MEF Logo 742
Michelle's Earth Foundation News
Fall 2009
Michelle's Earth Foundation,  P.O. Box 5140 Preston King Station, Arlington, Virginia 22205
Donations are possible through Facebook or by mail.
In This Issue
Heather Spence
Solar Decathalon
MEF Gear
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T-shirts $28 to $30



White Hat $20

Black Hat $20

Dear Friend of MEF,

As Autumn comes to an end and blankets of leaves are replaced by blankets of snow, let us pause for a moment to enjoy this surprising late fall snowstorm. Then, when we pause, let us feel Michelle's living spirit in the many positive activities done in her name.
MEF Logo 742 

Flowers left by Doug Varney in Michelle's tree on the UVM green
Let us be thankful for those who help the
less fortunate during the holidays.

Volunteers from Arlington's Church of the Covenant
glean fields for food for area food banks.
Arlington and Cancun Schools
Connecting for Environmental Conservation

by Heather Spence

As part of my continuing collaborative work with MEF and the National Parks office in Quintana Roo, Mexico, I am expanding a communication exchange project for Arlington and Cancun students. During my presentations to Cancun students over the past two years, they often ask where I grew up, are there coral reefs there, what do students there study? In my presentations to classes at HB Woodlawn, students have similarly been interested in the ecosystems and experiences of students in Cancun. Students from both places have expressed their interest in doing something for their environment. They want to know what they can do to help.

The beginning stage of this project is a video song exchange. The idea came from one particular workshop in Cancun, when we did not have funding or supplies for an art project, so we divided the students into groups, gave each group pencil and paper, and told them write a song about environmental conservation (in this case, specifically Wetlands since that was the theme of the workshop). I filmed their performances, and posted them online so others can see their creativity and enthusiasm. The students were so excited and it was such a popular activity that I expanded it to other groups in Mexico and now to Arlington students as well. After viewing the films of the Cancun students, HB students in a fluent speakers class are the first to create their own video song about local ecosystems. This will soon be shown to Cancun classes (most students there do not have access to a computer outside the classroom). We hope to expand the video exchanges (with translations as necessary) to more classes, grades and schools. Possibly we will be able to host real-time video conferences so that students can discuss environmental issues and solutions. We also want to provide online forums for ongoing communication.

To participate in this effort or for more information, please e-mail me at

MEF Logo 742Who wrote, "The Small-Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition?"

When was H.R. 2454: The American clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 passed in the House?

Visit for the answers!
Deconstruction Materials

Donations of used building materials and home improvement items can be given to and purchased from the Habitat ReStore located behind Gold's Gym on Richmond Highway south of Old Town, VA.

D.O.E. SOLAR DECATHLON: 2009 Final Results

1st place: Team Germany (Technische Universitat Darmstadt) - produced 11.1 kilowatts of polycrystalline photovoltaic power which was twice as much energy as the house consumed. The two story house was covered with single-crystal silicon solar panels on the roof and all four sides. The north side was also covered because the panels could work on indirect light as well.


2nd place: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - designed to be put into production easily by modular home builders. The exterior had siding reused from an old barn. Indoors bamboo laminate board replaced wooden studs to support the walls. It had a 9 kilowatt photovoltaic system.
3rd place: Team California (Santa Clara Univ. and California College of Arts) - The only house to be designed in collaboration with art students, this house was beautiful and functional. Maximizing a south facing exposure, the courtyard with a gray water pond and deck becomes part of the house when the doors are open in warm seasons. It finished in one of the top three slots in all ten categories. The house had an 8.1 kW PV energy system.

Children plant a garden at the Bittersweet Environmental
Studies House (Burlington, VT) in Michelle's memory.

Uncle Don with Michelle's Tree

Michelle, We Love You!