Having trouble reading this Atlas? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2010_11_26.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Sustainability Logo
November 26 to December 2

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Sustainability Film Series: Trashed

Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region


Save The Date:

LNG Coalition Meeting

Sustainability Film Series: Trashed



EPA Webcasts

Indoors farmers market in Fairhaven

Weekly Green Tip:

Reduce the High Impact of the Holidays

Clip of the Week

Bill McKibben on Cape Wind and more
Environmental writer Bill McKibben was a guest on On Point (NPR/WBUR). He talked after the show on April 30, 2010 about Cape Wind, green cities, and his own carbon footprint.

Weekly Quote:

"You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need."
- Vernon Howard

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
UN Greening the Blue Helmets: the UN Goes Green
The United Nations might be the body long responsible for hosting the forum for international agreement on climate change, so it's about time it gets its own climate house in order.

Imogen Martineau of Martineau & Co. is responsible for this task and she's using web 2.0 tools to do it. Though when I asked her how she was using social media to catalyze behavioural change, she wanted to be clear, "a website can't turn down the heating or turn down the air conditioning or shut the window, you need people to do that. The way we use it is what's important– it's the messaging and how you present information." Read more here.

Toilet The Virtues of Human Waste
Sasha Kramer got a Ph.D. from Stanford University and went on to install toilets. Now her work may help Haiti deal with its food, health, and environmental woes.

"Amazing!" declares Sasha Kramer as she emerges from a small outdoor toilet in the Port-au-Prince slum known as Cité Soleil. "It's completely clean," she says. "Come smell it!" Read more here.

Yum! 'Wonder food' spreads to Middle East
A nutritious blue-green algae, known as spirulina, has been added to school meals in Jordan to combat chronic malnutrition and anaemia among children.

Almost one in ten Jordanian children suffer from chronic malnutrition, or long-term protein or energy deficiency, while a third are anaemic, according to a survey by the Jordanian Department of Statistics (DOS) made public in March. Read more here.

Seeds FAO Seed Distribution and the Biopiracy Controversy
In rural parts of the developing world where many people depend on subsistence farming practices, food security is not about consistent access to a supermarket but about consistent access to seed. Small farmers typically depend on local seed systems, that farmers save and exchange seed, as well as commercial suppliers for the seeds that they have to buy from agro-dealers.

Often, though, access to seeds is tenuous. Commercial seeds can be prohibitively expensive and because of inadequate storage facilities, local supplies are often at risk of disease, pests, and inclement weather. Read more here.

Glaciers A Hidden Cost of Farming
When Don Mavinic looks at cow manure he sees a puzzle in need of a solution. There's phosphorus locked in there, and the world is desperate for it.

Mavinic is a professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and he knows that there are three essential nutrients on which all plant life is based: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The problem is that phosphate rock, the ore from which the mineral is extracted, is in finite supply. Read more here.

Melting? Leaking Siberian ice raises a tricky climate issue
CHERSKY, Russia – The Russian scientist shuffles across the frozen lake, scuffing aside ankle-deep snow until he finds a cluster of bubbles trapped under the ice. With a cigarette lighter in one hand and a knife in the other, he lances the ice like a blister. Methane whooshes out and bursts into a thin blue flame.

Gas locked inside Siberia's frozen soil and under its lakes has been seeping out since the end of the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Read more here.

Salazar Offshore Wind Power Gets a Boost
Interior Secretary Vows to Spur Projects with New "Smart Permitting Process"
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar vowed Tuesday to spur offshore wind projects in the Atlantic Ocean by expediting permits and identifying promising areas for wind power.

At a speech in Baltimore, Salazar said he will institute a "smart permitting process" that could result in leases issued within two years, instead of seven years or more. Read more here.

Coal Dirty Coal, Clean Future
To environmentalists, "clean coal" is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world's energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible. China is now the leader in this area, the Google and Intel of the energy world. If we are serious about global warming, America needs to work with China to build a greener future on a foundation of coal. Otherwise, the clean-energy revolution will leave us behind, with grave costs for the world's climate and our economy. Read more here.

Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling
A historic new ordinance bans natural gas drilling while elevating community decision making and the rights of nature over the "rights" associated with corporate personhood.
In a historic vote, the City of Pittsburgh today adopted a first-in-the-nation ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling in the city.

Faced with the potential for drilling—and the controversial new practice known as "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing—within city limits, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously said "no." Read more here.

Bags Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling
Electric conglomerate aims for "largest order in history" of battery-powered vehicles.
General Electric, the conglomerate that produces everything from power-plant turbines to television shows, wants to jumpstart the electric-vehicle market.

To do that, GE will place the "largest order in history" for electric vehicles, numbering in the tens of thousands, CEO Jeffrey Immelt said yesterday in London. Read more here.

