Having trouble reading this Almanac or is it getting cut short in your email? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2012_03_01.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.
Learn more about what the Almanac is and how it's put together.
Sustainability Logo
March 1 to 8, 2012

In This Issue


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

This week:

Introductory Workshop for Resilience Circles

Bionutrient Rich Farmer Production Course


Save The Date:

Guest Speaker Naomi Wolf

South Coast Bikeway Presentation: Building the Bikeway



Job Opening: Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres

The Marion Institute is hiring

Weekly Green Tip:

Agent Orange on Your Lawn?

Clip of the Week

The Future of Food [Full Length]
Excellent film on the dangers of Genetically Modified Food.

Weekly Quote:

"The human family has invaluable friends and irreplaceable allies in the plant and animal worlds. We cannot continue to tug at the web of life without tearing a hole in the very fabric of our earthly existence--and eventually falling through that hole ourselves."
- Van Jones, The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems

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
Flowering Plant Sealed in Siberian permafrosts with mammoth and wooly rhinoceros bones, 32,000 year-old seeds have been coaxed to sprout. This beats the previous record of growing a tree from 2,000 year-old seeds. Why is this important? With concerns about genetically modified crops tainting our food supplies in ways we may not understand for a long time to come, the ability to save and repropogate virgin seeds is a priority for organic farmers.

In Seattle, the first urban permaculture forest is being grown bringing nuts, fruits and berries to anyone who is of a mind to pick them. This experiment in free and local food supplies creates a charming "fairytale-like" grove and also provides low-maintenance, high-yield sustenance -- a concern with climate change and fuel prices threatening the future of globalized big agriculture. For four tips on how we can adapt food security to the challenges of climate change read about how misguided attempts to compensate could have profound environmental costs, including changes in biodiversity; water quality deterioration due to increased use of fertilizers and pesticides; waterlogging, salinization, and water scarcity due to changes in irrigation; and land degradation from increased use of less suitable agricultural land.

For a happier ending, read about how so-called "waste crops" can be raw materials for other industires,, like leftover wheat and flax not being used for straw can become pulp for paper.
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 chapter focuses on the wonders of food compost.This week I'm going to begin an online journal that hopes to describe the process of starting a compost project of an unlimited size. I hope to build a campus compost project. The material currently being thrown away could be diverted for an excellent resource, one that sequesters carbon, feeds soils, and grows food and fiber.
Leaf Bullet News
planet earth Scientists report a "rebound effect" from global CFC ban
The Montreal Protocol led to a global phase-out of most substances that deplete the ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A happy side-effect of the gradual ban of these products is that the Earth's climate has also benefited because CFCs are also potent greenhouse gases.

However, now a "rebound effect" threatens to accelerate the rate of global warming. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which have been used in recent years in increasing quantities as substitutes for CFCs, are also climatically very active and many are also extremely long-lived. Read more here.

Female Sex Hormones Can Weaken the Ability of Fish to Protect Themselves Against Environmental Toxins
It is well known that female sex hormones (estrogens) that end up in rivers and lakes, primarily via spillage from sewers and livestock farming, pose a threat to the environment. Some environmental toxins can also have the same impact as estrogens. One example of such substances are degradation products (metabolites) from the pollutant PCB. Marte Braathen's doctoral research project has developed methods for monitoring biological responses (biomarkers) in fish to pollution resulting from toxins present in African rivers and lakes. Read more here.

boiling cassava Is Cassava A Climate Change Answer For Farmers?
Calling cassava "the Rambo of food crops," scientists Monday said the long-neglected root becomes even more productive in hotter temperatures and could be the best bet for African farmers threatened by climate change.

Cassava is the second most important source of carbohydrate in sub-Saharan African, after maize, and is eaten by around 500 million people every day, scientists said. Read more here.

grapes on a vine Australian Wines Affected by Climate Change
Wine growers in Australia have long observed that changes in the climate bring their grapes to early maturity -- leading to changes in the balance of flavors and aromas that could bring down the value of wine.

But until recently, those observations had not been matched with the underlying causes of change over the decades. A new study in Nature Climate Change finds that warming and declines in soil moisture, but also vine management practices to lower yields to produce better-quality grapes, brought the fruit to early maturity. Read more here.

Flying Turbine Energy Field's Long Shots Show Off Their Stuff
ARPA-E, the Energy Department's program for betting on long-shot technologies, is holding a convention in Washington this week, and several dozen teams working on unusual ideas showed up to hobnob with potential investors and potential government customers. None of the technologies are ready for the market, but that is as it should be, said Arun Mujamdar, the program's director.

The notion is that the technologies should "swing for the fences," he said. Most will not reach commercialization, program officials say. In fact, some have already failed and returned unspent federal money to the government. Yet some show interesting progress. Read more here.

