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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!

Interested in Building?

Learn what YOU can do to make buildings more efficient, comfortable and safer for everyone at the Sierra Club and Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) FREE better building codes webinar TOMORROW – December 11th- from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Buildings are responsible for over half of all energy consumption in Massachusetts and 46% of carbon pollution. To mitigate the worst impacts of climate change, it is vital that we significantly lower carbon emissions from our buildings sector over the next decade. The good news? In 2019, we have a huge opportunity! Eligible code officials across the U.S. will vote on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the code for new buildings built in the U.S. and beyond. This code is the standard that can mandate that new buildings be built with significantly higher energy efficiency than those we live and work in today. With your help, the next code would maximize building efficiency and safety, ensuring that every new building we build is better for the planet and our wallets. More comfortable buildings are more equitable for residents everywhere, regardless of income. Join them on December 11 and learn what you can do to help change building codes for the better. This program is a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Sierra Club, Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN), Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP).

FREE Legislative Training Session 12/15

With really important energy legislation coming in the next legislative session, some of you may be interested in a FREE legislative training from 350 Mass. When: Saturday, December 15th from 9:30-4:00 Where: First Parish in Framingham (24 Vernon St, Framingham, MA 01701) Please fill out this RSVP form here. This is a great opportunity to learn some of the latest lobbying skills using the newest advocacy curriculum. Not only will you learn, you will practice, and connect to the 350 Mass community. If you are thinking of getting involved in legislative work, this is the perfect place to hop on board. Breakfast and a basic lunch will be served, but they encourage attendees to bring their own meals to supplement what is provided. Additionally, folks are more than welcome to bring their own dishes for people to share, potluck style!

PRE LOVED, NICELY PRICED CLOTHING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY AT WELLESLEY’S OWN SHOPPER’S CORNER

Wellesley Green Schools’ parents found lots of treasures to share with their families this holiday season at Wellesley’s very own consignment shop, Shopper’s Corner.  The hidden gem is located around back and down a few stairs at the Schofield School. Find child and adult clothing and shoes, accessories including belts and purses, as well as sporting goods items such as skates and cleats.  The store is generally open 8:30am -12:15pm on Wednesdays and the first Saturday of each month from 9 AM – 11 AM during the school year, but check the Shopper’s Corner Facebook page for details on holiday hours, sales, and new arrivals. Consignment shopping is far more affordable than new, offers unique items, and it lowers your carbon footprint! Consider re-thinking the way you shop, one purchase at a time. A Lot of energy goes into manufacturing new clothing; from transporting raw materials and producing them, to getting them to stores. A great deal of water is consumed to produce clothing, not to mention the amount of chemicals used to produce the cotton and dye the products. Buying pre-loved decreases landfill waste and helps reduce one of the most polluting industries in the world. Mass.Gov reports that in the Bay State alone, nearly a quarter-million tons of clothing, shoes & other textiles are throw away each year.   Since 1954 Shopper’s Corner has been  generously organized by parent volunteers. Proceeds support the Schofield PTO. If you have items to donate, simply drop off bagged items at Shopper’s Corner.

Looking For A New Car?

If you’re considering a new car, you may want to look into The Green Energy Consumers’ Drive Green program which is offering savings on a variety of cars and explains all about rebates. For example, with the savings and rebates, one can buy a  Chevy Volt — which has electric range of 53 miles and a back-up gas tank — for $17,500. Look into it before the federal tax credit for the Volt is phased out. Learn More here about purchasing and leasing options.

Help Stop The Planned Enbridge Weymouth Compressor Station- Cut and Paste Suggested Letter

The Massachusetts Mothers Out Front Pipeline Task Force is encouraging you to take a few minutes now to send a message to the MA Department of Environmental Protection letting them know that you oppose this project because it poses a serious threat to health, safety, environment, and the economy. They are supporting Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) in fighting the compressor station because it would: pose serious risks of explosions to our neighbors. degrade the local air quality and health of families who live there. contribute to fossil fuel infrastructure that fuels climate change. MassDEP is holding a 30-day public comment period on a Draft Network Plan for air quality monitoring and they need to hear from all of us! Please consider emailing the message below by December 14 to Thomas McGrath, Chief MassDEP Air Assessment Branch: Thomas.McGrath@mass.gov. Please personalize your message to get his attention and tell him why it matters to you. _________________________________________________________________________ COPY AND PASTE INTO AN EMAIL, PERSONALIZE, AND SEND TO Thomas.McGrath@mass.gov: Dear Thomas McGrath, Chief, MassDEP Air Assessment Branch, My name is ___________ and I am a resident of _____________. I am a mother/grandmother of ____ children and am extremely concerned about the safety risks and health impacts that the Weymouth Compressor Station poses to fellow Massachusetts families. We know from peer-reviewed studies and federal agency analyses that compressor stations degrade air quality. We expect a new compressor station in an industrial port area to further degrade the poor air quality in the Fore River basin. The children and families that live in the Fore River basin already carry an undue burden of disease and should be considered a sensitive and vulnerable population that would be disproportionately affected by locally degraded air quality. In fact, Quincy Point and Germantown already have state and federal recognition as Environmental Justice areas. Moreover, community health around the Fore River designated port area is already significantly worse than the state average according to Massachusetts Department of Public Health data released as part of the ongoing health impact assessment, including pediatric and adult asthma (Weymouth), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Weymouth, Quincy, & Braintree), and heart attacks (Weymouth, Quincy, & Braintree). We know that degraded air pollution will negatively affect these conditions, and pose undue burdens on the families who suffer from these illnesses. In response to this public health threat to vulnerable populations, we ask you to take the following steps to monitor the environment by providing additional scientific basis of air quality. We request the following: Establish a long-term air quality monitoring site in the Fore River basin area inside or within close proximity of the designated port area. Include nitrogen dioxide (NO2) monitoring in the Fore River basin.Regulatory modeling for the proposed Weymouth compressor station did not take into account marine vessel emissions, nor are they represented at any existing monitoring sites. Marine vessel sources in and around the Fore River designated port area include marinas, ferries, tugs, and ocean vessels serving port area industries, and yet there are currently no monitoring sites to track the impact of these emissions. Conduct long term VOC and aldehyde testing (e.g., every six days) in order to reasonably evaluate these existing air quality problems, beyond the problems that were identified as part of the health impact assessment. As a mother/grandmother, I know that quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink affects our health and our wellbeing as productive members of our communities. As the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, we call on you to protect the most vulnerable among us by monitoring, preserving, and improving our air quality. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention my concerns about a recent report by the UN that says we have just 12 years to reduce our greenhouse emissions by 50%. Another recent report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), says we cannot afford to build any more fossil fuel infrastructure without imperiling our planet. To keep warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need every decision-maker in every agency, including Massachusetts DEP, to resist adding fossil fuels to our energy mix. The only way to protect our children and grandchildren from the worse effects of climate change—which include food insecurity, extreme heat, more mosquito and tick-borne illnesses (such as Lyme disease), and increased antibiotic resistance to name just a few—is to deny permits to the Weymouth compressor station. Sincerely, NAME

