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May 27, 2015

Connecticut Takes Important Step Toward Being Bike Friendly

BikeWalkCTBy a vote of 139 to 6, Connecticut’s House of Representatives last night approved Senate Bill 502, An Act Concerning Bicycle Safety, setting the stage for making Connecticut dramatically more bike-friendly.  The State Senate approved the bill unanimously on May 7.  The next step is for Governor Malloy to sign the bill into law.

Bike Walk Connecticut commends the bipartisan leadership that led to passage of SB 502.  The bill’s legislative champions include State Senator Beth Bye (West Hartford) and State Representatives Roland Lemar (New Haven) and Cristin McCarthy Vahey (Fairfield), along with 29 other legislators.  

Senate Bill 502 remedies Connecticut’s outdated laws that conflict with best practices for modern, safe bikeway design and active transportation.  The bill lets state and municipal transportation professionals design the kinds of bikeways, including two-way bike lanes, buffered bike lanes and cycle tracks, that are used in the most dynamic, prosperous cities in the country and the world.

The bill also improves state laws on bicyclists riding “as far right as practicable” and passing slower moving cyclists and other road users.  Current laws are outdated and ambiguous, leading to misunderstandings and highly variable enforcement.  The bill includes model language recommended by the League of American Bicyclists and the Uniform Vehicle Code.

Bike lanes and greenways aren’t just good for our health.  Since transportation is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in Connecticut, active transportation—biking and walking—must be a key piece of our climate action plan.  Bikeways are also an extremely cost-efficient way to manage traffic congestion.  Bike lanes, sidewalks and greenways cost a fraction of what it costs to build and maintain roads.  People tend to bike and walk more when they have the bike lanes, greenways and sidewalks.

“Being bike-friendly isn’t just a ‘nice to have’ thing anymore,” observes Kelly Kennedy, Executive Director of Bike Walk Connecticut.  “Being bike-friendly is now essential to competitiveness.  In fact, not being bike-friendly is a competitive disadvantage. Connecticut's car-dependent lifestyle is not the lifestyle that millennials or the creative class have in mind.  A well-designed active transportation network will help bring millennials and the creative class to Connecticut and keep them here, strengthening our economy.”

May 25, 2015

Audubon Greenwich - Sustainable Food & Farm Expo 5/31/15

J&D farms 2Audubon Greenwich will host the second annual Sustainable Food & Farm Expo on Sunday, May 31, from 10 am until 5 pm. This year’s Expo will showcase high quality food producers, retailers, a celebrity chef, and farmers who will teach guests how to prepare and enjoy a wide variety of local and sustainably grown foods, plus grow some of their own.

The public is invited to enjoy twenty food exhibitors and vendors plus talks, demonstrations, and tastings with a wide range of experts every thirty minutes. Fleisher’s Craft Butchery and Grass Rxoots will cater lunch, snacks, and beverages suitable for vegans, vegetarians, omnivores, locavores, and those with food allergies or adhering to an organic diet.

The Sustainable Food & Farm Expo is a production of Audubon Greenwich, the Fairfield Green Food Guide, and Strawberry and Sage aimed at educating the public about our rich and diverse sustainable food community. "Audubon is proud to host this exciting, family-friendly event. Organic farming practices, composting, and more wholesome approaches to eating will greatly reduce our burden on Earth's natural resources while enhancing our habitats, soils, and communities" says Jeff Cordulack, Audubon Greenwich's Events and Communications Manager.

Chef Silvia Baldini of Strawberry and Sage will share her passion for cooking in three different culinary demonstrations and tastings where locally sourced ingredients take center stage. “When you work with real food, it’s easy to be in the kitchen” says Baldini, Fairfield County’s first female Chopped Champion. “In fact, I believe that once you learn to cook with basic local ingredients, you’ll be able to improvise seasonally to prepare beautiful and tasty dishes to share with loved ones.”

Educational tastings were so popular last year that more were added to the May 31 event including organic, micro-lot, Guatemalan coffee with Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters;  five local honeys with the American Honey Tasting Society, single varietal extra virgin olive oils with Olivette, and artisan cheeses with Greenwich Cheese Company. “We have curated a day chock full of special events so anyone with an appetite for new resources, fresh ideas, and a gastronomic adventure will leave feeling sated” says Analiese Paik, Founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide. Guests are advised to pre-register for paid tastings online at brownpaperticket.com, event 1568464, since capacity is limited to fifty people per 30- minute event.

