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May 12 to 19, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Breeding Bird Walk



Save The Date:

Principles of Organic Gardening




Summer and Fall Sustainability Courses

Adult Sustainability Camp

Weekly Green Tip:

Soap Nuts: Nature's Green Detergent

Clip of the Week

Ideas (and hopes) for plugging the gusher
Satish Nagarajaiah, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Rice University, explains the ideas being applied to plugging the underwater-oil-volcano in the Gulf of Mexico like the "junk shot" and the "top hat."

Weekly Quote:

"The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Leaf Bullet News
PalmRumble in the Jungle: Activists vs Palm Oil
Wake up in the morning. Enjoy a warm, soapy shower. Eat a bowl of cereal, perhaps with soy milk. Dab on some lipstick ...

Perform any of those mundane tasks and chances are you've done your bit to destroy a patch of rainforest somewhere in Indonesia where vast stands of virgin trees have been cut, bulldozed, and burned to clear land for palm oil plantations. Once used primarily in cosmetics, palm oil, which is free of artery-clogging trans fats, has become the ingredient du jour in processed foods. Read more here.

Germany needs storage solution for green power
Germany is at the forefront of installing renewable energy but there is an Achilles heel to its strategy.

The wind does not always blow and the sun may not shine all day. Read more here.

Offshore energy's headwinds could cost Europe dearly
A boom in offshore wind power sparked by the European Union's espousal of the technology runs the risk of becoming a bubble unless installation, running and repair costs are more clearly defined. Read more here.

OilIn Gulf of Mexico, Chemicals Under Scrutiny
As they struggle to plug a leak from a ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, BP and federal officials are also engaging in one of the largest and most aggressive experiments with chemical dispersants in the history of the country, and perhaps the world.

With oil continuing to gush from the deep well, they have sprayed 160,000 gallons of chemical dispersant on the water’s surface and pumped an additional 6,000 gallons directly onto the leak, a mile beneath the surface. Read more here.

SlickMapping the Scale of the Oil Gushing From the Gulf Coast Ocean Floor
It is difficult to imagine the sheer size of the oil slick surfacing from the (so far) uncontainable oil well blowout on the ocean floor in the Gulf. Paul Rademacher, Google Map’s Engineering Manager has come up with a mapping tool that enables you to put this disaster in perspective; by bringing it home to your own neighborhood. Read more here.

Senate climate bill unveiled; fate uncertain
A U.S. Senate compromise bill aimed at battling global warming would cut emissions of greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020, according to a summary given to senators and obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

The legislation, being offered by Democratic Senator John Kerry and Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman, faces a tough battle for passage in the Senate this year -- especially without a Republican sponsor. Read more here.

GardenThe Rise of Company Gardens
HERE at the world headquarters of PepsiCo, the masterminds behind $60 billion worth of Mountain Dew, Cheetos and Rice-A-Roni roam polished hallways.

But a five-minute walk away is the organic corporate vegetable garden, where spreadsheets and performance reviews give way to basil starts and black peppermint plants. Employees can sneak out for a quick lunchtime weeding session and cart home the harvest. Read more here.

Radioactive water reaches N.J. aquifer
Radioactive water that leaked from the nation’s oldest nuclear power plant has reached an aquifer that supplies drinking water to much of southern New Jersey, the state’s environmental chief said yesterday.

The state Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station to halt the spread of contaminated water underground, even as it said there was no imminent threat to drinking water supplies. Read more here.

OrganicPresident's Panel: 'Eat Organic, Ward off Cancer'
Thanks to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times ("New alarm bells about chemicals and cancer") for telling readers about a report on chemicals and cancer released last week by the President's Cancer Panel.

I had never heard of this panel—appointed during the Bush Administration, no less—and went right to its 2008-2009 annual report (PDF). Read more here.

CSAFARM LEAGUE: CSAs a chance to buy local and protect rural land
Dartmouth — If there’s one bit of advice that farmer Andy Pollack hopes the public will follow, it’s the local food movement mantra: Eat your view.

One of the best ways to maintain rural farmland and ensure an abundance of locally grown food, he said, is by joining a community-supported agriculture program such as the one he runs at Silverbrook Farm on Chace Road in Dartmouth. “If your goal is to encourage agriculture in Dartmouth, then the best way to do that is by making the work profitable for local farmers,” he said. Read more here.

Fed report shows gains for fish stocks
Along with Atlantic swordfish, Atlantic scup, Gulf of Maine thorny skate and Gulf of Mexico pink shrimp were also removed from the overfished/overfishing list.

