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Calling on National Grid To Fix 261 Gas Leaks in Town

Last week, Sustainable Wellesley called on National Grid to fix the dozens of persistent gas leaks in Wellesley. The leaks emit vast amounts of methane, which is a dangerous and highly potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming. Sustainable Wellesley President Quentin Prideaux said, “We first started looking at gas leaks in Wellesley in 2015 when there were 197 leaks reported by National Grid — now there are 261. The leaks are actually getting worse and we need National Grid to step up to protect our climate, our safety, and our health.” The Sustainable Wellesley action was part of a larger effort across the Boston metropolitan area led by Mothers Out Front, the Gas Leaks Allies, and other environmental groups frustrated by the lack of progress on gas leaks. In Boston, more than 100 protesters gathered on Cambridge Street near a 13-year old leak. Activists are particularly concerned that National Grid has backed away from its previous commitment to identify and repair the largest volume leaks, sometimes called “super-emitters.” These large volume leaks make up only about 7 percent of the more than 16,000 leaks in the state but they emit roughly 50 percent of the methane. The other large gas companies — Eversource and Columbia Gas — have already begun using the accepted method for identifying and repairing these leaks, while National Grid has said it will not do so until next year.

TAKE ACTION AUG 5: No Rubber Stamp Permits for Weymouth Compressor Station

A compressor station is like an enormous gas leak, but worse in many, many ways. You are invited to the State House at noon TOMORROW, August 5th, to stop the proposed compressor station for Weymouth, a community already overburdened by industry and infrastructure. For details, please read this message from Mass Power Forward… “We cannot have any new fossil fuel infrastructure in our state, and we must be rapidly dismantling the current system. That’s why the proposal to build an explosive gas compressor station in the Fore River Basin is insult on injury. Governor Baker promised to do 3 more studies before issuing permits for the Weymouth Compressor Station, and he’s already issued the air permit. We believe it is likely the other permits may be coming by August 5th. Join us as we push him to keep his promises, and NO “rubber stamp” permits for Weymouth! Like in 2017, we will assemble in the hallway outside his office in the statehouse. Please arrive with enough time to get thru security and take the stairs or elevator to the 3rd floor. PLEASE SIGN UP HERE SO WE CAN GET A HEAD COUNT“

The Environmental Impact of Fashion

We applaud all of you that came up with creative ways to reduce your plastic usage in July. Keep it up! This month, we thought we would start discussing something many of us don’t think about when it comes to plastic waste reduction (climate change and greenhouse gases too)…FASHION. All of us, approximately 8 billion people globally, need fabrics. After water and food it is a top necessity but did you know that approximately 64% of our clothes are made from plastics (polyester, acrylic and nylon)?  Plastics are byproducts of fossil fuel and to convert fossil fuel into fabrics, significant amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) are released. By sharing some facts about plastics in our clothing and best practices, we hope to encourage a discussion that helps reduce our carbon footprints. Feel free to share your ideas at info@sustainablewellesley.com. One option is to discourage production of new synthetic fabrics by reusing, repurposing and redesigning what we already have and introducing the concept of circular economy in fashion. Another option is up-cycling — instead of only re-cycling. By mixing old synthetic fabrics with other old fabrics embellishes the new product and creates new markets for beautiful clothing, hand-woven floor mats, bathroom mats, house shoes, ribbons and more. Luckily, there are fashion designers out  there using their creativity to repurpose the plastics we already have created, instead of sending old clothes to landfills and oceans. Consider buying these types of products instead of brand new items. For example, leading fashion brands and manufacturers are working to transform the way they produce jeans, tackling waste, pollution, and the use of harmful practices. By doing this, we can create a circular economy and produce sustainable fashion. Learn more about it here and watch the video here. Finally, don’t forget there is a consignment shop here in Wellesley and many in neighboring towns such as this one in Natick and few in Needham and Newton too where you can find pre-loved fashion and reduce the amount of plastic created. There are many children and men’s consignment shops as well. We welcome your creative ideas and suggestions. Write to us at info@sustainablewellesley.com. Big thanks to Enku for inspiring this blog post and bringing this important topic to light with research, as well as Kelly for some good tips!  

Students — Get Ready For September 20th

Students, you may already know that there is a global, youth-led Climate Strike called by Greta Thunberg for September 20th. Across the world, youth have been striking from their schools following the lead of Greta Thunberg. Greta and 42 other youth strike leaders have called for a global strike with adult support on 9/20 with a week of action to follow. There were three strikes in MA in the spring but a lot of students were not able to participate because dates didn’t line up with the public school schedules. In Boston/ MA–Amalia (amaliahochman@gmail.com) and Audrey (audrey.maur.lin@gmail.com) are the two young women leading strike in MA, with is “youth led and community supported.” They are organizing an event in Boston, some youth in Worcester and Lexington are also organizing their own strikes.  This Google form is for youth leaders to register to get involved, and adults to get involved to support: bit.ly/bos-climate-form Other things we can do to support: Connect youth in the community to the google form so they can get involved Follow climatestrikema on Instagram Fill out the 350 Mass Pledge to support youth climate strikes – The pledge is for adults who want to stand in solidarity on the day of the strike. Also – 350 Mass is willing to set up this pledge so that other organizations can have their own links to track and follow up with recruits – contact Vignesh with 350 Mass at vignesh@betterfutureproject.org

Milkweed For Sale This Saturday at July Jubilation

Sustainable Wellesley will be selling Asclepias incarnata/ swamp milkweed plants this Saturday at July Jubilation. By planting milkweed in your yard, you are helping the monarch butterfly population. They need to eat milkweed to survive, plus these beautiful pink plants attract even more beautiful butterflies to your home! Find us at from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm in front of Bruegger’s Bagels. Come by and learn about new initiatives that the Natural Resources Commission and Sustainable Wellesley have going on.

