Having trouble reading this Almanac? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2011_04_14.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Sustainability Logo
April 14 to 21, 2011

In This Issue

News:

Global, national, and local news

This week:

AHA! Night - Sustainable Earth and Parade!

A Day of Discovery in Our Living Classroom: Campus and Community Lessons

More

Save The Date:

Sustainability Film Series: Inside Job

Organic Lawn Care Workshop

More

Announcements:

Volunteer at the Sharing the Harvest Community Farm

Environmental Essay Contest for Kids and Teens

Weekly Green Tip:

Green wedding tips

Clip of the Week

Losing Ground
Bad federal policy and intensifying storms are washing away the rich dark soils in the Midwest that made this country an agricultural powerhouse and that remain the essential foundation of a healthy and sustainable food system in the future. The Environmental Working Group produced this short film with Atlas Films.
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
- H.G. Wells

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Global
Feeding the World Feeding the World: It's Not About Quantity
The resilience of our food supply is as much about the quality and diversity of our food sources as it is about how much we produce.
Today's sky-rocketing food prices are pushing more people into poverty, threatening the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, and raising concerns about global food security. At first glance, the problem seems to be one of quantity; high prices at the grocery store and local market appear to provide justification for large-scale, industrial food production. But, food security (the resilience of our food supply) is as much about the quality and diversity of our food sources as it is about how much food we produce.

A recent report by the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project finds that the solutions to the price crisis won't necessarily come from producing more food. Rather, encouraging agricultural diversity and local food production—particularly of vegetables—can help communities boost their self-sufficiency and protect vulnerable populations from price shocks. Read more here.

The $100 million pond
A bold new idea for protecting nature: Put a price tag on it.
The coral reefs of Hawaii are enchanting: a full spectrum of brilliant colors, teeming with spiky urchins, striped damselfish, sluggish sea cucumbers, and hundreds of other creatures. Many of these species are found nowhere else in the world, and the ecosystem’s uniqueness makes it a darling of oceanographers. Researchers, Hawaiian residents, and visiting snorkelers can all agree: The reefs are a priceless treasure, and their disappearance would constitute an incalculable loss.

But Hawaii’s reefs are more than just photogenic seascapes with sentimental value; they’re economic powerhouses. They provide a suite of quantifiable benefits to Hawaiian society, through fisheries, tourism revenue, and their role as a buffer against wave erosion and tropical storms. The authors of one study collected a mass of data — ranging from fishery income to the cost of renting masks and fins — and placed the value of the reefs at a minimum of $360 million per year. To thoughtlessly damage a coral polyp, in this view, is tantamount to shredding a $20 bill. Read more here.

China China, Set to Add 220 Million Vehicles, Aims to Green Transportation Sector
China’s transportation sector is undergoing a revolution. As the average wealth of Chinese citizens improves, the country formerly known as the “kingdom of bicycles” is experiencing a swell of motorization. In 2009, China surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest auto producer and market.

At the end of 2009, China was home to 170 million vehicles. Projections indicate that the country could add as many as 220 million new vehicles to its market between now and 2020. Already, the transportation sector accounts for about a fifth of China’s total energy consumption. Read more here.

Sunless Farm Future farm: a sunless, rainless room indoors
DEN BOSCH, Netherlands – Farming is moving indoors, where the sun never shines, where rainfall is irrelevant and where the climate is always right.

The perfect crop field could be inside a windowless building with meticulously controlled light, temperature, humidity, air quality and nutrition. It could be in a New York high-rise, a Siberian bunker, or a sprawling complex in the Saudi desert. Read more here.

Energy Park 'Natural Energy Park': Playground Teaches Children About Clean Energy
Playgrounds and play structures are meant to give children an outlet for their energy. In exchange for all of that energy, the kiddos get to have fun and, if you’re lucky, they might just get to bed on time. This playground, designed by You Song Young, Jin Soo Yeon, Ahn Ho Sang, and Lee Sung Jae, is a bit different in that it is designed to take kids’ energy and give something back in the form of education as well as entertainment. It’s part jungle gym, part science experiment and all about entry level lessons in the world of renewable energy. Hyundai engineering and construction calls it the “Natural Energy Park” and the concept landed the company a highly coveted Red Dot design award in the green category. Read more here.

Japan Disaster Japan Nuclear Disaster Put on Par With Chernobyl
Japan has raised its assessment of the accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the worst rating on an international scale, putting the disaster on par with the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, the Japanese nuclear regulatory agency said on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan, meanwhile, called on the country to rebuild. While acknowledging the decision to raise the severity of the nuclear accident at Fukushima to the highest level, he took pains in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday evening to say that the reactors were being stabilized and to emphasize that radiation releases are declining. Read more here.

