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  • 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.
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  • 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.  
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  • HUNNEWELL FEASIBILITY STUDY PUBLIC FORUM – Jan. 29 7- 9 PM

    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
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  • 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
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  • 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!
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • TESLA INCENTIVES

    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.
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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!
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  • 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).
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  • 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!
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.    
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  • 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.
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  • Are You Ready To Run? Learn How To Run For a Town Office Position

    In the 2018 midterms, a record number of first-time candidates ran for office. Is it your turn? Are you curious, concerned or interested in following the direction of Wellesley’s current projects? Now’s the time to consider becoming more directly involved in your community by running for Town Meeting member or for an elected board position. The League of Women Voters of Wellesley invites you to come learn all about it! How to Run for Public Office November 28, 2018, 7:30 PM Room 008, Department of Recreation Warren Building 90 Washington Street Wellesley, MA 02481 Featured speakers KC Kato, Town Clerk, and Don McCauley, Town Moderator, will present: -How Wellesley’s Town Government works -Offices on the March 2019 town election ballot -Pragmatic nuts and bolts of running a campaign Attendees will receive a copy of the Town of Wellesley 2019 Election Candidate’s Handbook. Nomination papers will be available from the Town Clerk on December 5th, 2018 and light refreshments will be served.
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  • Mother Nature Says Please “COME PICK UP YOUR MILKWEED”

    Its will be getting cold out there and a few of you that ordered milkweed have yet to pick it up. Please reach out to Laurel here at laurellanders2003@yahoo.com and let her know what time this week you will come by to pick them up. Many thanks from the monarch population!
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  • Styrofoam Collection Sat. Nov. 17th

    Sustainable SUDBURY is holding a styrofoam collection on Saturday, November 17th from 9am-12pm at the Department of Public Works at 275 Old Lancaster Rd in SUDBURY. They are collecting hard packing styrofoam and LDPE #4 spongy foam only. There is a $5 drop off fee for non Sudbury members.
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  • Last Chance To RSVP For Fall Party

    Don’t forget to RSVP for the Fall Fundraising Party for Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) on Saturday, November 17, 6 to 9 pm! Please join us for an evening of live music and delicious food and wine as we celebrate MCAN’s important role in supporting state and local action on climate change. Sustainable Wellesley is a member of MCAN and we hope you will help us support their work. This year, Sustainable Wellesley has participated in MCAN’s effort to connect clean energy advocates in the 52 towns in Massachusetts whose electricity comes from municipal light plants — including Wellesley! Sustainable Wellesley members have attended MCAN’s summit meetings, webinars, and roundtables, learning from energy experts and sharing experiences with folks across Massachusetts. Come support MCAN at this fun and festive evening! Details are below: MCAN Fall Fundraising Party Saturday, November 17th, 6:30 pm Home of Lise Olney & Tim Fulham, 15 Windsor Road, Wellesley RSVP  HERE. If you aren’t able to attend, we hope you will consider making a donation to support MCAN!
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  • Bring the Family for Hot Cider & Donuts In Wildflower Garden

    The Wellesley Conservation Council invites you to join your neighbors for hot cider and donuts on Sunday, November 25th at 3 PM at Cronk’s Rocky Woodland (18 Crown Ridge Road).   Come enjoy an open fire, holiday crafts, explore the charming Hansel and Gretel cottage, and learn and learn about the wildflower garden that Gertrude Cronk established in the 1930s for all our neighborhoods to enjoy in perpetuity. The Wellesley Conservation Council is our local 501(c)(3) non-profit land trust that protects 14 sanctuaries across more than 45 acres of natural land in Wellesley and bordering lands in Needham and Weston. More information about their mission, the sanctuaries and membership can be found at www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org.
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  • Home Energy Savings Seminar TODAY

    Winter heating costs have you worried? Want to cut your utility bills? Learn ways to reduce your energy usage and make your home more comfortable and efficient. The seminar will review available programs that help you reduce energy usage. The 2018 Town Wide Energy Assessment Campaign sponsored by the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant and National Grid is offering no-cost energy audits, free light bulbs and significant rebates and assistance on insulation, heating equipment and appliances. The seminar will familiarize you with the audit process. You are encouraged to bring your oil, gas and electric bills with you. Volunteers will help you determine your benchmark energy rating and assist with the audit process. The seminars will be held TODAY at 1 PM at the Tolles-Parsons Center, 500 Washington St. Wellesley. Sign-up with the COA 781-235-3961. Walk-ins are welcome. This program is sponsored by the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee.
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  • Polls Open 7am – 8pm TUESDAY Nov. 6th

    Your vote matters! Make a plan to vote Tuesday, between 7 AM–8 PM at your polling place. Read up on who is running and vote for candidates that share your values. Click Here to Learn Who Is Running & What They Stand For. Use this independent source to view the state-wide races.  Bring family and friends. Remind neighbors, classmates and colleagues as well.
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  • TAKE ACTION on Tuesday, October 30!

