Having trouble reading this Almanac or is it getting cut short in your email? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2012_01_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
January 5 to 12, 2012

In This Issue


Global, National, and Local news, plus our Voices section

This week:

Cross-Country Skiing

Meet Olympic Bicyclist


Save The Date:

Owl Prowl

New Bedford Bike Committee



New Sustainability Newsletter

Christmas Lights Wanted for February illumination Event

Weekly Green Tip:

Share your 2011 green living change!

Clip of the Week

Global slump may ease food prices
The United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organisation expects more people to go hungry because of the economic crisis.

Weekly Quote:

"I change myself, I change the world."
- Gloria Anzuldua

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Read our new blog!

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
HorsesListed among last year's most hopeful energy stories is this note about wildlife returning to the nuclear meldown wastelands of Chernobyl. Other developments that made the list included cities instituting bike sharing programs to reduce automotive traffic and pollution, and a boom in energy efficient building practices to the point that the market for building efficiency was recently predicted grow by more than 50 percent over the next six years.

Keeping the focus of 2012's kick-off positive, we've also included a listing of last year's most influential "green reads". To top that off, we've highlighted a story on 12 recommended steps for the new year to improve sustainable practices.

Hopefully, these uplifting tidbits will ready readers to handle unsettling news close to home, including the fact that Massachusetts mass transit is expected to increase its fees by over 40 percent, and local hospitals are fighting shortages of necessary medicines by hunting down supplies on what's being called the "gray market."
Leaf Bullet Blogging on the New Sustainability
Our blog supplements the Sustainability Almanac with thoughts about sustainable practices and lifestyle choices that invite comment. Blogging on the New Sustainability: Meditations on Sustainability and Freedom this week asks whether we think our society will undergo a voluntary transformation to sustainable living. While I don't really see myself, or any other sane citizen actually blowing anything up, Derrick Jensen's book has got me thinking. What more can I do? And where is the line in the sand for unacceptable government or business malfeasance? After we change the light bulbs, recycle, trade in the SUV, get solar panels, stop obsessively consuming plastic crap, grow some backyard food, then what?
Leaf Bullet News
Oil Rig at Sunset The Year's Most Overlooked Energy Stories
As the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi took center stage, it was easy to miss many other important developments in the world of energy in 2011, such as oil industry development in Africa, efforts to fight energy poverty, the carbon footprint of illegal drugs, green commercial jet fuel, the pursuit of carbon recapture technologies, and the Yellowstone River oil spill. Read more here.

Satellite View Satellite Views of Canada's Oil Sands Over Time
This bird's-eye view shows the mine that launched Canada's oil sands industry on the banks of the Athabasca River. By the time this image was taken in 1984, the operation had been going for 17 years

Today, the Canadian oil sands, also called tar sands, are recognized as one of the largest reservoirs of petroleum in the world. But extracting the resource from this unique geological formation is costly-both economically, and environmentally. Read more here.

Bundle of Money Corporate Monopolies 'May Dominate Green Economy'
NEW DEHLI -- The global push towards a 'green economy' risks being hijacked by large corporate monopolies trying to gain control over natural resources, a report has warned.

There is a growing emphasis on the concept of a green economy in the run-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), in June 2012, in Brazil. A green economy is widely seen as a way of tackling environmental challenges including climate change, failing fisheries and water security. Read more here.

Bee Cellular Phones, WiFi and Bee Collapse? Israeli Bee Boss Not Buying It
Bee colony collapse disorder is a worldwide phenomenon decimating bee colonies worldwide. Bees, you see, are pretty important. Without them much of our food can't be pollinated. And the true reason why America lost about one third of its bees last year is largely unknown. Some believe it's because there is lack of pollen as crops producing nectar decline. Some others say conventional pesticides, while more recently European researchers are blaming cellular phone antennas and WiFi connections (which is also now linked to male infertility). But Israeli bee scientists aren't buying the "radiation" link. Read more here.