Great Barrier Reef Preserving the World's Reefs Through Photography
The SVII camera is suitably squidlike. This camera, at the nexus of a four-way partnership called the Catlin Seaview Survey, will visually document the composition and the health of the Great Barrier Reef along its full 1,500-mile span.

Sponsored by the Catlin Group, the global insurance company, the survey is intended not only to gather data but also to strengthen scientific understanding of how climate change might affect ocean ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef. Read more here.

South China Sea Conflict looms in South China Sea oil rush
A decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea is entering a new and more contentious chapter, as claimant nations search deeper into disputed waters for energy supplies while building up their navies and military alliances with other nations, particularly with the United States.

Reed Bank, claimed by both China and the Philippines, is just one of several possible flashpoints in the South China Sea that could force Washington to intervene in defense of its Southeast Asian allies. Read more here.

Food Packaging Fast Food Packaging Study Finds McD's, Starbucks are Green Leaders
The work McDonald's and Starbucks have done to make their packaging more recyclable or reduce the amount of material they use have earned them high praise from the Dogwood Alliance.

In its latest report, "Greening Fast Food Packaging," the environmental group lays out eight steps to help companies move to more sustainable packaging, illustrated with actions already being taken by major brands. Read more here.

Walk on Lovely Fall Day Global Warming: U.S. Belief Reportedly Rises With Mixed Explanations
Americans' belief in global warming is on the rise, along with temperatures and surprising weather changes, according to a new university poll.

Nearly half the people who say they believe in global warming base that on personal observations of the weather. Climate researchers say that's reaching the correct conclusion for reasons that aren't quite right. Read more here.

shale U.S. Geological Survey Releases Assessment on Shale Resources in Alaska's North Slope Region
The U.S. Geological Survey has approximated how much undiscovered onshore shale oil and gas resources are available for use in Alaska's North Slope region. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), about zero up to two billion barrels of oil is available in the region. The USGS also estimated that there is zero up to 80 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

These resources represent recoverable assets, and are quantities of gas and oil that are obtainable with using modern and readily available technology. Production has never been attempted in this Alaskan region because of economic and infrastructure capabilities. The shales in this region span most of the area, but exclude the environmentally-sensitive Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Read more here.

peach tree It's Not a Fairytale: Seattle to Build Nation's First Food Forest
Seattle's vision of an urban food oasis is going forward. A seven-acre plot of land in the city's Beacon Hill neighborhood will be planted with hundreds of different kinds of edibles: walnut and chestnut trees; blueberry and raspberry bushes; fruit trees, including apples and pears; exotics like pineapple, yuzu citrus, guava, persimmons, honeyberries, and lingonberries; herbs; and more. All will be available for public plucking to anyone who wanders into the city's first food forest.

The concept of a food forest certainly pushes the envelope on urban agriculture and is grounded in the concept of permaculture, which means it will be perennial and self-sustaining, like a forest is in the wild. Not only is this forest Seattle's first large-scale permaculture project, but it's also believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. Read more here.

Amanda Carr One Industry's Waste Is... Another Whole New Industry
It's not waste; it's leftovers. That was the first thing we learned when we started investigating the possibility of producing pulp and paper from agricultural residue, or "waste crops" as some folks call them. And that's not because they are actually a waste, but because they're usually treated like it.

The "waste" in wheat and flax farming is what's left over after all other uses for the straw have been accounted for -- after the grain has been harvested for food, after the useable remainder has been selected for animal feed and bedding, and even after a sufficient amount of what's left has been returned to the soil to maintain its composition and quality. After that, the remaining straw is just disposed of one way or another, usually by burning. And that truly is a waste. Read more here.

smokestacks EPA Rules On Greenhouse Gases Face New Legal Challenges
U.S. limits on greenhouse gas emissions face a challenge in federal court this week from more than 100 industry groups and several U.S. states, the latest high-profile effort to halt or overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's rules.

Three federal judges will hear arguments on Tuesday and Wednesday at the D.C. Court of Appeals from groups seeking to overturn the regulations and also convince the judges that the science used by the EPA is wrong. Read more here.

grassy field TransCanada Renewing Request to Build Keystone Pipeline
TransCanada said Monday that it would reapply for a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Canadian oil sands formations in Alberta to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico, assuring that the fiercely contested project will remain a source of political heat throughout the presidential campaign. Read more here.

Nano Tanks Enlisting Nanoparticles to Help Replace Oil
The world has a lot of natural gas and not nearly enough crude oil. To address the imbalance, some companies have tried to convert the gas into a liquid that can substitute for refined oil products like gasoline and diesel, but the idea has not taken off in this country. It may be simpler to convert vehicles instead and have them burn natural gas instead of gasoline or diesel.

