Having trouble reading this Almanac? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2011_07_21.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Jaime Sustainability Logo
July 21 to July 28, 2011

In This Issue

News:

Global, national, and local news, plus our new Voices section

This week:

Summer Shorebird Walk

Careers in Weatherization Presentation

More

Save The Date:

Dartmouth Grange Fair

Massachusetts Marketplace Festival

More

Announcements:

SouthCoast Energy Challenge Launched!

DOE Releases Annual Market Reports for Wind Energy, Advanced Vehicles, and Fuel Cell Technology

Weekly Green Tip:

WWOOF - a working farm holiday

Clip of the Week

Double Panes
A clever, well-made music video about energy auditing.
Movie!

Weekly Quote:

"Energy conservation is the foundation of energy independence. "
-Tom Allen, D-Maine

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Make a difference!

Join others in the community to make a real difference! Take the
South Coast Energy Challenge!
Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors

This week we introduce ourselves with this Letter from the Editors. It's meant to comment on the news at hand and give a bit of perspective to what we're all reading about sustainability issues. We're also pushing the envelope a bit with our new section called "Voices" where we're including some less mainstream articles that may be important to the discourse. We hope to hear from you if you think they are valuable additions to the mix of more mainstream stories that we're accustomed to reading.

Those of us at the Almanac are troubled that major influences on the larger national and international publications may be filtering sustainability news too much, and we want to make room for full consideration of the facts and opinions of this emerging and vital field. Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.

Leaf Bullet News
Global
Rainforest Catastrophe United Nations: Only Green Technology Can Avert 'Planetary Catastrophe'
NEW YORK, New York - Humanity is near to breaching the sustainability of Earth, and needs a technological revolution greater and faster than the industrial revolution to avoid "a major planetary catastrophe," warns a new United Nations report.

"The World Economic and Social Survey 2011: The Great Green Technological Transformation," published today by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs calls for investments of at least $1.9 trillion per year to avert this catastrophe. Read more here.

City Parking To Curb Driving, Cities Cut Down on Car Parking
Bit by bit, for the past 40 years, the city of Copenhagen has done something revolutionary: The Danish capital has reduced its parking supply. Cutting the total number of parking spaces by a small percentage each year stands in stark contrast to the more common pattern of cities adding more and more parking to accommodate private cars.

But in a few pockets around the world, momentum is growing behind efforts to bump out large parking lots, curbside parking, and garages in favor of services and infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transportation. Read more here.

U.S. Shale Gas and the World Energy Power Balance
Rising U.S. natural gas production from shale formations has already played a critical role in weakening Russia's ability to wield an "energy weapon" over its European customers, and this trend will accelerate in the coming decades, according to a new Baker Institute study, "Shale Gas and U.S. National Security." The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, projects that Russia's natural gas market share in Western Europe will decline to as little as 13 percent by 2040, down from 27 percent in 2009. The Baker Institute study dismisses the notion, recently debated in the U.S. media, that the shale gas revolution is a transitory occurrence. Read more here.

Ethiopia Nile River Ethiopia Moves Forward with Massive Nile Dam Project
Ethiopia has announced that it will construct a controversial multibillion-dollar Nile River dam that could supply more than 5,000 megawatts of electricity for itself and its neighbors, including newcomer South Sudan.

The project—the Grand Millennium Dam—has sparked worries about environmental and human costs and is refocusing attention on the country’s troubled history with large dams. Read more here.

Debate Continues Over European Union’s 2020 Emissions Goal
Europe has set a bold target for itself, reducing its total carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 against 1990 levels. It is an ambitious goal, no doubt, but one that is certainly attainable at the rate the continent is going. Just last year, statistics showed that Europe's emissions had already fallen by 8 percent. Taken as a good sign, some politicians believe 20 percent reduction is not enough; Europe should cut emissions by 30% by 2020! This new push by the has opened up a new debate, but not everybody is so thrilled. Read more here.

Global Natural Resources WTO row spotlights nations clamping down on resources
Countries from India and Indonesia to Russia are tightening their grip on natural resources as they limit exports to build up domestic industry in a trend that will spawn many challenges to World Trade Organization rules.

Export barriers are tightening on commodities ranging from food and coal to iron ore and coveted rare earths that have critical roles in high-tech devices as countries harden positions on what they see as a sovereign right to development. Read more here.

Japanese Cattle Radiation-Tainted Beef Spreads Through Japan’s Markets
MINAMISOMA, Japan — Even after explosions rocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, Kuniaki Sato, who raises cattle here about 20 miles from the crippled complex, said he had received no clear warning from the government about the possible dangers of radiation to his herd.

So six weeks after the accident, on April 23, he shipped 12 of his prized cattle from his farm to market.

Now Japanese agricultural officials say meat from more than 500 cattle that were likely to have been contaminated with radioactive cesium has made its way to supermarkets and restaurants across Japan in recent weeks. Officials say the cattle ate hay that had been stored outside and exposed to radiation. Read more here.

