Having trouble reading this Almanac? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2011_05_05.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Sustainability Logo
May 5 to 12, 2011

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Plant Sale!

Local Food Meeting


Save The Date:

People on Bikes Connecting Communities

Sunset Kayak Tour



Give Mom What She Has Always Wanted. A BRICK.

Ocean Explorium Annual Appeal

Weekly Green Tip:

How you can "Green" your kids toys

Clip of the Week

Hans Rosling on global population growth
The world's population will grow to 9 billion over the next 50 years -- and only by raising the living standards of the poorest can we check population growth. This is the paradoxical answer that Hans Rosling unveils at TED@Cannes using colorful new data display technology (you'll see).

Weekly Quote:

"I conceive that the land belongs to a vast family of which many are dead, few are living, and countless numbers are still unborn."
- Author Unknown

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Melting Climate Researchers Urged To Use 'Plain Language'
Climate scientists gathering at a conference on Arctic warming were asked Wednesday to explain the dramatic melting in the region in layman's terms, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

An authoritative report released at the meeting in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the Arctic could result in global sea levels rising 5 feet within this century, much higher than previous forecasts. Read more here.

People U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century's End
The population of the world, long expected to stabilize just above 9 billion in the middle of the century, will instead keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by the year 2100, the United Nations projected in a report released Tuesday.

Growth in Africa remains so high that the population there could more than triple in this century, rising from today's one billion to 3.6 billion, the report said — a sobering forecast for a continent already struggling to provide food and water for its people. Read more here.

Solar Roads Arctic ice is melting faster than expected, report says
STOCKHOLM — Arctic ice is melting faster than expected and could raise the average global sea level by as much as five feet this century, an authoritative new report suggests.

The study by the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, or AMAP, is one of the most comprehensive updates on climate change in the Arctic, and builds on a similar assessment in 2005. Read more here.

Algae Aurora Algae's demonstration opens for business in Algstralia
Where are all the algae gallons, you ask? Ah, grasshopper, look to Outback Australia, where Aurora Algae is basking in the southern light.

In Australia, Aurora Algae opened its demonstration facility in Karratha, Western Australia, where the Company's algae-based biomass is being harvested for products in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, aquaculture and renewable energy markets. Read more here.

The World's Tropical Forests Are Already Feeling the Heat
Much attention has been paid to how global warming is affecting the world's polar regions and glaciers. But a leading authority on tropical forests warns that rising temperatures could have an equally profound impact on rainforests and are already taking a toll on some tropical species. Read more here.

Commentator Reassessing the Chinese Clean-Tech Juggernaut (or Why the U.S. Shouldn't be Written off Quite Yet)
China is clearly a clean-tech force to be reckoned with. It installed more wind power, manufactured more solar PV and solar hot water heaters, and spent more money overall on clean-energy investments than any other nation in 2010. The Chinese government, facing severe pollution issues and energy shortages, has made clean tech a cornerstone of its economic security and development plans.

In the nation's latest Five-Year Plan, the Chinese are calling for at least 11 percent of energy to come from non-fossil fuels by 2015. At least 70 GW of new wind capacity, 5 GW of new solar capacity, and a $76.7 billion commitment to build new transmission lines to move renewable energy around the country are just a few of the nation's current targets and efforts. Read more here.

Stove Who is Top Banana in Sustainable Banana Business?
When it comes to fresh produce, establishing brand recognition is a tricky business. Many commercially grown fruits and vegetables are indistinguishable from one company to the next. Bananas are one standout exception largely thanks to the Chiquita company's groundbreaking ad campaign in the 1960?s. The company also has a jump on sustainability marketing, having worked with the Rainforest Alliance since the 1990?s. Now there's a new banana vying for attention in that arena: Dole has just announced that it is selling bananas from farms in South America that are certified by the Rainforest Alliance. Read more here.

Trinidad Cornerstones of a Rooted Economy
Can the small fishers of Trinidad and Tobago become pillars of a new economy when the oil- and gas-based economy finally runs dry?