Meet Lucy!

Lucy Elwy, a Wellesley High School graduate, has just finished her first year studying Environmental Geoscience at Durham University in Durham, UK. This lifelong environmentalist is excited at the opportunity to be able to work to with Sustainable Wellesley this summer to improve the town she grew up in. In the future, Lucy hopes to work in energy or infrastructure to move those industries toward a sustainable future.  

Instagram

Looking to add some positivity and informative posts into your Instagram feed? Follow us on Instagram @sustainablewellesley. We love inspiring images and motivating climate friendly life hacks! Send us your pictures or tag us using our very own hashtag #sustainwellesley to be featured on our page! Big thanks to Tess G. for making this happen!  

Help Wellesley Police Raise Money For Community Bike Maintenance Station & Tire Pump!

The Wellesley Police Department and Sustainable Wellesley are teaming up to raise money for a community bike maintenance station and tire pump, in an effort to make Wellesley even more bicycle friendly. A permanent community bike maintenance station and tire pump will encourage bicycle safety and reduce traffic, and ensure that everyone has access to the tools they need to maintain their bikes. The Wellesley Police Department, lauded state-wide for their pedestrian and bicycle safety education work, has offered an easily accessible spot outside the police station. This will create a gathering space for repair classes, bicycle safety classes, bicycle rides, and more. “The bicycle maintenance and tire repair station will make Wellesley even more welcoming for bicyclists of all ages and abilities,” said Wellesley Police Chief Pilecki. “With this station, the public will have free access to the most commonly used bike repair tools,” Pilecki said. “Our community is a wonderful place to walk and bike,” said Quentin Prideaux, President of Sustainable Wellesley. “Many trips in town are less than a mile or two and as fast, if not faster, by bike. To see an example of the station, please click here,” Prideaux said. Donations can be made on the Sustainable Wellesley’s website, Facebook page, or by check — made payable to Sustainable Wellesley and sent to 5 Hilltop Road, Wellesley, MA 02482.  Click here to donate and help reach the $2000 goal.  Sustainable Wellesley is a 501c3 non-profit. Donations are tax-deductible and eligible for work-match funding.

CALLING ALL OCEAN – HUGGERS!

Thank you Susan Z for this inspiration! FIRST: What does the ocean mean to your kids?  Ask them: whales, starfish, mermaids, underwater volcanoes, mysterious deep water creatures, scuba diving, sailing, swimming, sandcastles, tide pools, haunted shipwrecks… NOW, WATCH THIS: The ocean means so much to the world, beyond the beauty and mystery, but it desperately needs preservation.  Did you know that the equivalent of one giant truckload of trash (mostly plastics) is dumped into the ocean EVERY MINUTE?  For this reason, from the Arctic to Zanzibar, millions of people will be celebrating World Oceans Day, this week.  Your children (and you) can get involved by checking out the World Oceans Day Youth Advisory who collaborate with the Youth 4 the Oceans network.  Nearby, the New England Aquarium will offer a brilliant festival, while on Cape Cod, the Ocean Protection Advocacy Kids, will host “One Ocean, One Cape Cod” screening of Sonic Sea.  Elsewhere, your kids can look into someday participating with the Sea Youth Rise Up group.   For inspiring reads, check out I Can Save the Ocean!,  Follow the Moon Home,  Oil Spill!, and The Pout-Pout Fish Cleans Up the Ocean (younger kids) and At Home in the Coral Reef,  Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? , One Well, The Story of Water on Earth,  Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea,  The New Ocean: The Fate of Life in a Changing Sea,  How to Speak Dolphin,  Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans, and lastly, Song for a Whale, among many others.  Of course, any of David Attenborough’s visually-stunning and educational videos about world waters are sure to be a hooting success for any child — or adult!   The best thing of all, however, is the 5minutebeachcleanup — can your kids take a BEFORE pic and an AFTER pic of your 5 minute beach clean up this summer?  Post it!  And thank your kids!

Intern’s Plan For Town Waste Reduction Efforts

After being involved with a residential composting program at university, rising sophomore Emma Goldenthal found herself excited to contribute to similar efforts over summer break. She reached out to Sustainable Wellesley in May, with the hope of finding volunteer work and learning more about the town’s environmental efforts. Energized by the organization’s grassroots nature, she has since jumped into creating a program to help restaurants in town reduce landfill-bound waste, decrease their resource and carbon footprints, and promote sustainable values within the community. Targeting categories such as food waste, community influence, and energy use, her proposal outlines dozens of environmentally-minded steps that food establishments can pick and choose from. Ultimately, the aims of this program are to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability, formalize a procedure by which local restaurants will reduce their environmental impact, and motivate other businesses, individuals, and communities to do the same. With a framework now in place, the next phase of the project will be to begin working with a few pilot restaurants — so keep an eye out for updates! Let us know if you want to jump in and help on this project by emailing info@sustainablewellesley.com.

3 Things You Can Do

Go pesticide free!

Take the pledge not to poison your yard, and put your pin on the map of pesticide-free homes HERE
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Get clean electricity!

Wellesley residents can get clean, renewable electricity through our Municipal Light Plant with the same great service. Find out how HERE

Find and fix gas leaks!

There are over 200 ‘natural gas’ leaks all over Wellesley. Find where the nearest leaks to you are and what you can do about them HERE