Green Cement Green Cement: Near Reality or Just a Dream?
Cement is everywhere. The foundations of our buildings, the driveways that lead beyond suburban garage doors, the walls of our schools, and the mortar joints between every brick we lay contain a binding substance we call Portland cement. Cement is the binding agent used to hold together the tough aggregate (rocky gravel) in the concrete we can use for just about everything in modern construction. It seems harmless enough. We don't have to cut down trees to build with it. It isn't particularly full of toxins, and is incredibly durable and long lasting, but the environmental cost of concrete is astronomical. Read more here.

Meat Market Lab-Grown Meat Would Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Save Energy, Research Suggests
Meat grown using tissue engineering techniques, so-called 'cultured meat', would generate up to 96% lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventionally produced meat, according to a new study.

The analysis, carried out by scientists from Oxford University and the University of Amsterdam, also estimates that cultured meat would require 7-45% less energy to produce than the same volume of pork, sheep or beef. It would require more energy to produce than poultry but only a fraction of the land area and water needed to rear chickens. Read more here.

National
Vermont Farmer Vermont Town's Food Focus Still A Growing Concept
The town of Hardwick, Vt., has been celebrated as the scene of a local food revival. In recent years, lots of small farms have started up nearby.

Tom Stearns, president of a local organic seed company called High Mowing Seeds, says there are more organic farms per capita within 10 miles of Hardwick than anywhere else in the world. There's also a thriving local grocery co-op; a busy farmer's market; even a classy restaurant — Claire's — where almost anything you eat grew or grazed on land nearby. Read more here.

America's Newest Farm Owners Aren't Farmers
Braden Janowski has never planted seeds or brought in a harvest. He doesn't even own overalls.

Yet when 430 acres of Michigan cornfields was auctioned last summer, it was Janowski, a brash, 33-year-old software executive, who made the winning bid. It was so high - $4 million, 25 percent above the next-highest - that some farmers stood, shook their heads and walked out. And Janowski figures he got the land cheap. Read more here.

Nissan Leaf Car Nissan to make Leaf electric motor in Tennessee
Nissan Motor Co Ltd will produce the electric motor for its all-electric Nissan Leaf car at its powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee, starting in early 2013, the company said on Wednesday.

Nissan will add a new assembly line to make room for the added output, which will create up to 90 new jobs, the company said. The Decherd plant already makes engines for all Nissan and Infiniti vehicles made in the United States. Read more here.

Salmon Ocean fish populations coming back, but some California fish remain in crisis
While the mainstream media has published a number of articles lately noting that marine fisheries are in extreme crisis around the world because of overfishing, a federal government report issued today indicates that U.S. marine fish populations are steadily rebuilding because of strict regulations imposed upon commercial and recreational fisheries off the Pacific, Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

“We are making great progress ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks around the nation,” Eric Schwaab, assistant NOAA administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service said upon release of the annual report to Congress from NOAA’s Fisheries Service. “We are turning a corner as we see important fish stocks rebounding.” Read more here.

River Seeing Trends, Coalition Works to Help a River Adapt
NISQUALLY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Wash. — For 10,000 years the Nisqually Indians have relied on chinook salmon for their very existence, but soon those roles are expected to reverse.

Based on current warming trends, climate scientists anticipate that in the next 100 years the Nisqually River will become shallower and much warmer. Annual snowpack will decline on average by half. The glacier that feeds the river, already shrunken considerably, will continue to recede. Read more here.

NRC Meeting Staff Tells N.R.C. That U.S. Rules Need Overhaul After Fukushima
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s rules are a patchwork that needs to be reorganized and integrated into a new structure to improve safety, the agency’s staff told the five members of the commission on Tuesday at a meeting.

The session was called to consider reforms after a tsunami caused the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. But how speedily the commission will take up the recommendations is not clear. Read more here.

Business Eco-Damage A 4-Step Program to Put a Price Tag on Your Company's Eco Impacts
It's no wonder that more and more businesses are interested in managing their environmental impacts: In 2008, the world's 3,000 largest publicly traded companies caused $2.2 trillion in environmental damage -- about a third of the total eco damage caused human activity that year, according to a recent United Nations study.

For many companies, however, the biggest challenge in managing eco impacts is getting started. While there's little question that you can't manage what you don't measure, it can be tough to decide what to measure and value -- and how to do it. Read more here.

Computer Cloud Services Cloud Computing Can Save Big Firms Billions in Energy Costs
Want to save money while shrinking your company's carbon footprint? Look no further than cloud computing, experts say.

A new report released today by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) makes the case for why technologies such as virtualization and third party-hosted services, applications and websites can save big bucks for big companies while avoiding millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the process. Read more here.