    TAKE ACTION on Tuesday, October 30! Tell Gov. Baker and the Department of Public Utilities to PROTECT OUR SAFETY! Sustainable Wellesley wants to make sure you know about important actions taking place tomorrow to call on Governor Baker and his Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to protect public safety from dangerous gas infrastructure. The gas pipes under our streets are leaking and neglected—putting us in danger, costing us money, harming our health, and damaging our climate. Our government is failing to ensure our safety. Gov. Baker has appointed commissioners to head the the DPU— the state agency that regulates and oversees utilities—who are not doing their job. We need to hold Gov. Baker and his DPU accountable. We need inspectors: Utilities have operating and maintenance plans that are not being followed, risking our safety. We need action: Governor Baker and his DPU need to pressure National Grid to end the lockout of union workers and fine the company for documented safety violations. We need regulations: Gas leaks laws from 2014 and 2016 are not being enforced, leaving the largest leaks to spew gas 24/7 for years. We need a Department of Public Utilities focused on PUBLIC safety. Where are you, Governor Baker? TWO WAYS TO TAKE ACTION ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30: HELP FILL THE ROOM ON OCTOBER 30 at Boston’s Gas Safety Hearing at 11 am at Boston City Hall. JOIN OUR SOCIAL MEDIA SUPERSTORM ON OCTOBER 30, 11 am to 2 pm, targeting Gov. Baker’s Department of Public Utilities. LET’S TREND! To get the most attention, we’ll all send our messages from 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesday, October 30, using the hashtag: #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU. QUICK PREP STEPS: Take a picture of yourself, your family, etc., to post OR post the link to the map of Wellesley gas leaks: https://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10383/Gas-Leaks-reported-by-National-Grid-as-of-2017-and-leak-data-from-2017-independent-study?bidId=  OR just post a message without an image.  THEN POST AND TWEET ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 30, between 11 am and 2 pm. You can post on Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram. Sample posts are below. Ask followers and friends to share, retweet, and resend your post. ONLY post on October 30, not before. EVERY TWEET AND POST SHOULD INCLUDE: @massgovernor #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU and @SustWellesley. On FACEBOOK, make your post “Public” so others can share it. Use the drop-down menu directly to the left of the Post button. SAMPLE POSTS: Joining @SustWellesley to ask, are ALL these leaks safe @MassGovernor? #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @Heet_MA #mapoli https://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10383/Gas-Leaks-reported-by-National-Grid-as-of-2017-and-leak-data-from-2017-independent-study?bidId= Join @SustWellesley and me in asking @MassGovernor & his Department of PUBLIC Utilities to #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU and act on Gas Leak Laws! Please RT in support! #mapoli @loriehrlich Our safety is on the line. #MVGasFires should never happen again. @MassGovernor #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU. Protect our communities from gas explosions & climate change. @SustWellesley Has @MassGovernor put the fox in charge of the henhouse? Where is our #departmentofPUBLICutilities? #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @SustWellesley #BakersDPU – Please do safety inspections and enact regulations. We need your help! #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @MassGovernor @SustWellesley #BakersDPU – Your middle name is PUBLIC. Please stop working for the utilities and start working for us. #ProtectPublicSafetyDPU @MassGovernor @SustWellesley THANK YOU FOR TAKING ACTION TO KEEP US ALL SAFE!
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  • Drop Off Your Treasures & Get New Ones

    Renew & Reuse – Drop Off Your Treasures & Get New Ones At Rummage Sale Clean out your closets and bring your gently-used treasures to the Village Church until Wednesday, Oct. 31st at 2 Central Street in Wellesley. Use the driveway on Church Street between church and cemetery for drop offs. They accept most items in good, clean, working condition with the exception of large furniture, sporting equipment, computers, televisions and large appliances, stuffed animals, bed pillows and large toys. Then join them for the 77th Annual Rummage Sale on Saturday, Nov. 3. Shop the “pop-up” shops from 9am – 1pm.
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  • SO Sorry, We Sold Out of the Milkweed For the Season

