Letter from the Editors
Take a scenic drive through your region and you're sure to find cities and towns stuck with empty buildings on unused land. Buildings that may have once housed a fast-food franchise, a department store,
or retail giant. Personal opinions aside regarding the business practices of a corporate giant like Walmart, what is a community to do with this land and building once the business that housed it goes under or leaves for more lucrative pastures?
A city in Texas came up with the answer: turn it into a library McAllen, Texas decided to turn the space of an abandoned walmart into public library.
A beautiful, spacious library that has become a popular hot spot
with a large registration list. Walmart leaving an area got a community to unite and create something truly beneficial. This is a shiny example that many communities can learn from.
Electronic waste is a serious issue. Old computers, music players, printers, are often discarded unsafely and taken to settle at landfills, where all those contaminants and other toxic substances eventually leak out.
Most companies and towns offer e-waste disposal centers, but people still won't go to the extra trouble. Governments and organizations are now looking to
retrieve all this e-waste to salvage the thousands and thousands of tons of metal composing the products
. There are billions of
dollars worth of precious metals, like copper, gold, and silver, that can be taken from our landfills, greatly decreasing global mining, mineral
extraction, and the environmental impacts they produce. Why has it taken so long to figure this out?
A previous Letter from the Editor from a month ago mentioned news of genetically modified mosquitoes being created as a form of species control. There has emerged protest in the Florida Keys regarding unleashing genetically modified mosquitoes into the area, which are intended to
sterilize and lower the population of native mosquitoes carrying dengue fever.
The news is fascinating because it tends to boggle the minds of many people wondering why anyone would want to tamper with the design of pests.
Mosquitos are a huge problem in the Keys, causing thousands of cases of illness in the area every year. Residents are fearful of the uncertainties and unintended consequences, and want more testing. The laboratory says these mosquitoes carry no disease,
do not bite, and can't reproduce. Mutant mosquitoes would mean less pesticide usage, but it may also lead to a "Science-Run-Amok" scenario so many films and books warned us about.
It's not paranoid to believe there are too many bad things that can go wrong here.
Ocean Acidification Is Climate Change's 'Equally Evil Twin,' According to NOAA
Oceans' rising acid levels have emerged as one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, acting as the "osteoporosis of the sea" and threatening everything from food security to tourism to livelihoods, the head of a U.S. scientific agency said Monday.
The speed by which the oceans' acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change's "equally evil twin," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told The Associated Press.
"We've got sort of the perfect storm of stressors from multiple places really hammering reefs around the world," said Lubchenco, who was in Australia to speak at the International Coral Reef Symposium in the northeast city of Cairns, near the Great Barrier Reef. "It's a very serious situation."
Read more here
Also read Study finds dead reefs can come back to life
'Himalayan Viagra' taking its toll on Nepal
Thousands have traveled five days by foot to a Himalayan meadow at a 4,300 meter elevation deep inside Nepal's Dolpa district. They came to harvest a highly valuable commodity from the high-altitude soil: the Himalayan caterpillar fungus -- also known as Himalayan Viagra.
Caterpillar fungus, or as it's called in Tibetan, "yartsa gunbu," meaning "summer grass, winter worm," is a specimen created when a parasitic fungus infects caterpillars underground which, were they not forestalled by the fungus, would produce ghost moths.
Police in Dolpa expect 40,000 people to migrate to the district this year. The influx of migrant harvesters speaks volumes to the increasing global commodification of yartsa gunbu. Prized in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicinal practices for its power as an elixir or an aphrodisiac, in recent years commercial dubbing of the product as "Himalayan Viagra" has driven up both demand and market value around the world.
But the unprecedented flood of harvesters has observers concerned about the environmental impacts of this informal economic boom.
Read more here
Babies in dog-owning families may be healthier
Dogs are no longer just man's best friend: The furry family members may also protect infants against breathing problems and infections, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that babies who lived with a dog or - to a lesser extent - a cat spent fewer weeks with ear infections, coughs or running noses. They were also less likely to need antibiotics than infants in pet-free homes.
The researchers said infants who spent more than zero but less than six hours per day at home with a dog were the least likely to get sick. "A possible explanation for this interesting finding might be that the amount of dirt brought inside the home by dogs could be higher in these families because (the dog) spent more time outdoors," the researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics.
That theory is commonly referred to as the "hygiene hypothesis."
Read more here
Urban Mining: Billions in Precious Metals Discarded in Landfills
Though new international efforts are under way, there remains a glaring lack of capacity when it comes to accurately and reliably quantifying and tracking
e-waste both within and across borders, much less recycling it. Certain things are for sure, however: e-waste is one of the fastest growing components of
human waste streams; most of it is being dumped, posing significant environmental threats; and more and more of it is being 'exported' to poorer countries,
where laborers extract valuable materials in unsafe, harmful conditions.
Accumulating in these growing mountains of e-waste, however, is a treasure trove of precious and other metals, as well as plastics - deposits of precious
metals alone that are 40-50 times richer than the ores being mined in the ground.
Read more here
Poaching in the Serengeti linked to poverty and high legal hunting prices
In the effort to protect the Serengeti-arguably Africa's most famous ecosystem-one of the major problems is the bushmeat trade. Population growth, little available protein, poverty, and a long-standing history of hunting has led many communities to poach wildlife within Serengeti National Park. Interviewing over a thousand community members in the western Serengeti, scientists found that community members are largely aware that wildlife hunting is illegal and that conservation of wild species is important, but hunt animals anyway partly out of necessity.
Read more here
Marine Drones Wanted to Rid the Gulf Seas of Plastic
Fourteen billion pounds of garbage, 90 percent of which is plastic, is dumped into the ocean every year and there is no sign of plastic waste reducing - in fact plastic waste has been increasing about 10% each year for the past 20 years.
In the Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, dumping untreated sewage and Industrial waste directly into the sea is unfortunately an extensive practice, but an additional recent threat is the increasing number of landfill sites located near the coast which are resulting in considerable plastic pollution near coasts and coral reefs. One solution, the Marine Drone Elie Ahovi Industrial Design, could clean up our waste.
