What: How does upcycling compare to recycling? How do shipping containers become hydroponic farms and old t-shirts turn into quilts? How does upcycling creates funding for non-profits and charities?
Join us to hear from a panel of Boston entrepreneurs and experts who are transforming trash into treasure!
Brooke Nash: Branch Chief, Municipal Waste Reduction, Mass Dept of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)
Brad McNamara: Founder of Freight Farms, a local company that takes old shipping containers and upcycles them into hydroponic farms
Ross Lohr: Founder of Project RePAT, an innovative textiles upcycling company, with experience in international textiles reuse markets
Julie Shane: Founder of Causes International, an organization that allows for easy means of upcycling electronics and e-waste that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and municipal governments
When: Tuesday, September 16 from 6-7:30 PM
Where: District Hall, 75 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210
What: Got stuff to give away? Want to enjoy a beautiful day? Either host or attend a yard sale with your neighbors from all across Boston - just click add event and follow the instructions!
When: Saturday, September 13th and Sunday, September 14th- check specific yard sale for exact times
Where: Check out where the closest yard sale is to you 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.
FLEXcon’s collaboration with the Green Harbors Project and the many startups, universities and other research organizations to which it offers counsel and resources, helps bring innovative concepts like this to life. With the appropriate collaboration and experienced technical specialists, researchers can more quickly push boundaries within their respective fields and open the door to innovation.
UMass Boston and the Green Harbors Project have several research and community-oriented projects underway with more and more momentum being built in their wake.
What: Join us on Sunday, September 14, 2014 for the 5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival, one of Boston’s “Best of the New” events in 2010 according to Boston Globe Magazine. We’re excited to announce that the festival will be held right in the heart of the city on the Rose Kennedy Greenway!
Grounded on the SBN principals of green, local and fair, this trail-blazing event provides an opportunity for local restaurants, chefs, farmers, fisherman, producers, sponsors and non profits to connect with one another and with over 30,000 participants. This zero waste, vibrant, well organized outdoor event offers a full day of diverse local foods, fun loving music and art. It is the premier event for restaurants and food producers promoting local food and eaters seeking to support them.
For more information and participation as a vendor, sponsor or volunteer, please go directly to the participation section of the Boston Local Food Festival website.
When: Saturday, September 14th, 11 AM - 5 PM
Where: Rose Kennedy Greenway
What: Bring your kids over this summer to the Learning Garden to discover the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors of the farm. Youth from grades 4-7 learn how organic farming practices benefit people, communities, and environment. Each day of the week youth will tend the garden, explore different habitats on the farm, play games, and prepare and share a healthy snack together in our solar powered kitchen.
When: August 19th - August 22nd 9am - 2:30pm
Where: Waltham Fields Community Farm
240 Beaver St.
Waltham, MA 02452
For registration and pricing info, click here.
What: Boston GreenFest 2014 is a fully inclusive festival filled with fun learning experiences to address the important changes we need to make in our daily lives and our neighborhoods.
All of our neighborhoods will come together from across Greater Boston to find solutions to make our city a healthy sustainable place to live. People from all over New England are invited to join us. Boston GreenFest 2014 brings many opportunities to the heart of our city to learn about green products, services, ideas, networks, and jobs.
There will be interactive exhibits, workshops, presentations, and special features: continuous live entertainment on four stages, Wine & Beer Garden, lots of EcoFashion and ecoArt, BostonGreenFilmFest, One Gallon ChallengeTM Showcase, lots of great kids' activities, delicious food, and much more. This year we are hosting the Gubernatorial EcoForum: Envisioning the Commonwealth's Future, SAVERS EcoFashion Show, and the Lewis Mumford Award Ceremony. We will also launch the Boston Kids HaikuGarden Parade!
Find out how to save money and make your home efficient. Buy local fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. Explore interesting vendors of unique crafts and products. Check out new clean technologies and green inventions. Be amazed at how we can begin to make a difference with small changes to our own lives and how we can build on these changes with our neighbors. Let's learn and celebrate together!
See the full schedule HERE!
When: Friday, August 15th at noon through Sunday, August 17th at 5 pm.
Where: Boston City Hall Plaza
What: NOFA will hold their 40th Annual Summer Conference at UMass Amherst.
The brightest growers, thinkers and activists in the organic movement will come together for this weekend of captivating workshops, enlivening speakers, farm tours and fun.
When: August 8th - 10th
Where: UMASS Amherst
Early bird registration ends Friday, July 11
What: Seasonal farmers markets now have blueberries arriving fresh from Massachusetts farms. At the Greenway farmers markets on Blackstone Street and in Dewey Square this week, farmers from New Braintree, Northbridge, Middleboro, and Pepperell will feature the freshest blueberries of the season, a sweet summer snack you will not want to miss.
“Now that blueberries are arriving at the market to join our strawberries and raspberries, we’re truly at the peak of berry season,” said Mimi Hall, Operations Manager for the Boston Public Market. “Blueberries are one of only three berries native to Massachusetts, and the only way to truly understand the tastiness of these fully ripe berries is to try them all for yourself.”
When & Where: The Greenway Market is open Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. outside of the Haymarket T Station at 136 Blackstone Street, right beside the future home of the permanent, year-round Boston Public Market. The Dewey Square Market is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. on the Rose Kennedy Greenway across from South Station. Both markets have just-picked produce, fresh seafood, newly baked breads and pastries, pasture raised meats, and specialty items from more than a dozen local farmers and producers.
What: Cut your water bill and make your garden more resilient. We will investigate the use of mulches, watering methods, and rain barrels to reduce water needs in the garden.