"Have a gas," a friend chuckles as she bids us adieu from our town of Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a fitting send-off since we are traveling to Trinidad and Tobago, a country known by some for its gas and oil, and by many others for its raucous carnival. We are headed that way neither for gas nor carnival, nor to loll with Europeans at Tobago's upscale eco-tourism facilities. Read more here.

Leaf Araucarias gauge ancient levels of carbon dioxide
Knowing the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere today is easy – you just go outside and measure it – but gauging levels of CO2 from millions of years ago is not so simple. Now scientists have found how araucarias can help to solve the problem.

One way of telling how much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere in the past is by counting pores (or stomata) in leaves – the tiny openings plants use to absorb CO2 and lose water. Read more here.

Giraffe Wildlife Right of Way
Big mammals shouldn't be a casualty of modern society. They could make a comeback—if we give them what they need most: room to roam.

Vast as Yellowstone National Park is, it's not big enough for grizzlies. Before European settlement, an estimated 50,000 grizzlies lived in North America. They ranged from Alaska to Mexico, and across the Great Plains. Since then urban sprawl, deforestation, pollution, and climate disruption have destroyed almost all of their historic habitat. Researchers estimate that in the lower 48 states only 2 percent of the mountains, forests, and prairies that grizzlies once called home still support their seasonal diets and migration patterns. Now there are scarcely 1,000 grizzly bears in the contiguous United States, confined to a few pockets of protected wilderness in Idaho, Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. Read more here.

Bikes Nation's capital captivated by those cherry red bikes
The sharing program Boston plans is already huge hit in Washington

WASHINGTON — When this city rolled out its bike-sharing network last September, Aaron Adkins was not one of the early adopters. An executive assistant who wears crisply pressed suits to work, he had scarcely been on a bicycle since childhood. But these new bikes — candy apple red, rolling past traffic, seemingly everywhere — proved hard to resist.

So last month Adkins gave Capital Bikeshare a try. Laptop bag strapped to the front rack, breeze in his face, he zipped to work in less than half the usual time and became a convert in a single commute. Read more here.

Home Radical Homemaking: It's Not a Competition
When it comes to ecological living, there's always someone who's doing it better. So what?

As publishers of a book about ecological, values-centered living, my husband Bob and I have experienced many moments of guilty squeamishness. Because I spent so much time studying the subject, and because we believed in the ideas strongly enough to pony up the cash and take Radical Homemakers to the printer, we feel we're supposed to be some kind of paragon of the lifestyle. That is an ideal that is impossible to attain. I write and research to learn more about something I feel is important, not because Bob and I are experts at implementing all the concepts. We published Radical Homemakers as a result of being on that path, not because we have mastered the lifestyle. Read more here.

Bike How the bicycle economy can help us beat the energy crisis
Libya. Bahrain. Iraq. Afghanistan. Canada. Fukushima. North Dakota. The Gulf Coast. Pennsylvania.

Each of these stories stands alone as an urgent parable about our increasingly fragile reliance on affordable, plentiful energy.

Take them together, and the myth of abundant fuel that our economy relies on falls to pieces all at once. Read more here.

Environmental groups sue Chicago over its sewage
Environmental groups on Tuesday sued the city of Chicago's water treatment authority, charging its sewage promotes algae growth that is choking Midwestern rivers and contributes to the Gulf of Mexico's "dead zone."

The federal lawsuit demands Chicago's Metropolitan Water Reclamation District deal with frequent runoff of untreated sewage into local waterways during storms that cause problems downstream. Read more here.

Gas What Determines the Price of Gas: A Visual Guide
Think the U.S. can drill its way out of expensive gas? Think again.
Gas prices are on a collision path with $4, putting additional burden on an economy that's recovering from a housing bust, credit crunch, and deep recession. What goes into the price of gasoline and why is it rising so fast all of a sudden?

Let's look at the price at the pump. Every year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration breaks down the price of a gallon of gas into four major components: First, there are state and federal gas taxes, which add between 20 and 50 cents to the final price. Second, you have additional costs like distribution, marketing and refining. Read more here.

Ouch Americans opt for small cars as gas reaches $4
Rising prices making petite, fuel-efficient cars more appealing

Americans are going for smaller cars as gas prices march higher.

