March 2015 Update

In February, Town of Bridgewater staff released the fifth annual Sustainability Report, which provides progress updates on initiatives related to the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP) and Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP).  

The report provides details on the Town's sustainability activities and achievements over the previous 12 months.  Read the report to find out more about sustainability initiatives that the Town and the broader community are actively pursuing, including:
  • New energy projects and initiatives
  • New bike racks and other active transportation projects
  • New map of all community gardens projects and edible trees
  • Improvements to the Town's water and waste water systems
  • New initiatives related to recycling and waste separation
The report was well received by Bridgewater Town Council when it was presented on February 23rd. If you have any questions about the content of the report, feel free to ask by simply replying to this email.


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.

Lee Simpson: Are we Just "Buying for the Sake of Buying?"

At our February 17th CSN meeting, we welcomed Lee Simpon to speak to us about her "year of buying nothing".  Well, that's somewhat misleading because she did buy some things including food and essentials, but what she really did was set clear rules for herself on what she would and wouldn't buy, with an overall intention to not consume frivolous things and to carefully examine her habits and beliefs about consumerism.  The result?  lots of useful lessons learned about how to do more with less, a better understanding of what she considers to be "ethical consumption", and an increased appreciation for buying locally, buying second hand, and bartering with others for things she needs.  

What can we learn from Lee's experience?  Besides practical tips such as how to get the most out of a lipstick tube, perhaps a better understanding that our purchasing decisions have wide-ranging impacts - on ourselves, on our community, and on our planet.  Lee is currently writing a manuscript about her experience that she hopes will be published in the near future.  

After Lee's presentation, CSN members were introduced to examples of "sustainable purchasing guides" by the Adventure Earth Centre and Windhorse Farm that both organizations were happy to share.  Members who attended that night thought it would be valuable to circulate those documents to this email list.

Thanks to Lee for her time and energy in speaking with the CSN.  In appreciation of Lee's contribution, the CSN is making a small donation in her name to the Mahone Bay Food Bank.

Town of Bridgewater Commits to New Energy Reduction Goals

What's next for a municipality that has already achieved province-wide recognition for reducing its energy consumption by 15%?  Going for even more ambitious goals, of course!  On February 23rd, Bridgewater Town Council approved a new 4-year plan to reduce energy consumption at Town facilities by a further 10%, with the intention of cutting consumption by a total of 25% by 2018.  Few communities in Canada have attempted such ambitious projects, and the effort may well put Bridgewater on the national map of leading municipalities.  The plan includes:
  • Energy efficiency upgrades at five public facilities
  • Energy efficiency improvements for water and waste water infrastructure
  • Improvements to existing solar technologies and the installation of a new photovoltaic solar demonstration project
  • Staff and visitor energy education programs
An annual report will be produced to measure the Town's progress toward meeting the goals of this plan.  You can read the plan here.

Blue Communities Update

Pictured are Blue Team members Malcolm Sepulchre, Charlene Morton, Marion Moore, and Daniel Vokey
On February 24th, the "Blue Team" presented its pitch to the District of Lunrnburg that the Municipality should become a "Blue Community", which is one that adopts a water commons framework by taking one or all of these three actions:
  1. recognizing water as a human right
  2. promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and wastewater services; and
  3. banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events
See which other communities have signed on to the water commons framework on the Blue Communities website.  The proposal has moved on to the MODL Community and Cultural Services Committee for discussion. Stay tuned!


For a period of time, each month's edition of this newsletter will profile a CSN member and their ideas and activities that help promote a more sustainable community. If you'd like to contribute a small write-up about yourself for this section please contact us!

This month, meet CSN member Susan Lilley from Hebbville. Susan joined CSN in 2013. Here are a few of Susan's more sustainable practices that she offered to share with the CSN:
  1. "creative mending" on worn or damaged clothing and household items.
  2. drying, canning and/or freezing fresh, local fruit for the winter, to avoid buying imports.
  3. washing and reusing plastic milk bags, to avoid buying baggies.
  4. regularly using Freecycle and Kijiji to get rid of unused stuff.
  5. eating meat only a couple of times/week.
  6. hanging laundry to dry, mostly outside, year-round.
  7. mostly using the public library, or passing books on to others, to avoid accumulating them.
Thanks for starting us off, Susan!  

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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