Sustainability Almanac for November 21 to 29



Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors

tortoise In this time of Thanksgiving, The Sustainability Almanac Team its grateful to it steadfast readers while we consider our options for the future of the publication.

Life is always something for which to give thanks. An aging a giant tortoise was nicknamed “lonesome George” for being the last of his kind. His fate was followed by millions around the world. George’s home was one of the Galapagos Islands, a place renowned in history for Charles Darwin’s insights there into species variation that led eventually to the theory of evolution. The last tortoise of his kind was thought to have originally gone extinct in 1906, but then George was discovered in 1972. Using DNA research, explorers are combing others of the Galapagos Islands hoping to find others that share enough of George’s genome to reverse the tortoise’s extinct status.

While some hope that devising methods to produce enough oil in the U.S. to win our independence from foreign supplies will stabilize prices, analysts say that’s not destined to happen. Due to world market pricing, even if the U.S. relies only on oil produced in the U.S., it will have to conform to wider-spread forces when it comes to setting the cost per barrel. Those same analysts say the only way to control energy costs is to invest in renewable energy sources, though energy independence would bring with it other security and global political benefits.

Copper is also soon to be a global pricing and pollution issue as the demand for the mineral, in both electronics and green technologies, pushes an increase in mining. Though the problems and toxic runoff from copper mines will first effect those areas closest to the operations, the fouling of water is going to be a worldwide issue as the planet becomes thirstier in its quest to provide for people, food production, energy production, and manufacturing.

Leaf Bullet Global News

Wind and Solar Installations Water scarcity could drive push towards wind and solar

In 2010, more water – 583 billion cubic metres – than is discharged each year by the mighty Ganges River in India was used to meet the world’s growing energy needs.

It’s an interesting statistic, but why should that matter? Well, if the world continues on its merry way, power capacity – particularly with water-hungry energy technologies such as coal and nuclear – and water-dependent extractive techniques such as coal, shale gas and tar sands, are going to grow quickly, and, according to the International Energy Agency, the world’s demand for water will grow at twice the pace, putting pressure on increasingly scarce water resources. Read more here.

Crops in dry soil. Tree intercropping ‘could save Africa’s soils’

Scientists have reported in Nature that the agroforestry approach of planting nutrient-fixing trees with food crops could help replenish Africa’s poor quality soils, tackling one of the biggest threats to food security on the continent.

Planting certain perennial trees together with food crops can more than double yields for maize and millet, which are among Sub-Saharan Africa’s staple foods, scientists say. Read more here.

Solo Seedling Climate change predicted to hit poorest hardest

All nations will suffer the effects of a warmer world, but the world’s poorest countries will suffer most from food shortages, rising sea levels, cyclones and drought, the World Bank’s new report on climate change says.

Under new World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, a former scientist, the global development lender has launched a more aggressive stance to integrate climate change into development. “We will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change. It is one of the single biggest challenges to social justice today,” Kim told reporters on Friday [16 November]. Read more here.

tortoise Lonesome George Not the Last of His Kind, After All?

The tide may be turning for the rare species of giant tortoise thought to have gone extinct when its last known member, the beloved Lonesome George, died in June.

A new study by Yale University researchers reveals that DNA from George’s ancestors lives on – and that more of his kind may still be alive in a remote area of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands.

This isn’t the first time Chelonoidis abingdoni has been revived: The massive reptiles were last seen in 1906 and considered extinct until the 1972 discovery of Lonesome George, then around 60 years old, on Pinta Island Read more here.

Other Global Headlines of Interest

Leaf Bullet National News

Vegetable Van Cheaper Fruits And Vegetables Alone Can’t Save Food Deserts

Tens of millions of Americans can’t follow the government’s guidelines for healthful eating because they can’t afford or access enough fresh fruits and vegetables. Sometimes it’s because they live in what’s known as a “food desert,” places devoid of markets with a good variety of quality fresh foods.

Increasingly, researchers want to understand just how the “food environment” – where people buy food, what food is available, food prices, and how food is marketed to the consumer – has become the problem. And even as cities from Philadelphia to Chicago to Detroit mobilize to hydrate the food deserts, it’s becoming clear that even if you make fresh produce affordable, people may not buy it. Read more here.

