Sunday, December 6, 2009 Vigil in Boston -Call for Climate Treaty Dec. 11th, 2009 Candlelight Vigil in Boston a call for a science-based international climate treaty and effective U.S. legislation to get us below 350 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere,because time is running out.

When: Friday, Dec. 11th 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cardinal Cushing Park in Boston (intersection of Cambridge St and New Chardon St.) accross the street from Sen. Kerry's office at One Bowdoin Square.

Green/Orange Line: Haymarket (2/10 mile)

Red Line: Charles/ MGH (half mile)

Blue Line: Bowdoin (next to park)

Post-Vigil Gathering: at the Beantown Pub, 100 Tremont St., between Park St. and Govt Center

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 is a refreshing website with environmental news

Check out

Hopefully I can get a job writing for them.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sustainable Marshfield News

Congratulations to our own Gia Lane and the Marshfield Energy Committee for passing the town energy audit at our special town meeting in October. The town will now go forward with a professional plan to assess ways to save money and save energy through this comprehensive audit of town buildings.
Marta McFarland attended the "Bioneers by the Bay" conference in New Bedford. She found the event to be transformative and motivating. Based on her experience, we plan to show the movie "Fresh", which is about our food system. Look for details as our friend from Trinity Church (and has generously offered to have a showing there. Time and date to be announced!
Ned Bangs and the Marshfield Rec. Center now have a rain garden which works to eliminate pollutants from water run-off through the use of rain.

Friday, October 16, 2009

School Lunch Facts


Did you know?


*Under the current national School Lunch Program, the USDA reimburses public schools for every meal served: $2.57 for a free lunch; $2.17 for a reduced-price lunch and just 24 cents for a paid lunch.

After the schools pay for labor, equipment and overhead, this leaves only $1.00 per meal to spend on food.

**We are seeking to raise the reimbursement rate to $3.57

*Federal nutrition standards apply to school meals provided in cafeterias nationwide. Food service programs must meet the guidelines to qualify for federal subsidies.

According to the GAO, 99 percent of high schools, 97 percent of middle schools and 83 percent of elementary schools have vending machines, school stores and snack bars.

However, under current law, vending machine food, on-campus stores selling chips, soda and candy and even “a la carte” cafeteria items are not governed by any guidelines. These highly-processed, high-calorie foods sneak under the radar of any federal nutrition standards. Further, the federal nutrition guidelines have not been updated in 30 years, despite the obvious link of increased childhood obesity and diabetes to our children’s diets.

** We are seeking to have Congress approve Representative Woolsey and Senator Harkins’ Child Nutrition Promotion & School Lunch Protection Act of 2009.

This bill would:

1. Require an update of USDA nutrition standards;

2. Enable the USDA to look at all foods sold in schools, not just the “main meal”.

Facts provided by; http//;

***Paste article text here***

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The HOME Project

We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth's climate.

The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.

For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film.

HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet.

(note: this HD-quality movie is 90 minutes long. So plug in your stereo speakers and high-def monitor, sit back and be prepared to have a life changing experience)

HOME (English with subtitles)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

NSTAR Green - Option for Basic Service Customers to Purchase Wind Generated Electricity

Have you seen the NSTAR Green program that is available? NSTAR Basic service customers can choose to purchase 50% or 100% of their electricity from Maple Ridge Wind Farm in upstate NY.
You can go to the NSTAR Green homepage to learn about the program.

Crucial Waters – Reporting on the World’s Oceans -Brian Skerry

Sunday, November 1, 2009 at 4 p.m.
Duxbury First Parish Church
842 Tremont St Duxbury

In this presentation Brian Skerry will take the audience around the world and into the sea by sharing tales from several of his most recent feature stories for National Geographic magazine. A major focus of Brian’s work in recent years has been to produce stories that both celebrate the sea and raise awareness about problems. In the last 50 years, 90% of the big fish in the ocean have disappeared. Over 100 million sharks are taken annually and species of whales and sea turtles are on the brink of extinction. But it is not too late and hope remains for Earth’s vital seas. In this compelling presentation, Brian presents the “State of the Oceans” and behind the scenes tales of life in the field. Environmental problems and solutions are illustrated and audiences are brought eye-to-eye with amazing marine animals and exotic locations from diving beneath arctic ice to the world’s most remote tropical coral reefs. Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for students to benefit Sustainable Duxbury.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Potluck and Annual Meeting will be September 27th

Potluck and meeting will be held on September 27th from 5-8 pm at the Recreation center @ Coast Guard Hill in Marshfield.