When: Saturday,July 26th, 9:30 – 10:45 a.m
Where: West Springfield Community Garden, 106-116 West Springfield St., South End
Cost: Workshop is FREE and open to the public.To register,email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-542-7696
Who: Julie Muszalski, Sustainability Professional, CAPACCIO
John Fischer, Branch Chief, Commercial Waste Reduction & Waste Planning, MassDEP
Moderator: Bill Potochniak, Practice Area Leader, Healthcare and Education, CAPACCIO
What: On January 31, 2014, the Patrick Administration announced the final statewide commercial food waste disposal ban regulations. The ban will divert food waste away from solid waste disposal streams and into waste to energy-generating and composting facilities, as of October 1, 2014.
With just a few months to go before it is effective, this ban will impact any organization that generates more than one ton of organic material per week. Those that will be affected include hospitals, colleges and universities, large corporations, and food service and processing companies. These organizations will be banned from disposing, transferring for disposal, or contracting for disposal any commercial organic waste (i.e., food or vegetative waste) by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).
When: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT
Where: Reserve your Webinar seat now at: https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/585581263
Space is limited!
What: A Gloucester Wind Turbine Tour! People of all ages are welcome to join us for breakfast and to learn about the wind turbines (and take a peek inside a turbine tower!) Speakers on renewable energy will be present, including members of the Gloucester community who will explain how the turbines benefit their community.
This event is free and open to the public. RSVP is required by Wednesday, June 25.
Where: Blackburn Industrial Park in Gloucester, MA
When: Saturday, June 28 at 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Why: Mass Energy offers the only tax-deductible green electricity option in Massachusetts (see www.massenergy.org/renewable-energy). The Gloucester wind turbines are two of the most productive wind turbines in the state, and Mass Energy purchases green power from them on behalf of our members. During our wind turbine tours, we aim to educate the public about the positive impacts that local wind power provides for the community.
RSVP: Get your tickets by Wednesday, June 25 for this free event at http://gloucesterwind2014.eventbrite.com or by contacting Marinna Teixeira at email@example.com or (617) 524-3950 ext. 142.
What: The sisters of Mount St. Mary’s Abbey are dedicated to renewable energy and host wind, geothermal and solar on their property. Their 100kW wind turbine supplies PP&L/Mass Energy members with green power. At the tour, you'll learn more about the turbine and be able to go inside the tower. Additionally, we'll see one of two solar fields (which collectively add up to 8 MW of solar power) that the sisters host in partnership with the town of Franklin and Kearsage Energy.
And to top it off, there will be a visit to the Abbey's gift shop to sample (and purchase if desired) their homemade candy.
When: Saturday, June 14, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Where: Mount St. Mary's Abbey, 300 Arnold Street, Wrentham, MA 02093
This is a free event, open to those interested in learning more about clean energy in our community! Please RSVP here.
Contact Liz with questions or for more information: Lizandra@ripower.org or 401-861-6111 x203
What:The Summit is a one-day event that’s all about empowering the Boston community to address climate change and help make Boston the greenest, most climate-prepared city in the U.S. The Summit will include world-class speakers, interactive workshops and training, the Greenovate Boston Awards Ceremony, and a Marketplace of Ideas to showcase local innovations, products, and services. The Summit provides participants with information, tools, and resources needed to take action in their communities and network with leaders to make Boston’s neighborhoods more resilient, energy efficient, and sustainable.
Participants at the Summit will also have an opportunity to provide direct input into the 2014 Climate Action Plan Update, which is due for completion by the end of the year.
We had an outpouring of great Innovation Session proposals and are very excited to announce the following sessions that have been selected for the Summit:
Where: Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, Harvard Medical School
Register here now!!
By Anjali Narang
On January 31, 2014 Deval Patrick’s Administration announced commercial food waste disposal ban regulations for Massachusetts, to come into force on October 1, 2014.The regulating agency of the ban, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), requires any entity that creates at least one ton of organic material for disposal per week to donate or re-purpose what is useable. Remaining food waste will either be sent to an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility to convert food waste into clean energy, or to composting and animal-feed operations.
The ban applies to about “1,700 businesses and institutions, including supermarkets, colleges, universities, hotels, convention centers, hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and food service and processing companies.” As it is a commercial food waste ban, it does not apply to residences or small businesses.
By diverting food waste from landfills to facilities for use as inputs to generate energy or produce compost, the waste disposal ban meets the Commonwealth’s waste reduction and clean energy production goals. “Not only will we keep useful organic materials out of landfills, the output of the AD process will power businesses and enhance our clean energy portfolio,” said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
Food Waste and Clean Energy Production
Massachusetts businesses and institutions discard 600,000 tons of organic materials annually. These organic materials, including food waste and compostable paper. comprise more than 25 percent of Massachusetts’s current waste stream after recycling and the largest fraction of remaining waste according to the MassDEP Organics Study and Action Plan. The commercial food waste disposal ban could divert up to a third of this waste from landfills and incineration to charitable organizations, animal feed operations, on-site systems, or composting or anaerobic digestion facilities as donations.
Composting can result in healthy soil amendments, and anaerobic digestion can generate clean energy. Anaerobic digestion is the process by which organics are broken down by microbes in an enclosed chamber and are converted to biogas. Biogas, in turn, can be used for heat creation in industry or electricity creation if used by generators. It can also simultaneously be used for heat and electricity creation in a combined heat and power (CHP) system, or be converted to compressed natural gas (CNG), which in turn can be used for vehicular fuel.
