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.
By Heather Burns
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."
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.
Assembly Location: Central Park West, between 65th and 86th streets.
Enter on 65th, 72nd, 77th, 81st, or 86th street.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by September 21st
For more information and directions, click here.
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.
The 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.
Who: 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.
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.”
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.
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:
“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
"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
For more information on Pleasure Beach, click here.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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
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.
WHAT: “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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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 email@example.com
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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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:firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Foraged Fields offers all natural and organic lotions, makeup, skincare and beauty products. Sourcing their ingredients from untouched local areas as much as possible while still being sustainable and their countrywide ingredients from like minded small businesses, this family run local business is bringing together natural ways of living with modern conveniences. Can't even pronounce some of the ingredients on your skincare products? The majority of toxins in our bodies comes through our skin; stop putting on chemicals! Euphoria is a common side effect.
For more information about Foraged Fields and it's products, visit www.ForagedFields.com
Who: Audubon Connecticut & Menunkatuck Audubon Society
What: Spring is a busy time in the bird world, with millions of birds making their way to northern breeding sites, after a warm winter in Central and South America. Migration is such an important- and impressive- event in the animal world, that bird enthusiasts like Audubon Connecticut throw a festival in its honor.
Join us for guided bird walks, live birds of prey programs and various family-friendly activities.
When: Saturday, May 10, 8am-3pm
Where: East Rock Park, New Haven, CT
For more information on this event and Audubon CT click here.
Who: The Essex Land Trust and Robert Rocks
What: Robert Rocks will present on the historical evolution of our landscapes from forests to field, and back to forests. He will speak about the great die-offs of elm/chestnuts/hemlocks, and help us envision how climate change, invasive species, and land use practices will determine our forests of the future.
When: May 13th at 7 p.m.
Where: The Essex Library
For more information on this event click here.
BUN LAI, world renowned chef, national James Beard Award semi-finalist and proprietor of New Haven, CT’s Miya’s Sushi, serving innovative sushi from sustainable and locally obtained and foraged flora and fauna, including invasive species.
JOE ROMAN, conservation biologist, researcher and educator, award-winning author, and founder/editor ‘n’ chef of the courageous culinary website, Eat the Invaders: Fighting Invasive Species, One Bite at a Time.
What: An eclectic evening of conversation, master chef demonstration and adventurous eating to benefit The Rockfall Foundation’s environmental education grants
When: Tuesday, May 13th 6-9 p.m.
Where: Chapman Hall - Middlesex Community College
For more background on Bun and Joe: click here .
Donation per guest: $50. Table (6 guests): $300
To make your reservation online: click here.
To download a mail-in reservation form: click here.
Congressman Jim Himes
CT Fourth District
Chief Financial Officer
Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)
Energy Committee Chair and Board Member
Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC)
Stewart J. Hudson
What: Looking for solutions to the climate crisis? Join us for an exciting discussion of the issues and solutions to carbon pollution that save money and help save the planet, including one of the most important breakthroughs in green building design and operation—a new approach to financing clean energy investments through state and federal green banks.
When: TODAY ~ Tuesday, April 22nd ~ 2:00 pm
Where: Audubon Greenwich Kimberlin Center 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, CT
Celebrate Earth Day with a Guided Trail Walk after the event!
Refreshments Will Be Served
Join Slow Food Shoreline for an afternoon discussion to help plan your 2014 garden, Sunday May 4th from 1-4PM at the Luck & Levity Brewshop, 118 Court St in New Haven.
Come to learn some basics, discuss common issues, and receive tips on planning ahead for preservation. Seasoned experts, weekend garden warriors, and beginning gardeners are all welcome. Bring your extra seeds and seedlings, and swap for new favorites with other gardeners. The event is free to all. Click here to register.
Responding to the explosive need for professionals in the environmental field, Sacred Heart University has expanded its scientific curriculum to include an interdisciplinary graduate degree in environmental science and management (ESM). It is grounded in the sciences, and will introduce students to the complex interactions between the living and non-living portions of the environment, and the dramatic role that human activity has on the future of our natural resources.
