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.
Who: The Friends of Ambler Farm
What: The Friends of Ambler Farm have made it the farm’s mission to celebrate Wilton’s agrarian roots through active-learning programs, sustainable agriculture, responsible land stewardship, and historic preservation. Ambler Farm Day, an important fundraiser which helps sustain educational programming, is back for a 13th year! Bring the entire family to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at Wilton’s community farm.
When: 12:00pm-4:00pm (Rain or shine)
Where: Ambler Farm 257 Hurlbutt Street, Wilton, CT.
$20/family. $10/seniors. A free shuttle bus will run from Cannondale train station.
The farm has their weekly stand at 257 Hurlbutt Street Saturdays through October from 9am-2pm. Their produce is also sold at the Wilton Chamber of Commerce Farmer’s Market at 224 Danbury Road from 12:30 – 5pm on Wednesdays through October.
Where: Greenwich Point Park, Shore Rd, Greenwich, CT 06830
What: An empowering day of exciting speakers, expert parenting panels, wellness vendors, and so much more. Registration includes all speakers, panels, the exhibit hall, and a gourmet lunch! Keynote speakers are Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist, expert on mindful living, and author of the award-winning book, “The Conscious Parent,” and Jeffery Smith, Renowned advocate and expert on GMOs, international bestselling author and filmmaker, and executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology. Other speakers include Andrea Donsky, Laurie Evans, Barbara Loe Fisher, Philip Memoli, and Lawrence Rosen.
When: Saturday, October 12, 2013, 8:30 am-4:30 pm
Where: Sheraton Crossroads Hotel, 1 International Blvd, Mahwah, NJ
$95 per person, $85 for HMN members. Register now at http://annualconference.holisticmoms.org/
What: We hope you can make the time to visit another unique Net Zero Home this Sunday afternoon. Last year Wolfworks designed and built the home that won the 2012 CT Net Zero Challenge. We're back this year with a new home in Farmington that will produce more energy than it uses on an annual basis! We call this a Net Zero Home. This is a special chance to see how we apply Passive House design principles to achieve this remarkable performance. Come inside and take a look around before we close up the walls. See and experience the difference.
When: Sunday 9/22 from 12-3 PM - Rain or Shine!
Where: 17 Metacomet Rd. Farmington, CT. 06030
More information online about the presentations, tours and what you'll learn at the house.
What: The final farm to table event. For $75.00 per person, you can warm the palate with a welcome cocktail and sampling of small bites, followed by a family-style meal ripe with the season’s finest local ingredients, custom cocktails and wine parings presented by Bootleg Greg and an all-you-can-indulge dessert bar. The menus for the series – much like the restaurant’s farm to table philosophy – focuses on local ingredients, sustainable products, and responsible farming. The menu will be inspired by the farms fresh offerings that day.
When: September 21st, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Parallel Post Restaurant 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull Marriott.
Tickets to Farm-to-Trumbull are $75.00 per person plus tax and 18% gratuity and must be purchased in advance.
RSVP: email@example.com or call 203.380.6380.
For more information about Parallel Post Restaurant visit them online.
Who: Elm City Cycling and Cold Spring School
What: Free breakfast for all bicyclists & pedestrians!
When: Friday, September 20th. 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Where: Pitkin Plaza, Orange Street between Chapel & Court Streets, New Haven, CT.
What: A 1-day celebration of music and sustainability! Expect a lot of folk music, workshops, delicious food, unique vendors and plenty of family fun. The CT Folk Festival and Green Expo is dedicated to creating an unforgettable festival experience with an emphasis on sustainability and earth-friendly practices including a zero waste plan and water fill stations.
When: September 7th, 11 AM - 10 PM
Where: Edgerton Park, New Haven, CT
For more information, check out CT Folk online.
by Benjamin Hastings
On August 26-28 2013, sustainability leaders representing 50+ companies active in the sports industry gathered together in Brooklyn, New York, for the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Founded in February 2010, the Green Sports Alliance is a non-profit organization that brings together different levels of sports teams, venue representatives and sustainability experts.
There were a wide range of attendees -- from governmental agencies and environmental organizations such as EPA and NRDC to product companies such as Liberty Bottleworks and Electronic Recyclers International. Not to mention the incredible lineup of featured speakers including, Andrew Ference of the Edmonton Oilers; Bob Nutting Chairman of the Board for the Pittsburgh Pirates; and Andrew Winston, founder of Winston Eco Strategies, just to name a few.
As a recent graduate, attending a conference with hundreds of professionals who have been successful in the sustainability field - one that I myself are trying to break into - was pretty overwhelming at first. That quickly changed as I started to converse with a multitude of representatives from a lot of different companies. Everyone was eager to share their stories about how they came to be in the sustainability world, and how it relates to sports.
