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Vision For Climate Leadership in Massachusetts

This Monday, Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic candidate Jay Gonzalez are invited to share their visions for climate leadership in Massachusetts at a special non-partisan event in Jamaica Plain. Opportunities for this type of civic engagement are rare so RSVP by clicking here and mark your calendars for THIS Monday, October 1st, at 7 pm, at the First Church in JP (6 Eliot St., Jamaica Plain), hosted by the Jamaica Plain Forum. Come hear what the candidates have to say about our state’s crucial environmental issues, the importance of renewable energy legislation, and their ideas on mitigating climate change. (Please Note: As we write this, Jay Gonzalez has confirmed his participation. Charlie Baker has not yet responded.) Sustainable Wellesley has joined 350 Mass and Mass Sierra Club as a co-sponsor of this event as part of our commitment to  helping voters focus on environmental issues when making decisions about which candidates to support. We encourage you to make your voice heard and learn more  before you cast your votes on November 6th. Register for the event on Eventbrite by clicking here. Share the  Facebook event here.

Climate Preparedness Week

As part of National Preparedness Month, Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW) is hosting the first annual Climate Preparedness Week! CREW and partner groups are coordinating activities throughout Greater Boston with the support of local schools, businesses, city governments, and nonprofit organizations. Read some of the media coverage, and be sure to check out the full calendar of activities. Learn more here.

Questions Raised After Gas Explosion & How to Help

Last week’s tragic gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley have many people wondering about the future of gas in Massachusetts and whether the dangers outweigh the risks. The fact is, this tragedy could have happened in any community with gas, no matter what gas company was involved. Gas is a highly volatile substance and human error is always a possibility. Since 1987, there have been more than 3,200 gas accidents in the US that were deemed serious or significant by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (part of the US Department of Transportation). There are safer choices. We don’t have to rely on gas to power our homes and businesses. The Mass Clean Energy Center has great resources on alternatives so you can start making the switch to clean, safe heating and cooling — and start saving money. As we face this crisis together, let’s not repeat last century’s mistake and simply rebuild out-moded — and dangerous — gas pipelines. Even before the horrific accident in the Merrimack Valley, the state had projected a cost of $9 billion for the necessary replacement of all the failing gas pipe in Massachusetts. Let’s choose a faster, cheaper, safer way forward! We need to rethink our fuel source and how the state regulates and oversees our utilities. Meanwhile, let’s do everything we can to help our neighbors in the Merrimack Valley. Sustainable Wellesley is active with the Gas Leaks Allies who have started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to buy electric induction cooktops for folks who have electricity but no way to cook or heat water. We are helping with the volunteer effort to deliver the cooktops to those in urgent need — let us know if you can help! Here is a link with more ideas on how you can help.

TONIGHT! Please Come to Hunnewell Feasibility Study Community Kickoff Meeting

The Hunnewell School Feasibility Study Community Kickoff Meeting happens TONIGHT, from 7:00 – 9:00 PM at the Wellesley High School Auditorium. The School Building Committee invites you to come hear about the Hunnewell feasibility study process and timeline, ask questions of the project consultants, and learn about future opportunities to engage and provide feedback on the project. Topics will include the educational visioning process, key features of today’s elementary schools, the approach to sustainability, swing space options, and ways stakeholders will be included as the Town develops its plan for the Hunnewell School. We are aiming for a net zero building. The School Building Committee (SBC) is charged with conducting a feasibility study of options to substantially renovate or rebuild the Hunnewell School to meet modern standards for education. For more information about the Hunnewell project, the Hardy/Upham project, or the SBC’s responsibilities; or to subscribe to SBC news and announcements, visit: wellesleyma.gov/HHU.

EPA Recognizes Wellesley’s 3R Working Group For Food Recovery Efforts

The EPA New England awarded a 2018 Environmental Merit Award to Wellesley’s 3R Working Group and Food for Free for their efforts in food rescue: wholesome, edible surplus food generated at schools, colleges and universities was donated to people in need. This award was given as the effort feeds many, and keeps food waste out of landfills. In September, 2017, schools and colleges in the Metro-west area committed to this Food Rescue Initiative. Together they donated about 20,000 meals annually to the Food for Free Family Meals Program.  Wellesley Public Schools, Babson College, Bentley University, Olin College of Engineering and Wellesley College, as well as their food service providers were part of this initiative. Now that the program has reached a critical mass and is cost effective, other local institutions with leftover food are being recruited. MassBay Community College is one of the recipients of this program, enabling students to have more reliable access to nutritious food. Food insecurity in New England ranges from 9 to 13.8 percent of the population, so this is a valuable program to replicate. The EPA New England is now working in Rhode Island on a similar collaboration. This is an excellent example of collaboration and we congratulate the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee, Public Works Department, Natural Resources Commission, Public Schools, Facilities Management Department, Health Department, Wellesley Green Schools and of course local colleges and universities and their food service vendors who collect leftover food and donate it to the Cambridge nonprofit Food for Free to be repackaged into single-serve meals to distribute through its Family Meals program.

