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December 30, 2010 - January 6, 2011

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Gooseberry Island beach walk

Green Drinks Newport


Save The Date:

Nutrient Dense Crop Production Course

Animal Tracking



Farming: Winter Study Course

Fall/Winter Sustainability Newsletter

Weekly Green Tip:

Home Crayon Recycling

Clip of the Week

Whaling City
New Bedford is the backdrop of a feature film telling the struggles of New England fishermen.

Weekly Quote:

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
- Richard P. Feynman

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Leaf Bullet News
2010 10 Most Hopeful Stories of 2010
There was plenty of disappointment and hardship this year. But the year also brought opportunities for transformation.
It was a tough year. The economy continued its so-called jobless recovery with Wall Street anticipating another year of record bonuses while most Americans struggle to get work and hold on to their homes. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued, and spilled over into Pakistan and Yemen, and more American soldiers died by suicide than fighting in Afghanistan. And it was a year of big disasters, some of them indicators of the growing climate crisis. Read more here.

Africa African Huts Far From the Grid Glow With Renewable Power
KIPTUSURI, Kenya — For Sara Ruto, the desperate yearning for electricity began last year with the purchase of her first cellphone, a lifeline for receiving small money transfers, contacting relatives in the city or checking chicken prices at the nearest market.

Charging the phone was no simple matter in this farming village far from Kenya's electric grid. Read more here.

Vertical Farm Vertical Farming: Does it really stack up?
Agriculture: Growing crops in vertical farms in the heart of cities is said to be a greener way to produce food. But the idea is still unproven

WHEN you run out of land in a crowded city, the solution is obvious: build upwards. This simple trick makes it possible to pack huge numbers of homes and offices into a limited space such as Hong Kong, Manhattan or the City of London. Mankind now faces a similar problem on a global scale. The world's population is expected to increase to 9.1 billion by 2050, according to the UN. Feeding all those people will mean increasing food production by 70%, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation, through a combination of higher crop yields and an expansion of the area under cultivation. But the additional land available for cultivation is unevenly distributed, and much of it is suitable for growing only a few crops. So why not create more agricultural land by building upwards?

Such is the thinking behind vertical farming. The idea is that skyscrapers filled with floor upon floor of orchards and fields, producing crops all year round, will sprout in cities across the world. As well as creating more farmable land out of thin air, this would slash the transport costs and carbon-dioxide emissions associated with moving food over long distances. Read more here.

Op-Ed: Bundle Up, It's Global Warming
The earth continues to get warmer, yet it's feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe's busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted. Read more here.

Indonesia Indonesia chooses climate pact pilot province
Indonesia has chosen once of its largest and richest provinces to test efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by saving forest and peatlands, a key part of a $1 billion climate deal with Norway.

Central Kalimantan province on Borneo island is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases among Indonesia's 33 provinces because of deforestation, destruction of carbon-rich peat swamps, and land use change, the government says. Read more here.

Denmark Denmark Boasts a 100% Renewable Energy Community
Denmark, like, Germany, her neighbor to the south, is a country that takes renewable energy seriously. The wind energy industry alone in Denmark is booming with companies like Vestas and Siemens Wind Power both having production facilities and bases of operation on Danish soil. Denmark's own wind based energy also grows exponentially each year leaving many optimistic that the nation might be one of the few who can achieve 100% renewable energy in the next several decades. However, wind based renewable energy is not the only kind of clean energy the country has going for it. In one location, Denmark has proven that wind and hydrogen can be king when it comes to being green. Read more here.

Wheat Green Design Spree Aims to Trim U.S. Government's Big Energy Bill
Sure, you've heard about Big Government. But have you seen its energy bill?

With $25 billion in annual power and fuel costs, the U.S. government is the largest single energy consumer in the nation's economy, and among the largest in the world. Of course, the 500,000 buildings the government leases or owns include not only office space, but supercomputers, hospitals, and aviation safety radar facilities. And the 600,000 vehicles that Uncle Sam has to tank up include those conveying troops engaged in active combat. Read more here.

