June 2017      
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In This Issue


The Rev. Dr. Anita Schell
Emmanuel Newport
Ray Frackelton, PhD
Newman Congregational
Marty Davey
St. Gregory the Great
Christine Muller
Baha ' i Community
Christine Cassels
St. Luke's
East Greenwich

Sarah Atkins
Emmanuel Newport
The Rev. David Helfer
Unitarian Universalist  
Congregation of
South County
Peace Dale

Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
First Unitarian Church

Dear Friends,

It's hard to believe that June is upon us and summer is right around the corner.  I've just finished a day-long seminar on Green Infrastructure in Rhode Island, hosted at Save the Bay. John Rozum, of NOAA , explained the basics of Green Infrastructure from concepts and principles to practice and implementation. Several other speakers added information on local projects. You can view examples of Green Infrastructure on Aquidneck Island on  a Nature Based Solutions for Stormwater Runoff bus tour at the ECRI annual meeting next week. 
Next month I'll post photos of my Cool Harvest Garden. Seed kits are still available if you'd like to plant your own!
Kristen Ivy Moses
Executive Director
Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
The RI Interfaith Power & Light 
board  has been hard at work implementing the advocacy
policy developed in our strategic plan. At its May meeting, the board of RI IPL decided to support the following bills.  The first two bills  have been introduced to stop the planned  Invenergy power-plant in Burrillville  and improve the vetting process for any future power plants.
  1. Support Energy Facility Siting Act  (H5897 and Senate TBA)  Summary: Prevents the energy facility siting board from proceeding to final hearing or issuing a final decision if one or more of the designated agencies inform the siting board that they are unable to form an advisory opinion due the conduct of the applicant.
  2. Support Energy Siting  (H5197 and S0441)  Summary: Requires environmental impacts be considered in energy plant siting proceedings.
  3. Support Energize Rhode Island: Clean Energy Investment And Carbon Pricing Act Of 2017 (H5369 and S365)  Summary: Establishes a fee on companies that sell fossil fuels in RI and also establishes a receipt account to disburse the funds from.
  4. Support Renewable Energy Growth Program  (H5274 and S112)  Summary: Expands the renewable energy growth program for an additional ten years after the fifth program year, with an annual target of forty nameplate megawatts for each year of the ten year periods.
  5. Support Net-metering  (H5618 and Senate TBA) 
    Summary: Makes educational institutions and nonprofit corporations established pursuant to chapter 6 of title 7 eligible for net-metering financing arrangements.
We've also added an advocacy page to our website to keep you informed about what we're working on. 

RI IPL's New Advocacy Request Policy
We are glad to report that we have been receiving many  requests from organizations or individuals asking RI IPL's formal participation in letter writing, sign-on petitions, writing position statements, and actions such as peaceful demonstrations etc.
We needed a fair mechanism that would allow us to process and respond to such requests in a timely and professional manner. Therefore we created an Advocacy Request Policy which you can read here.

Save the Bay Center

When treated responsibly, nature provides many ecosystem services such as Carbon Storage, Coastal Buffering, Water Filtration, Agriculture, Wave Attenuation, Employment Opportunities, and Opportunities for Recreation and Enjoyment. Problems are created when people impact the natural systems. We are then responsible for replacing those services that we've impacted, either by restoring the ecosystem or providing a man made alternative.  Healthy natural  infrastructure  is less expensive than man made constructs and damage repair, and that's when green infrastructure come in.
Green infrastructure  is an approach to stormwater management that preserves, restores, or mimics our natural ecosystem. It can include Urban Forestry, Coastal Wetlands, Oyster Beds and Sea Grasses, Green Roofing, Living Shoreline, Open Space, Forested Wetland, and Sand Dunes.  Although green infrastructure doesn't solve the problem of sea level rise, it helps natural ecosystems adapt and it mitigates damage. 
Many people identify with spiritual experiences in nature and there is no doubt that spending time within a natural ecosystem nourishes your spirit. As a faith community, we are stakeholders in the green infrastructure planning process. Many green infrastructure projects are multi-functional, providing natural resilience, a sense of place, and community recreation opportunities. 
To learn more about green infrastructure in Rhode Island, visit:
Next month I'll include some green infrastructure ideas you can use at home, right in your own yard!
Sea Level Rise Mapping Tool

STORMTOOLS is an online map tool that shows coastal storm inundation, with and without sea level rise, for varying return period storms in each of Rhode Island's 21 coastal municipalities. You can use STORMTOOLS to see where your house, church, business, or property will be with sea level rise predictions.  The video below, from  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse,  was created with the assistance of STORMTOOLS. 

RI Archipelago, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
RI Archipelago, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Upcoming Events

The Interfaith Solar Initiative brings solar power to faith communities and provides Rhode Island residents with valuable information about the many financial and environmental benefits of solar electricity.  All events are free and open to the public.  

Solar Sundays
Join us for an informational presentation on the Interfaith Solar Initiative. RI Interfaith Power & Light members, SmartPower staff, and a solar technician from Trinity Solar will be on hand to answer your questions and to sign up interested homeowners. Information packets will be available and several experienced solar homeowners will be on hand to describe their experiences and to answer questions.