Discourse
Ocean Blueprint A Blueprint for Our Blue Home
What happens when you try to build a house without a blueprint? The walls might go up in the wrong locations, or turn out too thin to support a second story. The electrician might arrive before the carpenter is ready, and then he might be unsure of where to place the light fixtures and outlets. Odds are that before long the structure will prove a jumble unsafe not only for its inhabitants, but also those nearby. Blueprints are essential to our homes and daily lives, just as, on a larger scale, urban planning is crucial to our cities.

Our oceans cover two-thirds of of what my grandfather called our "water planet," and the part of the ocean that falls under the jurisdiction of the United States covers an area larger than the country itself. Our oceans are facing innumerable threats -- from overfishing and pollution to ocean acidification and invasive species -- yet we haven't had a blueprint for its use and development, incredible as that seems. Read more here.

New York Times Editorial: A Look Into the Ocean's Future
There is simply no exaggerating the importance of the oceans to earth's overall ecological balance. Their health affects the health of all terrestrial life. A new report by an international coalition of marine scientists makes for grim reading. It concludes that the oceans are approaching irreversible, potentially catastrophic change. Read more here.

Wall Street How to Liberate America from Wall Street Rule
The dominant story of the current political debate is that the government is broke. We can’t afford to pay for public services, put people to work, or service the public debt. Yet as a nation, we are awash in money. A defective system of money, banking, and finance just puts it in the wrong places.

Raising taxes on the rich and implementing financial reforms are essential elements of the solution to our seemingly intractable fiscal and economic crisis. Yet proposals currently on the table fall far short of the need. Read more here.

Money and Oil Barrel The Relationship Between Peak Oil and Peak Debt (Part 2)
Once debt growth peaks (shifts from growth to decline), we can expect a feed-back loop that will tend to make post-peak oil supply decline even more rapidly than it would otherwise.

The basic issue is that more debt tends to cause more demand, and thus higher oil prices. At these higher oil prices, oil tends to get pumped out more quickly than it would otherwise. But once a shift occurs from increasing credit availability to reduced credit availability, as it does about the time peak oil production is reached, then prices for all types of commodities tend drop. At these lower prices, oil production drops off more quickly than it would have otherwise. Read more here.

New Economy Book The Story of a New Economy
Some years ago the Filipino activist-philosopher Nicanor Perlas shared an insight with me that has since been a foundation of my work. Each of the three institutional sectors—business, government, and civil society—has its distinctive power competence. Business commands the power of money. Government commands the coercive power of the police and military. Civil society commands the power of authentic moral values communicated through authentic cultural stories. Moral authority ultimately trumps the power of money and guns. Therefore, civil society holds the ultimate power advantage. Read more here.


Local
Clean Energy Intern A New Generation Ready to Make a Difference
A world-class workforce is one of the most important advantages that Massachusetts has in the competition to grow a clean energy industry that can attract investment, build successful companies, and create jobs. Central to the development of that workforce is the involvement of students and young people, who are the key to the long-term future of our sector.

A new initiative launched this year by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center offers an important look at the value of student internships in attracting talent to the clean energy sector. Read more here.

RFK Jr. slams Cape Wind
Once again, a Kennedy is blasting the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm but this time the focus is on the high cost of the project.

In an opinion piece printed Monday in the Wall Street Journal, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. calls Cape Wind a "rip-off" and alleges that a merger between NStar and Northeast Utilities is being held up by Massachusetts utility regulators to force the companies to buy half of the project's power. Read more here.

What the Brookings Data Tells Us About the New England Clean Economy
The Brookings Institution’s new report “Sizing the Clean Economy” was released this morning. We (the Clean Energy Council) were pleased to be down here in DC to be part of the release, and though we are still going through the data, I wanted to share some highlights. This post will focus on each New England state, but the report includes data for the top 100 US metro areas, which is equally if not more interesting.

Before diving into state-level analysis, it’s worth pointing to a couple of the primary conclusions of the report: the national clean economy employs 2.7 million workers – more than the fossil fuel industry – and newer, energy-related cleantech segments produced “explosive job gains” from 2003 to 2010. Read more here.

Young Volunteer Javen's volunteer work gives Fall River hope
Voluntary community service is a rare thing to see in a 12-year-old boy. It is because of this that I share Javen Feliciano's story with you. Several weeks ago, Natalie Melo and I began the prep work on the Plymouth Avenue planter project. It was a beautiful, sunny, 85-degree Friday afternoon.

We were out there for about a half hour before this young man happened to cross the street. He paused on his way past, and spontaneously asked us if we'd like some help. We were overwhelmed by the goodness in his heart. So, we called his mother for permission, and Javen worked by our side for over four hours, pulling weeds, shoveling dirt and debris, and sweeping the medians. Read more here.

Activists deliver support for EPA mercury rule
Activists delivered more than 630,000 comments to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Boston July 19th to support the agency’s draft rules to significantly curb mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.

The agency is expected to finalize new mercury rules by mid-November that would cut emissions of the toxic metal from coal-fired plants by 91 percent, as well as cut other toxic pollution. The letters were delivered by a coalition of more than 200 health, environmental, and social justice organizations. Read more here.