Fleisher's Craft Butchery, Fairfield County’s only whole animal butcher specializing in locally sourced, pastured-raised meats, will be doing a free butchery demonstration and talk at 12:30 pm. "The local food community in Connecticut is getting bigger, better and more focused on sustainability. We are proud of our leadership role in providing consumers with meat that’s not just better tasting, but better for our health, our farmers and the land we share” says Ryan Fibiger, CEO of Fleisher’s Craft Butchery.

No sustainable food event would be complete without a discussion about the loss of biodiversity in our agricultural system and efforts to slow and reverse it. “Slow Food’s Ark of Taste is a quest to restore the rich diversity and heritage of our food” says Mimi Edelman, farmer and owner of I&Me Farm and Chair of the Northeast/New England Slow Food Ark of Taste Committee. “I’ll be inviting Expo guests to participate in Slow Food’s efforts to preserve food culture and traditions of the Northeast/New England region that include livestock, poultry, fruits, grains, vegetables, added value products, herbs and wild edibles.”  

Event Highlights:

  • Visit 20 exhibitors to learn about, sample, and purchase their sustainable food products and services.
  • Choose from three demonstrations and tastings with a celebrity chef ($10 each).
  • Attend free talks about growing heirloom vegetables and saving seeds, suburban homesteading, nutrient dense vegetable gardening, and food preservation.
  • Attend paid talks ($10 each) with tastings including local honey, ultra-premium extra virgin olive oil, and artisan cheese.
  • Attend a free butchery demo and sustainable meat talk.
  • Attend a free micro-lot, organic coffee tasting and demonstration on mastering French press brewing.
  • Enjoy organic juices, snacks and lunch items along with sandwiches prepared with pasture-raised meats.

The following businesses and organizations will be participating at the Sustainable Food & Farm Expo: Audubon Greenwich, Fairfield Green Food Guide, Strawberry and Sage, Slow Food Metro North, Slow Food USA, Fleisher’s Craft Butchery, Greenwich Cheese Company, Shearwater Organic Coffee Roasters, the American Honey Tasting Society, Olivette, Suburban Homesteading, Growing with Nature, Farmer Doug DeCandia, Pound Ridge Organics, The CT Farm Table Cookbook, Grass Rxoots, Paul’s Custom Pet Food, Greenwich Community Gardens, and Natural Awakenings.

The Sustainable Food & Farm Expo is open to the public from 10 am until 5 pm on Sunday, May 31, 2015. Snacks, beverages, and lunch are available for purchase on-site from Grass Rxoots and Fleisher’s Craft Butchery. General Admission tickets are $15 per person, $20 per couple, or $25 per family. Paid tastings are an additional $10 per person, per session and online reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited to 50 guests per session. Visit fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com for a complete special events calendar. 

Register online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1568464. Event address: Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, CT 06831

About Audubon Greenwich:

The Audubon Greenwich mission is to engage and educate people to conserve, restore, and enjoy nature, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats. The Audubon Center in Greenwich is also home to Audubon Connecticut, the state office of the National Audubon Society. http://greenwich.audubon.org

About Fairfield Green Food Guide:

The Fairfield Green Food Guide is dedicated to providing Fairfield County consumers with local and sustainable food resources, news, and events. This award-winning website helps guide consumers to farmers’ markets, CSAs, farm stands, organic and farm-to-table restaurants, specialty food retailers, and farm and food events. Fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com.

About Strawberry and Sage:

Strawberry and Sage is a creative and consulting food group. Clients served include the Royal Scottish Society, Bank of America, Vista Caballo, JMcLaughlin, Ralph Lauren, Wheelock Maidique, the Rye Nature Center, The New Canaan Library, The Carriage Bar Arts Center and Elm restaurant. Strawberryandsage.com.

March 31, 2015

ZERO Energy House Tour: Killingly 5/2/15

KillinglyHouseTour this gorgeous Connecticut Zero Energy House on Saturday, May 2nd between 12:00 noon and 2:30 pm.
The 2,600-square-foot Net Zero Energy Challenge winner has 12-inch thick walls; solar panels; air source heating and cooling pumps; a heat pump water heater; an ICF foundation; triple glazed windows; ceiling and sub slab insulation; and constant fresh air ventilation.
Tickets are $15. To purchase, visit www.pace-cleanenergy.org. For ticket information, call 860-623-5487. For tour information, call 860-693-4813.