Read more here
The Garden of Our Neglect: How Humans Shape the Evolution of Other Species
As humans have come to dominate the planet, they have modified not only their own evolutionary course but also that of fellow species. Although such alterations help us survive, their unintended evolutionary consequences often produce harmful results that threaten our well-being
We also encouraged a garden of neglect-a surprising number of resilient pests that have been able to survive in spite of our weapons. These species are now coming back to haunt us as toxins, pathogens or worse. Here are ten ways we have helped this garden of neglect prosper.
Read more here
Rio bay fishermen in deadly feud over oil complex
Despite several attempts made on his life and the murder of four other leading members of the Men and Women of the Sea Association, Alexandre Anderson will keep fighting against the oil project he believes is threatening fishing in Guanabara Bay.
At one time, Guanabara Bay had healthy mangroves, sandy beaches and a rich ecosystem. Decades of urbanization and deforestation have taken their toll on waters now choked full of household garbage and sewage.
But it was the massive oil leak in 2000, which saw nearly one million liters of crude spew into the bay from an underwater Petrobras pipeline, that experts believe is most responsible for the contamination that ruined the bay.
In 2009, Ahomar activists used their fishing nets to block big ships from passing through the bay, a protest over the 80 percent drop in their catches since the disastrous oil spill.
That, Anderson says, is when the threats began.
Read more here
Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion
Although most analysts assume that the world's population will rise from today's 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050, it is quite possible that humanity will
never reach this population size, Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman argues in the book State of the World 2012: Moving Toward Sustainable
In the chapter "Nine Population Strategies to Stop Short of 9 Billion," Engelman outlines a series of steps and initiatives that would all but guarantee
declines in birthrates-based purely on the intention of women around the world to have small families or no children at all-that would end population
growth before mid-century at fewer than 9 billion people. "Unsustainable population growth can only be effectively and ethically addressed by empowering
women to become pregnant only when they themselves choose to do so," Engelman writes. Examples from around the world demonstrate effective policies that
not only reduce birth rates, but also respect the reproductive aspirations of parents and support an educated and economically active society that promotes
the health of women and girls. Most of these reproduction policies are relatively inexpensive to implement, yet in many places they are opposed on the
basis of cultural resistance and political infeasibility.
Read more here
Abandoned Walmart Recycled As Public Library
What does one do with the cavernous commercial space left behind by an abandoned Walmart? The citizens of McAllen, Texas, a city of about 130,000 located in the southernmost tip of the state, experienced just such a vaccum after Walmart closed and then abandoned a 124,500 sq. foot space. Instead of searching for another big box retailer to take it's place, the City decided to reclaim the space as a public library.
Read more here
Has 'Organic' Been Oversized?
The fact is, organic food has become a wildly lucrative business for Big Food and a premium-price-means-premium-profit section of the grocery store.
The industry's image - contented cows grazing on the green hills of family-owned farms - is mostly pure fantasy. Or rather, pure marketing. Big Food, it
turns out, has spawned what might be called Big Organic. Bear Naked, Wholesome & Hearty, Kashi: all three and more actually belong to the cereals giant
Kellogg. Naked Juice? That would be PepsiCo, of Pepsi and Fritos fame. And behind the pastoral-sounding Walnut Acres, Healthy Valley and Spectrum Organics
is none other than Hain Celestial, once affiliated with Heinz, the grand old name in ketchup.
Over the last decade, since federal organic standards have come to the fore, giant agri-food corporations like these and others - Coca-Cola, Cargill,
ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and M&M Mars among them - have gobbled up most of the nation's organic food industry. Pure, locally produced ingredients from
small family farms? Not so much anymore.
Read more here
Soy Ink: Five Ways It's Better for the Environment
Everyone is surrounded by printed products on a daily basis, but rarely do we stop to think about how the text and images made their way onto the page.
Obviously, it required some type of ink, but this is where things can get complicated. In the late 1970s, the Newspaper Association of America started
recognizing the increasing costs of petroleum-based inks and wanted an alternative. As researchers explored different plant-based options, the best
alternative turned out to be soy ink made from soybean oil.
Today, about 25 percent of the commercial printing in the United States uses soy ink. Printing with soy-based ink has turned out to be hugely successful, but soy ink also happens to be better for the environment.
Read more here
New Study: Fluids From Marcellus Shale Likely Seeping Into PA Drinking Water
New research has concluded that salty, mineral-rich fluids deep beneath Pennsylvania's natural gas fields are likely seeping upward thousands of feet into drinking water supplies.
Though the fluids were natural and not the byproduct of drilling or hydraulic fracturing, the finding further stokes the red-hot controversy over fracking in the Marcellus Shale, suggesting that drilling waste and chemicals could migrate in ways previously thought to be impossible.
The study, conducted by scientists at Duke University and California State Polytechnic University at Pomona and released today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested drinking water wells and aquifers across Northeastern Pennsylvania. Researchers found that, in some cases, the water had mixed with brine that closely matched brine thought to be from the Marcellus Shale or areas close to it.
Read more here
Heat waves, wildfires: Is it climate change?
As wildfires devour acreage across the West and a heat wave broils in the East, the question seems natural: Are we feeling the effects of global warming?
Scientists still answer cautiously. No single weather event, they say, can be linked directly to global climate change. But some researchers have begun to draw a broader connection between sweltering temperatures, tinder-dry forests and a warming planet.
Since the 1950s, heat waves have increased in number and duration across the world, and also have grown hotter, Trenberth and his co-authors wrote in a recent review of other climate studies published through May 2012.
New record high temperatures in the contiguous United States are outpacing record lows, a trend that also is swinging sharply upward.
Read more here
How One Drought Changed Texas Agriculture Forever
In Texas, there is still the drought against which all other droughts are measured: the seven-year dry spell in the 1950s. It was so devastating that agriculture losses exceeded those of the Dust Bowl years, and so momentous that it kicked off the modern era of water planning in Texas.
From 1950 to 1957, the sky dried up and the rain refused to fall. Every day, Texans scanned the pale-blue heavens for rainclouds, but year after year they never came.