Shopping bags The U.S. Does Not Have a Spending Problem, We Have a Distribution Problem

In this season of fiscal silliness, many people are saying that we cannot afford our current entitlement programs. They shake their heads solemnly and say that Social Security and Medicare were well-intentioned ideas, but we simply do not have the money to pay for them and there is no escaping the need for “structural changes.”

This kind of cost-cutting doesn’t do Americans any good. Health care is something people need. If the government pays for less of it, then either seniors will pay for it directly, and we’ll simply have shifted costs from taxpayers as a whole to the elderly–or seniors won’t be able to afford it, and we’ll have balanced our budget on their backs. Read more here.

Oil Workers Why U.S. oil dominance won’t lower gas prices

Booming oil production could allow the U.S. to become the world’s largest global oil producer by 2020 and help the country become practically energy self-sufficient by 2035, according to a new report. But that alone won’t achieve the dream of so-called energy independence that magically frees American drivers from price shocks at the gasoline pump.

The U.S. won’t gain freedom from the tyranny of oil price shocks even if it overtakes Saudi Arabia as oil production king in the projections of the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012 report. That’s because the global oil market’s supply and demand would still dictate the price of a barrel of oil in the U.S., even if the U.S. became a leading oil exporter and stopped importing foreign oil. Read more here.

Why the U.S. Can’t Stop Climate Change Alone (In 2 Graphs)

President Obama’s election night reference to global warming kindled a bit of hope among liberals that his administration might make a concerted effort to tackle this issue in its second term. And unless we all plan on getting used to an annual superstorm season, we should hope so.

But here’s a reminder, courtesy of a recent World Resources Institute report on coal consumption, that whatever the U.S. does to tackle climate change, our efforts will be for naught unless they’re part of a global effort. Coal fired power plants are the top contributor to worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. And the future of coal will not be decided, by and large, in the United States, which currently consumed about 13 percent of the worldwide total in 2010. Instead, it’s in the hands of China, which burned up 46 percent of it. Read more here.

Other National Headlines of Interest

Leaf BulletVoices

Disaster Area Analysis: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle- and Lower-Income Americans

Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy is only the latest in a line of extreme weather events that severely afflicted Americans over the past two years. These are the extreme weather events that scientists predict will become more frequent and/or severe if the industrial carbon pollution responsible for climate change remains unchecked. One overlooked aspect of these disasters, however, is the rate at which they harm middle-and lower-income households-people who are less able to quickly recover from such disasters. This Center for American Progress analysis finds that on average, counties with middle-and lower-income households were harmed by many of the most expensive extreme weather events in 2011 and 2012. Read more here.

Don't Frack New York Frack Fight: A Secret War of Activists — With the World in the Balance

All summer long, the climate-change nightmares came on fast and furious. Once-fertile swathes of American heartland baked into an aridity reminiscent of sub-Saharan Africa. Hundreds of thousands of fish dead in overheated streams. Six million acres in the West consumed by wildfires. In September, a report commissioned by 20 governments predicted that as many as 100 million people across the world could die by 2030 if fossil-fuel consumption isn’t reduced. And all of this was before superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the New York metropolitan area and the Jersey shore.

There’s a grassroots insurgency in upstate New York, a struggle by ordinary Americans to protect what remains of their democracy and the Earth’s fragile environment from giant corporations intent on wrecking both. On one side stands New York’s anti-fracking community; on the other, the natural gas industry, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York’s industry-allied Joint Landowners Coalition. Read more here

Thanksgiving Decoration This Is Your Thanksgiving on Climate Change

How will your favorite Thanksgiving foods fare in a warming world?

The “turkey belt” of the US is in the Southeast, where states like Virginia, North Carolina, and Arkansas contribute the bulk of our national annual haul of over a quarter of a billion birds. But if you’re worried about keeping turkey on your Thanksgiving table into the future, you might turn your attention to the Midwest. After this summer’s record-breaking heat and drought in the Corn Belt, the grain supplies that plump the birds up for market dwindled, prices spiked, and as of fall turkeys are the most expensive per pound they’ve been in ten years. Read more here.