ESM’s curriculum is heavily based on case studies and problem solving, involving intensive team work among the classes. Modern environmental analysis and assessment methodology are used extensively. Students will be engaged in a holistic, systems approach to learning, while balancing the economic and ecological issues of natural resource sustainability and pollution prevention. With employment in the environmental industry projected to grow exponentially in the coming years, graduates from Sacred Heart’s ESM program will be well-prepared for careers as managers, analysts, consultants and scientists in areas including field work and research, as well as work in environmental organizations, conservation groups, private industry and government agencies.
The ESM degree is affiliated with the Professional Science Master's (PSM) Initiative, which is committed to programs providing advanced professional training in interdisciplinary or emerging careers in applied science and mathematics. One of only 190 PSM programs in the U.S., Sacred Heart's ESM degree will prepare students directly for the best professional opportunities in the field. For further information, contact Andrea Lamontagne, assistant director of Graduate Admissions at 203-365-4748 or email email@example.com.
What: Foodshare, Central Connecticut’s regional food bank, is holding a fundraiser to raise money for the fight against hunger in Connecticut. There will be a "green" tour of Foodshare, as well as many opportunities to learn about, try, and buy leading local non toxic, organic and non-GMO personal care items, cosmetics, household cleaners and more. Enter for a chance to win the "Great Green Giveaway" and receive amazing discounts from eco-kids and Frey Vineyards in addition to some complementary packets of non-GMO seeds.
Recently I was lucky enough to participate in a Q & A with the author of Saving the Planet and Stuff, Gail Gauthier. This comedy novel is about 16 year old Michael Racine who is spending his summer in Vermont working as an intern for a magazine called, The Earth’s Wife. Walt and Nora, 2 of his grandparents’ old friends, have run the publication since the 1960's. Michael must learn how to work and live with people who are much different than anybody he's used to in that they don’t eat meat, don’t use air conditioning and ride bikes to work.
In the following Q & A, you will get a sense of how Gail's love of the environment influenced this novel, as well as some insight into her personal story.
When someone finishes this book, what would you like them to leave thinking?
Saving the Planet & Stuff is a comedy about life choices. I hope that readers will come away with an understanding of the thought, effort, and decision-making that go into even just trying to live an environmental lifestyle. The scene in which Nora only wants free range eggs if they are packaged in something she can recycle--otherwise, she'll make do with regular eggs so long as they're packaged in cardboard and not Styrofoam--is something a lot of us can recognize. Walt and Nora are over-the-top in holding on to items others would consider garbage because they believe they can use them again and keep them out of a transfer station a while longer. But it's only a matter of degree. Other environmental types do it. In our home we have a policy of not replacing items until they are broken, which cuts down on the number of material things we go through and discard. Just this morning I got into a discussion with another family member about items that lose their functionality long before they are truly "broken." If I'm not going to wait until something breaks, how poorly does it need to function before I replace it? And then what do I do with that item that's merely functioning poorly and isn't truly broken?
What about Connecticut has been an inspiration to your writing?
I've published a number of books about children in suburban towns, attending contemporary schools. That comes from the suburban Connecticut world I've lived in as an adult. My life and my experience are a big part of my writing.
Why do you think it's important for young adults to have an understanding of the natural environment?
I lean toward stewardship. There are a great many things we need/want from the environment in order to live comfortably. If young adults hope to live lives in which they have what they need in terms of raw materials and healthy and beautiful surroundings, they need to understand that they have a part in maintaining the environment so that can happen.
What: WECC announces its second annual Electric Car Rally. The club expected 20 entries for the 2013 rally and ended up with 33. The models entered were the Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan Leaf, BMW ActiveE, Smart Car EV, Ford C-Max Energi, Toyota Prius Plug-in, and Fisker Karma. This year the club expects between 50 and 100 vehicles to be entered. The public will have an opportunity to speak with EV owners, learn about EV technology, visit sponsor tents, and enjoy snacks and drinks.