Waste diversion from landfills also helps reduce greenhouse emissions, as the decomposition of organic material in landfills creates methane as a by-product, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfills are actually the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., producing an equivalent of more than 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The Commonwealth has committed to reducing the waste stream by 30 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. Also relevant to the ban is the Commonwealth’s Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), passed with the objective of achieving greenhouse gas emissions reduction 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The first bans on landfilling and combustion of easily recyclable and toxic materials were introduced by the MassDEP in 1990, with additional waste bans gradually being implemented.
With help from the MassDEP and the Massachusetts Food Association, 300 supermarkets have already implemented successful food waste separation programs that save up to $20,000 annually for each location.
Some of the hurdles to food separation have included infrastructural scarcity – lack of collectors, processing facilities, sources of food waste for compost, as well as technical hurdles like lack of training and expertise. This ban is an important step to overcoming these obstacles and facilitating the creation of a marketplace for organic waste collection and processing.
Infrastructure has already been developing to facilitate the collection and diversion of banned items and other discarded items for reuse and recycling.
To ensure there is sufficient infrastructure for managing the organic material that is diverted from landfills as a result of the ban, the Patrick Administration is providing technical assistance and up to $1 million in grants to site composting and AD operations on farms and wastewater treatment plants in both the public and private sphere. The first AD grant of $100,00 has been awarded to Massachusetts Water Resources Agency (MWRA) for its wastewater treatment plant at Deer Island.
To encourage recycling and assist businesses and institutions in complying with the waste disposal bans, MassDEP also established the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts program.
The regulation will be supplemented by outreach, education, technical assistance and infrastructure development in collaboration with organics stakeholders “to ensure a smooth transition for the businesses covered by the ban,” said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmel.
The commercial food waste ban is another example of how Massachusetts’s can serve as a role model to other states, as well as the nation, in environmental regulatory initiatives. “This commercial food waste ban is just one more way Massachusetts continues to lead the way with solutions that not only save on energy and protect our environment, but also green up the bottom line,” said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (EEA).
What: Are you interested in learning from industry experts about solutions for key challenges in sustainable product design, packaging and life cycle assessment?
Please join NAEM and the Net Impact Boston (NIB) Professional Chapter for an interactive discussion with industry experts on best practices and lessons learned in driving sustainability across the product life cycle. Topics will include sustainable innovation, supply chain sustainability, life cycle assessment and consumer/customer engagement.
NAEM’s partner for this event, NIB, is the local, professional chapter of a global community of more than 50,000 professional and student leaders committed to creating positive social and environmental change the workplace and the world.
When: Thursday morning, May 29th
Registration & Networking Breakfast
Panel Discussion, Q&A
Where: Bedford Research & Development Center @ EMD Millipore Corp, 80 Ashby Road, Bedford, MA
Who: "e" Inc.
What: The Boston Enviro-Film Festival brings you the latest films on current environmental successes, struggles, activism, animations, along with investigations about energy and the sheer beauty of the natural world.
Venues across Boston will showcase special events, issues, feature films and shorts.
What: Join Dede, Container Garden extraordinaire at the Waltham Fields Community Farm (WFCF) on Saturday morning in two workshops to learn how to grow vegetables using reclaimed containers. In Container Gardening I, learn the basics, and participants will assemble one small container garden to take home with them. Come back for Container Gardening II, where you'll learn how to have more fun with your container garden and increase yield
When: Saturday, May 17th
Workshop I: Container Gardening Basics 9:00am-11:00am
Workshop II: Container Gardening Techniques 11:30am-1:00pm
Waltham Fields Community Farm
240 Beaver St.
Waltham, MA 02452
For registration and pricing info, click here.
Who: Radio 92.9 and Whole Foods Market
What: The Radio 92.9 EarthFest is usually the largest free radio station concert in Boston. The event is produced in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Past events have drawn in excess of 100,000 people.
Music on the main stage usually starts at 11:30 am, and the event will feature performances by Neon Trees, The Wailers, Morning Parade, Smallpools, and a local band that won a Battle of the Bands contest. The festival will also feature exhibits and environmental displays, staffed by sponsors and non-profit environmental organizations from New England. Each exhibitor is committed to raising awareness and offering educational information about different environmental issues facing the planet.
In addition to the musical performances on the main stage, the 2014 Radio 92.9 EarthFest will also feature once again The Kids Planet—an expanded interactive family area. The Kids Planet will feature a wide variety of musical acts and entertainment as well as environmental activities and educational displays. Musical performers will include Zumix, Steve Elci and Friends, Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys, and Little Groove. Additional activities in The Kids Planet range from face painting to healthy treats, compliments of Whole Foods Market and a variety of other vendors.
Numerous booths onsite will offer educational displays, exhibits and food sampling. The booths will be staffed by event sponsors and local environmental and non-profit organizations.
When: Saturday, May 17th
Main Stage Performers (times & lineup order may change)
11:30 am - 4:30 pm
Local Band - TBA, Smallpools, Morning Parade, The Wailers, Neon Trees
Kids Planet Performers
10:45 am - 4:30 pm
Zumix Steve Elci and Friends Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys Little Groove — Music Education for Children
Where: Hatch Shell, Esplanade Park, Boston, MA
Who: The Human Impacts Institute
What: In the U.S., there is an urgent need for improved education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM education is necessary for our country to remain a leader in the global marketplace, but more importantly, this focused education is imperative to our changing planet. Climate change has already given rise to many devastating alterations to our climate system and will continue to drastically change the world that we all know. In order to mitigate and adapt to climate change, we need to foster leaders and innovators. We need to encourage "big-thinkers" who are well versed in science and technology, who are capable of dreaming big AND designing tangible solutions to issues surrounding energy use, agriculture, sea level rise, and increased extreme weather events.