Rural Texas never fully recovered. Between 1950 and 1960, the state lost nearly 100,000 farms and ranches, and rural residents who had made up more than a third of the population dwindled to just a quarter of the population.
After the drought, water planners doubled the number of reservoirs in Texas, and all of these storage lakes served the state's water needs well until the drought of 2011.
Today, Texas faces the same challenge it did in 1957: where to find more water.
Read more here
Florida Keys residents resist release of dengue fever-immune mosquitoes
A British company that has developed a genetically modified mosquito to resist the spread of dengue fever is coming up against growing opposition to a plan to release the insects into the Florida Keys.
A Change.org petition started by a woman in Key West opposing the release has garnered almost 90,000 signatures and rising. "Say no to genetically modified mosquitoes release," the petition demands.
Mila de Mier, the author of the petition, began the campaign because she said she was worried about the lack of scientific understanding of what the insects could do to the delicate ecosystem of the Florida Keys. She accused Oxitec, the UK-based biotech firm that has developed the mosquito, of failing to listen to local wishes.
Read more here
Researchers Develop Technique to Help Pollution Forecasters See Past Clouds
Until now, scientists who study air pollution using satellite imagery have been limited by weather. Clouds, in particular, provide much less information than a sunny day.
University of Iowa scientists have created a technique to help satellites "see" through the clouds and better estimate the concentration of pollutants, such as soot. The finding is important, because, like GPS systems, clouds block remote-sensing satellites' ability to detect, and thus calculate, the concentration of pollution nearer to the ground. This includes particles (commonly known as soot) that reduce air quality and affect weather and climate.
Read more here
Canada's Inuit roar in protest over move to protect polar bears
The only country in the world that allows its polar bears to be shot and sold commercially on the international market, Canada - home to two-thirds of the
remaining population - has reaped the benefits of the rest of the globe's concern for the bear. So have its native people. An estimated 77% of the world
trade in polar bear parts in recent years came from about 500 bears a year killed in Canada, 300 of which typically enter the international market,
according to a review by the Humane Society of the United States and Canadian officials. Now U.S. conservation groups are pushing the U.S. to back an
agreement that would ban most international trade in polar bear parts, with a move to upgrade the listing for the polar bear under the 175-nation
Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, known as CITES.
Inuit leaders from Canada's far north are preparing to fight back, arguing that new international restrictions could wreck the region's fragile economy and possibly create even greater threats to the bears.
Read more here
The Silence on Global Warming
Harrowing predictions of climate scientists are coming true, as glaciers melt, forests burn, heat waves proliferate and freakish weather strikes in unexpected places. But the propagandists of global-warming denial have succeeded in silencing most politicians and the mainstream press
Read more here
How to Think
Human societies see what they want to see. They create national myths of identity out of a composite of historical events and fantasy. They ignore
unpleasant facts that intrude on self-glorification. They trust naively in the notion of linear progress and in assured national dominance. This is what
nationalism is about-lies. And if a culture loses its ability for thought and expression, if it effectively silences dissident voices, if it retreats into
what Sigmund Freud called "screen memories," those reassuring mixtures of fact and fiction, it dies. It surrenders its internal mechanism for puncturing
self-delusion. It makes war on beauty and truth. It abolishes the sacred. It turns education into vocational training. It leaves us blind. And this is what
has occurred. We are lost at sea in a great tempest. We do not know where we are. We do not know where we are going. And we do not know what is about to
happen to us. The psychoanalyst John Steiner calls this phenomenon "turning a blind eye." He notes that often we have access to adequate knowledge but
because it is unpleasant and disconcerting we choose unconsciously, and sometimes consciously, to ignore it.
I saw this collective capacity for self-delusion among the urban elites in Sarajevo and later Pristina during the wars in Bosnia and Kosovo. These educated
elites steadfastly refused to believe that war was possible although acts of violence by competing armed bands had already begun to tear at the social
fabric. At night you could hear gunfire. But they were the last to "know." And we are equally self-deluded.
Read more here
NOT Made in America: Top 10 Ways Walmart Destroys US Manufacturing Jobs
As America's biggest company, Walmart wields tremendous market power. Walmart could use this might to help build up the American economy, offering good
jobs to its own employees, encouraging contractors to do the same, and helping to strengthen U.S. manufacturing through its relationships with its suppliers.
Instead, Walmart has wielded its market power to eliminate good-paying manufacturing jobs and lower labor standards in the retail sector and throughout its
entire supply chain. Here are 10 ways Walmart has facilitated America's industrial decline:
Read more here
Wind farms on land grow with few critics
Despite controversy that has slowed the Cape Wind project in Nantucket Sound, land-based wind farms are expanding rapidly in the region.
Driving this growth are technological advances reducing the cost of wind turbines and increasing their efficiency, making wind power more competitive with
traditional power sources - particularly in the Northeast, where electricity costs can run as much as 60 percent above the national average.
Despite the growth of land-based projects, the discussion about developing the region's wind resources has often focused on offshore projects such as Cape
Wind and a proposed "wind energy area" that would encompass nearly 165,000 acres of federal waters off the coasts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Last
week, US officials completed an environmental review of the wind energy area, an important step in opening the area to development.
Read more here
Also read 25 Years of Energy Efficiency in Massachusetts
How the Student Loans Debate Got Religion
Reverend Stan Duncan describes the members of his Wareham, Mass. congregation as blue-collar workers in a factory town where all the factories have moved
away: They're hard-working, mission-driven Christians who clean the homes of widows, play the accordion at nursing homes, and "vote almost universally in a
more conservative way."
"I don't usually get that political in the pulpit," he says of his leadership at First Congregational Church of Wareham (UCC). But last month he convinced
his church to join more than 40 faith groups nationwide to pray for a political issue gone surprisingly-and refreshingly-religious: debilitating student
debt, and what we can do to alleviate it.
Read more here
Legislators fight to keep Taunton State Hospital open
Legislative supporters of Taunton State Hospital are mounting a campaign to override Gov. Deval Patrick's veto of $5.1 million to keep the psychiatric facility partially open, with Rep. William Straus, D-Mattapoisett, saying "I think there's a real possibility it will be overridden."