When: May 4th - Rally registration begins at 9AM and the rally will start at 10AM. The public event will begin at 1PM when the cars are expected to finish.
Where: The Rally begins and ends at the Westport Saugatuck Metro-North train depot. Registration will occur in front of the Steam Coffee Bar on the New Haven bound side, next to the 4 EV charging stations. There will be a mid-rally stopping point at the Wilton GoGreen Festival, and a free public event at the finish in Westport.
Entrants must be “plug-in” vehicles, either partially (plug-in hybrid) or fully electric. It is not necessary to be a member of the club or to live in Westport to participate. Any and all EV drivers are welcome! Eligibility for entry this year has been expanded to include plug-in motorcycles and scooters. Some of the newer models are expected to enter.
John Shuck is returning as rally master, along with co-rally master Larry Liesner. To register a car, visit the club’s website
The mission of the Westport Electric Car club is to promote vehicle electrification and the supporting infrastructure in the service of reaching low or zero emission transportation. The club welcomes for membership anyone with an interest in electric vehicles. It is not a requirement to be an EV owner or to live in Westport. In fact, for anyone considering an EV purchase, the club is a great resource for information. Prospective members may join on the website.
Who: Audubon Greenwich
What: Hundreds of guests eager to sample local, artisan and organic food, attend tasting workshops, and learn about homesteading are expected to flock to Audubon Greenwich’s Sustainable Food & Farm Expo. Eighteen exhibitors and vendors, including organic farmers, homesteading experts, artisan food producers, specialty food retailers, and organic restaurants, will be present to share their products and expertise with attendees.
When: March 9th 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Where: Audubon Greenwich, 613 Riversville Road, Greenwich, CT 06831
General Admission tickets (includes exhibits, vendors, and five talks):
· $15 per person, $20 per couple, or $25 per family
· Tasting Workshops are an additional $10 per person, per session
Advance reservations highly recommended for all Tasting Workshops as capacity is limited. Send all RSVPs to Jeff Cordulack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-869-5272 x239. Please leave a best phone number so that Audubon can contact you back to process your payment and reserve your seat.
Who: CT Energy Committee
What: Join Us for a Strategy Session to Support Legislation for Community Shared Solar in Connecticut.
The Problem: While the cost of renewable energy is now competitive with traditional power, the majority of Connecticut homeowners and businesses cannot access this affordable clean energy, because they do not have a suitable site for renewable energy on their own property.
The Solution: Enable all energy customers to participate in shared clean energy facilities and receive credit on their utility bill for their portion of the clean energy produced.
At this strategy session we will discuss the bill's probable path, discuss key talking points and constituencies to reach, and plan together to ensure the success of this important legislation
Please write your legislator and the CT Energy Committee to support this legislation.
When: Wednesday, February 26, 7 PM
Where: Kroon Hall, Room G01,195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT
For more information or to let us know you plan to attend please contact Kate Donnelly at email@example.com
By Ben Hastings
The Long Island Sound is among the most treasured areas in Connecticut, and is home to the UCONN Avery Point campus. Unfortunately, this area of the state has fallen victim to the effects of climate change many times over the past few years in the form of hurricanes and unheard of amounts of snow. The Connecticut shoreline is truly a special place to be for vacationers and residents alike, which is why certain preventative actions against climate change need to be taken to preserve a valuable part of our great state.
Those of us who live in CT know all too well about the destruction that Tropical Storm Irene and storm Sandy caused the shoreline. They also realize if we don’t begin to build more resilient communities and take action to mitigate events like these, the state of Connecticut will be in trouble. Sandy alone caused $360 million in damage to our state, and cost 4 people their lives. A disaster like this one requires action by a wide range of stakeholders including companies, community, political leaders, and academia. Their input is needed so that we can better understand how a catastrophe like storm Sandy can be prepared for, and look at the bigger picture that is climate change.