Nuclear Accidents Keeping Score on Nuclear Accidents
Now that Japan has raised its assessment of the Fukushima accident to a 7 on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s scale, equal to the 1986 accident at Chernobyl, it may be time to review past accidents. Thomas B. Cochran, a physicist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, just did that in preparing to testify on Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

Some of the incidents that he lists are technically not meltdowns but rather “core damage accidents.” That term is used when an intact core holds in nearly all of the radioactive materials that are created by a reactor as it splits atoms of uranium and plutonium, leaving behind fragment atoms of materials like cesium, strontium and iodine, which seek to return to stability by giving off radiation. If the core melts, as it did at Fukushima, or explodes, as it did at Chernobyl, that radioactive material is released. Read more here.

National
Vertical Crops Growing Up: Vertical Farming Takes Root in Chicago
During a Saturday afternoon in November, three volunteers at The Plant Chicago were busy busting down two brick walls with hammers and crowbars. Their protective eye goggles fogged up and sweat rolled down their foreheads as bits of mortar flew into the air. As they slammed their tools into the wall, they had to be careful not to destroy the bricks. They would be reused later to construct a bakery oven in the building.

Below them, three college students in The Plant’s basement glued pieces of PVC piping together as classic rock blared from a radio. These pipes will allow water to run from fish tanks to a plant bed.

From the outside, The Plant may look like an abandoned building, but there is a unique plan growing inside — Chicago’s first vertical farm. Read more here.

Redwoods From Ancient Giants, Finding New Life to Help the Planet
Shooting skyward like a jagged knife, the giant stump in a cul-de-sac in this Northern California town is by all appearances dead and gone: ashen gray, hollowed by fire and sheared at about 40 feet by coastal winds or lightning.

But to Michael Taylor, a professional big-tree hunter, there are tantalizing signs of the stump’s potential.

“This snag is partially alive,” he explained, pointing to dozens of green sprouts on the trunk. “It has a lot of energy in it, and it will keep sending these up. They just can’t kill this thing.” Read more here.

Happy Neighborhoods How to Design a Neighborhood for Happiness
Biology is destiny, declared Sigmund Freud.

But if Freud were around today, he might say "design is destiny"—especially after taking a stroll through most American cities.

The way we design our communities plays a huge role in how we experience our lives. Neighborhoods built without sidewalks, for instance, mean that people walk less and therefore experience fewer spontaneous encounters, which is what instills a spirit of community to a place. That's a chief cause of the social isolation, so rampant in the modern world, that contributes to depression, distrust, and other maladies. Read more here.

Oklahoma Lake Indians Join Fight for an Oklahoma Lake’s Flow
Sardis Lake, a reservoir in southeastern Oklahoma young enough to have drowned saplings still poking through its surface and old enough to have become a renowned bass fishery, is not wanting for suitors.

Oklahoma City and fast-growing suburbs like Edmond want to see the water flowing through their shower heads someday. So do the water masters of Tarrant County, Tex., 200 miles to the south, who are looking to supply new subdivisions around Fort Worth and are suing for access. Read more here.

Wind 11% of U.S. Energy Production from Renewable Resources in 2010
The fossil fuel industry and the politicians and pseudo-scientists it buys are fond of saying that renewable energy can’t power the world. That claim will eventually be proven ridiculous. For now, though, many may be surprised to know that renewable resources already account nearly 11% of U.S. energy production.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently reported that U.S. energy production from renewable energy sources such as biomass/biofuels, hydro, geothermal, solar, water, and wind energy rose to 10.92% in 2010. Nuclear energy’s share dropped a bit to 11.26%. Read more here.

National view: U.S, losing out in clean energy race
We've heard again and again that concerns about the environment, public health and national security are reasons to develop policies that encourage clean energy investment — and we've also heard vigorous debate on these issues. But recent data show that three of the biggest — and the most unifying — factors Congress and the Obama administration should consider are right in their sights: jobs, export opportunities and the United States' descent to third place in a race that's critical to our future. Read more here

Renewable Energy Plan House of Reps Not Liking the “100% Renewable Energy” Plan
High tech research into futuristic alternative energy systems makes for good headlines, but new and exotic technology isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for making the shift into renewable energy. A couple of months ago, a researcher from Stanford University released a study claiming that the world could achieve 100% renewable energy based on existing technologies and available resources. That’s a pretty big claim, given the global demographic and economic pressures that virtually guarantee a significant increase in access to energy-guzzling machines, vehicles and electronic devices. However, it could be doable…except for one thing… Read more here.

EPA New Republic: In Political Climate, Will EPA Cave?
In 1903, when the Fisk Generating Station in Chicago had its first steam engine turbine installed, engineers hailed the new coal-fired power plant as a marvel—"a monster in its day," as one magazine put it. But, over the years, the boxy red-brick structure has become, in the eyes of many locals, a monster of a different sort. Once perched on the outskirts of Chicago, the plant (which was rebuilt in 1959) was swallowed up by the fast-growing city and now sits in the middle of the working-class Hispanic neighborhood of Pilsen. Read more here

Oregon Proposes Per Mile EV Tax
Despite the fact that electric vehicles and plug-in electric vehicles make up a miniscule fraction of cars on the road today, government entities are already planning for the financial implications of a time when they reach critical mass. At some point in the future, states will realize dwindling tax revenues from gasoline sales. And probably, the thinking is — better to get something in place now, while it affects only a few EV motorists, rather than meet the resistance of a possible majority in years to come. Read more here

Gulf Oil Spill Gulf's Complexity and Resilience Seen in Studies of Oil Spill
In the year since the wellhead beneath the Deepwater Horizon rig began spewing rust-colored crude into the northern Gulf of Mexico, scientists have been working frantically to figure out what environmental harm really came of the largest oil spill in American history.