New models that get 35 mpg or better, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Ford Focus, led most major automakers to stronger April sales. Even buyers of pickup trucks chose more efficient engines. Read more here.

Obama says he wants oil producers to boost output
WASHINGTON - As the high cost of gasoline takes a toll on politics and pocket books, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies to help stabilize prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.

"We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it's not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices," Obama told a Detroit TV station. Read more here.

Flooding southeast Missouri farmland was a tough but good decision
Living in a flood plain is a calculated risk. Farming, even more so.

The odds caught up with property owners in southeast Missouri this week, as floodwaters washed over 300,000 acres of fertile farmland and about 90 homes.

The ruination of crops and livelihoods was especially bitter because it came as the result of a human decision. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blasted a hole in the levee at Birds Point, Mo., on Monday, sacrificing farmland in a bid to save communities upstream. Read more here.

Social Security ending payment by paper checks
Social Security is closing the books on the era of paper checks.

Starting in May, anyone applying for Social Security benefits will only have the option to receive them electronically. The 10 million people who still receive Social Security checks by mail — about one in every seven recipients — still have nearly two years to make the switch to direct deposit. Read more here.

Got Mustard?
Pardon me, American policymaker, "Do you have any Grey Poupon?" Or maybe your preference is good ol' French's Classic Yellow?

Either way you may want to stock up on your favorite, so you will have something to help you choke down that heapin' helpin' of baloney that you're about to be served over the coming weeks and months by the special interests who are doing everything in their power to prevent adoption of updated energy codes that promise to significantly increase performance in new homes and other buildings. Read more here.

Resources Jeremy Grantham must-read, "Time to Wake Up: Days of Abundant Resources and Falling Prices Are Over Forever"
The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly.

The purpose of this, my second (and much longer) piece on resource limitations, is to persuade investors with an interest in the long term to change their whole frame of reference: to recognize that we now live in a different, more constrained, world in which prices of raw materials will rise and shortages will be common. (Previously, I had promised to update you when we had new data. Well, after a lot of grinding, this is our first comprehensive look at some of this data.) Read more here.

Rowing Rowing crews return to harbor after more than a century away
NEW BEDFORD — It was a sight not seen in the upper harbor in more than a century.

On Saturday morning, more than 40 participants — ranging in age from 14 to 60 — propelled their way south on the Acushnet River in an organized regatta, the inaugural New Bedford Community Rowing Acushnet Sprints. Read more here.

FoodEx Teams up with SEMAP to Offer Greater Access to Local Farmers and Fresher Produce for Local Consumers
Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) and FoodEx, a food exchange operated by Organic Renaissance, have come together to make local food distribution a reality and strengthen the regional food system in southeastern Massachusetts. FoodEx will operate a food hub in New Bedford's south end providing local pickups, deliveries, and warehousing while opening direct access to Boston and other regional markets. The New Bedford facility is scheduled to open in June 2011. SEMAP will facilitate introductions to the service and provide technical assistance to farmers transitioning to wholesale through its Farms Forever program. Read more here

Winning Project Connects Local Farms to Local Students
The Rhode Island Farm to School Project, coordinated by Kids First, has been recognized as the winner of the Environment Council of Rhode Island's Sen. John Chafee Conservation Leadership award for outstanding community conservation.

The project works to improve children's nutrition, support sustainable agriculture and preserve open space and the quality of the state's environment. The project brings locally grown foods from Rhode Island farms into local school cafeterias. . Read more here.

Walkway Old Second Street in Fall River converted to public walkway; no cars allowed
Following a recent legal opinion and vote by the Redevelopment Authority, the city on Wednesday erected signs along the wide and picturesque brick and concrete walkway known as Old Second Street prohibiting vehicles for safety reasons.

"No parking or vehicular traffic allowed. All vehicular will be towed at owner's expense per order of the Fall River Redevelopment Authority," reads the two highly visible black and white signs. Read more here.

Limits on biomass energy proposed
Rules that would make constructing large wood-burning power plants in the state much more difficult were proposed yesterday by the Patrick administration.