I learned about a wide range of projects related to the sports world, including the revamping of arenas into LEED certified buildings, recycling programs at stadiums, and the inclusion of compostable utensils and containers to organization’s food programs. In fact, the competition between teams has moved from on the field, to off the field initiatives -- including who is recycling the most or who is saving the most energy. I would have to say that this kind of rivalry has the potential to benefit everyone!
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend a couple days at The Green Sports Alliance Summit, and to learn a lot about some initiatives business and sports teams are doing to reduce their impact on the environment. Before attending this event, I had no idea how the sports world and the sustainability industry were intertwined, even as an avid sports fan. It was really amazing to see how the greening of sports is beginning to take over nationwide, and I hope to see more sports organizations tap the wisdom of the sustainable businesses I met at the conference into their practices in the future!
What: Jon Bowermaster has been traveling the world on behalf of the National Geographic Society studying up close the relationship between man and nature, specifically focused on water issues. His 10-year-long Oceans 8 project took him and his teams around the world by sea kayak, with stops on every continent to report on environmental issues. In the past four years his filmings have taken him to Antarctica, the Galapagos, southern Louisiana and his own backyard in New York's Hudson Valley, where he's focused on the fight over fracking.
When: September 19th, 7:00-8:30 PM.
Where: The Wilton Library. 137 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT.
Registration is recommended.
You can find registration forms, and more information online.
Who: Bike Walk Connecticut
What: The tour is a fun, family-friendly, leisurely ride that welcomes cyclists of all abilities to explore our capital city's diverse neighborhoods, architectural and cultural gems and parks by bicycle.
Riders may choose to ride a 10-, 25- or 40-mile route. Attractions across each route vary, however, some of the highlights along the way may include: Bushnell Park, the Soldier & Sailors Memorial Arch, the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Mark Twain House, the Butler-McCook House and Gardens, the Colt building, the Bushnell, Riverside Park, Keney Park, Pope Park, The Hartford Circus Fire Memorial, Trinity College, Charter Oak Landing, the Artist Collective, Goodwin Park, Cedar Hill Cemetery, Elizabeth Park and more!
When: Saturday, September 21, 2013. Check-in and late registration: 7-8 a.m. Opening ceremonies: 8:45 a.m. Ride leaves: 9 a.m. Ride returns on your own schedule.
Where: Bushnell Park in Hartford
More information and registration is available online.
Bring the whole family to Quassy's annual GreenFest and enjoy food, green living vendors and discounted park tickets to kick off the fall season!
Who: Quassy Amusement Park
What: Quassy Amusement Park will be receiving a “green makeover.” 10 bands will provide additional entertainment and up to 50 vendors will be promoting green, healthy, holistic, organic, sustainable and energy efficient living.
When: September 7-8th, 2013
Where: Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, CT
For more information, visit the website.
Who: Carol Haskins of the Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition
What: A tour of Manville Kettle, a 6.5 acre Flanders Nature Center & Land Trust property in Woodbury, will be given focused on the "kettle" land formation of the property believed to have formed during the Ice Age. This short and easy hike is a great opportunity to get the family outside and learn a little about the land around us! (Cost: $12 for members, $15 for nonmembers)
When: Tuesday, July 30th at 7:00pm
Where: Woodbury Middle School on Judson Avenue in Woodbury, CT
Who: Betsy Williams
What: Come celebrate Garden Fairies with Betsy Williams! Featuring locally grown food and wine, enjoy a delicious evening with Betsy Williams as she shares her impressive knowledge and experience of history, plant lore, and seasonal celebrations. (Cost: $35)
When: Saturday, August 3rd at 7:00pm
Where: Sugar House
Who: Maggie Howell and the Wolf Conservation Center
What: An afternoon viewing of the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Bob Landis' movie In the Valley of the Wolves will be held at the New Morning Market. Come join to learn more about the fascinating reintroduction of a wolf pack to Yellowstone's beautiful national park as the entire park is reshaped and continue the learning with a discussion led by Maggie Howell of the Wolf Conservation Center. (Cost: $6.00. Includes organic popcorn!)
When: Tuesday, August 6th at 6:30pm
Where: New Morning Market, 129 Main St., Woodbury CT
Who: Tour Guide Dave Farber, owner of Connecticut Outdoors
What: Enjoy a beautiful afternoon on the water of Bantam River and learn kayaking basics, how kayaks are designed and built, paddle information, and kayak safety with Dave Farber for a fun and educational adventure!
When: Sunday, August 11th at 2:00pm
Where: Meet at the boat launch in Litchfield on Whites Woods Rd.
