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Coulee Partners for Sustainability Living respectfully, responsibly and reverently with one another and with Earth.

Winter Newsletter 2010

Think About Plastic

The bottom line why we should recycle plastic is this: recycling plastic is the right thing to do. It始s good for the environment, good for energy savings, good for the health of wildlife and this community so future generations can have a quality humans alike. Building a strong healthy community requires an environmental mindset and should demonstrate environmental stewardship by actions. Recycling of plastic will reduce the carbon footprint of

See page 7 & 8 for more information

life.

Harvest Dinner

Thanks Tom!

Coulee Partners for Sustainability held their Second Annual Harvest Dinner at the new Myric Hixon EcoPark. Jim Gallagher, Executive Director, gave us an update on the progress of the EcoPark. The Myrick Hixon EcoPark project is a collaborative effort involving the former Hixon Forest Nature Center, seven area Rotary clubs, and the City of La Crosse, to construct a new environmental education center and renovate the municipal zoo.

Tom Thompson, Gundersen/ Lutheran Sustainability Coordinator, accepts a hiking stick in our appreciation of his efforts during Earth Week 2009.

Burning plastic is not recycling. Plastic recycling is the process of reprocessing used scrap and waste plastic into new plastic material. Recycling old plastic products uses 20%-40% less energy than manufacturing it from new. It also contains oils that could be recycled and reused as fossil fuels.

Good Food

The wonderful meal was provided by Hackberry始s from The People始s Food Coop. Over 60 friends of Coulee Partners for Sustainability gathered to break bread and enjoy an evening together. Thanks! to everyone that helped put this event together. It was nice to see that so many good people are concerned about the Earth.

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The Natural Step Natural Step: A framework for building sustainable communities. It is a four-step process that has been implemented in communities all over the world since its inception in Sweden. It is designed to be applicable to any size municipality in any location. The principles for moving toward a sustainable society were developed in consensus by a Swedish children’s cancer doctor/researcher and 50 ecologists, chemists, physicists and medical doctors.

2. In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of substances produced by society. Reason: Human society also has been manufacturing synthetic substanceschemicals and other compounds that do not occur in nature-faster than materials can be broken down. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now lists over 70,000 (2004) chemicals that are common use. Many of these chemicals are persistent, meaning that they do not break down easily or quickly, and they can spread far from their place of origin. Synthetic chemicals are accumulating in our bodies and it is not feasible financially or time wise to study all these chemicals to discover which and what combinations of these chemicals may be responsible for cancers, reproductive disruptions, and species extinction.

Using the Natural Step Framework A framework of sustainability principles is needed so when community members dialogue, there is common language and common understanding. Swedish colleagues worked to identify what human activities were unsustainable over time and flaunted basic laws of physics, biology and ecology. Based on a clear understanding of what was unsustainable trends, an agreement emerged about four conditions that all need to be met in order for a society to be sustainable. These system conditions, as they have come to 3. In sustainable society, nature is not called, are as follows: subject to systematically increasing degradation by physical means. 1. In the sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of Reason: Human activity also is breaking substances extracted from the down natural systems-land, water, forests, Earth’s crust. soil, ecosystems-by depletion and Reason: Human society mines and brings destruction faster than these natural systems can renew themselves. Nearly into use the substances from below the Earth’s surface. These substances include one-half of the earth’s original forest cover has been lost. Two of every three heavy metals, such as cadmium, lead, species is estimated to be in decline. mercury, minerals such as phosphorus, Already the demand for fresh water and fossil fuels. These substances and exceeds the world’s supply by 17 percent. their emissions, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide created by burning of Nature is our life support system. It is the green plants, vegetation, trees, and ocean fossil fuels, have been steadily algae that produce the oxygen we breathe, accumulating both in human society and absorb the carbon dioxide we give off, nature at levels far greater than their and produce the sugars and carbohydrates natural occurrences. Because these that are a basis of all the food we eat. metals and minerals are elements, they cannot break down any further. Many of these substances, such as mercury, lead and cadmium, already are known to be toxic.

