Having trouble reading this Atlas? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2010_12_16.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Sustainability Logo
December 16-23, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Green Futures Meeting

Brix Bounty Open Greenhouse


Save The Date:

NOFA/Mass Winter Conference

Wilderness First Aid Course



Know Your Vegetables Winter Study

Explorium Seeking Volunteers

Weekly Green Tip:

Reduce the High Impact of the Holidays

Clip of the Week

Eating Local During the Winter
Eating local offers a bounty of benefits, from feasting on fresher foods to saving money and emissions. As an added bonus, delicious rutabagas await! Umbra shows you how to get your mitts on seasonal goods all year 'round.

Weekly Quote:

"Before anyone can begin to understand the shifting paradigm or the basics of an eco-economy, one needs to believe.
Believe that water is finite and the air needs to be cleaned. Believe in the power of one and the voices of many, and that leadership comes in many forms.
Believe that people caring for the planet can create profit.
Believe that the challenge and the urgency is greater than ever before.
Believe that we can walk into the future by joining hands with the past, capturing wisdom that has endured.
Believe that the road is long; our footsteps today create the footprints of tomorrow, but we must, we can, we will step in the direction of our own humanity to help right the wrongs.

Believe the world needs healing. Imagine the possibilities. Act to make a difference."
- Jude Sonder, GCSD Student, 2010

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Bangladesh Climate Talks End With Modest Deal on Emissions
The United Nations climate change conference began with modest aims and ended early Saturday with modest achievements. But while the measures adopted here may have scant near-term impact on the warming of the planet, the international process for dealing with the issue got a significant vote of confidence.

The agreement fell well short of the broad changes scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous climate change in coming decades. But it lays the groundwork for stronger measures in the future, if nations are able to overcome the emotional arguments that have crippled climate change negotiations in recent years. Read more here.

Branson Billionaire Richard Branson Calls For a Global Carbon Tax
Sir Richard Branson, the brash, suave, billionaire adventurer has suggested that a carbon tax can stave off a global climate crisis, as long as it is systemically and equitably implemented. In Cancún for the UN climate talks, Branson suggested that businesses and entrepreneurs could reach emission reduction goals if world governments were unable to reach substantive agreements, but we would be better with governmental frameworks taking the lead.

"The ideas are out there," Branson told reporters. "But if the worst came to the worst and governments did not get their act together, industry should be able to solve the problems themselves. If governments set a framework in which clean energy was not taxed and dirty energy was, then there is a chance. That's what government has to do." Read more here.

LED Scientists hail low-cost Organic LED breakthrough
nnovative new production technique promises to slash the cost of energy efficient monitors
Scientists in Germany have perfected a technique that they say could drastically reduce the cost of organic light-emitting diodes (LED), potentially leading to cheap, large, ultra-thin and highly energy efficient monitors and displays.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Aachen, Germany are working together with Philips to create a new way to build OLED displays. Read more here.

Tidal Assessing the environmental effects of tidal turbines
Harnessing the power of ocean tides has long been imagined, but countries are only now putting it into practice. A demonstration project planned for Puget Sound will be the first tidal energy project on the west coast of the United States, and the first array of large-scale turbines to feed power from ocean tides into an electrical grid.

University of Washington researchers are devising ways to site the tidal turbines and measure their environmental effects. Brian Polagye, UW research assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will present recent findings this week in an invited talk at the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting in San Francisco. Read more here.

Solar America's largest solar PV plant completed in Nevada
Arizona firm First Solar has completed America's largest solar photovoltaic plant, a 48-megawatt facility in Boulder City, Nevada.

The company supplied solar panels as well as engineering, procurement and construction services for the Copper Mountain Solar facility on behalf of energy company Sempra Generation, a sister company of the California utility San Diego Gas & Electric. Read more here.

Scientists generate two energetic electronic states from one photon
Double yield via singlet fission could mean 35% efficiency boost for solar.

Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the University of Colorado, Boulder (UCB), have reported the first designed molecular system that produces two triplet states from an excited singlet state of a molecule, with essentially perfect efficiency.

The breakthrough could lead to a 35 percent increase in light-harvesting yield in cells for photovoltaics and solar fuels. Read more here.

Home Homemade Prosperity
Caught in the consumer trap? Radical Homemaker Shannon Hayes discovered that producing what she needs at home lets her live on a fraction of what she thought she needed.

It should have been a high point in my life. I had just successfully defended my dissertation and had three potential job opportunities. But I found myself pacing around our cabin or walking the hills of my family's farm, alternately weeping and hurling invectives into the country air. Bob and I were fighting with a force I'd never seen. Read more here.

The Administration Explores a 'Clean Energy' Standard That Includes Nuclear Power
The subject of the high-level Washington conference yesterday was the future of nuclear power.

The theme was much more ambitious -- how to get a national energy plan for 2025 or 2050 when the political process stumbling over next month's agenda and the current bargain price for natural gas dominate industry thinking. Read more here.

P&G Announces First Zero Waste Facility in U.S.
Procter and Gamble's manufacturing facility in Auburn, Maine became the company's first in North America to achieve Zero Waste-to-Landfill status by recycling or reusing more than 60% of the overall waste produced and incinerating the rest for energy production. But does waste incineration have any place in a zero waste program? Read more here.

Charge! The Charging Conundrum: How To Feed Electric Cars?
The electric car is no longer just a project for smarty-pants MIT students. Here in the U.S., plug-in electric cars are now in showrooms and on the highways. What's missing, though, is a convenient way to refuel those cars with electricity.

That's what Russell Rankin has discovered. Rankin is an enthusiastic entrepreneur who has 13 electric vehicles charging up at the back of the Loews Hotel in Annapolis, Md. They're not quite cars, but they're more than golf carts — three rows of two seats, open on the sides, about 12 feet long. Read more here.

Manure Why Farmers Are Flocking to Manure
I half-jokingly suggested about a year ago that animal manure—used livestock, horse, and chicken bedding—was going to be the hottest commodity on the Chicago Board of Trade one of these days. Shortly after that I got a call from a close acquaintance who manages an awesome business of growing 8,000 acres of corn and soybeans—which he knows I consider insane. He wanted to tell me something I never expected to hear from him: He was thinking of going into the feedlot beef business. I reminded him that this is rarely profitable in Ohio except as a tax shelter, but he said he didn't care if it only broke even. It was the manure that he was after, for fertilizer. And he had not read what I had been writing in that regard. Holy shit. I almost dropped the phone. Most of the farmers in my neck of the cornfields agree with what one of them told me over a martini one day: "The only shit that is going to drop on this farm is mine and my wife's." He much preferred fertilizing with anhydrous ammonia (one whiff of which could kill him and his wife). Read more here.

Beer The Green Brewhaha
Triple Pundit has been investigating what makes the world's biggest and smallest companies sustainable for over five years. We're not ashamed to admit that we often end a long day with a cold one. Beer has often been a catalyst in our discussions and networking, not to mention something we enjoy in our time off.

Now, we're reaching out to brewers large and small to seek out what "sustainability" means to them, and to help tell the story of "green", socially conscious brewing. Read more here.

Recyclemania N.E. Colleges Invited to Compete for 2011 Recycling Title
BOSTON — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opened registration to U.S. colleges and universities for Recyclemania 2011.

Recyclemania is a nationwide project of the College and University Recycling Council and is supported Keep America Beautiful and by the EPA's WasteWise Program. Read more here.

Mass. business group challenges wind power deal
BOSTON — A Massachusetts business group has asked the state's highest court to set aside the state's approval of the power-purchase deal between the Cape Wind project and utility National Grid.