    We have sold out of the milkweed plants we had left. Sorry. We will have more in the spring.  
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  • UN’s Warning & Wellesley

    from Sustainable Wellesley’s Letter to The Editor Extreme droughts, wildfires, floods, mass die-off of coral reefs and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people are just some of the consequences of the atmospheric warm-up that will hit us all by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at the current rate. This was made clear in a comprehensive report issued this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our planet’s temperature continues to rise due to the burning of coal, oil and fracked gas, causing damage to our environment, our health and costing a predicted $54 trillion in damages. The scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, recommended that governments take “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” The report said that in order to prevent a devastating 2.7 degree fahrenheit rise in temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. We need to get to zero fossil fuels, zero emissions and soon. Wellesley has one goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions: to get 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2025. From all the evidence, it is clear that Wellesley needs a much more ambitious goal. At minimum, we need a goal to achieve 100 percent renewable energy — including all electricity purchased by the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant. Massachusetts’ goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions were established by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008: 25 percent reduction below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. The state is not on target to meet these goals which is why 2017 Wellesley High School graduates Olivia Geiger and Shamus Miller joined the Conservation Law Foundation in successfully suing the Baker Administration. Geiger and Miller won their case but are still waiting for the Commonwealth to take action. On the local, state and national level we are going to have to make dramatic changes to make sure the planet remains habitable for human life, even in the near term. Here’s what you can do: 1. Vote. Please keep climate change in mind when you make your ballot choices on Nov. 6. Consider the gubernatorial candidates’ positions on natural gas pipelines, carbon tax, clean energy, net metering, caps on solar energy and public transportation. Which candidate has the most ambitious plan to address climate change? 2. Share your concerns with Wellesley’s elected officials. You may attend any regular meeting of key town boards and ask to speak during the “Citizen Speak” period, which should be scheduled at the beginning of every meeting. Ask for ambitious local action on renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. School Building Committee — Let them know you support their forward thinking as they consider zero net energy design for the proposed Hunnewell School. Zero net energy buildings are super energy efficient while generating required energy through on-site renewables. Long-term cost savings, as well as their zero emissions are why Worcester, Amherst, Brookline, Belmont and Cambridge are building such schools. Attend a meeting; or write to Board Chair Sharon Gray at grays@wellesleyps.org. Municipal Light Plant Board Meeting — Thank the MLP board for commissioning the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Study and ask them how quickly Wellesley will move to obtaining 100 percent of our electricity from renewable sources. Attend meeting at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at 4 Municipal Way or write to Board Chair Jack Stewart at jstewart@wellesleyma.gov. Board of Selectmen — Express your appreciation for the past efforts of the selectmen to consider the local environment and sustainability issues that affect Wellesley residents. Ask the board what our town is doing to reach our town-wide goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. Are we on track to meet this goal? Do the selectmen have a plan to set a more ambitious goal? Attend meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 29 at Town Hall, 525 Washington St. or write to Board Chair Jack Morgan at jmorgan@wellesleyma.gov. Design Review Board — Share your support for the DRB’s work on a new design guideline handbook and encourage them to go beyond respecting Wellesley’s existing village and architectural character by identifying design decisions that make Wellesley more resilient and allow the town to meet and exceed its carbon reduction goals. Write to Michael Zehner at mzehner@wellesleyma.gov. 3. Make lifestyle changes. Yes, this still matters. Are you able to walk or carpool sometimes instead of drive? Eat less red meat? Tighten up the energy efficiency in your home through the Mass. Save program? How about trying for Net Zero Energy? All of these ideas will improve the climate, your pocketbook and your health. The climate crisis was caused by millions of small individual actions, with accumulated consequences. It can be mitigated with the same — and with help from our elected officials.
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  • Join An Evening of Live Music, Food, and Wine and Celebrate MCAN

    You are invited to a Fall Fundraising Party for Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN). Please come for an evening of live music, food, and wine, to celebrate MCAN’s important work supporting state and local action on climate change. MCAN will also be recognizing newly elected climate champions who will be heading to the State House in January. As a member of MCAN, Sustainable Wellesley has participated this year in MCAN’s effort to connect clean energy advocates in the 52 towns in Massachusetts whose electricity comes from municipal light plants — including Wellesley! Sustainable Wellesley members have attended in MCAN’s summit meetings, webinars, and roundtables, learning from energy experts and sharing experiences with folks across Massachusetts. We hope you will join us in supporting MCAN at this fun and festive evening! All the Details are below: MCAN Fall Fundraising Party Saturday, November 17th, 6:30 pm Home of Lise Olney & Tim Fulham, 15 Windsor Road, Wellesley RSVP: https://www.massclimateaction.org/nov18fundraiser If you aren’t able to attend, we hope you will consider making a donation to support MCAN.
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  • GREEN Needham Expo