March 30, 2015

Norwalk Fire Station LEED Gold Certified Presentation & Tour

 

NorwalkFireStation

 


What:
Tour the LEED Gold certified New Fire Station at 121 Connecticut Ave, Norwalk

When:
April 9, 2015 @ 5 pm

Presented by: The Connecticut Green Building CouncilThe B.E.S.T. Program at Norwalk Community College and the Mayor's Office Energy and Environment Task Force 

Presentation of project:
David Pacheco, Principal, Pacheco Ross Architects, Voorheesville, NY
Peter Etzel, V.P. of Operations, Newfield Construction, Hartford, CT
 

Click here to register!

March 12, 2015

Cheese Making Class - @ Olivette Darien, March 23rd!

Learn to make a remarkably simple and tasty yogurt cheese called labneh, a quick, easy and economical farmhouse ricotta and a delicious lemon and honey dessert cheese that is great for stuffing French toast or filling crepes! Learn all about raw vs pasteurized milk, the type of equipment you will need, the best ingredients to use, where to buy the best ingredients and how to safely make, season and store your own artisan cheese. Click here to register.

*Price includes a welcome glass of sparkling wine, all materials for the class, each cheese making demo and tastes of the 3 cheeses made: ricotta over croccantini with aged balsamic drizzle, labneh with garlic olive oil and herbs over crostini and the dessert cheese topped with organic fig marmalade.

A lifelong artist and an organic farmer and cheese maker for over 20 years, Carol Lake is a passionate educator that uses her art, farming and cheese making to encourage others to see the beauty of the natural world around them. “Basic, simple foods are what we have thrived on as a species for hundreds of generations”, she says. “It’s time to bring back that instinctual knowledge of simple things, like how to make cheese from good, fresh milk and other pronounceable ingredients.” Carol thoroughly enjoys teaching others how to avoid some of those very pitfalls, and shows us just how simple and cost effective it is to eat delicious, homemade artisan cheese!

Alina Lawrence is an olive oil educator, speaker, consultant and owner of Olivette, boutique olive oil tasting rooms in Darien, CT and Westport, CT. Alina received her training and certification in olive oil sensory analysis from the National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters (ONAOO) in Imperia, Italy and The Robert Mondavi Institute at the University of California at Davis. Alina grew up in Europe; and from a young age, she started spending time in the kitchen with her grandmother making everything from scratch.

There, in her grandmother’s kitchen she learned to appreciate quality food made from locally sourced, artisan ingredients! 

Olivette Darien
1084 Post Road
Darien, CT 06820

February 20, 2015

Fairfield Green Food Guide to Co-Host American Chestnut Lecture & Tasting

AmericanChestnut On March 5th at 6:30 pm, at The Carriage Barn Arts Center, located on 681 South Ave., New Canaan,
Connecticut, Steve Conaway of the Greenwich Land Trust and The American Chestnut Foundation will tell the story of the blight that decimated billions of trees and efforts to restore a blight-resistant American Chestnut to its native woodlands. Last November, Steve led an initiative to plant hundreds of American Chestnut saplings in a sanctuary at the GLT.

Join Chef Silvia Baldini and Analise Paik of Fairfield Green Food Guide for an engaging, educational and tasty presentation. RSVP www.carriagebarn.org

September 23, 2014

Event: Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) 2014 Conference

Interested in learning about the latest trends in the recycling industry? Join NERC's 2014 conference for top-quality speakers, engaging sessions, and networking opportunities. 

The upcoming 2014 Conference—The New Era of Recycling—offers plenary and concurrent sessions designed to provide you with the information needed to understand the recycling markets of seven materials (paper, plastics, tires, glass, steel, organics, and electronics). Click on the Agenda for more details on speakers and session schedules.

When: November 6 – 7, 2014       

Registration: Deadline to register, October 31, 2014. Click here to register.

Where:  Lord Jeffery Inn, Amherst, Massachusetts. A handful of discounted sleeping rooms are still available. Call (800) 742-0358 to book your room before they're sold out.

