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Showing posts from 2013

GMOs: What's in our food? Presented by Monadnock Food Co-op - January 12

Can the selective pressures on higher education lead to greater sustainability?

This blog post from Jay Halfond is from October, but I rediscovered it in the New England Journal of Higher Education. It's definitely thought-provoking. Take this quote:

The ability to prolong the longevity of smaller colleges will be severely tested in the coming years. Their academic leaders will need to better articulate the value of this institutional diversity, and explore creative ways of facilitating interdependence among institutions and practical opportunities for collaboration, experimentation, alliances, resource-sharing, and outsourcing.

Whatever kind of institution you work in (whether in higher education, nonprofit, the public sector or other), how do YOU facilitate collaboration, experimentation, and resource-sharing?

Do you see the current and coming shifts in higher education as an "either-or" situation (as in "endangered or sustainable")? Can the selective pressures being felt at colleges and universities lead to a more sustainability-oriented …

Want to address food insecurity in the Monadnock Region? Come to A Place at the Table on Nov 17.

Letter to the editor in Sunday's Keene Sentinel:

How can New Hampshire — the state ranked by Wall Street Journal as the wealthiest (based on 2010 Census data indicating the lowest poverty rate and highest median income) be so gripped by the problem of food insecurity?People who don’t know day-to-day whether they will be able to put food on the table number in the thousands in our state — an estimated 12 percent of our population, according to the Kids Count Data Center. That means that more than one in 10 Granite Staters, including families with children, struggle every day for basic necessities such as food. Food insecurity is an accelerating crisis nationwide, even in “wealthy” states like New Hampshire.

The issue of food insecurity can be complex, but essentially refers to members of a household who do not have adequate access to food for economic reasons. Someone who, despite working at a full-time job or combination of part-time jobs, must choose between paying the rent or mo…

Free Shuttle for FPU Students to "A Place at the Table"

On behalf of The Sustainability Center, Student Involvement, and community partners, a special invitation:
Many of our students come from food insecure families and communities. Some of them are thinking about careers in politics, business, human services and education, where they can be powerful forces for change. All of them have the potential to be touched by this film. Talk about "an education that matters."
Following the film, there will be a panel discussion, moderated by Senator Molly Kelly, where participants will see examples of the work that's being done locally on the related problems of hunger, food insecurity, obesity, and poverty. There will be opportunities to take meaningful action in our own community, and perhaps continue the discussion back on our campus. The event is FREE, and includes a live musical performance, reception & refreshments. Suggested admission is a donation of fresh or canned food for local charity.
Click HERE to register for the even…

What's The Best Formula For a Sustainable Campus?

Published today:

Your comments, critiques, and suggestions are welcome!

New program to glean fresh produce for Keene food pantry sees success

Anyone who appreciates seeing good news in the media (as I do) will appreciate this, especially if you care about people and farms in the Monadnock Region. Check out this week's Keene Sentinel article about the Community Kitchen's new gleaning program. Sarah Harpster, the program coordinator, is a great example of leadership on the way to a more resilient community.

Posted: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 1:00 pm | Updated: 5:01 pm, Wed Sep 4, 2013.

By Kyle Jarvis Sentinel Staff

Potatoes, apples and squash that may have been thrown out or used as animal feed can now go to local people in need.

The extra, fresh produce is being collected as part of the new Monadnock Gleaning program at The Community Kitchen in Keene.

The goal is for farmers, or even backyard gardeners, to share the bounty that might otherwise go to waste with clients of the Keene food pantry.

Sarah A. Harpster of Keene was hired by the kitchen in July to coordinate the program. She or volunteers collect the food and br…

Roberto Perez: Cuba’s Struggle & Progress in Sustainable Agriculture

Please check out the event pages at Antioch University New England and Transition Keene for details on this excellent upcoming event:

Monday, August 19, 2013 (6:30pm-8:30pm)
Roberto Perez: Talk about Cuba’s Struggle & Progress in Sustainable Agriculture

Location: Keene Public Library

Roberto Perez, a Cuban permaculturist and environmental educator for the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity, will speak on Monday, August 19, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Keene Public Library. The public is warmly welcome to this free event. It is presented by Antioch University New England and the Keene Community Garden Connections.

Perez is on a speaking tour to raise scholarship funds for the IPC 11 Cuba: The 2013 International Permaculture Congress, which takes place in Cuba this November. He will talk about Cuba’s struggles and progress in sustainable agriculture and sustainable development. His work was highlighted in the movie The Power of Community, which deta…

LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference

In case you missed it, this op-ed by Antioch University New England's Michael Simpson and Abi Abrash-Walton (Keene Sentinel, July 15, 2013) is an excellent piece that captures the urgency of New England's shifting weather patterns and implications, not only for ecosystems but businesses, government and communities - as well as opportunities for action. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I love good questions, and Michael and Abby present a really great one for us think about:
"How can communities become “climate ready” by assessing vulnerabilities, reducing risks and enhancing resilience?" To this end, Michael and Abby are heading up an amazing team of sustainability and resilience leaders to present the LOCAL SOLUTIONS: Northeast Climate Change Preparedness Conference in May 2014. 
I'm excited about the Educators' Summit, of course, and about the extraordinary combination of leadership represented by the Educators' Summit Advisory Committee (which …

Come to "Policy on Your Plate": Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition's Quarterly Forum on July 10

Click here for the Eventbrite page - to register and to get in touch with Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition.