Newport Food Fest Farm Fresh Food Fest Filling Fast
NEWPORT — The time has come again for Farm Fresh Rhode Island's Local Food Fest. The event — the organization's major fundraiser of the year — will feature foods grown and produced in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and prepared by local chefs.

Tickets were available at two prices, but an overwhelming response to the Aug. 2 event has left only tickets for sale at $125. The $75 tickets are gone. Read more here.

Freetown looks to keep away out-of-towners in battle against beach litter
FREETOWN — Police and other authorities have found broken glass and other debris strewn along the town beach on Long Pond and Porter Pasture.

Authorities especially bemoan the fact that much of the debris appears to be coming from out-of-town residents, including many Fall River visitors.

Selectmen voted Monday to impose $15 town parking passes that residents must obtain from Town Hall or the transfer station to park at the town beach or at Porter Pasture. Starting Aug 1., only town residents with these stickers can park by these areas. Read more here.

Mass. tax collections are $723M higher than projected
BOSTON — Tax collections for the Massachusetts fiscal year that ended June 30 exceeded projections by $723 million, leaving the state with what appeared to be a significant surplus despite continued economic and financial uncertainty.

Preliminary tax revenue estimates for the 12-month period were just above $20.5 billion, a 10.6 percent increase — nearly $2 billion — over the previous fiscal year, the state Revenue Department reported on Tuesday. Read more here.

Marshfield lawmaker pushes alternative energy source
BOSTON — A Marshfield lawmaker is pushing to make one of the state’s oldest energy sources new again.

State Rep. James Cantwell, D-Marshfield, wants the state to encourage research and investment in hydrokinetics – the harnessing of energy from moving water – by allowing private companies and municipalities to sell back any energy they create through this technology to utility companies. Read more here.

Fall River Art Fall River art program aims to create a new canvas
FALL RIVER — An effort is under way to turn eyesores into artspace, sprucing up some stark city neighborhoods, while also offering local artists some space to show off their work.

The program uses boarded up windows and grafitti-ridden brickwork primed with white paint to create new “blank canvases” for local artists to create artwork that also helps spread neighborhood pride. It was born out of a meeting between city officials and Carlos Cesar, president of the Flint Merchants Association. Read more here.

Future of Battleship Cove discussed at Fall River forum
FALL RIVER — An open house to discuss ideas for redeveloping the Battleship Cove area was held Thursday at the Marine Museum.

Mayor Will Flanagan welcomed residents to the workshop. “There are remarkable plans in store for our waterfront,” he told some 75 attendees, including several state and local officials. “We’re excited to see the concept plan come together.”

The workshop was a component of the technical assistance grant awarded to the city through the South Coast Rail project. Read more here.

Youth Graffiti Urban Scrawl: New Bedford youths tasked with graffiti removal
Dwayne Andrade stopped rolling gray paint onto a concrete pillar covered with spray-painted scrawl to consider two cartoonish renderings of red, horned goblins overhead.

"Those monsters, they are everywhere. All over the city," he said.

Andrade, 22, of New Bedford, is part of a nine-man crew that is literally graying over large swaths of urban blight, 24 hours per week. They've been battling that aesthetic scourge — graffiti — since July 11 and will do so until at least mid-August. Read more here.

NOAA to redirect dockside monitor funds
The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has decided to discontinue funding for the dockside monitoring program in the groundfish industry. NOAA said it will phase out the program by Sept. 19 and redirect the funds — around $1 million — to help fishermen defray some of their operational costs under the sector management system. Read more here.

Wing's Court construction to begin in two weeks
NEW BEDFORD — The revamping of Wing's Court, a public space that connects Union and Purchase streets and Acushnet Avenue downtown, will begin in two weeks. Asphalt will be replaced with brick that will match the sidewalk on Purchase and Union streets, said Jill Maclean, the city's assistant planner.

Plans call for the large planting in the court to be enlarged and changed. Evergreens will be replaced with shade trees, such as hawthorns. The project includes new lights, benches, tables and trash receptacles. Read more here.

Grant sought for conservation restriction
ACUSHNET — The town has applied for a $387,605 state land grant to help purchase a conservation restriction along the Acushnet River at the LaPalme Riverside Park, north of the old Acushnet Saw Mills complex.