Closing the facility would lead to "more homeless people (and) more people that end up in prison," Sen. Marc Pacheco, D-Taunton said. "The cost is a lot more than money. These people should not be in prison; they should be in mental health care programs.
"And all of that doesn't even mention the economic consequences to the region," placing more than 400 jobs in jeopardy, Pacheco said.
Read more here
New Providence City Garden Provides Food and Jobs
A community garden can be more than a neighborhood lot for growing tomatoes. In the case of a new public garden in Federal Hill, a revamped parking lot now serves as a classroom and job-training center.
Ricardo Tillman lives near the garden, and through the guidance of DownCity Design's Urban Collaborative, helped remove sheets of asphalt, install new fences and pour concrete. After gaining this experience, Tillman started a landscaping company. "I picked up a lot of skills from the program that I can use in my own business," he said.
Tillman was one of a dozen interns and students to participate in the design and construction of the multifunctional garden. Several students from the MET Community School participated in the project, many using everyday tools for the first time.
Read more here
Johnson's Roadside Farm Stand in Swansea still growing strong
SWANSEA - Route 136 is a hodgepodge of activity, with Cardi's Furniture, commercial businesses, a golf course and all sorts of residential properties in
the area. Adding to the diversity is Johnson's Roadside Farm Stand, 445 Market St. "We are trying to do a delicate balancing act," said owner Tim Johnson
of his farm and farmstand, which sells baked goods among an assortment of locally grown produce.
"You don't want to be a convenience store, but you can't be a supermarket." It appears Johnson and his wife Jeanne have done well striking that balance.
Johnson owns 14 acres near that Market Street farm stand and rents another 11 acres of farmland in Rehoboth, Swansea, Warren and Seekonk. In total, he
grows produce on 25 different acres, keeping him and his wife extremely busy.
Read more here
Boston struggles with goal to plant 100,000 trees
Five years ago, city officials set a goal of planting 100,000 trees by the end of this decade, but they have fallen behind and are struggling just to keep
pace with the high mortality rate of trees that have fallen victim to heavy storms, disease, and the regular urban onslaught of pollution, road salt,
acidic soil, and reckless driving, among other perils.
The city and supporting groups have planted only about 10 percent of the promised trees. "We certainly hoped to be at a greater level than we are now, at
least twice what we've done," Pollak said. "It's going to take a lot of people to make this work."
A study this year by - researchers at the US Forest Service found that Boston experienced a net loss of nearly 1 percent of its roughly 1.2 million trees
between 2003 and 2008. Some 4 million trees a year are disappearing from - urban areas across the United States, they estimate.
Read more here
BCC opens Workforce Center along waterfront
FALL RIVER - Bristol Community College unveiled the site of the school's new Workforce Center on Monday at Commonwealth Landing where students and the
community can find job training, work readiness and adult education services all under one roof.
"This is the future. The community must come together for a project like this," BCC President John J. Sbrega told a crowd in front of the 140-year-old
structure that is the former Quaker Fabric Corp. building. Commending BCC for making what he called an investment in the community, Mayor William A.
Flanagan said the school's vision is part of the effort to revitalize the city's waterfront.
Read more here
Cape Wind Begins Geological Survey Work
While much of the dispute about the 130 wind turbines proposed by Cape Wind has been concerning what's above the water, the company now is turning its
attention to what lies below. Cape Wind will begin a four-part geological survey of the 25 square miles of Horseshoe Shoal on Nantucket Sound, where it
proposes to build the 440-foot turbines.
The four-step geological survey will give Cape Wind more information about the seafloor and subsurface, including topographical changes, the layers of
materials in the ocean floor and whether foreign objects - including cultural artifacts - are present.
Read more here
Bike to the Future
Bike paths, bike lanes, bike racks, and cycle tracks. Bike this and bike that. Cities and towns across Greater Boston are peddling cycling construction
projects this summer like never before: If it isn't a Newton city committee proposing 30 new miles of bike lanes, it's Malden and Everett converting
downtown railroad beds into a multiuse path, or Charlestown and Jamaica Plain residents lobbying for bike improvements once antiquated highway overpasses
are torn down.
With so many people buzzing about biking - none louder than Mayor Tom Menino - could Greater Boston transform before our eyes into a world-class bicycling
region like Copenhagen, where a third of the workforce pedals to the office each day? Is the Big Dig, which redefined the city a decade ago, already passe?
Transportation planners and bicycle advocates say we're on that path but still a long way from achieving such dreams, in part because we haven't always
Read more here
Tiverton Town Council looks to make progress on eco-conscious industrial park
NEW BEDFORD - The city is planning to install equipment this year to treat the water run-off that dumps into the North End's Sassaquin Pond, which has been plagued with algae blooms, bacteria and other environmental problems over the past decade.
"That's what's necessary if they're going to extend the life of this ... pond," said outgoing Conservation Commission Chairman John P. Gurney, who was appointed to the commission 30 years ago after leading a community campaign to protect Sassaquin Pond. "We finally moved the mountain."
The two storm scepters, which cost $200,000, were included as part of the Department of Public Infrastructure's fiscal 2013 budget and will be installed this fall or early next spring, said commissioner Ron Labelle.
"Sassaquin Pond is a gem of a neighborhood in our city," said Mayor Jon Mitchell. "I want to make sure that the pond is preserved for generations to come, so the city is making a commitment to preserve the pond so it remains ecologically viable."
Read more here
Edible Forest Takes Bite Out of Peckham Farm
Most members of the latest University of Rhode Island graduating class left the area in pursuit of careers or more education, but Tyler Desmarais is
planning on hanging around campus, specifically Peckham Farm, to pursue a vision that he hopes will help change society's agricultural methodology.
Desmarais is the creator of a project called the "Edible Forest Garden" and his base of operations is a section of Peckham Farm surrounding a small manmade pond. Up until a few months ago, the perimeter of the pond was composed of aging, diseased trees of no value and brush. The area was cleared to make room for a variety of trees and plants that, when mature, will serve as a demonstration of how land can be made more fruitful and sustainable.
