December 2014 Update

As 2014 winds to a close, we hope you will join us in remembering the successes and joys of the year gone by, and reflecting on the opportunities to come in 2015.  Sustainability is a journey, one that usually begins with small steps, and that requires both looking back to understand where we've come from, as well as looking forward to envision where we are going.  We hope you will join us at our second annual New Year's Levee / Open House to socialize with other members, reflect on the year gone by, and start making plans for the coming one.  See the events calendar for details.  Many thanks for Chalene and Daniel for offering their home for this event for the second year in a row!  

Elsewhere in this newsletter, you'll find sustainable holiday tips by CSN member and blogger Martina Groeger, and a wonderful set of upcoming gardening and outdoor workshops hosted by our long-time CSN member business Helping Nature Heal, to help you prepare for working with nature in the new year.  We also have an exciting conference coming in April on the local economy, opportunities to join two important and active sustainability-related teams in 2015, and a report from the last CSN educational event and members discussion evening around the topic of sustainable local businesses & economy. 

Warm seasons greetings to you and yours, and see you in the new year!


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.

Stories from the CSN Blog

In this article, I share some of my thoughts on creating more sustainable holidays and gift-giving experiences for others... as well as for yourself!  

A Merry Sustainable Christmas to you and your family!
Martina Groeger, CSN Blogger

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CSN Panelists & Members Discuss Sustainable Local Business Needs

On November 18th, the CSN hosted an educational event named "In Conversation with Local Businesses: Sustainable Products & Practices, Sustainable Economy". The well-attended event featured three panelists, representing a small, medium, and large-sized business.  Each reflected on practices that they used to become more sustainable businesses, as well as their thoughts on what it will take to create a more sustainable local economy in the Bridgewater area.  Here are a few quick highlights from their presentations:

Jim Drescher (Windhorse Farm) spoke about how his business constantly strives to reduce their environmental impact in forestry and other land-based services (including a conference and retreat centre).  For Jim, sustainability is all about identifying the mental barriers to thinking sustainably, and he challenged all people and organizations to reduce their carbon footprint every month because cutting greenhouse gas emissions drastically over the coming years is key to creating global sustainability.

Lynn Hennigar (Lighthouse Media Group) used her speaking opportunity to publicly launch the new face of her organization (re-branding itself as LighthouseNOW), and described the soul-searching process her organization has gone through over the past year to re-invent itself in order to survive as an organization as well as better serve the genuine needs of the community.  She described community initiatives such as NOW Lunenburg County which seek to mobilize the broader community toward sustainability and resilience, and encouraged others to get involved.

Louis Hachey (Michelin North America - Canada) spoke about some incredible energy efficiency initiatives that the Bridgewater Michelin plant has undertaken over the past few years - initiatives that have been recognized worldwide for their effectiveness in reducing the plant's dependence on fossil fuels.  Key to their success is bringing together diverse groups of employees to come up with creative energy solutions, and empowering them to make lasting changes.  He encouraged all organizations to think of the value of changing the culture around waste and efficiency, for the benefit of the business as well as the broader community.

Following this panel presentation, CSN members held a meeting to discuss the question, "how can the CSN better serve business members in promoting sustainability or working toward sustainable communities?" Many complex and challenging problems were identified, as well as interesting and compelling ideas to work together to support sustainability in local businesses.  It was a great first discussion, and a number of CSN members stepped forward to continue working on this issue.  If you are interested in this same topic, and have some time, energy, and ideas to contribute, please "reply" to this email and let us know, and we'll connect you to this new group.

Bridgewater Active Transportation Committee Seeking Members

Are you, or your group interested in active modes of transportation; planning & public policy; health and environmental issues; community education; developing communication tools; developing partnerships in the community; municipal infrastructure; and working in a team environment? If so, this is your chance to volunteer with the Town to help promote active transportation in Bridgewater!

The Town is seeking up to 5 STAKEHOLDER representatives and 3 CITIZENS at large, for a period of 3 years. If you wish to apply, you can download the application form by clicking here; picking up the form at the main office (60 Pleasant Street); or you can email your request for an application form to The deadline to submit the application is December 10, 2014 @ 4:30 p.m.

To learn more about the Committee, visit

Growing Green Festival Planning Team Seeking Members

This summer will be the 7th anniversary of the Growing Green 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 has grown to a 4 day event involving multiple venues. This includes 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 featuring local foods, and much 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.

The 2015 festival will be held on August 20-23. Stay tuned for more information over the next few months!

Local Prosperity Conference Coming in April 2015

The CNS is pleased to promote the following upcoming conference to our members, and we have been warmly invited to attend by the event organizers:

Local Prosperity: New Economics for Rural Canada - Teaching Practical Economic Tools For Local Communities 

April 9-12, 2015
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

This conference will focus on how individuals, businesses, and communities in rural communities can design and then implement a practical blueprint for a prosperous future and a healthy economy. Local Prosperity will feature the best of the best – examples of a new economic model in action at the local level, in Atlantic Canada, other regions of Canada, and the world. This conference will teach a wide range of immediately-actionable tools for community builders. Local Prosperity is intended for those who can begin the work to inspire others in the implementation of these projects and tools.

Over 35 keynote speakers, moderators and panelists will share their experience and knowledge in a wide range of local community initiatives... Learn more on the website!

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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