Selectmen are working in conjunction with the Coalition for Buzzards Bay to secure funding from the New Bedford Harbor Trustee Council. The goal is to set aside the LaPalme area for 1,900 linear feet of passive recreation, trails and riverside access. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Webinar: Investment Grade Audit

July 21, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, Online
This webcast describes the Investment Grade Audit (IGA) process, including the sequence of steps in an IGA, what to expect from ESCOs, and other project details. The presenter, Irina Bulkley-Hopkins, will outline and explain the details and differences in the definition of the IGA as compared to other energy audits commonly used in the field. This includes emphasis on the goals of what an IGA must accomplish, along with the questions that the facility owner must ask and the information that must be gathered before the IGA is conducted by an ESCO. Topics covered will include sources of information and data that need to investigated before and during the IGA; components of and expectations from a high quality IGA (baseline, typical ECMS and how to select them, calculations of energy savings, etc.); what should be included in the IGA, and how to prevent potential shortcomings to watch for. Presenters will provide a sample list of issues that are traditionally not covered by an IGA and suggest the measures that help mitigate those issues. Details and register here.

Somerset Public Forum for Recreation Recommendations

July 20, 6:00pm to 8pm, Somerset Town Hall
The Somerset Playground and Recreation Commission is holding a public forum to get ideas from the public on ways the commission can improve upon the programs it offers. The commission runs a variety of sports programs, including baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, gymnastics and yoga, as well as free movies and concerts during the summer at Pierce Beach. It also organized a road race during the Fourth of July weekend. Commission members want to find out what the public would like the town to do to improve recreation options, according to member Richard Silvia. “We just want to make sure that we’re not missing any group of people,” he said.

Summer Shorebird Walk

July 22, 8:00pm to 10 am, Demarest Lloyd State Park, Barney’s Joy Road, Dartmouth (meet at main parking lot)
Come observe a variety of shore birds visible on the sandspits, mud flats, and tidal pond present at Demarest Lloyd State Park at the mouth of the Slocum River Estuary. During late July migratory movements are underway, and a variety of shore birds including Yellowlegs, Willets, Glossy Ibis, and Semipalmated Plover stop over at the site to feed. Breeding pairs of the federally endangered Piping Plover are also visible, possibly with broods. In addition to waterbirds, a variety of songbirds and raptors may be viewed in the highly diverse habitat the park offers. This walk is suitable for all levels … novice birders especially welcome. Participants should bring binoculars, a camera and a bird guide (if available). To pre-register, please call Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 x23. Details and register here.

25th Annual North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count

July 23, 9am to 3:30pm, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Butterflies are one of the most beautiful elements of the natural world, and scientists now recognize that they can also serve as an important indicator of the health of ecosystems. Cost: Members: $8, Non-members: $10. Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, July 22nd. Leader: Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director. Participate in this unique daylong scientific research project, sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association. Counting for the Bristol County area will take place in Dartmouth and New Bedford. Participants should bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided. Long pants and a hat are recommended. A copy of the NABA summary report can be purchased for an additional fee. Register online or call the Center's event phone at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Mark at 508-990-0505 x 22. Details here.

Wild Night at the Zoo

July 23, 6:00pm to 10pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Pre-sale tickets are available for $100 per person or $125 per person at the door. You "otter" join us for the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society's annual gala and benefit auction! Wild Night at the Zoo features the best food, music, drink and silent auction of the season. Pre-sale tickets are available for $100 per person or $125 per person at the door. Proceeds of the gala support educational and conservation programs at the Zoo. Don't miss a photo with our Asian elephants, Emily & Ruth! Details and ticket sales here.

Sustainability Summer Camp 2011 - Remaking Our World: Greening the planet and our lives

July 25-July 29 WHO: Students entering grades 6, 7 or 8, dedicated to creating a more sustainable world.
WHAT: Campers will be engaged in hands-on projects using artistic media and film technologies to document and promote their environmental learning from the week. Activities throughout the week will include environmental crafts, building, utilizing energy technologies, and scientific research in the campus forest. Field trips and swimming are also part of the week.
WHY: The goal of camp is to develop creative sustainability leaders equipped to respond to the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Topics covered include Renewable Energy Technologies, Environmental Science, Environmental Math, and Nutrition. Get details and register here.

Zoo Crew Kids Camp

July 25-July 29 , 9 am to 3 pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Zoo Crew is a summer program for children ages 8-12. Each session has a balance of outdoor and classroom learning opportunities, educational games and activities, crafts, and fun! Each week-long program runs 9:00AM-3:00PM, Monday thru Friday. Zoo Members: $175 per week for one child. (Siblings are $150 each) Non-Members: $200 per week for one child. (Siblings are $175 each) Session One: July 25-July 29 Session Two: August 1- August 5 Sessions Three: August 8-August 12 For more information or to register, please call the Zoo’s education department at (508) 991-4556 x 18 or email the Zoo Crew Staff. Get details and register here.

Webinar: Furthering Your Local Governments' Energy Efficiency Goals: Part 1 - Getting Support From Local Leaders

July 26, 2-3:30pm, Online
This webcast will focus on useful and cost-effective startegies to engage local leaders in energy efficiency efforts. These strategies include developing a productive approach to addressing a county board or city council; demonstrating the impact of projects for job creation; measuring project cost savings and positiive cash flow; highlighting green government benefits; and focusing on overall economic recovery and opoerational improvement. The webcast will provide examples of grantees that have successfully engaged local leaders and information on accessing additional support through nationwide stakeholder groups. Get details and register here.