Cement Cement-Like Creation Could Help the Environment
A Temple University researcher has developed a cement-like substance that could help with stormwater management while potentially keeping millions of plastic bottles out of landfills.

Naji Khoury, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Temple, uses a mixture of recyclable plastic bottles and soil to create "Plastisoil," a trademarked product he describes as an impervious cementing agent. Read more here.

Weak economy cut carbon pollution in '09
Here is one plus from the global economic recession: Carbon dioxide pollution last year dropped for the first time in a decade.

But it did not last and it was not as big a drop as expected.

Burning fossil fuels to power factories, cars, and airplanes spews out greenhouse gases that warm the world. Read more here.

No jive turkey Feds Peg Leaf Range at 73 Miles
Nissan disputes number, saying that electic car goes 80-100 miles in urban driving.
It's official: The Nissan Leaf electric car has an average range of 73 miles, according to tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

That's somewhat less than the 80-100-mile range claimed by Nissan for the first all-electric mass-produced passenger car to come to market in recent years. Range is the measure of how far the car will go on a full charge of its lithium-ion batteries before running out of power. Read more here.

Groups Sue EPA Over Lead Ammo, Tackle
Three environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to force it to prevent lead poisoning of wildlife from spent ammunition and lost fishing tackle.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by the Center for Biological Diversity, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the hunters group Project Gutpile. It comes after the EPA denied their petition to ban lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle, which the groups say kills 10 million to 20 million birds and other animals a year by lead poisoning. Read more here.

Cape Wind Last big hurdle passed for Cape Wind
National Grid can purchase output
The state Department of Public Utilities gave permission yesterday for National Grid to purchase half of Cape Wind's power, removing the last significant hurdle for construction to begin on the controversial wind farm in Nantucket Sound next year.

The agency, however, refused to approve a second agreement for the sale of the project's remaining power. Read more here.

'Banner year' for sustainability office, green efforts at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
DARTMOUTH — It has been, in the words of one employee, "a banner year" for the sustainability office at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

The office, which was created three years ago, has led a program aimed a better utilizing the campus's 700 wooded acres, is involved in a green jobs training center planned for New Bedford, and is helping with a $35 million energy-savings program and planned wind turbine. Now it is close to landing a new graduate certificate program in sustainability. Read more here.

LNG company responds to delegation's attempt to block plan
FALL RIVER — Weaver's Cove Energy has fired back.

The company behind the Taunton River liquefied natural gas terminal proposal has written a letter that stresses the economic benefits of the project while assuaging safety concerns. Read more here.

Designs sought for proposed rail station in New Bedford
The city and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation are throwing open to the public the design process for a proposed rail station, kicking off an informal competition on Tuesday to solicit innovative design ideas.

The station proposed for the Whale's Tooth parking lot will be built as part of the South Coast Rail project and may host a new local and inter-city bus terminal. Read more here.

Recycling Recycling day at the dump draws a crowd in Johnston
It looked like Black Friday at the state's Central Landfill on Saturday. Traffic barely moved. Police controlled the intersections. And cars were backed up onto Route 295.

But nobody was shopping.

This was Rhode Island Recycles Day, when the state's Resource Recovery Corporation accepts, free of charge, household hazardous wastes, computers and televisions, sensitive documents requiring shredding, and large plastic items not accepted in green recycling bins. Read more here.

Solar installation under way on Fairhaven public works buildings
A plan to put solar panels on three public works buildings in Fairhaven is one-third complete, with the wrapping up of installation work at the West Island satellite treatment plant this week.

A total of 102.7 kilowatts worth of solar photovoltaic arrays is being installed, with most of the panels planned for the main administration and garage building on Arsene Street and a smaller array to be installed on the wastewater treatment sludge building, in addition to the West Island site. Read more here.

Wind-farm opponents file briefs with RI high court
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Opponents of a power-purchase agreement involving an offshore wind-energy developer have filed briefs in the state Supreme Court case that seeks to overturn the pact.

The briefs were submitted Monday as part of the appeal lodged by the Attorney General's Office, the Conservation Law Foundation and the private companies Toray Plastics and Polytop Corporation. Read more here.

Harbor funding sparks outcry
Trustees urged to reconsider city proposals
NEW BEDFORD — One by one, they stepped to the microphone Tuesday night at a New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council public hearing — elected officials, average citizens, residents, non-residents — to express what they saw as a fundamental unfairness.

How, many speakers wondered, could the trustee council, in this fourth and final round of funding, have passed over all three of the city's applications in favor of projects far from the epicenter of the pollution that so damaged New Bedford Harbor? Read more here, or read commentary - Hey green guys! It's New Bedford Harbor

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Buy Nothing Day Winter Coat Exchange

November 26, 10:00 a.m - 2:00 p.m., St. John's Cathedral, 270 N. Main St, Providence
If you have a coat to give, please drop it off. If you need a coat, please pick one one. Details here.