This logic has become stronger as the price of oil has risen on the global market and the price of American natural gas has declined. Lately oil has been trading at around $100 a barrel, but the same amount of energy can be bought for about $15 as natural gas when that fuel is trading in the range of $2.50 per million B.T.U.'s, as it has recently. (An average barrel is 5.8 million B.T.U.'s.) Read more here.

Oil Rigs BP Oil Spill Trial: Settlement Talks Underway While Case Is Delayed
The trial to decide who should pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been delayed by a week, to allow BP Plc to try to cut a deal with tens of thousands of businesses and individuals affected by the disaster. Less than 24 hours before the case was set to start in a New Orleans federal court, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier pushed back the date to March 5 from February 27.

The delay allows further talks between BP and the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC), which represents condominium owners, fishermen, hoteliers, restaurateurs and others who say their livelihoods were damaged by the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill. Read more here.

Harvesting Corn Judge Dismisses Organic Farmers' Case Against Monsanto
A New York federal court today dismissed a lawsuit against agribusiness giant Monsanto brought by thousands of certified organic farmers. The farmers hoped the suit would protect them against infringing on the company's crop patents in the future.

The Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association and several other growers and organizations do not use Monsanto seeds. But they were betting that the judge would agree that Monsanto should not be allowed to sue them if pollen from the company's patented crops happened to drift into their fields. Read more here.

Somalian Kids Food Security in a Changing Climate
Over the last two years, the worst drought in decades has devastated eastern Africa. The resulting food-security crisis has affected roughly 13 million people and has reminded us that there is still a long way to go in addressing current climate-related risks. In the face of such profound changes and uncertainties, our approaches to food security must evolve. In this article, we describe four key elements that, in our view, will be essential to the success of efforts to address the linked challenges of food security and climate change. Read more here.

protester with big sign and money covering her mouth 9 Best Strategies to End Corporate Rule
The power of corporations in politics and in our daily lives can seem insurmountable. They've got piles of cash, and no qualms about spending big to get their own way. In our latest issue, YES! Magazine's editors asked if there's any way to shift the balance of power back towards real people. Here are nine strategies to put people back in charge. Read more here.

ipad costs chart Why your iThings don't have to be weCruel
Here is the truth: The single greatest cost component of both the iPhone and the iPad is neither labor nor materials, but profits. Labor costs in poor nations such as China and South Korea are such a small percentage of total costs that they could be doubled or tripled without buyers even noticing. Material costs are significant, but still could be doubled without the increase falling outside the fluctuations prices of electronic goods suffer during normal functioning of the global system.

In short, a global system that treats workers decently could provide iThings for about the same as they cost now. A global system that treats the environment decently would increase the cost of iThings slightly, but not by an amount unaffordable for anyone who can pay for them today. Read more here.

Will the Natural Gas Boom Crimp Renewables?
The lower the price of natural gas, the less interest utilities have in renewables.

With the boom and oversupply of natural gas, thanks to widespread fracking, prices are at a 2- year low, prompting concern about how it will affect renewable energy. Utilities are able to buy cheap natural gas in long term contracts, which means they're less likely to embark on new utility-scale renewable energy projects.

While this does pose a near-term threat to the rate of utility-scale renewable energy development, that won't be true in a few years, argues Dan Self of the Rocky Mountain Institute. Read more here.

Faxon Animal Shelter: 100 years of helping animals
Animals in Greater Fall River need us. There are plenty of excellent shelters and rescue groups and coalitions in and around the Southeastern New England area. So, if you are reading this in Taunton, maybe give a little time to a local group there. In New Bedford? Perhaps offer to help a coalition there. Read more here.

Historical Oil Field Snake Oil Salesmen
Those frightening sounds, sights, and odors on the wind this foreboding snowless winter -- like emanations from some back ward of a global psychiatric hospital -- are the signs of a nation going completely mad. The traumatic rise of oil prices above the $100 level is one irritant, prompting a range of people-who-oughta-know-better to gibber and fulminate as though they'd been locked in the nation's attic since Thanksgiving with nothing to do but play with a box of pencils. Meanwhile, several absurd "narratives" circulate around the mainstream media that are sure to cause this country more trouble -- as any set of pernicious untruths will. Read more here.

Discarded Tires Patrick Administration budgets $35 million for commerce terminal in New Bedford Harbor
The Patrick administration says it has budgeted $35 million for the construction of the proposed marine commerce terminal in New Bedford and that more money may be coming.

"The Patrick-Murray administration's current capital plan includes $29 million for the terminal, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center will help contribute towards additional costs," MassCEC's CEO Patrick Cloney said in a statement. Read more here.

Discarded Tires Durfee students' initiative hopes to help city cut down on litter
Students at B.M.C. Durfee High School will unveil a logo and mascot designed for the city's anti-litter campaign during an event this Wednesday.

The students have been collaborating with representatives from the Fall River Park Advocates and city officials for more than a year on the project. The goal of the collaboration is to make the public aware of how litter can affect their overall well-being. The unveiling will take place at 1 p.m. in Visual Design teacher Rene Gagnon's classroom. The event is open to the public. Read more here.