River Rats

Tuesdays July 26, August 2, 9 and 16, 10-11am, Gooseberry Island, Westport
Thursdays July 28, August 4, 11 and 18, 10-11am, Cherry and Webb, Westport
Join Westport River Watershed Alliance this summer at the beach, for children ages 3-6. Each session will feature an hour at the beach during which participants will listen for shore birds, use nets to catch fish and crabs and explore the sand for hidden creatures. Hands-on investigations, activities, games and crafts will help participants learn about animals at the beach. Cost: $8 members/ $10 nonmembers Details here.

Coastal Explorers

August 1 to 5, 9am-1pm, Gooseberry Island, Westport
Youngsters age 7 to 9 can join Westport River Watershed Alliance this summer to discover the wildlife in our coastal waters in this hands-on, science day program. We’ll use a seine net to catch critters, complete scavenger hunts, hike through the dunes, play some nature games on the beach, and create crafts from natural objects. Cost: $160members/$190nonmembers Details here.

Webinar - Exploring Power Purchase Agreements - The Basics

July 27, 1 to 2:30pm, Online
The first part of this webcast series will provide an introduction to power purchase agreements (PPAs) as a way to leverage private capital to install large-scale solar energy. It will discuss the resources required (personnel and funds), limitations to implementation, and benefits to the municipal PPA model. Two EECBG grantees that have implemented different sized PPAs and are saving energy and money on municipal energy generation will be featured on the webcast.Register here.

Careers in Weatherization Presentation

July 28, 9am, Greater New Bedford Career Center
This free workshop will explore typical green economy weatherization job positions and opportunities, with a focus on the skills and certifications required in low- income and utility-funded weatherization projects. It is also an introduction to weatherizaton certification training workshops being offered throughout August and September by UMass Dartmouth.Details here.


Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Alien Worlds: New Discoveries Around Distant Stars

July 29, 10 am - 5 pm, Museum of Natural History at Roger Williams Park, Providence
It has only been 15 years since the discovery of the first planet outside our solar system. Since then we have found hundreds more, and the number grows every week. What are these planets like? How do scientists find them? And could any of them harbor life around strange and distant stars? This exhibit offers a look inside the science that is emerging from these discoveries, the new ways in which planets are being discovered, and a glimpse at what the future may hold. Fee $2.00. Children under 4 years old free. Contact email: info@musnathist.com Details here.

Summer Concert at Soule Homestead

July 30, 6 pm, Soule Homestead, Middleboro
Bring a blanket or chair, pack a picnic dinner and listen to LIVE ACOUSTIC MUSIC in a beautiful and family friendly setting. Join us this Saturday at 6pm at the Soule Homestead Education Center located at 46 Soule Street in Middleboro. All shows start at 6pm, rain or shine. Please look for us in the classroom in the case of rainy weather. Admission is $10 or $8 for Senior Citizens, Students (children 12 and under are free) and Open Mic performers. Details here.

SouthCoast Green Drinks

August 2, 6:30 pm, Rose Alley Ale House, New Bedford
Tuesday nights weekly at 6:30pm starting August 2nd at the Rose Ally Ale House, 94 Front St. New Bedford, MA. An after work social opportunity to discuss Green initiatives and activities happening in the South Coast. Green drinks are a way to informally meet other like minded indviduals concerned about the topics of sustainability, in a comfortable atmosphere. Please consider joining us! For more information, contact Jen Gonet jgonet@umassd.edu or Colleen Dawicki cdawicki@umassd.edu..

Massachusetts Marketplace Festival

August 6th, 10 am to 4 pm, Wellesley
New England farmers, specialty food producers, and artisans will come together for the 15th annual Massachusetts Marketplace Festival on Saturday, August 6th at the Gardens at Elm Bank in Wellesley. Homemade crafts, soaps, baked goods, popcorn, teas, herbs, fine art, and annual plants from vendors located throughout Massachusetts and New England will be available for sampling and purchase. Details here.

Neighborhood volunteer canvass day & cookout!

August 6th, 1 pm to 4 pm, Buttonwood Park, New Bedford
All are welcome at the first major canvas of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge. Sunday, August 7 at 1:00pm, at the Warming House at Buttonwood Park in New Bedford, MA. We will gather at 1:00 pm for a group canvas training, where volunteers will recieve t-shirts, instructions, and a brief training. We will canvas neighborhoods immediately around Buttonwood for about 2 hours, then return to the park for a cook out! If you are interested in volunteering to canvas with us, please RSVP with your name and t-shirt size!! All are welcome. Details here.

Baking Demonstration At Harlow House - Steamed Brown Bread and Cornbread

August 11th, 1 pm, Plymouth
Harlow Old Fort House in Plymouth will offer demonstrations by master baker Kirsten Atchison. Kirsten grew up in Germany where dinner is called “Abendbrot” (evening bread) and afternoon coffee and cake is a national institution. Now a resident of Plymouth, Kirsten has enjoyed recreating her favorite German breads as well breads and cakes from all over the world. Details here.

