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January 27 to February 3, 2011

In This Issue

News:

Global, national, and local news

This week:

Animal Tracking

Cooks & Books

More

Save The Date:

RI Local Food Forum

Movie: The Yes Men Fix the Word

More

Announcements:

DOE and EPA Webinars

Second Brix Bounty Winter Study Program Starting

Weekly Green Tip:

Electric Car Buying Tips: 9 Things To Know Before Purchase

Clip of the Week

The Economic Injustice of Plastic
Van Jones spoke at a TED event in Santa Monica in November, about the economic injustice of plastic, and the culture of disposability that permeates our society.  He brings up a really interesting point when he compares the person who recycles their plastic water bottles and the person who throws them away.
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in."
- George Washington Carver

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Leaf Bullet News
Global
Algeria Algeria plans rapid green energy ramp-up
Algeria is aiming to generate 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020, energy minister Youcef Yousfi has announced.

About 60 renewable energy projects will be launched to give a capacity of 3,000 megawatts, hetold a press conference held to announce the strategy (2 January).

"The main purpose of this new policy is to prepare the country for the post-petrol era," Yousfi said. Read more here.

Icy New melt record for Greenland ice sheet
New York: New research shows that 2010 set new records for the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, expected to be a major contributor to projected sea level rises in coming decades.

"This past melt season was exceptional, with melting in some areas stretching up to 50 days longer than average," said Dr. Marco Tedesco, Director of the Cryosphere Processes Laboratory at the City College of New York (CCNY – CUNY), who is leading a project studying variables that affect ice sheet melting. Read more here.

Solar World Can Be Powered by Alternative Energy, Using Today's Technology, in 20-40 Years, Experts Say
If someone told you there was a way you could save 2.5 million to 3 million lives a year and simultaneously halt global warming, reduce air and water pollution and develop secure, reliable energy sources -- nearly all with existing technology and at costs comparable with what we spend on energy today -- why wouldn't you do it?

According to a new study coauthored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, we could accomplish all that by converting the world to clean, renewable energy sources and forgoing fossil fuels. Read more here.

Bird For Many Species, No Escape as Temperature Rises
Simon Joakim Kiiru remembers a time not long ago when familiar birdsongs filled the air here and life was correlated with bird sightings. His lush, well-tended homestead is in the highlands next to the Aberdare National Park, one of the premier birding destinations in the world.

When the hornbill arrived, Mr. Kiiru recalled, the rains were near, meaning that it was time to plant. When a buzzard showed a man his chest, it meant a visitor was imminent. When an owl called at night, it foretold a death. Read more here.

Brazil approves building of $17 billion Amazon power dam
Brazil's environment agency approved on Wednesday the start-up of the Belo Monte power dam, a controversial $17 billion project in the Amazon that has drawn criticism from native Indians and conservationists.

The agency, Ibama, issued licenses to the consortium in charge of Belo Monte to start the construction site and to clear 238.1 hectares (588 acres) of forest land, about the size of Monaco Read more here.

Agave Agave Fuels Excitement as a Bioenergy Crop
Agave, currently known for its use in the production of alcoholic beverages and fibers, thrives in semi-arid regions where it is less likely to conflict with food and feed production. Agave is a unique feedstock because of its high water use efficiency and ability to survive without water between rainfalls. An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy evaluates the potential of Agave as a sustainable biofuel feedstock.

Scientists found that in 14 independent studies, the yields of two Agave species greatly exceeded the yields of other biofuel feedstocks, such as corn, soybean, sorghum, and wheat. Additionally, even more productive Agave species that have not yet been evaluated exist. Read more here.

Solar Night? Finally! A Low Cost Solar Panel that Can See in the Dark
Well ... it can almost see in the dark. Scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have just announced that they've been able to confirm a new high-efficiency solar cell design that handles pretty much the entire solar spectrum. To ice the solar cake, the new technology can be manufactured using ordinary low-cost processes that are currently in use. Read more here.

Plants moved downhill, not up, in warming world
In a paper published Thursday (Jan. 20) in the journal Science, a University of California, Davis, researcher and his co-authors challenge a widely held assumption that plants will move uphill in response to warmer temperatures.

Between 1930 and 2000, instead of colonizing higher elevations to maintain a constant temperature, many California plant species instead moved downhill an average of 260 feet, said Jonathan Greenberg, an assistant project scientist at the UC Davis Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing. Read more here.