Read more here
Tiptoe through the tulips at Tranquil Lake's open house
REHOBOTH - The Tranquil Lake Nursery in Rehoboth will host its 21st annual Summer Garden Festival this weekend, a free event that attracts several hundred
visitors from around New England each year, according to Karen Boucher of Tranquil Lake.
The event - running from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 14, and Sunday, July 15 - will allow visitors the opportunity to visit the nursery's 10 acres
of more than 3,600 varieties of daylilies during the peak season of bloom, as well as touring the many perennials and display gardens setup across the
grounds. "They can walk through the fields, they can see the plants, they can see the gardens, and we always get good weather," said Boucher, whose husband,
Philip, co-owns the nursery with Warren Leach.
Read more here
Dartmouth board grants variance to solar project
DARTMOUTH - A planned solar farm cleared a key hurdle, winning a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals despite some strong opposition. The variance, which includes several conditions, allows the Fisher Road project to move forward even though solar farms of its size are barred from residential zones.
"I'm very pleased," said Mary O'Donnell of No Fossil Fuel after the vote. O'Donnell plans to build a 21,000-panel, six-megawatt farm on just under 30 acres owned by Philip DeMoranville.
In April, voters at a special Town Meeting amended a solar bylaw to block ground-mounted projects of this scale from residential zones. That vote came amid concerns from residents about ConEdison Development's building of a more than 9,000-panel project in a residential neighborhood on Hixville Road.
Read more here
Massachusetts Computing center focuses on using less energy
HOLYOKE - On a block-long industrial site, once home to an air bag maker and water filter manufacturer, an advanced computing center is taking shape. When the facility begins operating in November, thousands of networked computers will allow researchers to crunch vast amounts of data to sequence genes, model the ocean, or study the effects of new drugs on patients.
But innovations at the center don't end with its massive computing power. The Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center is also designed with features that make it one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive data centers around.
Read more here
| This Week in Sustainability
Buzzard's Bay Adventure: Tugboat Tour
Thursday, July 12, 3:15PM - 6:00PM Buzzards Bay Center and New Bedford State Pier
Explore a working tugboat and learn about the Bay Coalition's efforts to protect Buzzards Bay from oil spills during our latest Bay Adventure on
Thursday, July 12 in New Bedford. Participants will meet at 3:15 at the Buzzards Bay Center to view a real-time vessel tracking map. After the
demonstration, participants will be led to the New Bedford State Pier, where they'll spend two hours touring one of the tugs that escorts vessels through
Buzzards Bay. This event is FREE to members and the public.
Contact the Buzzards Bay Coalition at (508) 999-6363, or learn more here
Lloyd Center's CLAMBAKE XXVII
Friday, July 13 Demarest Lloyd State Park, Barney's Joy Road, Dartmouth
Dinner, Dance, Open bar and Silent Auction. Back by popular demand - traditional New England boiled lobster clambake dinner and dancing to "Men in Black"!
Price: Personal "patron" and corporate "sponsorship" levels vary; general ticket price $150 per person.
For reservations, call the Lloyd Center at 508-990-0505 x10, or go here for more info and tickets
Work that Reconnects Weekend - Cultivating the Wild Heart
Friday, July 13 - Sunday, July 15 Starseed Healing Sanctuary and Holistic Treatment Center - Savoy, MA
Join Paula Hendrick, Carol Harley, Aravinda Ananda and Joseph Rotella for a weekend of the Work That Reconnects (WTR) at Starseed Healing Sanctuary in
Savoy, MA. Located on 130 acres of fields, forests and wetlands in the Berkshire Hills, Starseed is an interfaith healing sanctuary and holistic retreat
center dedicated to personal and planetary transformation. The land will be a part of our time together, as we draw upon the living Earth for strength
and support in our work for the healing of the world. We will follow the spiral and interweave WTR practices and earth connection throughout the weekend
and also incorporate some content and practices from Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone's new book - Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in Without Going
In these times in which the Great Unraveling is accelerating, we will join together in mutual support and collaboration in working for the Great
Turning, as we plumb the depths of our souls and cultivate our wild and resilient hearts. Whether you are completely new to The Work That Reconnects, or
well experienced in it, this will be a powerful opportunity to reconnect and deepen in our service to life on Earth.
The cost for this weekend is on a sliding scale of $200-$300 which includes program, delicious vegetarian meals, and a tent site. For an additional $45 per night, you can stay in a shared room in the retreat house. Some partial barters are available
For more information or to register, please email Aravinda at here.
Learn more about Starseed Healing Sanctuary here.
Sustainability Summer Camp 2012: Earth Keeper Camp
July 16 - July 20 UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Rd., North Dartmouth
The Office of Campus and Community Sustainability is hosting its fifth annual Sustainability Summer Camp this July.
Sustainability embeds the university in the community, and vice versa. During the summers, middle-school students, entering grades 6 through 8, come to campus to learn about
sustainability while having fun and making new friends.
This year's theme is Earth Keepers.
Earth Keepers are knowledgeable in building sustainable communities and lifestyles.
Earth Keepers are informed in topics such as: recycling, climate change, ecosystems, environmental science, renewable energy technologies, and food systems.
Cost: $80 per child. Scholarships are available.
Date: July 16th- July 20th
Time: 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Call 508-910-6484 to register or contact Cindy Macallister.
You may also register here
GreenDot Open House
Tuesday, July 17, 5:00PM - 6:30PMCorson Maritime Learning Center, 33 William Street, New Bedford, MA
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation will host an open house at the National Park Service Building in New Bedford to talk with the public and other stakeholders about MassDOT efforts
to build sustainability into transportation services and business activities. GreenDOT's objectives are to reduce greenhouse gases, promote healthy transportation options, and
support smart growth development. MassDOT staff members, regional transportation partners and advocates will participate in the Open Houses to discuss these
Details of the open house and GreenDot are here.
