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December 9 to 16, 2009

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting

Sustainable Pasta!


Save The Date:

New Years' Day Beach Walk

NOFA Farming Conference



UMassD Spring Sustainability Course Listing

Weekly Green Tip:

Battle perceived obselescence

Weekly Quote:

"To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed."
~Theodore Roosevelt, seventh annual message, 3 December 1907

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Leaf Bullet News
Global PeakOil
U.N. says climate finale may have happy ending
COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Delegates converged Sunday for the grand finale of two years of tough, sometimes bitter negotiations on a climate change treaty, as U.N. officials calculated that pledges offered in the last few weeks to reduce greenhouse gases put the world within reach of keeping global warming under control.

Yvo de Boer, the U.N.'s top climate official, said on the eve of the 192-nation conference that despite unprecedented unity and concessions, industrial countries and emerging nations need to dig deeper. Read more here.

Nanofarming Offers a Kinder, Gentler Way to Get Biofuel from Algae
One barrier to cost-competitive biofuel from algae is about to fall, and we may have nanofarming to thank for that. The new technology uses tiny nanoparticles to absorb free fatty acids from living microalgae. It is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames National Laboratory and Iowa State University, in partnership with biofuel specialist Catilin, Inc.

In conventional biofuel production, algae are harvested and killed in order to extract their oil. It's not a very efficient process — sort of like uprooting a tree and stripping off the apples to make cider. By coaxing out the oil on a molecular level, nanofarming enables algae to give up their product while continuing to grow. Add Catilin's non-toxic biofuel catalyst to the mix, and you have the makings of a more sustainable and cost-competitive biofuel - with some extra benefits, too. Read more here.

Global warming may require higher dams, stilts
With the world losing the battle against global warming so far, experts are warning that humans need to follow nature's example: Adapt or die.

That means elevating buildings, making taller and stronger dams and seawalls, rerouting water systems, restricting certain developments, changing farming practices and ultimately moving people, plants and animals out of harm's way. Read more here.

Paper Battery
Printable, Moldable Batteries Made From Paper and Nanotubes
Those who are quick to dismiss paper as old-fashioned should hold off on the trash talk. Scientists have made batteries and supercapacitors with little more than ordinary office paper and some carbon and silver nanomaterials. The research, published online December 7 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brings scientists closer to lightweight printable batteries that may one day be molded into computers, cell phones or solar panels. Read more here.

National Species
U.S. moves to curb emissions, aids U.N. climate talks
WASHINGTON/COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Washington took a step on Monday toward curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, aiding the first day of the biggest climate talks in history where 190 nations are seeking a deal to curb global warming.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ruled that greenhouse gases endanger human health, allowing it to regulate planet-warming gases without legislation from the Senate, where a bill to cut U.S. emissions by 2020 is stalled. Read more here.

U.S. 2008 greenhouse gas emission fall 2.2% -EIA
Man-made U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell last year as record oil prices and a weak economy reduced demand for fossil fuels, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday.

Output of the gases scientists blame for warming the planet fell 2.2 percent in 2008 from the prior year to 7,053 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, the EIA said. Read more here.

European Legislation Creates 62 MPG Gas Cars… From Ford
In the US, Ford is still behind the 5 major foreign auto makers in fuel efficiency, surpassing only GM and Chrysler. Yet Ford of Europe already achieves dazzling mileage that we Americans can only dream of.

Imagine a gas-fueled car that gets 62 miles to the gallon: "With start-stop, regenerative brakes and an Eco Mode system, the new Focus gets 62 MPG (U.S.) on the European scale and emits just 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer" Available in Europe next Spring. Read more here.

Let's Talk Trash: Atayne Athletic Apparel Made from Trash
Who knew a red shirt would become a life-changing event for Jeremy Litchfield? On a hot and humid morning back in 2007, Litchfield went out for a run. Wearing a brand new performance t-shirt, the runner was gearing up for an upcoming marathon. By the time he finished his morning jaunt, red stain from his new shirt covered his shorts, socks, shoes and lower body Read more here.

Local Solar
BCC opens eco-friendly information center
Students at Bristol Community College now have a more inviting — and sustainable — place to go when they have questions.