Copper The Hidden Costs of Going Green

The green revolution makes perfect sense, but like most things in life, there is a tradeoff. A shift to green technology will increase our reliance on copper mines, the wastes of which “constitute the largest quantity of metal mining and processing wastes generated in the United States,” according to the EPA. Copper can be found in nearly every electrical device in the world and is abundant in green technology. At first, only isolated communities near mines will feel this uptick in the demand for copper, but a clash of global priorities looms on the horizon. It will come down to a basic question of what we value more: food and water or minerals.

Going green is best for the planet, but do not be mistaken: Doing so will mean digging enormous holes in the Earth, all of them bleeding toxic metals into watersheds in the name of clean technology. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet Local News

Marion landfill endcap Proposed solar project divides Marion officials

It could be months or years before a proposed solar garden project in Marion is brought before Town Meeting for approval. While the details of the project are still being worked on, town officials are locked in a debate over zoning issues.

The Marion Energy Management Committee would like to see a community solar garden installed on a parcel of the 80-acre site at the town’s former landfill. The project would allow residents to purchase panels at the site, which would in turn lower costs on their electric bills. Read more here.

T Bomb Technician at South Station MBTA, highway system face vast budget deficits

Just months after the MBTA raised fares, the T faces a $130 million deficit for the next budget year, according to an analysis released by a regional think tank. But that daunting financial gap is eclipsed by a $240 million shortfall to operate the highway system, the study concluded. The budget analysis, conducted by the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, does not include money to address a vast and growing backlog of repair and replacement needs for everything from rail cars to bridge abutments or to improve transportation across the Commonwealth. The analysis merely reflects the cost of running the system as is and suggests that tax increases, fare hikes, or cuts could be on the horizon.

“It is clear to us that the system we have today we cannot afford and the system that the public wants we definitely can’t afford,” Richard A. Davey, the state’s secretary of transportation, said in an e-mailed statement Monday. “In the coming weeks and months, we will conclude a comprehensive review of our transportation system and determine what resources we need to set us on a path toward a high quality, sustainable transportation future.” The T and the highway system have structural deficits, meaning that each struggles to balance its budget annually without substantial cuts or new tolls, fares, or taxes. An array of expenses – electricity, fuel, asphalt, employee health insurance, federally mandated transportation for the disabled – have risen much faster than inflation and the state’s transportation revenues over the past decade. Read more here.

EPA Approves South Terminal project

NEW BEDFORD – The federal Environmental Protection Agency today approved the city’s South Terminal project, helping to clear the way for development of the 28.45-acre site as a wind-turbine staging area. The work will include navigational dredging of the harbor; restoration of salt marshes, shellfish beds and flounder habitat; and a construction of a Confined Aquatic Disposal (CAD) cell for safe storage of hazardous polychlorinated biphenyls, according to a statement issued this afternoon by the EPA.

When completed, city planners say the South Terminal will enable the port to handle heavy parts associated with offshore wind turbines, allowing New Bedford to become part of a broader effort by Massachusetts to capture expected growth in the wind power industry. Read more here.

Read more about the project here.

Plastic Bag Ban Movement Underway to Ban Bags in Providence

PROVIDENCE – Plastic bag bans are in place in six of the 29 largest cities in the United States – San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Portland and Austin. The nation’s fourth-largest city, Houston, is considering such a proposal. Environment Rhode Island is attempting to bring this big-city trend east of the Mississippi, with a petition drive that calls for banning plastic bags in Providence, the third-largest city in New England. A similar petition drive recently worked in Barrington. Earlier this fall, the Town Council passed Rhode Island’s first plastic grocery bag ban – albeit one that expires in two years – and just the second one in New England, after Westport, Connecticut.

“In our outreach to residents and small-business owners, we have found broad support for such a plastic bag ban policy in Providence and around the state,” said Channing Jones, field associate for Environment Rhode Island. “People in Rhode Island understand the importance of protecting Narragansett Bay and aquatic ecosystems from marine debris.” Plastic grocery bags clog storm drains, degrade marine ecosystems, choke animals and litter beaches. Read more here.