A Climate Change research center will soon be a part of The University of Connecticut at Avery Point. The new Institute for Community Resilience and Climate Adaptation is now a reality. On January 24th 2014, Governor Daniel Malloy and other CT officials gathered together at the beautiful Branford House at Avery Point. The funding for the center will be coming from the $2.5 million result of a lawsuit between Unilever and The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. A grant from NOAA will also contribute $500,000.
It was only fitting that the press conference took place at the Branford House, which was looking over the sound as the CT and UCONN leaders made their statements. Molloy said that we will be facing more storms of this magnitude as a result of the changing climate, and reassured the audience that Connecticut was doing its part to slow climate change. The quote of the day was from Senator Blumenthal who said, “Put simply, the mission of the center is to save the world, so no pressure."
Additional leaders who came out to show their support were Dan Esty, commissioner of DEEP, Rep. Courtney, as well as representatives from the EPA and NOAA.
Although the fine details about what the center might do have not been completely established, statements from the speakers gave me hope for what a great resource this could truly be. This facility would be a source of information for homeowners, businesses and students alike that want to learn how to mitigate the risks that go along with living on the shoreline, especially with the more frequent storms that our region has experienced. Also, this could be viewed as a revitalization of the UCONN Avery Point campus itself. The campus was referred to by Gov. Malloy as, a jewel in the UCONN system that has been underutilized.
The buzzword that I kept hearing over and over from the speakers was, “resiliency.” It seems that the Institute for Community Resilience and Climate Adaptation will be the hub for Connecticut communities to get the information they need to know about climate change events that affect us all. With the diligence and hard work of the folks over at UCONN Avery Point, this center could change the way in which we think, and react to the impacts of climate change on the shoreline. Only time will tell if we have mitigated these disasters properly.
Learn more about the Institute for Community Resilience and Climate Adaptation and this historic day here.
Environment Massachusetts is seeking a campaign director to oversee all aspects of the organization, including membership development, program development, fundraising, field organizing, advocacy and communications.
Responsibilities: Staff management, development and recruitment; recruit new staff, interns and volunteers; oversee ongoing efforts to strengthen membership base; design and implement new strategies to recruit new members and boost membership retention; develop organization’s approach to solving environmental problems within the broader political context, creating specific programs and campaigns; participate in and oversee policy development, research and messaging; prepare and implement a comprehensive annual fundraising development plan; raise funds by writing grant proposals, building relationships with foundation staff, and meeting with and building ongoing relationships with large donors.
Qualifications: Must have at least 7 years of relevant professional experience; demonstrated commitment to environmental issues and to citizen-based social change as well as a track record of leadership; excellent verbal, writing and analytical skills; ability to speak persuasively in a charged atmosphere.
Salary and benefits: Salary is commensurate with a candidate’s relevant professional experience and/or advanced degrees. Benefits package includes health-care coverage, educational loan assistance, a retirement plan, paid vacation and sick days, and parental leave.
To apply: Apply online at jobs.environmentamerica.org.Direct your application to Johanna Neumann, Environment Massachusetts regional director.
Who: Criterion Institute
What: Convergence XV is a conference about real system change: how to build new fields of activity, to shift the flows of capital, to rejigger the power structures of our economy. The gathering will give you structured time and space to think about the impact of your work and to push the broader questions of changing the rules of the game.
In March, the people who are working to change the systems that define how our economies and markets work will come together for the first time.
You want to transform finance? Restructure supply chains? Catalyze local market ecosystems? Cool.
This will be a room full of leaders asking the same questions and sharing lessons learned.
We system-shapers will not complain about all the things that we wish were different. We will work on HOW to change market systems for good.
Criterion designs the conference based on who registers. No speakers, no workshops. We interview you once you register and ask you what you are thinking about, working on and then design a series of intentional conversation with leaders thinking about the same things. It’s our fifteenth time running this kind of conference - It works.