What has emerged in studies so far is not a final tally of damage, but a new window on the complexities of the gulf, and the vulnerabilities and capacities of biological systems in the face of environmental insults. Read more here

Fracking Lobby Outspends Environmental Groups 4 to 1
Pro industry lobby groups are outspending those who oppose the use of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York State by 4 to 1, according to non-profit group Common Cause/NY.

The use of hydraulic fracturing technology, also called hydro-fracturing or, more commonly, hydrofracking, to drill for natural gas in New York State remains highly controversial. Industry and some upstate landowners continue to press for permitting to use hydrofracking, particularly to unlock the natural gas found in the Marcellus Shale, citing job creation and the need for new energy sources, while environmental groups and others urge caution, pointing to potential risks to New York's water, air and natural resources. Read more here

Mushroom Foam Mushroom-Based Packaging Uses 98% Less Energy than Styrofoam
A packaging material made of mushroom roots and agricultural waste is lowering its energy footprint further with new sterilizing technology.

Ecovative Design, the maker of EcoCradle packaging and Greensulate insulation, creates its products by growing mushroom fibers on waste like cotton seed, wood fiber and buckwheat hulls. Read more here.

Wolves Budget deal kills gray wolves AND the endangered species act
Last week we learned that a deal had been struck and the government wasn’t going to shut down. This week, we learn about the collateral damage: What ugly things were agreed to in the process.

Item #1: Gray wolves are being stripped of their status as an endangered species across most of the northern Rockies. Read more here.

Local
Help Wanted Help Wanted: 24 Clean Energy Firms Hiring 300 New Employees Right Now
It’s rough out there. We all know that job creation isn’t as vibrant as it would be if we had more consistent and sensible federal energy policies. But that doesn’t mean that New England clean energy companies aren’t hiring. From Advanced Electron Beams to Ze-gen, clean energy employers are looking for talented people. Whether it’s solar or wind, efficiency or batteries, biofuels or insulation, you don’t have to look far to find “help wanted” signs in the shop windows.

Want proof? It’s not hard to find. On the morning of April 4th, I quickly visited the websites of a small group of member companies of the New England Clean Energy Council (www.cleanenergycouncil.org) to get a hiring snapshot of the industry. Read more here

Backyard Farms Backyard Farms Grow City’s Food Supply
It took about 5 tons of organic material and a good chunk of time during the last growing season to improve the soil on his seven-eighths of an acre lot, but this year urban farmer Than Wood is ready to grow some serious food.

In fact, Wood and three other urban farmers are confident enough in the bounty their three city lots will produce this season that they are offering 12 20-week CSAs for West Side and Olneyville residents beginning in June. The cost is $10 a week and will feature a lot of cooking/salad greens. Pickup will be Wednesdays at Wood’s Front Step Farm. Read more here.

Mass. considers long-term contracts for rail service
As they weigh renewing the contract of the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Rail Company, which has operated the state's network of commuter trains since 2003, or to bring the system under state control, Department of Transportation officials indicated Tuesday that a third option is also on the table.

Rather than issuing short-term contracts of around five years, transportation officials are eyeing contracts of 10, 25 or even 40 years, which they argue would enocourage private-sector bidders to kick in their own funds to improve the system, perhaps by buying new locomotive cars or making infrastructure improvements. Read more here.

Shipping Containers R.I. Students Turn Shipping Containers into Shelter
Rhode Island School of Design is working collaboratively with the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE) at Brown University to form Project Re-Box. Joe Haskett of Distill Studios and Peter Gill Case of Truth Box Architects have come together to design and develop sustainable “off-the-grid” housing by means of project Re-Box.

Project Re-Box is the effort to re-use and utilize out-of-commission steel shipping containers while tackling practical issues such as affordable sustainable housing, demand reduction, economic growth and energy consumption. With $150,000 in federal funding and a team of RISD students working in the Re-Box studio, ideas are coming together to design sustainable structures. Read more here.

Residents brainstorm on future of Fall River's waterfront
Visions for the area surrounding the Gates of the City presented at a public workshop Tuesday captured both the near- and long-term, realistic and more hopeful.

Ideas included an aquarium, a trolley line, an outdoor music venue, bike paths, hotels and a mix of shops and restaurants that would draw tourists to the city's waterfront. All would be built around a commuter rail stop, which is at least five years away from completion. Read more here.

SJC upholds state's right to regulate water intake at Pilgrim nuclear
The state Supreme Judicial Court has upheld Massachusetts' right to regulate the intake of vast amounts of water by the Pilgrim Nuclear Station and other power plants, which can harm fish and other marine organisms.