Cape Wind has started survey work in Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound. Port cities hope to prosper off ocean again

For centuries, the ocean provided a linchpin for New England’s economy, from fishing grounds that brought the first Europeans, to whaling that made New Bedford the nation’s richest city, to merchant ships that built New England’s first great fortunes. Now the region is reinventing its maritime industry again, turning to the sea not for fish or whales or trade, but energy. From the Bay of Fundy to Long Island Sound, new technologies are harnessing the power of ocean tides and winds, promising not only an inexhaustible source of energy, but also hundreds of jobs, billions in revenues, and new life for struggling fishing communities along New England’s 473-mile coastline.

Ocean energy is also generating economic activity on land. The nation’s first commercial testing facility for large wind turbine blades opened in Charlestown last year to support blade designers and manufacturers developing advanced materials that can stand up to harsh winds and elements offshore. The center helped persuade TPI Composites, an Arizona firm that makes blades for companies such as GE Energy, to open a development facility in Fall River. Read more here.

Cape Wind opponent still raising millions

More than a decade into its fight against Cape Wind, the project’s primary opposition group is still raking in millions of dollars in contributions, according to its latest filing with the Internal Revenue Service. The $2 million in contributions to the nonprofit Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound in 2011, however, doesn’t cover the group’s expenses to date, which include donations to the town of Barnstable to pay the municipality’s Cape Wind-related legal fees. Although the alliance raised more than $24 million over the past 10 years to fight the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm, the group was nearly $1 million in debt as of the end of 2011, according to Form 990 for that year filed with the IRS.

“The trend is positive,” alliance president and CEO Audra Parker said about a decline in the group’s debt from $1.3 million in 2010 to $914,000 in 2011. “Our goal is to obviously pay it over time.” The past year has been good for the fight against Cape Wind, Parker said, citing a legal victory in federal court that remanded a Federal Aviation Administration approval for the project back to the agency and the denial of a federal loan guarantee for Cape Wind by the U.S. Department of Energy. The FAA issued a new approval for the project in August that the alliance and the town of Barnstable have again challenged in court. Read more here.

Fall River Indoor Market Fall River’s Indoor Farmers’ Market Now Open

FALL RIVER – First-time and seasoned shoppers and vendors reveled in each other’s company at the opening of the second annual Winter Indoor Market at CD Recreation on Bank Street.

Unlike last year’s inaugural season, this year’s market is open from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays after organizers heard “customer feedback,” according to Annemarie Sharkey, the community health and well-being manager of the Greater Fall River Partners for a Healthy Community, the organizers of the indoor market and of the outdoor market held on Old Second Street during the summer. This year’s indoor market season also opened earlier than last year’s, which started in January. “We wanted to try to get it in before the holidays,” Sharkey said. Read more here.

Boston riddled with mostly small natural gas leaks, Boston University study finds

Natural gas is escaping from more than 3,300 leaks in Boston’s underground pipelines, according to a new Boston University study that underscores the explosion risk and environmental damage from aging infrastructure under city sidewalks and streets.

The vast majority of the leaks are tiny, although six locations had gas levels higher than the threshold at which explosions could occur. Although there have been no reports of explosions in Boston from any of the leaks, the study comes three years after a Gloucester house exploded probably because of a cracked and corroded gas main dating to 1911. Gas companies and the state Department of Public Utilities say the risk of an explosion from the leaks is exceedingly small. Serious leaks are repaired right away – as were the six that Phillips’s research team discovered – and the remaining ones are not at levels high enough to cause an explosion. Read more here.

Northern Lapwing bird European birds visit southeastern Massachusetts, thanks to Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy swept some European birds to southeastern Massachusetts, where folks have lined up to catch a glimpse as they alight in Middleboro, Bridgewater, Halifax and on Cape Cod. The Northern Lapwings, common birds in Europe, were blown across the Atlantic Ocean during the “superstorm” on Oct. 29. “It’s major for the birding world,” said Anderson, who has served on the boards of the Mass. Audubon Society, American Birding Association and similar groups. Lapwings are seldom seen in North America. They typically nest from Norway to Spain and then winter in Asia and Africa. Read more here.

