday October 27, 1pm Please contact Sarah Porter or Buddy Andrade (see contact information below) for information on the location of the event.
The City of New Bedford Conservation Commission, Hands Across the River Coalition, Ben Rose Recreation and Education Center, Latino Coalition, Greenfleet, Old Bedford Village, Buzzards Bay Coalition and Youthbuild invite you to participate in the Palmer’s Island Cleanup. For more information contact: Sarah Porter New Bedford Conservation Agent, here or Tel-508-991-6188; or Buddy Andrade at Tel-508-993-8500.

Sixth Annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride

Sunday, October 14, 2012
The fall’s best outdoor event is the Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride. Cyclists choose between a 75-mile or 35-mile ride across the watershed to raise funds for the Bay, as well as create awareness and encourage stewardship of the beautiful watershed we all share. The 75-mile-long route begins at Horseneck Beach in Westport, winding along the coast through farmland, coastal villages, New Bedford’s waterfront, cranberry bogs and the back roads of Cape Cod before ending at scenic Quissett Harbor in Woods Hole. You can ride, cheer or volunteer in support of a healthy watershed and Bay.

In addition to a $30 registration fee, each rider must raise a minimum of $300. Once you register, you will receive additional materials to help you with your fundraising. This information will also have plenty of detail about how the funds help support the work of the Bay Coalition. The fundraising staff at the Bay Coalition is also available to help you with any question you might have. Learn more and register here. If you have questions about the Watershed Ride, please contact Donna Cobert, Director of Membership and Events, at 508.999.6363 x209. or email.

Film Screening: Farmageddon (2011, 90 minutes)

Tuesday, October 16, 6:30PM UMass Dartmouth – Woodland Commons
Americans’ right to access fresh, healthy foods of their choice is under attack. Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities and were forced to stop, sometimes through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies, and seeks to figure out why. Read more here.

Keith McHenry from Food Not Bombs: “Elect to End Hunger and Poverty”

Wednesday, October 17, 2 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Liberal Arts Building
Co-sponsored with Crime and Justices Studies. Food Not Bombs recovers and shares free vegan or vegetarian food with the public without restriction in over 1,000 cities around the world to protest war, poverty and the destruction of the environment. Each group is independent and invites everyone to participate in making decisions for their local chapter using the consensus process. Food Not Bombs is dedicated to taking nonviolent direct action to change society so no one is forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen expressing a commitment to the fact that food is a right and not a privilege. Email Dr. Susan krumholz or call 508-999-8370.

Film Screening: “Default: The Student Loan Documentary” followed by panel discussion

Wednesday, October 17, 6 pm – 8 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 – Frederick Douglass Unity House
Co-sponsored by PHENOM, the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, the Sociology/Anthology/Crime and Justice department and others.
For further information contact Brad Costa.

Fall Farmers’ Market at UMass Dartmouth

ONGOING: Wednesdays in September and October, 10:00AM – 3:00PM,Center of Campus, Outside Campus Center Facing Academic Buildings
Vendors selling at the market will be supplying produce, eggs, natural bottled foods, homemade cookies, coffee cakes, oils and vinegars, home made soaps, acrylic paintings and much more. Please come and join the fun. Parking available in Lot 7a at UMass Dartmouth. Follow the walkway to the stairs leading towards the center of the campus.

Fairhaven Farmers’ Market: Beyond the Bicentennial Series

ONGOING: Every Sunday, Septembers running to October 21, 1:00PM – 4:00PM, Fairhaven High School, 12 Huttleston Ave.(Rt. 6), Fairhaven, MA
Get your greens while “Being Green.” The town of Fairhaven is hosting a special Fall series of Farmers Markets dubbed “Beyond the Bicentennial.” Each Market will carry themes significant to the town: water quality; clean energy; recycling; local food and gardening; transportation, etc. In addition to local/regional food and craft vendors, there will be workshops, recreational activities, informational booths, and organizational participation corresponding to every Sunday theme. Enjoy the local market with family and friends every Sunday afternoon through October 21. Access the parking lot off Main Street to the rear of the Academy Building. Handicap parking. Free admission. Coordinated by the Fairhaven Sustainability Committee. Information on vendors here. Follow us on Facebook.

Seeds of Sustainability at BCC Fall Workshop Series

ONGOING: Every Wednesday, 2:00PM-3:00PM, September 26 – November 28 Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
The student organization Seeds of Sustainability is sponsoring a series of workshops this fall to encourage people to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Topics/activities for classes include edibles walk, canning and preservation, composting, seed saving, permaculture, the art of brewing tea, and making your own household cleaners. Please note that all are FREE and will be held in room E-101 on the Fall River campus of BCC. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at (508) 268-2811, ext. 3047 or email or Mark Zajac, Director of Seeds of Sustainability, here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Green Futures

Thursday, October 18, 7 pm Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River, MA
We are involved in a wide range of environmental issues which affect the quality of life in our community. Join us for our monthly meetings and learn more about our projects! Contact us: (508)676-3091, Office hours 8:00-1:00, Monday to Friday

