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VCS WINTER WALK at Windy Gates!

Sunday, January 9, 1:00 pm
Space is lilmiitted, please RSVP by email  to Signe Benjamin at:

Click HERE for a complete VCS Winter Walk schedule

Fact of the Week

In Massachusetts, more than 30% of the total greenhouse-gas emissions (33 million metric tons) come from the transportation sector. Coming in 2011: a “Pay As You Drive” pilot program to reduce car-insurance premiums for those who drive less.
Click HERE
for more information.


Know Your Nitrogen Footprint
Tuesday, January 4 at 7 pm.
call 508.457.0495 x107
The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in East Falmouth  Scientifically-based comparisons of different wastewater options will be presented including centralized sewers, neighborhood cluster systems, on-site alternative systems (including composting and urine diverting systems), shellfish aquaculture for nitrogen removal, and modifying tidal inlets to improve flushing.
Panelists will include Mike Giggey, a member of Mass DEP's task force on groundwater discharge permits, George Heufelder, founder of the Mass Alternative Septic System Test Center, John Ramsey, coastal engineer to Mass Coastal Zone Management office, and Diane Murphy, fisheries and aquaculture specialist.
The program is free and open to all.

Slow Food Dinner and Film

Saturday, January 8, 2011
7 p.m. at the Chilmark Community Center

A dinner of local foods prepared by chefs Robert Lionette and Jan Buhrman, followed by a showing of the film One Man, One Cow, One Planet, a celebration of the work of biodynamic pioneer Peter Proctor and the success of marginal farmers across India. Film is one hour and begins at 8:30 p.m. Tickets for both the dinner and movie will be available at the door on a first-come basis; $20 for Slow Food members and $25 for nonmembers. Everyone is asked to bring their own table setting and BYOB.

Green Recipes for 2011

Homemade eco-friendly laundry detergent:

1 cup shaved castille soap, 1/2 cup borax, 1/2 cup washing soda. Use just one teaspoon and your clothes will smell fresh right out of the laundry.

Non-poisonous household cleaner:

Mix vinegar, lemon juice, and salt. It works on almost everything. For tough jobs like bathrooms, sprinkle a little baking soda, then the spray and watch it fizzle.

Tis' the Season!

First Christmas at Grandma's house

‘Tis the season for conflicting messages about consumption and sustainability. Consumer spending, much of it occurring in the last weeks of the year, accounts for about two-thirds of U.S. gross domestic product (the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.)  On the one hand, we are told that consumption equals a healthy economy. On the other, we are told that “renew, reuse, recycle” is the basis of a sustainable future. At this time of year, many of us experience this cognitive dissonance (an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously).

We also feel the cultural pressure to participate in a process of giving and receiving “stuff” that we really don’t need.
VCS staffer Kaysea Hart shares her own experience click HERE

By the Numbers
by Kaysea Hart

If you recycle you’ve probably noticed the number on the bottom of plastic containers, the one nested in the recycling symbol. Recycling programs depend on these numbers to tell you which plastics you can and can’t recycle.

But what do these numbers mean? And which plastics are considered safe and not? You may recall there was a scare recently over BPA plastic (Bisphenol A is a chemical building block that is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins) leaching chemicals into water and baby bottles. Research indicates that BPA mimics estrogen and interferes with hormone levels.

There are different types of plastic available in the market and the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 identify the type of plastic used in the container. Some plastics are considered healthier and more environmentally friendly but it is important to remember that, whatever type of plastic you are dealing with, it’s not biodegradable and whether you recycle it or not it will be on our earth forever.

Click HERE for the skinny on what the numbers mean, whether they’re “safe”, and how easily recyclable they are:

Plastic Everywhere

More than 200 billion pounds of plastic is produced every year. Ten percent of that winds up in the world’s oceans. In fact, most of the trash floating in the world's oceans is plastic. What has come to be known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the world’s largest floating landfill. Also called the Northern Pacific Subtropical Gyre, it is a spiral of currents twice the size of Texas, filled with millions of pounds of plastic trash. Both floating and sinking plastic poses a hazard to marine life, fishing and human activity like tourism.
For a U.N. report on the subject, click HERE

To see the video The Synthetic Sea click HERE

Green resolutions for 2011

1. Recycle! See some creative and inspiring objects that can be made from recycled materials HERE

2. Carry your reusable shopping bag with you! Give up plastic and paper bags. In 2010, twelve million barrels of oil were used to make 88.5 billion plastic bags in the U.S. Paper bags consume four times as much energy. Read more HERE

3. Stop Junk Mail by clicking HERE

4. Don’t buy bottled water. Stop leaving a trail of plastic water bottles in your wake! Read more HERE
5. Save energy. Set your refrigerator thermostat to maintain a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees (F). Read more HERE

6. An electric bike? See HERE

7. Lose 10 tons of CO2. Steps include insulating your home, improving appliances and reducing waste. Learn more HERE

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