NOAA defines "overfishing" to mean a harvest rate higher than what would produce a maximum stainable yield, and "overfished" to mean a stock whose biomass level is below a biological threshold established under a management plan. Read more here.

Cape WindCape Wind has its 1st buyer
Cape Wind, the controversial wind farm proposed for Nantucket Sound, has signed its first deal to sell power: a 15-year contract with local utility National Grid, at a price that will add $1.59 a month to the average customer’s bill in its first year. The contract, which includes a 3.5 percent annual price increase, will be submitted on Monday to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for approval. Read more here.

New Bedford eyed as Cape Wind construction base
NEW BEDFORD — The developers of the newly approved Cape Wind project are eyeing New Bedford as one of two possible home ports for the project, a project official confirmed Thursday.

"We're taking a very close and interested look in New Bedford," said Mark Rodgers, communications director for Cape Wind. Read more here.

MarketPopular farmers’ markets opening for business around Rhode Island
The farmers’ market season opened this week in Rhode Island with people in the state and around the country expecting such shopping events will maintain their recent popularity.

There are roughly 5,300 organized farmers’ markets in the United States, according to the Farmers Market Coalition, nearly double the number 10 years ago. Farm Fresh Rhode Island, a nonprofit group that supports the local food industry, lists more than 40 farmers’ markets that plan to operate in 2010 in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Free movie: FRESH

May 13th, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, Tabor Academy, Lyndon South Auditorium in the Academic Center, Marion
The first in the Marion Institute’s Sustainable Screening Series, a series that will be brought to the tri-town every few months with the goal of turning individuals’ passions and ideas into community wide conversation and action.

FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for the future of our food and our planet. FRESH addresses an ethos that has been sweeping the nation and is the call to action America has been waiting for.

Arbor Day Spring Cleanup

May 15th, 9:00AM - 12:00PM, Marion Music Hall
Meet at the Music Hall to get your bags, gloves and street assignments. All collected trash will be returned to the Music Hall. Thank you for your help in cleaning up the town.

4th Annual Rhode Island Wool and Fiber Festival

May 15th*, 9:00AM - 4:00PM, Bristol, RI (directions)
Come see sheep shearing done by hand, make crafts in the Kid's Tent, watch a Fleece to Shawl contest, skirting of wool demonstrations and other interesting demonstrations by local Guilds, see fiber animals, learn about Rhody Warm Blankets, and browse the many, many vendors with wool and fiber related items for sale. And of course, tour the Museums? 18th Century Farmhouse to see hearth cooking, weaving, spinning and dyeing. Details here.


May 15th*, 7:00am - 8:30am, Lloyd Center Headquarters, lower lot, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Rise early to see and hear avian life during the peak of breeding season on our unique Hardscrabble Nature Preserve with its forest, freshwater wetlands, and estuary habitats. In addition to learning about the birds encountered during this early morning stroll through the Center's trail system, participants will discover other interesting aspects of nature on the Lloyd Center property. This walk is suitable for all levels ... novice birders especially welcome. Participants should bring binoculars. To learn more about this event, call the Lloyd Center Event Line (508-558-2918)
(*raindate: Sunday, May 16)

Lyme Awareness Fair

May 16th, 11:00am - 3:00 pm, Grange Hall, 931 Main Rd, Westport
Informational booths on Lyme and the various co-infections. Including: symptoms, diagnosing/testing, treatment and therapies, tick education for children, protecting your property, personal protection, protecting your pets, books and other resources.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Food Design - A Film by Martin Hablesreiter and Sonja Stummerer

May 20, Doors at 6, Film at 7, Local 121 in Providence, RI (directions)
The sound of sausage: When a bite produces a distinct crunch, they taste particularly good. Fish sticks, on the other hand, don't make such great noises, but they can be arranged nicely in the pan. And is it merely a coincidence that bologna fits perfectly onto a slice of bread, and that when combined, they make up a popular snack?

FOOD DESIGN takes a look at the secret chambers of a major manufacturer of food, where designers and scientists are defining your favorite mouthful of tomorrow. It shows how form, color, smell, consistency, the sounds made during eating, manufacturing technique, history and stories are all aspects of food and eating that both influence food design, and are created by it. Hosted by Farm Fresh RI, EcoRI and Local 121 at the Local 121: 121 Washington St, Providence, RI. Local Buffet Dinner (optional) is available for $12. Pay at the Bar.