The $40,000 Rodgers Welcome Center opened Monday in the lobby of the Commonwealth College Center, and it is a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling example of green engineering, BCC president John Sbrega said at a ceremony. Read more here.

Editorial - Windward we go
No one should doubt that Dartmouth's Alternative Energy Committee has done its homework on two commercial-size wind turbines proposed for the wastewater treatment facility off Chase Road.

In concert with consultants and town officials, the committee has researched site-specific conditions for wind speed and reliability, shadow flicker, noise, encroachment on wetlands, and the visibility of the turbines. Read more here.

SPRING GREEN: Fall River firm invests in locally sourced water
Fall River — The billion-dollar bottled water industry is about to get an environmental shot in the arm thanks to a new Fall River company that taps state waters and uses a recyclable, biodegradable bottle.

Native Water LLC, located inside the Nasiff Fruit building on Plymouth Avenue, uses spring water from the Berkshires Mountains in Chester Hill and Southfield. The water is bottled in Enso bottles, which are recyclable, biodegradable and made with 25 percent recycled plastic. Read more here.

Energy committee: Town buildings need regular maintenance
MIDDLEBORO — Savings on energy bills would likely pay for the maintenance staff that is needed to implement conservation measures and resolve problems with heating and air conditioning in town buildings, members of the Green Energy Committee told selectmen Monday night.

The selectmen appointed the seven-member committee last spring, and Co-Chairman Jeffrey Stevens said the panel will present a definitive set of recommendations to the board in about six months. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Net Impact Fall Lecture Series Birds & Beans Coffee

Wednesday, December 9, 3-5 PM, UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business - Room 115
Most of us have a fond relationship with our daily cup of coffee, and are concerned about sustainability, but what impact are your coffee beans and their production having on people, the planet and birds and their environment? It turns out, a lot.

But, before you stop drinking coffee: did you know coffee companies can be 'Triple Certified' with a focus on birds, people and planet? (and profits, of course!)

Join Net Impact for a lecture and coffee tasting by Birds & Beans Coffee to learn about a sustainable view (and taste) of coffee. Questions? Please contact NetImpactUMD@gmail.com for more information.

Sustainability Poster Presentation

Thursday, December 10th 2:00 to 3:15 at UMass Dartmouth's Campus Center
The students in Political Science 251, "The Politics of Everyday Things," will make public poster presentations on "What Everybody at UMass Dartmouth Needs to Know about an Everyday Thing" this week. The presentations will take place in the Campus Center on Tuesday, December 8, and Thursday, December 10, from 2:00 to 3:15. Please feel free to come by on one or both days. The presentations will be different on each day. Learn more here.

Quarterly Meeting of the Council on Sustainability

Thursday, December 10th at 4-6:00 p.m. at UMass Dartmouth's Woodland Commons
Please join the Southeastern Massachusetts Council on Sustainability for a discussion of the interim reports of the Transportation, Food, Economic Development, Natural Resources and Energy working groups. Help to make our region sustainable by bringing your energy and ideas to the table. All are welcome. Learn more about the council here.

Exploring Supernovas - the Biggest Explosion in the Universe

Tuesday, December 15, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Dr. Robert Fisher, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth . Join us for the Ocean Voice speaker series every Tuesday evening at 7 PM. Admission is $3 adults and $2 for seniors and children.

First Annual edible South Shore Tortellini Festa

Wednesday, December 16th 6:30-9:00 pm, Overbrook House, 5 Old Head of the Bay Road, Buzzards Bay
Join us as we prepare for holiday feasting – Italian-style. Local Italian, that is. We'll sit down at a big table and each prepare dozens, even hundreds, of teeny tortellini in the Bolognese style familiar to generations of Plymoutheans as "toodalings". These are the pork tortellini that entire families, from patriarch to toddler, sat down together to make in preparation for Christmas.

Workshop participants will learn to make the pork filling (and, okay, if there's demand at registration, a non-pork filling, too) and mix and roll out the pasta dough; they will work their fingers to the bone folding and shaping a billion toodalings; they'll laugh and swap stories; and they will take home their fair share of minuscule delicious stuffed pasta.