Please contact Katherine at for help in deciding what to bring.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Date and Location for Potluck and Annual Meeting

We are not having the annual meeting or Potluck on September 20th. Please stay tuned for an update.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

LOCATION for September Potluck Announced!

Our Potluck and Annual Meeting for Sunday September 20th will be graciously hosted at the Town of Marshfield's Recreation Center on Coast Guard Hill. Potluck begins @ 5:30 and Annual Meeting will start @ 7.
Folks are encouraged to bring your own plates, cups and flatware, along with interested friends.
Please contact Katherine at for menu/drink assignments. Let's think local!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Check out The Edible Yard (dot) com

Local woman with many years of "green" experience has a wonderful business installing edible gardens for people in the area. Thanks, Jen Friedrich

Pot Luck and Annual Meeting

Pot Luck Dinner and Annual Meeting set for September 20, 2009 from 5:30 to 8 pm, location to be determined.
Contact Katherine Shields to sign up to bring a dish. Local foods preferred!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July Meeting Date

Our next meeting is on July 13 from 6:30-8:30 at The Zone, Roger Whidden's fitness studio, at 822 Webster St. We will finalize the bylaws at this meeting and get summer updates on various activities. I know everyone's busy with summer activities so please RSVP so I know whether we'll have critical mass.

Sincerely, Ben Cowie-Haskell, president

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Solar Installation at Rec Center -Coast Guard Hill

The Marshfield Recreation Department has a new PV array that was installed in June at the Rec Dept's Coast Guard Hill location. This was part of a NSTAR pilot program the "Marshfield Energy Challenge" . It is capable of producing 250 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, approximately 25% of the building's electricity usage. Click on the link below to the Marshfield Mariner article for more info...


Monday, June 8, 2009

Marshfield Farmer's market is Open!

The Marshfield Farmer's Market opened last Friday June 5th with a steady stream of visitors despite the cold windy cold weather! We were pleased to see some new vendors including Acorn Canning, with wonderful jams and jellies and sauces, Jane Argyle designs, with lovely custom-made girls' sundresses, and others. I bought some delicious locally grown strawberries and am wondering how the supermarket kind even pass as fresh berries. There were tomato plants and other plants for sale for people still looking to start or add to their gardens. Looking forward to better weather next week and more produce as the season hopefully heats up!

Every friday afternoon, check it out!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Review of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"

by Katherine Rossmoore

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

by Barbara Kingsolver

The subtitle of this delightful book about one family’s decision to move to the proverbial family farm and to eat only local foods is “A Year of Food Life”. She does in fact go through each month of the year, describing their lives, by season, on the farm. Ms. Kingsolver, who had previously lived in Tucson, Arizona (where nothing grows) with her husband and two daughters, is an accomplished novelist (The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, Prodigal Summer) and nonfiction writer.

Let’s be honest: not everyone who makes the effort to eat locally grown and produced food is lucky enough to own a family farm in the Southern United States (southwest Virginia), have a husband who is a botanist and who bakes homemade breads every week! But, this book certainly makes the case for anyone thinking of trying to practice locavore eating. For me, this book was a life-changer, as promised by Rick Hass of the Boston Sunday Globe in his blurb on the cover. Even if one is not able to entirely give up everything that’s imported and consume only locally grown and produced food, it certainly gives one a sense of the possibility and gets us thinking about the habits we cling to, like raspberries in the winter and avocados year-round.And Kingsolver has the guts, in pointing out the hypocrisy of our modern society, (after being told at a New York City dinner party that the hostess, who was serving fresh raspberries in winter, “can get anything in the world here.”) to say that she is appalled by “the manner in which we’re allowed to steal from future generations, while commanding them not to do that to us, and rolling our eyes at anyone tediously PC enough to point this out. The conspicuous consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spiritual error, or even bad manners.”

The book goes through the seasons, starting when they arrive at the farm in March and she realizes the gravity of their commitment to the grocery list: the kids love eggs: easy! Fresh fruit and gummy worms: no way. They recognize that certain compromises have to be made for staples that have no local sustainable source, like grains, oils and coffee. As the year “springs forward,” they plant seeds and we are introduced to the concept of seed banks for plants that have been made unavailable by the corporate control of agriculture. We get an interesting lesson in botany when she talks about the plant’s life of flower to fruit to seed to plant. As they move through the seasons, the book illustrates how living this way, with a farm-based food supply, has the effect of providing a greater connection to the seasons.

