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Starting Down the Road to a Massachusetts Green New Deal: Organizing Legislative Efforts

How will you participate in our civilization’s need to address climate change? Folks will be discussing our legislative goals for a Massachusetts Green New Deal. Help win the passage of bills on 100% renewable energy by 2050, equitable carbon pricing and environmental justice in the next legislative session. Join in on Thursday, February 7, at Peace Lutheran Church 107 Concord Road, Wayland, MA at 7:00pm. Help us chart a path forward to make a difference in Metrowest. First time visitors are especially welcome; come learn, share, discuss, plan and act. 350Mass is a statewide, grassroots, climate action group dedicated to promoting citizen awareness and political action on climate change. The Metrowest node public meetings usually happen the first Thursday of the month, with locations changing to accommodate learners, supporters, and activists from towns around the region. All are invited to participate in the breakout groups for the local initiatives as well as in the informal planning group that meets on dates prior to the monthly meeting. There will also be a chance for participants to share news and announcements from their organizations and municipalities. Arrive early to mingle.  Light refreshments will be available. For more information about climate change and the Metrowest node, visit: 350MassMetrowest.org https://www.facebook.com/350MAMetrowestNode

New England Journal of Medicine : Climate Change – A Health Emergency

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published its latest edition with an inspiring article co-written by Wellesley physician Regina C. LaRocque, M.D., M.P.H. Read the article “Climate Change — A Health Emergency” here. This article and mind set is important for our community but may be of special interest to the health care professionals living amongst us. When the next generation asks you, “What did you do about climate change?,” you want to have a good answer.

Is Your New Year’s Resolution to Make REAL Change? 

Then SAVE THESE DATES and fulfill your inner activist: 1). 350 Mass is hosting a webinar “On the Road to a MA Green New Deal” on Thursday, Jan 17 from 7-8:30 pm. 350 Mass will discuss the current narrative, goals, and ways to take action within this framework. See the Zoom meeting link here. _________________________________________________________ 2). Head to the Statehouse on January 24th at 10.30 am to meet up with residents from every part of our state to meet with Representatives and Senators to fight for clean energy and environmental justice. Topics include: – Environmental justice legislation to protect low income and communities of color from bearing the brunt of health impacts of pollution and vulnerability to climate change. – 100% Renewable Energy Justice to envision a clean, healthy society without carbon pollution and plan to make it reality by 2050 at the latest. -Carbon pricing to invest in our future today. RSVP and tentative schedule are here _________________________________________________________ 3). Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) is hosting another one of their popular seminars for people who live in Massachusetts towns which have their own electric company (called Muni’s or MLP’s), like Wellesley. On Saturday, January 26th from 10-3 they will be discussing “Electrification” of the heating, cooling and transportation sectors in Muni towns. This is a very hot topic for Muni towns right now. Learn more or sign up here and contact info@sustainablewellesley.com for carpool info.  


HUNNEWELL FEASIBILITY STUDY PUBLIC FORUM #2 Tuesday January 29, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 PM Hunnewell School Gymnasium The School Building Committee invites you to join the community for an update on the feasibility study including progress on educational programming, site exploration, sustainability goals and swing space. Hear the study architects present concept design options for a new or rebuilt school. Break into small groups to ask questions, discuss and provide feedback on the short list of options tentatively selected for detailed study. Learn about the next steps in the process and opportunities for further input. For more information: Go to wellesleyma.gov/1162/Hunnewell-School-Feasibility-Study View Tentative Short List of Concept Design Options Email us at sbc@wellesleyma.gov

Do Candidates Share Your Values? Find Out @ Evening With the Candidates & Pot Luck

March 5th Wellesley heads to the polls to elect candidates to variety of important Town Board Positions including: Moderator Selectmen Assessors Public Works  Health Housing Authority Wellesley Free Library Recreation Schools Natural Resources Planning & Town Meeting Members Want to know if they share your values? Hear from them at SUSTAINABLE WELLESLEY’S 2019 Evening With the Candidates & Pot Luck Sunday, February 10th 5.30-7.30pm 161 Oakland St In artist loft above garage   RSVP info@sustainablewellesley.com

Is There A Better Way to Recycle? Learn More Jan 31 at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills

Waste reduction efforts should be our number one priority, re-using is number two, and recycling is the third option — so lets get it right! Wellesley’s Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) was part of a story last Friday on Public Radio International’s The World.  You can listen to it here and learn how contaminated recycling compromises the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively sort materials into bales of marketable recyclable materials. This is especially true since China changed its policy, disrupting the global marketplace for mixed paper and mixed plastics.  This story will encourage you to rethink recycling.  When cardboard, cans and bottles are treated like real commodities, and not just trash, it can be worth some real money. If you want to learn more about recycling in Wellesley, come to the League of Women Voter’s evening with the Wellesley RDF’s Superintendent, Jeff Azano-Brown, on January 31 at 7pm in the Chapel at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills. Dessert will be served and the event is open to the public. Now that this topic is on the brain: – Consider ways to reduce waste this holiday season including wrapping gifts with re-usable gift wrapping  — similar to what Sustainable Wellesley did at last month’s Wellesley Marketplace (thanks again Kelly C). – Read, borrow, and/or gift the book Zero Waste Home for ideas on creating less waste and less “stuff” to recycle! – In an effort to reduce bag (paper or plastic) waste, Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission is reminding the public that January is Bring Your Own Bag month. – Get you post-holiday mailboxes under control. Get rid of junk mail!

Sponsor a Wellesley College Student to Fight Climate Change

We encourage you to extend your engagement with Sustainable Wellesley by sponsoring a bright Wellesley College student named Emily LaShelle who is dedicated to solving the climate crisis with her peers at Sunrise Movement. Let her carry our energy and voices to fight for a better future and run campaigns pushing for the Green New Deal. The Sunrise Movement is a group of young people who have dedicated their lives to solving the climate crisis. Since the election, they have played a huge part in pushing forward our collective futures through the Green New Deal Campaign. – They organized over 250 office visits to our Representatives – Made thousands of phone calls and tweets – And brought 1,000 young people to DC and 300 to San Francisco to call on Democratic Leadership to back Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Select Committee for a Green New Deal. Their bold actions have earned thousands of news stories, moved dozens of Representatives to back the Select Committee, and inspired tens of thousands of people into the movement. Most of those successes have been at the hands of committed volunteers who are eager to keep the momentum going into 2019. Emily is one of those incredible organizers. Please consider sponsoring this smart, motivated, local college woman to do her work with Sunrise throughout the spring. Simply click here. In total she is aiming for $4,800, which will cover her 6-month stay with the program. Every month, funds will cover: Housing + Utilities: $450 Food $150 Campaign Materials: $75 Personal Expenses: $100 Program Coordination: $125 Thank you for your consideration.

Happy Holidays!

Wishing all of you a lovely holiday season. Sustainable Wellesley has a network of many fabulous folks, doing fun and important work. Efforts big and small are appreciated. Thanks for all you have done, and consider what you may want to do in 2019. Our community needs you. As you make some generous end of the year tax deductible donations, please consider donating to Sustainable Wellesley here.


If you are considering a new car, consider an all electric one soon as the State and Federal incentives are fading away. For example, Tesla’s $7,500 tax credit expires on December 31st. They are offering 6 months of free unlimited Supercharging, and that the car gets delivered before the end of the year, if you order soon. Click here for more information.

Thank you Mike!!

Sustainable Wellesley would like to thank DPW Director Mike Pakstis for all he has done during the nearly 19 years working in Wellesley. Heading a staff of 119 people from multiple divisions, including Engineering, Park and Tree, Highway, Water and Sewer, and the Recycling and Disposal Facility, Pakstis has over seen many projects including the North 40, and the new DPW office.– These photos are from a recent event honoring him and all he has done for Wellesley — including the town recycling more than 115,000 tons. That is enough recycled material to fill Fenway Park 2.5 times! We are most grateful for his partnership in Wellesley’s 3R (Reduce Reuse Recycle) Working Group which conducted a series of initiatives to rescue surplus food and to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfills. One of the programs, the food rescue initiative, which takes edible, surplus and leftover food and passes it on to people in need, was recently awarded the 2018 Environmental Merit Award the New England Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The collaborative program — which donated an estimated 20,000 meals in its first year — was created to keep organic waste, including food waste, out of landfills. Best wishes Mike, you have left big shoes to fill. Enjoy retirement!

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