Video: NYC Climate Week Addresses from U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry & Others

CT GreenScene @ People's Climate March

By Heather Burns

ClimateMarch_NYC_92114
Live Green CT!, Wilton Go Green, Fairfield Earth Day and CT GreenScene at Grand Central Terminal

There's nothing quite like helping to make history, but even so, getting my kids up and at 'em at 6:30 am on a Sunday was as difficult as expected...yet more than worth it.

MetroNorth trains bound for the City were packed with Connecticut business leaders, students, environmental groups and concerned citizens all donning teeshirts, hand made costumes and/or signs telling their climate story. As the train picked folks up along its stops, a sense of community, collaboration and solidarity grew between strangers.

In fact, an estimated 400,000 people took to New York City streets for the people's climate march --  that's four times the number anticipated. Aside from the A-listers you'd expect -- like Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Sting and Leonardo DiCaprio -- were top corporate executives from IKEA, NRG Unilever and members of We Mean Business, a "coalition of organizations working with thousands of the world’s most influential businesses and investors that recognize that the transition to a low carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all."

In fact, even Bristol Massachusetts district attorney, Sam Sutter, who dropped criminal charges against the fisherman who blocked a 40,000 ton delivery of coal heading to the Brayton Point Power Plant, joined in and provided Amy Goodman of Democracy Now with an interview.

What's this tell me? The Seas of Change are here; and not just because a bunch of hippies showed up to storm the streets. Business and political leaders, affluent individuals, religious groups, healthcare providers, youth, entrepreneurs, policy makers and celebrities all care about the issue.

In the wise words of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, "This is our world, this is our planet earth. It is a very small planet," "If we cannot swim together, we will always sink. There is no Plan B, because there is no Planet B."

 

 

 

September 20, 2014

HURRY! Passive House Training in Hamden CT

The Passive House Academy from Brooklyn, NY is offering Certified Passive House Consultant & Designer Course!

This seven-day course  is aimed at ALL Building Professionals including Architects, Engineers, Contractors and Builders.  

 
The robust curriculum will include lectures by leading Passive House experts, group design and calculation exercises, workshops, and tours of passive homes.  
 
Upon successfully passing of the exam, all participants will receive the internationally recognized accreditation of  'Certified Passive House Consultant/Designer'  and all member AIA architects will receive 45 Learning Unites and 28 BPI continuing ed credits (CEU's).
 
Where: Paier College of Art, Hamden, CT
 
When:
Module 1:  Sept. 24th-27th, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Module 2:  Oct. 9th-11th, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm
 
Exam:  Oct. 18th, 2014.
 
Course Fee: $1300
Exam Fee: $350
 

September 17, 2014

District Attorney Displays Historic Leadership on Climate Change

September 16, 2014

Sunday, September 21st - People's Climate March - You In?

Peoples climate marchI'll be heading this weekend to NYC with my 10-year old son and 9-year old daughter for what is anticipated to be the largest people's march, ever, on Climate Change. Hope to see you there!

Assembly Location: Central Park West, between 65th and 86th streets.

 

Enter on 65th, 72nd, 77th, 81st, or 86th street.

Continue reading "Sunday, September 21st - People's Climate March - You In? " ?

September 12, 2014

Jeff Hollender Addresses How to Close the U.S. Wealth Gap & Remain Profitable

In 2010 - 2011, I had the pleasure of working with Jeff on the development of the American Sustainable Business Council. He was on his way out from Seventh Generation and on to bringing his vision of sustainable contraception and women's reproductive health - SUSTAIN - into being.

Check out this inspiring conversation on Bloomberg.

 

August 27, 2014

CFE & Save the Sound 2014 Annual Meeting

Unnamed Unnamed-1Who: CT Fund for the Environment & Save the Sound

What: 2014 Annual Meeting with guest speaker Fabien Cousteau, French aquatic filmmaker and oceanographic explorer.

 

When: Sunday, September 28th 4:00 - 7:00 pm

Where: Ridgefield Public Library, Ridgefield, CT

RSVP: 203-787-0646 x104 or mlemere@ctenvironment.org by September 21st

For more information and directions, click here.