When: March 24th-March 26th
Where: Simsbury Inn, Simsbury, Connecticut
By Anne Staley
Recycling is a state law in Connecticut. Everyone – from individuals to institutions – is required by law to separate their recyclables from regular trash. But instead of looking on the state as the enforcer, we need to consider it our partner helping us achieve our recycling goals and stay on the right side of the law.
We all must think of ourselves as model citizens of our country and our state. We pay our taxes, we follow rules, we help the community, we show up for jury duty, we never break the law…wait a minute….never break the law? Is that correct now? Before you say, “of course,” consider this: every time you fail to separate your recyclable trash from your solid municipal waste in Connecticut, you’re breaking the law!
Connecticut may be one of the least extensive states in the country, but within its small borders rural areas and tiny towns co-exist in complete harmony with large industrial cities. It’s a state where architectural masterpieces steeped in history make a sharp contrast to modern-day urban skyscrapers. It’s a state where rolling hills, thick forests, horse farms, and white sandy beaches dot the landscape.
Recycling in Connecticut
The way solid trash is disposed in the state of Connecticut has gone an overhaul of sorts over the last couple of decades. A lot of it had to do with the closing of landfills in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of which failed to meet the modern sanitary regulations and posed humongous health hazards.
In an effort to better manage its solid waste, the state adopted a solid waste management hierarchy that laid out first source reduction followed by recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and finally land filling as the preferred methods to handle trash.
What: CT NOFA's annual Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference provides information about agricultural practices, marketing, planning and management for those who are establishing a new form or are transitioning to organic production. Attendees have access to valuable support and resources as well as a unique opportunity to interact with knowledgeable experts and established farmers, and they can connect to other beginning farmers from their area. The 2014 lineup includes presentations from Patrick Horan of Waldingfield Farm, Marjorie Glover of Happy Family Farm, Kip Kolesinskas from the American Farmland Trust, Eero Ruutilla an Sustainable Agriculture Specialist for UCONN Cooperative Extension, Mark Rutkowski of Urban Oaks Farm, Erin Pirro of Farm Credit East, and CT NOFA Board Member Debra Sloane of Sloane Farm.
When: Saturday, January 18th 8AM - 3:30PM
Where: Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT
Lunch will be provided, as well as opportunities for attendees to network with one another. A limited number of scholarships are available to beginning farmers with less than 10 years of farming experience who would otherwise have difficulty attending. Registration for the conference is $40 for CT NOFA Members and students and $50 for Non-Members. To register, apply for a scholarship or for more information, visit[[http:ctnofa.org|ctnofa.org]] and click onGetting Started in Organic Farming Conference, or call the CT NOFA office at 203.308.2584.
Who: Moms Clean Air Force
What: Start the new year with a discussion of clean air and the vital importance of EPA action to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants.
This year Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Moms Clean Air Force will be urging EPA to issue protective standards cutting the carbon pollution from power plants – our nation’s single largest source of climate-disrupting emissions.
When: 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Where: Follow #cleanairmoms, @cleanairmoms or @GinaEPA on Twitter live on January 8 at 2pm ET to join the conversation.
Find more information on this event click here.
When: December 16th 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: University of Connecticut Storrs Campus, Rome Ballroom, Gilbert Road Extension, Mansfield, Conn.
About: The University of Connecticut and the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. will be hosting a forum on biodiesel fuels. The forum will include panel discussions from policymakers and top biodiesel producers on the latest innovations, applications, and potential future uses and benefits of biodiesel for the economy and the environment. The forum will also include a poster session, network opportunities with local biodiesel producers and distributors, and a tour of UConn's Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering biofuels testing facility. General registration $50. Student registration $20.
Info: Register online.
Who: This opportunity is supported by a partnership of many organizations, including: The Alliance for Sound Area Planning, Audubon Connecticut, Connecticut Land Conservation Council, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Essex Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Old Saybrook Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land.