China's Sinopec, France's Total pour $4.5 billion into U.S. shale
China's Sinopec and France's Total SA made major purchases into the U.S. energy sector on Tuesday, pouring $4.5 billion into deals to buy into booming production from shale rock formations.

The ventures showed that the global appetite for U.S. energy assets remained strong, with foreign oil and gas producers eager to invest in several of the mostly undeveloped fields that are believed to hold billions of cubic feet of natural gas and liquids. Read more here.

Ship in Oil Slick BP challenges Halliburton court request on spill
BP has opened 2012 with a new legal move in its battle to force contractor Halliburton to help pay the costs and expenses it incurred to clean up the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which the oil major previously put at around $42 billion.

Halliburton the company that cemented the doomed well, had asked a court to force BP to recognize a contractual agreement that protected Halliburton against possible spill clean-up costs. Read more here.

Seeds in Pods Cost-Effectiveness of Biofuels and Their Ability to Cut Fossil Fuel Use Questioned
A new study by economists at Oregon State University questions the cost-effectiveness of biofuels and says they would barely reduce fossil fuel use and would likely increase greenhouse gas emissions.

The idea that biofuels can reduce dependency on fossil fuels and mitigate climate change has led governments to promote them as substitutes for gasoline and petroleum-based diesel, using mandates and subsidies, said Bill Jaeger, the lead author on the study. Read more here.

Developing world must lead on green economic policy
Yet more failure to make much progress on climate change in Durban means that developing countries must exert stronger political pressure.

For three years in a row, there has been a disappointing end to international meetings that should have agreed on the steps needed to prevent the human and ecological disasters likely to result from a failure to limit man-made climate change. Read more here.

Military Man U.S. Military Tests Out Green Tech In Afghanistan
The heavy, mine-resistant vehicles that almost all U.S. military personnel use to move about Afghanistan are gas guzzlers. And even though the U.S. military buys that fuel at a reasonable price, the energy it takes to fly it and truck it to remote parts of Afghanistan drives the price into the stratosphere.

There's also a much greater cost, says Ray Mabus, secretary of the U.S. Navy. Read more here.

12 Simple Steps for Going Green in 2012
WASHINGTON -- As we head into 2012, many of us will be resolving to lose those few extra pounds, save more money, or spend a few more hours with our families and friends. But there are also some resolutions we can make to make our lives a little greener. Each of us, especially in the United States, can make a commitment to reducing our environmental impacts. Read more here.

Tornado Wreckage Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year
At the end of one of the most bizarre weather years in American history, climate research stands at a crossroads. Scientists say they could, in theory, do a much better job of answering the question "Did global warming have anything to do with it?" after extreme weather events like the drought in Texas and the floods in New England.

Chief among the difficulties that scientists face: the political environment for new climate-science initiatives has turned hostile, and with the federal budget crisis, money is tight. Read more here.

Hoop Houses and Cacti Organic Agriculture May Be Outgrowing Its Ideals
TODOS SANTOS, Mexico -- Clamshell containers on supermarket shelves in the United States may depict verdant fields, tangles of vines and ruby red tomatoes. But at this time of year, the tomatoes, peppers and basil certified as organic by the Agriculture Department often hail from the Mexican desert, and are nurtured with intensive irrigation.

Growers here on the Baja Peninsula, the epicenter of Mexico's thriving new organic export sector, describe their toil amid the cactuses as "planting the beach." Read more here.

Oil-Drilling Wastewater Seen Causing Earthquake
A northeast Ohio well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling almost certainly caused a series of 11 minor earthquakes in the Youngstown area since last spring, a seismologist investigating the quakes said Monday.

Research is continuing on seismic activity near the now-shuttered injection well at Youngstown, Ohio, but it might take a year for the wastewater-related rumblings in the earth to dissipate, said John Armbruster of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y. Read more here.

Coffee Beans Coffee-Processing Plant to Produce Energy Too
The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announced just at the end of 2011 that it is "leading a project to develop an efficient renewable electricity technology for coffee-processing plants."

EERC and Wynntryst -- an energy solutions company based in South Burlington, Vermont -- are going to develop "a gasification power system to utilize the waste from a coffee-processing plant to produce energy." Read more here.