Newport Beach City Identifies Toxics Beneath Queen Anne Square
NEWPORT -- The city has discovered environmental contaminants in soil from Queen Anne Square at levels that prompted a recent meeting at the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM).

On Feb. 24, the city submitted a "Hazardous Material Release Form" required whenever detected contaminants at any site within state jurisdiction exceed limits delineated by DEM regulations. Read more here.

Massachusetts Could Lose 50,000 Jobs in Decade
Looming federal budget cuts could cost Massachusetts more than 50,000 jobs over the next decade - mainly in key sectors such as defense, technology, and health care - and "strike at the very heart'' of the state's innovation economy, an analysis by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute shows. Read more here.

Switchgrass Field Switchgrass Shows Promise as Clean Energy Source
Ethanol, a cleaner and cheaper fuel alternative, is becoming more prevalent as dependency on a depleting oil supply grows. This heavy reliance on oil to power our massive transportation industry is bad for the environment, increases foreign dependency on fossil fuels and is getting more expensive.

Albert KauschAlbert Kausch, a plant geneticist at the University of Rhode Island, is researching ways to genetically modify switchgrass to make it the best source for ethanol production. Read more here.

Dartmouth Land Dartmouth residents fight back against solar farm
More than 50 people turned out Monday to a Select Board meeting at which residents railed against Con Edison Development's planned solar farm on Hixville Road and board members spoke about their inability to stop it."We have a bylaw that says 'You can build this,'" said board member William J. Trimble, describing how as long as the company follows Dartmouth's bylaws, the town has no cause to block it.

George Germano, Con Edison Development's director of engineering and asset management, presented an overview of the project, which calls for more than 9,000 solar panels on a plot of land near the Hixville Historic District. The panels would each stand approximately 8' feet tall, according to Germano. Read more here.

Governor Deval Patrick Gov. Patrick considering unused snow-removal funds to help MBTA
Gov. Deval Patrick said Thursday that his administration is considering the use of excess snow-and-ice removal funds to help limit the service cuts proposed by the MBTA, as the cash-strapped agency deals with a yawning projected budget deficit.

"It's one we're thinking about. It's February. You know how New England is. We've had a good and calm and relatively snow-free winter so far. If the winter continues as it has been, there will be unspent snow and ice budget. That may be part of the one-year fix," Patrick said, adding, "We need a permanent fix. We are working on both what the permanent fix ought to be - and also what a short-term measure ought to be so we can avoid some of the service cuts that are on the table right now." Read more here.

Rep. Howitt promotes paid clean-energy internship for students
State Rep. Steven Howitt, R-Seekonk, is encouraging students to obtain a paid internship at Massachusetts-based clean energy companies though the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and the New England Clean Energy Council's 2012 Massachusetts Clean Energy Internship Program. Read more here.

Charlestown turbine settling won't be an issue for Fairhaven, developer says
A Charlestown wind turbine, installed by the same firm building Fairhaven's turbines, has been shut down until engineers can stabilize the ground beneath it.

The turbine, the same model as Fairhaven's with a similar foundation design, was shut down after having settled more than expected in a regularly scheduled three-month test, according to Sumul Shah, Lumus Construction president. Read more here.

New state tax credit rewards land conservation efforts
A new state tax credit program that rewards land conservation efforts could provide a boost to conservation efforts across SouthCoast.

"It's a great opportunity in this part of the state where there is so much that is undeveloped," said Rob Hancock, vice president of education and engagement at the Buzzards Bay Coalition. The program, known as the Conservation Land Tax Credit, was first announced in September 2011; calendar year 2012 is the first full year of the program. Read more here.

Parker Street cleanup will take at least two more years
Remediation work on the Parker Street Waste Site is expected to take at least two more years, extending the time required to remediate the 104-acre site to a full decade, according to a city official.

Extensive PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were first discovered on the site of the new Keith Middle School in 2004, and extensive testing and remediation work has been under way since. In addition to the middle school, the site now includes New Bedford High School, the former Bethel AME property, a number of residential properties on Greenwood and Ruggles streets, and some privately owned parcels. Read more here.

Fall River Waterfall Flanagan seeks $5M to further energy initiative proposed by Correia
Mayor Will Flanagan is renewing efforts to uncover the Quequechan River as he seeks federal funding to continue an initiative first promoted by his predecessor.

Flanagan issued letters to the city's congressional delegation Monday, seeking $5 million to further the Fall River Energy Enterprise initiative, announced by Mayor Robert Correia in 2009. Flanagan is seeking the money through the Energy Efficiency Community Development Block Grant. Read more here.

Westport River Westport considers adding 2 preservation-related questions to the ballot
Voters will be able to weigh in on two preservation-related issues on April 10, the same day as the annual town election.