What: SHORELINE RESIDENTS HAVE HEARD THE TERMS high-biomass, vernal pool, bio-diversity, and, thanks to state Rep. Phil Miller D-Essex, have tried to imagine homes built on a “giant, wet, rocky sponge.” These terms and phrases were passionately used during the 15-year struggle against River Sound Development LLC’s plans for the 1,000 acre forest known as The Preserve.
But private ownership has limited the public’s opportunity to experience the Preserve on a personal level and “get lost in the woods awhile,” as Chris Cryder of Save the Sound puts it. Only a few people have had the chance to lose themselves on the Preserve’s trails, see bobcat tracks in the snow, vernal pools fill in the spring, hear a wood frog chorus, or look out across Pequot Swamp from a rock ledge after the leaves have turned and fallen – until now.
When: December 15 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Park and Meet at the M&J bus lot at 130 Ingham Hill Road, Old Saybrook for the shuttle bus to the trailhead.
Questions: Chris Cryder, Save The Sound/Connecticut Fund for the Environment, 860-395-7016, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information visit: The Preserve: Take a hike
by Ben Hastings
Earlier this month, the Burns & Hammond team had the opportunity to spend the weekend with 22 13 to 18 year olds from East Harlem, to conduct a Sustainability Base Camp field trip to various different sites in Boston! This was a truly fascinating experience, not only for the newly crowned Eco-Champions, but for myself and the organizers as well.
Our day began at The Food Project in Roxbury, MA, where we all got the opportunity to explore their multitude of lush, community gardens. This is where the kids could see a real revitalization that was made in a low income neighborhood. It was incredible to observe the high level of interest in some of their eyes as we walked through the neighborhood that had plentiful green gardens full of delicious vegetables scattered throughout a concrete jungle. Thanks to our gracious hosts at The Food Project, all of the burning questions asked were answered thoroughly, along with ideas for instituting similar projects in their own East Harlem community.
The next stop was a much needed lunch at Haley House, a non-profit, community based organization. Not only is Haley House a great spot to pick up a fresh, local meal, but the cafe strives to have a positive community impact by helping employees build new skills and safer neighborhoods. That being said, the food was secondary to the story we heard from the catering manager Jeremy, who is a significant part of the Haley House’s success. He spoke to the Eco-Champions about how his life on the street got him into jail, but he was able to turn his life around by helping his community any way he could. I think that this was important for the students to tune into because it was a real life example of a person who has a similar background, that ended up making it in the “green industry.”
Finally before we trekked back to the hotel for the night, we made a stop at the largest wind turbine testing facility in the nation! Thanks to Executive Director Rahul Yarala, the tour of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center included an overview of wind energy as a whole, the process by which wind turbines are constructed and an in depth look at the rigorous testing of the turbines they do in order to make sure they will be able to withstand any outdoor conditions. As someone who has always been interested in and studied alternative energy, being in the heart of a facility that is striving to be a leader in wind was amazing. It also seemed like an eye-opening experience for the students because it was a concrete example of what people are doing on a larger scale to become energy independent and sustainable.
The next day consisted of strolling through the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts' Local Food Festival, where hundreds of vendors lined the streets of Boston selling bread, veggies, ice cream and so much more. The local food movement has really been taking off over the past few years, and this was a perfect example of how it has. These farms and stores of the Boston area graciously gave out delicious samples of their products, allowing everyone to try just about everything!
Unfortunately, this was the last stop on our trip. As the Burns & Hammond team said goodbyes to the Eco-Champions, I had expected to feel a bit of sadness as our time together was over. Instead, I felt a sense of relief that these students had the opportunity to go on a trip like this, and knew that this had really hit home for many of them. It might be wishful thinking to expect all 22 students to go on and eventually become green collared professionals, but hearing the questions they asked, and inspired thoughts about careers that came out of many were enough to make me to believe that this was a positive experience for all. This Sustainability Base Camp was just a building block that added to their environmental awareness, but one that provided a solid foundation due to its real life relatability for these Eco-Champions.