    Bring the whole family to the GO GREEN Needham Expo at Needham Town Hall on Saturday, November 10th, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Find out how going green can help put money in your pocket and a smile on your face. There will be fun and inspiration for everyone! -Learn how switching to renewable energy such as solar and geothermal will save you money -Check out and test drive Electric Vehicle -Take a ride on an Electric Bike – Watch your kids build and race solar-powered cars – Make music from junk – Try the latest higher-powered yet quieter electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers – Taste delicious food that’s healthier for you and the planet -Listen to informative talks on climate change, statewide legislative efforts to address climate change, sustainable landscaping, and more -Attend enlightening talks on a range of sustainability-related topics – Learn about local outdoor hikes and activities right here in our backyard – Talk to organizations who are working towards solutions to the climate crisis – Learn sustainable gardening and the benefits of buying local food Confirmed Exhibitors Needham Community Farm Growing fresh produce for those in need (in Needham, MA). Green Energy Consumers Alliance Enabling everyday people to make green choices in the most cost-effective, practical, and seamless ways possible. Environment Massachusetts Protecting the places we love, advancing the environmental values we share, and winning real results for our environment. Home Works Energy Energy Efficiency. Simplified. Our aim is to make it simple for you to have a greener home, and save some green too. New England Solar Hot Water Find out how easy it can be to switch to solar hot water, and how the benefits of renewable energy can help you save money and the environment. Eastern Wind Power Designing, building, and testing wind turbines mounted on high-rise buildings or pole mounted in open, high wind areas. Needham Garden Center Providing customers with higher quality products and services in a friendly, family-like atmosphere. Volante Farms A family run business passed down through four generations, Volante Farms is a place for all seasons. Hartney Greymont Our certified arborists take a holistic and environmentally-friendly approach to performing proven services that ensure the health and beauty of your trees for years to come. Garden Mentor Do you have a yard? A garden? A landscape? Whatever you call it, I can show you how to make it more beautiful and less work. GeoOrbital Electric Wheel Company Make your bike electric in 60 seconds. Landry’s Bicycles Founded in 1922, Landry’s Bicycles is collectively owned by our dedicated employees and rated as one of “America’s Best Bike Shops.” MassBike Promoting a bicycle-friendly environment and encouraging bicycling for fun, fitness, and transportation. Charles River YMCA Operating out of two locations in Needham, Charles River YMCA is one of the community’s leading social service providers. Bash the Trash For over 25 years Bash the Trash has been building, performing, and educating with musical instruments made from recycled and reused materials. Needham Community Council Supporting people in Needham who have under-met health, educational, and social needs. Needham High School Environmental Club We are a group of students dedicated to promoting a greener community and environmental awareness. Mass Climate Action Network MCAN works with more than 40 communities to help them take action against climate change. City Compost We make the best compost we can, so the healthiest, cleanest food can grow for you. Needham Recycling & Transfer Station Providing residents with recycling and waste disposal services at the town’s transfer station, a.k.a. “The Dump.” Bootstrap Compost Greater Boston’s premier year-round residential and commercial food scrap pickup service. Boston Bee Company Managing owned and borrowed hives and selling the perfect bee product for your home from our apiary. MUZI Chevrolet Providing the highest quality and customer service for every new and used Chevrolet buyer.  #GOGREENNeedham
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  • Light Meal Included at Monday Night’s Green Charrette

    You are invited to hear ideas from experts and share your thoughts with the School Building Committee during the Green Charrette on Monday, October 15 from 5:30 to 9pm to the Hunnewell Elementary School Gym at 28 Cameron Street. Plus, a light dinner is included. 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. Following an overview of sustainable design, including Green Building Certifications and Net Zero Building, breakout sessions will focus on: • Sustainable Sites and Transportation; • Water Efficiency; • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; • Sustainable Materials; • Indoor Environmental Quality; and • Integrated Design and Innovation. Learn how the design team is looking at creating a healthy, low carbon, energy efficient, and perhaps a Net Zero Building and then let them know your thoughts on what the sustainable design goals and objectives for the project should be. Bring Family, Friends & Neighbors Too! Not a Hunnewell School parent? It DOESN’T matter! This isn’t just about Hunnewell, but about how we look at energy efficiency, health, and clean energy in Wellesley going forward. The Wellesley Permanent Building Committee is hosting this Eco Charrette (public meeting) to give us ALL an OPPORTUNITY to weigh in on the sustainability features for the NEW Hunnewell School. You can arrive anytime  between 5.30-9pm. If you can’t make it please write to them and share your opinions. You can also watch the event later on demand at: wellesleymedia.org/SBC.
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  • 🍁Calling all Parents, Kids, & Friends🍁

    Join Wellesley Green Schools for a GUIDED VISIT OF BROADMOOR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY this coming Sunday, October 14th, from 12:30 until 2:00. Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor is an expansive retreat along Indian Brook and the Charles River, an ever-changing environment teeming with wildlife: dragonflies darting, turtles basking, otters leaving tracks in the mud, and more than 150 species of birds. Easy-to-moderate well-groomed trails lead you through the shade of mature woodlands into open fields and along the edges of vibrant streams, ponds, and marshland. We’ll explore with an expert who’ll show us a couple of haunted havens! It’s absolutely GLOWING this time of year! Cost is $8.50/person. RSVP susanzelenko@verizon.net with “Broadmoor Walk” in subject. PLEASE MEET AT 12:20, TEN MINUTES BEFORE. BRING A WATER BOTTLE, APPROPRIATE CLOTHING AND SHOES, AND LOTS OF CURIOSITY!
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  • Electric Car Test Drives & Rebates || Solar Info & More at Sunday’s GreenEXPO In Newton