If the regulations are made final, it could mean that three proposed large wood-burning, or biomass, plants in Russell, Springfield, and Greenfield would not be built because they would no longer be eligible for renewable energy credits that made them more competitive with traditional power sources. However, smaller plants that generate electricity and also use the heat are eligible and could be built. Read more here.

South Coast Rail panned as '$2 billion boondoggle'
MANSFIELD — While many SouthCoast political and business leaders support commuter rail extension, a hearing Wednesday night in Mansfield served as a reminder that many from the communities to the north hold dramatically different views on the proposal.

The meeting at Qualters Middle School was the first of two public hearings scheduled for this week by the Army Corps of Engineers, which is taking testimony on the proposal to extend commuter rail from Boston to New Bedford and Fall River, possibly through Stoughton. The second hearing is scheduled for tonight at Keith Middle School in New Bedford.d be supplied by very large tankers that would shut down Narragansett Bay twice a week and cause a significant economic loss to the local economy. Read more here.

Freetown keeps planning for commuter rail station
Freetown is a step closer to having its own train station, now that the Army Corps of Engineers has completed the Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Draft Environmental Impact Report on the South Coast Rail Project.

"The document is a critical part of the permitting process for the South Coast Rail Project," Selectman Jean Fox said. "The report compares the transportation performance and environmental impacts and benefits of a number of alternatives, including the bus line up Route 24." Read more here.

Stoughton approves increase in South Coast Rail litigation funds
Town Meeting approved increasing the town's legal fees by $50,000 for South Coast Rail litigation.

In the town's proposed budget, legal fees were originally slated for $154,000. On Town Meeting floor, Selectman John Stagnone said the board wished to increase it to $204,000 for South Coast Rail litigation. Read more here.

WPI reaches speaker deal
Worcester Polytechnic Institute seniors upset over the school's choice of commencement speaker will be allowed to skip the speech, but still receive their diploma during the graduation ceremony.

Word of the compromise came last night after two seniors met with school administrators. The meeting was to discuss options to the school's earlier plan to mail diplomas to graduates who walk out on the commencement speaker and instead go hear an alternative speaker. The students had hoped to return before the end of the program to collect their degrees with the class. Read more here.

Mayor barks at bycatch ruling in wake of NORPEL shutdown
NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Scott W. Lang reacted angrily to Thursday's decision by the New England Fishery Management Council to keep sharp restrictions on haddock bycatch by midwater trawlers catching herring and mackerel.

The council, he said, continues to ignore the harm its decisions are causing to fishing communities and is setting limits that have no scientific justification. "Haddock is not a choke species," Lang said. Read more here.

RailOUR VIEW: Fight tooth and nail to get South Coast Rail
"It's no secret that Fall River has not yet shared in the recovery seen in other parts of the state," Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan told local business leaders in his business address Wednesday morning at the Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry's breakfast.

Along with several other points Wednesday, the mayor told business leaders that one of the key pieces to the city's economic development puzzle is "to finally build a connection with Boston that will attract even more talent and new business to our city." Read more here.

Small Wind, Solar Lose R.I. Tax Incentives
Solar panels for the home are bit more expensive this year, but that may not last long.

If you don't know by now, and it seems a few wind and solar installers didn't know, the 25 percent tax credit for solar and wind instillation was knocked out of the existing state budget. Read more here.

Our View: Back the FRAC Act
Natural gas has often been self-branded as a cleaner alternative to oil and coal, but a recent investigation by congressional Democrats indicates that such claims are spurious, at best.

The study focused on the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, a process in which a mix of chemicals, water and sand are blasted into the ground to help facilitate the extraction of both oil and gas. Read more here.

Feds agree to scale back ocean wind zone
Federal officials have agreed to reduce a large section of ocean off Massachusetts being considered for wind energy projects by more than half.

"We have heard significant concerns from the people of Massachusetts and we have acted on those concerns," U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich said in a statement on the decision released Monday. Read more here.

Planning, economic experts see recovery hope in rail, BioPark
FALL RIVER — More than twice as many Fall Riverites are out of work now than when the recession started in September 2008, and more people are unemployed now — more than 8,600, by state data — than at any point during that time.