Wheat Wheat Poised to Weather Climate Change
With climate change predicted to alter precipitation and raise temperatures in North American grain-growing regions by 3 to 4 degrees Celsius (about 5 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century, crops in the future will face dramatically different growing conditions than they do today.

But a new study shows that over the last century and a half, North American wheat crops spread into regions with even wider temperature and precipitation differences than will arise over the next century. This analysis suggests it will be possible to adapt to new wheat-growing conditions. Read more here.

Walking Study: Walkable neighborhoods have happier people
People who live in walkable communities are more socially engaged and trusting than those who live in less walkable areas, says a new study from the University of New Hampshire.

The study buttresses other research that has linked a neighborhood's walkability to its residents' quality of life, notably improved physical and mental health. Read more here.

Obama administration reverses Bush wilderness policy
The Obama administration has restored U.S. land managers' powers to curb development on vast tracts of America's back country, undoing what conservation groups called a "no more wilderness" policy put in place under President George W. Bush.

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced on Thursday that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will again have the authority to set aside large areas of federally owned territory in the West that it deems deserving of wilderness protection. Read more here.

Fat! Fat's Chance as a Renewable Diesel Fuel
From algae and wood chips to grasses and solid waste, scientists are looking far and wide for the raw material that will yield a new generation of renewable fuel—a source that doesn't divert food into energy, and is abundant enough to make a significant dent in the oil market.

The world's largest meat company thinks the answer may have been congealing in its facilities all along: Animal fat. Read more here.

Future Shock and the war over biofuels
The old joke in cellulosic ethanol is that it is five years away from commercialization ... forever.

So when a company in the know, like Novozymes, pushes back its cellulosic ethanol commercialization timelines to 2014 or 2015, it sounds like Deja Vu all over again. Read more here.

Dioxin A Chemical Conundrum: How Dangerous Is Dioxin?
In December of 1982, the people of Times Beach, Mo., were forced to abandon their town forever because the Environmental Protection Agency found high levels of a chemical called dioxin.

At the time, dioxin was considered one of the world's most dangerous chemicals. But nearly 30 years later, the EPA still can't seem to decide just how dangerous it really is. Read more here.

Greener household refrigerator set for debut in US stores
Greenhouse gases other than carbon dioxide may not get much global attention, but policy makers and business leaders view curbing these emissions as a way nations can shrink their carbon footprints.

Refrigerators have a role in this story. Read more here.

Walgreens In Chicago, a Walgreens Goes Geothermal
Walgreens (NYSE: WAG) announced the opening of a store in suburban Chicago that uses geothermal heating and cooling. The drugstore chain said it is the first in the industry to use the technology in a retail store.

The location, in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill., is expected to reduce its energy usage by about 46 percent as a result of the geothermal system. Read more here.

EPA unveils massive restoration plan for Chesapeake Bay
The Environmental Protection Agency established an aggressive "pollution diet" for the Chesapeake Bay on Wednesday, spelling out steps that six states and the District must take by 2025 to put the troubled estuary on the path to recovery.

The legally enforceable road map - more than 200 pages long, with more than 3,000 pages of appendices - will affect a variety of activities in the region, including how pig and chicken farms dispose of waste and the way golf course operators fertilize their fairways. Read more here.

Efficiency Wind Gets Knocked Out of the Pickens Plan
It was not that long ago when T. Boone Pickens ranked up there on television air time with the Snuggie and the Ped Egg. His commercials, or infomercials, promised that the wind corridor in the central United States, paired with natural gas, would wean the U.S. off of fossil fuel imports and push the country towards energy independence.

Pickens has adjusted his eponymous plan over the past two years. In summer 2009 he walked away from a wind farm in the Texas panhandle, a year after he spent US$80 million touting the "Pickens Plan." Read more here.