Stock Brokers Wall Street starts 2012 higher on signs of global growth
Hoping for something better than 2011's flat stock market, U.S. investors pushed shares higher on Tuesday to begin the new year, though questions remain about whether a rally can be sustained.

The broad S&P 500 index closed at its highest since late October as traders, with cash on hand for the new year, welcomed better-than-expected German and Chinese economic data. Read more here.

Ford Car Ford Plans to Make Cars Using 30% Less Water
Over a 10-year span, Ford Motor Company cut its global water use by 62 percent. That adds up to about 10.5 billion gallons.

On a per-vehicle basis, the decline measured in at 49 percent. Now the company wants to further trim the amount of water it takes to build a car by another 30 percent by 2015. That works out to 3.5 cubic meters used to produce one vehicle, compared to 9.5 cubic meters in 2000. Read more here.

Where the Real Jobs Are
The Republicans believe they have President Obama in a box: either he approves a controversial Canadian oil pipeline or they accuse him of depriving the nation of jobs. Mr. Obama can and should push back hard.

This is precisely the moment for him to argue the case for alternative fuel sources and clean energy jobs -- and to lambaste the Republicans for doubling down on conventional fuels while ceding a $5 trillion global clean technology market (and the jobs that go with it) to more aggressive competitors like China and Germany. Read more here.

Grocery Aisle Eaters, beware: Walmart is taking over our food system
Aubretia Edick has worked at a Walmart store in upstate New York for 11 years, but she won't buy fresh food there. Bagged salads, she claims, are often past their sell-by dates and, in the summer, fruit is sometimes kept on shelves until it rots. "They say, 'We'll take care of it,' but they don't. As a cashier, you hear a lot of people complain," she said.

Edick blames the problems on the store's chronic understaffing and Walmart's lack of respect for the skilled labor needed to handle the nation's food supply. Read more here.

Ignoring Decades of Science, FDA Drops Plan to Curb Antibiotics In Livestock
The Food and Drug Administration has done everything in its power to prevent you from reading this post.

Just before the holidays, the agency charged with protecting Americans' health reneged on a 35-year-old pledge to order farmers to stop feeding low levels of antibiotics to healthy livestock. These antibiotics have little to do with curing disease. They're used mainly to increase healthy animals' growth rates. Read more here.

Shelves of Books Top Greenreads of 2011: Good News, Bad News, and a Little Soul-Searching
In thinking about the best environmental reporting I've read this year, some excellent pieces came to mind on all sorts of topics: food, animals, wilderness, local politics, arcane areas of science. But I'm going to leave those aside, because this was no ordinary year. For environmentalists, 2011 was marked by deep soul-searching and seismic political shifts. So in choosing the most important articles of the year, I'm going to limit myself to those that shed the brightest light on some of the monumental questions we're now facing. Read more here.

California Marine Map Halfway marine protection measure launched in California
So-called marine protected areas (MPAs), created under the leadership of a big oil lobbyist, went into effect today, January 1, in Southern California ocean waters from Point Conception in Santa Barbara County to the U.S./Mexico border.

Representatives of the Department of Fish and Game, corporate "environmental" NGOs, the Western States Petroleum Association, Safeway Stores and other supporters of the privately funded Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative have reason to celebrate the beginning of the New Year with the implementation of these questionable "marine protected areas." Read more here.

Whale Slow Down: This Whale Needs the Right of Way
BRISTOL - The 33-foot fiberglass replica at the Audobon center on Hope Street might be the closest the North Atlantic right whale gets to Rhode Island this time of year. The endangered whale - fewer than 500 exist - is the focus of a new international and local campaign to keep a regulation known as Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule from expiring at the end of 2013.

A recent right whale seminar at the Audobon Society of Rhode Island explained how pollution, collisions with ships and entanglements with fishing gear have been the biggest killers of these giant sea mammals. Read more here.

MBTA fares could rise as much as 43 percent; ferry, bus, commuter rail cuts also eyed
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation today unveiled two scenarios for fare increases and service cuts on the MBTA public transit system, saying they were needed to close a yawning budget gap.