Power plants use the water to cool equipment then discharge it later -- and hotter -- into waterways. Environmental studies show the heated water can harm aquatic life. The state and environmentalists have also long argued that the sucking in of water can kill vast amounts of fish larvae, eggs, shellfish, and other aquatic organisms – larger creatures become trapped on screens covering the intake pipes, and smaller ones are sucked into the cooling system. Read more here.

Goaded by state, towns toughen water rules
Now that spring is here, a number of communities south of Boston are plugging leaks and tightening rules to meet state demands for water conservation and forestall the need for Draconian watering bans when the dry days of midsummer arrive.

Some towns are drawing a line in the grass now, urging conservation measures now so there won’t be a need to restrict the whole town when supplies run low in summer. That’s the approach being taken by Scituate, where selectmen recently agreed to limit timer-triggered irrigation systems to one day a week. Rather than place outdoor watering restrictions on the whole town, officials said it makes sense to place limits on automated systems that could use in one hour the amount of water — about 180 gallons — that three people use per day. Read more here.

Female Farmers R.I.'s Female Farmers Have Momentum and Enthusiasm
When you hear the word "farmer," what image pops into your head? Most will immediately envision a barrel-chested white dude that is wearing overalls and a dirty John Deere trucker hat whilst chewing on a piece of grass.

The real face of Rhode Island's farmers, however, is much different, as was evidenced at the University of Rhode Island's Bay Campus last week, where more than 100 of the state's farmers of the fairer sex gathered for the Ocean State's first Women in Agriculture Conference. Read more here.

Oscar Palmer Farm in Westport has a buyer; closing nears
The Trustees of Reservations said they are close to selling the historic Oscar Palmer Farm, 138 Adamsville Road.

“We have a buyer,” said Chris Detwiller, community conservation specialist for the Trustees of Reservations. “We expect a closing in the next six weeks.” Read more here.

Discussion about proposed oyster farm in Tiverton stalls until May
After almost three hours of testimony, members of the Nanaquaket Neighborhood Association are no closer to knowing if a proposed three-acre oyster farm will be landing in their backyard.

The Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council Subcommittee halted a hearing at Tiverton High School late Wednesday night, which pertained to the hot-button issue. The subcommittee, along with a crowd of about 100 people, heard testimony from the applicant Peter Sebring, CRMC Aquaculture Coordinator David Beutel, Nanaquaket Neighborhood Association President Jackie Mei and a series of concerned neighbors and local fishermen before calling a recess at around 10:15 p.m. The meeting will continue on Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. at a site to be determined. Read more here.

Plans for Freetown composting facility in the works
Freetown neighbors have expressed concern about a proposed plan to allow a North Easton-based company to develop a composting facility off Copicut Road.

The Peninsula Compost Group conducted a lengthy PowerPoint presentation at last week’s Planning Board hearing detailing its proposed 9-acre facility that would be built at a former fly-ash pit. Read more here.

Task force recommends New Bedford zoo expansion, but on a smaller scale
NEW BEDFORD — After more than 90 minutes of arguing over lines on a map, the Buttonwood Park Zoo expansion task force made a recommendation that may allow for the zoo to retain elephants as well as give it space to handle new exhibits.

The recommendation would expand the zoo to the north, to the edge of the greenhouse in the park, although no one at the meeting would give an acreage estimate, as the land has yet to be surveyed. Read more here.

State crews prepping Nasketucket for season
MATTAPOISETT - Spring has stirred the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation into action at the Nasketucket Bay State Reservation.

Over the years, Nasketucket has become a popular year-round destination for passive recreation, but a harsh winter and heavy traffic have turned the gravel parking area into a sea of mud and ruts. Read more here.

PACE hearing to look at improving lives of the poor
NEW BEDFORD — The challenges facing people in poverty and what can be done to improve their lives is the focus of a public hearing on Thursday sponsored by PACE.

The hearing will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Lawler Library on Rockdale Avenue at Buttonwood Park and is part of PACE's strategic planning process. What PACE has done in the past 29 years and the future programs it will develop based on the needs of the community will be addressed. Read more here.

Vectrix ScooterVectrix leaps out of bankruptcy with new models, hope for future
NEW BEDFORD — Since Vectrix was reborn more than a year ago, the electric scooter company has expanded its product line and is looking toward a bright future.

Vectrix, whose U.S. headquarters is located in the New Bedford Business Park, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 and later relaunched under new ownership. The company's research and development team is based out of the business park, and some of its scooters are built on the site.

"We have now tripled our product line," said Jeff Simpson, Vectrix's global marketing manager. "We are not standing still. We are moving forward."

More than 30 people work out of the New Bedford facility. Read more here.


State redirects $200k for Sawyer Street dock project
NEW BEDFORD — Shifting funds from one waterfront project to another will allow the city to build a 170-foot pier off Sawyer Street, benefitting a local rowing group and encouraging more people to use the harbor for recreation.