Since the start of 2011, Fall River and Massachusetts have trended in opposite directions. The city has taken on 1,200 to the unemployed ranks, while the state has added 30,000 workers. Read more here.

Officials lobby NORPEL to rethink herring, mackerel shutdown
NEW BEDFORD — State and city officials huddled with the president of Northern Pelagic Group on Thursday in an effort to prevent the local seafood business from closing its doors for good.

The herring and mackerel fishing operation, known by the abbreviated name of NORPEL, shut down on April 5, blaming overregulation for its demise. Read more here.

Building workshop will emphasize smart techniques
FALL RIVER — The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources is sponsoring Smarter Building Workshop, presented by the Center for EcoTechnology and Conservation Services on Friday, May 13. Check-in is at 8 a.m. and training is 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center, 151 Martine St.

The workshop describes smart building techniques, from the foundation to the roof. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Green Drinks Newport

May 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Forty 1 North, Christie's Landing, 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. Info: Contact Kara DiCamillo at kara@6square.com. Details here.

Birding in the Bioreserve

May 7, 7 - 9AM, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, Fall River, MA
Large unfragmented areas like the Bioreserve support an array of warblers and other interior forest birds such as the wood thrush, ovenbird, and scarlet tanager. Many of these unique birds pass through the area for only a few weeks each spring on their way north. Join Lynn Abbey of the Paskamansett Bird Club at the height of the spring migration. Bring binoculars. Details here.

Volunteers sought for Buttonwood cleanup

May 7, 9AM - 12PM, Dartmouth YMCA
The Friends of Buttonwood Park are seeking volunteers to help in cleaning up Buttonwood Park. The cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 7 and participants should meet at 8:45 a.m. in front of the Warming House to register. The Friends and the city will supply any tools, equipment and materials needed. Free pizza and other refreshments will be provided to the volunteers. For more information, call 508-996-1299 or info@buttonwoodpark.org Details here.

Sharing the Harvest Community Farm Plant Sale

May 7, 9AM - 2PM, Dartmouth YMCA
Green house grown starter vegetable plants for your garden. Tomato | Eggplant | pepper | Squash | Cucumber | Pumpkin | Kale | Swiss Chard...just to name a few Details here.

The Big Walk

May 7, 9AM - 4PM, Freetown-Fall River State Forest, Slab Bridge Rd., Assonet
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.

Citizens Bank Foundation Free Family Fun Day

May 7, 9AM - 5PM, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope St., Bristol.
The Audubon Environmental Education Center is open free to the public the first Saturday of every month. Crafts, nature stories, animal discoveries and hikes. No need to register. Details here.

Volunteer Trails Building Day

May 7, 10AM - 2PM, Lyman Reserve
Volunteers are welcome to join The Trustees of Reservations and Trout Unlimited for a day of trail building. We will be cutting brush to form a new network of trails as well as learning how to construct bog bridges over wet areas. Tools will be provided but volunteers are encouraged to bring their own hand tools. Bring your own lunch but snacks will be provided! 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. Details here.

Slocum River Kayak Tour

May 8, 10 AM, Lloyd Center Headquarters
Cost: Members: $45 Non-members: $55 Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, May 6th. Ages 14 and up. Limit: 10The Slocum River is a peaceful scenic estuary, offering extraordinary views, great birding and paddling. Come explore the many coves and marshes along this classic New England landscape. Paddlers of all abilities are welcome. All tours include basic kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Details here.

SEMAP & FoodEx Launch Tour New Bedford Meeting

May 9, 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, The Mill at 21 Cove Street, New Bedford
SEMAP will host a three-stop launch tour for growers, producers and buyers to view a demonstration of the FoodEx platform at www.orfoodex.com. FoodEx president, Jonathan D. Kemp, will provide a detailed description of how FoodEx coordinates transportation of local foods from the farm or New Bedford facilities directly to chefs, retailers, institutions, and other buyers throughout New England. Each informational session will allow plenty of time for Q&A. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Tree Planting

May 14, 9am, Eastern Ave, Fall River
Tree Planting, 12 trees, Eastern Ave. In front of the Watson School, in conjunction with United Parish of Fall River, First Congregational Church and the City of Fall River. Details here.

