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 cafĂ©), 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.