The state's Seaport Advisory Council on Thursday gave its approval for the city to use $200,000 that had been previously allotted for the Gifford Street boat ramp repair in order to build the Sawyer Street floats. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

New Bedford Earth Day Parade

April 14, 5:00 PM, Custom House Square, New Bedford
Join the fun and march with us as we carry our "people-powered" papier maché float through downtown New Bedford to celebrate Earth Day. It's all happening as part of New Bedford's April AHA! Architecture Night, a FREE arts culture event that takes place on the second Thursday of every month in downtown. Details here.

AHA! Night Sustainable Earth

April 14, 6:00 PM, Downtown New Bedford
The climate is changing, and it's time to make a statement. The evening will be filled with fun, as the group parades along the procession route with their eco-floats moving to the beat of the New Bedford High School Whalers Marching Band and NBPS All-City Middle School Marching Band & Colorguard. Eco-floats are anything a person or group can wear, roll, or carry along the procession route. The topics of this event are all about reducing, reusing, and recycling. All this begins at 5pm at Custom House Square (corner of William Street and Acushnet Avenue) The procession will begin at 5:30pm, travel through the downtown historic district, along Acushnet Avenue to the reviewing stand at 6pm where Mother Earth and Father Ocean will then be crowned. Everyone is welcome! Details here.

"Shrink Your Footprint Fair" is at AHA!

April 14, 6:30 - 8:00 PM, Ocean Explorium
The 4th annual Shrink Your Footprint Fair has teamed up with April's AHA! (Art History Architecture) night, themed Sustainable Earth. Hosted by the Ocean Explorium, the Fair will feature workshops for adults, teens, and families on how to live an economically healthy and environmentally friendly lifestyle. The fair will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, at the Ocean Explorium, 174 Union Street, New Bedford, MA, following the Earth Eve parade. The event will feature workshops, exhibits, and vendors. Three workshops will be held, including "Sustainability 101" by the Marion Institute and P.O.W.E.R.; "Local Food: Your Carbon Food-print" by SEMAP and the SouthCoast Energy Challenge; and "Climate Youth Leadership" by ACE (the Alliance for Climate Education).

AHA! Night- Movie Screening of "A Chemical Reaction"

April 14, 7 pm, Coalition for Buzzards Bay
Do you want to have a vibrant, healthy lawn without the use of toxic chemicals? In conjunction with AHA New Bedford Earth Day Events will be a FREE screening of the award-winning documentary film 'A Chemical Reaction' by author of the "Organic Lawn Care Manual" and founder of SafeLawns, Paul Tukey. The film tells the inspirational story of how the town of Hudson, Quebec banned chemical lawn and garden pesticides in 1991 when focus was brought to the issue by dermatologist, Dr. June Irwin. Details here.

Film: 'Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us'

April 14, 7 to 9:00 PM, Newport, RI
A profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, acclaimed director of the grass-roots hit THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature. Hosted by Collective Eye Films at the Jane Pickens Theater: 49 Touro Street, Newport, RI. Contact Amanda Elder at (503) 232-5345 for more information.Details here.

Atlantic White Cedar Planting

April 16, 9AM - 12Noon, Copicut Woods
Celebrate the approach of Arbor Day by helping to plant Atlantic White Cedar trees as part of our cedar swamp restoration project. Seedlings grown in our tree nursery are now ready to be planted in the swamp to ensure this rare and beautiful forest type is around for generations to come. Wear boots and clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. Details here.

8th Annual Earth Day Sustainable Living Expo

April 16, 10AM - 2PM, 204 Nantasket Avenue, Hull, MA
Sponsored by Greener Hull, an affiliate of Sustainable South Shore. DCR Mary Jeanette Murray Bathhouse. For more information, contact: nancy@sustainablesouthshore.org. Hull Wind I Wind Turbine Tours (Hours - to be confirmed). Meet Andrew Stern at Hull Wind 1 Turbine at Pemberton Point for tours. www.hullwind.org. Exhibits at Nantasket Ave, Hull, MA. Details here.

Electronics Recycling Day

April 16, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Westport
WRWA is hosting the 5th annual Computer and Electronics Recycling day on April 30th, so start gathering up all of your batteries, lightbulbs, computers, and electronics. The event was a big success last few years with tens of thousands of pounds of electronics recycled. Complete Recycling Solutions from Fall River will return this year to help rid you of unwanted technology at special discounted rates. For a pdf of accepted items and their prices click here. Please note: cash and checks only, no credit/debit cards will be accepted. They will load all of the items into their trucks and then dispose of them properly and responsibly. Details here.