    OCTOBER 14 @ 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Organized by Green Newton in collaboration with the Newton Harvest Fair, the event will have: Test drive the all all electric Nissan Leaf, a BMW i3, and Smartcar Fortwo Coupe Test drive electric bicycles and see how it adds zip to your ride Check out the substantial rebates on electric cars through Mass Energy Ride your bicycle to the Expo and valet it with Bike Newton! Find out how you can win 1 of 7 great prizes at the Green Newton tent Learn how an electric motor works at the Olin College Electric Motorsports exhibit Solar companies and energy efficiency vendors can tell you how to save money on your electricity and heating bills See how RIVER Mobile Power Station & Solar Generator can power your devices where there are no plugs Sierra Club, Environmental Voter Project, and other grassroots groups can tell you how you can take action now Ride the ever popular Energy Bike in the Green Newton/SGW tent Activities on the environment to keep kids engaged!
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  • Planning An Event?

    Planning an event? No matter if it is big or small; for fun, work, or school, Wellesley Green Schools has you covered with this updated SmartEventGuide2018. Save time, money and resources. Check it out, and share it; you will be glad you did.
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  • Having A “Less Waste” Birthday With Reusable Wrapping

    My son just turned 8! I learned how to sew Furoshiki wrapping cloths for Sustainable Wellesley’s “Reusables” booth last year at the Wellesley Marketplace, and this year I learned how to sew drawstring bags to contribute. We’ve been “upcycling” cloth remnants donated to us for our Sustainable Wellesley Marketplace Wrapping booth this year, but for our own home, I decided not to tap into the stash of donations but to let my kids pick out special fabric to have their birthday presents wrapped in year after year. The result is a beautiful (I think) group of coordinated bags and furoshiki wraps that allow us to wrap presents for the kids in seconds instead of minutes. Cleanup after present opening was super quick, and now the cloths are all folded in a small stack to go into a closet and await the next birthday. Not everyone sews, but cloth gift bags and furoshiki cloths can be purchased if you don’t want to make your own. After seeing how they worked for my family this year I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the investment. Besides, you can visit the Sustainable Wellesley Booth at Marketplace this year and get your stash started with one free reusable wrap from us! Thanks to all the people who have donated fabric (especially the Griffin family) and to those who have sewn Furoshiki cloths for our upcoming booth (notably Nerine Warasta in a strong lead).
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  • NRC Public Forum on Pond Health Will Encourage Education and Action

    The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC) will host a community forum on pond health on Thursday, October 18 at 7 p.m. as part of its continuing Grow Green Wellesley initiative. “SAVING OUR PONDS: What Wellesley is Doing and How You Can Help” will examine the current health of Wellesley ponds and educate residents on ways to keep them protected. The forum will be held in the Kingsbury Room at the Wellesley Police Station located at 485 Washington Street. “Environmental education is a key part of the NRC mission and through this forum we hope to encourage residents to become stakeholders in protecting our most precious and fragile resource – water,” said NRC director Brandon Schmitt. Forum topics will focus on the importance of pond health, threats to our ponds, current and planned pond preservation activities, and most important, ways residents can become involved in protecting our ponds. The forum will feature experts on pond management including: Julie Dyer Wood, Director of Projects for the Charles River Watershed Association; Morses Pond Manager Ken Wagner of Water Resources Services; and Richard Howell, President of Friends of Morses Pond and Chair of the Wellesley Wetlands Protection Committee. Guest Speakers: – Julie Dyer Wood, M.S., Director of Projects for the Charles River Watershed Association on how you can minimize your impact on water resources – Ken Wagner, Ph.D., Manager of Water Resources Services on Wellesley’s Comprehensive Pond Management Plan – Richard Howell, Chair of the Wetlands Protection Committee and President of Friends of Morses Pond on how to advocate for your pond “Saving Our Ponds” is co-sponsored by the Wellesley Department of Public Works, Recreation Department, Sustainable Wellesley, Friends of Morses Pond, and the Friends of Brookside, and is free and open to the public. For more information contact the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission at nrc@wellesleyma.gov, or 781-431-1019, x2294.
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  • Rebates, deals & discounts on Electric Cars & Bikes