Backyard Bee Hive Urban Farmer Helping Give Bees a Chance

Natural pollinators such as honeybees are responsible for a third of the food we eat – the equivalent to one daily meal. This essential relationship between pollinators and people makes the recent decline in the honeybee population particularly concerning. As Chris Combs, beekeeper and founder of the organization Giving Bees a Chance!, explains: “If you like food then you need bees to pollinate your food and flowers.” In addition to being efficient pollinators and spurring crop growth, honeybees also produce wax and, of course, honey.

As a gardener, urban farmer and beekeeper Combs is attuned to the relationship between both his garden and his bees. Combs and his neighbors have noticed increased productivity in their gardens, and the flavor of the honey reflects the plants the bees pollinated that season. Combs describes spring honey as having a “fruity, wildflower flower” flavor, and fall honey as more “earthy.” Read more here.

1 in 4 plan rehiring: Boston area’s small businesses cautious, but optimistic

Small-business owners are cautiously optimistic about the coming year in Greater Boston, with most anticipating increased sales and many expecting to hire more workers, according to a Bank of America survey. More than half of the Boston-area small businesses that were polled said they expect revenues to grow in 2013, while 9 percent believe revenue will shrink. Nearly one in four plans to hire more workers, while 2 percent plan to cut staff.

“I think they’re optimistic,” said Anna Colton, Bank of America’s national sales executive for small-business banking, who is based in Boston. “I find that really encouraging.” Small businesses account for about half of private employment in both Massachusetts and the United States. Read more here.

Fitness Class Fall River Fitness Challenge aims to build healthy lifestyles

FALL RIVER – About 18,991 pounds, and counting. Fall River area residents have lost that much weight combined since the Greater Fall River Fitness Challenge began in 2007 with the goal of combatting diabetes. The challenge’s goal now is to help people learn to eat well, lose weight and exercise, all important ingredients of living a healthy lifestyle.

The challenge will begin Jan. 5 with a health fair and weigh-in at Kuss Middle School. Once enrolled in the five-month program – at a cost of $5 – participants can attend free events on weeknights or on Saturday mornings at Greater Fall River Re-Creation, the YMCA or General Fitness. Read more here.

Old Rochester Regional High School Thanksgiving for Seniors ORR students, volunteers serve Thanksgiving meals to 176 local seniors

MATTAPOISETT – The teachers didn’t show up this year, but that didn’t stop Old Rochester Regional Junior High School students and volunteers from serving 176 seniors a hearty dinner Sunday at the school’s 21st annual Thanksgiving banquet. “Normally the teachers take part,” said Kevin Brogioli, ORRJHS principal. “This year, some other people stepped up, that’s all.”

Contract negotiations between ORR and the teachers union reached the mediation phase earlier this fall and teachers began “working to contract,” which sees them doing only what is explicitly outlined in their contracts – which ruled out serving Thanksgiving dinner. That left 75 or so eighth-graders, with some help from parents and ORR cafeteria staff, to bus out 176 trays piled with traditional Thanksgiving fare. Read more here.

Solar Field in Canton Canton solar field still opposed by electrical union

A 20,000-panel solar power-generating field installed at the site of a former town landfill in Canton is still catching flak from unionized electricians despite being lauded by local and state officials as a hugely beneficial project for everyone. “This project has turned the old landfill site into a generator of power and economic development,” state Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said in a recent interview. “It’s a win-win, as the project is expected to save Canton thousands of dollars on its power bills and help limit the Commonwealth’s reliance on foreign sources of energy.”

State Department of Environmental Protection officials have also endorsed the 5.6-megawatt plant, one of the largest solar farms in New England and operating since late summer. But the project remains a bitter pill for members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, which contends licensed electricians did not play enough of a role in constructing the facility. Read more here.

Fall River Dog Park on Locust St. Dog park: How hard could it be?

So, for four years the New Bedford City Council has had a committee charged with the task of finding a place for a dog park, where people can let their pet pals run off the leash and play with each other. Meanwhile, while New Bedford waits, dog parks are springing up everywhere in America, in places where civic leaders aren’t paralyzed with fear and indecision.