Sunday, June 4, 2017
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM
St. Augustine's Episcopal Church
15 Lower College Rd
Kingston, Rhode Island 02881

Sunday, June 25, 2017
10:45 AM - 12:00 PM
Peace Dale Congregational Church
261 Columbia St
South Kingstown, RI

Did you know that  Websites have carbon footp rints? Many people are surprised when they learn that the in ternet is not green and that by no means is the web hosting industry eco-friendly. The biggest contributing factor to a web host's overall climate impact is power consumption. Data centers use up a huge amount of energy to run and cool all their servers. Other power needs come from climate control, electronic security, and the physical building itself. Here are our top five reasons to avoid traditional Web
  1. There are now roughly three million data centers across America, and all of these servers make up about  2% of total United States electricity use  - roughly the equivalent of five nuclear power plants
  2. Hosting servers pull energy from the grid and most of that energy comes from fossil fuels
  3. Each web hosting server produces an average of 1390 pounds of CO2 each year, more than a car
  4. By 2020, the Web Hosting industry is expected to surpass the Airline industry in Environmental Pollution
  5. Many data centers waste vast amounts of energy, running at maximum capacity around the clock while using less than 10% of the energy they pull off the grid. 
Our webpage, at www.ri-ipl.org ,  is powered by 300% wind energy, making our website's carbon footprint negative!  In order to compensate for the pollution they create, our web hosting service purchases wind energy credits for the energy consumed, times three. They actually replace 3 times the amount of energy used by their servers with wind power. 
Your choice is important and it is important right now! If you are starting a new website or if you are thinking about switching your web hosting to another provider we hope you will choose to host your website with an eco-friendly web hosting service provider. P lease learn about the environmental impact of the web hosting industry and what contribution to that impact that your website makes. Here are our top five reasons to choose a Certified Green hosting company:
  1. Energy efficient server hardware, including materials used, internal component layout, and assembly quality
  2. Efficient server software that has resource-optimized operating systems and web servers use less energy
  3. Energy efficient methods to cool their servers instead of using up more energy on air conditioning and fans
  4. Many green web hosting companies buy RECs, or Renewable Energy Certificates, from the US government or even generate their own renewable power
  5. Some companies also have official policies for disposal or recycling of old equipment in a way that doesn't harm the environment 
For more information about our EPA Green Power Partner  web hosting service, Green Geeks,  Click Here . If you choose to open a  web hosting account with Green Geeks through this link, RI IPL will benefit from a referral bonus!

ECRIAnnualMeetingECRI Annual Meeting:
Environmental Council of Rhode Island

The 2017 theme, the management of stormwater, highlights a topic ECRI has been putting front and center for several years, with a big focus on Newport and Aquidneck Island, along with the Green Infrastructure Coalition, for which ECRI serves as financial manager. The meeting will take place at Emmanuel Church,  a member of Rhode Island Interfaith Power and Light, an ECRI organization.
The day's festivities will begin at 3:00 PM with a nature based solutions for stormwater runoff bus tour. The evening program will start with a very short ECRI annual business meeting. A Buffet Dinner will follow, and then keynote speakers Thomas Ardito, Executive Director of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, and Jeffrey Diehl, Executive Director of the RI Infrastructure Bank, will detail projects.
The food is always great, and most of the time is devoted to talking to your favorite environmental leaders and activists about what we must do to keep Rhode Island a place we want to live.  A key purpose of ECRI is to bring together activists and leaders to protect the Rhode Island environment.  It is a clear case where all of us together are stronger than all of us separately.
Cost is $40 per person including the infrastructure tour.   Tickets available at  www.environmentcouncilri.org

Monday, June 5, 2017
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Tour
5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Dinner and Presentation
Emmanuel Church
42 Dearborn St
Newport, RI

RI Interfaith Power & Light will be an exhibitor at this event.

P eople's Power & Light is excited to offer a free wind turbine tour at Portsmouth Abbey School! Learn about green power and how you can act on climate change by supporting projects like the turbine at Portsmouth Abbey. This turbine produces enough electricity to power an average of 175 homes annually.
Since March 31, 2006, the day the blades began to turn, the turbine has been providing electricity for the grid.  It generates over 1 Million kWh of clean electric energy a year and supplies 40 percent of the School's and Monastery's overall electrical energy use. For more interesting facts about the turbine Click Here.
This free, educational event includes:  tour inside the turbine, friendly kid activities, a brief speaking program, and refreshments!

Portsmouth Abbey Wind Turbine Tour
Portsmouth, RI
Saturday, June 3, 2017
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Click Here for more information.

Join Metcalf Institute for the 20th Anniversary of the Annual Public Lecture Series featuring top experts in the science, policy, and public engagement of environmental issues. The lectures coincide with the Institute's internationally recognized Annual Science Immersion Workshop that brings journalists to URI from around the world. 

Monday, June 5, 3:30 p.m.
Johanna Polsenberg, The Ocean Health Index
Assessing the Health of Our Oceans
The public is invited to celebrate 20 years with Metcalf at a reception following Monday's lecture on June 5!