Principles of Organic Gardening

May 20, 6:30 to 8 PM, Seekonk Public Library, 410 Newman Ave.
Katherine Brown, Executive Director of Southside Community Land Trust in Providence, will give a presentation on organic gardening – turning over the soil for the first time, preparing the soil, selecting hardy seedlings, fertilizing, and insect control. Since its founding in 1981, SCLT has turned approximately 5 acres of formerly vacant lots into community gardens, expanded its farm operation to 50 preserved acres in Cranston, established the Broad Street Farmer's Market, and developed a successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. SCLT has grown, donated and sold hundreds of pounds of organic produce, helped 15 schools start their own gardens and garden clubs, hosted countless numbers of young people at City Farm's Children's Garden, educated volunteers about urban environmental and local food issues, and assisted in the start-up of 7 new minority-owned farm businesses.

Free film: DIRT

May 21, 7:00 PM, Parish House at the corner of Center and Green Streets in Fairhaven
The acclaimed movie,”Dirt” will be shown at the Unitarian church of Fairhaven as part of the eco/social justice Friday film series. Film night is Friday May 21 at 7:00 in the Parish House at the corner of Center and Green Streets in Fairhaven. For more information call the church office at 508 9927081.

“Dirt takes center stage in this entertaining yet poignant documentary from Bill Benenson, Gene Rosow and Eleonore Dailly, which unearths our cosmic connection to soil and explores how diverse groups of people are uniting to save the natural resource. Drawing inspiration from William Bryant Logan's book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, the filmmakers combine lively animations with personal accounts from farmers, scientists, activists and more.”.

Community Garden Kick-off

May 22, 9AM - 12Noon, Westport Town Farm (directions)
Inch by inch, row by row, help us make this garden grow! Cultivate a stronger community along with delicious fresh veggies by joining us for our first community garden volunteer day of the year. Details here.

Paper Shredding Day for Southcoast Businesses and Residents

May 22, 9 am to 1 pm, parking lot across from City Hall on the corner of William Street and North 6th Street
Businesses and residents of New Bedford and the surrounding communities are welcome to bring two boxes of paper (e.g. bank statements, medical forms, insurance forms, retired tax forms, receipts, personal files) FREE of charge. There is a charge of $5 per box for more than two boxes. Each box should weigh no more than 30 pounds. Paper clips and staples do not need to be removed, but please remove paper from folders and binders. Shredded paper will be recycled into new products such as paper towels. Call (508) 979-1493.

Swansea Beach Cleanup

May 22, Swansea
Early arrivals find coffee and donuts available to get them started before being deployed down onto the beach. At noon, the Friends will again provide free hot dogs, pizza, chips, and drinks to all the volunteers. Cotton gloves are also available to protect against blisters and volunteers are asked to bring a rake, pitch fork, or shovel if they can. This event has become the traditional summer kick off for many in the neighborhood. For more information, call the FOBOGNA info line at 508-678-7000. Details here.

People’s Power & Light’s Wind Fest Outdoor festival

May 22, 10:30am – 1:30pm, Portsmouth, RI HS
People’s Power & Light is hosting a wind festival. Join us on Saturday May 22nd, 2010 at the Town of Portsmouth’s wind turbine, to celebrate its one year anniversary. Come see the turbine up close. Learn about how the project got started and its exceptional results to date from People’s Power and Light staff, the Portsmouth town council, and the community.

Enjoy a number of activities from art projects to field games and dancing to fresh folk music. Complimentary refreshments and T-shirts will be available while supplies last. Please invite your friends and relatives. People’s Power and Light staff will describe how interested people can enroll in the GreenStart program so they can support more projects like this one. Together we can build a more sustainable future in New England!

How Do You Picture Lakeville's Future?

May 25, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Lakeville Public Library, 4 Precinct Street, Lakeville
Mass Audubon and the Horsley Witten Group invite you to a free workshop! Join us and learn effective strategies for working with your local officials to guide community development, protect your vital water resources, and ensure a high quality of life for years to come. We will focus on Lakeville as an example, but welcome participants from all surrounding communities.

Osprey Tour with Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures

May 29, 9AM - 1PM, Osprey Sea Kayak, Westport (directions)
The Westport River is home to the largest Osprey colony in New England. Come explore the river and observe these magnificent birds from our excellent vantage point. We'll paddle along the islands to view the ospreys watching over their nests, soaring above the river, and dramatically diving for food. Shelli Costa, Education Director, from the Westport River Watershed Alliance, will join us to add insight into their behavior. This is a bird lover's trip not to be missed. Costs are $40 for members, and $50 for non-members. Please contact Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures at (508) 636-0300 to register for this event. Details here.

Wildflower Walk

June 5, 9:00 am – 11:00 am, Deconstruction Brook Woods in Dartmouth - directions
With guest leader Martha “Mike” Schroder.