Both non-binding questions deal with issues that have stirred controversy in town in recent years: whether the town should seek a federal "wild and scenic" designation for the Westport River, and whether the town should repeal the Community Preservation Act, which sets aside revenue from a tax surcharge for preservation and conservation projects. Read more here.

Workshops focus on restoring Buzzards Bay resources
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is hosting a series of workshops starting this week that are focused on restoring the bay's natural resources.

The free, three-part series is intended to provide all the stakeholders involved in environmental restoration projects the tools they need to make those projects happen, according to a release from the coalition. Read more here.

Pawtucket sewage spill closes parts of Bay to shellfishing
PAWTUCKET, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island environmental officials have closed an upper portion of the Narragansett Bay to shellfishing after a sewage spill. Read more here.

High School High school graduation, dropout rates improve in Massachusetts
More Bay State students graduated on time and fewer dropped out last school year, but deep disparities remain among racial and ethnic minorities, according to a state report.

Out of more than 74,000 students in the Class of 2011, 83.4 percent graduated on time, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said. That was up slightly from 82.1 percent in 2010 and marked the fifth year in a row of improvement. Read more here.

Southcoast Energy Challenge: Wrap Up Your Pipes
The holidays are behind us, but wrapping never goes out of style. Uninsulated hot water pipes can waste up to 4 degrees in water temperature between leaving the hot water heater and reaching your shower or faucet. Insulate the first three feet of pipe coming from your water heater, and help those pipes -- and your hot water -- stay toasty year-round. Pre-cut foam can be purchased at most local hardware stores, and installing it is as easy as snapping it around the pipe. Every bit of energy counts. Don't lose precious degrees before your hot water even reaches you. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Introductory Workshop for Resilience Circles

March 3, 10 AM to 4 PM, UMass Dartmouth Campus Center Conference Room, 2nd Floor
A Resilience Circle is a small group of 10 to 20 people that comes together to increase personal security during these challenging times. Circles have three purposes: learning, mutual aid, and social action. Lunch provided. How do we prepare for economic and ecological change? Congregations and communities are forming Resilience Circles to help people find connection, the information they need, and avenues to a new kind of security -- one based on mutual aid and support. At this facilitator training, we will provide the tools, connections, and inspiration for starting a circle. For more information, visit Democracy in Action or contact Susan Jennings.

Seal and Bird-watching - Cuttyhunk Island

March 3rd, 10:00am-2:00pm, Cuttyhunk Ferry Company parking lot, New Bedford MA
Harbor, Grey, and Harp seals may be viewed, and Great Cormorants are an abundant waterbird at this stop. Waterfowl such as eiders, scoters, and loons may also be seen on the boat ride out. After seal-viewing, the boat docks at Cuttyhunk for lunch and an opportunity to set foot on the island. At this point, you?re free to venture through town to the lookout to gain a feel for the unique landscape and enjoy a panoramic view of surrounding waters. Details here.

25th Anniversary Environmental Action Conference

March 3, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Join 300 citizens, activists and experts at one of the premier grassroots events in Southern New England! We are proud to announce keynote speakers Lois Gibbs and Jan Schlichtmann, and we are thrilled to offer 20 workshops that cover a range of issues and skills - from the future of energy in New England, to environmental health, to trainings on lobbying elected officials and fundraising. Environmental Action is a day to recognize our many victories over the year and be inspired to go back and continue the fight to protect the health of our communities and the quality of our environment. Register online now for just $35. Early bird registration closes February 15th and prices go up $10 after that date. Call 617-747-4358 to register over the phone, and email taryn@toxicsaction.org with any questions.

Sustainable Braintree's 2012 Green Gala and Fundraiser

March 3, 7 to 11 pm, Cahill Auditorium in Braintree Town Hall
This elegant event brings together community members, elected officials, and business leaders for a fabulous evening of fun and entertainment. Our keynote speaker is Secretary Richard K. Sullivan, Jr., Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs. Tickets are $50.00 per person. In addition to Door Prizess, a Raffle Getaway for a trip for two to the beautiful island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands is being offered. St. John is a designated U.S. National Park. The getaway has a Maximum Retail Value of $7000 and includes: Round-Trip Airfare for Two, transfers to and from St. Thomas to St. John, a seven day, six-night stay at The St. John Westin Resort, car rental, and a $1000 American Express gift card. Tickets are $100. Only 250 tickets will be sold! The final date for raffle ticket sales is March 1, 2012, and no raffle tickets will be sold at the Gala. To purchase Gala or Raffle tickets, visit the Sustainable Braintree website or contact Cheryl Edgar at 781 848 9247.