Dr. Regina LaRocque Joins Sustainable Wellesley’s Leadership Team

Sustainable Wellesley is pleased to announce that Dr. Regina LaRocque will be joining the Leadership Team. Dr. LaRocque, MD MPH, is on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has been working in the field of infectious disease for 15 years and has seen first hand the connection between climate change, respiratory problems and the spread of infectious diseases around the globe. Dr. LaRocque often represents Partners HealthCare urging state lawmakers to invest in clean energy with clear facts on how it will have significant health benefits for citizens of the state. LaRocque has been active in Sustainable Wellesley’s activities, and is a member of Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission. We are grateful she has joined the leadership team and can offer her science based background and expertise on how climate change is impacting human health and the spread of infectious diseases. Please welcome us in welcoming Dr. LaRocque.

Inspiring!

Looking for a little inspiration this time of year? Two Wellesley High School students created this video for Wellesley Green Schools that will get your heart beating and your ideas flowing. Big thanks to Jake and Jack for their hard work on this during their High School Senior Project.

This Is Important – 5 Minutes or Less

Last week, Sustainable Wellesley’s leadership team wrote The Honorable Joseph Kennedy III asking for him to support the proposal by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the creation of a Select Committee for a Green New Deal. This Committee would develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan that would start the transition of our country’s economy to a carbon neutral future and promote economic and environmental justice and equality. The letter to Congressman Kennedy was written because urgent and immediate climate action is required on a national scale to transform our economy and society, while saving our planet from the most dire consequences of climate change.  As his constituents, we are relying on him to be a voice for urgent action in Congress. We need him to support the formation of a Select Committee especially after the Fourth National Climate Assessment issued on November 23, 2018 was release where THIRTEEN federal agencies concluded that damage from global warming will result in a 10 percent decline in the US economy. A full chapter devoted to the Northeast concludes that temperatures here are rising faster than elsewhere in the country. This warming is already affecting our forests, fisheries, and coasts — all distinctive aspects of our region that are integral to our cultural identity, economy, and way of life. This assessment follows the stark warning from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a special report issued in October that we have only a few years to transform the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.” If this keeps you up at night, write to Congressman Joe Kennedy here and feel free to write us at info@SustainableWellesley.com letting us know you did. Personalize it and let him know: – You support Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution to create a House Select Committee for a Green New Deal in Congress – That United Nations climate scientists have told us that we have just 12 years to move our country off fossil fuels, to avoid catastrophic climate disaster – We need a Green New Deal to create millions of green jobs, move our country off fossil fuels, and protect working people of all backgrounds – You are asking him to support this resolution To learn more or get more inspiration, see what the intelligent, young leaders from the Sunrise Movement are doing to to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. Feel free to join them in Washington, DC on Dec. 10th to demand Congress make a real plan to address climate change.    

See YOU Saturday at Wellesley MarketPlace

Get a gift wrapped in beautiful Japanese Furoshiki wraps at no cost this Saturday at the Wellesley Marketplace. We are encouraging reusability while offering this service to the community so swing by our table on the first floor, under the stairs near the entrance. Also, be sure to swing by some of the artisans at the event: Take Sustainable Wellesley’s wrapping idea to the next level and check out the Rapt booth for sustainable, reusable gift wrap made here in Massachusetts. Get 3 sheets: small, medium and large for wrapping gifts of all sizes. Easy, elegant and eco-friendly. There is no need for scissors, tape or ribbon! We love their slogan, “Your present. Our future.” I heart Arm Warmers has upcycled cashmere accessories and clothing for women and kids. All products are handmade locally and include: arm warmers, hats, scarves, and dresses. Great holiday gifts! Wonders From The Waves creates artwork using sea glass and upcycled antique glass. Luksin Designs has clothing and accessories for women and men, made in small batches on the coast of Maine from sustainable materials. Tiebreaker Bow Ties offers products that combine vintage design and unique textiles with a focus on upholding sustainable fashion practices. Their bow ties, ties, pocket squares, and other accessories are crafted from responsibly sourced materials including vintage fabrics and salvaged textile waste. BENT&BREE is an earth-friendly and sustainable luxury brand of vegan bags and accessories made of genuine cork. They design and create pieces that reveal comfort, function and style.

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