August 25, 2014

The Green Harbors Project—A Community Effort

The Green Harbors Project is an initiative that is aiming to address and solve urban harbors environmental challenges that lead to habitat degradation and the loss of biodiversity, as well as human health concerns. Dr. Anamarija Frankic, director of the Green Harbors Project and founder of the Biomimicry LivingLabs, as well as an internationally-recognized researcher, professor and leader in the field of biomimicry, is leading a team of students from UMass Boston that is focused on designing and testing greener products and solutions that imitate nature to mitigate and restore our urban harbors. The team has established Biomimicry LivingLabs across the world, including Zadar, Croatia as well as many sites around Massachusetts, including Savin Hill Cove, Nantucket, Wellfleet, Mystic River, Neponset River and Pier 5 in the Charlestown Navy Yard.

  Green harbors pic 1The Green Harbors Project is a community oriented effort with local businesses stepping in to help. Here in Massachusetts, for example, Spencer-based FLEXcon, a manufacturer of engineered films and pressure-sensitive films and adhesives, has donated materials so that the team can design and test a solution that will prevent biofouling—one of the many environmental issues the team is tackling as part of the Green Harbors Project. Fouling is the accumulation of unwanted organic material on solid submerged surfaces such as the underside of boats, pilings, nets and other harbor infrastructure. Not only are removal costs very high, but the materials that are used (such as formaldehyde) are detrimental to the environment and humans alike. Dr. Frankic and her team are working to create sustainable alternatives.  

 

Continue reading "The Green Harbors Project—A Community Effort" ?

August 18, 2014

Sept 21 - Lighthouse Point Park Migration Festival

ImgresWho: Audubon CT

What: Lighthouse Point Park Migration Festival Celebrating Birds, Butterflies & Dragonflies

When: Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (No Rain Date)

Where: Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, CT

For more information on this event including the schedule of activities, click here. 

 

CT GreenScene Invited to Sneak Peak into CT Fastrak

Ctlogo2

The central Connecticut area will soon be home to a
new form of transportation that looks to revolutionize the way Connecticut residents commute. Projected to be finished in early 2015, Connecticut Fastrak will administer a swift ride for those who choose to utilize public transportation to get to their destination of choice. Stretching all the way from Waterbury to Hartford, this contemporary system will make travel in the area more convenient for all, and likely boost local economies with more folks having an opportunity to explore areas of the state they might not have had the chance to previously. CT Fastrak is a form of Transit Oriented Development (TOD), which is described by the CT DOT as, “A strategy to increase economic competitiveness through improved quality of life, reduced traffic congestion, lower transportation costs for households, improved air quality, reduced costs for providing city services, and growth management.”

IMG_1042

On July 17th, CT Greenscene was invited to see what progress had been made on the Fastrak. Led by CT DOT’s Mike Sanders, we began in downtown Hartford, passing by many of the stations (Flatbush Ave., Sigourney St.) that are under construction. As you can see from the following photos, they are very modern looking and would appear to be quite comfortable. Having the opportunity to get out and walk around at a few of the stations was incredible. Simply seeing the signs with the map of stops, where the ticketing kiosks would be, and even the benches, helped me envision what the what this project is aiming to look like.

Continue reading "CT GreenScene Invited to Sneak Peak into CT Fastrak " ?

August 13, 2014

August 31 - Electric Vehicles at Lime Rock Park

Wecc_logo_new_400Who: Westport Electric Car Club

What: The Westport Electric Car Club has been invited to exhibit club-member owned EVs at the prestigious “Sunday in the Park” Concours and Gathering of the Marques at the Historic Festival presented by Lime Rock Park. This is the first time EVs will be featured in the 32-year existence of this event.

The Lime Rock Concours d’Elegance exhibition occurs each year on Sunday of Labor Day Weekend as a part of the Historic Festival. The Concours is expected to feature up to 250 cars, augmented by another 750 collector cars. It has gained renown as the premier vintage racing and concours event on the East Coast since 1983. The honored guest this year is Sir Stirling Moss and the honored collector is Ralph Lauren who will be displaying 5 of his collector cars.