Bionutrient Rich Farmer Production Course

March 7th, Wishing Stone Farm, Little Compton, RI
Participation-based with questions and answers, the workshop series is designed for farmers, growers, and gardeners of any type to learn current research and proven methods, and go step-by-step through the process that will lead to optimum crop health and sustained yield. Most of the facilitation of the courses is done by Dan Kittredge, Executive Director of the Real Food Campaign. Dan is the son of prominent leaders in the organic movement and has been an organic farmer since childhood. His experience managing organic farms and developing sustainable agriculture techniques has connected him to farmers in Central America, Russia, India and the United States. Details here.

How to Maximize your Garden

March 8th, 7PM, Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum, 396 Country Street, New Bedford, MA
Drawing on more than a decade of farming in the northeast, proprietor of Brix Bounty Farm and community educator Derek Christianson will share his years of experience and effective ways to maximize the growing season, vegetable quality and production. From the proper preparation of the soil to ensure nutritious produce, to seed selection and successive plantings, he will discuss ways to extend the season, overall production and vegetable quality. No fee. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Organic Gardening Workshop

Saturday March 10th, 2PM, Presented by Sustainable Braintree at Brix Bounty Farm, Dartmouth, MA.
Details here.

Tropical Treasures for Tweens and Teens

Saturdays, March 10th, 17th, 24th, 10:30am - noon, Buttonwood Park Zoo, 425 Hawthorn Street New Bedford, MA
What do seed bracelets, chocolate and lip balm all have in common? All of these things can come from plants in the rainforest. Come to the zoo for this new craft series in which we?ll learn a little science, talk a little conservation and then create a wicked cool tropical treasure to take home. Tropical Treasures is recommended for kids ages 9 ? 13. Sign up for one class or take all three! Please call the Education Department at (508) 991-6178. Details here.

South Coast Bikeway Presentation: Building the Bikeway

March 14 5:30PM - 7:30PM, Greater New Bedford Vocational Technical High School (1121 Ashley Blvd, New Bedford)
The South Coast Bikeway Committee invites you to be a part of a workshop on the nuts and bolts of building a bicycle-friendly community. The workshop will feature a brief overview of the proposed South Coast Bikeway given by Adam Recchia of the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District, followed by a presentation on low-cost alternatives to building a bicycle-friendly community given by Bill DeSantis, P.E. of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. The event will have light refreshments and is free of charge. There is no need to RSVP, just show up and learn something! For more information, visit here or call Adam Recchia at 508-824-1367 or arecchia@srpedd.org.

2nd Annual Teacher Training at Friends Academy

March 17th, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 a.m., Friends Academy, 1088 Tucker Road Dartmouth, MA.
Starting and sustaining school gardens. Our second annual workshop will feature info about a variety of gardening basics: composting, seeding, transplanting, harvesting, plot design, planting schedules, fertilizers, soil management and soil testing. Additionally, the workshop will offer strategies for crop sequencing and seed selection plus professional grade materials to extend the growing season. Presented alongside Steve Walach. Details here.

Seal Walk at Mishaum Point

March 17th, 10:00am - 12:30 pm, Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust, 404 Elm Street Dartmouth, MA
Join DNRT and Lloyd Center Research Director Mark Mello for our popular annual late-winter walk from Salters Point to Mishaum Point. We will look for wintering waterfowl and hope to see seals off the shoreline. The walk is about 3 miles round trip and can be cool, even on a nice day, with the wind coming off the water. The walk is free, but registration is required and limited to 60 people. (No pets, please.) Please register by calling DNRT at 508-991-2289 no later than noon on March 16. (note: the walk may fill up before the 16th) Details here.

So You Want to Be a Farmer 5-Session Workshop Series

Wednesdays, March 21-April 28, 6 to 9pm, Bristol County Agricultural High School, Dighton, MA
Applying knowledge of entering and aspiring farmers, SEMAP is offering the "So, You Want to Be a Farmer?" workshop series to educate entering farmers on the essential building blocks of starting a new farm enterprise and to inform you of the network of existing services. The five-session workshop series, "So, You Want to Be a Farmer?" is comprised of:
1.) So, You Want to Be a Farmer?: The Dirty Truth. March 21, 2012
2.) What is a Business Plan and Why You Need One. March 28, 2012
3.) The Dollars and Sense of Financing a Small Farm. April 4, 2012
4.) News Flash! You Don't Need To Own The Land You Farm. April 11, 2012
5.) Farm Tour: What A Real Farm Smells Like. April 28, 2012
SEMAP has been working with aspiring and entering farmers through its Farms Forever Program for the past four years. You have communicated your need for support in the areas of business planning, locating farmland, financing, and other legal issues. SEMAP has received funding for 20 participants. For more information, visit www.SEMAPonline.org or call (508) 295-2212 x50.