4. And, in a the sustainable society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs. Reason: If people cannot meet their basic human needs, the first three system conditions will not be met. The control of 80% of the world’s wealth and resources by 20% of the population is a unstable condition that can lead, if it is not already leading, to social unrest and conflict. The basic needs-air, water, food & sheltershould take precedence over provision of luxuries. Within our communities it is our responsibility to meet human needs fairly and efficiently.

What is sustainability? Sustainable development…meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.

What is an eco-municipality? A municipality that aspires an ecologically, economically, and socially healthy community for the long term, using The Natural Step framework for sustainability as a guide, and a democratic, highly participative development process as a method. Ecomunicipalities are developed locally to meet local needs.

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degradation was appearing everywhere, and everyone noticed except the political establishment. The environmental issue simply was not to be found on the nation's political agenda. The people were concerned, but the politicians were not. After President Kennedy's tour, I still hoped for some idea that would thrust How the First Earth Day Came the environment into the political About mainstream. Six years would pass By Senator Gaylord Nelson, Founder before the idea that became Earth Day occurred to me while on a of Earth Day conservation speaking tour out West in the summer of 1969. At the time, What was the purpose of Earth Day? anti-Vietnam War demonstrations, How did it start? These are the questions I am most frequently asked. called "teach-ins," had spread to college campuses all across the nation. Suddenly, the idea occurred to me Actually, the idea for Earth Day why not organize a huge grassroots evolved over a period of seven years protest over what was happening to starting in 1962. For several years, it had been troubling me that the state of our environment? our environment was simply a nonI was satisfied that if we could tap into issue in the politics of the country. the environmental concerns of the Finally, in November 1962, an idea general public and infuse the student occurred to me that was, I thought, a anti-war energy into the virtual cinch to put the environment into the political "limelight" once and environmental cause, we could generate a demonstration that would for all. The idea was to persuade President Kennedy to give visibility to force this issue onto the political agenda. It was a big gamble, but this issue by going on a national worth a try. conservation tour. I flew to Washington to discuss the proposal At a conference in Seattle in with Attorney General Robert September 1969, I announced that in Kennedy, who liked the idea. So did the President. The President began his the spring of 1970 there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration five-day, eleven-state conservation on behalf of the environment and tour in September 1963. For many invited everyone to participate. The reasons the tour did not succeed in wire services carried the story from putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the coast to coast. The response was electric. It took off like gangbusters. germ of the idea that ultimately Telegrams, letters, and telephone flowered into Earth Day. inquiries poured in from all across the I continued to speak on environmental country. The American people finally had a forum to express its concern issues to a variety of audiences in some twenty-five states. All across the about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so country, evidence of environmental with spectacular exuberance. For the

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next four months, two members of my Senate staff, Linda Billings and John Heritage, managed Earth Day affairs out of my Senate office. Five months before Earth Day, on Sunday, November 30, 1969, The New York Times carried a lengthy article by Gladwin Hill reporting on the astonishing proliferation of environmental events: "Rising concern about the environmental crisis is sweeping the nation's campuses with an intensity that may be on its way to eclipsing student discontent over the war in Vietnam...a national day of observance of environmental problems...is being planned for next spring...when a nationwide environmental 'teach-in'...coordinated from the office of Senator Gaylord Nelson is planned...." It was obvious that we were headed for a spectacular success on Earth Day. It was also obvious that grassroots activities had ballooned beyond the capacity of my U.S. Senate office staff to keep up with the telephone calls, paper work, inquiries, etc. In mid-January, three months before Earth Day, John Gardner, Founder of Common Cause, provided temporary space for a Washington, D.C. headquarters. I staffed the office with college students and selected Denis Hayes as coordinator of activities. Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself. 3