    On October 13, from 11 AM – 2 PM,  let us take you for a ride, a spin and a walk! Come explore the great variety of electric cars that are on the market today, talk to owners about their experiences (no sales pitches), learn about rebates, deals and discounts on purchases and leases, and go for a ride.  Learn about the Stop & Shop chargers, and about the ones you can install at home. Learn about switching to green electricity to make your electric ride 100% pollution-free and renewable! Check out an assortment of electric bikes and take them for a spin. Ride your bike over for a free safety check. The Friends of the Rail Trail will be there to tell you about some great little-known destinations, current plans to extend the Trail east and west, and a demo of a free Rail Trail app. From the Town Center to Tower Hill, guides from the Wayland Historical Society and the Historical Commission will show you the history of the Rail. Meet the groups and organizations working on making our transport and commutes greener and cleaner! Several lunch options. When: Saturday October 13, 11 AM – 2 PM | Where: Wayland Town Center (400 Boston Post Rd) | Sponsored by Wayland Town Center | info: info@massenergize.org
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  • Oct. 11 Gubernatorial Forum on Energy & the Environment

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 FORUM: 4pm-6pm Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114 The Environmental League of Massachusetts, along with other sponsoring organizations from the environmental community, will host a Gubernatorial Forum with Republican candidate Governor Charlie Baker and Democratic candidate Secretary Jay Gonzalez. Each will take the stage for one hour and answer questions about their vision for the future of energy and environmental policy in Massachusetts. The forum will be moderated by Bruce Mohl, Editor of Commonwealth Magazine. Sponsoring organizations will curate questions on a variety of topics and attendees are invited to suggest their own questions by tweeting using #gogreengovMA or submitting them here. RSVP here
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  • Winter heating costs have you worried?

    Winter heating costs have you worried? Do you want to cut your utility bills? Learn ways to reduce your energy usage and make your home more comfortable and efficient. The seminar will review available programs that help you reduce energy usage. The 2018 Town Wide Energy Assessment Campaign sponsored by the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant and National Grid is offering no-cost energy audits, free light bulbs and significant rebates and assistance on insulation, heating equipment and appliances. The seminar will familiarize you with the audit process. You are encouraged to bring your oil, gas and electric bills with you. Volunteers will help you determine your benchmark energy rating and assist with the audit process. The seminar will be held Monday October 22nd, 1:00 – 2:00 pm at the Tolles-Parsons Center, 500 Washington St. Wellesley. Upcoming events will take place at same location on November 14th at 1 pm and December 19th at 1pm. Sign-up with the Council On Aging 781-235-3961. Walk-ins are welcome. This program is sponsored by the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee.
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  • Thanks For Making Our Beaches Cleaner!

    We want to thank everyone who participated in our “Take 3” Beach Challenge to pick up at least three pieces of trash the next time you went to the beach. As you can see, most people didn’t stop when they reached 3! We received trash photos from beaches and even islands everywhere from Cape Cod to Casco Bay, Maine. As hard as it is to look at some of these photos and think about the danger they pose to ocean life and human health, this all trash that won’t be washed back into the ocean at the next high tide. For that, we’re really thankful. It’s also interesting to look at the types of plastic found and think about how we could reduce it. Maybe flowers are a good choice instead of birthday balloons, or balloon lovers could tie them to a chair inside the house instead of to a mailbox outside where they might blow away. The photo comprised solely of forgotten beach toys (that have been found new homes) is one that my mother sent me on a day when she arrived at the beach to discover many toys but zero families in sight. Writing our family name on our beach toys could help us keep track of them; I’ve looked at a shovel and left it behind because I wasn’t sure it was ours and wanted to avoid awkwardly stealing it from another family. Writing on items with a sharpie will help us retrieve our stuff with confidence before we leave the beach. Plastic water bottles, plastic cups, fishing gear and plastic bags are also common features of these trash photos. And if you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, it’s extra patriotic to make sure you bring your flag home so it doesn’t end up washed up on the beach and forgotten with other trash. (It’s been rescued from the sand.) Thanks everyone who picked up trash and sent us photos, and thanks to everyone who mindfully reduces their consumption of plastic to help fight this problem. With your help, we can enjoy burying our toes in cleaner sand.
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  • Magic Wings Butterfly Traveling Show – See and Touch Live Butterflies and other Animals

    Come to the Magic Wings Butterfly Traveling Show where you can see and touch live butterflies and other animals on Tuesday, October 23rd at 7:00pm in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library. The Wellesley Conservation Council and the Wellesley Free Library are bringing Fred Gagnon, Entomologist and Curator, to Wellesley.  Gagnon is an entomologist and lepidopterist and curator of the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory since 1999. The Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens- located in South Deerfield, MA. -includes an 8,000-sq. ft. glass conservatory filled with 3,000 butterflies, moths, and tropical vegetation. They are dedicated to butterfly education, recreation, and gardening needs. Come admire the live specimens and learn how we can care for their habitats.
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  • Fall is a Great Time to Plant for Butterflies Next Summer

