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[1THING] Blog: Archive for June, 2017

[ Guardian Life Insurance Supports Local Farmers! ]

Guardian Life Supports Local Farmers


CSA veggies

As many of you heard at our Annual Meeting, we’re developing new ways to benefit your organization through our EarthShare at Work program! In Year 2 of our partnership with Guardian Life Insurance, we worked with their Pittsfield, MA Green Team to develop a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and connected them with American Farmland Trust to identify a local farm to support. Now the Guardian CSA program is up and running in Pittsfield from June through October, through Brattle Farms. Learn more in this interview with Brattle Farm owner Donna Chandler, by April Opatik of American Farmland Trust!

Donna Chandler is not your ordinary mother and grandmother— she is a full-time Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer.

“I did not grow up as a farmer, but I grew up in a dense farming neighborhood. I enjoyed all the natural beauty on the land while growing up. As I grew older, my passion for farming became clearer as I noticed all the farms in my neighborhood disappearing,” Donna expressed.

About 15 years ago, Donna first got into aspects of farming by raising sheep on only a few acres of land for wool and her children’s 4-H projects. It started out with only two sheep, but as they started winning competitions their herd became over ten times the original size. 17 acres later, Donna decided to start selling her vegetables, meat, and other goods through her CSA: Brattle Farm.

“I wanted to see if I could get a steady cash flow before I went into CSA farming full-time. During that first year, I had 20 families signed up and it was very successful. Four years later, I now have 90 families! I am amazed that I could do this,” Donna stated.

It hasn’t been an easy road for her. One of the biggest challenges she had to overcome was educating others about what a CSA farm is. For 20-28 weeks, members pay a subscription cost to receive a portion of the farm’s produce—enjoying the flavors and challenges of seasonal eating. Joining a CSA is a powerful investment in your health, community, local economy—and even a possibility to explore new and exciting recipes. Donna is happy to note that Brattle Farm accepts SNAP. Some farms, like Donna’s, also allow members to pay for their share by committing to work a specified number of hours on the farm each week.

Donna’s CSA received around 20 new subscriptions through the Pittsfield Green Team, and Guardian employees learned more about American Farmland Trust’s work to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices, and keep farmers like Donna on the land. Guardian employees also plan to support AFT through volunteer projects to create recipe card packets and thank you notes for farmer’s market shoppers.

Help us incorporate your organization into our corporate partnerships! Please complete the Member Services Survey if you haven’t already.

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[ Cities and states are declaring climate independence from Trump ]

State and local leaders understand that by investing in clean energy and cutting emissions, we're betting on the future. What could possibly be more American?

     
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[ Feds’ pursuit of Arctic offshore drilling a mistake, costly to taxpayers ]

Tim Woody

As part of President Trump’s goal of opening more of America’s offshore waters to oil and gas drilling, the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today announced it will revise the 2017-2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.

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[ New report: False promises on coal hurt Americans ]

Sarah Graddy

TWS’ “False Promises” report highlights four case studies from Maryland, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin to examine the often hidden social and environmental costs of burnin

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[ A Greener 4th of July ]

pinwheeldtThe 4th of July is all about the red, white and blue, but we suggest you add some green to the holiday with these eco-friendly tips.

  1. Going on a picnic? Serve all those icy cold beverages without a straw. Americans use half a billion straws a day, and many end up in landfills. Others end up in rivers or other bodies of water where animals mistake them for food.
  2. If you must use disposable plates, use the paper ones and not styrofoam. Styrofoam takes at least 500 years to decay, and may actually last forever.
  3. If you’re planning on going camping, be sure to “leave no trace.” Pick up after yourself, and if you have a campfire, be sure to use only dead wood.
  4. In addition to getting outdoors to watch fireworks–get outside and enjoy nature! Don’t forget to bring some bug spray and be wary of ticks. c
  5. Choose a non-toxic sunscreen so you don’t harm yourself or the environment. More info about that here.
  6. Declare your independence from technology. Leave your smart phone at home or in your pocket or purse and enjoy all the gifts our planet has to offer!
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[ Save Our Oceans ]

dolphindtOne of the great organizations working hard to save our planet is Oceana. Founding in 2001, Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation.
Our oceans are in trouble.Scientists report that the amount of fish caught from the oceans began declining, for the first time in recorded history, just a few decades ago.

Fortunately, Oceana knows how to fix things.  Oceana seeks to make our oceans more bio-diverse and abundant by winning policy victories in the countries that govern much of the world’s marine life.   Oceana channels their resources towards strategic, directed campaigns to achieve MEASURABLE OUTCOMES that will protect and restore our oceans to former levels of abundance.

Oceana believes in the importance of science in identifying problems and solutions for the oceans, and their scientists work closely with teams of economists, lawyers, communicators, and advocates to achieve tangible results for the oceans.

How can you help?  Find out  here.

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[ Congress almost always votes with Trump as 2018 midterms loom. Bad idea, polls suggest. ]

Congressional voting patterns are remarkable considering that midterm elections are just a year away.

     
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[ Sec. Zinke calls for more drilling at governors meeting, TWS responds ]

DJ Tyson

Today, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke addressed a meeting of the Western Governors Association in Montana. In response, Nada Culver, senior director of agency policy at The Wilderness Society said:

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[ House bill threatens wildlife refuges across America ]

Michael Reinemer

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA (June 27, 2017) – Today the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voted in favor of H.R.

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[ Congress Votes to Give Away Another Chunk of America’s Natural Heritage ]

Kate Mackay

Today the House Natural Resources Committee marked up and passed H.R.

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