National
Obama Analysis: Obama energy plan best chance for clean power
President Barack Obama's new plan to double U.S. clean power output could provide the kind of compromise needed to pass a divided Congress because it offers benefits to lawmakers who want to cut planet-warming emissions and those who want more jobs in energy-rich states.

The plan Obama introduced in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday would require power plants to generate 80 percent clean electricity by 2035.

It is far broader than legislation debated last year that would have set mandates only for power from renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Read more here.

Wild East Trek North America Along the Great Eastern Wildway
Starting February 3rd, a group of wilderness enthusiasts are embarking on an epic adventure across the eastern seaboard of North America. The scope of the adventure may even blow away the revered Appalachian Trail. The conservation non-profit group, Wildlands Network is launching writer and explorer John Davis on a 4,500 mile journey from the southern tip of Florida to the Gaspe Peninsula in Canada.

Firstly, the mission of the wilderness journey is to explore the remaining wild areas along the visioned Eastern Wildway. Secondly, it is to encourage the creation of a network of people and organizations who share the common goal of conservation. Every stop along the way, there will be gatherings of these wilderness visionaries in support of the mission. Read more here.

Top 10 Green Building Trends for 2011
After discussions with a wide range of stakeholders - policymakers, builders, developers, architects, real estate brokers, appraisers, lenders, and homeowners - Earth Advantage identified the following trends in green building for 2011.

The trends range from green homes becoming easily affordable to community-based energy, from smart appliances to lifecycle analysis of materials. Read more here.

Solar Solar Firms Frustrated by Permits
Ken Button, the president of Verengo Solar Plus, a residential solar panel installer in Orange, Calif., says his company — and his industry — are being strangled by municipal red tape.

Fifteen Verengo employees, Mr. Button said, are dedicated solely to researching and tailoring permit applications to meet the bureaucratic idiosyncrasies of the dozens of towns in the company's market. And because most jurisdictions require applications to be submitted in person, Verengo employs two "permit runners" whose only job, Mr. Button said, is to "take those permit packs and physically drive them around, stand in line, and pay the fees." Read more here.

WalMart Wal-Mart Shifts Strategy to Promote Healthy Foods
WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, will announce a five-year plan on Thursday to make thousands of its packaged foods lower in unhealthy salts, fats and sugars, and to drop prices on fruits and vegetables.

The initiative came out of discussions the company has been having with Michelle Obama, the first lady, who will attend the announcement in Washington and has made healthy eating and reducing childhood obesity the centerpiece of her agenda. Aides say it is the first time Mrs. Obama has thrown her support behind the work of a single company. Read more here.

Wal-Mart Why Walmart's Healthy Foods Plan Takes the Right Approach
Even the most strident public health advocates cautiously welcomed Walmart's plan, announced yesterday, to slash produce prices and reformulate its private-label processed foods to cut sodium and added sugars. Still, on and off the record, they worried. Where were the details about the discounted produce? Did the company really need five years to reformulate packaged foods? Would the cuts—25 percent on sodium and 10 percent of added sugars—be enough?

As a reporter in Washington, I might have given weight to such concerns about the company's timetable and pace of change. In the national debate, it's all about keeping score. But after several months of reporting on how people eat and why they make the choices they do, I think Walmart's plan strikes just the right balance. Read more here.

Salzman VantagePoint sees big clean tech deals in 2011
Up to 10 companies in the hot "clean tech" sector will go public in multibillion dollar U.S. offerings this year and as many will be acquired in equally significant deals, VantagePoint Venture Partners Chief Executive Alan Salzman told Reuters.

One of Silicon Valley's preeminent investors in the clean tech industry -- Salzman's firm has backed electric car start-up Tesla Motors Inc and solar thermal company BrightSource Energy Inc, as well as others -- said in an interview at the World Economic Forum that the actions this year will be a validation of the sector's attractiveness to investors. Read more here.

Striped Bass Atlantic Weather May Be Key Culprit In Fish Decline
The striped bass is in trouble again.

During the 1980s, wildlife managers said these big, full-bodied fish — favorites of anglers along the East Coast — were overfished. So they laid down severe catch limits. The population recovered, and fishing resumed in what is considered one of conservation's great success stories.

