August 2014 Update


August is upon us!  Along with sunny days and the occasional post-tropical storm, not to forget corn-on-the-cob and blueberries, it's also the season for Nova Scotia to explode in summer festivals!  And Bridgewater and Lunenburg County are home to our very own Growing Green Festival, which is unique in Atlantic Canada!

This year's event promises to be even brighter and better than in past years.  Some highlights from the festival planning team:

The Close to Home Dinner kicks things off with a scenic and well-appointed local food banquet at Wile's Lake Farm Market - buy your tickets in advance at Wile's Lake before they sell out again!

Watch a few sustainability-related short films at Shipyards Landing in Bridgewater including "The Story of Bottled Water", in recognition that Bridgewater Town Council recently declared access to clean water a fundamental human right.  Followed by Disney's "Brave" for nature and adventure enthusiasts of all ages.

The Street Fair in Bridgewater brings you informative, educational and fun activities and displays, activities for kids, and lots of delicious local food.  Featuring a "Food Truck Rally" serving up exciting local meals in a fun format.

Join the Lunenburg County Sustainability Bus Tour for FREE!  See interesting and innovative businesses and places right in your backyard that are doing their best to leave a light footprint on the Earth.  Register today before the bus fills up.

For up to date information, see - hope to see you there!

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.

Local Food Awareness Week (Sept 14-21) - Call for Participation

This September, the CSN Events and Engagement Team is helping to promote Local Food Awareness Week, September 14-21, 2014. Organized by the Lunenburg-Queens Local Food Team, this special week is set aside to showcase local food events, activities, and workshops that offer education about food preparation and food security, including the promotion of local food producers and products. The Team encourages businesses, community groups, and citizens of Lunenburg and Queens Counties to host their own event, which the Team advertises as part of Local Food Awareness Week.

Last September, the CSN E&E Team hosted a film screening and a read-a-thon. This year we plan to host a short talk or “demo” on the theme of local food. You might also consider running your own workshop or event. Last fall, CSN members hosted or helped to organize several different events including a “Great Meals for a Change” supper, a community potluck, and nature and perma-culture walks.

Would you like to be part of this year’s Local Food Awareness Week for Lunenburg and Queens Counties? Do you have a food skill you would like to share with others from your own home or property? Or are you part of a business or organization that would like to host an event or open house as part of the week’s activities?

For more information or to present your interest and ideas, please contact CSN-E&E Team members Marion Moore at 543-9222 or Charlene Morton

CSN Members Give 3 x 10 Tips on Home Renovations

On July 15th, CSN members came together for presentation and discussion on energy and sustainability tips during home renovations.  Following three excellent presentations by CSN members Helga Pizzera, Frank Fawson, and Charlene Morton, we compiled a list of their top 10 tips on home renovations:

Helga's 10 Tips:
  1. Use LED electric light bulbs
  2. Unplug all power bars when you go to bed, TV included; unplug toaster, coffee maker and kettle
  3. Use solar lights as outdoor lights
  4. Use solar powered speaker for your stereo and charge your phone and tablet with solar
  5. Turn heat pump off overnight
  6. Use infra-red cooking burners
  7. Turn breakers off for your baseboard heaters; use wood stove instead
  8. Five minutes showers only; use timers
  9. No night lights; you make more melatonin without any light and sleep better
  10. Turn ALL electronic devices off overnight like cellphone, modem, computer, tablets
Frank's 10 Tips:
  1. Know and understand how your home design originally functioned. Often it is easier and cheaper to go to the original design.
  2. Understand energy efficiencies of older buildingsundefinedvery different than newer ones.
  3. The National Building Code used by all building inspectors is a minimum standard for public health and safety. Good trade practices surpass building code standards.
  4. Air leakage equals energy loss. Check exterior doors first.
  5. Insulation keeps heat out and in.
  6. Blown in cellulose works well in filling building cavities.
  7. Changes in living habits create energy savings.
  8. Plaster is a superior material than gyprock.
  9. New windows often provide little energy savings.
  10. Simple proven renewable energy technologies manufactured in Atlantic Canada are my first choice.
Frank also provided a link to an article he had written for an environmental publication on home renovations back in 2008 (see pages 18-19)

Charlene's 10 Tips:
  1. “The Devil’s in the details”
  2. Savings from more efficient heating in winter vs overuse air condition mode in summer.
  3. If you are a lousy driver, you won’t benefit from the mileage capacity of your VW diesel. Ditto for heat pumps.
  4. Heat pumps go no lower than 16 degrees . . . .
  5. Some laminate countertops can be “upgraded” to include 70% FSC materials.
  6. Cost of local wood flooring material plus installation/finishing no more expensive than manufactured engineered wood products from Canadian companies.
  7. Mechanical and natural air circulation: adding floor vent + using ducted system to better circulate wood heat during winter.
  8. Curtains/blinds cut out heat in the summer
  9. Recycled plastic available in blinds
  10. Habitat for Humanity NS Restore & Kijiji

Call for Public Input on NS Solid Waste Regulations

The Nova Scotia Department of Environment (NS DOE) has a consultation process on waste resource issues that is about to conclude. Its aim is to gauge public support for going further towards "Zero Waste" - the direction citizens advocated for, and the government agreed with, in the mid-1990's. They're proposing to add various materials to those prohibited for disposal through landfill or incineration, to clarify the definition of incineration to include new variations, as well as other improvements. 

If we want to be good environmental stewards, we need to send in comments to the consultation process. Even very short comments can have a huge impact. Deadline for the comment period of August 1, 2014 is waved for late submissions this week.

To educate yourself on the issues, you can read the NS DOE discussion paper, containing the proposed Zero Waste improvements to the legislation.  To provide perspective on these matters, here are links to two responses to these proposed improvements, which we do not necessarily endorse, but provide for information purposes only: To send a response, email Sophia Foley at the NS DOE before the end of the week.

Thank you for your concern and active engagement in working for a better and more sustainable future for Nova Scotia.

Bridgewater Named "Innovative Community Fighting Climate Change"

Bridgewater was recognized in a recent article by the environmental organization DeSmog Canada.  The article features five "lesser known" and mostly smaller communities across Canada that have undertaken some bold actions on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.  Bridgewater has the pleasure of joining Dawson Creek BC, Guelph ON, Varannes QC, and even the T’Sou-ke First Nation BC as climate leaders.  Nice to be recognized for our initiatives - go Bridgewater!  : )

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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