The Human Impacts Institute is traveling to Boston, Massachusetts where we will host an evening event dedicated to examining education for a changing climate. Join us for an evening of engaging discussion from a diversity of Boston's community leaders and thinkers and thought-provoking performances from local artists dedicated to shedding some light on environmental and educational issues.
Brian Swett, Chief, Environment & Energy at City of Boston
Susan Israel, The Energy Necklace Project
Hannah Sevian, Associate Professor of Chemistry at U-Mass Boston
Georg Maue, First Secretary of Climate and Energy of the Federal Republic of Germany
Xiao Xiao, Pianist and Technologist of the MIT Media Lab
David Wang, In-house Rocket Scientist at NuVu
Inspirational live performances from:
Xiao Xiao, Pianist and Technologist of the MIT Media Lab
Jimmy M. Hughes, Electronic Musician
This salon is the fifth in a creative communication series in partnership with the Transatlantic Climate Bridge of the German Embassy. As leaders in renewable energy, Germany has a lot of knowledge to share regarding successful energy policies and communication efforts. So far we have held salons in New York City, Atlanta, D.C., and Miami where we have highlighted Germany's efforts in solar technology and politics.
At the Human Impacts Institute, we inspire action for strong communities and a healthy environment through hands-on, service education, coalition building, and using arts and culture for social good. For more info:http://www.HumanImpactsInstitute.org/
When: Thursday, May 15th, 8 PM
Where: Goethe-Institut,170 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02116
Register now here!
What: Since 2000, the Charles River Watershed Association has coordinated the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup each April with a collaborative of other non-profit organizations. Volunteers participate as part of more than 100 different neighborhood, school, religious, and corporate teams, as well as individually. Our volunteers remove trash and debris including television sets, bicycles, styrofoam cups, and plastic bags located in the river and on its banks at 100 sites along the 80-mile river. At last year’s event, we estimate that we removed 50 tons of litter, making the Charles River cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful! The Charles River Cleanup is organized by a collaborative of groups interested in keeping the river and our communities clean and healthy, including Charles River Watershed Association, Charles River Conservancy, The Esplanade Association, Emerald Necklace Conservancy, Green Decade Newton, Senator Brownsberger’s Office, Waltham Land Trust and MA Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The 15th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup is a part of the American Rivers National River Cleanup.
When: Saturday, April 26th, 9AM-12PM
Where: At sites along the Charles River and its tributaries
Signup here now!!
What: Come join us on Saturday, April 26th for a fun day by the water and help to improve the Massachusetts coastline one step at a time! Net Impact Boston (NIB) will be celebrating Earth Month by participating in this year’s annual Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation "Park Serve Day."
NIB Professional Chapter members have expressed a passion for environmental issues and marine conservation. This “coastal cleanup” will provide a great opportunity to get hands-on and directly impact our state’s coastline and marine waters!
Where:Boston Area Park
When: Saturday, April 26, 2014
What: Got Earth Day plans? Bring them to District Hall and be apart of the second annual Sustainability unConferenceon on Tuesday evening, April 22nd, from 5-10PM. EcoMotion, Impact Hub Boston, MassCEC, Earthos, Greenovate Boston, Climate Reality Project, Best Bees, District Hall and many others are providing a platform for diverse sectors to riff off one another and collaborate on the intersections of sustainability and innovation. We would love to engage you/your organization as a partner, tabler, or session leader. The event is free to the public and will reflect the unique attendees who join the conversation.
What is an unConference? An unConference is an interactive event where participants propose topics and shape the agenda. There will be several planned exhibitors and thematic spaces, but the rest is up to you! Out-of-the-box ideas, idea paint walls, creative formatting, and props are encouraged. Programmed sessions will range from Sustainability in our Schools to Food Entrepreneurship, Cleantech and Eco-Districts to Beekeeping in the City, Women in Sustainability, Green Financing and many more!
When: Tuesday, April 22nd, 5-10PM
5:00: Doors open for networking reception, presentation tables, and session voting
6:00: Welcome and instructions - Sessions listed on main wall (Assembly room)
6:30-7:15: Session 1
7:20- 7:50: unKeynote
8:00-8:45: Session 2
8:45-9:30: Session 3
Where: District Hall 75 Northern Ave., Boston, MA
If you are interested in volunteering for the unConference, pleasesubmit your information here.
It’s been said many times that the next war will be fought over water. With water becoming such a valuable commodity-- from its vital role in our daily routines, to its ability to provide large-scale power-- the demand for its steady stream is quickly rising.
To raise public awareness of this critical issue, Boston Natural Area Networks, in partnership with Greenovate Boston, put on a wonderful and informative event at their office downotown this past Wednesday night, March 26th. It began with a screening of Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary entitled “FLOW: For the Love of Water,” and concluded with a panelist discussion around these salient issues.
The documentary traveled the world exploring various water-rights issues ranging from the fight against water privatization in Cochabamba, Bolivia to massive dam constructions in China. Each town’s story revealed the realities of our dwindling water supply and the political and social distresses it places on these communities. Salina also brings to our attention the “world water cartel” that is quickly usurping our global water supply and taking once natural resources-- accessible and free to everyone-- and bottling them for their own profit. Through these many stories, Salina continues to ponder the question: Can anyone really own water?
Many of these large companies have the ability to pay off town governments in order to stave off prosecution for their actions, and are therefore continuously getting away with these abusive practices. Passionate community leaders around the world are fighting back against this hydro takeover; but going up against these big companies is a tough battle. This natural resource buy-out and source of conflict has been happening with oil for quite some time, but now as people are realizing the high demand for water, the focus is shifting.