The Fall River dog park, which is on Locust Street, is smack in the middle of the city with a commanding view to the south. It isn’t much to look at, really. It’s half of a 2-acre playground, minus playground equipment. But despite its plainness, it’s got what every cooped-up urban neighborhood dog craves: the chance to run off the leash, burn a little energy and perhaps meet some new dog friends in the bargain. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Bright Moon Owl Prowl

Saturday, November 24, 7 pm – 8:30 pm Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Wareham, MA
Come owl prowling by bright, beautiful moonlight – you never know WHOOooo we’ll find! The pine forests at Great Neck provide important owl habitat and there are a variety of species available for us to call in, sight and discover. Families welcome! Meet in the Great Neck parking lot and dress for an outdoor hike. Don’t forget your water bottle! Registration is required. Register online or call 508-636-2437 to register by phone. Read more and Register here.

The Great, BIG “Walk it Off” Weekend Hike

Sunday, November 25, 1 pm – 4 pm Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport, MA
Thinking about that delectable Thanksgiving dinner? Mmmm…turkey and all the fixings and then that satisfying unsnap of the top button while you rest, post-feast…here’s your chance at redemption! Join us to walk if off as we travel from the Field Station to our Stone Barn property and return – a total of approximately 6 miles! When you’re done, a plate of leftovers won’t seem evil at all!

This is a great trail hike – please dress for an outdoor adventure and wear sturdy hiking shoes. A small pack with snacks and a water bottle is highly encouraged as well as binoculars. Registration is required. Register online or call 508-636-2437 to register by phone. Read more and Register here.

Film Screening: Happy (2011, 75 minutes)

Tuesday, November 27, 6:30 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Woodland Commons CR1
The latest award-winning film from Academy Award nominated director, Roko Belic (Genghis Blues) and Executive Producer, Tom Shadyac (I AM), takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Read more here.

Canning, Pickling and Fermenting

Wednesday, November 28, 5 pm 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI 02860
Canning, Pickling and fermenting workshop by New Urban Farmers + Basement Brewhaus. Hosted by Farm Fresh RI at the Hope Artiste Village, Winter Farmers Market. 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. Read more here. Sarah Lester at (401) 312-4250

Lecture Series at New England Aquarium: Rise Above Plastics

Thursday, November 29, 2012, 6:30PM New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Attendance is FREE. Plastic-it’s all around us. Water bottles, toothbrushes, cell phones, food containers-we can’t seem to go even a few minutes without touching something made of plastic. While greatly advancing convenience in the modern world, the extreme increase in production of single-use plastics has begun to wreak havoc on the marine environment. Join Sarah Lecus as she discusses the effects of plastic on humans and the environment, and how we can all make small changes to rise above plastics. Learn more and register here. Contact (617) 973-5200 for more information.

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

Where Has Everyone Gone? A Hike and Scavenger Hunt

Saturday, December 1, 10:00am – 11:30am Lloyd Center for the Environment, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth, MA
Bring the whole family to the Lloyd Center and learn ways that animals survive the cold. During this program we set out on a scavenger hunt to discover where animals are spending the winter. Enjoy fun games and learn how animals survive during the coldest time of the year. After hiking we take an up-close look at some critters that live in the nature center and learn how they differ from their wild counterparts.
Pre-registration required by 4:00 p.m., Thursday, November 29th Price: Members: $4 Non-members: $5 All ages welcome Pre-register online, or call the Center’s Event line at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jen at 508-990-0505 x 14, or email Learn more here.

Trail Walk

Wednesday, December 5, 8:30am – 10:00am Lloyd Center for the Environment, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth, MA
Be inspired by nature, exercise and discover the Lloyd Center trails. Enjoy the sights and sounds of nature as the seasons change. Each walk is different and highlights various plants, animals or the history of the Lloyd Center’s property. Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and bring non-alcoholic hydration.
Pre-registration required by Noon on Tuesday, December 4th Price: Members: FREE Non-members: $2 Pre-register online, or call the Center’s Event line at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jen at 508-990-0505 x 14, or email Register here.