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Earth Day 2010 - 40th Anniversary Coulee Partners for Sustainability’s (CPS) sub-committee "La Crosse Earth Week Coalition" (LEWC) has been busy making plans for "Earth Day 2010", with the theme "40 Years of Going Green Together" to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day! Events are planned throughout the month and will be put on by LEWC and its "Partners" ("Partners" are nonprofit organizations that will also help promote Earth Month activities). Below is a listing of some of the main events. More information on these events (and other events scheduled during April and beyond) will be posted on "GreenLaCrosse.com" in March, as well as a listing of 2010 Earth Month Partners and Sponsors (Sponsors are local businesses that contribute financially and/or with inkind donations). “Earth Month” kick-off – April 1 – La Crosse Mayor Matt Harter and County Board Chair Steve Doyle will issue a joint proclamation for the month of April to be “Earth Month” for the City and County of La Crosse.

Earth Day – April 22 – Children’s events will be held at various times at the La Crosse Main Library and the Myrick Hixon EcoPark – FREE admission. Grammy Award Winning singer Bill Miller - April 22- $10 admission. Adult event will be held at the Waterfront Cargill Room and will highlight La Crosse’s past, present, and future involvement in sustainability. Green Rock Fest – April 23 (6:00 p.m. - midnight) - Featuring local bands including UW-L Chancellor Gow's "Fur Low Riders". FREE admission Earth Fair at Three Rivers Waldorf School – April 24 (11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) - A family-oriented event, with children’s activities, local foods fair, workshops, films and vendors. FREE admission

Green Expo at the Lunda Center Western Technical College – April Gala Dinner with local foods – April 24 (11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) 2 – At Myrick Hixon EcoPark Nature Featuring “Green Homes” and “Green Center with an “Iron Chef” Transportation” vendors, competition involving several local informational booths and workshops restaurants competing for best “locally (we will provide a bus to transport grown meal”. (Tickets will be sold people back and forth from the Earth for this event – price TBD) Fair to the Green Expo at regular intervals). FREE admission Speaker - Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, Inc. – Myrick Hixon Eco Park Nature April 13 – (evening) - UW-L Graff Center - Hans Mayer – April 30 Main Hall - FREE admission (6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.) & May 1 – (3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) – Popular local children’s singer Hans Mayer

performs songs from his new CD “It’s Our World: the Green Album”.

The first Earth Day poster

"2010 Earth Month Supporter" window cling-ons will be available at a requested donation of $1 per cling-on. Information regarding where the cling-ons will be displayed will also be on "GreenLaCrosse.com" in March.

If you are interested in helping at an event or joining a LEWC committee, please contact: Vicki Miller at vicki@vsm5.com or call at 608-786-0338.

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Northwest Earth Institutes Discussion Courses

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DATES: January 27; February 3, 10, 17, 24; March 3 The Northwest Earth Institute is CREDIT: Viterbo University 1CR recognized as a national leader in $90.00 the development of innovative LOCATION: Emerson Elementary programs that empower individuals School and organizations to transform culture toward a sustainable and Healthy Children - Healthy enriching future. Planet is a course for addressing how the pervasive effects of The following three courses can be advertising, media, and our taken individually or in any consumer culture can influence a combination. Viterbo University child's view of the world. offers each individual course for one credit for those interested. Discussion Course Goals: Each course requires participants • To understand how the pervasive to purchase a book at a cost of effects of advertising, media, and $16.50 per discussion course. our consumer culture can influence a child's view of the world. Choices for Sustainable Living is • To discover ways to create a course exploring the meaning of meaningful family times and sustainable living and the ties healthful environments for children. between lifestyle choices and their • To explore ways to develop a impact on the earth. child's connection to nature, and to foster creativity. Discussion Course Goals: • To explore the meaning of DATES: March 10, 17, 24, 31; April sustainability. 7, 14, 21 • To consider the ties between CREDIT: Viterbo University 1CR lifestyle choices and their impact LOCATION: Emerson Elementary on the earth. School • To learn about steps that can be taken to move toward ecologically Menu for the Future is a course sustainable organizations, exploring the connection between lifestyles, and communities. food and sustainability.