This concept of “owning water” is something our world has never quite grappled with as everyone has always viewed water as an ever flowing resource; until now. With the recent California draught, the development of extravagant cities in water scarce areas, and the fact that our population is growing exponentially, our society must start to change current water consumption habits and look into new technology before we find our environment completely drained.
Just beginning to get the audience’s feet wet in this debate about water, the three panelists discussed their own water-related projects in which they provide more sustainable solutions to these issues- most right here in Boston. The three panelists included: Bruce Fulford, President of City Soils & Greenhouse, LLC; Charlie Jewell, Director of Planning for Boston Water and Sewer Commission; and Kate Cholakis, Project Designer, Green Infrastructure Planning, Nitsch Engineering. Some examples they talked about were the Boston Architectural College Green Alley that uses porous pavement to absorb stormwater runoff, a “depaving” project in Somerville to create more green surfaces, and the move to create larger, natural buffer zones along the Charles River. Hearing about these specific ideas already happening right here in Boston was the highlight of the night for me, as it started to give me hope for tackling these colossal water issues. Although these projects are all just a start, cities across the world are beginning to invest in these more sustainable technologies.
With new technology becoming available each year, these solutions are only going to get better in finding new ways to conserve and reuse our precious water. The more we focus on developing such green infrastructure solutions, the less trouble we will run into down the road in terms of privatization and droughts.
As a final thought, I think we need to educate the public more about these issues through events and documentaries like these showcased at this event. Not only to explore how to best conserve water, but also to forecast what could happen if we run out, or if all our water becomes privatized. In a world that is about 70% water, it seems scary and improbable that this could all run out soon. But, the reality is, it very well may, and much sooner than we think.
What: It is projected that sea levels will rise two feet by mid-century and six feet by 2100. The new tideline will transform the coastal landscape of Greater Boston and increase the probability of a major storm devastating the metropolitan region.
Sasaki's exhibition Sea Change: Boston examines Boston's vulnerabilities and demonstrates proactive design strategies at the building, city, and regional scale. The exhibition will share research with the broader community in an accessible and engaging format. Events associated with the exhibition will catalyze conversations among designers, city officials, real estate leaders, academics, and community members about a specific call to action: a regional plan for the Greater Boston area.
When: Exhibit: April 7th- June 7th
Opening reception: April 16, 2014; 6pm–8pm
Symposium: April 26, 2014; 9:30am–5pm—Register here
Closing reception: June 4, 2014; time TBD
Mon–Wed: 7am–10pm; Thurs–Fri: 7am–11pm; Sat: noon–11pm; Sunday: noon–9pmWhere: District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210
Cost: All events are free; please pre-register for the April 26 symposium.
What: The fourth annual event will recognize key leadership and achievements from Alicia Barton, chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; Janet Gail Besser, vice president of policy and government affairs for the New England Clean Energy Council; Elin Swanson Katz, consumer counsel for the state of Connecticut; and Patricia Stanton, senior vice president of policy & advocacy for the Conservation Services Group. Karen Gordon Mills will deliver the keynote address. Mills is a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School and at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her work focuses on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation.
When: Monday, April 8th, 6-9 PM
Where: Lenox Hotel, 61 Exeter St., Boston.
To buy tickets, click here.
By: Rachel Quinn
In the heart of Boston sandwiched between Columbus Ave and Huntington Ave lies the greenest college campus in America—Northeastern University. In 2013, UI Green Metric World University Rankings rated Northeastern as the greenest university in America and the third greenest university in the world. The rankings were based on multiple categories including setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education. Over the past several years NU has been working tirelessly to reduce their carbon footprint and to make the Northeastern campus as eco-friendly as possible.
A perfect example of this going green initiative is the International Village building—or “IV” as the students call it—on the south west edge of campus located in Roxbury Crossing. IV is a multifunctional 21 story building including dining facilities, student housing (of 1,200 undergrads), a gym and class rooms. Although the magnitude and functionality of International Village is mind boggling, the true marvel is in the sustainable functionality inside. According to the university’s website, IV was “the first college/university dining room in the United States to earn both the 3 star certified Green Restaurant distinction and LEED Golf status from the United States Green Building Council.”
Northeastern has also made sustainability a focus in education as well. Students enrolled in the D’Amore McKim School of Business can now minor in sustainable business practices. The program brings these green enthusiasts across the globe to their choice of either Iceland or Costa Rica to perform field research in the role of sustainability in business practices and the economy. According to Graham Jones, the chemistry and chemical biology chair at Northeastern, the chemistry department is continuing to incorporate green chemistry into the curriculum. In the research sector of chemistry, Northeastern has “forged a growing partnership with the Warner Babcock Institute and Beyond Benign, two local companies that are pioneering research in green chemistry” (Jones).
Impressive, right? According to assistant director for Husky Environmental Action Team, Austin Williams, “Northeastern has a long way to go.” Although NU has already done so much for the environment, students are excited to continue this project and work towards making NU as green as possible. The battle for divestment—the process of moving away from fossil fuel energy sources—has been generating more and more support amongst advocates of sustainability, especially on college campuses. According to Williams, Northeastern does not currently have any resources to generate renewable energy on campus. Instead, the university extracts most of its energy from a natural gas burner. Divest NU is currently conducting a petition in order to both create more awareness about divesting and create a student wide referendum vote to work towards a more sustainable environment. Voting will be available to students between March 25th and March 31st of this year.
What: Kick off the growing season with BNAN! Join over 400 community and backyard gardeners for a full day of lectures, demos and hands-on workshops. Dive into your favorite gardening topics and rub elbows with agriculturalists from across the city. Plus, the perennially popular community garden awards will honor Bostonians who’ve made extraordinary contributions to our gardening community.