In April, Kingsolver’s daughter Lilly receives baby chicks at the local post office, (mom is already raising ten tom turkeys) providing fun fodder for the local postmistress and the reader. In May, we experience the challenge of hosting a large party with only local products. In June, the family takes a vacation, visiting a farm in Ashfield, Ma, which practices organic methods but isn’t certified organic due to the costs. They also visit New England cheese maker, Ricki Carroll, and we are provided with a mozzarella recipe on page 144. They also visit a Farmers’ Diner in Vermont, where all food served is from a 100-mile radius. Naturally, without the use of herbicides, they come home to weeds but also days of plenty, including carrots, onions, garlic, and new potatoes.

August is dominated by tomatoes, and we learn about the harsh economic reality for organic farmers trying to sell their truckloads of tomatoes before they rot.

For the squeamish, don’t read the chapter on harvesting turkeys and roosters in September. We next discover, in the fall, that “root crops are the deliverance of the home-food devotee”. What to eat in January? Of course, they froze and canned and made sauces in the summer.

While I enjoyed Ms. Kingsolver’s narrative about being “Called Home”, “Waiting for Asparagus” (late March), “Eating Neighborly” (late June), “Life in a Red State” (August) and so forth, I especially enjoyed the sidebars written by her husband, Stephen Hopp, which contain gems of information about the environmental impact of our current food production methods. For example, we learn what it means to buy coffee that is “fair trade certified”, and that by paying a fair wage to the farmers who grow what we consume, we are supporting the same principles that cause us to choose to eat locally: environmental responsibility, agricultural sustainability and fair wages. We learn about “the Strange Case of Percy Schmeiser” a real life farmer from Sasketchewan who was sued by Monsanto for having some of their patented (and, yes, genetically-modified) canola seeds on his farm land. Did he actually plant the seeds? No, they got there by the natural pollination process and yet a
Canadian Court deemed it illegal for Percy’s farm to have them, since they were patented.

Ms. Kingsolver herself informs us in detail about the history of genetic modification (GM) of seeds and plants, and hybridized plants, which involves the effort to take away all control from the small farmers and keep it in the hands of the big seed companies like Monsanto and Dupont. While heirloom varieties of plants and their seeds (which are “open-pollinated” and naturally able to reproduce) became scarcer and costlier, these big companies even created a “terminator gene” that causes the plant to kill itself after one life cycle so it can’t reproduce. That way, farmers and even home gardeners, are forced to re-purchase their supply of seeds year after year. Unless. Unless one pays the extra money and goes through the extra care of handling heirloom varieties that reproduce for the sake of taste and not transportability. The author makes a convincing case that it’s worth it.

The book describes a similar, disturbing trend with the hens and roosters they bought for their farm: the ability and instinct to breed has been bred out of them. When the Kingsolver family gets around this obstacle, it’s quite funny. She warns parents, however, not to name the chicks: they are not pets if they’re being raised for meat!

Another charming aspect of this book is that their college bound daughter Camille contributes anecdotes and recipes from their year on the farm. Clearly she shares her parents’ love of vegetables, and passes some fine recipes on to us.

As the author states in the beginning of this charming book, “The main barrier standing between ourselves and a local food culture is not price but attitude”: Patience and restraint are required. Are we up to the challenge?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

June Meeting

Please join us for the June Meeting, Wednesday, June 17th at 6:30 p.m., Town Hall, 870 Moraine St., Marshfield

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More on edible South Shore!

Please check out Edible South Shore magazine online at:

This is a great local resource and I encourage everyone interested in sustainable living and local eating to subscribe!