Bat graveyard Citing a bat emergency, scientists seek US aid
Scientists and conservation groups are asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to immediately protect what was the most common bat species in the Northeast just five years ago.

The brown bat is being ravaged by white nose syndrome, a fast-moving and deadly illness named for a powdery white fungus that appear on bats' noses, faces, and wings. The disease has killed more than a million bats in the United States, and scientists say it could wipe out brown bats in the Northeast within 20 years. Read more here.

Farmer's Market More farmers markets expand to year-round
PLYMOUTH, Mass. – A steady stream of customers filled baskets and shopping bags with vegetables, cranberries, cheese, fresh-baked breads and pies while chatting with the dozen or so farmers selling goods in the visitor's center of a local museum.

It was a bitterly cold, gray December day, but for many, it felt just right for the farmers market as live music and a warm fireplace helped set a holiday mood. Read more here.

Supporters seek to expand bottle bill, opponents say it is outdated and should be scrapped
After more than 15 years of disappointments — including the past legislative session — supporters of an expanded bottle bill hope a law requiring deposits on a long list of water, sports and fruit drink bottles will pass this year.

"We think we can capture the momentum from the past session and go all the way this session," said Janet Domenitz, executive director of MASSPIRG, which along with environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, has made an expanded bottle bill a top priority. Read more here.

Environmental group sues NOAA over document fee
In a federal lawsuit filed just before Christmas, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is accused of violating the Freedom of Information Act by charging the environmental group Oceana Inc. exorbitant fees to fulfill its document requests.

"The (National Marine) Fisheries Service told Oceana that it would only provide the unclassified, non-commercial documents to which Oceana is entitled if Oceana paid $16,338.60 in advance," says the suit filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C. Read more here.

State sets tougher limits on emissions
Auto insurance may be incentive
Governor Deval Patrick's administration set an ambitious limit yesterday on statewide greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved by 2020, through a suite of new and existing policies that balance energy efficiency and reduced fossil fuel use with cost savings. Read more here.

More wind farms may be built off coast
Federal and state officials yesterday identified a 3,000-square-mile expanse of ocean south of Cape Cod and the islands as a possible home to future wind farms. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

NRCS Funding Workshop for Farm & Woodland Owners.

January 6, 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., Little Compton Grange, 32 Commons, Little Compton
Do you own or manage farmland or forest land in Rhode Island? Funding may be available to eligible applicants to protect, restore, or enhance your land! The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides conservation planning and financial and technical assistance to help you composting animal and plant waste, preventing soil erosion, protecting crop fields, enhancing woodlands, controlling invasive plant species, reducing irrigation water use, and improving water quality along among other resource concerns. Funds are available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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.

Nutrient Dense Crop Production Course

January 8, 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Friends' Academy and Brix Bounty Farm in Dartmouth
We’ll be co-hosting a Nutrient Density Production Course along with Friends Academy beginning in January 2011.  Join us for 5 day long sessions led by Dan Kittredge: Saturdays:  Jan 8, Feb 19, Apr 16, June 18, and August 27. For more information and to register visit the Real Food Campaign – Workshop Series Page.  This will be an amazing opportunity to learn from one of the leading farm consultants in the Northeast.  Registration Fee for the workshop series is $300, and can be completed online through the Real Food campaign’s website (linked above).  This series is suitable for backyard growers and production farmers, the workshops will provide participants with a deeper understanding of the theories and practices involved with nutrient dense crop production. 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.

Green Drinks Providence

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
Sustainability Newsletter for Fall/Winter
We've launched out fall/winter newsletter! Check out articles about our Living Classroom project, the restoration of the Cedar Dell Vista, our partnership with John Perkins, our mill project in New Bedford, and much more. Download it here (PDF).
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
Home Crayon Recycling
Recycling crayons isn't going to save the environment by any means; but it's just a little less garbage winding up in landfill, can save you money and can help teach your children the value (and fun) in recycling. Learn more here.

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