When: Saturday, March 29th, 11AM-4:30PM
Where: Egan Engineering/Science Research Center and Raytheon Amphitheater
120 Forsyth Street, Boston AND Northeastern University, Shillman Hall, 115 Forsyth Street, Boston
Cost: All programs are free and open to the public. For further information call BNAN at 617-542-7696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Join TBHA's Emerging Professionals Committee for an exciting professional development series featuring leaders and topics shaping Boston's waterfront.
The event is free with a donation of any amount and includes pizza, beer and wine. On March 27, 2014, we will be showing the director's cut of the award-winning documentary film Shored Up: When Human Nature and the Force of Nature Collide.
Filmmaker Ben Kalina followed residents in NJ and NC communities before and after Superstorm Sandy to illustrate the intersection among science, economics and politics.
When and Where: Equity Office is generously hosting this speaker series and providing dinner. This event is open to emerging professionals age 21-35. Networking and dinner starts at 5:30, the movie starts at 6:00.
What: Irena Salina's award-winning documentary portrays investigations into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st century - The World Water Crisis. Join Boston Natural Areas Network and others for a screening of the film “Flow: For the Love of Water,” followed by a panel discussion on innovative ways Boston residents and organizations are creating resilient gardens and harvesting rainwater in gardens and beyond.
When: Wednesday, March 26, 6:30PM-8:30PM
Where: Boston Natural Areas Network, 62 Summer Street, 2nd Floor, Downtown Crossing
Cost: Registration required by contacting 617-542-7696 email@example.com. All programs are free and open to the public.
This survey is for everyone who rides in Boston, from those who have just started riding to experienced veterans. We are eager to learn from you about how we can make Boston a safer, more inviting bike city. Your responses will help us prioritize our programs, understand cyclists' experiences and track trends over time.
This survey will likely take you 10-15 minutes. Please be assured that your responses are private and your identity will be kept completely confidential. You may choose to offer your contact information so our staff can reach out to you for a more in-depth discussion.
Thanks for your participation!
What: The 2nd Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference (UFC) is designed to advance urban farming issues ranging from farming techniques and business models to climate change adaptation and food security. The UFC contributes to short-term and long-term state-wide strategic planning for a sustainable food system in Massachusetts.
Network with Massachusetts' diverse, multi-sector stakeholders in this dynamic event that looks at current issues, emerging practices and programs, and markets that can contribute to Massachusetts' urban farming sector resiliency.
For more information, contact Rose Arruda at MDAR; Rose.Arruda@state.ma.us
When: Saturday, March 8, 2014 - 8:00am to 4:30pm
For those foodies out there (myself included) this 20 video series is definitely something to look out for in the coming months! How many "food terms" have you never heard of?
The Lexicon of Sustainability's Know Your Food short film series premieres this month on PBS Food. One film will be released every Thursday until June 19, 2014.
Can learning the meaning behind terms help change the way we buy food? ITVS and the Lexicon of Sustainability are excited to present the first short “True Cost Accounting”. Go beyond the price tag and explore the people, words, and ideas behind sustainable agriculture.
Know Your Food is a short film series that introduces consumers to key terms and principles that can help them make more informed decisions about the food they eat. Each of the 20 short films touches on an important theme in America's food system.
CALLING ALL STUDENT DESIGNERS!!
Design Museum Boston announces the Green Patriot Posters student design competition to invite Boston-area high school and college students to design their very own Green Patriot Posters-style call to action regarding climate change.
The 3 winning poster designers will each be awarded by a $600 cash prize and the posters will be added to the traveling Green Patriot Posters exhibition, starting at 315 on A in Boston, then heading to Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, and Berkeley, CA.
Deadline: March 7, 2014.
Submit your design here!
What: Save the date now for the opportunity to join community leaders, environmental advocates and activists from across New England for an exciting day of skills training, networking, and inspiration. Whether you have been to every conference or are attending for the first time, be sure not to miss this amazing opportunity to connect and grow our grassroots movement.
Check here for agenda!
When: Sunday, March 2nd, 9 AM - 5:30 PM
Where: Northeastern University's Curry Center, 346 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA
Cost: Co-sponsor: (Includes two tickets) $70, with additional tickets at $25
Full and half display tables also available for purchase
If you require a scholarship to attend, please contact Bess at 617.747.4362
Registration is now open. Buy your tickets today!
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.
What: SBN is offering its third Local Food Trade Show, designed to facilitate connections and stimulate business relationships between producers and wholesale buyers of local food, with a focus on specialty crop food products in Massachusetts. This event will feature open floor trading, as well as seminars addressing common barriers to trading. Please check out our webpage HERE for more Trade Show details.
This event is ideal for restaurants and institutional buyers interested in trading with local food suppliers and who desire to buy more locally produced products from growers, fishermen, brewers, and value added producers from Massachusetts and New England.
The Seminar Series will offer topics addressing best practices around some of the most pressing barriers to specialty crop sales in Massachusetts as identified at our previous Trade Shows, including volume/aggregation certification/liability, and cost. While both seminars are open to everyone, the first seminar from 8:30am-9:45am will mainly be targeted towards wholesale buyers and the second seminar from 12:15am-1:30pm will be geared towards producers. More information about these seminars will be available soon.
The Trade Show portion of the event will allow producers to highlight their products to potential buyers, with a focus on wholesale relationships.
When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 @ 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Where: Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115
Click HERE to register today.
What: BuildingEnergy (BE) is the most established, most cross-disciplinary renewable energy and high-performance building conference and trade show in the northeastern United States.NESEA members drive the content from questions that come up in their professional lives.