Save The Bay Annual Green Landscaping Workshop and Bayside Farmers' Market

May 14, 9am - noon, Save The Bay Center, 100 Save The Bay Drive, Providence
Test your soil for acidity, learn about drip irrigation, design a rain garden, create a bird-friendly backyard, shop at a farmers' market. Free admission. Details here.

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.

Tire Drop-off Day

May 14, 9AM-Noon, Shawmut Avenue Transfer Station, 1103 Shawmut Avenue, New Bedford.
Open to New Bedford and Dartmouth residents only. ID required. Fees (cash or check only) - $1 each for car tires, $5 each for light duty truck tires and $15 each for heavy duty truck tires (no more than 6, no off-road equipment tires). Tires greater than 24 inches are not accepted. No commercial loads. For more information about any of the events, contact Marissa Perez-Dormitzer, District Recycling Coordinator at (508) 979-1493 or recycling@newbedford-ma.gov. Details here.

Markets of New England Book Launch Party

May 14, 7-9pm, Hope Artiste Village, Pawtucket, RI
I am teaming up with Farm Fresh Rhode Island to celebrate the launch of my first book, Markets of New England. Join us for food, music, raw cooking demonstrations, book signings and more! The party will take place in the Greenhouse room, at Hope Artiste Village on May 14, 2011, from 7-9pm. All proceeds from the book will be donated to Farm Fresh. Markets of New England showcases 50 of the most unique and thriving farmers markets and art events in the region. The message of the book, and of the party, is to support local artists and farmers in an effort to preserve community and develop a thriving local economy. The book has generated interest nationwide, and will be sold at Anthropologie stores, as well as featured in a number of prominent publications, including the Boston Globe, Yankee, and Budget Travel. Details here.


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.

Roots Down - Free Organic Gardening Workshop

May 17, 5:00 p.m., Lawler Branch Library, New Bedford
Understanding, Controlling, & Learning from Weeds plus Sweet Roots: Beets/Carrots! Details here.

Weatherization and Building Performance Work in Massachusetts: A Primer for South-Coast Builders and Contractors

May 17, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons
For those working in the construction field, it's difficult to know how to get access to the growing demand for high-performance building and weatherization work. More and more homeowners and landlords are interested in saving on energy costs, but much of this interest is fueled by utility incentives and low-income weatherization programs. How can you know if a homeowner is eligible? And how can you, in turn, be a preferred contractor for your local utility or weatherization program? What does it mean to be a BPI building analyst or an Energy Star preferred builder? If these sound like familiar questions, please join us in this free conversation about pathways to weatherization and building performance work. Details here.

South Coast Sustainable Cinema - GASLAND

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.

Spring Bird Walk

May 20, 7:00 – 9:00 a.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters, lower lot
Rise early to see and hear bird activity during mid-spring before the leaves are fully out and the forest birds are highly visible with many species having already arrived for the nesting season. The walk will begin with bird observations at the Lloyd Center's Headquarters where many songbirds may be seen along the forest edges and on the Center's birdfeeders. Details here. (Rain date: Saturday, May 21st)

Applications of Biological Medicine

May 20-22, Waypoint Conference Center, New Bedford
This Seminar is designed for healthcare practitioners, medical students and the public who are interested in learning more about Biological Medicine. Details here.

Endangered Species Day

May 20, all day, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Cost: Free with zoo admission Join us for a self-lead stroll around the zoo to find out more about endangered and threatened species. Details here.

Bird Walk at Ridge Hill

May 21, 8:00 am – 10:00 am, Ridge Hill
Cost: Free with zoo admission Join us for a self-lead stroll around the zoo to find out more about endangered and threatened species. Details here.

Community Garden Kick-Off

May 21, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Westport Town Farm
Inch by inch, row by row, help us make this garden grow! Cultivate a stronger community along with delicious fresh veggies by joining us as we start another growing season at our Westport community garden. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

May 25, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters
Cost: Members: $38 Non-members: $45 Pre-registration required by Noon on Tuesday, May 24th. Ages 14 and up. Limit: 10 What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You'll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary, enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shore birds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky. Details here.