‘Slim Your Waste’

Wednesday, December 5, 5pm – 6pm Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI
Learn how to recycle, reduce, and reuse during the Holidays. Hosted by EcoRI Public Works. This event is intended to a general public including Businesses, College/University, Families, Farmers, Homeowners, School Groups, Teachers, Teens, Visitors/Tourists. It’s a FREE event.Read more here. Email Sarah Lester at (401) 312-4250

Lecture Series at New England Aquarium: Adventures in Sustainable Seafood

Thursday, December 6, 2012, 6:30PM New England Aquarium, 1 Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110
Attendance is FREE. Bun Lai is the chef and owner of the highly acclaimed Connecticut restaurant Miya’s, one of the first sustainable sushi restaurants in the world. At Miya’s, he has rethought the cuisine of sushi using unconventional ingredients that are farmed or caught in a way that is restorative and regenerative of the planet. In addition to receiving the key to the City of New Haven and the Seafood Ambassador Award from Monterey Bay Aquarium, he has been named Greatest Person of the Day by The Huffington Post and one of Ecosalon’s 11 Eco-Chefs Who Are Changing the Way We Think About Food. The New York Times recently described Bun as “the mad scientist of the sustainable sushi movement.” For fun, Bun likes to go diving for clams and seaweed off of the restaurant’s fishing boat on their 100-acre ocean farm. Learn more and register here. Contact (617) 973-5200 for more information.

Bay Adventure: Keith’s Christmas tree farm tour

Sunday, December 9, 2012, 9:00am Keith’s Tree Farm, 429 Main Street, Acushnet
Explore a 148-acre working Christmas tree farm on the banks of the Acushnet River during a holiday Bay Adventure hosted by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. Join Allen Decker of the Bay’s Coalition land protection staff for a guided walk around Keith’s Tree Farm, which was protected in 2003 through a conservation restriction.

The tree farm – a thriving, popular local destination for self-pick Christmas trees – is an excellent example of how permanent land conservation can keep agricultural land in production while also protecting our local waterways. The tree farm owner, Keith Santos, may make an appearance to share his insights on why the conservation restriction was important to his family.

Reservations are requested; please contact Alicia Pimental to RSVP. Learn more here.

Winter Tree Identification

Wednesday, December 19, 1:30PM – 3:00PM Lloyd Center for the Environment, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth, MA
Are you curious about tree identification during winter? In this 90-minute program, we introduce methods to distinguish one tree from another. Then we’ll put your new identification skills to the test out on the Lloyd Center’s trails.
Pre-registration required by Noon, Tuesday, December 18. Price: Members: $4 Non-members: $5 All ages welcome Pre-register online, or call the Center’s Event line at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Jen at 508-990-0505 x 14, or email Learn more here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements

BCC Organic Farming Practices II

Bristol Community College has opened enrollment for the Winter/Spring semester. This course includes sustainable farm management and economics, season extension techniques, spring propagation from seeds and transplanting, organic insect & disease controls, and cultivation of specific perennials for New England. Course includes field trips to local organic farms plus indoor and outdoor labs. This course is designed for home gardeners and small-scale organic farmers. This course has no prerequisites and earns 4 college credits. Classes run from January 23 to May 13 and will meet on Mondays (9:30 am to 12:50 pm) and Wednesdays (9:30 am to 10:45 am) on the Fall River campus. Tuition waivers may be available for senior citizens and veterans. More information and online registration available at Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at

Leaf Bullet Green Tip

Recycling – Getting Crafty with Plastic Bags

It’s been great to see a concerted effort by many individuals, some towns and states to ban disposable plastic shopping bags; but even if you have started to kick the disposable plastic bag habit, chances are you may still have a few (dozen/hundred) floating around the place. If you’re into crafts, you can put these bags to good use so they don’t wind up in landfill. Learn more here.

Leaf Bullet Preparedness Tip

How to Build a Rain Barrel

Rain barrels are a great way to save water for not-so-rainy-days. When you use rain barrels, you help prevent erosion and you help cut storm water run-off so rivers and other water sources stay clean. Find out how you can build one in just 15 minutes. 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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