When: Sunday, August 31

Where: Lime Rock Park

For ticket information click here

For more information on The Westport Electric Car Club, please reach out to these resources with any questions: 

Leo Cirino, President: lcirino@snet.net (203)226-0034

Barry Kresch, Director, Public Relations: westportEVclub@gmail.com (203)521-6731 
 

 

 

 

June 27, 2014

Mayor Bill Finch reopens Pleasure Beach for first time in nearly two decades on Saturday, June 28

Photos 084

“This will be such an important day. I’ve heard so many stories from people about their memories as kids going to Pleasure Beach. Now, those people can bring their own kids there to create new memories. I know I will.”

-- Mayor Bill Finch

 

Ø WHAT: Media access to Opening Day of Pleasure Beach

Ø WHERE: Water Street Dock (near Port Jefferson Ferry dock), 1 Ferry Access Road, Bridgeport, CT (ONLY MEDIA WILL BE PICKED UP AT THIS LOCATION)

Ø WHEN: Saturday, June 28, 2014. There will be two departures. One will leave at 10 a.m. and return at 11:30 a.m. The second will depart at 11:35 a.m. and return at 1 p.m.

Ø WHO: Mayor Bill Finch, community members and members of the public visiting Pleasure Beach for the first time in nearly two decades

Photos 051-crop"The reopening of Pleasure Beach points to a long term commitment by a variety of stake holders at the local, state and federal levels to work collectively and represents our first phase of success. It shows that multiple use in a sensitive area can be successful led by Mayor Finch's vision"

-- Ted Grabarz, Sustainability Director

 

This really is a historic day and we hope to see you there. For more information, please email brett.broesder@bridgeportct.gov or call (203) 257-1049.

For more information on Pleasure Beach, click here.

 

June 25, 2014

WalkCT Family Ramble - Town of Berlin Spring 2014 Hiking Series: Beckley Quarry

Custom_logoWho: Jointly sponsored by the WalkCT program (of the Connecticut Forest & Park Association) and Town of Berlin Conservation Commission

What: Come along on a series of family-friendly rambles through the woods in centrally-located Berlin, CT. 

We will explore the conservation areas that the town is working to preserve for their natural beauty, ecology, and outdoor-recreational value. The Town of Berlin’s open spaces boast a system of trails connected to, and running along, sections of the CFPA Blue-Blazed Metacomet Trail, part of the New England National Scenic Trail.

This hike will feature an easy stroll along a wide, level path that runs parallel to the Mattabesset River in the northeast corner of the town. While exploring the edges of the trail in late June we should expect to find some interesting early-summer wildflowers.

These rambles are for adventurous explorers of all ages—babies in backpack carriers or slings are welcome. Please come prepared with clothing appropriate for the conditions and please bring along water and snack foods for your family. Tools for getting closer to the action (binoculars, hand lens), capturing the moment (cameras, video recorders), or making notes and sketches (field notebooks, pencils) can be helpful, but please leave rock hammers, "bug catchers," sample containers, and your pets at home.

When: Saturday, June 28, 2014 - 10:00am - 12:00pm

Where: Beckley Quarry (Kensington/Berlin, CT)

Meet at the trailhead at the end of the unmarked gravel drive at 540 Wethersfield Road, Berlin, CT. Please carefully parallel park on the left side of the driveway to allow access for nearby residents and local farmers. Pre-registration is recommended. To learn more and sign-up for the hike, please contact your American Red Cross First Aid/CPR-trained, Connecticut Forest & Park Association-WalkCT Family Guide volunteer via email at rileyflanaganbrown@sbcglobal.net.

June 20, 2014

Learn to Cook Like a Locavore: Chef Demos at the WFM

Bartacos-farmers-market-salad-1024x680Who: The Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM)

What: The Westport Farmers’ Market (WFM) wants you to fall in love with your kitchen again. While creating a thriving local hub for seasonal food, WFM has arranged for 19 of the top area chefs, mixologists, and butchers to do delicious, live recipe demonstrations featuring fresh, local foods found each week at the market.

Learn how to use locally grown and produced, seasonal ingredients found at the market to prepare fresh, easy meals for your family.  The season kicked off with the Staples High School Culinary Arts team, then Sugar & Olives “ramped” up the demo with their  pickled ramp recipe and tutorial, followed by a lesson in how to properly harvest ramps.

Hungry yet?

Attend these free events and receive recipe cards to prepare the featured dish at home using the same market ingredients.  Every chef demo will feature a local chef or food professional who supports the local food culture and the WFM. 