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Discussion Course Goals: • To explore food systems and their impacts on culture, society and ecological systems. • To gain insight into agricultural and individual practices that promote personal and ecological well-being. • To consider your role in creating or supporting sustainable food systems. DATES: April 28; May 5, 12, 19, 26; June 2, 9 CREDIT: Viterbo University 1CR LOCATION: Emerson Elementary School Contact us if interested in taking any of these courses. cgjenks@earthlink.net 608-782-5727

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Today, NWEI offers eight study guides for small groups. These self-guided discussion courses are offered in workplaces, homes, faith centers, neighborhoods, and community centers throughout North America.

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facilitated course experience, taken informally by small groups in a home, at your workplace, your center of faith or, any place where people naturally gather.

There is no outside presenter or teacher of these discussion NWEI programs encourage courses. Rather, anyone can participants to explore their values, organize a group in their attitudes, and actions through community with the role of discussion with other people. facilitator rotating with each These programs are organized meeting. around three key principles: These programs emphasize • An earth-centered ethic individual responsibility, the promoting individual importance of a supportive responsibility for the Earth. community, and the dual need to • The practice of engaged walk lightly on and to take action simplicity to enrich life and on behalf of the Earth. reduce personal impact on the Course Offerings Earth. Global Warming: Changing • A dedication to living fully in CO2urse place and protecting the A four-session course exploring the unique bioregion in which history and science of global you live. warming, personal values and habits as they relate to climate Discussion Courses change, and personal actions to NWEI's hallmark program is a curb the effects of global warming. series of discussion courses available for small groups Voluntary Simplicity anywhere in the United States. A seven-session course The courses provide an enjoyable, addressing the distractions of supportive setting in which to modern society that keep us from examine personal values and caring for ourselves, our habits, engage in stimulating relationships, and the environment. conversation, create meaningful community, and consider ways to Choices for Sustainable Living take action towards creating a A seven-session course exploring more sustainable future. the meaning of sustainable living and the ties between lifestyle NWEI discussion course study choices and their impact on guides are manuals for a selfecological systems.

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Healthy Children - Healthy Planet A seven-session course that discusses how the pervasive effects of advertising, media, and our consumer culture can influence a child's view of the world. Discovering a Sense of Place A seven-session course focusing on knowing and protecting our place. Globalization and Its Critics An eight-session course exploring how global trade is affecting the environment, local economies, and social and cultural customs throughout the world. Sustainable Systems at Work A five-session course for the workplace, designed to further organizational sustainability initiatives. Reconnecting with Earth A six-session course for the workplace, faith center, or home addressing core values and how they affect the way we view and treat the Earth. If you know of a group that would be interested in holding one of these discussion course please let us know. or If you would like to be a facilitator for a group we can help you and you will help us.

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Recycling Plastics With Sustainability in Mind Today's recycling market is as sophisticated as any other business, with stocks traded and futures projected. Recycled products are a viable and vital component of manufacturing. The three main recycled materials are plastics, metals, and paper, and each has it own markets and uses. Recycled materials take the place of virgin materials in manufacturing. Manufacturing with recycled materials conserves raw materials and reduces energy consumption. Plastic bottle are everywhere from the refrigerator to the laundry room, each with an arrowed triangle and number stamped on the bottom.