Under one scenario, fares overall would increase by 43 percent, while under the other, they would increase by 35 percent. Under both scenarios, MBTA ferries would be eliminated, commuter rail weekend service would be eliminated and nighttime service would end at 10 p.m. Read more here.

Settlement reached to clean up Smithfield Superfund site
SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday a settlement in which groundwater will be cleaned up at the Davis liquid waste Superfund site. Read more here.

Newport to inventory its public tree population
NEWPORT, R.I. -- The city of Newport has been awarded a $20,000 grant that will be used to make a detailed record of its public tree population. The Newport Tree Society says the inventory will cover an estimated 4,500 public trees and planting sites in the city. Read more here.

Smokefree Ad Southcoast Health bans smoking on its grounds
NEW BEDFORD - The New Year is here and Southcoast Health System is officially 100 percent "smoke and tobacco free."

The new policy took effect Jan. 1 and Southcoast officials said in a news release that the goal of the program "is to create a healing environment for patients and to take a leadership role in the community as the region's largest health care provider and employer." Read more here.

Turbine Site Legal standing on Fairhaven wind complaint questioned
FAIRHAVEN - Residents opposed to the town's plan for two commercial wind turbines had their legal concerns heard in New Bedford Superior Court Tuesday, but it remains to be seen whether they will get the injunction they are seeking.

Judge Thomas F. McGuire took the matter under advisement after hearing attorneys representing plaintiffs, the town of Fairhaven and developers Fairhaven Wind LLC make their arguments. Read more here.

Acushnet ready for consultant on green energy
ACUSHNET - Selectmen, working with their Alternative Energy Study Committee, say it is time to bring in a consultant to help the town consider the best possible green-energy purchases.

Town Administrator Alan Coutinho has advised selectmen there is "a significant opportunity to have a significant savings for the town down the road" if alternative energy purchases are carefully charted. Read more here.

South Coast Rail reached key milestones in 2011, new director says
If 2011 seemed like a quiet year for South Coast Rail, the project that would create a commuter rail link between the SouthCoast and Boston, it was also a productive year for the long-anticipated endeavor, according to the new project director.

Freetown Selectwoman Jean Fox, who took over as the head of the project in the fall, said two advancements - more procedural than tangible - were "huge" for South Coast Rail during the year: a draft environmental impact statement report released in March and a certificate from the Environmental Policy Act office in June. Read more here.

Schools are underperforming, need to be improved
Mayor Jonathan F. Mitchell, in his inaugural address Monday night, said the city needs to improve its schools and examine the way it delivers services.

In some of the strongest language he used in his 25-minute speech - interrupted many times by a supportive audience - the new mayor said city schools are underperforming and need to do better and school officials will be held accountable for future results.Mitchell, who succeeded former mayor Scott W. Lang, who didn't seek re-election after six years in office, cited a litany of problems affecting the schools. Read more here.

Corn Maze Massachusetts Shedding Its Taxachusetts Image
Believe it or not, there's a U.S. state that has so reformed the way its municipal employees purchase health insurance that cities and towns will now save their taxpayers a whopping $100 million statewide per-year. It's the same state that will save $5 billion over the next 30 years by reforming its public employee pension system. It's also the state that hasn't had a tax increase in almost three years, even as it has held a sales tax holiday for retailers annually.

That state is Massachusetts. Read more here.

Shortage of lifesaving medicines forces hospitals to turn to 'gray market' where prices are astronomical
A shortage of lifesaving drugs used on ambulances and in emergency rooms across Massachusetts is endangering patient lives and forcing some hospitals to turn to a thriving "gray market" of pharmaceutical re-sellers to obtain the scarce medications, sometimes at prices more than 1,000 percent above their original cost, The New England Center for Investigative Reporting has learned.

"This is not a pretty situation. It's a frightening situation," says William Churchill, chief of pharmacy services at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, one of many Massachusetts hospitals now grappling with the drug shortage crisis. Read more here.