37th Annual Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference

August 12th - 14th Amherst,
This year we'll be presenting two workshops at the Summer Conference: (1) a beginner workshop "Interpreting Soil Tests" - Accurately gauging nutrient needs in our soils is a critical step in making sound fertility decisions. We will set out to demystify soil test results, from cation exchange capacity (CEC) and base saturation to ppm and lbs/acre. Hands on activity included to help participants gain confidence in interpreting soil test results. (2) an advaced workshop "The Case for Full Spectrum Fertility" - An examination of our pre-transplant fertility protocol. Join us as we discuss the steps taken at Brix Bounty Farm in the critical week leading up to transplanting. Focusing on soil fertility we aim to create prime soil conditions for vigorous root growth and thriving transplants. Inoculants, amendments, and energy in depth. Details here.

Kids World Festival

August 13th and 14th , 11am - 6pm, Fall River's Heritage State Park
For one weekend it will be a kid’s world and the rest of us will just be living in it. On Aug. 13 and 14, Heritage State Park will turn into the Kids World Festival, giving families a free activity to wile away their summer days. Both days will feature a mix of activities and displays intended to stimulate kids’ minds, ears, eyes and senses. Among the attractions will be Animal Instincts Live. Owner Bob Schenck said the attraction will highlight animals from around the world including a species of tortoise that can grow to become the second largest in the world to the appearance of the world’s smallest parrot, measuring around 3 inches. Details here.

Kettle Pond Farm Saturday Supper - Heirloom Varieties

August 27th , Berkley
What is an heirloom vegetable anyway? Come by for some learning and tasting. Learn about what they are, why we use them and taste test the varieties on the farm. Details here.

6th Annual DNRT “Barn Bash” Square Dance at the Sylvan Nursery Barn

August 27th , 6 to 10:30 pm, Westport
More information to come or contact the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust at 508-991-2289. Details here.

Seining for Subtropicals

August 27th, 10:30 am to 3 pm, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Join Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, on a short canoe paddle from Tripp's boatyard to the edge of the eelgrass beds at the mouth of the Westport River. You will be using a seine (special kind of fishing net) to try to nab seahorses, jacks (a perch-like marine fish), groupers and other southern species that enter our waters in late summer. Plan on getting wet (including your shoes, shells can be sharp so no bare feet)! Bring a lunch and sun protection. Cost: Members $20, Non-members: $25. Pre-registration required by noon on Friday, August 26th. Register online or call the Center's event phone at 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Mark at 508-990-0505 x 22. Details here.

Migration Stop-over Walk

August 27th, 8-11am, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Westport
Join a staff member as we search for migratory birds in the salt marsh, within our shrublands, and out on Little Beach spit - where often hundreds of terns will be staging before migrating south for the winter. Fee: Adults $4.00 member / $6.00 non-member, Children $4.00 members / $6.00 non-members. Registration is required. Register by phone with a credit card by calling (508) 636-2437. For more information, email gpurtell@massaudubon.org. Details here.

Dartmouth Grange Fair

September 9 - 10 Dartmouth
A Celebration of Rural Community at the Dartmouth Grange in historic Russells Mills Village. More information to come. Details here.


Leaf Bullet Announcements
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Launched!
The Energy Challenge is your chance to save money while conserving energy and protecting your environment. We invite you to be among the first to register for the Challenge, which will launch publicly in August. All you need to do is visit www.SouthCoastEnergyChallenge.org to register. The SouthCoast Energy Challenge is an initiative of the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEAL). Please, take the Challenge today by registering at www.SouthCoastEnergyChallenge.org. You'll learn different actions to help you start saving right away, and, you'll have the option to track your actual utility savings online. There's even an easy on-line carbon calculator you can use to measure your own household's annual carbon footprint! Get details here.
DOE Releases Annual Market Reports for Wind Energy, Advanced Vehicles, and Fuel Cell Technology
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released three 2010 market reports which detail the market conditions and trends for wind energy, advanced vehicles, and fuel cell technologies. Taken together, these three market reports illustrate growth in deployment and manufacturing across all three technologies—improving the nation’s global competitiveness in the clean energy economy and creating clean tech jobs for U.S. workers. Get details here.
UMass Dartmouth to Offer BPI Certification Courses in August
Upon completion of this 7 week program and successful completion of exams students will be certified in BPI standards. BPI (Building Performance Institute) is a national standards development and credentialing organization for residential energy efficiency retrofit work. Students completing the program and exams will be:
  • Level 1: BPI Residential Building Envelope Whole House Air Leakage Control Installer
  • Level 2: BPI Building Envelope Professional Certification
  • Level 3: BPI Building Analyst Certified

Course Dates: August 10th-September 20th
Get details here.