The 6,000-member Associated Industries of Massachusetts said in a statement Monday that the Department of Public Utilities overstepped its powers and set a dangerous precedent for allowing utilities to negotiate agreements outside the competitive bidding process when it approved the deal last month. Read more here.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth may get new bike paths
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth could get new bike paths across campus, as well as connections for bicyclists to other university buildings in Fall River, Dartmouth, New Bedford and Fairhaven.

Plans are still preliminary, but the UMass Dartmouth Office of Campus and Community Sustainability met on Monday with a representative from a regional planning agency and others from area biking groups to review plans and set a date for a regional summit on the topic. Read more here.

Solar Massachusetts Cap and Trade Helps Carlson Orchards Go Solar
One of the largest orchards in Massachusetts has just cut its utility bill 80% with a $1.1 million 220 KW solar power plant. The state of Massachusetts helped Carlson Orchards with grants totaling $595,000 to help in the installation of the 1,050 solar photovoltaic panels.

Massachusetts earns money to invest in renewable energy with cap and trade auctions as a participating member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Read more here.

More recycling means less trash in Freetown
The results of the new pay-as-you-throw and curbside recycling programs are in, and the statistics are very encouraging, officials said.

According to a Nov. 29 report, the town's recycling rates have gone up 29 percent and household trash generation has been reduced by 56 percent. Read more here.

Braintree schools going green
With the installation of $2.9 million worth of windows at four public schools in Braintree next fall, students will have a new outlook from their classrooms, literally.

The upgrades were approved by the Braintree City Council last Wednesday, and are part of the Massachusetts School Board Authority's Green School Repairs Program. Read more here.

Research before signing energy contract
With temperatures dropping and consumers' wallets stretched, saving money on energy costs is a major concern.

However, consumers need to be careful they are not getting ripped off by bad deals. The New Bedford Consumer Program at City Hall is warning residents to beware of private companies offering a cost-saving package attached to a long-term contract. Officials warned that customers who sign the contracts might end up spending more money in the long run. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Providence Green Drinks

December 16, 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., Location varies
Providence Green Drinks meets the third Thursday of every month at a different location in our capital city. Info: Contact Bill Mott at bmott@theoceanproject.org.

Green Futures

December 16, 7 pm, Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River, MA
Please make every effort to attend. Bring a friend! (There will be no January meeting.) Email: info@greenfutures.org Details here.

Know Your Vegetables Session- Open Greenhouse at Brix Bounty Farm

December 18, 10 a.m., Brix Bounty Farm
We'll spend a bit of time inside our propagation greenhouse which we currently use as a winter "kitchen garden" to grow greens. We'll take time to discuss good crops for the winter, climate management, and the role of soil fertility in wintertime production. Details here.

Last Fairhaven Farmer's Market of the Year

December 19, 1-4 p.m., The Nemasket Gallery at 56 Bridge Street, Fairhaven
The last Fairhaven Farmers Market of the year will be held this coming Sunday, December 19. We will be indoors at The Nemasket Gallery at 56 Bridge Street from 1-4pm. As always, there will be local produce, honey,jams, eggs, bakery items and crafts for sale. Join us for this wonderful event, bring your family and friends to the last market of the year. Stock up for the long winter with delicious local food. For more information, please contact ann.richard@gmail.com. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Turkey to Ham Recycling

December 29, 4 pm to 7 pm, Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket
ecoRI will be at the collecting turkey carcasses, left over from the holiday, compostables and e-waste. The bird remains will be used to feed local pigs. Details here.

Lloyd Center in Dartmouth to host walk on Gooseberry Neck beach

January 1, 10AM - 12Noon, Gooseberry Neck Parking Lot in Westport
Join Research Director Mark Mello for the Lloyd Center tradition of celebrating the start of the new year with a relaxing walk on Gooseberry Neck beach. With a focus on coastal ecology and bird identification, Mello will identify winter waterfowl and 'washed up' marine life. Details here.