But now catches are down again, and some biologists say the problem may not be overfishing this time: It could be the weather. Read more here.

The Detroit Auto Show: Sure Looks Green to Me
I'll bet many of you have heard rumblings from friends and relatives or colleagues at work about the premature death of the green movement, and how the economic recovery must first occur before we even address climate change. This rhetoric is a groundswell among otherwise rational people, not just climate change deniers.

I just returned from the Detroit Auto Show (courtesy of Ford Motor Company, I should disclose) and there was one overwhelming, over-arching headline that was in your face, anywhere you looked: the green movement in personal transportation is just beginning. Read more here.

Bike lane New Report: Biking Builds Jobs
Grist.org and U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood have been writing about how building biking infrastructure spurs job growth in the wake of two inter-related studies.

Nonmotorized transit projects create indirect, direct and induced jobs (i.e. growth in other industries,) according to a case study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), "Estimating The Employment Impacts Of Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Road Infrastructure," which examines job data from 2008 in Baltimore, Md. Specifically, the report shows that there are 11 to 14 jobs per $1 million of spending on bike and pedestrian projects, as opposed to about seven jobs created through the same rates of spending on road infrastructure. Read more here.

A win for environment and for energy
LAST WEEK, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its interim policy on biomass energy and climate change — an announcement that was cause for celebration for all renewable energy advocates. The EPA concluded, for the first time, that biomass plays an important role in "addressing climate change and enhancing forest management'' and that states now have a legal and scientific basis for concluding that biomass for energy is the "best available control technology'' to curb greenhouse gases. Read more here.

Community Rocky Times Ahead: Are You Ready?
This isn't a future you can, or should, face alone. How to make sure you don't have to.
"I don't believe the economy is getting better," says Billy R., a member of a mutual aid group in Oregon that he jokingly calls "my reality support group." "All around me I'm surrounded by media and advertising urging me to keep borrowing, buying, and sleepwalking. I love meeting with others who are staring down the potential risks and challenges of the future." Read more here.

Making FarmVille Real
It's refreshing to hear Dave Thier talk about the struggles he had as a farmer on FarmVille. I hesitate to say it, but I think his experience -- the attraction, the addiction, the desertion, actually bodes well for farms and farmers. Apparently more than 80 million people want to get involved with the farm (albeit only at arm's length), but, man, it's a hard life even on FarmVille. Most of us aren't cut out for the real thing, which makes it all the more important for us to give due respect and dollars to those who are. Read more here.

Local
Officials Fall River biomanufacturing center to break ground this fall
Commuter trains may be miles from pulling into a city station, but the bio-park is back on track.

Gregory Bialecki, the state's economic development secretary, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Chancellor Jean MacCormack and Mayor Will Flanagan were all smiles and hugs at Wednesday's anticipated announcement at the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center. Read more here.

UMass Dartmouth biomanufacturing center could be boon for students
FALL RIVER — The potential for jobs has always been at the forefront of discussions over the future of the site eyed for a biotechnology park or a resort casino. Now that it is confirmed a bio-manufacturing center will be built there, some of the focus shifts to students, who can benefit from real-world experience at the facility.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, which will run the incubatorlike facility, expects to have 35 to 40 student-interns work there in fields such as biology, chemistry, engineering, business and others. Read more here.

8,000 new jobs envisioned at bio-tech park
FALL RIVER — The $23 million biomanufacturing facility that UMass Dartmouth plans to build off Route 24 in Fall River is being touted as a catalyst for new jobs in the region.

State, city and university officials formally announced Wednesday that the facility will be built as the anchor tenant of a planned 300-acre biotechnology park. The plan had been in doubt for several months due to a now-abandoned proposal to build a casino on the same land. Read more here.

Brightman Officials favor recreational use for old Brightman
FALL RIVER — Several local officials said they strongly preferred removing the old Brightman Street drawbridge and reclaiming the space for recreational use — an estimated $30 million expense — over other options discussed at an exploratory meeting Friday with key Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials.

That would be five times the expected cost of tearing down the 900-foot bridge. But federal legislation prohibits funding for that purpose, an action Congress took in 2006 to keep liquefied natural gas tankers out of that stretch of the Taunton River. Read more here.

Clean energy backers enthused
Obama plan wins applause in Mass.
President Obama's challenge to the nation's alternative energy sector during his State of the Union address was clear: 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015, 80 percent of the nation's electricity from renewable sources by 2035, and — perhaps the most ambitious — an end to billions in tax breaks for oil companies. Read more here.