New England Regional Transition & Resilience Gathering

Saturday, October 20, 9:30 am – 5 pm Boylston Congregational Church – 207 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA
Thanks to the excellent work of activists and organizers across the region, New England is home to many thriving grassroots efforts to create economic and environmental justice by transitioning away from fossil fuels towards sustainable food, energy, and transportation systems. How might we increase the effectiveness of our work by connecting with one another?
Please join us on Saturday, October 20th as we consider this exciting question. You’ll have the chance to meet folks from across New England, share stories, think systemically about the region, and consider next steps. There will be plenty of opportunities for informal conversation and connection. Hosted by Transition Keene, Transition Newburyport, the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF).
Travel stipends and some in-home hospitality in Boston are available. Please contact Sarah Byrnes 617-477-8630 x307. Read more here.

How to Sheet Mulch

Saturday, October 20, 10 am – 1 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 – Garden at Cedar Dell
The Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at UMass Dartmouth is sponsoring a sheet mulching workshop at the Cedar Dell Gardens – come to help us prepare our soil for the spring and to learn about tending your own garden. Contact Katrina Semich at 774-319-0539 or email for more information.


Saturday, October 20, 10:00am – 12:00pm Slocum’s River Reserve – Between Horseneck Road and Slocum’s River, 1 mile south of Russell’s Mills Village.
Take a guided walk with sculptors from The River Project and learn about their creative process. For more information visit the River Project 2012 web page. Read more here.

Harvest Festival

Saturday, October 20, 2012, 12-4pm Westport Town Farm, 88 Drift Road
Bring your family to celebrate the third annual harvest at the Westport Town Farm’s Community Gardens. Enjoy a festive day of local food, music and activities for all ages. Read more here.

Food Day in Southeastern Massachusetts

Wednesday, October 24, 3 pm International Church of the Nazarene – 284 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA
SEMAP is proud to partner with the International Church of the Nazarene & The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network to present an afternoon of learning, sharing, eating, and a movie viewing.
Starting at 3pm at the International Church of the Nazarene (284 Pleasant Street, New Bedford), you will tour the neighboring Serenity Gardens and talk to urban farmers, then return to the Church for children’s activities, a community potluck & food drive and a screening of the documentary film, Ingredients (showing 6:30-8:00 pm). The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network will also launch their new website which shows where to find food at food pantries and community meal programs throughout the region!

This is a free event and everyone is welcome, but please remember to bring a potluck dish to share and a food pantry donation. Please RSVP to Sarah Cogswell 508-542-0434, or online. Read more here.

Faculty Panel: WHAT’S YOUR FRACKING PROBLEM? Scientific Controversies in the 2012 Election

Wednesday, October 24, 3:30 pm – 5 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 – Library Grand Reading Room
What role should science play in political debates? Where there is disagreement about science, whose side wins? Whom should we trust to interpret science for the electorate? Does scientific literacy make us better voters? A panel of faculty experts will be on hand to consider these questions with regard to hot-button political issues such as hydraulic fracking, nuclear power, climate change, and evolution.
Panelists include Professor Peter Friedman, Professor Chad J. McGuire, Dr. Kelly G. Pennell and Guillermo Paz-y-Mino. Moderated by Professor Robert Darst. This presentation is part of the Speak Up, Speak Out Series.

Campus Forest Walk

Thursday, October 25, 12:30 pm University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Behind Athletic Center
Description – Fall into the Forest! This autumn season the Sustainability Initiative is hosting six guided forest walks on our extensive trail system and want you to join in! We’ll be meeting in the parking lot behind the athletics building at 12:30 pm and will take roughly an hour to explore the trails of the UMD woodland. Wear sturdy shoes and grab a friend for this fun and informative walk that will match your interests to the talk of the day. If you have any questions you can contact Chance Perks at email or 508-910-6484

Bioneers By The Bay: Connecting For Change

October 26 – October 28, 2012 Downtown New Bedford, MA
The 8th Annual Connecting for Change Conference is a three-day SOLUTIONS-BASED gathering that brings together a diverse audience from all over the globe to create deep and positive change in their communities. Presented by the Marion Institute, Bioneers is an unforgettable weekend filled with: live keynote speakers – including Sandor Katz, Judy Wicks and Bill McKibben, afternoon workshops, FAMILY programming, Youth Initiative program, exhibition hall featuring sustainable businesses and organizations, farmers’ market, films and live music, an open mic night; seasonal, local and organic food; art installations and more. Join the Movement. Visit or call (508)748-0816, to register, apply for a scholarship or to volunteer. Read more here.

4th Annual New England MREC Technical Conference

Tuesday, October 30 – Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Crowne Plaza, Providence/Warwick, RI
Hosted by the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, A Center within UMass Dartmouth. Two days of technical presentations on research relating to wave, tide, ocean and river current, offshore wind, environmental monitoring, policy and regulations, industry lessons learned, and more. Now in its 4th year, the Annual New England Marine Renewable Energy Center’s Technical Conference brings together engineers, scientists, policy makers and industry developers to share results of research that will advance the field of water energy.