The numbers associated with recycled plastic can be confusing, so here's the rundown: * No. 1 plastic is polyethylene terephthalate PETE or PET. It's used for single use bottled beverages, soft drinks, bottled water, salad dressings, vegetable oils and many others. PETE can be recycled into fiberfill for pillows, sleeping bags, carpet and other food and drink containers. * No. 2 plastic is high-density polyethylene, or HPDE. Milk jugs are made from non-pigmented HDPE; laundry detergent bottles are manufactured using pigmented, or colored, HPDE. As well as bleach, household cleaners, motor oils, juices and plastic bags. If separated well, these plastics can be recycled into the same color bottles and jugs, floor tiles, building materials, benches and fencing. * No. 3 plastic is polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. It's used to make PVC pipe, medical tubing, vinyl windows, siding, some plastic wraps and some bottles. PVC is rarely recycled. Orange traffic cones, garden hoses, flooring, deck boards and paneling are usually made out of recycled PVC. * No. 4 plastic is low-density polyethylene, commonly known as LDPE. It's used to make squeeze bottles for condiments like jelly and ketchup. LDPE can be recycled into landscape timber or garbage-can liners. * No. 5 plastic is polypropylene, or PP. It's used for storing food like yogurt and can be recycled into a variety of items from medicine bottles to battery cables. * No. 6 plastic is polystyrene. It's used to make meat trays used by grocery stores along with plastic cups and plates. When recycled, polystyrene is turned into foam packing and license-plate frames.

* No. 7 plastic incorporates all other plastics not included in the first six categories. It's used to make larger water bottles and plastic lumber.

Once sorted at the recycling facility, plastics are baled and sent out for processing. There plastic is cleaned, possibly sorted for color, and converted to flakes and pellets. Then they're sold to manufactures for use as feedstock. When making purchases of products be aware of what you are buying and how it can be recycled. Plastics take water, petroleum, and chemicals to create. Some of these resources are finite and others are hazardous. Manufacturing with recycled materials conserves raw materials and reduces energy consumption. Do your part, recycle don't incinerate.

Vivamus pulvinar, purus ultricies ultrices ullamcorper, dolor diam euismod

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What You Should Know About Plastics And the Benefits of Plastic Recycling “We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” –Native American Proverb •

Less than 1 percent of all plastic is recycled. Therefore, almost all plastics are incinerated or end up in a landfill. (http://earth911.com/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-

fat tissue, where they are then stored in the body. Their half-life in the body is estimated to be seven to eleven years. In the environment, dioxins tend to accumulate in the food chain. The higher in the animal food chain one goes, the higher is the concentration of dioxins.” (World Health Organization)

about-plastic-bottles/)

Recycling plastics would significantly reduce our oil consumption. Plastics are created by combining petroleum or natural gas with oxygen or chlorine. Making new plastic requires significant amounts of fossil fuels. Studies suggest that between 7% and 8% of the world’s fossil fuels are used in producing new plastics— millions of tons of fossil fuel burned per year with the resulting high volume of greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling plastic saves energy. Studies show that the energy saved by recycling a single plastic bottle—as compared to producing a new one from scratch—is enough to power a single 60-watt bulb for six hours. (http://earth911.com/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-about-plasticbottles/)

Plastics contain harmful chemicals. These include cadmium, lead, mercury, hydrogen chloride, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, PVC, and other pollutants in the form of artificial coloring, plasticizers, and stabilizers. When burned these pollutants are released into the air, into the soil, and the ash seeps into groundwater from landfill runoff. These harmful chemicals are associated with health risks for both wildlife and humans. Burning certain plastics can release dioxins, a known human carcinogen. Dioxins are unintentionally, but unavoidably produced during the manufacture of materials containing chlorine, including PVC (polyvinylchloride and other chlorinated plastics). The National Institute of Standards and Technology characterized the cancer causing potential of dioxin as over 10,000 times more potent than the next highest chemical (diethanol amine), half a million times more potent than arsenic and a million or more times greater than all others. Even when dioxin emissions meet legal levels, their unneeded release and cumulative effect must be considered a risk. “Once dioxins have entered the body, they endure a long time because of their chemical stability and their ability to be absorbed by

More than a thousand chemicals are now suspected of affecting normal human hormonal activity. Normal growth and development among fetuses, infants, children, and adolescents is regulated in the body by a diverse set of hormones that promote or inhibit cell division. These include many pharmaceuticals, pesticides, plasticizers, solvents, metals, and flame-retardants. (Yale Environment 360 is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.)