Monday, April 20, 2009

edibleSouthShore magazine starts up

Laurie Hepworth of Sustainable Kingston and Michael Hart have started up a magazine edibleSouthShore. It is part of a nationwide magazine network of "edible"s which highlight local food. There are also edibleBoston and edibleCapeCod editions. I had the opportunity to meet Laurie at the Sustainable Living Festival in Hull and her enthusiasm for sustainable, healthy food is apparent. You can find info on the web at

Sustainable Marshfield April 22nd Meeting

Please join us at the next Sustainable Marshfield meeting, Wednesday, April 22nd from 6:30-8:30 at the Recreation Dept(at Coast Guard Hill) 900 Ferry Street Marshfield

Friday, April 10, 2009

This is a great "sustainable living" website with tons of useful information:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Living Well Without a Car

TV Interview with author of "Living Well Without a Car"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sustainable Food = Local Food

Sustainable Food March 2009
Local is Sustainable
Katherine Rossmoore

The first thing I think of when I ask myself the question of “What is sustainable food?” is that sustainable equals local. To me, “sustainable” means giving back to the Earth as much as we are taking out. Local food saves an enormous amount of carbon use by eliminating all of the transportation, storage and cooling costs. In most cases, local products are unprocessed or not heavily processed so that the energy and carbon production that goes into processing foods is saved.

As a society, we have gotten used to being able to go into any supermarket and buying foods from all over the world without even thinking about the fuel and production costs to get them here. My mother, who grew up in the Great Depression, thinks it’s wonderful that we can get things like guavas and pineapples and kiwis year-round. Nowadays, if we have a recipe, we go out and get the items on the ingredient list whereas the “old world” method, (and one used by many top chefs nowadays) involves finding what is fresh and local at the market, and then planning your menu from there. On the top of my “I’m guilty” list are bananas, avocadoes and lemons, and I’m sure there is much more I regularly purchase that is neither local nor sustainable. I believe that the first step is at least thinking about and acknowledging the costs of these habits, so that we can begin to offset the habits we are unable or unwilling to change.

So, where do we find locally grown and produced food on the South Shore of New England? The most obvious source is the ocean and its bountiful supply of seafood. As a child, my Mother and I would go out “oystering” in Wellfleet. We would wade out at low tide and collect those camouflaged delights in a bucket we were sure to keep filled with salty ocean water so the oysters would remain alive and plump. Even better, we would go to Longnook beach in North Truro and get these wonderful little clams (which, I believe, no longer exist). You could only spot them at low tide by their little bright green flags of seaweed. We would crack them open on the beach and eat them raw. They were sweet and buttery and salty all at once. We would also go down to the main fishing wharf in Provincetown and buy fish right off the boats when the fishermen came in with their catches. Back then, we didn’t think of eating this way to be “sustainable” or to reduce our carbon footprint. We did it because fresh and local tasted the best, and it still does.

Here in Marshfield, (as well as Scituate and Duxbury) we can still “go clamming” with the proper licenses. If we cannot catch the fish ourselves, (although we keep on trying) we can shop for fish and other seafood at local markets like the Brant Rock Market in Marshfield, Mullaney’s in Scituate and Cohasset, Snug Harbor in Duxbury and Hanover Lobster and Seafood and the Nautical Mile, both in Hanover. (I’m not sure whether one can go to Green Harbor and buy fish from the local fishermen? If anyone knows, please post a comment.) We can also go to one of the local supermarkets and make a point of buying what is locally caught and harvested. Start with the freshest fish, and create your recipe around that instead of looking for, let’s say, “Chilean Sea Bass” to create a recipe from Bon Apetit.

Another potential source of fresh local foods (including lobsters, but we hope they add local fresh fish this year!) is the Farmer’s Market. The local farmer’s markets generally run from mid to late June through the end of October. The Marshfield Farmer’s Market, located at the Marshfield fairgrounds, runs every Friday during the summer from 2 pm to 7 pm. There are two Farmer’s markets in Plymouth: Steven’s Field is Thursdays from 2:30 to 6:30 and Court Street is Saturday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. The Market in Hingham harbor (the bathing beach parking lot) runs Saturdays 10-2. The Cohasset farmer’s market, on Cohasset Common is open Thursdays, 2:30 to 6:30. The vendors at each market are partially listed on their websites, and we hope the Marshfield market will be growing!

Every year, I go blueberry picking and freeze some for the winter. Most of us have gone apple picking (or have taken our children apple picking) and I have to confess to giving myself a stomach ache from eating too many of those juicy crisp Macintoshes. The fresher they are, the better they taste. If you have room at your home for a small garden, you will be amazed at how much better things taste when they are picked right off the vine in the summer heat. And you don’t have to start with seeds, although the purist may want to try. My husband always grow tomatoes, basil and other herbs, but last year we added sweet peppers. Their taste was so much better than store bought that even my youngest son was picking them off the vine and telling his friends, “You have to try a bite of this. It’s so good!”