Join US and international colleagues in a highly technical professionally reviewed and chaired format that is building the body of literature (albeit digitally) on the subject of renewable ocean and river energy generation. There will be ample time for networking with engineers, scientists and policy professionals from government, academia and industry. Technical papers, posters, and exhibits will be available. Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts. Attendees are expected from all over the world.

Rates include full access to all technical sessions, keynote addresses, exhibit and poster display area; daily continental breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunch and ticket to hosted reception on Tuesday October 30, 2012. See rates here. Register here.

Fairhaven Community-Building and Visioning Forum

Sunday, November 4, 2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PMFairhaven Town Hall, Center St. Fairhaven, MA
The “Beyond the Bicentennial” campaign’s Community Visioning Forum concerns all residents of Fairhaven, MA. It will be a professionally facilitated action-planning session and opportunity for community members to have their voices heard regarding their idealized vision for Fairhaven’s future. It’s a means to officially determine what the people of Fairhaven want and believe their town needs, and how to attain and/or preserve them. From all this sharing of ideas and acknowledgment of the issues, groups and strategies will be formed to continue courses of action. This forum is true community participation meant to bring about real change. Don’t miss out on the chance to shake up Town Hall. This forum is sponsored by the Fairhaven Sustainability Committee and the Fairhaven Bicentennial Committee. For more information, go to our website, or email here. You can also follow us on Facebook.

Film Screening: A Sea Change (2009, 83 minutes)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 6:30PMUMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons Building
This film follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. After reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Darkening Sea,” Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this “sea change” bodes for mankind. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington, and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of. Speaking with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists, and artists, Sven discovers that global warming is only half the story of the environmental catastrophe that awaits us. Learn more here.

Council on Sustainability Energy Efficiency Seminar

Thursday, November 8, 2012, 8:30AM – 1:00PMUMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons Building
One of four seminars being presented by SRPEDD and the Sustainability Office designed to help municipalities in the Southcoast region realize the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and local food production.

The first seminar is on Energy Efficiency. Keynoted by Rick Sullivan, MA Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Other speakers include Steve Grattan from NStar, Steve Smith from SRPEDD and officials from Fairhaven, Lakeville and Mansfield. They will introduce the numerous programs available to help Massachusetts cities and towns become more energy efficient in their buildings, streetlights, vehicles and public works operation. Attendance is FREE. Contact the Sustainability Office for more information. Register here

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Massachusetts Honored for Second Year in Energy Efficiency

Originally appeared in the Boston Globe

Massachusetts is the most energy-efficient state for the second year in a row, according to rankings by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. This is the sixth year the council, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, has rated states according to criteria such as utility programs, state initiatives, policies, and building codes aimed at improving energy efficiency. The council said the state’s Green Communities Act – one of several pieces of environmental legislation passed in 2008 – contributed to Massachusetts’ keeping the number one spot. “The Act laid the foundation for greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring gas and electric utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through energy efficiency,” the report said.Read the full story here

Mass. Clean Energy Center Industry Report

The Mass. Clean Energy Center released its second annual study of the clean energy industry in the commonwealth, measuring jobs, companies, revenue, and helping to define the scope of the industry. It is important that the findings show growth in key areas, despite the many headlines and public sentiment that the clean energy is struggling. Massachusetts remains No. 2 in the US (No. 1 per capita) in private clean energy investment (ie., venture capital/private equity), for example.
Key findings in the attached report include:
- Year-over-year growth of clean energy companies, to 4,995 (up from 4,908 – 2% growth rate)
- Year-over-over growth of clean energy employees, to 71,523 (up from 64,310 – 11% growth rate, compared with 1.2% for all Mass. jobs)
For more information, visit or download report.

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. 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.

Leaf Bullet Green Tip

How to go green for Halloween

Ready for the best costumes, decor and candy but not ready to drop a bunch of dough or trash the planet in the process? We’ve got you covered. Learn more here.

Leaf Bullet Preparedness Tip

Heating your home with wood – consider efficiency and the environment

Sometimes heating your home with wood can be more economical and environmentally friendly than the alternatives. Particularly if you have easy access to wood supplies, wood burning can make you independent of the fossil fuel industry for winter heat and cooking. Fossil fuels are also carbon sources that have been locked away for millions of years, whereas wood is part of the current carbon cycle. Burning wood is considered carbon neutral. Wood is also a relatively easily renewable resource. Learn more here.


Quote of the Week

"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do."
~ Barbara Ward, Economist

Clip of the Week

Urban Air Billboard Garden
To artist Stephen Glassman, billboards are a canvas, and a potential tool for confronting pollution challenges as cities grow. To understand how it'll look, picture a simple billboard, but instead of an advertisement, imagine tall stalks of bamboo and other native plants that gobble up carbon dioxide and create a tiny, cool microclimate.

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