Planners Latest Route 79/I-195 plan excites transportation planners
FALL RIVER — Hands down, state officials believe removing the viaduct "spaghetti" ramps for the Route 79/I-195 improvement project is the way to go, a task force working on the project for the past year learned Wednesday.

Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials and their engineering consultants presented what they termed a "hybrid" of two grade-level proposals considered among final alternatives at the last task force meeting in September. Read more here, or view maps here.

MMA recognizes Fairhaven's digester project as innovative
Before Fairhaven decided to build its anaerobic digester in 2008, the general school of thought for a project like this one was that it needed to be done on a large scale to be cost-effective — at treatment plants processing more than 10 million gallons of water a day.

But the town of Fairhaven, while nowhere near those numbers, found a way to use the technology to save approximately $300,000 annually and offset 200 tons of carbon dioxide at the same time. Read more here.

Clothesline 'Right to Dry' Bill Left Blowing in R.I. Wind
For centuries, the hanging of clothes outside to dry in the sun was a common practice. That changed, at least in the United States, in the 1950s with the arrival of the suburban ideal of modern living.

Wet, flapping clothes soon became an aesthetic issue. Homeowners associations began claiming clotheslines lowered neighborhood property values by 15 percent to 20 percent. Read more here.

Legal Sea Foods serves up protest dinner of 'blacklisted' species
BOSTON — As America goes green with sustainability, Legal Sea Foods restaurant president and CEO Roger Berkowitz is seeing red about published guides that he says have it wrong about avoiding some species of fish.

On Monday night, he did something about it. Read more here.

Fishing Outrage Over Landfill Cap Proposal in Portsmouth
A recent public hearing on the capping of the former town dump with subsoil that has levels of naturally occurring arsenic that exceed current state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) standards started off innocently enough, with presentations by DEM staffers and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, the contracted engineering firm for the project, but quickly devolved into a one-sided shouting match where residents told scientists, engineers and lawyers that they didn't know whereof they spoke. Read more here.

Snow Tough finding place to put snow
As yet another winter storm smothers Rhode Island in snow, some communities have resorted to trucking away mounds that have grown so huge they are encroaching on sidewalks and streets and blocking motorists' sight lines.

So where is the snow going?

Years ago, it was common to simply dump snow into the Providence River and other waterways. But environmental laws put a stop to that. Read more here.

Windchill factors
As turbine projects multiply, critics fight back
In Plymouth, they're worried about noise, flickering shadows, and the sheer size of the things. In Milton, they fear they might lose their panoramic views of the Blue Hills. In Hingham, they fret over possibly losing value on their pretty homes.

It's not swarms of locusts they're afraid of.

It's power-generating wind turbines. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Arts + Eats #4

January 27, 6-9 PM, Providence
A friendly evening of good food by Farm Fresh Harvest Kitchen youth & good art by AS220 Youth To benefit farm-to-school and farm-to-hospital initiatives at Farm Fresh Rhode Island Join us for local food, drink, and art. Catered by Youth Trainees of the Farm Fresh Harvest Kitchen with the art of AS220 Youth. $20 ticket includes light fare, beer and wine. 100% of ticket profits and 5% of art sales this evening go to the Farm Fresh RI Market Mobile warehouse build out to get more fresh foods into local schools and hospitals. 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.

Canada Goose Abatement for Livestock and Agricultural Producers

January 31, 7:00pm to 9:00 pm, Tiverton
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with the RI State Conservation Committee and RI Conservation Districts is offering two workshops on Canada Goose abatement for livestock and agricultural producers in Bristol County, RI. This workshop will assist you in developing a plan for goose management and is funded through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which provides technical and financial assistance to address conservation issues. Details here.

Cooks & Books Series: SEMAP & How On Earth

February 1, 7:00pm at the  Mattapoisett Public Library, 7 Barstow Street, Mattapoisett
FREE EVENT! Join SEMAP and Margie Baldwin, founding member of Marion Institute and How On Earth for an evening discussion of local food and sustainable agriculture. Discover how you can help support local farms in Southeastern Mass., as well as create healthy eating habits that help the planet! Cost: FREE! RSVP to scogswell@semaponline.org. Details here.