What: Solarize Newtown is celebrating its first installation of residential solar panels, using the Solarize Connecticutsm approach to community solar adoption. The installation will take place on Saturday, November 9th, at the home of David Stout. Astrum Solar, the official installer for Solarize Newtown, will host the event.
Since Solarize Newtown launched in September, more than 70 Newtown homeowners have asked for solar home assessments to see if their homes would be a good fit for solar. The more residents who participate in the program, the more the price drops, with all residents receiving the lowest possible price for their installation no matter when they sign up for the program. In addition, if Newtown reaches 100 installations, Astrum Solar will donate $25,000 worth of solar panels for a Newtown civic building.
When: Saturday, November 9, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Stout Residence – 9 Grand Place – Newtown, CT
More information about Solarize Newtown, including upcoming workshops, can be found by visiting www.solarizect.com/Newtown. For additional information on Solarize Connecticut or Solarize Newtown, contact Chelsey Saatkamp as shown above.
Who: A MetroPool event featuring Steven Wysemuller, IBM’s Global Services Leader for Environmental Affairs & Compliance, John Lyons, President of MetroPool, Dani Glaser and Scott Fernqvist, co-organizers of the Westchester Green Business Challenge.
What: Steven will discuss IBM’s competitive grant program – The Smarter Cities Challenge - and the integral role that transportation and mobility play in creating sustainable communities.
John Lyons will provide opening remarks and preview the 30-year old organization’s strategic direction that responds to the new priorities and emerging opportunities within the corporate and community mobility marketplace.
Dani Glaser and Scott Fernqvist will also provide updates on their highly successful sustainability best practices business initiative for Westchester County.
When: November 20th 4:30pm – 6:00pm
Where: IBM Learning Center 20 Old Post Road Armonk, NY 10504
Networking and Refreshments - Immediately Following
Nominations are being accepted for the 2014 Green Awards, presented by Morris Media Group. The Green Awards recognize businesses, non-profits, and individuals that are leading the local fight to protect the environment while also creating a sustainable social and economic community.
Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2013. Winners will be profiled in the March/April issues of Bedford Magazine, Fairfield Magazine, Litchfield Magazine, Ridgefield Magazine, and Wilton Magazine. Winners will be notified by January 15, 2014.
Nominations are being accepted in three categories:
1. Businesses or non-profit organizations whose primary focus is producing or selling innovative green products, providing innovative green services, and/or promoting a green lifestyle.
2. Businesses or non-profit organizations, though not a producer or seller of green products or services, that have significantly incorporated green practices into their culture and operations.
3. Individuals who are actively promoting and living a green lifestyle.
To be considered, businesses and non-profits must be based in Fairfield County, Litchfield County, or Westchester County. Individuals must have their primary residence in the above areas.
To nominate, follow this link and fill out the information!
Recently, the Wilton Library was graced with an appearance by Jon Bowermaster, oceans expert, award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker and adventurer extraordinaire for an interview conducted by international documentary photographer Daryl Hawk. Thanks to Wilton Go Green, many of those in the Wilton area got the opportunity to hear about the life of Jon, as well as the many projects he has been involved with over the years including The Oceans 8 Project. He touched on his childhood growing up in the midwest and having never been on a plane before, all the way up to his experience being at the forefront of today’s fracking issue, primarily in New York State.
Many of us have that one moment in our lives where we realize what the natural environment means to us. I managed to ask him if there was a particular instance in his life where he realized his calling at the end of the interview. To my surprise he couldn’t think of one, but rather it was a multitude of different experiences that allowed his interest to grow.
Jon started out his journalism career as a sports writer, but switched gears shortly after and pursued a job writing for National Geographic. At the time, National Geographic wasn’t nearly as large and influential as it is today. It was interesting to hear about how he got to observe the evolution of the organization go from a few long haired young people into a worldwide production. The magazine started off as primarily content driven with a lot of story telling pieces from around the world. Jon was sent on his first assignment to Antarctica to cover a dogsledding race, and the rest is history, as he would soon become a leader within the organization.