Outer Cape Birding and Whale Watching Tour

April 17, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Meet at Shaws parking lot, Route 6 in Dartmouth
Enjoy a true coastal spectacle when you join Lloyd Center Research Associate Jamie Bogart on a birding and whale watching expedition to the outer Cape, where like the Lloyd Center landscape, forest meets sea. You'll witness birds swirling over the ocean, soaring with the shoreline breezes, and fluttering through the forest in a region where spring migrants and resident species intermingle for a productive birding venture. Specific stops will include Pilgrim Heights, a great hawk watching location; Beech Forest, a forest ecosystem with great evolutionary significance and a great spot for songbird viewing; and Herring Cove Beach, from which, with any luck, endangered Northern Right Whales may be viewed from shore. After the beach stop you'll lunch in Provincetown near the pier before boarding the 'Dolphin Fleet' vessel for the whale watching tou to Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary, where the whales will be visible at close range. Register online or call our event registration phone at 508-558-2918. For specific questions about this event, please contact Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505-X23, or via email at jbogart@lloydcenter.org. Weather reschedule date: Saturday, April 23. Cost: Members: $55 Non-members: $63 Pre-registration required. Deadline April 14 at 4:00 PM. Limit 12 persons. Details here.

Hive Installation and Spring Management

April 17, 9:00 AM, Boston Nature Center, 500 Walk Hill St, Mattapan, MA
This introductory workshop will cover honeybee hive installation as well as sprintime management for a newly installed hive. There will be a live demonstation of intstalling a honeybee package. Feeding, life cycle of the colony, hive expansion will also be covered. If you are about to receive honeybees this spring, this is definitely the workshop for you! Please bring your veil, if you have one. Some will be provided (limited number available) If you have a veil let us know, as we can then extend the class to more participants. Please pre-register. Details here.

Bay Babies

April 18-22, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Newport Exploration Center and Aquarium
There is nothing cuter than baby animals! Come check out the babies at the Exploration Center, make a mobile, hunt for eggs everyday at 2:00 and have your picture taken with one of the Aquarium's most adorable residents. In addition to weekends, we are open April 18-22 for school vacation. Details here.

Roots Down - Free Organic Gardening Workshops

April 19, 5:00 PM, Lawler Branch Library, 745 Rockdale Ave, New Bedford
NEW THIS YEAR: In addition to our monthly topic we'll include a special, in-depth focus on a specific crop(s). This week - Seed Starting 101 & 102 plus Enjoying Greens All Season Long! Details here.

Southcoast Multi-Use Pathways Meeting

April 19, 6:30 PM, Town Hall, Dartmouth
"People on Bicycles Connecting Southcoast Communities" Regional Meeting in Room 304 on Tuesday April 19 at 5:30 PM. For more information, contact Wendy Henderson at 508.910.1804 or whenderson@town.dartmouth.ma.us.

A Day of Discovery in Our Living Classroom: Campus and Community Lessons

April 20, 9-3 pm, Woodland Commons and Campus Forest, UMass Dartmouth
Please join us for part or all of our day of unveiling and discussing our Living Classroom Initiative. The Living Classroom serves as the bridge between the University's traditional educational resources, the larger community and our natural environment. On April 20th, you can explore our newly-opened forest trails, join community members to discuss local agriculture and forestry initiatves, learn about the state-of-the-art energy projects planned for our campus, and help us to toast our 2011 Green Campus Awardees including Lyndsi Shusler (student), Facilities Designer Elizabeth Bender (staff), Political Science Professor Robert Darst (faculty), SEEAL Director Jennifer Marshall-Grantham (Community), and the Purchasing Department. Details will be posted shortly. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema - Food Matters

April 21, 7 p.m.- 9 p.m., Tabor Academy, Marion
'Food Matters' is a hard hitting, fast paced look at our current state of health. Despite the billions of dollars of funding and research into new so-called cures we continue to suffer from a raft of chronic ills and every day maladies. The film sets about uncovering the trillion dollar worldwide 'Sickness Industry' and exposes a growing body of scientific evidence proving that nutritional therapy can be more effective, more economical, less harmful and less invasive than most conventional medical treatments. Details here.

Green Futures Monthly Meeting

April 21, 7 p.m., Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River, MA
Please try to attend. Bring a friend! Email: info@greenfutures.org Details here.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

April Vacation Open Barnyard

April 22, 12 Noon to 2 PM., Weir River Farm, Hingham, MA
This family-friendly farm, one of the last farms in Hingham, will enthrall visitors with its own “family” of horses, pigs, cows, chickens, and sheep. Originally part of a picturesque, early-20th-century country estate, Weir River Farm today is a 10-acre working farm comprised of fields and pastures surrounded by oak and red cedar woodlands. The farm supports diverse wildlife habitats, including upland grasslands, which are in rapid decline in the Commonwealth. Weir River passes through the farm at its northwest edge..Details here.

Trade in your old light-bulbs for energy savers

April 23, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. while supplies last, Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers' Market
Don't miss your chance during Earth Week to save energy and money by taking your incandescent bulbs out of circulation. On April 23, visit Lights Out, Green In's table at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers' Market and swap up to 5 incandescent bulbs for energy-saving CFL bulbs. The best part - IT'S FREE. The offer lasts from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. while supplies last. Reduce your carbon footprint with this simple and free exchange at the farmers market located at Hope Artiste Village (1005 Main St, Pawtucket). This offer comes thanks to a partnership with National Grid as well as a RI DEM Earth Day grant provided by J.R. Vinagro/Patriot Disposal of Johnston, RI.