Cedar Swamp Exploration

January 8, 10AM - 12Noon, Copicut Woods
Join Bioreserve Education Coordinator, Linton Harrington to explore the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp being restored at Copicut Woods. Once common in southeastern Massachusetts, cedar swamps are becoming increasingly rare. Since 2003 The Trustees have been growing seedlings in a restoration nursery and in 2010 volunteers and youth corps students began transplanting cedars into the swamp. The swamp at Copicut Woods has nearly 200 mature trees some of which are well over 100 years old. Come discover the beauty of the cedar swamp in winter and learn how you help with the restoration project. Boots are highly recommended. Details here.

NOFA/Mass 24th Annual Winter Conference

January 15, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Worcester Tech High Schol
Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts' conference brings together farmers and agricultural luminaries for this highly-anticipated conference. Featuring Keynote Speaker: Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Orchard, Groveton, NH. Including All-Day Seminars by Michael and Nancy Phillips on Organic Apple Orcharding and Herbs for Family Health. 60 Workshops Dozens of Exhibitors and Vendors, Children's Program, Potluck Lunch. Details here.

Wilderness First Aid Course

January 22-23, 9am-5pm, Old Southworth Library
The Westport River Watershed Alliance and Bristol County Agricultural High School are hosting a Wilderness First Aid Course. This course is a must for anyone traveling in the wilderness, from the outdoor enthusiast to the trip leader. This wilderness emergency medical course will be coordinated in partnership with SOLO Wilderness Medicine, leaders in the field of rescue and emergency medicine both in the US and abroad. Participants completing the course will receive a certification in Wilderness First Aid. Call WRWA to register or register online. Cost $150. Details here.

Animal Tracking

January 29, 9 - 11AM, Bullock Rd., East Freetown
Join Bill Sampson, senior keeper at the Buttonwood Park Zoo, to learn the art of tracking animals in winter. Although the forests of the 13,600-acre Bioreserve might at first appear uninhabited in winter, they are actually full of life all year round. While a few animals do head south or hibernate away the winter months, most remain in New England and are active all year. Most of the Bioreserve's mammals are out and about foraging for food and leaving their tracks in the snow. Rabbit, deer, fox, coyote, turkey, and fisher are just some of the animals whose tracks may be found. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
New Bedford's Ocean Explorium seeks volunteers
The Ocean Explorium is currently in need of adult volunteers for our admissions and gift shop operations.

All volunteers for the Ocean Explorium receive training, uniform shirts and other benefits. Volunteers are invited to learn about aquarium operations, behind the scenes as well as in the public eye. Learn more here.
Brix Bounty Farm Hosts 3rd Annual Winter Studies Series 2010/2011
Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper) 2 Six-week Sessions Session I: Mondays Dec 13th – Jan 24th. Focus on Community, Economics, & Agriculture Projects.

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money:  Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered by Woody Tasch.  Published in 2009 to coincide with the launch of the Slow Money Alliance.

Toward an Associative Economy in the Sustainable Food and Farming Movement by Robert Karp. Originally Published in the Biodynamics Journal.

With excerpts from Riane Eisler’s The Real Wealth of Nations  Creating a Caring Economics

Perhaps no topic currently receives more focus within print than Economics… amidst the broad and diverse offerings we have selected a few books/essays which shine brightest among those considering alternative scenarios.

Join us we examine 3 pieces which explore future possibilities for a more complete and viable economic system focusing on sustainable wealth and community connections. Learn more here.

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.
Journal of Environmental Investing Scholarship Program supports original research on environmental investing
The Journal of Environmental Investing Scholarship Program (JEI SP; www.jeisp.org) will award US$3,500 to a graduate student who writes the most original and rigorous manuscript on a topic related to environmental investing. Students seeking an advanced degree in a discipline related to environmental investing (for example, environmental science, environmental policy, sustainability, finance, economics, environmental law, and public affairs and policy) are invited to present ideas and research. Learn more here.
Coalition Seeks Communications and Outreach Associate and Executive Assistant
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is growing and we are looking for talented, energetic, and passionate staff members and volunteers to help further our mission. Check out the opportunities below: 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.