Repair Café Returns to Wellesley

Wondering what do you do with  a broken lamp?  pants with a split seam?  a dull knife?  a chair that is unglued?  a broken vacuum? Get it fixed! After two successful Repair Café events, the Rotary Club of Wellesley is holding a third Café at the Wellesley Recreation Center on October 13 th from 9:00 AM to noon. At the past two Café’s, coaches and attendees repaired several lamps, chairs, dish rack, clock hands, two vacuums, copper water can handle, and removed a frozen door handle. Jennifer, from the Wellesley Library set up a “mobile library station” with lots of DIY and “fix it” books. The comments from the attendees ranged from “fantastic” to “excellent” and all suggested Repair Cafés be held on a regular basis. Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). At the Café, attendees found tools, materials to make most repairs, and volunteer coaches ready to help fix broken items. Repair Café House Rules  The work carried out in the Repair Café is performed free of charge on a voluntary basis by the repair experts at hand.  Visitors carry out the repairs themselves whenever possible, but repair experts on site can help if necessary.  The fact that the repairs are being performed by unpaid volunteers reflects the allocation of risks and limitation of liability. Neither the organizers of the Repair Café nor the repair experts are liable for any loss that may result from advice or instructions concerning repairs, for the loss of items handed over for repair, for indirect or consequential loss or for any other kind of loss resulting from work performed in the Repair Café. The limitations set forth in these house rules shall not apply to claims declared justified on the basis of liability arising by virtue of applicable consumer protection legislation which cannot be lawfully superseded.  A voluntary donation is greatly appreciated.  Any use of new materials such as leads, plugs, fuses, ready-made knee bends 
or applications will be paid for separately.  Visitors offering broken items for repair do so at their own risk.  Experts making repairs offer no guarantee for the repairs carried out with their help and are not liable if objects that are repaired in the Repair Café turn out not to work properly at home.  Repair experts are entitled to refuse to repair certain objects.  Repair experts are not obliged to reassemble disassembled appliances that cannot be repaired.  Visitors to Repair Café are solely responsible for the tidy removal of broken objects that could not be repaired.  To cut down on unnecessary waiting times during busy periods, a maximum of ONE broken item per person will be examined. The visitor will join the back of the queue if there is a second item for repair. Why a Repair Café? We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines. Their experience is never used, or hardly ever. The Repair Café changes all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions, for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released. The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light and, once again, to appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society. Most of all, the Repair Café wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easyit often is. Why don’t you give it a go? To register, go the Rotary web site www.wellesleyrotary.org The Rotary Club of Wellesley is one of Wellesley’s oldest community service groups and conducts local programs to benefit the Town of Wellesley. Please check the web site www.wellesleyrotary.org for times and location. The public is always invited to any Rotary program. Please make a reservation on their web site’s calendar or call 781-591-0759 to speak with one of the board members. A buffet meal is available for $30.00. When making a reservation, please indicate if you will have the meal in the comment section of the registration.

How To Reduce Light Pollution

Most of us are familiar with air, water, and land pollution. Did you realize that light can also be a pollutant? Light pollution, the inappropriate or excessive use of artificial light, can have serious environmental consequences for humans, wildlife, and our climate. Wellesley resident and 7th grader Stella Glassenberg is encouraging our community to learn about light pollution and what Wellesley is doing to reduce it. She is also offering steps that families can use to help reduce light pollution in their homes. Here is a great after school or weekend family activity! Review Stella’s Light Pollution PDF, discuss ways your family can reduce your light pollution, and figure out a plan to make it happen. Thanks Stella for sharing your work on light pollution with all of us.

See You Thursday At The Sustainable Wellesley Fall Meeting – Sept 13th 7pm

Lots of important things happening early this Fall so join us for the next Sustainable Wellesley meeting Thursday, September 13th 7pm 161 Oakland Street (in the lovely art studio above the garage). Some items we will discuss:   – Town Buildings – healthy, low carbon energy buildings   – Wellesley’s Clean Energy Future – – Monsanto/Bayer – this worrying you too? Know something about the chemicals? Interested in legislation? – Volunteer opportunities – 1 time, weekly, project based; something for you!  Enjoy some drinks & snacks. Please RSVP to info@sustainablewellesley.com and email us topics you would like to discuss. New folks and ideas always welcome. Join us and meet some fabulous people.

More Than 100% Renewable – Natick’s Farm Tour; Solar & EV Events

Natick is not only working on going 100% renewable, there is more! Here are a few of Natick’s Environmental Programs at the Natick Community-Senior Center –117 East Central St. — this Fall. – Renewable Natick Event Tuesday, October 9, 2pm, free www.renewablenatick.org – A Farmer’s Tour of the October Harvest Wednesday, October 10, 2pm, free Natick Community Organic Farm Administrator Trish Wesley Umbrell – Going Solar for Your Home- How to Get It, Price It, Reap Benefits! Tuesday, October 16, 2-3:30pm, free Join Craig Forman, a board member of Green Newton and chairperson of Newton Goes Solar who has taught Going Solar at Newton Community Ed and at Cambridge Center for Adult Ed. He will talk about his experiences with his own solar electric installation. – Getting to Know Electric Vehicles- All Electric Vehicles & Plug-In Hybrids Tuesday, October 30, 2pm, free Presentation followed by a hands-on show & tell & ride in vehicles Learn more about Drive Green discounts here 

RDF Dates To Remember

Our helpful Recycling and Disposal Facility wants to remind Wellesley residents of the following dates: – Sunday 9/23 11am – 3pm Shredding Event – Saturday 10/6 9am – 1pm Last Paint Drop-off Day until the Spring – Monday 10/8 All Day Closed for Columbus Day

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

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