May 2014 Update

Community Sustainability Network volunteers and partner organizations worked hard to bring you the third annual South Shore Sustainability EXPO, which took place at the NSCC campus in Bridgewater earlier this month. The event brought together leaders and ordinary people to learn about the many ways that sustainability is becoming part of normal life on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. A well attended educational forum in the afternoon highlighted the emerging reality of climate change, and the many way that people and organizations are starting to respond to it. Click here to see a few photos from the event.

Please join us at our May 20th CSN Members' meeting to continue the discussion on how climate change is affecting our communities, and how individuals are taking positive action to respond to it.


A hearty welcome to those who joined in the past month:
You can find out more about these groups and individuals, including what sustainability products, services, interests and ideas they have, by viewing their profiles on the Network website.

Remember, Network membership is 100% FREE and open to families & individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and community groups, and institutions & government departments.  As a general rule of thumb, members are welcome to join from Bridgewater AND area – that means anywhere in Lunenburg County.

Upcoming Events
Know of any relevant events to add to this FREE calendar? This is your chance to inform people about all the great things going on around here!  Posting an event is easy: go to the Events section of the website, click on "submit an event", and fill in the form. One of our moderators will review the information and post the event if it meets our general criteria.  If you have any questions about what kinds of events you can post, please contact us.

Taking Action on Climate Change - How Can I Start?

Join other CSN members for a free public presentation and discussion on how local community members are learning about and taking action on climate change. This session follows up on the eye-opening new reality of climate change that was presented by academic, government, and non-government experts during the South Shore Sustainability Expo & Forum on April 5th. Want to do something positive, but unsure of where to start? Hear about an inspiring youth conference where young people are leading the charge for change, and discuss the simple and not-so-simple initiatives people in our community are taking to contribute to a better future. Have an action you’re proud of or excited about? Come share it!

Everyone is also encouraged to stay for the CSN members' meeting immediately following the presentation session. Light refreshments will be served. Click here for more info or the poster.

Active Transportation Leadership Awards - Nominations Please!

Do you know someone who walks, rides a bike, or uses a wheelchair to get around town? Do you admire their efforts? Or do you know a local business or community group that works hard to help others get around town using these means? The Town of Bridgewater honours individuals and businesses/organizations who make outstanding efforts to walk or wheel to get from place to place (we call this “active transportation”). The Town continuously accepts nominations for the annual Active Transportation Leadership Awards. Awards are presented each year at the Growing Green Sustainability Festival taking place each August. You can nominate a person, business, organization or group. 2014 nominations are due by July 14. Click here to learn more.

Growing Green Festival - Call for Volunteers & Partners

This summer will be the 6th anniversary of the Growing Green Sustainability Festival. Would you like to be part of the energetic volunteer team that makes it happen? Or would your business or organization like to play a significant role in this year's event (beyond a street fair booth)?

From its beginning as a small 4 hour fair at Shipyards Landing, the Festival grew last year to a 4 day event involving multiple venues. This included a popular street fair, a sustainability tour featuring leading edge sustainability initiatives around Lunenburg County, a lively music concert and fresh air films at King Street Court, a Close to Home dinner held in the greenhouse at Wile's Lake Farm Market, and more.

Many hands make light work, and the Festival's volunteer organizing committee is seeking new members! Volunteer time required to join the committee or one of its teams can be as little as 5-10 hours per month between now and mid-August. For more information, please contact the festival organizers at or call 541-4390. Note: volunteer opportunities on the event days themselves will be announced closer to the time of the event.

This year's festival will be held on August 21-24. Stay tuned for more information over the next few months!

Super Workshop with Super Heroes

On April 12, 2014, Emma Norton and Wayne Groszko from the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, led a four-hour workshop entitled “ Energy Super Heroes.” The workshop was co-sponsored by CSN and the Library, and, because it took place at the Margaret Hennigar Public Library, we were treated to a tour of the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.

After the tour, the first half of the workshop focused on improving building envelopes and reducing drafts, comparing options for heating and cooling, reducing lighting and water use, and using appliances efficiently. We all learned that once can borrow a Watt Reader from the Library and use it to track how much energy large and small appliances are drawing in our homes, whether on or (supposedly) off. In this context, it is important to understand that
[o]ne kWh is the amount of energy it takes to run a 1000 Watt electric kettle for one hour or to run a hot shower for 3 minutes. Supplying one kWh of electricity in Nova Scotia causes about 800 grams of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, and costs us about $0.15 on our electric bill, all charges and taxes included.
The final half of the workshop was devoted to a presentation and discussion about what one can do to advance home energy efficiency if working on new construction or major renovations. If you are interested in any of these ideas, you can contact Emma or Wayne at the Ecology Action Centre, as well as visit these websites:

News from the Blockhouse School Project

Coldframes for Sale - Myk has been building coldframes at the Blockhouse School Project from re-purposed materials and will be selling them at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market when it starts in May. If you want one sooner, get in touch with

Friday afternoon work parties at the Blockhouse School Project
Come when you can on Friday afternoons and lend a hand. High on the priority list is the exterior of the building: turning more shingles and painting the trim. There are other projects too. Contact or just show up any time after 1 pm, starting May 9th.

Bright Business Award Nominations

The Bright Business Awards are held every year to recognize Nova Scotia’s best-in-class energy efficient organizations and individuals. These winners lead by example and are instrumental in taking the message of energy efficiency to new heights by inspiring fellow Nova Scotians. Winners will take centre stage during the Bright Business conference on October 2nd gaining recognition as a local leader in energy efficiency. The Bright Business Awards rely upon nominations to help recognize deserving organizations and people. Nomination deadline is June 30, 2014.

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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