Tuesday, June 6, 3:30 p.m.
Dan Kahan, Yale University
Science Communication in the Age of Fake News and Public Distrust of the Press

Wednesday, June 7, 3:30 p.m.
Shreeram Inamdar, University of Delaware
Extreme Weather at the Watershed Scale: How to Protect Water Quality

Thursday, June 8, 3:30 p.m.
Cynthia Giles, Former U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator
Environmental Enforcement: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Friday, June 9, 11:00 a.m.
David Baron, Author and former Health and Science Editor for PRI's The World.
The Great Eclipse of 1878 and the Dawn of American Science

Corless Auditorium
University of Rhode Island
Graduate School of Oceanography
218 South Ferry Road
Narragansett, RI 02882

All lectures are free and open to the public. For details, Click Here.

SoakUptheRainSoak Up the Rain New England

A rain garden can be beautiful as well as functional.

Rain Gardens to the Rescue:  Using plants and natural systems  to manage stormwater
Polluted runoff is one of the greatest threats to clean water in the U.S. As we develop our cities and towns, we replace forests and meadows with buildings and pavement. When it rains, the water runs off roofs and driveways into the street. Runoff picks up fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants as it makes its way through storm drains and ditches - untreated - to our streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Rain gardens provide a cost-effective, attractive and environmentally-sound solution to managing residential and urban storm water runoff.
Rain gardens are versatile features that can be installed in almost any unpaved space. Also known as bioretention, or bioinfiltration, cells, they are shallow, vegetated basins that collect and absorb runoff from rooftops, sidewalks, and streets. This practice mimics natural hydrology by infiltrating, and evaporating and transpiring-or "evapotranspiring"-stormwater runoff. 

Thomas Benjamin, Landscape Architect, Wellnesscapes
Michael Dietz, Director, Connecticut NEMO (Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials) Program

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm EST

Click Here for more information and to register.

Before The Flood Film Screening
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
-Margaret Mead

Urgent and captivating,  Before the Flood   is a movie the world needs to watch. It follows actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio on a two-year journey around the world, creating a dialogue with people from all rungs of society about how we must respond to climate change. The movie was supported in part by National Geographic.
The video is produced and directed by Fisher Stevens who has worked in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. Before the Flood, is his third environmental film, following the Academy Award®-winning film The Cove and Racing Extinction. The documentary follows actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio as he travels to five continents to gain a deeper understanding of climate change and its impact on the world. DiCaprio is well known for his dedication to the environment on a global scale.  In September 2014, DiCaprio was designated as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a specific focus on climate change. In January 2016, DiCaprio was awarded a Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos for his work to bring global attention to the urgent need to address climate change.

The video emphasizes the most recent information regarding climate change issues.

Saturday, June 10, 2017
6:00 PM Potluck supper followed by film 
Christ the King Church
Parish Hall
180  Old North Road
Kingston, RI
Presented by the Peace and Justice Committee

Thursday, June 15, 2017

American Public Transportation Association (APTA), and public transportation systems across the country celebrate National Dump the Pump Day on the third Thursday in June each year.
In these tough economic times with high gas prices, everyone is looking for a way to save money. National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save money.
Riding public transit is an economical way to save money, particularly when gas prices are high. The latest APTA Transit Savings Report shows that a two person household that downsizes to one car can save - on the average - more than $9,569 a year.
However, public transportation doesn't just help people save money, it also helps communities grow and prosper. For example, for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is returned in economic returns. Mayors know that communities with public transportation are more competitive. So, riding public transportation helps people and their communities!

For schedules and more information, passengers may call 401-781-9400, or visit  www.ripta.com

Save the Bay

Join our friends at Save the Bay to celebrate the accomplishments its members, supporters, and volunteers at the Save The Bay 2017 Annual Meeting. 
Held in conjunction with their annual meeting, Taste of the Bay is a celebration of the flavors, sights, and sounds of Narragansett Bay. Enjoy sampling delicious food and drink from local restaurants, shell-fishermen, bakeries, breweries, and wineries while taking in beautiful scenery and live music! Also, there will be a big raffle featuring prizes from local food and beverage businesses to fun activities for all. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Annual Meeting
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM Taste of the Bay
The Bay Center
100 Save The Bay Drive
Providence RI

Tickets for Taste of the Bay are $45 each. Click Here to purchase.

Greening the Sphere Festival is a yearly community sustainability festival featuring workshops, demonstrations, fun activities and delicious food. The festival will include outdoor vendor booths, children's activities as well as indoor "green" exhibits by members of our Youth Council. Greening the Sphere is a tax exempt nonprofit that works with local students and community members to create projects and solutions that engage the community in grassroots sustainability. RI Interfaith Power & Light will have table. Stop by and say hello!

Saturday, June 17, 2017
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Hope and Main
691 Main St
Warren, RI 

Free to the public.

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Sent RI IPL related events or announcements to Kristen Ivy Moses, executive director, at kristenivy@ri-ipl.org.

Rhode Island Interfaith Power & Light
PO Box 15043, Riverside, RI 02915
www.ri-ipl.org  (401) 324-9142  inquiry@ri-ipl.org