Canada Goose Abatement for Livestock and Agricultural Producers

February 2, 7:00pm to 9:00 pm, Tiverton
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in partnership with the RI State Conservation Committee and RI Conservation Districts is offering two workshops on Canada Goose abatement for livestock and agricultural producers in Bristol County, RI. This workshop will assist you in developing a plan for goose management and is funded through the NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which provides technical and financial assistance to address conservation issues. Details here.

Green Drinks Newport

February 3, 5:30 - 8:30 PM, Style Newport, 302 Thames Street, Newport.
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! Details here.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Slocum's River Long Walk

February 6, 1 - 4PM, Slocum's River Reserve
The Trustees' extensive conservation efforts in this area make it possible to walk from the Slocum's River to the Westport River almost entirely on protected land. Here's your chance to experience it all – and get a little workout before the Super Bowl. We'll head outside before the big game to stretch our legs on a 4.5-mile walk from the Slocum's River Reserve to the Westport Rivers Winery for a tasting. Be aware that trails may be icy, snow covered, or muddy. Transportation will be provided back to your car. Details here.

RI Local Food Forum

February 8, 8:30AM - 2:30PM, Providence
A networking opportunity for farmers, chefs, food service buyers, and public health professionals. This year's theme is "Fresh Where We Work". In addition to general networking and local food discussion, there will be a special focus on efforts to get fresh local food into hospitals, schools, workplace cafeterias and other institutional food service. Registration online. Free. Details here.

Decision Making for Sustainable Public Works

February 10, 11am - 1pm, Webinar
Decision making for sustainable public works infrastructure: Triple bottom line approach using life-cycle costs, risk assessment, and social and environmental impact analysis

Life Cycle Cost Analysis enables decision-makers to assess the long-term financial effects of project alternatives – from design to decommissioning.

Learn to evaluate all relevant costs that will occur during a facility’s lifetime, including initial construction, O&M and direct and indirect social and environmental impacts. It is important that decision-makers understand the risks associated with each alternative, and how alternatives affect the long-term sustainability of the organization (the triple bottom line of social, environmental, and economic). Details here.

Gulf Oil Spill Presentation

February 10, 7pm, The Coalition for Buzzards Bay
Last summer the country watched in disbelief as oil spilled from BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig into the Gulf of Mexico. While different in scale, the event brought back memories of similar disasters here on Buzzards Bay, most recently the Bouchard 120 oil spill in 2003. Former Coalition staff member and oil spill response planner Ben Bryant, who spent the summer helping to contain the impact from the BP spill, will compare the response to both events and discuss how prevention and response planning are both essential for protecting our natural and economic resources from oil spills. Presentation at 7pm with questions before and after. Details here.

Screening of the film Carbon Nation

February 11, 8 pm - 10 pm, Brooklyn Coffee Tea House, 209 Douglas Ave., Providence
Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light, with the blessing of folks at Carbon Nation, is making the film available to all religious organizations in the state during the National Preach-In on Global Warming, Feb. 11-13. Details here.

TEDx Manhattan Viewing Party with SEMAP

February 12,Time TBA, Wareham
Contact: Glenn Oliveira, glenn@marioninstitute.org. Details here.

Applesauce Canning Class

February 12, 1:00pm – 3:00pm, Cedar Spring Herb Farm
Learn from a pro!  Local grower/herbalist Donna Eaton will show us the ins and outs of canning our own delicious, all-natural Applesauce.  Learn recipes, canning instructions, and tidbits on saving money by preserving locally grown foods.  Take home a jar!  Cost: $20 per person; RSVP required; email scogswell@semaponline.org. Details here.

Screening of the film Carbon Nation

February 13,1:30 - 3:30 pm, Mediator, a UUA Fellowship, 50 Rounds Avenue, Providence and Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Avenue, East Providence
Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light, with the blessing of folks at Carbon Nation, is making the film available to all religious organizations in the state during the National Preach-In on Global Warming, Feb. 11-13. Details here.

South Coast Regional Bikeway Summit

February 15, 1pm-4pm, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center Auditorium (ATMC), Fall River
Join the discussion about people connecting our South Coast communities through a Regional Bikeway. With oil prices rising and health concerns mounting a voice is growing in the South Coast—calling for healthy, safe, and sustainable alternative modes of transportation. Join us for a presentation of the South Coast Regional Bikeway vision. Learn what other communities have achieved; and what the South Coast is and can be doing to expand bikeways in the region. Details here.