BE presents 10 to 12 areas of focus—we call them “tracks”—on renewables and high-performance building. Each track usually spans two days (Wednesday and Thursday) and comprises 90-minute sessions featuring one or more speakers. Sometimes we do a few one-day tracks. In addition are full- and half-day workshops (Tuesday) led by master practitioners working in the Northeast and beyond.
Click here for full schedule of events.
When: Tuesday March 4th - Thursday March 6th.
Where: Seaport World Trade Center, 200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02210
Cost: See here for full pricing.
What: The 2014 Net Impact Boston Career Summit is the second annual Summit that brings together local professionals, job-seekers and graduate students interested in a career with positive social or environmental impact.
The Career Summit is a collaboration among Boston area Net Impact Chapters and will feature:
Registration and Networking: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Continental breakfast will be served
Keynote Speaker: 8:30 – 9:30 a.m., Asheen Phansey, Global Head of Sustainable Innovation Lab, Dassault Systèmes (3DS)
Panel Session I: 9:30 – 10:20 a.m.
Panel 1: Opening the Boardroom Door: Shareholder Advocacy
Panel 2: Effective CSR Marketing: Aligning CSR Strategy with Brand Marketing Objectives
Panel 3: Valuing and Securing Funding for Your Startup
Coffee Break: 10:20- 10:40 a.m.
Panel Session II: 10:40 - 11:30 a.m.
Panel 4: Supply Chain: Sourcing for Sustainability
Panel 5: It's Complicated: Using Cross-Sector Collaboration to Tackle Food Waste Issues
Workshop: How to Live a Meaningful Life with a Career that Fits Your Values
Summit Expo: 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
For more background on last year’s Summit, read this blog post.
When: Friday, February 21st, 2014, 7:30 AM - 1:15 PM
Where: BU School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Cost: Look here for pricing options
Don’t miss this opportunity to build your knowledge and network for jobs that address the business for impact!
What: Ryan Chin, managing director for the City Science Initiative at MIT Media Lab and international research specialist who has developed numerous technologies, strategies, and designs to address congestion, energy inefficiency, and pollution, outlines new urban vehicle systems while highlighting possibilities for Greater Boston’s space-constrained streets. This event is part of the speaker series, Traffic Advisory, a component of Overhaul: the 2013-2014 Transportation Series, organized by the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and the Barr Foundation. Overhaul also includes the exhibition Rights of Way: Mobility and the City.
When: Thursday, February 20th, 6-8 PM
Where: Boston Society of Architects, 290 Congress Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02210
To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Traffic 2/20″ in the subject line.
What: Attention Brookline residents: Is your energy bill too high? Is your home drafty? Do you need help on maintaining your home’s energy? Then join the Brookline Chamber, Next Step Living, and Green Homes Brookline for a Brookline Home Energy Seminar in February, March or April.
At the seminar, you will see how you can access Brookline town-sponsored programs and incentives to lower your home energy cost. This is for homeowners and renters of 1-4 unit buildings alike, so all are invited to join. You will increase your overall home comfort with:
Refreshments will be served if you attend a session.
When & Where:
Tuesday 2/11 at 6:30-8 pm: Brookline Main Library Hunneman Hall, 316 Washington St
Sunday 3/9 2-3:30 pm: Coolidge Corner Library, 31 Pleasant St
Saturday 4/12 10:30-12pm Putterham Library, 959 West Roxbury Parkway
For questions and to RSVP, email Josh Lynch at email@example.com
What: For every horticulture professional who shares our passion for growing and caring for plants -- and the environment.
Just about everyone from the Northeast's commercial horticulture and green industry attends New England Grows!
With horticulture seminars designed specifically for the landscape, nursery, arboriculture, and related horticulture professions, New England Grows is the acclaimed green industry educational conference and exposition for professionals seeking contact hours and CEU credits, as well as a connection to the green industry's leading suppliers.
In addition to a host of horticultural and green industry design topics, important business issues like effective marketing, social media, and customer retention will be addressed.
Wednesday's Garden Center Success seminars offer exceptional education aimed directly at today's independent garden center.
Proceeds from New England Grows go directly back to the industry to support the work of these and other green industry organizations, including yearly research grants to the region’s Cooperative Extension programs. Funds from the show also support related community-based programs, such as the Boston Schoolyard Initiative. The show’s format and educational content is continually updated to meet current industry needs and bring inspirational thinking to participants. Since its start, New England Grows has tripled in size and earned a Tradeshow Week 200 and two Fastest 50 rankings.
Wednesday, Feb 5
10 am - 5 pm
Thursday, Feb 6
8 am - 5 pm
Friday, Feb 7
8 am - 3 pm
See full schedule for exact times of events.
Where: Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St, Boston, MA 02210
Cost: See registration and pass details here!
What: Explore our amazing planet from the inside out! Uncover how volcanoes and other earth processes help us understand Earth’s structure. Examine rocks, minerals, fossils, and meteorites from the museum’s collections. Meet Harvard paleontologist Anjan Bhullar, interact with members of the Boston Mineral Club, and learn about Harvard research. Look back in time and peer deep inside the Earth with demonstrations, presentations, and hands-on activities for all ages.
Regular museum admission rates apply. Free event parking is available in the 52 Oxford Street Garage the day of the event.
When: Saturday, February 1, 9AM-4PM
Where: 26 Oxford St. Cambridge, MA 02138
5. Urban Agriculture: A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that new Urban Agriculture Zoning will be adopted by the city of Boston, which will empower residents and commercial farming entrepreneurs with new options when growing and producing their own food! Article 89 helps to modernize zoning codes to enable innovative urban food production beneficial to both environment and community. We can’t wait to watch this delicious development flourish in 2014!
4. Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance: In 2013, the City challenged Boston buildings to “aggressively invest in energy efficiency” with the passage of the Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Act, which requires all large and medium sized-buildings to report their annual energy and water use. As reducing greenhouse gas emissions through investments in energy efficiency is the largest component of Mayor Menino’s Climate Action Plan, this was a huge step to measuring and managing the emissions from our business sector.
3. Boston Bikes’ HelmetHub: Ask and you shall receive! Boston residents couldn’t get enough of our public bikeshare Hubway in 2013, but how could our friends at Boston Bikes ensure that residents were as safe as they were enthusiastic? As another successful bikeshare season came to a close in November, the City announced the first installation of HelmetHub, helmet vending machines where patrons could rent a helmet for just $2, 24 hours a day! The first vending machine of its kind in the U.S., HelmetHub is another example of how Boston Bikes continues to meet community demands, while making cycling a fun and safe alternative to driving.
Read the rest here!
Who: Boston Food Swap
What: All swap items must be homemade, homegrown, or foraged by you. Think baked goods, jam, pickles, spreads, honey, vinegar, granola, pasta, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, homemade sausages, backyard eggs, home brews … you name it! Bring as little or as much as you like. You can bring a bunch of one thing or multiples of a few different things. The possibilities are endless!
Keep in mind that swappers will be examining and picking up your goods, so be sure to package them in a way that protects the food and makes it clear the amounts you want to swap. We encourage reusable, earth-friendly packaging whenever possible.
If possible, you should also bring samples for others to try.
2:00pm - 3:00pm People arrive, set up their items, chat with other swappers, and sample the goods
3:00pm - 3:30pm Bidding begins
3:30pm - 4:00pm Swapping begins
4:00pm - 5:00pm Social time and clean up
Please arrive no later than 3pm!
When: Sunday, January 26th, 2014, 2-5 PM
Where: 40 Berkeley St., Boston, MA
Collaboratory on the mezzanine balcony of the 40 Berkeley St hostel. Parking is free at metered and guest spots on Sunday and two parking lots with reasonable weekend rates are located on Berkeley and E. Berkeley.
Cost: Free but register here!
What: Brookline is a local hub for climate action. Town groups, businesses, non-profits, artists and volunteers collaborate throughout the year toward our common goal of reducing Brookline's carbon footprint 20% by 2020. We have a Climate Action Plan and are working side by side toward the benchmark goals of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act.
This year's 4th annual Climate Week is your oppurtunity to dive in! Climate Week is Climate Action Brookline's signature event. CAB collaborates with town groups and individuals to offer one of-a-kind oppurtunities to learn and take climate action.
There are events for all ages. Participate in the 2nd annual reduce, reuse, recycle eventm Brookline's 3R Depot, in two locations starting Friday, January 24th and continuing Saturday, January 25th. You will find oppurtunites for youth sports gear exchanges, youth clothing drive ages 0-5, and much more including new this year the 3R Depot Food Court and Re-Create Zone. Also throughout the week discover films and learn from experts addressing the climate challenge as it unfolds. Learn how to practice new ways to a greener future.
Make sure to check out the window displays and outdoor installations around Brookline Village and Coolidge Corner! AND the participating Brookline restaurants that are featuring sustainable food options to celebrate the choices we have for eating well and sustainably!
Check HERE to see the awesome events scheduled for the week!
When: Events are all day from Monday, January 20th until Sunday January 26th
Where: Check event schedule for location.
Cost: Free and open to the public!
What: Helle Søholt, founding partner and CEO of Gehl Architects, the designer who introduced pedestrian plazas and biking opportunities to New York City’s Times Square and throughout Manhattan, suggests a new transportation balance between biking, transit, and cars. This event is part of the speaker series, Traffic Advisory, a component of Overhaul: the 2013-2014 Transportation Series, organized by the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and the Barr Foundation. This event is part of the speaker series, Traffic Advisory, a component of Overhaul: the 2013-2014 Transportation Series, organized by the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Foundation for Architecture, Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission, and the Barr Foundation. Overhaul also includes the exhibition Rights of Way: Mobility and the City.
When: Thursday, January 23rd, 6-8 PM
Where: Boston Society of Architects, 290 Congress Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02210
To attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Traffic 1/23″ in the subject line.
What: Increasing Resiliency and Preparedness Post Sandy
Nancy Girard, Commissioner - Environment Department - City of Boston
Vivien Li, President - The Boston Harbor Association
Peter Papesch, Boston Society of Architects - Sustainability Education Committee
Bud Ris, President and CEO - New England Aquarium
When: Wednesday, January 22, 6:30-8:30 PM
Where: French Cultural Center, 53 Marlborough St., Boston, MA
Register here for this free event!
Who: Sustainable Fasion Collaborative Boston
What: Is there a dress that’s been in the back of your closet for months (even years!) that never gets worn? What about those jeans that don’t fit you anymore? Ready to trade out your cardigan for a blazer?
Join us for a night of clothing swapping and free pizza!
How does it work? Bring 5-10 gently worn and washed items that you no longer need or want (clothing, accessories or handbags). Quality is key! Please don’t bring the old t-shirt you wear on craft night ; )
One piece of clothing = one token. You have the night to shop through other “pre-loved” items with your tokens while having a drink and grabbing a bite to eat.
Re-loved! You’ll leave the event with “new-to-you” pieces, revitalizing your wardrobe without breaking the bank on new clothes!
When: Sunday, January 12th, 6-8 PM
Where: Bella Luna Restaurant, 284 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Cost: Tickets are $15 on EventBrite or $20 at the door