    Like most perennial plants, milkweeds (Asclepius incarnata) like being planted in the fall.  The cooler and damper days make it easier for them to acclimate and if you plant soon they can establish well before the winter comes. Milkweeds are an essential part of the diet for Monarch butterflies – the caterpillars MUST eat it in order to survive.  The plant is attractive with beautiful pink and white flowers that will attract butterflies and other pollinators to your home! Monarch butterfly populations are down by 90 percent due to habitat loss and the use of pesticides and herbicides!  You can help restore the Monarchs by planting milkweeds in your pesticide and herbicide-free yard. You can purchase milkweed through here at cost for $2.00 per plug or make a donation and purchase a plug for $5.00.  The plugs grow quickly and are very low maintenance.
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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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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 
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  • 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
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  • Sewers, We Need You!

    We had a great time making beautiful, reusable gift fabric squares last week at the Council on Aging but we need MORE wraps. Sustainable Wellesley is looking for folks who can sew easy fabric squares that will be turned into Japanese Furoshiki style wrap gifts at the Wellesley Marketplace in November.  This fun project is a simple way to make a difference to reduce plastic waste and non-recyclable gift wrap. Imagine how many bags and bows we can keep out of our waste stream with these simple cloths that can be used over and over. Folks can sew from home and we will pick up donated squares. Please consider donating fabric as well. Simply email us at info@sustainableWellesley.com. Here are the details: Sew Furoshiki Cloths: Cut a square piece of fabric a little larger than your desired size. 20″ and 28”  are standard finished sizes, but in general any square that’s about 3x larger than the object being wrapped works well.  Fold in each of the edges a quarter inch and iron; fold again and iron. Find instructions online for sewing mitered corners, follow and then sew around the perimeter of your prepared cloth in the middle of the fold. Flexible fabrics like thin cotton work best for tying.  For instructions on hemming and three different corner options, click here. Please e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com when you have completed some and Sustainable Wellesley will make plans to collect your cloths. Be sure to save wraps for yourself. To learn how to fold furoshiki gift wrap, click here. Please Donate Fabric -Flexible fabrics are ideal! Stiff fabrics are hard to tie furoshiki style -Fabric remnants measuring at least 20″ square work best Thanks!
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  • Wonder What It’s Like To Drive an Electric Vehicle? Want to Showcase Yours?

    National Drive Electric Week is happening at the Natick Mall on 9/15. 25+ Electric Vehicle owners will showcase their vehicles on the first floor of the Wegman’s parking garage. You are invited to this free event to learn about various electric vehicles, talk to owners about their experience, meet great people and make new friends. Bring your knowledge and your own EV, or your questions about what it’s like to own an electric vehicle. Benefits of driving electric include:  lower operational cost, lower maintenance cost, zero operating emissions, clean air, noise free experience! National Drive Electric Week (NDEW) is a collaboration between Plug In America, Sierra Club, and the Electric Auto Association, with support from the 2018 national sponsors Nissan LEAF (the exclusive automotive sponsor for NDEW) and ClipperCreek. Details.. National Drive Electric Week Saturday 9/15 9am – 12:30pm Wegman’s at the Natick Mall. EV owners are invited as special guests and are encourage to pre-register to reserve a spot to showcase their vehicle.  Learn more about Drive Green discounts here!
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  • Natick Launches 100% Renewable Energy Campaign This Saturday

    Natick is launching its “Renewable Natick” Campaign at its Rise for Climate rally on September 8th at 10 am. This is a step towards putting forward a town meeting resolution that will move their community toward 100% renewable energy. This is one of thousands of Rise for Climate Rallies being held in cities and towns around the world urging local leaders to commit to building a fossil-free world that works for all of us. Be part of the rally and excitement. Go to the Natick Days festival on the Natick Common to learn more. After the Rise Up For Climate event on Saturday, swing out to Worcester to go inside a wind turbine and take Mass Energy/People’ Power and Light’s famous clean energy tour from 2-4 at the Holy Name Jr/Sr High School on 144 Granite St in Worcester. Mass Energy/People’s Power & Light is hosting the event as they change their name; show off a wind power battery storage pilot; offer a “teach-in” with local EV expert Craig Van Batenburg of ACDC Hybrid and EV Training Resources; and exhibit a bunch of electric cars. Plus, ICE CREAM & fun for the whole family at this free event! RSVP here. Questions? Contact greenreply@massenergy.org or 800-287-3950 x5.
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  • Tell Me More About Net Zero!