When: Each Thursday, June 19th-November 6th between 10:15 and 11:00 am

Where: 50 Imperial Ave. Westport, CT

Visit the Westport Farmer's Market every Thursday from 10:00 am-2:00 pm

Click here for the chef demo list and more information from Fairfield Green Food Guide. 

June 19, 2014

Driven to Create Safe, Sustainable, American-Made Toys

5 - 3d Printed mockup of final fire truck design- partsBy: Heather Burns

It all started with a massive clean out of toys from the basement. “We’d heard on the news that lead paint had been detected in all Thomas the Tank Engine toys,” says Jim Barber, co-founder of Luke’s Toy Factory. “My son, Luke, was a huge fan of Thomas so he had a hard time letting them go.” Barber also noticed that every toy he picked up was made in China, “That day, I knew there had to be a better way to make healthy toys that are made in America,” Barber says.

Today, Sandy Hook residents Jim Barber and his son Luke are gearing up to launch their own line of non-toxic toys made from a mixture of plastic composite and saw dust from furniture manufacturing, eliminating the need for paint and making them a more sustainable option.

A corporate photographer by trade, Barber says, “It was tough to find injection molding companies that would take us seriously enough to work with us.” “We had to search high and low for American based companies that were innovative enough to give a new material a try.”

But they succeeded – and have been instrumental in bringing consciousness to companies who previously hadn’t considered sustainability. “The companies we are working with value innovation and understand that sustainability is where business must go,” Barber says.  Along the way, Luke’s Toy Factory is creating a sustainable manufacturing eco-system that will keep jobs local and money flowing back into the community. “There’s a perception out there that large corporations are only in it for the money and they don’t care about the environment, but there are people working in these companies who do,” Barber says. And we’ve been lucky enough to find them.

Following a successful KickStarter campaign, Luke’s Toy Factory will begin production of its first line of toys this summer. You can pre-order a fire truck on their website.

 

June 18, 2014

Tonight! June 18th - “What is Passive House Design?” by Tomas O’Leary

UnnamedWHAT: “What is Passive House Design?” by Tomas O’Leary

WHERE: The Mercy Center, 167 Neck Rd., Madison, Ct 06443

WHEN: Wednesday, June 18th, 5:30 -7:30 pm

HOW: Register by contacting: alicia@celebrationcontracting.com

FOR:  For those interested in learning more about high performance buildings and homes, including architects, designers, contractors & building tradespersons and anyone in the general community with a ​ passion ​for​ energy responsible design and building.

The presentation is also accredited by the American Institute of Architects and offers attending AIA members (1) continuing education unit (CEU).

Photo caption/credit/copyright is: P. Campus AIA

June 09, 2014

June 14th - Spring 2014 Green Homes Tour

LEED HomesWho: The Connecticut Green Building Council

What: The CTGBC Green Homes Committee has selected multiple homes open for the Spring 2014 Green Homes Tours. The selection of homes on tour includes substantial renovations, new construction homes, and homes under construction or renovation. A homeowner or representative from the design or installation team will be on hand at each home to explain the design and operations of the home.

When: Saturday, June 14th from 12:00 noon til 3:00 pm

Where: Click here to see a complete listing of all homes on the tour.

Register for FREE here

Questions? Contact Joanna Grab at jgrab@swinter.com

Connecticut Passes B-Corp Legislation

By: Elizabeth Kim
Orginally posted: Stamford Advocate

Social entrepreneurs in Connecticut will soon have a way to merge good deeds with corporate-style capitalism.

The state legislature this week passed a bill that enables the establishment of benefit corporations. Also known as b-corps, such companies take on the mission of helping society or the environment while also carrying out the traditional corporate goal of maximizing profits.

The law, which will go into effect after it is signed in the fall, makes Connecticut the 26th state in the country to recognize b-corps as a corporate structure. Neighboring and nearby states like New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have all enacted b-corps legislation.

Among those who welcomed the news of the bill's passage on Monday was Bryan Nurnberger, the founder and president of Simply Smiles, a Norwalk-based nonprofit that sells fair-trade coffee to help indigenous coffee farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico.

30,000 meals

Upon establishing the coffee-selling arm of his business, he elected to incorporate the company in New York. To operate in Connecticut, he said he had to apply for a special exception from the state.