SouthCoast Energy Challenge: Get crazy with compost
Yard trimmings and food waste make up about 26 percent of what goes into our landfills. That's a lot of waste that could instead be made into useful, environmentally beneficial compost.

Composting will save you money on trash bags and garden fertilizer. Use it in your garden or mix with regular dirt to pot your indoor plants. Composting also saves energy and landfill space by transforming food scraps and yard trimmings from waste into a usable product right at home. Compost enriches soil and can even help clean up contaminated soils. Read more here.

Nuclear Reactor at URI Showing its Age
NARRAGANSETT - For a state so small, you would think it would be common knowledge that a nuclear reactor sits in the middle of a public university. But even at the University of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay campus, some students aren't aware that the white, cement, box-shaped building is an atomic research facility, officially named the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Cross-Country Skiing

January 7, 10 am, Westport Town Farm, Drift Rd., Westport, MA
Enjoy a favorite winter pastime with The Trustees of Reservations! Trips are weather-dependent. Please call ahead to be added to notification list. Free. 508-636-4693 X 13. For more information, email kheard@ttor.org.

Save The Bay Newport Seal Cruises

January 7 and 8, 12 noon, Save the Bay Exploration Center, 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI 02840
Want to see a cow or pup that doesn't live on land? The Save The Bay Seal Watching Cruises, which treat peepers to panoplies of splash-happy seals, kick off on Thanksgiving weekend. These cruises provide the perfect opportunity to introduce holiday guests to the many wonders Rhode Island has to offer.One- or two-hour tours provide stunning glimpses of harbor seals while peppering guests with fun facts about the aquatic mammals -- such as their social habits and frequent haunts. Expert guide and binoculars included in ticket price! Guests of all ages welcome. Tickets:$20 to $30 adults, $15 to $25 Save The Bay members, seniors and childrenages 5 to 12; free for children younger than 5. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.savebay.org/seals.

SEMAP's 2012 Annual Winter Networking Meeting

January 9, 6:00 PM to 8:00, Mattapoisett Free Public Library, 7 Barstow Street
Farms, Chefs, Caterers and Businesses looking for local...
Join SEMAP at our Annual Winter Networking Meeting!
This year's meeting will focus on SEMAP's most recent program, Farm to Institution. Since August of 2011, SEMAP has worked with UMass Dartmouth's food service provider Chartwells and local growers on a pilot program selling local fruits and vegetables to UMass Dartmouth through FoodEx. The program's goals are to ultimately increase the amount of acreage used for food production and encourage new farm businesses in Southeastern MA by developing relationships with institutional chefs and local delivery/logistics companies. To register, visit here.

Teaching Land Care Professionals to "Go Organic"

January 9 to 13, 1 to 4 pm, Worcester State University
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) annual Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care will be a five-day intensive course providing professionals and master gardeners with the education needed to create thriving landscapes. The 30 hour course features a faculty of respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners. Class topics include: Site Analysis, Design, and Maintenance; Rain Gardens and Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Client Relations and Running a Business and more. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course. Attendees may take an optional exam on the final day of the course to become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs). AOLCPs are entitled to use the NOFA Organic Land Care logo and be listed in the AOLCP Online Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net as well as in online and print versions of the annual NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care. This year, NOFA will be offering a group discount of 15% off total registration to any company, agency or organization sending three or more members or employees to the Accreditation Course. For information, contact the Program Coordinator, Caro Roszell at (508) 360-0874 or caro@nofamass.org or visit www.nofamass.org/programs/landcare/ to register online.

Meet Olympic Medal Winner and Boston's Bicycle Czar Nicole Freedman

January 12, 9:30am, Fall River Government Center
Olympic Medal Winner and Boston's Bicycle Czar, Nicole Freedman will be in Fall River to speak to us on creating a bicycle friendly Fall River on Thursday, January 12 at 9:30 AM, at Government Center in the first floor hearing room. A light breakfast will be available. If you are interested in attending please let Julie Kelly know jkelly@fallriverma.org.