For people who would like to “grow their own” vegetables but don’t have the space, this year there will be a local community “victory garden” in Marshfield which I will provide more details on once I have them. There are a few “CSA” (Community Supported Agriculture) farms in the area that people can subscribe to. (INFO to Follow) They tend to fill up early since most of the farms in Eastern New England are small so their production is limited. The local farmer’s markets are a great source for local vegetables and fruits. You can also check your supermarkets for produce that is advertised as “locally grown”. Among my favorite sources are the roadside stands that pop up in the summer on Route 3A and elsewhere. I hope to post these locations as the season heats up!

There are also local sources for local fresh eggs and dairy. I invite anyone who has a name and phone number or address of places one can purchase fresh eggs to post that information on this blog so all can take advantage.

Next month I will be reviewing Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”, a great story about one family’s choice to eat only local for a year. (Hint: they lived on a farm.)

Friday, March 6, 2009

2nd Meeting Summary, 2/22/09

Sustainable Marshfield
2nd Meeting Summary

I Welcome: Ben Cowie-Haskell
Reading – Tammy Serata
Relevant Fact – Tammy Serata

II Roundtable Introductions

III Updates :

  • Website (Tammy), blog (Michael) the main website will be searchable and will link to the blog, the blog will be used to post relevant information, could eventually move the blog to host it on the main site. Ben provided content for the website and Tammy is designing it. Ben is exploring using local art for our logo.

  • Katherine Rossmoore-Shields – MCTV (PSA) information and information regarding SSSh thermal imaging camera, wants to collect information for local contractors for resource. She will sign Marshfield up for use of the camera next November. (contact:

  • Don Marks – renewable energy credit info

  • Jones River Watershed putting in PV system and will soon be offering a small PV system for sale (contact Alex Mansfield,

  • Discussed the need for a mission statement

IV Business Items

a. As a chapter of Sustainable South Shore we need to collect membership dues of $15 per person/year, $5 of which goes to SSSh. These dues are used to host events, promote the organization, procure supplies, etc.

b. Officers : Ben Cowie-Haskell- president, Gia Lane -secretary, Richard Jennings- treasurer

  • regarding drafting bylaws – need to investigate whether we can use SSSh bylaws

  • regarding 501c3 status are we a subsidiary of the parent or can we get our own 501c3 status through them

c. Bank account – Richard Jennings will look into a bank account with no fees and will take care of receiving membership dues and will set up a P.O. Box

V Developing action plans –decided to form teams to collect and report on information on specific topics focusing on what is going on locally. Anyone is welcome to join a team. Each team will present their findings to-date at the next meeting and they will develop FAQs for posting on website. Ultimately, the teams will develop action plans that focus on achievable results. Team members are responsible for networking with each other. Teams are:

Team 1: Renewable Energy
Members: Ben, Gia, Richard, Don, Alex
Goals: Reduce CO2 emissions
Potential Topics: Wind, Tidal, Wave, Photovoltaic, Geothermal
FAQs: to be developed by June

Team 2: Public Outreach
Members: Tammy, Katherine, Leighann, Ben
Goals: Engage and inform residents including students
Potential Topics: Marshfield Community TV (PSA, training), sponsored events (Earth Day, Earth Hour, Farmer’s market booth, Marshfield Fair display, etc.)
FAQs: to be developed by June

Team 3: Transportation
Members: Michael S., Roger D., Roger W.
Goals: Promote sustainable and alternative transportation modes
Potential Topics: bike paths (Google map), sidewalks, SAIL local bus service, efficient autos/motorbikes
FAQs: to be developed by June

Team 4: Sustainable Food
Members: Katherine, Leighann, Alex, Roger D., Roger W., Marta
Goals: Promote locally grown food
Potential Topics: CSAs, community garden, landscaping, rain barrels, local seafood availability
FAQs: to be developed by June

Team 5: Conservation
Members: Joe Lambert, Gia, Mike S., Don
Goals: Conserve energy and resources
Potential Topics: Recycling, energy audit, water conservation
FAQs: to be developed by June

VI Next Steps: next meeting Sunday , March 22nd 1-3 pm at Marshfield Rec. Dept.