Those at the March forum responded overwhelmingly that more officials, lawmakers and representatives need to be at the table in order to grow a vibrant, safe and efficient local food system that:
enhances the health of our community
is profitable for farmers and producers
is accessible to all community members
conserves natural resources
is sustained by strong leadership and commitment in the Monadnock Region
learn what an Agricultural Commission is, and how to start one if it is right for your town
support established Agricultural Commissions
identify and advocate for State policy in support of our local food system
identify and advocate for National policy in support of our local food system

Therefore, this forum addresses the policy-focused goal of our region's Strategic Plan.

Meet State Representatives, national advocates, local leaders and Agricultural Commission …

MOOCs, Environmental Education, and Questions

This week, after noticing MOOCs (massive open online courses) featured in consecutive editions of the Chronicle of Higher Education, my curiosity about them has been rekindled. A couple of tech-savvy friends of mine discovered M.I.T.'s MOOCs a few years ago (though I don't remember them being called that at the time). Actual, full-fledged M.I.T. courses, offered to anyone, anywhere, for nothing? "Cool!" I thought. And that is where my consideration of MOOCs ended. It was too good to be true, right? MOOCs were "teaser" courses - higher ed "light," not to be taken seriously by potential employers. Trial versions of real courses, perhaps, to get geeks like me hooked on a subject and sell them on a full-scale degree (with accompanying full-scale tuition).

MOOCs crossed my radar screen again at the 2012 AASHE Conference & Expo, where Hunter Lovins delivered a rousing (if somewhat controversial) keynote on "Saving our Economic Ass". In exp…

Green Mountain College Board Approves Divestment of Fossil Fuel Holdings

Re-posting this article from Green Mountain College:

May 14, 2013

The Green Mountain College board of trustees approved divestment from 200 publicly-traded companies which hold most of the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves at its May 10 meeting. The decision aligns the college with its strategic plan "Sustainability2020,” which commits GMC to socially responsible investments. Following the decision, the college administration will work with its investment advisors to implement the plan.

"We see this as another step in an ongoing effort to connect our investment decisions with our ideals,” said Paul Fonteyn, president of Green Mountain College. "Investing endowment funds on the basis of social, economic and environmental criteria is one of the ways Green Mountain College expresses its values."

GMC has long been committed to reducing its own consumption of fossil fuels on campus. The College built a $5.8 million dollar biomass plant in 2011 which successfully …

10 Skills to Hone for a Post-Oil Future (with humor)

Here's a wonderful little article that will put a smile on your face. (I think I'll start with #10, hit #4 this summer, and work my way up to #5 for my 10-year anniversary.)

10 Skills to Hone for a Post-Oil Future


Published in the May/June 2013 issue of Orion magazine


To learn how to live in a post-petroleum world, recall the pre-petroleum world where blacksmiths made everything: tools, nails, hinges, lamps, hooks, gates, and railings. Wheels, even! With a barrel and some fire, a blacksmith could turn rusted car panels into cookware. Think of all the scrap metal we’ll have when the oil’s all gone.


Find a shoelace and a copy of The Shipping News. Knots can weave rugs, fashion snowshoes, repair almost anything. A diamond hitch holds a load on a mule or a sled. A bowline to cinch a tarp, a Prusik to climb a tree. While fighting a forest fire, a friend once fixed a shovel with parachute cord, half-hitches, and pine pitch. And when the …

New England Transition & Resilience HUB Gathering at the Slow Living Summit, Brattleboro VT, June 5 – 8

New England Transition & Resilience HUB Gathering at the Slow Living Summit, Brattleboro VT, June 5 – 8

In conjunction with the Slow Living Summit and the Strolling of the Heifers

Calling all “Transition & Community Resilience” activists in the northeast! Transition Towns, environmental justice groups, local green economy groups… Let’s gather together for inspiration, celebration, story sharing and skills building. Invite your friends on Facebook

IF YOU REGISTER BEFORE MARCH 31st –You Can Get An Early-Bird Discount AND a Transition HUB Participant discount. REGISTER HERE! Then email to let us know you plan to attend.


SPEAKERS: Frances Moore Lappe, Judy Wicks, Steve Chase, Carlos Espinoza-Toro, Claire Wheeler and many more.

PLENARY: “Transition to a New Economy” Plenary Session (Friday morning 6/7 at 8:30 am): “Transitioning to a New Economy,” with Gus Speth, Tina Clarke and Chuck Collins


Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

Forum - Civic Engagement at the Keene Public Library:

Theme: Sustaining Ourselves: How Can We Best Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow?

Keene Public Library - Kay Fox Room
Saturday April 13, 2013, 9:30AM to 12:00PM

It seems clear that the America inhabited by our grandchildren will look different from the America of today. We need to address what aspects of our current lifestyle are important enough to keep and pass down, and what we could choose to do without. It is time to ask: How can we best meet our needs today without hampering our ability to meet those needs tomorrow?

Citizens have the opportunity to discuss this public issue in a moderated forum. To participate, please register by calling 603-352-0157.

New resources on AASHE's Academic Commons

I've just added new resources to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's Academic Commons:

Earth Day 2012 poster
Campus Sustainability Day 2012 poster
Diversity in Definition - Pierce Arrow article
Reflections from Los Angeles - Pierce Arrow article

The Academic Commons is growing... Add your resource!