Photographing the Full Moon

January 12, 7 to 9pm, Allens Pond Field Station, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport MA.
Want to capture a phenomenal photograph? Join photographer and naturalist Myer Bornstein on a unique journey and educational experience as he guides you to an optimal viewing area, gives you detailed instruction and aids you in snapping that perfect full moon shot. Participants need to bring their own single lens reflex camera with both normal and telephoto lenses and a remote release, extra battery and sturdy tripod. Dress for outdoor weather, bring a flashlight and if possible, we recommend bringing hand warmers. We will meet at the Allens Pond field station for a brief overview of the night's program and will enjoy some hot chocolate before heading out. We may travel to Stone Barn Farm and/or Gooseberry Island throughout the workshop, in search of that perfect photo! Adults $12.00 Audubon members / $15.00 non-members. Click here for registration form. For more information, call (508) 636-2437.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Owl Prowl

January 13, 7 to 9pm, Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
Head out along the boardwalk for an evening of fun - learning about the owls of Rhode Island. Begin the evening with a presentation on these amazing creatures and visit with one of Audubon's live owls. Then walk the evening trails in search of these intriguing birds in their natural setting. Dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Member Fee: $8/member adult, $4/member child. Non-Member Fee: $12/non-member adult, $6/non-member child. Details here.

New Bedford Bike Committee Meeting

January 18, 6pm, New Bedford City Hall, Room 314
The South Coast Bikeway Committee received a grant of $3500 from the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen for our efforts to promote and publicize our efforts!! The committee is working on a brochure to promote the Regional Pathway. This coming month we will elect new Co-Chairs and other official members of the committee. Several individuals have already been nominated, but nominations are still open so please email me with any further suggestions oryour own interest in running, and I will send out a roster of candidates before the meeting. For information contact Pauline Hamela at pauline.hamel@newbedford-ma.gov.

Southeast Agricultural Mediation Workshop: Conflict Resolution Skills

January 18, 6 to 8 pm, Carver Public Library, 2 Meadowbrook Way, Carver MA
This free, interactive workshop will introduce farmers and agricultural commissions to basic communication and conflict resolution skills to enhance their ability to address conflicts that arise in day-to-day dealings with customers, suppliers, neighbors, the public, etc. Participants will take a look at their own perceptions of conflict, and also learn effective techniques for better communication, as well as managing and resolving conflict. The workshop also includes a "conflict clinic" where participants have the opportunity to discuss real conflicts and get tips on how to address these situations. Facilitated by Courtney Breese is the Program Manager at the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) and runs the Agricultural Mediation Program at MOPC and Loraine Della Porta is Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC). For more information and to register go to www.semaponline.org.

Green from the Ground Up: Winter Adult Education Class

January 19, Thursday nights for 10 weeks, 6 to 8pm and 5 to 8pm depanding on date, Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School
In this 10 'week class, we'll go well beyond the usual Green Building Basics and Minimums, and get into the most important High Efficiency Green Building Essentials that actually pay for themselves. After all..."he most important thing a Green Building can do is Conserve Energy." Learn about "Real World" effective and affordable green building technologies and strategies. Learn new advanced methods, materials and techniques that are very efficient and cost effective, many that can be implemented right away in your next home remodeling project. We'll provide you with the most important information you'll need to plan for a truly sustainable green build, remodel or retrofit project. Learn to build Green for much less, plus many ways to $ave on various construction and hidden costs. For more information and to register, visit the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School Web site.

Beyond the Barways

January 21, 1pm, 1100 Main Rd., Westport.
Barways are those inviting openings in stone walls and fences that lure us to the fields and paths ahead. Join The Trustees of Reservations for a guided walk on protected, privately-owned land. Learn about land protection from the experts and get a rare glimpse of open space preserved for Westport's future. Be prepared for uneven ground and grand surprises! Pre-registration required. Details here.