Transition Town Meeting
Tuesday, July 17, 7:00PM - 9:00PMUMass Dartmouth Star Store, 715 Purchase St., New Bedford, MA
Learn how to make a difference in your community with grassroots efforts to launch or promote sustainability projects that suit your individual town's
needs and assets. The Transition Town Movement is at work in cities and towns around the world, teaching regular people how to be "change agents" at home.
Also learn about Resilience Circles, which draw people together for mutual support and problem solving. A great solace and way to draw on group talents and
resources during tough economic times.
We also plan to organize autumn screenings of the movie Transition 2.0 at several locations regionwide. For more information, contact the UMass Dartmouth
Sustainability Office's Director, Susan Jennings, at her email or call (508) 910-6484.
Seabird Ecological Assessment Network (SEANET) Summer Training Workshop
Thursday, July 19, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
The Lloyd Center seeks volunteers to conduct beach walks on various shoreline areas throughout Buzzards Bay from Westport to Wareham searching for birds that have washed ashore. On their beach of choice volunteers collect basic environmental information about their beach and identify live birds seen during walks. Volunteers also conduct measurements and take photos of beached birds found at their site.
This project yields important information about beached bird deposition patterns, which ultimately answers questions about overall marine health and the status of seabird populations.
Detail of Workshop are here. To register, please call / email Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 x23 or here.
| Save The Date
Family Friendly Friday at Buttonwood Park Zoo
Friday, July 20, All Day Buttonwood Park Zoo, New Bedford, MA
The Zoo will be open FREE to the public on Friday, July 1 thanks to the Highland Street Foundation Free Fun Friday program. The Zoo will be open regular hours of 10 AM to 5 PM with last entry at 4:30 PM. Train and Carousel rides will be available for standard ticket prices.
Learn more here.
Kayak Little River
Saturday, July 21, 9:00AM - Noon Cornell Farm, Smith Neck Road, Dartmouth, MA
Paddle through the hidden creeks and marshes along the Little River that connect to the Trustees' Cornell Farm. Meet at Cornell Farm and take the van to put in area. Pre-registration & pre-payment is required.
Cost - Members: $30. Nonmembers: $40.
Details here or call 508.636.4693 x13.
26th ANNUAL NORTH AMERICAN BUTTERFLY ASSOCIATION BUTTERFLY COUNT
Sunday, July 22, 9AM - 3:30PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Participate in this unique daylong scientific research project, sponsored by the North American Butterfly Association. Counting for the Bristol County area will take place in Dartmouth and New Bedford. Participants should bring a lunch. Drinks will be provided. Long pants and a hat are recommended. A copy of the NABA summary report can be purchased for an additional fee.
Butterflies are one of the most beautiful elements of the natural world, and scientists now recognize that they can also serve as an important indicator of the health of ecosystems.
Price: Lloyd Center members: $8 Non-members: $10
Pre-registration required by noon on Saturday, July 21st Register here
or call 508-558-2918. If you have specific questions regarding the program, please call Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, at 508-990-0505 x 22.
FLY-BY-NIGHTERS CELEBRATE NATIONAL MOTH WEEK
Sunday, July 22nd (optional) - Friday, July 27th, 9AM - 3:30PM Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
The Lloyd Center has initiated a biodiversity monitoring program to document the current status of our region's natural resources as a baseline to compare
and prepare for climate change. Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) are a major link in the food web and changes that affect these species will have an
impact throughout the ecosystem.
The Lloyd Center is offering a week-long program geared towards high school students looking for a research experience to participate in the Lloyd Center's
Biodiversity Initiative, focusing on moths and butterflies in the Slocum/Paskamansett watershed during National Moth Week. National Moth Week is a week long,
global ?mothing? event to promote the understanding and enjoyment of moths and to raise awareness about biodiversity. Please join us as we celebrate moths,
biodiversity and the natural world around us.
Participants will collect, photograph, prepare specimens, and submit data to the Butterflies and Moths of North America database during National Moth Week. They will learn basic moth identification of the more than 1,000 species of moths in our area as well as collecting techniques for both adults and caterpillars. Students will also participate in one overnight collecting experience at the Lloyd Center.
Price: Lloyd Center members: $325 Non-members: $375
Pre-registration required. For more information or sign up for the program, please call Mark Mello, Lloyd Center Research Director, at 508-990-0505 x 22 or
SEMAP Seminar: Local Food 101
Thursday, July 26, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Engelnook Farm, 365 High St, Rochester, MA 02770
Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers you trust. Buying local food gets you outside, keeping us in touch with our neighbors, the seasons, and the harvest calendar.
At this seminar, learn more about why supporting our local food system is important: ecologically, economically, and socially -- and how YOU can support your local food system!
Free to attend. Must RSVP.
Learn more here Contact Sarah Cogswell from SEMAP at email or
For the Sake of Life on Earth - A Weekend of Deep Ecology
Friday, July 27 - Sunday, July 29 Starseed Healing Sanctuary and Holistic Treatment Center - Savoy, MA
Join Jeremiah Wallack, Joseph Rotella, and Aravinda Ananda for a weekend of Deep Ecology as we explore the challenges we face on our beautiful planet and draw on our collective power, strength and wisdom to act for the healing of our world. We will embark on a rare journey together, building our weekend community and engaging in a powerful series of Re-Earthing rituals created by John Seed, Joanna Macy and others, designed to help end the sense of alienation from the living Earth that many of us feel. This weekend will incorporate many practices from the Work That Reconnects, and Saturday will culminate with a Council of All Beings. Sunday will have a special focus on building support for going forth in our work for the healing of our world. This workshop will renew the spirit and vision of those who serve the Earth and connect us with deep sources of joy and inspiration as we build strength and solidarity in our connections with each other and the web of life.
The cost for this weekend is on a sliding scale of $200-$300 which includes program, delicious vegetarian meals, and a tent site. For an additional $45 per night, you can stay in a shared room in the retreat house. Some partial barters are available.
For more information or to register, please email Aravinda at here.
Learn more about Starseed Healing Sanctuary here.
Sunset Cruise with Habitat for Humanity
Saturday, July 28, 6:00PM - 8:00PM New Bedford Harbor - 66B State Pier
Buzzards Bay Area Habitat for Humanity is hosting a sunset cruise to fundraise for the organization's work in developing affordable homes for local families in need.
