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December 23-30, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Turkey to Ham Recycling


Save The Date:

NOFA/Mass Winter Conference

Wilderness First Aid Course



Explorium Seeking Volunteers

SEMAP Membership Drive

Weekly Green Tip:

Green Gift Ideas

Clip of the Week

Maya Pedal - Bicycle Machine
How old bicycles find new life in rural Guatemala

Weekly Quote:

"The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more."
- Kin Hubbard

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Leaf Bullet News
Lufthansa Lufthansa to use biofuel on commercial route
Lufthansa plans to launch the world's first scheduled commercial passenger flights using biofuel next April, the German airline announced Monday.

The Airbus A321 will use a 50-50 mix of biofuel and traditional kerosene in one engine on flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt for six months, saving around 1,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, Lufthansa said. The trial is intended primarily to study the effect of biofuel on engine maintenance and life Read more here.

Paris to test restrictions on gas-guzzlers
PARIS — Paris is planning to test restrictions on gas-guzzling vehicles, likely including sport utility vehicles, as part of attempts to curb pollution.

Denis Baupin, an environmental official in the mayor's office, said yesterday that SUVs and old diesel cars would probably be targeted in upcoming tests. Read more here.

Carbon bomb? Kicking the Habit: Air Travel in the Time of Climate Change
Air travel is neither just nor sustainable. So how can environmental justice activists make a global difference?
We live in a time of far-flung relationships, our families, colleagues, and friends often spread out across continents. These relationships mirror the global nature of many of our most pressing problems, such as global climate change—and they also contribute to those problems. Read more here.

Jamaica Priceless Native Plants Vanishing in the Wind
The recent successes of local medicinal researchers have turned the spotlight on local laws that fail to protect Jamaica's rich biological diversity.

Two days after Lawrence Williams announced an international patent for an anti-cancer compound from the guinea hen weed, another local scientist Henry Lowe, announced that a compound from the Jamaican ball moss was ready for clinical testing - extracts from just two of the 334 Jamaican plants that have so far been investigated for medicinal properties. Read more here.

Solar Large Scale Solar Power Installations On Public Lands
What do you get when you have public land in sunny western states and a federal government that wants to develop renewable energy? An Interior Department that selects about two dozen potential sites for large-scale solar power installations on public lands. The sites are in six states: California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico. The Bureau of Land Management has 120 million acres in the six states, and 22 million acres could be identified as solar energy zones, but only 214,000 acres will be considered. Read more here.

Detroit Seeding Small Business: 5 Ideas from Detroit
Detroit entrepreneurs are learning to rely on each other, finding the seeds of a new economy in resources discarded by corporate America.

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to spend a day in Detroit meeting with local entrepreneurs and sharing ideas for spurring small business development.

Detroit is an enormously challenged city. It is the poorest big city in the U. S. Nearly one in three workers is unemployed. The city's population has shrunk to a mere 40 percent of what it once was. Vacant houses and empty lots comprise large portions of Detroit's land area. Read more here.

EPA urges testing for chemical in tap water
The Environmental Protection Agency is suggesting that water utilities nationwide test their drinking water for hexavalent chromium, a probable carcinogen, after an independent survey released earlier this week found the chemical in tap water drawn from 31 cities.

The EPA said Wednesday that it is issuing guidance to the utilities explaining how to test for the chemical but is not requiring tests at this time. Read more here. OR, read commentary: Some Scientists Skeptical Of Report On Chromium In Drinking Water

Obama Obama signs tax pact; ethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel credits restored
Washington, President Barack Obama today signed H.R. 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.

Last night, the US House of Representatives voted by a 277 to 148 margin to approve the Obama tax deal, which extends the ethanol tax credit through 2011, and retroactively extends the biodiesel tax incentive and the renewable diesel incentive through 2011. The bill also renewed the 54-cent tariff on Brazilian ethanol through 2011. Read more here.

Risky Business: EPA Builds List of Potentially Dangerous Chemicals
As the rates of learning disabilities, autism and related conditions rise, the Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to release a roster of the pollutants likely to contribute to these or other neurological disorders.

In an ongoing, three-year effort, an EPA team has determined which developmental neurotoxicants -- chemicals that damage a fetal and infant brain -- may pose the biggest risk to the American public. Read more here.

Map NASA releases global warming map
NASA has released a new analysis of temperature change.

The map shows temperature anomalies for 2000-2009 and 1970-1979 relative to a 1951-1980 baseline. Read more here.

Efficiency The Paradox of Efficiency
Several thousand officials from 194 countries just gathered in Cancún, Mexico, for yet another global climate summit. Dissatisfied with the pace of climate diplomacy, many individuals are now wondering what they can do about climate change on their own.

For years now, climate activists from Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio have argued that individual actions like driving more economical cars and using more efficient light bulbs are a crucial element in the effort to address global warming. Read more here.

Window Farm Windowfarms Crowdsources to Turn Urban Food Deserts into Food Desserts
Home gardening has surged in the past couple of years. Plenty of reasons account for the partial shift from factory farm to backyard farm: concern over nutrition, environmental issues, and economic worries.

Of course, backyard gardening is a tad difficult if you live in an apartment or home with limited outdoor space. Community gardens, farmers' markets, and community supported agriculture all help pick up the slack. Read more here.