Climate Action Plan workshops

June 9, 8:00-4:00 pm, UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons and Library Browsing Area
Colleges & Universities are encouraged to send represenative teams of faculty, staff, students and administrators for a chance to network with peer institutions and learn best practices in the creation, submission, and implementation of campus climate action plans.

Workshop topics:

  • Energy Efficiency: Low & No Cost Non-building efficiency programs
  • Pathways toward zero net energy buildings
  • Reducing Scope Three Emissions: Commuting and Travel
  • Reducing Carbon Through Offsets and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
  • Financing Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects
  • Massachusetts Energy Policies and Campus Climate Programs
Individual opportunities to have your questions answered by the experts! Details here.

Regional Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting

June 10, 3-5 p.m., AD Makepeace, Wareham, MA (directions)
With a focus on sustainable food and agriculture Guest Speaker: Scott Soares Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Details here.

Wild at the Zoo Gala

June 26
SAVE THE DATE for the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society’s Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, July 17th and party with a purpose! Have a Wild Night at the Zoo and help sustain the Zoo’s educational and conservation programs. The event includes a dinner buffet, open bar and a photo with our Asian elephants, Emily & Ruth!

Stay tuned for more information! Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Summer and Fall Sustainability Courses
We are pleased to announce our summer and fall sustainability courses, including several online-only courses for those hot summer months. See the course list here.
Save the date: ADULT Sustainability Camp
How to Improve and Maintain Personal & Planetary Well-Being. Sponsored by The Second Half: Life Long Learning Institute & University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Retirees Association. $125/participant includes field trips, lunch, and interactive class sessions with renown faculty presenters. Click here for more information and to register, or contact Jen Gonet at jgonet@umassd.edu.
Save the date: Sustainability Camp
We will be offering our third Sustainability Camp at UMass Dartmouth this coming July 12-16. This year's camp will focus on building a sustainable school. Offered for middle school students, the camp costs $80, with scholarships available. Contact Jen Gonet at jgonet@umassd.edu.
NewsletterSpring Sustainability Newsletter Launched
We're proud to announce that the spring newsletter has been published! Check it out to learn about the imminent launch of our Sustainability Assessment and Climate Action Plan, find out about our plans to turn the long-neglected UMass Dartmouth Forest into a living classroom, get updates on numerous campus sustainability proejcts, and find out about our growing Green Navigator program. Download the newsletter PDF here.

City of New Bedford's Energy Office seeking interns

The Office promotes sustainability activities within city government as will all other sectors. Activities include energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, waste reduction, green buildings, alternative fuels, efficient transportation, recycling, water conservation, and other areas designed to reduce the environmental impacts of city activities and operations. The team works to develop policies and guidance, as well as identify and implement appropriate projects that will facilitate meeting short and long-range goals and targets, particularly the climate and energy goals established by the Mayor's Office. Contact Scott.Durkee@NewBedford-MA.gov for more info.

CSASign up for your local "CSA"
As New England eases its way into spring with its ususal fits and starts, it's time to start thinking about joing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA is a prepaid subscription to a farm's produce for the season. Most CSAs give shareholders a weekly supply of veggies, herbs, fruits and sometimes even eggs and meat. You know it's fresh and you get to meet the farm and people who grew your food! The prepaid CSA arrangements also makes it a source of financial security for the farmer. Find a list of CSAs here.

Bioneers Seeking Workshop Proposals

Please SAVE THE DATE for the 6th Annual Conference, Thursday October 21st - Sunday October 24th, in historic Downtown New Bedford MA.

We are now excepting workshop proposals for the 2010 conference. To submit a workshop proposal please download the form below and e-mail it back to us at glenn@marioninstitute.org. Thank you for your participation, we can't wait for your ideas! Details here.

The Marion Institute seeks a Development Fundraising Professional

The Marion Institute (MI) (www.marioninstitute.org) seeks a Development Fundraising Professional to join the Executive Director and MI team. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of leading and managing all aspects of MI's fundraising. Founded in 1993, the Marion Institute is a member based non-profit that acts as an incubator for a diverse array of programs and projects that delve into the root cause of an issue and seeks to create deep and positive change. We work with individuals, schools and communities to inspire change in the areas of health and healing, sustainability, green economics, environmental education, spirituality and much more. Details here.

Lloyd Center Seeking Director of Development

The Lloyd Center for the Environment, a highly regarded research and educational organization, headquartered in Dartmouth Massachusetts, seeks an experienced Director of Development to work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in developing and executing an aggressive fundraising strategy. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Soapnuts - nature's detergent
The natural world provides us with all that we need for cleaning and washing without having to resort to environmentally harsh synthetic chemicals. For example, the soapnut; nature's own detergent! Learn more here.

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