VII Closing: Awakening the Dreamer Symposium, March 21 in Scituate - Ben
Members of Sustainable Marshfield are invited to attend the Awakening the Dreamer symposium that Ben is facilitating in Scituate from 1-5pm. The purpose of this symposium is to bring forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet. Contact Ben if interested in attending at

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Energy Education Series

In partnership with the Marshfield Energy Committee and the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Marshfield Energy Challenge is presenting an educational series on energy efficiency and solar. Come to the North River Audubon Sanctuary, 2000 Main Street (Rt. 3A) in Marshfield beginning on Wednesday, February 25th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The series will run each Wednesday evening through March 18th.

  • Renewable Energy Options: What’s Available? - Introduction to Renewable Energy Technologies-this session will provide an overview of the most appropriate renewable energy systems for the region, including wind, solar hot water, photovoltaics and geothermal. Wednesday, February 25th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Cut your Energy Bills – Be More Energy Efficient! Energy Efficiency is, by far, the biggest bang for your buck! Learn about ways to reduce energy costs and improve the energy performance of your building. Hear about case studies from Marshfield. Wednesday, March 4th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Going Solar Today for Home and Business. Hear from early adopters in the Marshfield Energy Challenge and learn about incentives and types of systems that can provide you with long-term energy generation, stabilize your energy costs, reduce your fossil fuel consumption and help you make a contribution to improve greenhouse gas emissions. Wednesday, March 11th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Greening Up Your Energy Choices. An overview of green power options, alternative fuels for heating and transportation and technologies that can help reduce your carbon footprint and help you save money this winter. Wednesday, March 18th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.

The town of Marshfield has been selected for the “Marshfield Energy Challenge”, a pilot program designed to reduce the community’s peak energy use through aggressive implementation of energy efficiency, solar power and peak demand control. NSTAR and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative will invest $4 million to assist interested Marshfield businesses and homeowners to install a variety of technologies in their homes and business, such as high efficiency lighting, insulation, smart thermostat technology and photovoltaic (PV) panels. This is the first pilot program in the country that will address energy efficiency, load response, and renewable energy options simultaneously to reduce electricity costs.

For more information, please contact: Megan Amsler at Self-Reliance: 508.563.6633.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Green Schools

Should all of the nation's schools convert to geothermal, the EPA has estimated that we could reduce oil imports by 61 million barrels annually, and provide the same environmental benefits of planting 8 million acres of trees or converting nearly 4 million cars to zero-emission vehicles.

Here is a useful Green School Checklist produced by the Illinois EPA: Green School Checklist

Middle School and Police Station to get Solar Panels...

Furnace Brook Middle School and the Marshfield police station will receive free solar energy systems from NStar as part of the Marshfield Energy Challenge...

The rest of the article here: Wicked Local

Monday, January 26, 2009

CSA 2009: Rise & Shine Farm (June-September)

Rise & Shine Farm (Marshfield MA) will be offering a limited number of shares for a 16 week CSA season in 2009. They will also be selling a wide variety of naturally grown produce at the Marshfield Farmer's Market. They claim to use only sustainable and organic cultural practices to feed the soil which in turn feeds the crops, but are not yet certified.

For more information contact Marta MacFarland at or 781.837.6702

More information can be found at

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Greenhouse Hamburger (reprint)

  • Pound for pound, beef production generates greenhouse gases that contribute more than 13 times as much to global warming as do the gases emitted from producing chicken. For potatoes, the multiplier is 57.
  • Beef consumption is rising rapidly, both as population increases and as people eat more meat.
  • Producing the annual beef diet of the average American emits as much greenhouse gas as a car driven more than 1,800 miles.
from Scientific American, February 2009 issue

For more science articles on greenhouse gases go to: Scientific American (search=greenhouse)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Story of Stuff Teaser #3

More info here:

The Story of Stuff Teaser #2

More info here:

The Story of Stuff Teaser #1

More info here:

2009.01.19 Quote

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a might one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.

I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw

2008.01.19 Meeting Minutes

I. Welcome:

Ben Cowie-Haskell - welcomed everyone and provided a reading by George Bernard Shaw and the fact that Earth’s atmosphere is 30 miles thick, the distance from Marshfield to Boston.

Ned Bangs, Rec Dept Director – Many sustainable initiatives undertaken or envisioned for facility: recycling in effect and have started children recycling, greenscapes demonstration garden, interested in wind at facility, lights on sensors, energy saving switches, raised bed organic vegetable gardens, and rain barrels. NStar Energy Challenge made recommendations for electricity conservation and solar energy. Rec Center is one of 3 or 4 town buildings where solar will be installed.