Post-Thanksgiving Day Walk

November 27, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, Destruction Brook Woods
Free and open to the public. Walk off your Thanksgiving-day feast on one of our most popular loctions.

Winter is for the Birds!

November 27, 1:00PM- 2:30PM, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Members: $10/family Non-members: $20/family
Would you like to make your yard more wildlife-friendly? Does it really matter what birdseed mix you use? Join us for this family workshop to learn about the food, water and habitat needs of our feathered friends. We'll wrap up the workshop by making a wood and Plexiglas bird feeder to take home. The program fee includes 1 bird feeder kit per family. Additional kits will be available for purchase the day of the workshop at $6 each. Participants must pre-register and pay in advance by calling the North Woods Gift Store at (508) 991-4556 x 14 or by visiting www.bpzoo.org.

Intro to Nutrient Dense Crop Production

November 30, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Friends' Academy
Free! Introduction to Nutrient Dense Crop Production and the Real Food Campaign. Presented by Dan Kittredge, life-long organic farmer, Director of Real Food Campaign, and instructor of a 5-part course in Dartmouth 2011: www.realfoodcampaign.org. Dan is giving a series of free public lectures about principles of biological management and nutrient density all over the Northeast this Fall in October and November of 2010. Visit the FREE event in Dartmouth, MA!! Details here.

Place-Based Learning Symposium

December 1-3, Various times, New Bedford Ocean Explorium
An amazing array of activities at the Explorium. Join us for a free, engaging symposium on best-practices in Place-Based Learning Education! Details here, and agenda here (PDF).

Sustainability Film Series: Trashed

December 1, 6:30PM, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
"Trashed" is a provocative investigation of one of the fastest growing industries in North America. The garbage business. The film examines a fundamental element of modern American culture…the disposal of what our society defines as "waste." It is an issue influenced by every American, most of whom never consider the consequences. Nor, it seems, the implications to our biosphere. At times humorous, but deeply poignant, "Trashed" examines the American waste stream fast approaching a half billion tons annually. What are the effects all this waste will have on already strained natural resources? Why is so much of it produced? While every American creates almost 5 pounds of it every day, who is affected most? And who wants America to make more? Details here.

Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region

December 2, 1:00PM - 5:00 PM, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center Auditorium (ATMC), Fall River
Throughout Southeastern Massachusetts dozens of elected officials, government employees, and community activists have been developing sustainability programs. These leaders may have differing motivations, but their programs are advancing fiscal responsibility, ecological restoration and building resilient communities.

These leaders are tackling the difficult issues of our time. They're overcoming obstacles and creating successes. Come hear their inspiring stories. Details here.

Green Drinks Newport

December 2, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., Newport location varies.
About: Green Drinks is an international organization that allows people in the "green" and environmental community to come together. Through this network people have made friends, found jobs, exchanged information, developed new ideas and have helped others in the field with special projects. Most of all, people have fun! Info: Contact Kara DiCamillo at kara@6square.com. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

World Sustainable Development Teach-in Day: Food, Wine & Sustainability

December 3, 1:00PM, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
Join Indic Studies and the Sustainability Initiative for World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day to discuss Sustainable Development towards local solutions to a global change including Food, Wine and Sustainability on the South Coast. Details here.

Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil, the Financial Crisis, and the Path to Sustainability

December 7, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons
Peak oil expert Richard Hienburg will speak at UMass Dartmouth's Woodland Commons on Tuesday, December 7, about peak oil, it's impact on the financial crisis, and how to move forward from there.

Annual Farm to School Stakeholders Meeting

December 7, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Providence
This is an opportunity for farmers, food service providers, and distributors to talk about the successes and challenges of the farm to school program. Hosted by Kids First at the DEM room 300: 235 Promenade St., Providence, RI.

Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities

December 9, 7:00 PM, Calvary Temple Assembly of God, 4321 North Main St., Fall River, MA
Please make every effort to attend. Bring a friend! Email: nolng1@yahoo.com

Aha! Presentation at Coaltion for Buzzards Bay

December 9, 5-9:00 PM, Calvary Temple Assembly of God, 4321 North Main St., Fall River, MA
he Coalition for Buzzards Bay is now a partner of Aha!, New Bedford's free downtown cultural night and collaborative organization with over 60 downtown venue partners. Aha! night takes place on the second Thursday of the month from 5-9pm. At the Buzzards Bay Center, guests can visit the Richard C. Wheeler Bay Learning Center every month or enjoy our unique program offering each month.