Reaching the Animal Mind: A Night with Karen Pryor

February 15, 7 p.m, Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford
Karen Pryor, a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology, will speak at the Buttonwood Park Zoo on Tuesday, February 15th at 7 p.m Details here.

Cost of Energy, Project Financing, and Funding

February 16, 1 p.m, Webinar
A discussion of wind financing funding options and discussion about the cost of energy. The Webinar is free; no registration is required. Login information is below. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema

February 17, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m., Tabor Academy, Marion, MA
THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD is a screwball true story about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world's most outrageous pranks. From New Orleans to India to New York City, armed with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men squeeze raucous comedy out of all the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. Brüno meets Michael Moore in this gut-busting wake-up call that proves a little imagination can go a long way towards vanquishing the Cult of Greed. Details here.

Green Drinks Providence

February 17, 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.

Lloyd Center Annual Owl Prowl

February 20, 3:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Venture out into various locations in the quiet, dark winter woods of Dartmouth during the predawn hours when local owls of our region are highly active. Screech, Great Horned, Barred and Long Eared Owls are potential species heard and seen. Around sunrise, you'll depart the forest and visit Barney's Joy beach, where other seabirds and the beautiful winter beach itself can be enjoyed. On occasion, Diurnal Owl such as Short-eared and Snowy may be seen. Details here.

RI Good Agricultural Practices Certification

February 22, 9:00AM - 2:00PM, Kingston, RI
We would like to invite current RIGAP certified growers and other RI growers interested in becoming RIGAP certified to our February 22nd training session which will be held at Building 75, URI East Farm, Route 108 in Kingston. This year’s training session will include a discussion by of RIGAP certified growers who will talk about their participation in the program and its benefits. As of 2010, 40 RI farms are RIGAP certified which represents a significant percentage of the state’s fruit and vegetable production. Also included in the session will be a brief discussion of the recently passed Food Safety Modernization Act that includes FDA “powers” and new general food safety requirements for all food processors and specific produce safety standards. Refreshments, including a light lunch, will be served. Details here.

Green Infrastructure Case Studies from Tucson, Portland and Austin

February 23, 8pm - 9:30pm , Webinar
The first in a free, public webinar series with presenters and participants from across North America. Join in if you… Want to improve the quality of life in your neighborhood and community Are interested in environmental sustainability, community development, urban design, or neighborhood activism Want to learn to implement practices like rain gardens, green streets, and street trees in your own community This webinar is free and open to anyone-- members of the public are encouraged to participate! Details here.

Preschool Story Hour

February 24, 10:30 a.m. - noon, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Free to the public; donations always appreciated. Pre-registration requested but not required. Flock to the Lloyd Center and join Educator/Naturalist Amanda Wilkinson for story hour. Parents and children will be treated to a feathery tale with a fun craft to follow. As a special treat, you will get to meet the Lloyd Center's very own resident raptor, up-close and personal in a live presentation! Details here.

Winter Flora Walk

February 26, 10am-noon, Ridge Hill Reserve
With guest leader Mike Schroder. Details here.

Nest Box Building

February 26, 1pm-4pm, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters
Help to improve bluebird habitat by building a nest box you can take home with you! The populations of these beautiful birds have been in decline due to a shortage of natural nesting cavities and competition from non-native species. By helping to build well-designed nesting boxes you can encourage the return of these birds and improve the biodiversity of our region. Details here.

Sustain Your Farm's Future: 4th Annual One-Day Farm Conference & Resource Fair

March 5, 8 am - 4 pm, Bristol County Agricultural High School, 135 Center St., Dighton MA
Newly opened to the public for the 2010 event, the One-Day Farm Conference is an excellent source of information on growing, harvesting, marketing, and networking for your farm business.  Farm Attendees can visit several discussions and demonstrations regarding specific methods of food production and sales.  Avid gardeners and homesteaders are encouraged to attend the public courses on poultry, farmers markets, and more!! Local Lunch Included! Cost:  Farmers: $30; Non-farming individuals: $50; Students: $15. Details here.

Blues for the Blue

March 5, 7pm, Tifereth Israel Congregation, 145 Brownell Ave, New Bedford
Fundraiser event for The Ocean Explorium, featuring blues, and Latin roots rock. Tickets are $30 in advasnce, $25 for Ocean Explorium Members, and $35 at the door. Details here.