Jon is an environmentalist, whose fascinating experiences have been an inspiration for many who have ever seen his films or read his articles. The Oceans 8 Project, probably his most well-known work, is a film series that follows around Jon and his National Geographic team in sea kayaks to parts of the world that are rarely seen. Along the way he educates himself and viewers through the exploration of environmental issues in these areas, their cultures and histories. I use the word “exploration” with caution though, as Jon Bowermaster scoffs at the idea of being called an explorer. He explained in the interview that he is uncomfortable with the label because almost anybody, even a couch potato, can be an “explorer” with internet and technology making it easier to see whats going on around the world. “Adventurer” is what he prefers, and I would have to agree, as his work strongly demonstrates that.
One of the questions that I, along with many I’m sure had in their minds was why kayaks? The answer was compelling because it had to do with making the locals in the remote areas of the world feel more comfortable and accepting of Jon and his team. Jon noted that his project would be more difficult, if say they had come in via plane or a motorboat. This idea payed off, and led to an intriguing finding by Jon: People who live by the sea are united, in that what happens in one ocean, will inevitably impact another. Overfishing, global warming and acidification effects everyone no matter what religion, race or region. Jon has seen this in ALL parts of the world.
Adventurer Jon Bowermaster’s career is one that many of us only dream about having. Achieving respect and striving for unity between people of all cultures, while also working to improve environmental quality is truly inspiring to me. I urge you check him out and see for yourself what Jon Bowermaster has to offer.
To find out more information about Jon, The Oceans 8 Project and his newest anti-fracking initiatives visit jonbowermaster.com
by Heather Burns
I first met Peter Fusaro, owner, Preferred Builders at a Fairfield County GreenDrinks event that I organized. As we chatted, I remember thinking that Peter wasn't your typical building guy. Unlike many, he was interested in and committed to figuring out how the built environment relates to creating sustainable and resilient communities.
Like most eco-entrepreneurs, Peter is wired to persist until he is successful. And as a winner of the CT Zero Energy Challenge, he's well on his way. The Zero Energy Challenge is Connecticut's premier competition to build homes that consume almost no energy. Homes that produce energy on-site. Homes with cleaner air. Advanced designs and integrated systems that are changing the way we think about residential construction.
Who: Wolfworks Inc.
What: What's it like to live in a home that produces more energy than it uses? After a year living in the first certified Passive House in CT the Honig family in Harwinton is inviting you to come see their home and hear what its like to live there. Their home won the 2013 CT Net Zero Challenge and was described by Enoch Lenge of the CT Energy Efficiency Fund as, "the most efficient and highest performing house we've ever seen." While the energy savings are remarkable, this home is bright, open, and exc
eptionally comfortable without relying on complicated equipment, though it does make smart use of technology.
When: Saturday, October 5th. 10 AM - 2 PM
Where: Town Line Rd. New Hartford, CT.
FOLLOW DIRECTIONS TO TOWN LINE ROAD IN NEW HARTFORD
(GPS systems go to the wrong place if you use the actual address!)
Who: The 18th Annual National Solar Tour with People’s Action for Clean Energy and Sierra Club volunteers.
What: A Canton home with a large solar electric installation and exciting new heating and cooling technologies will be open for free tours. A new 2013 “Solarize Canton” photovoltaic installation features 18 Sunpower 250-watt panels which are leaders in the industry and are more than 20 percent efficient. The Daikin super-efficient air source heating, cooling and humidity-controlling system uses no conventional fuel, greatly reducing energy consumption.
When: Saturday, October 5 - 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Where: To reach the home, turn north onto Lawton Road at the intersection of routes 44 and 177. Travel for .8 mile, bearing left at the fork. Turn right at the top of the hill onto the dirt driveway and follow the parking signs, or park on Lawton Road.