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November 20 - November 26, 2008

In This Issue


Amazon.com to Streamline Product Packaging

This week:

Bill McKibben to Speak at SEEAL Annual Meeting


Save The Date:

Sustainability in Action: Manuel Hernandez



UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Course Listing Now Online



Know Your Vegetables


Weekly Green Tip:

Plan a "Green" Thanksgiving this year

Weekly Quote:

"I change myself, I change the world." 

Gloria Anzuldua


Leaf Bullet News

Amazon.com To Streamline Product Packaging

Amazon.com has kicked off a "Frustration-Free Packaging" program designed to make it easier for customers to extricate products from their shipping materials. The new simplified packaging is expected to use less material as well. Read more...


Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

SEEAL Annual Meeting with Bill McKibben

Friday, November 21- 3:00-6:00pm- Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford.

SEEAL's (Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance) Annual Meeting and year-end celebration will be a memorable afternoon of reflection on our work, inspirational presentations, entertainment, and engaging exhibits. SEEAL will also be honoring local sustainability leaders who are blazing a path toward improving awareness and stewardship in Southeastern Massachusetts.

The event will include a presentation from Bill McKibben, an American environmentalist and author known for his writing about global warming and alternative energy. He has written several books and has contributed to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic, Harpers, Mother Jones, and National Geographic.

In 2007, Mr. McKibben founded Step It Up, which organized hundreds of rallies to demand that Congress enact curbs on carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Most recently he founded 350.org an international campaign to unite the world around the number 350, the safe upper limit for atmospheric CO2, which we have currently exceeded. Mr. McKibben's presentation will be followed by a social hour featuring SEEAL partner exhibits, music, food, and beverages.

If you have any questions please contact Jennifer Marshall Grantham, SEEAL Coordinator, at jmarshall@seeal.org or 508-493-4343.

This event is free and open to the public, but since space is limited will be first come, first served.

Know Your Vegetables: Nutrient Density in Food

Monday, November 24, 6:30 pm. Brix Bounty Farm, 858 Tucker Rd, Dartmouth.

Growing Nutrient Dense Foods:  Would you like to improve the flavor and nutrition of the food on your table?

The era of “industrial agriculture” has greatly increased the total quantity of calories produced on farms in the United States; unfortunately this increased production has been built upon unsustainable growing practices.  These practices include (mentioning just a few): 1) a reliance on fossil fuels for inputs, 2) a heavy use of chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, and 3) tillage and soil management practices that result in widespread soil erosion.
Unfortunately, this increase in quantity has been accompanied by a simultaneous decrease in quality.  We have experienced widespread nutrient decline in our grains, fruits, and vegetables.  This decline has been well documented (see “Still No Free Lunch” by Brian Halweil) over the past 5 years.  This decline is attributed to a number of factors especially long-term soil degradation, and breeding crops for size and shipping quality instead of flavor and nutrition.

We'll discuss the reasons why nutrient density in our food supply has declined over the past century and, more importantly, what we can do to reverse the trend.  We'll examine the key roles Calcium and Phosphorous play in a soil supporting nutrient dense production.  We'll demonstrate the use of a refractometer to measure the brix or sugar (and correlated nutrient) levels in our crops; we invite you to bring along a few fruit or vegetable samples - anything you still have in the garden, fridge, or from the store - carrots, beets, etc. to test for comparison.  We'll also review resources available to learn more about increasing nutrient density in our crops.  Come network with other growers and gardeners as we continue a community dialog focusing on healthy food production in our gardens and on our farms.

For more information or to RSVP please contact us:  
Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm, 858 Tucker Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747   
Ph:  508.992.1868       or email: derekchristianson@gmail.com    

Ocean Voice Speaker Series

Tuesday, November 25 7pm. Ocean Explorium, 174 Union Street, New Bedford.

Fisheries Law and Policy – The Past, Present, and Future? Chad McGuire and Bradley Harris present an overview of the legal and policy frameworks used by the United States to manage fisheries. This discussion of the historical context of commercial fishing in the United States and the “legal” boundaries used in fisheries management will also include a look at current developments in fisheries policy, with an emphasis on ecosystem-based management and its implications.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Sustainability in Action: Manuel Hernandez Presentation

Monday, December 1st, 12:00-1:30pm in the Library Browsing Area of the Claire T. Carney Library at UMASS Dartmouth (285 Old Westport Rd, Dartmouth).

Over 1 billion people are without access to clean drinking water and over 1.5 million people die every year from indoor air pollution caused from burning fuels on open fires or traditional stoves, according to the United Nations. 
What if there was a way to provide clean water and clean air when cooking, all while using renewable local resources, providing income for local people, and teaching communities the skills to do it themselves?

Please join us in the Library Browsing Area from 12:00-1:30pm on Monday, December 1st to hear Manuel Hernandez speak about his work helping communities throughout the world learn to build ceramic water filtration systems and energy efficient kilns. 

Manuel Hernandez is an Associate Professor at Northern Illinois University and has taught Interior Design as well as 3-D studio courses.  In his free time he has been active with non-profit organizations throughout the developing world, assisting in the development of low fire kiln and stove building workshops and the production of water filtering ceramic cones. Since 2006, he has worked in Mauritania and Uganda on projects funded by the USEPA and Peace Corps, The Dominican Republic, Tanzania, Honduras and the Texas A&M University Colonias Project in Laredo, TX. 

Free and Open to Public.
For more information please contact sustainability@umassd.edu.

Young Farmers Conference

12/4/08 & 12/5/08 Pocantico Hills, New York.