The cruise will leave from New Bedford Harbor - 66B State Pier, out to Clark's Cove, through Padanaram Harbor to Mishaum Point and then return to
New Bedford. The Sunset Cruise with offer a "Taste of Southcoast" with light fare served and music by locals Grace Morrison, Ben Moniz and Marta Rymer.
Tickets are a $50 donation and $15 per child's ticket with an adult ticket purchase. Tickets may be purchased online at
For more information contact Hope Aubin here or 508-758-4517.
Women's Full Moon Canoe Trip
Wednesday, August 1 Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
Girls' night out! Enjoy canoeing the historic Slocum River. Transportation to launching site and all equipment provided. Bring footwear that can get wet, as well as a snack and beverage (non-alcoholic).
Pre-registration required by noon on Tuesday, July 31st Limit: 12
Prices: Members: $20 Non-members: $25
Preregister here or call 508-990-0505 x10. If you have specific questions
regarding the program, please call Jasmine at 508-990-0505 x13, or email here.
Sustainable Table Workshop Series: All About Heirloom Tomatoes
Saturday, August 18, 10:00AM - 1:00PM 24K Heirloom Tomatoes - 538 Horseneck Rd., South Dartmouth, MA
This 3-hour workshop will be held at Bob Feingold's 8-acre property in South Dartmouth and will cover why Bob loves and grows heirlooms, how to select varieties of heirlooms to grow, and tips for successfully growing your own heirloom tomatoes.
Cost: $25 per person, $20 for SEMAP Members.
Limited to 15 parcipants
Contact Kristen Irvin from SEMAP at her email for details.
Learn more here. Register here.
Corn & Tomato Festival
Saturday, August 18, 11 am - 3 pm Verrill Farm - 11 Wheeler Road, Concord, MA 01742
Verrill Farm's annual Festival featuring its two most popular crops - corn & tomatoes! Taste over 30 varieties of our own tomatoes & up to 8 of corn.
There will also be samples of dishes made in the farm stand kitchen.
Additional food & beverages available a la carte. Pony rides by Giddy Up Ponies & Hayrides Live music by Monadnock Blue Grass
Call 978-369-4494 for more information or go here.
August 18, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Westport Town Farm, 830 Drift Rd., Westport, MA
Join the Westport Land Conservation Trust and The Trustees of Reservations for a family concert on the grounds of the Town Farm. The South Coast Chamber Music Society will perform.Bring your own picnic suppers, chairs, blankets and flashlights. This concert is supported by the Westport Cultural Council through a grant from the Helen E. Ellis Charitable Trust administered by Bank of America. Help us bring more concerts to the Town Farm through your free-will donation!
Donations Requested Details here.
Bay Adventure to Penikese Island
August 25, 9:00AM - 3:00PMDeparts from Woods Hole
Join the Buzzards Bay Coalition this summer for a Bay Adventure to Penikese Island. Participants on this full-day excursion will explore beautiful Penikese Island in the middle of Buzzards Bay. Planned activities include an oyster farming demonstration, tour of Penikese Island School, and coastal exploration activities with Bay Coalition education staff.
Cost: $60 for Bay Coalition members, $75 for non-members, $40 for children
Reservations required and space is limited. Email Margo Connolly or call 508.999.6363 x224 to make your reservation. Program cost includes boat transportation to and from the island.
Lloyd Center Sunset Kayak Tour
Wednesday, August 29, 6:00PM - 8:00PM, Lloyd Center Headquarters, 430 Potomska Road, Dartmouth
What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You'll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary,
enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shore birds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky.
This is a wonderful and relaxing way to explore the delicate ecosystem of this salt marsh. Inexperienced paddlers are welcome. All tours include basic
kayak equipment and instruction by certified guides. Lloyd Center members: $38, non-members: $45. Pre-registration required by noon on Tuesday, August 28.
Age 14 and up. (10 spaces available) You can also call the Center's event line at 508-558-2918.
Organic Farming Practices I at BCC
Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, September through December, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
Enrollment is open for all interested in Organic Farming Practices I. The course is designed for serious gardeners and small-scale organic farmers. Topics will include sustainable agriculture in our future world, extensive soils studies including fertility, conservation, management, crop rotation, and more. This Fall semester course will be offered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from September - December and earns 4 college credits. Tuition waivers may be available for senior citizens and veterans. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at 508 678-2811, ext. 3047 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organic Pest and Disease Control at BCC
Mondays 6 to 9pm, starting in September, Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
New Course available: Organic Pest and Disease Control. This course is designed for gardeners and farmers who want to prevent pests/diseases and manage their land with minimal chemical dependency. The course will meet on Monday evenings from 6-9:00 pm for 6 weeks starting in early September. The course offers one college credit and tuition waivers may be available for senior citizens and veterans. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at 508 678-2811, ext. 3047 or email@example.com.
Donations Sought for "Earn a Bicycle" program
Mass in Motion
-Fall River is seeking donations of used,
retired bicycles for a RECYCLE A BICYCLE program being held this summer at Durfee High School, and continuing in the fall with the Applied Physics Class for the Class of 2016.
In each case students are taking bicycles and refurbishing them. After bicycle mechanics comes bicycle safety, learning the rules of the road from the Fall River Police Department, and receiving a bicycle helmet. Finally with bicycles restored comes navigating safely around the City. And for those who complete the program successfully, "Earning a bicycle".
Please help us by donating any used and older models, retired bikes stored in your basement or garage. Some will be restored, some will be used for parts.
Drop off can be arranged at Durfee High School in Fall River Mass or at Motion-Fall River, the Health and Human Services Division, located at One Government Center.
Contact Julianne Kelly, Coordinator for Mass in Motion-Fall River, at email
ACUPCC Five-Year Report Underscores Profound Impact
The American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment and its almost 700 signatories have demonstrated a profound and positive impact in negating the affects of climate change and integrating sustainable practices on their campuses since the initiative's inception in 2007, according to Celebrating Five Years of Climate Leadership, the ACUPCC's five-year report.