Sustainable "Center Cafe" Opens in South End "ecoNewBedford" District
The Center Café is the last piece of the demonstration project on Brock Avenue called ecoNewBedford. It serves coffee and ice cream, salads, home-made soups, and lite sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, fruit-yogurt smoothies, and waffles are served any time. The café open early morning and into the evening. A 400 square foot private meeting room can be reserved by local organizations or for use as a flexible workplace. Offsite catering is available. Occasional presentations on topics ranging from Setting New Directions, Empowering Creativity, and Active Lifestyles are planned. Artists are hanging their work for sale in the Café, and a selection of gifts is also available.

The Center Café is the last piece of the demonstration project on Brock Avenue called ecoNewBedford. It serves coffee and ice cream, salads, home-made soups, and lite sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, fruit-yogurt smoothies, and waffles are served any time. The café open early morning and into the evening. A 400 square foot private meeting room can be reserved by local organizations or for use as a flexible workplace. Offsite catering is available. Occasional presentations on topics ranging from Setting New Directions, Empowering Creativity, and Active Lifestyles are planned. Artists are hanging their work for sale in the Café, and a selection of gifts is also available. Get details here.
Artist to Donate Sales to RI Nature Conservancy
Little Compton artist Kris Donovan will partner with the Rhode Island Nature Conservancy during July and August. Donovan will donate 10 percent of all painting sales to the conservancy and the Dundery Brook Boardwalk Trail Project in Little Compton. The gift will help to build the new 1.3 mile long Dundery Brook Greenway Trail, a boardwalk path through a forested wetland in Little Compton. The trail is a project of The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island and, thanks to a matching grant, all gifts will be doubled. Visit Donovan Studio at 9 Francis Lane during the upcoming South Coast Artists Open Studios Tour on July 16 and 17 and Aug. 20 and 21 or any time by chance or appointment. Donovan’s work can also be seen at the Donovan Gallery at Tiverton Four Corners and Gallery Eleven Fine Art, 11 State St., Bristol. Call 401-683-8308 or email info@krisdonovan.com for information or an appointment, or visit www.krisdonovan.com. Get details here.
Organic Agriculture I course open for September
Bristol Community College (BCC) announces the opening of registration for the Organic Farming Practices I (OFP 114). This is the first of a two-semester course sequence and is designed for farmers, gardeners, landscapers, land managers, community development organizations, consumers, and public policy decision makers seeking practical alternatives for long-term sustainable food production and land use. This course will include the rationale and outlook for sustainable agriculture, soil fertility and management, tillage options, cover crops, crop rotation plans, composting, and organic crop production. BCC is an open enrollment college. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. The course will begin on September 12 and meet Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 pm until December 16. Information and registration is available online at http://www.bristolcc.edu Questions? email Dr. Jim Corven at james.corven@bristolcc.edu Get details here.
Westport River EcoTours
Eco-tours of the Westport River are available on Thursdays and Fridays until Labor Day Weekend. There will be a tour at 10 AM to noon and another from 1PM to 3PM on Thursdays and Fridays. There is a limit of four people per tour, and children under the age of 13 must wear a life preserver at all times. It is $100 per tour for WRWA members, and $140 non-members. Please call our office at (508)636-3016 to book a tour. If you are paying with a credit card please give us your information when you reserve your tour - your card will not be charged until after the tour. The boat leaves from Dock D-Slip 1 from F.L. Tripps on Cherry & Webb Lane, so please meet us there at least ten minutes before departure time. Get details here.
Zoo Crew Summer Program for Children
Zoo Members: $175 per week for one child. (Siblings are $150 each) Non-Members: $200 per week for one child. (Siblings are $175 each) Zoo Crew is a summer program for children ages 8-12. Each session has a balance of outdoor and classroom learning opportunities, educational games and activities, crafts, and fun! Each week-long program runs 9:00AM-3:00PM, Monday thru Friday. For more information or to register, please call the Zoo's education department at (508) 991-6178 x 31. Session One: July 25-July 29 Session Two: August 1- August 5 Sessions Three: August 8-August 12 Get details here.
Department of Energy Webcasts
This interactive page will help you quickly find live webcasts that fit your schedule, or on-demand webcasts and pre-recorded training presentations to view at your convenience. You can choose your time zone as well and filter the list by week, month, webinar series, eligible activity or topic, or presenter. The DOE offers free online training to help you improve the energy performance of your organization. No travel, no lost time out of the office, and no cost - The DOE makes it easy to get the information you need, today. Join your colleagues to better understand how the DOE can help you lower operating costs, improve your energy management program, and expand your professional development. Get details 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).
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. 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.
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 volunteer opportunities
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
WWOOF - a working farm holiday
City got you down? Crave nature, fresh air, fresh food and perhaps even a bit of dirt under your fingernails? You don't have to spend a fortune to escape the rat race and/or learn about growing organic food. WWOOF it! 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.