Who: Dana and Kenny Assard
What: Learn about how to begin raising chickens, sheep, cows, goats, and other farm animals in your own backyard! Dana and Kenny Assard will lead a discussion about what they've learned during their successful years of farming at Percy Thompson to help you in your future animal raising!
When: Tuesday, August 20th at 7:00pm
Where: The Studio
by Heather Burns
One of the most enjoyable elements of my job is working with students interested in learning more about the application of climate adaptation strategies and sustainability principles in business. With more and more colleges and universities developing sustainability programs, we're fortunate to have many young people reaching out to CT GreenScene and Burns & Hammond to get involved. Annie is one of those shining stars who not only thinks outside the box, but quickly integrates complex information into a solid framework for problem solving - and then delivers.
It's my pleasure to introduce her to our readers...and here's what Annie Weis says about how and why she found herself interested in making a difference.
"I came into freshman year at Skidmore thinking that I would be interested in being an Environmental Studies major after completing and AP Environmental Science class my senior year in high school. Sure enough, after taking the Environmental Studies intro class first semester, I was hooked. Something about pursuing this major puzzled me though; I don’t have a dying love for animals, I don’t particularly like camping, I kill every insect I come across in my house, and I don’t own Teva’s. So why is this path so appealing to me? It wasn’t until became interested in business my sophomore year that I really understood.
To me, life is about responsibility. I like to think of myself as a responsible person and as I got older it became apparent that all of my actions, in one way or another, had an effect on someone (or something) else. Environmental studies became a way for me to look at responsibility and how people were (or in most cases weren’t) being responsible. I decided to dive directly in to a career centered around being responsible and somehow convincing others to do the same.
The addition of business to my schooling was a significant turning point. I decided to go into businesses classes with an open mind and not let my environmental background impact my thinking, but sure enough, I couldn’t separate the two. I realized the realm of business had incredible potential for making environmental changes and finally came to the conclusion that I wanted to pursue the combination of these interests.
Burns & Hammond and the Boston GreenScene and CT GreenScene blogs have allowed me to begin to pursue these dreams. With many ongoing projects on the Burns & Hammond plate, I have been involved with countless interesting and important projects that have exposed me to a wide range of issues related to all elements of sustainability. This work has allowed me to gain valuable experience in the fields of environmental studies and business that I will undoubtedly shape my future and create a solid foundation for a lifelong career in this field."
Come spend a weekend learning about the newest breakthroughs in green technology while enjoying food, entertainment, and over 150 fun exhibits that the entire family (especially the kids!) can enjoy!
Who: Taylor Farm Park
What: A two-day green living family festival that will include presentations on the newest in green technology, renewable energy, and eco-cars. There will also be music, food (including organic ice cream and pizza made from local ingredients), children’s activities (face painting, petting zoo), 150 exhibits and more.
When: September 14th (10:00am-4:00pm) and 15th (11:00am- 4:00pm)
Where: Taylor Farm Park in Norwalk, CT.
Friday and Saturday, June 14th and 15th
$35.00 to Register
21 and Up
This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate beverage producers who pull together local ingredients to make ciders, mead, artisan beverages, and brews. This event is a huge fundraiser for the Sustainable Business Network and all of New England is encouraged to join in the fun. In addition to unlimited 2 ounce tastes tests of the locally brewed and cultivated beverages, people are welcome to taste tests of locally produced food from local companies such as Taza Chocolates and Valicenti Organico. Local ingredients from cranberries to hops will be presented by experts in the beverage industry. Moreover, for the first time ever, there will be a presentation of a hyper-local home brew showcase that will celebrate home brewing and brewing with locally grown ingredients, an experience that will encourage local brewers in the New England region by showing them the resources that are available to them. This event runs in three different sessions that can be mixed and matched at will during registration. Any over the age of 21 is encouraged to register for what is sure to be an exciting and enlightening experience.
An Overview of the Sessions
Session I: Hyper-Local Home Brew Showcase Night & Brewfest
Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Session II: Hyper-Local Brewfest
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3:00 - 6:00pm
Session III: Hyper-Local Brewfest
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 7:00 - 10:00pm
To register for the event and learn more information on the different sessions: http://hyperlocalbrew.eventbrite.com/
Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears
By JUSTIN GILLIS
Published: May 10, 2013
The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.
Scientific instruments showed that the gas had reached an average daily level above 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.
The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.
“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.
Ralph Keeling, who runs another monitoring program at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, said a continuing rise could be catastrophic. “It means we are quickly losing the possibility of keeping the climate below what people thought were possibly tolerable thresholds,” he said.
Virtually every automobile ride, every plane trip and, in most places, every flip of a light switch adds carbon dioxide to the air, and relatively little money is being spent to find and deploy alternative technologies.
To read more, click here.