The report quantifies the progress of the initiative, which represents an agreement between nearly 700 colleges and universities to promote sustainability through teaching and action. These actions includes reducing carbon emissions on their campuses; deploying sustainable practices; revising their curriculums and cultures to raise awareness of sustainability in students and graduates; sponsoring research and developing best case practices; and engaging local economies and communities.
The report was released in conjunction with the ACUPCC's annual Climate Leadership Summit
which was held at American University in Washington, DC on June 21st and 22nd.
The report's highlights include:
- More than 675 signatories, representing 6 million students or 30 percent of the nation's college and university population, have committed to the ACUPCC.
- Collectively, entire network has reduced gross greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent since 2007.
- By 2022, the signatories are projected to reduce their gross emissions by over 50 percent.
- More than 30 percent of signatories have targeted becoming climate neutrality within 20 years.
- Signatories collectively represent the third-largest purchasers of Renewable Energy Credits in the U.S.-enough green power for 130,000 American households.
- Almost 200 signatories offer nearly 10,000 courses focused on sustainability.
The ACUPCC is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments from college and universities to accelerate the education, research and community engagement to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate, and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.
Learn more here
Massachusetts Audubon Society Offers Free Summer Vacation Guide
The Massachusetts Audubon Society is offering a variety of outdoor activities and events this summer. To help families and visitors
plan a trip to one of its 50 wildlife sanctuaries, Mass Audubon has created a new online vacation guide. The vacation guide offers
something for everyone of all ages and backgrounds.
Check out the Vacation Guide here
Clean Air-Cool Planet is Hiring a Campus Program Associate
CA-CP is looking for a program associate to help us support and continue to develop carbon management tools (like the Campus Carbon Calculator) and programs for colleges and universities.
To apply, please send a letter of intent, resume and list of three references (or letters of reference) and a writing sample to Clean Air Cool Planet
, attn.: Lynn Sullivan.
Details and Job Description here
New Job Openings at Buzzards Bay Coaltion
The Buzzards Bay Coalition has the following open service positions:
Commonwealth Corps Environmental Educator
The Buzzards Bay Coalition seeks two energetic individuals to join our team as Commonwealth Corps Service Members.
This year-long position is as a core part of our Education and Public Engagement department with an overall goal of engaging the community in
active and on-going stewardship of the Bay and Watershed. Specifically, service members will be working on our youth education initiatives which
seek to strengthen the ethic of environmental stewardship in the region while also improving academic achievement in the classroom through increased
school engagement. View the full job description at This Link
MassLIFT Land Steward
The MassLIFT Land Steward at Buzzards Bay Coalition will serve our communities by advancing the management and stewardship needs of land
conservation projects led by the Buzzards Bay Coalition. This includes stewardship of the Coalition's "river reserves" along the primary
tributaries of the Bay, the 20 Conservation Restrictions currently held by the Coalition and new conservation projects now being advanced in
partnership with individual town conservation commissions and local partner land trusts.
View the full job description at This Page
Visit Save Buzzards Bay
for information on all our positions.
UMass Dartmouth's Living Classroom Program Profiled in Sustainability Journal
UMass Dartmouth's Living Classroom program is profiled in the April 2012 issue of Sustainability: The Journal of Record
. The Journal is published by Mary Ann Leibert, Inc., a leading company in authoritative international publications for the Scientific, Technical, and Medical knowledge and information industries. The profile, written by Pamela Marean from UMass Dartmouth's Sustainability Office, discusses how The Living Classroom stimulates curiosity in students and local residents alike about how sustainability principles work in our lives by applying higher learning concepts to our immediate environmental resources--namely the University's hundreds of acreage of forests and wetlands. This article represents a great accomplishment for UMass Dartmouth and is bound to bring greater attention to The Living Classroom, as well as all innovative programs under the umbrella of the Sustainability Initiative.
Interested readers can view a copy of the article here.
Buzzards Bay Coalition and YMCA Southcoast launch River Exploration Camp
This summer the Buzzards Bay Coalition and YMCA Southcoast will offer the new River Exploration Camp. The camp will run from July 9 through 13 for ages 9 to 11, and from August 13 through 17 for ages 12 to 14. This week-long day camp will be full of hands-on activities for kids explore the Mattapoisett River from its headwaters to Buzzards Bay. Campers will spend the week in an in-depth study of the Mattapoisett River. Starting from a home-base at Camp Massasoit at the mouth of the river, campers will travel upriver to YMCA property on Snipatuit Pond in Rochester, where the river begins. Campers will learn what it takes to be a river biologist while hiking, seining, water sampling, and creating a Mattapoisett River Field Guide.
Learn more here
UMass Dartmouth Included in Princeton Review's Annual Guide to Green Colleges
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was selected for inclusion in "The Princeton Review's Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2012 Edition." This free, downloadable book is a one-of-a-kind resource and is published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The comprehensive guide focuses solely on colleges that have demonstrated a notable commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. The Princeton Review chose the listed schools based on research it conducted in 2011 of over 700 colleges and universities across the U.S. and in Canada. It provides "Green Rating" scores of colleges for its school profiles in its college guidebooks and website. The institutions in the guide represent those with the highest "Green Ratings."
Interested readers can download a free copy of the guide at Princeton Review's site
or at the website for the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools
UMass Dartmouth Sustainability Courses for Fall 2012 Semester Announced
UMass Dartmouth's Sustainability Studies undergraduate courses for the fall 2012 semester have been announced and listed.
Learn more here
The Marion Institute seeks a Fundraising Professional
The Marion Institute (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
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
The SouthCoast Energy Challenge launched its 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
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
Regional Bikeway Conversation
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.
| Weekly Green Tip
So what type of washing machine is the most "green"? The wringer system was pretty inefficient and is long gone and twin tub machines have very limited application (and tend to tie your clothes in knots); so it's really between the top loading and front loading systems.
Assuming the quality of two brands/models of washers is equal; it really comes down to a couple of important factors:
The amount of energy consumed; and The amount of water consumed
Learn more here