Nurnberger said he plans to transfer his incorporation to Connecticut as soon as the law takes hold.

"It's simplicity for us," he said, who spoke on the phone from an Indian reservation in South Dakota.

Simply Smiles started selling coffee in the fall of 2013. To date, its sales have resulted in 30,000 meals, he said.

Danbury business lawyer Hillel Goldman, who represents Nurnberger, said they'll likely be the first b-corp to incorporate in the state when the law becomes active in October.

"This idea is one that's really been pushed by entrepreneurs who want to make a difference," said Goldman, who testified in favor of the legislation for the Connecticut Bar Association's business section. "Unlike traditional corporations where the fiduciary duty of the officers and directors is to maximize shareholder profit, the fiduciary duty for officers and directors in a benefit corporation is to maximize the dollars going to the organization's social mission."

`Legacy preservation'

While it may not have been a trailblazer on b-corps, Connecticut is being touted as the first state to introduce of a so-called "legacy preservation" option. The clause gives b-corps that have been in business at least two years the choice of locking in their social mission in perpetuity.

Continue reading "Connecticut Passes B-Corp Legislation" ?

June 05, 2014

June 11th - A VISION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEW YORK-CONNECTICUT REGION

UnnamedWho: MetroPool

What: Please join us for MetroPool's Annual Board meeting and a special presentation: "A Vision for Sustainable Development in the New York-Connecticut Region.” 

An unprecedented bi-state collaboration of cities, counties and regional planning organizations came together three years ago to launch the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Initiative. Funded with a $3.5 million U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant to integrate housing, economic development, transportation and environmental planning, the Consortium’s goal is to reposition the New York-Connecticut region to fully harness its innovation capabilities in a competitive global environment, build on its strong foundation of energy efficiency, and become as equitable as it is efficient. Three years of collaborative planning has resulted in an agenda to create more sustainable and equitable economic growth.

Partners in the Consortium and guest speakers, Dr. Floyd Lapp, Executive Director, South Western Regional Planning Agency (SWRPA) and Elizabeth Cheteny, Commissioner of Planning, City of White Plains, will offer reflections on the planning phase of the Sustainable Communities Initiative Program as well as insights into the major challenges and opportunities that may be ahead as the important work of implementing the plan begins.  Specific attention will be given to Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and to rethinking the Westchester Avenue corridor.

When: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Where:

UBS
677 Washington Blvd
Stamford, CT 06901

Networking and refreshments to follow.

Register for the meeting by Monday, June 9, 2014.  Attendees need to present photo identificationat the reception desk upon arrival. 

May 27, 2014

July 12th - Eco-Solar House Tour

Clarke2Who: People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE)

What: The 2700 square foot passive solar house includes a 5.5 kW solar electric system, solar hot water panels and tank, radiant floor heating and hydronic baseboards, a stunning Tulikivi masonry stove and energy recovery ventilator, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances with condensing clothes dryer, Mitsubishi air to air heat pumps and triple pane windows.

Great care was taken in the construction using prefabricated wall panels, double stud wall construction, insulated concrete form foundation, salvaged stone for outside walls, concrete floors with acid-free eco-stain and water-based sealer, and natural materials are used throughout the house.

When: July 12th, any time between 12 noon and 3pm

Where: Sandisfield, MA

For tour information, call 860 693 4813

For tickets ($15), call 860 623 5487

After the tour visitors are invited to swim in a nearby freshwater lake or bring their canoe or kayak to another uninhabited beautiful lake and/or take a guided hike to a secret small uninhabited lake.

At 7 PM that evening the Sandisfield Arts Center will be the site of a gourmet dinner including wine and prepared by a well-known chef. It will be followed by a concert showcasing magnificent music and professional voices singing arias, duets and trios from well-known operas.

Non-refundable tickets and maps for the tour and outdoor activities can be purchased by going online to www.pace-cleanenergy.org and click on Events. Tour tickets may also be ordered by sending $15 per person to PACE, Donna Grant, 128 Melrose Rd., Broad Brook, Connecticut, 06016 or email:albert_grant@sbgcglobal.net. Information should include the ticketholder's phone number, address, and email address.

To order $25 tickets for the gourmet dinner and live concert at the charming nearby Sandisfield Arts Center go online to www.sandisfieldartscenter.org

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