Nov 16

Beeswax Candles and Snowshoe Making, plus an Upcoming “Night We Light” Bike Ride

Greetings, friends!  I hope you’ve all been having a great week and have been staying warm.

Earlier this week, Sustainable Tuesdays hosted a Home Weatherization and Energy Savings Night at the Rail River Folk School.  Grant Foss from Northwest Technical College was on the schedule, but Grant was unfortunately unable to make it. Nevertheless, we would like to extend our thanks to him for suggesting Dustin Prim of BiCounty Community Action Partnership (BiCap) to take his place.  Dustin has been an energy auditor at BiCap for four years and we were excited for the opportunity to draw on his weatherization knowledge.

Dustin came prepared with some demonstration materials, like a blower door used to pressurize or depressurize houses to find leaks and a thermal scanner used to identify hot or cold areas.  He also had a weatherization presentation created by the Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center (WAPTAC) that you can find here.  It contained some striking statistics that showed how 1.79 tons of carbon dioxide emissions are avoided each year for every home weatherized, and how the average annual energy savings per household is $417 for the first year.  These statistics are from 2008, but they show the clear advantage that weatherizing your home holds!

We’d like to thank Dustin again for helping us out on short notice and sharing his weatherization expertise with our community members!   If you missed out on this presentation and want to learn more about weatherization programs available in Bemidji, please check out Bi-County CAP’s website.  Also, you can find a lot of resources and tips on the Weatherization Assistance Program Technical Assistance Center page at  http://www.waptac.org/.

Next week, Sustainable Tuesdays is hosting a Beeswax Candlemaking workshop at Harmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen!  Brett Cease will also be showing us how to weave snowshoes! 

Please note the change of location!  We recently moved this event to Harmony’s kitchen as it would be an easier space to melt the beeswax.  We’ll be pouring beeswax candles and discussing the difference between beeswax and other types of candle wax in terms of sustainability!  We’ll also have Eric Reed, a volunteer firefighter from Cass Lake Volunteer Fire Association, to remind us about some important fire safety tips to keep in mind during the winter months!

We have some small, votive-sized jars to pour wax into, but if you have small jars of your own you’d like to bring, please do so!  We do have a limited quantity of wax and ask that you bring something small so that we make sure there’s enough wax to go around. Below is a picture of some of the small containers we are providing.  If you could find something similar to this size, that would be ideal!

We kind of have a hodge podge of stuff going on at next week’s event, as Brett Cease will also be demonstrating how to weave snowshoes!  Anyone is welcome to come, watch, and learn the weaving process!

We hope to see you next Tuesday! Don’t forget about the change in location.  We are now meeting at Harmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen from 5:30 to 7:30pm!   This event is free and everyone is welcome, but we are holding a free will donation to cover the cost of candle making supplies.

We’re still looking for feedback!  Please take this survey and help us out!

Thanks to everyone who has helped us evaluate our programming so far!  This survey is still open and we’re looking for more responses.  Click the link above to be taken to the survey.

Next week is Thanksgiving and that also means it’s time for the First City of Lights!

Friday, November 23rd is the “Night We Light” Parade!  BikeMN is holding a “Night We Light” Bike Ride as part of the parade, so come out with your bike for a fun and beautiful evening of Christmas lights! Natalie Gille of Bike MN will be giving out free MRT blinky lights to those who ride in the parade.  She has 50 available and they are first come, first serve!

If you are interested in joining the “Night We Light” Bike Ride, please meet at 5:00pm in the Community Service Center parking lot. The parade starts at 6pm.  We hope to see you there!

Last weekend to see Oliver!

If you’re looking for a great way to support local talent this weekend, don’t forget to check out Oliver, the most recent Bemidji Community Theater production, done in collaboration with the Paul Bunyan Playhouse.  This is the last weekend of performances, so be sure to see them on November 16 and 17th at 7:30pm or the Sunday matinee at 2:00pm at the Chief Theater in downtown Bemidji. If you bring a non-perishable food item, you can receive $1 off your ticket price!

Have a great weekend, and happy early Thanksgiving to you all!  As you’re out shopping for ingredients, I encourage you to buy local and keep your Thanksgiving as sustainable as possible.  That also means that no food goes to waste, so be sure to eat up those leftovers. :)

As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.

For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.

With peace,