Operation Clean Sweep's Earth Day Cleanup

April 23, 8:30 a.m.- Noon. St. Luke's Hospital, New Bedford
Join us in helping to keep New Bedford clean! Community service groups, clubs, businesses and individuals are encouraged to participate in this community event. This is a great way to earn community service hours. Gloves, tools and food provided. The cleanup is sponsored by Operation Clean Sweep, N.E.E.D and Southcoast Hospitals Group. To learn more, visit www.operationcleansweep.net or call (508) 979-1493. Find us on Facebook! .

Earth Day Beach Clean-up

April 23, 10 a.m.- 12 p.m., Tabor Academy, Marion
After a long and cold winter, get out and enjoy the spring air while preparing local beaches for the summer sun. Join the Westport River Watershed Alliance to clean up some of the shoreline areas of Westport, MA. Clean-ups will be held at Cherry & Webb Beach, Gooseberry Island, and East Beach. You can choose any one of the locations and someone will be there with trash pickers, trash bags, gloves, and refreshments. Call (508)636-3016 or e-mail outreach@wrwa.com with any questions or to let us know you're coming. Details here.

Organic Poultry Workshop Series

April 23, Apr 23, Hatfield, MA
These 6 workshops teach poultry raising on a backyard or small commercial scale, using organic, pasture-based systems. Workshops held in Hatfield on April 23; in Hubbardston on April 30; in Shrewsbury on June 4, in Wendell on June 25; in Barre on July 16, and in Concord on July 23. Registration for each workshop ranges from $40 to $30, with $5 discounts for NOFA membership, early registration (2 weeks before the workshop), and signing up for 2+ workshops.Details here.

SouthCoast Energy Challenge Small Business Information Session

April 27, 5:30 - 7:00 PM, The Ginger Grill, 778 Purchase Street, New Bedford
Small business owners, find out how you can reduce your business carbon footprint with this new initiative. Light dinner and drinks will be served. For more information and to reserve your space contact Karen Malcolm, Marketing & Development Coordinator, SouthCoast Energy Challenge, A project of SEEAL (the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance), (508) 996-8253 x206. Details here.

Sustainability Film Series: Inside Job

April 27, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth CVPA (Group 6) room 153
'Inside Job' provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse. Through exhaustive research and extensive interviews with key financial insiders, politicians, journalists, and academics, the film traces the rise of a rogue industry which has corrupted politics, regulation, and academia. Learn more at http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/ or http://www.amazon.com/Inside-Job-Matt-Damon/dp/B0041KKYBA Details here.

Exploring Vernal Pools

April 30, 9 a.m to 11 a.m., Russells Mills, Dartmouth
Meet at Russel Mills parking lot. Fee: FREE. Join Education Coordinator Shelli Costa in an up-close and personal exploration of some local vernal pools. These seasonal water bodies provide crucial breeding habitat for mole salamanders, wood frogs, and other species. We will be getting our hands wet looking for frog/salamander eggs and other critters that are dependant on these pools. Details here.

American Chestnut Returns

April 30, 10 a.m., The Bioreserve
The once mighty American Chestnut was virtually wiped out by a blight that was introduced more than 100 years ago. But now, thanks to the work of the American Chestnut Foundation, this keystone species is ready to make a comeback. Come learn about the status of the American Chestnut today, the plans to reintroduce blight-resistant trees to our forests and parks, and how you can help these majestic trees return to their rightful place in the New England landscape. Details here.

Butterfly Garden Spring Awakening - 11 Volunteers Needed - Sign Up

April 30, Allens Pond, Dartmouth
The Audubon Society butterfly garden at Allen's Pond will need improvements before the spring season. Help us stir the compost, weed the garden, and plant seeds for the upcoming summer. In addition we will build a raised bed for use as an herb and vegetable garden. While You're Here: A 20 minute beach ramble before lunch will introduce you to the shoreline of Buzzards Bay. Participants will have the opportunity to plant and take home a tray of plants that will be beneficial for butterflies. Notes, Gear and Attire: This is an outdoor project, appropriate for all ages. Some (not all) activities may require building and gardening skills. Bring your gardening gloves and tools if you have them, however, basic gardening tools will be provided. Details here.

Shrubland Restorers - 31 Volunteers Needed - Sign Up

April 30, Allens Pond, Dartmouth
Help us with our Shrubland Restoration Project. Volunteers will be using hand tools to cut back and remove invasive shrubs and vines at two different locations of the Sanctuary. A major goal for this project is to promote a native shrubland community, which will benefit rare and declining shrubland wildlife. While You're Here: A short nature walk will focus on how to identify native plants and the shrubland birds that depend on this ecosystem. Notes, Gear and Attire: This is an outdoor project, appropriate for older teens and adults. Volunteers should wear long sleeves and thick pants. Tools and work gloves will be provided, although you may bring your own. Bring your binoculars. Details here.

