Kristen Melby, a bicycle composting volunteer, speaks with Northfield PPG member, Sharon Gates-Hull

2004 was an exciting and challenging year for the Center for Sustainable Living. The Community Composting Project and the meeting room at 313 Division Street continued as our two primary projects. Work onthe Free School, a project new to the Center, also began. 2004 was a year we saw both growth and success in fostering sustainability in the Northfield community.

The Community Composting Project will turn two years old in July of 2005. When this project was started in 2003, only four households were participating. Today there are 58 households whose compost is picked up by CSL volunteer bicyclists each week. Voluntary donations for this project generate close to $200 a month. In January of 2005, the Composting Project designated that month’s donations to be given to the tsunami relief efforts. As a result, $500 was given by the CSL to an organization in India. Currently, all collected food scraps are being composted at the Village School of Northfield. In the coming year, the Composting Project would like to expand its composting operation to a second site. An additional goal for the coming year is to have a system in place for facilitating new volunteers.

The meeting room at 313 Division Street, which the CSL subleases from the Cannon Valley Friends, has helped to support a variety of grassroots community efforts in 2004. People for Peace and Goodwill, a local peace and justice group, has continued to use the CSL space for its weekly meetings. Throughout the year, these meetings have attracted a large number of community members and have featured films, speakers, and discussions around issues of world peace, economic justice, and environmental sustainability.

This year has also seen the exciting transformation of Just Food Co-op from a grassroots community effort into a newly opened business. Community members who had been organizing the co-op had been meeting in the CSL space since its very beginnings. Now that Just Food is its own legal entity, with its own storefront, our service to them is more or less completed.

Congratulations Just Food!! We wish you great successes and look forward to working with you as a partner committed to a sustainable world.

The Center for Sustainable Living has been proud to be a part of the exciting growth and progress in sustainability in Northfield. There is much work ahead of us in the coming year. The CSL board would like to extend its deepest thanks to all of our members for their financial support this past year, and pledge our continued committment in 2005 to help foster a more sustainable world for all of us!

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