II. Roundtable introductions (all) Introductions and interests

Gia Lane Marshfield Energy Comm – co-founded Marshfield town Energy Committee, mission to promote energy conservation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Focus on municipal facilities and education for public. Currently working on educational seminars, wind, and a greenhouse gas inventory to get a baseline of emissions.

  • organic gardening concerned with food quality, energy, interest in less consumerism, wants to start CSA (garden).
  • Motivated by responsibility, interest in animals
  • alternative energy
  • educated homeowners for incentives available, green landscaping and gardening, wants to learn more in general
  • gardening, clean water, self-reliance
  • energy savings, see what group is about
  • organic landscaping and farming
  • sustainable energy technology, driving the economy with technology
  • general interest in environment wants to learn and contribute
  • works for Audubon, previous volunteer work related to birding, nature and habitat restoration
  • interested in conservation wants to take more action, involved with Audubon
  • alternative energy interested in tidal, wind and geothermal, work experience related to battery development, consciousness raising important
  • boater has seen changes in marsh and rivers in town, concerned with commercialism, interested in wind
  • interested in energy efficient homes
  • concerned about misinformation, cost of efficiency or energy projects goes beyond the individual project , part of costs are related to big picture like money flowing out of country for oil, costs of war.

III. Overview of Sustainable South Shore: Judeth Van Hamm

  • Feb 10th next meeting at Norwell First Parish, also meetings in May, Nov. and August.
  • Recently purchased thermal imaging camera. Katherine Rossmore Shields from Mfd has been trained to use camera and provide the service to residents when the camera is assigned to Mfd.
  • Apr 18th 6th Annual Sustainable Living Festval at Nantasket Beach Hull
  • Energy cost cutting guide going on web
  • Low carbon diet groups – see empowerment institute, Cool Mass (climate change café), work toward being off the grid and off oil are goals
  • Website:

IV. Roundtable discussion: What’s your vision of a Sustainable Marshfield?

Educating homeowners on efficiency, Story of Stuff (google it!) - great way to get school kids engaged, community supported agriculture (CSA), sustainable education booth at farmers market, coordinate with local groups, transition Massachusetts for networking, should have mailing address and locally relevant website

V. Roundtable discussion: What kind of activities/projects would you like to see this group initiate in the short-term and long-term?

Everyone was given three yellow stickies and asked to right on each one an activity that Sustainable Mrfd could engage in. Everyone placed their stickies on the wall and all 66 stickies were then organized according to themes. What emerged were four main themes that SusMrfd could potentially focus on:

  1. Public outreach: website, networking, growing the membership through marketing,
  2. Alternative energy/renewable energy: wind, solar photovoltaics, tidal, wave, conservation
  3. Transportation alternatives: better and safer bike paths, more sidewalks, zero emission bus to Greenbush train station,
  4. Sustainable food sources: more locally grown, organic food choices, community supported agriculture, sustainable landscaping

Other ideas that emerged were: water conservation, reducing water pollution, seeking federal/state grants for town energy projects, ways to make sustainability doable, reuseable shopping bags, promoting low-cost (<$2000) systems residents can install.

VI. Next Steps:

Action Items:

  1. Revisit list of activities and flesh them out more
  2. Create a website that can be used as an outreach tool and a collaborative tool for the group. Team leads on this are Michael Sullivan and Tammy Serata.

Meeting Dates – agreed on Sunday, Feb. 22 from 1-3 at the Marshfield Rec. Dept, 900 Ferry St. Tammy will provide a reading and Bob Bale will provide a relevant fact.

Friday, January 23, 2009

About Sustainable Marshfield

Sustainable Marshfield engages in:

Creating a vision of a sustainable community. Developing consensus through education, publicity, discussion, and events. Initiating, supporting, and implementing sustainable projects, including sustainable air, water, energy, and waste reduction/recycling. Endeavoring to practice principles of global sustainability in our own lives.

Who are we?

Sustainable Marshfield is a chapter of Sustainable South Shore. Sustainable South Shore is a chapter of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN), a network of 18 Massachusetts community organizations

How does Sustainable Marshfield work?

Members meet monthly and communicate with each other regularly.We adopt goals by consensus. We each work on what interests us in creating a model sustainable community. We partner with other organizations.