To sign up: There is a fee of $30. Class-size is limited, so advance registration is required. Contact laurie@ediblesouthshore.com.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

"FRESH" at the Plimoth Plantation Cinema

Thursday, December 17, at 2:30; 4:30; 6:30 pm, suggested donation of $5. (Sharing proceeds with Plymouth Food Warehouse).
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur's 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan's book, The Omnivore's Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy. Learn more here.

A School of Adventure - especially for Kids!!!

Tuesday, December 29th, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Our aquarist staff will take you on a behind the scenes tour of our living exhibits, come learn all the extra things you always wanted to know!

20th Annual New Year's Day Beach Walk

January 1 10-Noon, Gooseberry Neck, Westport
This walk will highlight aspects of coastal ecology and bird identification. Wear warm clothing & hiking boots; bring binoculars and camera if desired. Free. No registration required. Meeting place: Gooseberry Neck, Westport. Leader: Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director. 508-990-0505 x22, markmello@lloydcenter.org.

Winter Wildlife Walk

Saturday, January 9th 9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m., Lloyd Center lower parking area
Enjoy a refreshing morning walk to select locations in South Dartmouth to view and learn about the various adaptable species one might encounter in January in a coastal environment.

Of particular interest are seals and winter waterfowl found along the shoreline, where a passing raptor may also be observed. You'll also stroll the forested Lloyd center property to view its winter songbirds, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the forest in winter. If there's snow, evidence of mammal activity and perhaps a roaming fox can be enjoyed.

Dress warmly (boots if snow!), bring optical equipment (binoculars, camera); all are welcome!

Register by calling 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the walk, please call Jamie at 508-990-0505 x23 or email him at jbogart@lloydcenter.org.

NOFA/Mass 23rd Annual Winter Conference - "Food From Farms For Families"

January 16, 2010 Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, Ma
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) presents their 23rd Annual Winter Conference "Food From Farms For Families". Joel Salatin to present keynote speech and all day seminar "Introducing Livestock to your Farm." Over 40 workshops on organic farming, gardening, landscaping, and sustainable living. Lively exhibit area, NOFA/Mass Annual Meeting, great children and teens program, potluck lunch!

General registration fee $50 with discounts available. Registration for Salatin seminar $115 (includes entrance to entire conference). For more information visit http://www.nofamass.org/conferences/winter/index.php or contact Conference Coordinator, Jassy Bratko, jassy.bratko@nofamass.org or 978-928-5646

RI Local Food Forum

Wednesday, February 3 7:00AM - 3:00PM, Providence, RI
A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers.|| This year's theme is "Fresh for All". In addition to general networking and local food discussion, there will be a special focus on the exciting resurgence of RI agriculture is still just a few years in the making, and it's happening in large part due to the renewed interest of Rhode Islanders in where our food comes from. Yet this success presents new questions:
* Who is not being served by this recent success?
* How do we scale up to meet new demand?
Registration online. Free.

Slocum's River Long Walk

February 6 1 - 4PM, Slocum's River Reserve (directions)
The extensive conservation efforts led by The Trustees make it possible to walk from the Slocum's River to the Westport River almost entirely on protected land. Before watching the Super Bowl, get outside and stretch your legs on this 4.5-mile walk from the Slocum's River Reserve to the Buzzards Bay Brewery (where you can stock up for the game). Be aware that trails may be icy, snow covered, or muddy. Transportation will be provided back to your car.

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Spring Sustainability Courses

UMass Dartmouth is pleased to announce its spring, 2010 sustainability courses. See the course list here.

Winter Study 2009/2010

Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper)

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered - Monday November 23rd through approx. January 4th/11th

Healthy Crops: A New Agricultural Revolution - Jan 25th through approx. Feb 22nd/March 1st

We'll plan on gathering for 6 evenings for each book, leaving a little room in the schedule for any weather related cancellations.

To register for the either Winter Study (registration is free) please contact Derek Christianson at 508-992-1868 or derekchristianson@gmail.com.

We'll also be coordinating a wintertime garden planning course held in New Bedford in January and February... Planting Seeds in January stay tuned for more details.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip

Perceived obsolescence - fashion and trends

It's that time of the year when companies take advantage of dollars floating around for gift purchases to tout the latest and "new and improved" products; the stuff you just have to have in order to remain current and maintain your social status. Learn more here.

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