"Waste-to-energy" incineration is not a win-win solution to our waste and energy crises. Incinerators actually waste energy. When burning materials that could be reused, recycled, or composted, incinerators destroy the energy-saving potential of putting those materials to better use. Recycling, for instance, saves three to five times the energy that waste incinerator power plants generate. Incinerators are also net energy losers when the embodied energy of the burned materials is taken into account. (This information is taken from GAIA's (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives) web site.

Reducing the need for plastics is even more effective than recycling. Opportunities to reduce our use of plastics include using refillable containers, buying in bulk, buying things in recyclable and recycled packages or purchasing products that require no packaging. Plastic resins are made from non-renewable natural resources that could be used for a variety of other applications or conserved if less plastic was created and more plastic was recycled.

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GET INVOLVED-JOIN THE FUN & MAKE A DIFFERENCE La Crosse Sustainability Book We have found that home owners are more than willing to make changes to become more sustainable if they know what to do. The information about sustainability is out there but it is not always easily accessible. It is our intent to find helpful information that home owners can put into practice. So, we need your help to find the information that will be included in this book that will be published and made available to home owners in the 7 Rivers Region. If you find articles and/or information that should be included in the book please forward it to me at cgjenks@earthlink.net. Please include the source information so I can get permission to reprint. Following are the topics of the chapters: Consumerism, Waste, Energy: Electricity/Oil/Gas/Wood, Water, Food House Cleaning Supplies, Yard Care, Transportation, Building/Remodeling/Repairing, Exotic and Invasive Species, Green Burial, The Future (solar/wind/etc). In addition to this we would like to have a directory of local green business that people can contact for help. If you know of any businesses that would like to contribute please let us know at cgjenks@earthlink.net.

We’re All In: A 7 Rivers Gathering Conference September 2010 YOUR HELP IS NEEDED Mission: Raise the level of awareness of the 7 Rivers Region and make a call to action for more sustainable behaviors from our governments, business’ and communities. We are organizing a conference, We’re All In:A 7 Rivers Gathering, for the fall of 2010. It will focus on the fact that all of us have a responsibility to embrace sustainable practices. Bringing the community together to begin the discussion of how this can best be accomplished in the 7 Rivers Region is the first step. This would be a great project for you to get involved with. We can use your talents and skills to make this a special event for the our community. Contact us at: cgjenks@earthlink.net The current outline for the day is:

• • • • • •

A Sense of Place State of the Earth: Why? Natural Step Information KEY NOTE: Government, Business, Community Working Together Breakouts for Government, Business and Community Call to Action 9


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Become a Member of:

Coulee Partners for Sustainability Living respectfully, responsibly and reverently with one another and with Earth. Purpose: Promote sustainable practices in the Coulee Region. Business: Advocate Natural Step Principles: • Educate • Foster and showcase sustainable practices • Facilitate “Green Group” networking With the realization that human welfare is directly dependent on the health of the planet and that our welfare cannot be achieved at the expense of the planet. Coulee Partners for Sustainability will work with individuals, environmental organizations, educational institutions, businesses and governmental bodies to educate and create environmentally sustainable practices.

NAME: ______________________________________ ADDRESS: ______________________________ City: ________________ STATE: ______ ZIP: _______________ PHONE: _______- _______- _____________ EMAIL ADDRESS: _________________________________

_______$15 Individual

_______$25 Family _______$100 Business/Institution

_______$10 Student

Would you like to get involved in CPS sustainable projects? (please check all that apply) _____Occasionally for specific projects

______Planning or Administration

Study Circle Facilitating: _____The Natural Step _____Northwest Earth Institute_____Film/Other Books Join a Committee: _____ Local Foods & Sustainable Agriculture (LASA)

_____ Neighborhoods/Housing Task Force

_____ Business/Green Economy Task Force

Suggestions for CPS: ____________________________________________________________________________ Send to: CPS, c/o Glen Jenkins, 2642 Hackberry Lane, La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 CPS is a 501-C3 non-profit, organization. All contributions are tax deductible.

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