Bluebird Monitor Training

March 6, 1pm-3pm, Westport Town Farm
The open fields of Westport Town Farm provide ideal nesting habitat for rare grassland birds such as Eastern Bluebirds. We need your volunteer help to monitor nest boxes regularly during the spring and early summer at locations in Fall River, Westport, Dartmouth, and Rochester. Come learn how you can participate in this ongoing project to bring back the Blues. Details here.


Leaf Bullet Announcements
DOE Technical Assistance Program February Webinar Schedule
Keep your energy up this winter with the February Technical Assistance Program (TAP) Webinars for state, city, county and tribal energy stakeholders! These Webinars will discuss valuable strategies to overcome challenges as well as offer best practices and technical information.

In February, registration is open for Webinars that will address:

  • Strategies for managing construction contractors
  • Developing an Evaluation Measurement and Verification Plan for energy efficiency projects
  • Financing programs with a focus on RFP and Contract Terms and Conditions
  • Leveraging funding to integrate renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Strategies for optimizing solar installations
  • Savings measurement and verification for Energy Service Performance Contracting.

See the schedule here.

Webinar Series on Consumption and the Environment
Coordinated by Region 10 EPA, this webinar series is designed to give you the information you need to confront the impact of our consumer culture on the environment in your community. This series covers basic questions about the nature of consumerism, addresses the role of media and culture in influencing individual thought, takes a close look at the impact of consumption on our environment, and suggests pathways and tools to help us move towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and therefore reduce our production of GHGs.

*February 1* - The first topic in this series is an introduction to unsustainable consumption, presented by a man who knows it well. Erik Assadourian, senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute, lead the creation of Worldwatch's 2010 State of the World: Transforming Cultures: >From Consumerism to Sustainability. This anthology of essays and research focused on revealing the societal and environmental ills caused by consumption and illuminating different potential pathway. Learn more here.

Natural Beekeeping Course
Bristol Community College announces open enrollment for its spring Natural Beekeeping Course. The course is an introduction to the basic principles and practices of natural beekeeping that emphasizes organic methods. The course prepares new beekeepers to understand the basics well enough to begin their own beekeeping as a hobby or small enterprise. Topics include biology and life cycle of honey bees, equipment and supplies, starting a new hive, seasonal hive management, hive pests and diseases, and harvesting honey. Students have the opportunity to purchase new hives, equipment, and bees to establish their own hive in the spring. At least one field day demonstrates installation, feeding, and beginning steps of establishing a new hive. The class will meet Monday evenings from 6-9:00 pm from February 28 through April 11 and the course can be taken for 1 college credit or as a noncredit course. Contact Dr. Jim Corven for more information: james.corven@bristolcc.edu or 508 678-2811, ext, 3047.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Happy New Year from everyone here at the Marion Institute, where to celebrate 2011 we have just introduced our $7 Carbon Diet which is your chance to offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to our Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. So here's hoping you, and our planet, have a great new year. Donate here.
Sustainability Assessment: Responsibility and Renewal
Our sustainability assessment, "Responsibility and Renewal," the work of dozens of UMD community members, was published a few weeks ago. Packed with information about our current state and our collective dreams, the publication is available online at: http://issuu.com/umdpublications/docs/responsibility_renewal_assessment We also have beautiful printed copies for use in classes and offices--call us for more information. Download it here (PDF).
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.

Session II:  Mondays Feb 7th – Mar 14th – Topic:  “Sustainable Agriculture In Depth"

Mondays February 7,14,21,28 & March 7,14 2011- Winter Study Session II at Brix Bounty Farm – Focus “Agriculture in Depth” - We’ll cover two texts:  Biological Transmutations by C.L. Kervran and Anatomy of Life & Energy in Agriculture by Arden. B. Andersen.

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. J J oJoin 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 Restoration Biologist, and 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
Electric Car Buying Tips: 9 Things To Know Before Purchase
The buzz in 2011 is about all the new electric cars on the road, led by the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf. But because these are new products to the U.S. market, TheDailyGreen.com asked Nick Chambers, who has written about next-generation automobiles for the New York Times, Popular Mechanics and others, to cut through the hype and offer some practical electric car buying tips. Learn more here.

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