A Winter Adventure at Great Neck Sanctuary

January 21, 9am to Noon, Great Neck Sanctuary, Wareham
Join Bay Coalition conservation and education staff for a guided nature walk and exploration at one of the best hidden treasures in Buzzards Bay. The Great Neck Sanctuary (managed by Mass Audubon) has everything that makes this region so specatular - forests, wetlands, beaches, and the bay - and you will be surprised at whats happening all winter long. Reservations requested. Contact Rob Hancock at 508.999.6363 or hancock@savebuzzardsbay.org.

Barn Raising: Marketing Your Farm Business and Increasing Your Sales

January 24 to March 6, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, UMass Extension Cranberry Station, Wareham, MA
SEMAP has partnered with Kelly Pelissier owner of Sage Hill Design and Katie Cavanagh Farms Forever Coordinator to offer a very comprehensive workshop series that takes you through the steps of developing a marketing plan for your farm. The workshop series will help you:
- Develop a branding concept for your farm.
- Develop an overall marketing campaign for your farm - plus mini-campaigns for different seasons.
- Understand and decide what marketing tools (web, print, etc.) best attract customers to your farm.
- Learn how to plan and create the framework for your farms website.
- Plan and create a WordPress website for your farm.
For more information and to register, visit the SEMAP online.

"Green" Your Athletics Operation Webinar

January 26, 1 to 2:30 pm, Online
Sustainability continues to be a buzzword on campuses, yet many athletics offices do not know where to begin with greening their operations. Compounding this problem, many campus sustainability officers are not experts in intercollegiate athletics operations. Join the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for a program that will describe ways to bridge these disparate campus operations and design workable, result-oriented approaches to environmentally sustainable athletic activities and facilities. The webcast will provide information on how to work with campus sustainability offices, tailor campus efforts to available resources, and maximize the community and public effects of green progress. For more information click here. To register, click here.