The Big Walk

May 7, 9AM - 4PM, Westport Free Public Library
Strap on your hiking boots and experience the vastness of the unbroken forest on a walk that s the full length of the 13,600-acre Bioreserve. The full hike is 14 miles but pick-ups will be available at 4, 8 and 12 miles. Details here.

Spring on the Farm

May 7, 1-3:30PM, Buttonwood Park Zoo
The sun is up, the soil is warm and it's time to get busy. Plant seeds, visit the animals, and learn about life on the farm with crafts and activities. Details here.

Westport Run For The Water

May 7, 10 AM, Horseneck Beach
The seventh annual Run for the Water will take place May 7. The race follows an 8-kilometer route that loops through Horseneck Beach State Reservation. Pre-register online at www.racemenu.com for $20 by May 5, or by mail postmarked by May 2. Late registration and day-of-race registration is $30. Complimentary race T-shirts are provided for all pre-registered runners. Runners can also upgrade to a T-shirt for $10. The top three men and women runners will receive cash prizes.

Organic Lawn and Garden Care

May 14, 10am-12pm, Westport Free Public Library
FREE! Sarah LaValley will present an interactive lecture on organic lawn and garden care with the Westport River Watershed Alliance. Sarah will teach the proper mowing techniques, how to select proper plants, how to control pests, when to water, and the basic steps to achieving a beautiful chemical free lawn and garden that also conserves water and saves you money. Organic lawns and gardens work to keep additional Nitrogen from entering our streams and the Westport River. Details here.

American Chestnut Returns

May 15, 1:00 p.m., Fall River to New Bedford
SRPEDD, Mass in Motion and UMASS Dartmouth will be hosting a bike ride during Bay State Bike Week on Sunday, May 15th at 1pm. The ride will be between Fall River and New Bedford, with a group leaving each city and meeting in the middle at UMASS Dartmouth. The ride length between Fall River and UMASS is approximately 10 miles, and from New Bedford to UMASS approximately 12 miles. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema - Food Matters

May 19, 7-9 PM, Fairhaven Unitarian Memorial Church
"The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of "fracking" or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a "Saudia Arabia of natural gas" just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.". Details here.


Leaf Bullet Announcements
Volunteering at Sharing the Harvest Community Farm
Get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and have a positive impact on your life and others. Volunteers help in every stage of farming here at STH – from planting seeds, to transplanting seeds grown into plants; to cultivating those freshly-planted plants to harvesting their produce. During April, volunteers can expect to spend the majority of their time in the greenhouse, seeding; they may also freshen up the raised beds and direct- seed some cooler-weather crops. If you’re interested in volunteering, our drop-in hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings from 9:00AM to 1:00PM - Wednesday afternoons from 2:00PM to 5:00PM. For more information about volunteering, please visit www.ymcasouthcoast.org and search for Sharing the Harvest. You can also contact us by email at sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org or via phone at 508 993 3361 extension 13.
Do Something Reel Film Festival
Whole Foods Market presents a series of free film screenings providing a moving, eye-opening look at how the choices we make can have a huge impact on our bodies, our economy and our environment.

April 20 - Vanishing of the Bees
April 27 - Urban Roots

Brought to you by Whole Foods Market, Eco RI and Hope Artiste Village. Movies will be played from 7:30-9pm in the Greenhouse room of the Wintertime Market on Wednesdays. Hosted by Whole Foods Market at the Wintertime Market at Hope Artiste Village: 1005 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI. Contact Bonnie Frechette at (401) 621-5990 for more information. Learn more here.
Local Agriculture Opportunities
Building Agricultural Skills for the Southcoast - Our apprenticeship program is at the heart of our on farm educational programs. In 2009, we initiated a formal apprenticeship program through collaboration with 2 New Bedford community organizations to provide a summertime urban agricultural apprenticeship. This season we are expanding our training programs to offer full-season agricultural production apprenticeships, as well as hope to continue our urban agriculture partnerships. Come learn the craft of organic agriculture on a small scale diversified vegetable farm.  Learn more here or here (PDF)
New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest
The New Bedford Conservation Commission is proud to announce the first ever New Bedford Wetland Photo Contest! We are looking for your best photograph(s) of any flora, fauna, or natural landscape in New Bedford’s wetlands. The goal of this contest is for everyone to become more aware of wetlands in New Bedford and of their beauty and benefit to the environment. Photographs will be displayed at New Bedford City Hall and the public can vote for their favorite photo(s). The top 12 photographs will have their credited picture in the 2012 Conservation Commission electronic calendar. There is also a drawing to win great prizes just for entering the photo contest. Pictures will be accepted until September 30, voting begins October – November 4th and winners will be announced in December.

For more information and to read official rules, view New Bedford wetland locations and to print an entry form visit  http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/WetlandPhotoContest.htm
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).
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.
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 For Buzzards Bay seeks many positions
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 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.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Green wedding tips
Weddings are often extravagant events generating a great deal of consumption and waste, so here's a selection of green wedding tips to make your big day a little more environmentally friendly! Learn more here.

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

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