Catamount Earth Institute Late September E-Newsletter

When I first encountered the Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI), our Vermont non-profit was looking for a means to encourage people to live lighter on the planet. The NWEI was and still is, in my opinion, the most inspiring organization in providing information and empowering individuals and groups to take action as environmental stewards. In the past two years hundreds of Upper Valley residents came together for discussion groups about healthy food and on the connections between human and environmental health. NWEI has twelve discussion topics. Check them out at . Perhaps you’ll choose a topic that you’d like to discuss with friends and neighbors. I can help you set up a group discussion. Some of the discussion guides are available for loan thanks to the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation; others may be purchased.

Here’s one issue that I became aware of thanks to information shared in NWEI readings and group discussions: The Farm Bill is set to expire on September 30. The House hasn’t voted yet and according to the Center for Food Safety, its riders seek to erode USDA oversight of Genetically Engineered crops. See the Center for Food Safety website for more information and to contact your Congressional Representative.

A fall NWEI activity is its EcoChallenge! Each year NWEI gets several thousand people to commit to changing a habit for the Earth over the span of two weeks (October 1-15th). You can sign up at and pick your own action (no fundraising required!!). During the EcoChallenge, participants choose one action to reduce their environmental impact and stick with it for two weeks. Ecochallengers pick a category—water, trash, energy, food or transportation—and set a goal that is fun, stretches their comfort zone and makes a difference for themselves and the planet. My family’s challenge is to have a vegetarian diet. What low impact action works for you? The NWEI EcoChallenge helps us move from “I should” to “I can” and it’s fun. Join the challenge with NWEI enthusiasts from around the country.!

Please also check out the NWEI discussion courses at and pick one you might like to do with friends and neighbors. Some of the series are available for loan thanks to the Jack and Dorothy Byrne Foundation; others may be purchased. I’m happy to help you set up a group discussion.

Upper Valley Sustainability Events Calendar

Friday, Sept. 21, 7 pm, Bradford Academy Auditorium, Main St., Bradford, VT
VT-made film The Summer of Walter Hacks

Fundraiser for the VT Farm Disaster Relief Fund.  Suggested donation:  $5.
There will be live music by Stovepipe Mountain Band and fresh food prepared by local vendors from 4:30-6:45. This film was made almost exclusively in Vermont. Come and meet the film’s professional writer and director, George Woodard, who is also a farmer in Waterbury Center, VT. This is a fictional story of a Vermont farm family in the 1950s featuring 11 year Walter Hacks and his older brother. To learn more about film, see

Monday, September 24, 5:30- 7:30 pm
Upper Valley Food Co-op, White River Junction
Learn about some homemade gift ideas. Choose from several gift projects. The Sew-op has sewing machines for your use during class.
$20 fee for members, $25 for non-members

Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m., Mayer Room, Howe Library, 13 South St., Hanover
The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail
Talk byJerry Monkman, a photographer and contributor to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s new book, The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail.
Info: Howe Library, 603-643-4120, Co-sponsored by the Hanover and Norwich friends of the  Appalachian Trail

Tuesday, October 2, 4- 5:30 pm, Montshire Museum, Norwich
Invasive Plants and their Native Alternatives: Best Practices for Vermont and New Hampshire
Free and open to the public

October 9, 16, 23, 25, Oct. 30, Nov. 1, 6, 8, 14, Howe Library, 13 South St., Hanover
Discussions and lectures related to Moby Duck, Howe’s Everyone’s Reading 2012 book by
Donovan Hohn. Copies of Moby-Duck are available for checkout at Howe Library by any Upper Valley resident, with or without a Howe Library card. For more information about all of these events see .

Here’s a little information about the book from the Howe Library’s website:
“Donovan Hohn was a high school English teacher when one of his students wrote an essay about a shipment of rubber ducks that tumbled overboard in the north Pacific Ocean and subsequently began washing up on beaches hundreds of miles away. Intrigued, Mr. Hohn set out to trace the journey of the toys. Along the way, he visited Alaska, Hawaii, and Hong Kong; went beachcoming, sailed through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and took a container ship across the Pacific Ocean; spoke with beachcombers, environmentalists, factory owners, and scientists; and completed his journey with a trip through the Northwest Passage. Part environmental treatise and part travelogue, Moby-Duck touches on an eclectic combination of topics, including plastics pollution, global warming, oceanography, beachcombing, globalization, and literature; it is a lighthearted but serious-minded testament to the joys – and travails – of one man’s attempt to satisfy his curiosity.”

Thursdays, October 18- November 8, 6 pm to 9 pm (Registration deadline October 5)
Master Composter Course
Upper Valley Interactive TV Locations: White River Junction, Springfield, Randolph
Cost: $40
Info: (802) 656-9562, [email protected],

Thursday, October 11, Hartland
Seedsavers October Meeting, Potluck and program
For more information contact Sylvia Davatz at [email protected]

To receive the UV Localvores e-newsletter contact [email protected].
This Upper Valley Sustainable Living Network update was written by Barbara Duncan.

Catamount Earth Institute, POB 470 Hanover, NH 03755
802-333-3664 (May- Oct.)  603-643-0328 (Nov.-April)
[email protected]
Contact [email protected]  if you do NOT want to receive these occasional updates.

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