In addition to workshops, The Young Farmers conference will feature keynote addresses by Frederick Kirschenmann of Stone Barns Center and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, and Eliot Coleman of Four Season Farm (Harborside, ME). The conference will also include entertainment, a seed swap, tabling area, networking and more.

Workshops during the conference will cover topics on four tracks:
§ Getting Started ¬ the economics of buying land and starting a business
§ General Skills ¬ raising a variety of livestock and diverse produce
§ Policy, the Farm Bill, and Global Agricultural Issues
§ The Farmer-Chef Relationship, cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships with restaurants and chefs

Hosted by Stone Barns Center at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture: 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY. Contact Nena Johnson at (914) 366-6200 x112.

Create a Holiday Balsam Wreath with Lloyd Center for the Environment

December 6, 9am-11am at the Lloyd Center Bond House, 430 Potomska Rd, Dartmouth, MA.

Come and make a decorative balsam wreath to hang on your front door or to give as an early holiday gift!  Joanne Humphrey, instructor extraordinaire, will guide you in decorating your wreath.  We will supply the balsam wreath, and decorations.  In addition to supplies we provide, feel free to bring your own treasures to incorporate into your wreath, as well as 4 to 5 yards of outdoor ribbon .  If you own a glue-gun, please bring it along, or let us know when you register if you need us to provide one for you. 

To learn more about this event or to register, call the Lloyd Center’s event line at 508-558-2918 or simply visit their website at www.lloydcenter.org and register online.  Registration is required and space is limited.  If you have specific questions about the program itself, please call 508-558-2918, or email jcornell@lloydcenter.org.

There is a $15 charge for Lloyd Center members and $19 charge for non-members.

Building Energy '09 Conference

3/10-3/12 Boston, MA. Exhibitor's Early Bird Deadline is 11/3.- Over 200 speakers, experts from every field of the sustainable energy and building industries, are preparing dozens of sessions and accredited workshops for BE09, to take place March 10-12. Listings of all sessions and workshops will be posted at www.nesea.org in mid-November.

Last year, Governor Patrick appointed a Task Force on Net Zero Energy Buildings to offer recommendations on how to create buildings that create as much energy as they consume. At BE09, the Governor's Task Force will present results at the Opening Plenary, March 11.


Leaf Bullet Announcements

UMASS Dartmouth Sustainability Courses for Intersession and Spring Semester

Check out the exciting listing of sustainability courses available at UMASS Dartmouth for the winter Intersession and the Spring Semester: http://www.umassd.edu/sustainability/curriculum.cfm#courses

Students working toward a Sustainability Minor can apply the credits from these courses toward their requirements.

"Great To Be Green" In Swansea Mall: Looking for Local and Sustainable Products

The Great to Be Green company is a daughter/mother team who specialize in selling all items for the home, garden, gifts, and everyday use that are eco-friendly and local.  This holiday season, Great to Be Green is very excited to have a store in the Swansea Mall.  They are looking for any local food producers, artists or craft-persons who are interested in selling/renting display space at their Holiday Store.  
Grand Opening is November 29th, so give Connie and Barbara a call!
Connie Remor, Great to Be Green
401-451-7590 (cell)

Westport Rivers & Winery Annual Open House: Seeking Local Food/Products

Saturday, November 29th; 11am – 5pm @ Westport Rivers Winery & Buzzards Bay Brewery
The Westport Rivers and Buzzards Bay Brewery are holding their annual Open House to celebrate local products in the winter.  A full day of wine tastings, walking tours, kid activities, pony rides, kettle fires, local vendors and food and more.  If you’re interested in being a part of this event, please contact Cindy Costa.  Any and all local food and product producers are welcome!
Cindy Costa
Events Coordinator
Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery
417 Hixbridge Road
Westport, MA 02790
508-636-3423 Ext. 2

Increase Your Green Competition for Middle and High School Students

"Increase Your Green is a call to action for students in middle and high schools nationwide to decrease their school’s carbon footprint. Do Something challenges YOU to save energy, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Tell us what you did and if you made your school the most eco-friendly, we’ll hook you up with grants to help you keep increasing your green at school!”  Check out www.dosomething.org/increaseyourgreen . This project is powered by the National Grid Foundation.

Check out NESEA's Green Schools Resources page and the Clean Energy for a Clean Environment program for tips and ideas on something you can do to increase your green. Good luck & have FUN!

Pajama Project

The City of New Bedford is asking for you old pajamas! Help the HarbOUR HOUSE Family Shelter by clicking this link to learn more


Leaf Bullet Ongoing

Know Your Vegetables: A Monthly Conversation Series Focusing on Small-Scale Vegetable Production. 

We invite you (home gardeners, foodies, farmers, anybody who enjoys vegetables… young and old) to join us in a free discussion series on a range of topics related to vegetable production.

Monday November 24 – Nutrient Density in Foods
Monday December 15 – Biodynamic Agriculture

January 2009 – Preparing a Seed Order and Variety Selection   
February 2009 – Tools for the Vegetable Garden, Small- Scale Farm
March 2009 – Seed Starting, Greenhouses and Cold Frames   
April 2009 - Sustainable Production Techniques, Row Covers and Transplanting
May 2009 – Weeds, Cultivation, and Stale Bedding

Conversations will continue into summer 2009:  topics to be determined.

Discussions are held at Brix Bounty Farm.  Usually 3rd Monday of the Month, 6:30 PM

For more information or to RSVP please contact us:  
Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm, 858 Tucker Road, Dartmouth, MA 02747   
Ph:  508.992.1868                  

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Preparing for a "Green" Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, some ideas for making this year's celebration more sustainable: 10 tips for an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

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