On December 9th, to celebrate this month's Starry Night theme, The Coalition will host a multimedia presentation by Captain and Maritime Historian Carl Herzog who will be discussing the night sky and how mariners have been using it for centuries to navigate the world's oceans. Carl is a Master Mariner and former editor of Reed's Nautical Almanac who has taught Celestial Navigation for Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. A formal presentation takes place at 7pm with questions before and after. Details here.

DNRT Holiday Party

December 10, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Old Southworth Library
The Board of Directors of Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust invites you to its annual Holiday Celebration. Help us celebrate another successful year of land conservation! Mulled Cider and Hors D'oeuvres will be served. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
SEMAP Announces First-Ever Membership Drive!
At Thursday's Annual Meeting, SEMAP's executive director, Bridget Alexander Ferreira, announced SEMAP's first-ever membership drive. "We want to keep the momentum from the relaunch going," said Alexander Ferreira. "Our goal is 500 new and renewing members by January 1, 2011," she continued. With SEMAP's newly established 501(c)(3) designation as a charitable non-profit, donations are now tax deductible and with the new website, memberships can be taken on-line. Invest in your community – invest in you - support SEMAP. See "Get Involved" above to become a member, volunteer or sponsor. Projects Learn more here, or join here.
EPA Webcasts and Podcasts: Local Climate and Energy Webcasts
The Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series assists local governments as they explore topics related to local government climate change and clean energy efforts. These monthly webcasts highlight EPA resources available to local governments and present examples of successful climate and energy programs and policies implemented locally. Presentations, recordings, and other supplemental materials are available sorted by topic or sorted by date. Learn more here.
DOE Technical Assistance Program Webinars
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Technical Assistance Program Webinars for Fall 2010. Visit to see the list of webinar topics and to sign up for the webinars. The TAP Webinar series will address key issues and challenges that energy practitioners may face in implementing their projects and programs, including: * Structuring incentives to effectively drive demand for residential retrofits * Tips and tools for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in your community * Maximizing energy savings in buildings by using energy management systems * Tracking data and developing savings estimates for energy efficiency projects. Learn more here.
Coalition Seeks Executive Assistant
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay seeks a highly-organized and personally engaging professional to serve as Executive Assistant to the President of this rapidly growing regional conservation organization. The full-time position reports directly to and works closely with the President and joins a talented staff and dedicated Board of Directors. The Executive Assistant provides support to the President in the areas of nonprofit governance, major gift fundraising, and administration. Projects Learn more here.
DOE Technical Assistance Program Webinars
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Technical Assistance Program Webinars for Fall 2010. Visit to see the list of webinar topics and to sign up for the webinars. The TAP Webinar series will address key issues and challenges that energy practitioners may face in implementing their projects and programs, including: * Structuring incentives to effectively drive demand for residential retrofits * Tips and tools for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in your community * Maximizing energy savings in buildings by using energy management systems * Tracking data and developing savings estimates for energy efficiency projects. Learn more here.
Take Action: Help Support EECBG Funding
We need your help. In order to secure ongoing funding for the EECBG program, we must show how cities and counties are effectively using their EECBG dollars to create jobs, reduce energy consumption and curb carbon pollution. The Energy Block Grants Work! campaign invites you to join us in showcasing how your community and your colleagues throughout the nation are effectively using your EECBG funding. Right now we need information on how your community is using its EECBG funding. We will develop a profile of your clean energy projects for our national report and include your locality among the many EECBG stories we intend to promote.

The EECBG program will not be funded again if cities and counties sit on the sidelines. With your support, we can successfully demonstrate that Energy Block Grants Work! Learn about the grants here.
Essay Contest for Kids and Teens
Like A Drop of Water's writing contest offers young people, ages eight through seventeen, world wide the opportunity to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. We hope parents, grandparents and teachers will feel free to share their ideas with their young author. Teachers and their students may submit a class essay as well as serve as judges. Learn about the contest here.
Fall/Winter Indoor Farmer's Market in Fairhaven!
We are excited to announce that we will have a Fall/Winter Indoor Farmers Market in Fairhaven this year. The market will be held at The Nemasket Gallery on the corner of Green and Bridge Streets. The first date for market is Sunday, October 24th from 1-4pm. Now we can all continue to buy local and support our farmers and crafters. More details to follow! Read the market blog here.
Farmer's Markets!
With the harvest winding down, it's time to get out and buy from your local farmers. Support local growers, raisers, craftspeople, and other businesses at your local farmer's markets this summer. See the local list 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
Reduce the High Impact of the Holidays
Between the food waste associated with Thanksgiving, the wrapping and packaging inherent in Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa gifts, and liquor bottles and party favors that go along with New Year celebrations, the holidays can be a particularly waste intensive time of the year. Here are some tips to "green up" your holidays: Learn more here.

Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Sustainability Almanac. If you unsubscribe, we'd appreciate if you could tell us what prompted the unsubscription.