Buzzards Bay Coalition Decision-Maker Workshop Series on Habitat Restoration

March 22, April 5, Various Locations
Thursday March 22, 2012 - Briarwood, Monument Beach

  • Site Visit - Sippewisset Marsh
  • Keynote Speaker - David Gould, Environmental Resources Manager, Town of Plymouth
  • Topics Include: Determining and managing stakeholders, economic benefits, flooding hazards mitigation, and drinking water source protection.
Thursday April 5, 2012 - Cranberry Station, East Wareham
  • Site Visit - Red Brook River
  • Keynote Speaker - Tim Purinton, Director of Division of Ecological Restoration, Mass Department of Fish and Game
  • Topics Include: Managing multi-source funding, permitting, planning and design, and managing construction.

To register for one or all of the free workshops contact Shannon McManus at mcmanus@savebuzzardsbay.org or call (508)999-6363 x 226. For more information, visit www.savebuzzardsbay.org/decisionmaker.

22nd Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference

March 24th, 8:00am-4:00pm, Worcester Technical High School, Worcester MA
Register now for this year's conference, "Working Lands: Farms, Forests and Conservation." The focus will be on farm and forest protection and stewardship, hot topics in agriculture, and community-based farm and garden projects! Details here.

Guest Speaker Naomi Wolf

March 27, 2-3:30pm, UMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons
Naomi Wolf, activist and bestselling author of Give me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries, will be speaking from 2-3:30 in Woodland Commons. Hosted by the UMD Center for Jewish Culture, the Women's Studies Department and the Office of Sustainability, the talk is the centerpiece of a semester-long focus on the state of democracy in America.

Contact the Sustainability Office for more details. For more information, visit http://www.naomiwolf.org.

2nd Annual Southeastern Massachusetts Sustainability Forum: Economic Benefits of Sustainability to Southeastern Massachusetts

March 29, 8:30AM - 12:30PM, UMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons
Sustainability has to do with resilience – how businesses, communities and individuals stay firmly rooted when buffeted by the winds of change. The potential impacts of technological advances, climate change, fossil fuel depletion, Europe's financial crisis on our national and regional economy are beyond the control of local officials and citizens, but not beyond our ability to to make smart choices that reduce our vulnerability and increase our likelihood of economic stability. On March 29th, the Southeastern Massachusetts Sustainability Council will host a forum at UMD's Woodland's Commons (8:30 to noon) where we may all learn what actions we may choose among to make us more sustainable in agriculture and food, the economy, energy, natural resources, transportation and community development.Contact the UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Office for more details at 508-910-6484 or visit Southeastern Massachusetts Council on Sustainability.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
The Marion Institute seeks a Fundraising Professional
The Marion Institute (MI) (www.marioninstitute.org) seeks a Fundraising Professional to join the Executive Director and MI team. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of leading and managing all aspects of MI's fundraising.