Westport Town Farm Community Garden Volunteers

May 28, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Westport Town Farm
Cultivate a stronger community along with delicious fresh veggies by volunteering at our community garden. Join us Saturdays during the season or call 508.636.5780 to arrange a time that's convenient for you. All ages welcome, no prior experience needed. Details here.

Woodland Plant Walk

June 4, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm, Destruction Brook Woods
With guest leader Jim Sears. Details here.

Westport Town Farm Community Garden Volunteers

June 4, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, Westport Town Farm
Cultivate a stronger community along with delicious fresh veggies by volunteering at our community garden. Join us Saturdays during the season or call 508.636.5780 to arrange a time that's convenient for you. All ages welcome, no prior experience needed. Details here.

Green Jobs, Green Economy Initiative Fundraiser/Friendraiser with Van Jones

June 6, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, 689 Belleville Ave, New Bedford
Community Ecology: Moving from Competition to Co-Creation. We are honored to have Van Jones as the featured speaker for the event. Jones is a globally-recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Contact: Kalia Lydgate, klydgate@marioninstitute.org. Details here.

Kayak Program with Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures

June 6, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Osprey Sea Kayak, Westport
Join Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures and Shelli Costa, Education Director, from the Westport River Watershed Alliance, on a kayak trip in the Westport River. Enjoy being out on the water while spotting birds, learning about the watershed, and paddling down the river. Costs are $40 for members, and $50 for non-members. Please contact Osprey Sea Kayak Adventures at (508)636-0300 to register for this event. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Give Mom What She Has Always Wanted. A BRICK.
Help Families in Mastatal Costa Rica have a place to learn and grow. Your donation of $4 helps build a community center. Learn more here.
Organic Pest & Disease Control Course
Bristol Community College announces a new course in Organic Pest & Disease Control. The course is designed to benefit farmers, gardeners, nursery growers, landscapers, land managers, and community organizations. The course will be a practical survey of principles and practices for effective management of pests and diseases in SE Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The course will be available as a 1 credit college accredited course ($166 tuition) or as a noncredit course ($75) through the Center for Workforce and Community Education. Online enrollment is available at www.bristolcc.edu. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Mondays (6-9 pm) until October 24. More information: contact Dr. Jim Corven (james.corven@bristolcc.edu).
Springtime Organic Gardening Course
This spring Brix Bounty Farm is helping you to trade your foodmiles for foodsteps. Join us for Diggin' Deep – a dynamic hands-on learning opportunity for new & experienced gardeners interested in gaining knowledge and skills central to organic vegetable production 10 AM – 2 PM on 5 Saturdays: May 21 – June 25 with optional session on May 28th at Brix Bounty Farm, 858 Tucker Road, Dartmouth MA02747 Cost: Please consider "Paying it Forward" with a donation to NOFAMass. Pre-registration is required, space is limited Email derekchristianson@gmail.com or call the farm, 508-992-1868, to register Learn more here.
Ocean Explorium Annual Appeal 2011
The Ocean Explorium has just launched its 2011 Annual Appeal, with a mailing to individual and corporate members, donors, volunteers and community supporters. Contributions to the Annual Appeal support the organization, its staff, exhibits and programs. Mark Smith, Executive Director of the Ocean Explorium, hopes that gifts to this year's Appeal surpass previous campaigns as a new exhibit is being installed at the same time that demand for programs continues to increase. Learn more here.
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.
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
How you can "Green" your kids toys
Toys seem to multiply mysteriously as kids grow. Gifts from relatives, impulse buys, bribes. There seems to be no end of occasions to buy kids toys. Every parent knows that these toys enjoy their moment in the sun, only to be quickly discarded in favor of new toys. Sometimes, these new "toys" are nothing but empty cardboard boxes or wrapping. There are many ways that parents can make their kids' toys more eco-friendly by cutting down on the waste that buying so many new toys creates, and by choosing more sustainable and less toxic materials. 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.