Viewing Party for TedX Manhattan's Conference: Changing the Way We Eat

February 12, 10:30am to 5:30 pm, Coalition for Buzzards Bay, New Bedford
SEMAP is hosting a viewing party for TedX Manhattan's conference: Changing the Way We Eat suring the SouthCoast CSA Fair. Learn more about local farms offering CSAs (community supported agriculture) and sign up for the 2012 season at the same time! We will conduct a potluck lunch (12:15-1:30). Bring a dish to share. Challenge yourself to use as many local ingredients as possible! FREE. For more information, contact Sarah Cogswell, Program Director at scogswell@semaponline.org.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Sustainability Newsletter
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest newsletter, for Winter of 2012! Check out stories about our new forest living lab, our big campus-wide energy retofit, successful sustainability alumni, the southcoast bike path, and more! Download the PDF here.
Christmas lights wanted for February illumination event in Newport park
Give a new life to Christmas tree lights. The Friends of Ballard Park are looking for lights, outdoor extension cords and lamps, 2 feet or higher, for its Annual Illuminated Garden in February. Donations are tax deductible. Drop off lights to Newport's Clean City Program Office, 80 Halsey St., Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or at the Friends of Ballard Park's office, 226 Bellevue Ave. #10, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friends of Ballard Park will also pick lights if you call the group at (401) 619-3377.
The Top 10 Peak Oil Books Of 2012
"Peak Oil" is the term for predictions about when we will have passed the mark for extracting oil from the earth in its best quantities. After Peak Oil, extraction supplies will only dwindle. Experts say we already passed that mark three decades ago. For the best, most recent reading on the subject, including its effects on the economy, energy supplies, and other factors expected to peak and dwindle, click here.
New SouthCoast Rail Project Manager's Fact Sheet Updates
Newly minted SouthCoast Rail Project Manager Jean Fox is reaching out to her constitutents with an informative Fact Sheet which includes recent area improvement grant recipient descriptions. She is also gathering community ideas and concerns about the Rail Project as she works on its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR). For more information, visit www.mass.gov/southcoastrail. To read the Fact Sheet click here.
New Report: "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate."
The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has released a new resource titled "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate." This report was developed by the ACUPCC Climate Adaptation Committee to support the ACUPCC network in addressing the timely issue of climate adaptation. It includes examples of how campuses are handling issues related to adaptation in their education, research, operations, and community engagement activities, and provides an overview of the key issues presidents, trustees, and administers need to address in light of the impacts of climate change. Details here.
Job Opening: Director of Environmental Stewardship
The City of New Bedford is currently accepting applications for Director of Environmental Stewardship. The Director serves as the executive head of the Department of Environmental Stewardship, and promotes and coordinates the integration of environmental management and sustainability issues into policies, rules, produces, services and operations. The Director is responsible for overseeing site assessment and remediation projects, environmental planning projects, providing assistance to the Conservation Commission and advising City departments (including the School Department) on environmental compliance issues. The Director works under the general supervision of the Mayor. A complete job description is available at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/jobs/Director_of_Env_Stwd.pdf. Instructions for how to apply can be found on the City's Personnel/Employment Opportunities website at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/employ.html.
Bioneers Connecting for Change Conference Videos
This year, the Marion Institute is making youttube videos of its featured Bioneers keynote conference speakers available online for everyone to experience. First up is Amy Goodman from Democracy NOW! with her comments about the state of our nation's media and its coverage of sustainability issues. Check the Connecting for Change Facebook page for links and announcements of further video postings. Check for video releases on Facebook.
UMass Center for Marketing Research Accepting Requests
The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research is accepting requests from area businesses and other organizations to perform marketing research for the spring semester, beginning in Jan. 2012. The UMass Dartmouth center performs customized market research at affordable prices. Clients range from small and start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies and include firms from both the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Each semester, about eight clients are selected for participation in the ongoing research program involving graduate and undergraduate marketing students. The final project is a statistically valid, survey-based research study. For a full listing of past clients and testimonials from them, visit http://www.umassd.edu/cmr. Any business interested in becoming a client should contact center director Nora Ganim Barnes for more information regarding fees and semester timelines. Barnes can be reached at 508-999-8756 or nbarnes@umassd.edu.
Organic Farming Practices Course at BCC
Registration for winter/spring course in Organic Farming Practices (OFP 115) is open at Bristol Community College in Fall River. The course is designed for gardeners, farmers, landscapers, community organizations, and concerned citizens. The course will cover farm management (planning, records, & budgeting), plant propagation, season extension, and major crop cultivation. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. Courses begin January 24, 2012. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Natural Beekeeping Course at BCC
Get the buzz about beekeeping. Bristol Community College is offering open enrollment to its spring Natural Beekeeping course. Aspiring and new beekeepers will learn the essential skills necessary to begin a hobby or small enterprise as a beekeeper including purchasing and establishing a hive, disease and pest management, and harvesting the honey. The 6-week course, which emphasizes organic methods of beekeeping, includes at least one field day demonstration of installing, feeding, and the beginning steps of establishing a hive. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase their own bees, hives and equipment. The course will be held on Mondays, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, starting February 27. It may be taken as a noncredit course or for one college credit. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Regional Bikeway Conversation
Conversations about the Regional Bikeway are heating up and we need your help! The Fall River, Dartmouth, and New Bedford bikepath committees are seeking members. For more information contact:
New Bedford: Angela Bannister bannist324@yahoo.com or Pauline Hamel phamel@bu.edu
Dartmouth: Wendy Henderson whenderson@town.dartmouth.ma.us
Fall River: Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net
For information about the regional bikeway, contact Adam Recchia arecchia@srpedd.org.
For information about upcoming bikerides, contact Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net.
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. The writing contest is open to all young people in the world from the ages of eight through seventeen (8-17). There is a $400.00 award every month to eight or more young authors with scholarship awards ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 through 2015. In addition, the judges will select the best essay in the calendar year and that young person will receive a $500.00 scholarship award. Yearly the top fifty essays will be sent to the White House and be made available to governments across the world. Bi-yearly, the best one hundred winning essays will be published as an e-book for world wide distribution. Learn about the contest here.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to the Marion Institute's Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. Donate here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Share your 2011 green living change!
Sometimes we may not have time to make big changes, or the resources. But we can keep moving forward with little changes - some we perhaps may not have thought of before. Share yours!
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.