Working closely with the Executive Director and the Board, the Fundraising Professional will be responsible for shaping and executing the overall MI approach to generating financial support. This will involve building on an existing successful foundation as well as bringing a fresh perspective to the task of setting priorities and implementing specific aspects of the fundraising strategy. This would include MI's annual appeal, targeted major donor appeals, web based fundraising, special events for constituency/membership development and cultivation, foundation and government grants, corporate gifts, leadership on all special fundraising efforts and the development of a planned giving program. Learn more here.
Job Opening: Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres
The new position of Communications Outreach Manager at Ceres will handle day-to-day media relations for Ceres and its Investor Network on Climate Risk. This opening is designed for a highly motivated, self-starter looking to help frame Ceres' message and manage our interaction with both traditional and new online media on cutting-edge issues such as the far-reaching business impacts from global climate change. This Communications Outreach Manager will have regular and close interaction with traditional and online reporters, write extensively on behalf of Ceres programs, activities and executive staff, and coordinate numerous media outreach campaigns. Ceres is a nonprofit organization based in Boston, MA, with a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as climate change and water scarcity. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 100 leading institutional investors with collective assets of over $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org. To submit a resume and samples, contact maureen@msalkinassociates.com.
New Data Quantifies Environmental Impact of Colleges & Universities
The American College & University Presidents'; Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action, today released new data on the positive environmental impact of colleges and universities across the country in reducing their carbon footprints. Among the findings:
- The 599 colleges that submitted greenhouse gas inventories reported CO2 emissions of 28m metric tons, roughly as much as 2.58m homes or 5.2m passenger vehicles emit annually
- 306 institutions set a target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 or before; 93 pledged neutrality by 2030
- Collectively, the ACUPCC network has purchased more than 1.28 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy credits (RECs), making it the third-largest buyer in the country
The data is publicly available on the ACUPCC's online reporting system -- /www.acupcc.org/reportingsystem -- a platform that enables schools to quantify the sustainability activity that is taking place on their campuses, and hold themselves accountable by sharing their progress in a transparent way. The data is available in a variety of formats; contact Ulli Klein for more information.
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program
This week marked the kickoff of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Business Rewards Program at three Dartmouth businesses: Alderbrook Farm, Baker Books, and Mirasol's Café. A tidy box near the entrance of each establishment signals to customers, "Save money on utility bills... and earn a $10 gift certificate to this establishment!" How does it work? Any customer who registers for and receives a no-cost, Mass Save home energy assessment by filling out an attached slip and dropping it in the box will receive their complimentary $10 gift certificate to that business! It's as easy as that! And the perks don't stop there. Simply getting a home energy assessment can save you 3-5% utility costs. During the assessment, the energy experts at Next Step Living make a few simple, on-the-spot retrofits to increase your home's efficiency. These retrofits include installing energy saving light bulbs, an efficient showerhead, and programmable thermostats if you don't have them already. They will also make recommendations to increase the efficiency of your home on a deeper level. Added insulation, air sealing, and weatherstripping are some common recommendations. Furthermore, they will help you make a plan to take advantage of state rebates and funding opportunities available through the Mass Save program. For more information, visit the SouthCoast Energy Challenge.
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Seeking Interns
The primary focus of the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Outreach & Organizing Interns will be community outreach through canvassing and tabling at events to spread awareness and increase participation in the Challenge. The successful interns will work closely with the Program Coordinators to organize and promote the Challenge in the Greater New Bedford area, with an initial focus on Dartmouth. While some of the work will be in the SouthCoast Energy Challenge Dartmouth Initiative office, the Organizing Team will be expected to work predominantly in the community at large. We are seeking college aged or older applicants for these positions, and requesting a two semester commitment with the possibility of staying on into the Fall of 2012. Submit cover and resume no later than February 6. For more information and a complete job description, visit the SouthCoast Energy Challenge, or contact Andy Erickson@seeal.org, (508) 996 8253 ext 206.
Job Opening: Trustees of Reservations Superintendent for South Coast, Cape Cod, Buzzard's Bay
This Superintendent position has direct responsibility for the management and operation of 11 properties located in the Southeast Region of The Trustees of Reservations. The mission of the Trustees of Reservations is to preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts. The organization cares for over 100 properties that comprise more than 24,000 acres, and monitors 285 Conservation Restrictions protecting another 16,700 acres. In 1891, the Trustees of Reservations was founded by small band of visionary volunteers. Over the past ten years, the organization has evolved into a dynamic $20M operation with 180 year-round employees who are led by a volunteer governance structure and supported by over 45,000 member households. For more information and a complete job description, visit www.thetrustees.org/about-us/employment/current-openings/superintendent-for-south.html.
Job Opening: Chief Entrepreneurial Catalyst at The Mycelium School
We are looking for an entrepreneur that has the capacity to not only help Mycelium thrive but weave the spirit of entrepreneurship within the fabric of our organization. We are not a feel good, sexy, mutton chop wearing, skate-board-to-work school that gives the image of making change; we are an ugly, gritty, sweaty, game changing force. We're looking for someone who has demonstrated success as a social intra/entrepreneur. Someone who thrives in uncertainty and is not afraid to take risks, fail hard and most of all, succeeds wildly. If you are the man or woman to pull this off, read on: Mycellum School and Chief Entrepreneurial Caltalyst description.
Two Seasonal Job Openings: "Apprentice" or "Resident Foodie" at Round the Bend Farm
Apprentice: Participate in the holistic experience that is diversified small farming in hopes of building confidence and skills to prepare you for an independent future. Round the Bend Farm seeks a farm apprentice to join the farm manager and one to three interns. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of learning all things farming from vegetable gardening to seed saving to animal husbandry. We are looking for a self starter with a strong work ethic.
Resident Foodie: Round the Bend Farm (RTB) seeks a resident foodie to join the farm manager, small farm apprentice and the farm community. We are looking for a person who is excited by the prospect of immersion into a vibrant and diverse local food culture. We are looking for a self starter with a strong work ethic. More information here.
Fall River Winter Indoor Farmers Market
On the second Saturday of every month from 8:00am - 12:00pm visit CD Recreation at 72 Bank Street in Fall River for a Winter Indoor Market featuring local vendors with meats, cheeses, wines, vegetables, and other great goods will be available and are looking to see you there!
Winter Market Openings for Vendors
Sundays 11 to 3 pm, January 8th to March 25th:, Kennedy's Country Gardens, 85 Chief Justice Cushing Highway Route 3A Scituate, MA 02066.This market has spots for additional local farms and food vendors. Seeking Local Farms and Food Producers! Contact Person: Thea, 781-545-1266 (except Mondays till Feb. 14th) .
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.
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.
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
Agent Orange on your Lawn?
With more than a thousand products containing 2,4-D being sold in the USA, you'll just need to be very careful when reading labels in order to avoid it. Additionally, gentler and safer herbicides and pesticides need the necessary support from government and industry to bring them to market at competitive pricing.
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.