Ferreira Ferreira dedicated to local farmers
Bridget Alexander Ferreira is executive director of the Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, her interest in agriculture began when she worked on a farm in Montana before studying communications at Virginia Tech. She went on to receive a law degree at Roger Williams Law School and practiced civil litigation before being given the opportunity to work with SEMAP. Read more here.

NOTICE: GCEC and Mass Save
As of December 31, 2010, the Governor's Clean Energy Challenge (GCEC) will end. Public and private entity awards and recognition for energy efficiency will continue under the Mass Save program. Most importantly, Mass Save will continue to provide commercial entities with expertise to reduce their energy consumption and costs. We encourage you to visit the Mass Save website for commercial programs to learn more.

The Governor's Challenge was established prior to the development of the statewide 3-year plan for energy efficiency in Massachusetts, required to be followed by all utilities. Over time, it has become apparent that the customers originally registered through the Challenge would be better served by the Program Administrators (PA's). PA's are almost all, if not all, your local utility.

Plan for LNG site has new hurdles
Politicians work to block Fall River storage facility
A proposed liquefied natural gas project avoided a potentially crippling blow last week in Congress' lame-duck session, but the controversial Weaver's Cove proposal continues to face major political and other hurdles.

A bipartisan coalition of Massachusetts and Rhode Island politicians — including Republican Scott Brown and Democrat John F. Kerry — inserted language in the $1.2 trillion Senate omnibus budget bill prohibiting any of the money from being used to approve the project. Read more here.

Coalition informs Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of opposition to LNG terminal on Taunton River
A group consisting of 15 communities, elected officials and environmental advocacy groups has teamed up to inform the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it does not want Weaver's Cove Energy's proposed liquefied natural gas terminal to become a reality.

The LNG Working Group announced it has confirmation from FERC that the agency has received a package of "strongly-worded comprehensive resolutions" opposing the project. Read more here.

TourHighlander School Charters New Course for Waste
Recently, the Highlander Charter School took the first step toward reducing its waste stream by having a waste audit performed by David Bordieri, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation's waste prevention coordinator.

ecoRI News tagged along with Bordieri and Jane Picciotti, assistant head of Highlander Charter, as they talked about how and where waste could be reduced in the school, and walked through the facility so that Bordieri could get a sense of the types, and volume, of things being thrown away. Read more here.

Bristol Community College to offer two free 'green' courses in 2011
Bristol Community College's Green Center will offer two free courses early next year — one for electricians to learn about solar panel systems and one for unemployed area residents to earn certificates in worker safety.

The electricians program will teach the process of selling, locating, designing and installing solar panel systems, as well as evaluating various products on the market. Upon completion of the course, electricians can sit for a certificate of knowledge exam by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Read more here.

Gulf Learning to live and work green
UMass Dartmouth students are actively engaged in multiple activities and projects designed to connect their passion to create a greener planet with their desire to gain real-world and marketable skills. Here are just two examples of how our students are working with our innovative faculty to make UMass Dartmouth a shining example of sustainable learnining, living, and discovery. Read more here.

Wanted: Buyer for controversial Cape Wind energy
Cape Wind has outlasted a decade of government review, a slew of court brawls and fierce opposition from mariners, fishermen, Indian tribes and Kennedys just to win the right to sell its wind-fueled electricity.

Now, all it needs are customers.

Last month, the nation's first offshore wind farm nailed down its first buyer when the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a deal that sees Cape Wind selling half its power to National Grid, the state's largest electric utility. Read more here.

GulfScientists treat Gulf spill site like 'crime scene'
FALMOUTH — Consider it "CSI: Gulf of Mexico."

A team of scientists, including researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, spent 10 days this month exploring dead and dying coral on the sea floor near BP's ruptured Deepwater Horizon oil well that leaked millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf. Read more here.

Finally, some 'welcome good news' for fishery
NEW BEDFORD — Congress on Tuesday removed a legal obstacle that blocked the U.S. from negotiating with Canada for increased catch limits on certain species of fish, especially yellowtail flounder.

The likely result is a relaxation of restrictions on "choke stocks" and an increase in the amount of groundfish and scallops that can be taken without exceeding limits on bycatch. Read more here.

Pilot program to reopen New England clamming areas
Clam fishing areas off New England that have been closed for more than 20 years will be reopened as part of a new pilot program.

The areas of Georges Banks where Atlantic surf clams are found had been closed because of a lack of testing for paralytic shellfish poisoning, which if often associated with red tide. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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.

Green Drinks Newport

January 6, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., Location varies
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! Green Drinks Newport meets the first Thursday of every month at a different location in our Newport. Info: Contact Kara DiCamillo at kara@6square.com. Details here.

Free Family Fun Day

January 8, 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol.
Thanks to the Citizens Bank Foundation the Environmental Education Center is open free to the public the first Saturday of every month. Join us for crafts, nature stories, animal discoveries, hikes and more. No need to register. 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.

Startling Sprout Nutrition!

January 8, 11:00am – 11:45am, Mattapoisett Library
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.

Providence Green Drinks

January 20, 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., Location varies
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. Green Drinks Providence meets the third Thursday of every month at a different location in our capital city. Info: Contact Bill Mott at bmott@theoceanproject.org. 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.
Coalition Seeks Communications and Outreach Associate
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.

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
Green Gift Ideas
This year, celebrate the holidays for what they truly mean to you. It's easy for consumerism to take over the holiday season, so the YES! staff (and some crafty readers) made a list of our all-time favorite gifts and experiences. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays! Learn more here.

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