    Keep hearing about Net Zero at building committee meetings and from friends building new homes? The Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) is hosting a Net Zero roundtable  on September 25 from 7-9pm at Maynard High School. This event will allow people to learn about net-zero building and ask questions about why net-zero building is important and how to implement net-zero policy in their town or municipality. The location of the event is 1 Tiger Dr, Maynard, MA 01754. For Google Maps directions, please click here. Also, please RSVP below as there is a capacity limit for the space (and they are providing dessert and light refreshments). Have questions? Please contact Kai Palmer-Dunning at kaipd@massclimateaction.net. MCAN is co-sponsoring this event with Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Mothers Out Front, Sierra Club, 350Mass, and Environment Massachusetts.
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  • Send Governor Baker A Message –Stand Up to Fracked Gas!

    Governor Baker has the power to stop dangerous fracked gas pipelines. Sign the petition to tell him to stand against dirty energy. We need our state to set an example for others to follow. We need Gov. Baker to say NO to new pipelines and YES to a clean energy future.  Here is The Toxic Action Center’s 1 minute video on why we need Gov. Baker to take a stand against fracked gas pipelines. It’s up to us to make sure he does.   
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  • Go Green One Purchase at A Time

    Whole Foods sells floss that comes in non-plastic packaging! Maybe they have for a while, but I hadn’t looked for it until I needed to buy floss recently. As I work towards reducing the plastic in our household, one strategy I’ve found easiest is to take it one purchase at a time. When something runs out, I look for a better version to replace it. Once I’ve found a plastic-free or less-waste option, the mental work is done. I know what to buy and where to get it and my life is now automatically a little greener. It can be easier to take “greening” your home one step at a time instead of trying to rehaul things all at once.
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  • The Runaway Trash Bag on Washington Street

    I was running down Washington Street in Wellesley the other day when I saw what had to be one the biggest plastic bags I’ve ever seen. It was blowing around on the sidewalk, with some packaging air bubbles lying nearby. It must have been around an enormous package and somehow gotten away from the recipient. I looked around and realized I was probably half a mile from the trash cans I knew were available in the center of town. No helping it. I had to run with a giant trash bag billowing behind me and a fist full of packing bubbles. I’d resigned myself to this less than flattering new running accessory when only a few minutes later a van with Wellesley school stickers stopped next to me and rolled her window down. “Is that trash?” she called out. “Did you pick that up? Want me to take it?” “Yes!” I said in startled delight, and proceeded to shove the giant trash bag through her car window and watch her drive away. Just a few minutes earlier, I’d felt a bit dejected seeing such a huge piece of plastic left to wander at will through Wellesley. But having someone stop and help reminded me that there are so many people who are willing to help. If you’re picking up trash, you’re not alone. If you’re trying to reduce plastic in your life or avoid chemicals, you’re not alone. And if you’re feeling resigned and frustrated, there’s someone out there who is working towards the same goal who might just be willing to help. Many thanks to the kind person who let me finish my run unencumbered, you did more than lighten my load, you lifted my spirits! p.s. This is actually — ‘Plogging’ — the Swedish fitness craze where runners pick up trash! Try it out.
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  • Making Back to School Special Without All the Shopping

    Every year I embroider something new on my children’s backpacks before they start school. They pick the patterns and the colors, and it adds a “newness” and specialness to back to school without having to buy something new. Back to school shopping can be a necessity when you’ve got growing kids, but often I find that my kids are still wearing their summer t-shirts and shorts when school starts. If I shop for Fall outfits in August, I’ll invest in the wrong size (or the wrong style). Besides, my kids love wearing their favorite shirts they already own; they’re comfortable and familiar and maybe on the first day of school when everything feels new that’s not such a bad thing. But I like the emotions behind the tradition of back to school shopping. It can make back to school feel special and send a message to our kids that they’re supported and we’re behind them. Embroidering things on their backpacks fulfills those objectives without causing me to buy things my kids don’t need. Here are some other ways to make back to school special that don’t require buying new things: Have a special back-to-school breakfast Help your kids pick out their back to school outfits from their “favorites” and make sure they’re clean Sit down together and look at their back-to-school photos from previous years Write a letter with them about who they are entering this grade and save it to read at the end of the year Stick a funny family photo in their backpack for them to find Plan a playdate for them with a friend from last year who isn’t in their class this year Go shopping for special back to school snacks Plan afamily lunch or dinner for after the first day of school to really sit down and hear about their day Let them come up with ideas for their back to school photo All these things get to the same objective; making your child feel special, and cared for in a way that lessens their apprehensions about the first day of school. Which is good, because I’m not sure this embroidery thing will work when my kids get to high school.
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  • Thank You Sarah!

    We are grateful to our fabulous summer intern Sarah Bower, a WHS grad and a sophomore at Bucknell University. She was behind the scenes working on a variety of projects including: Making the “Banquet in a Box” a reality! Stay tuned for more information all PTO parents! You may have met her during this year’s July Jubilation, which she not only staffed but help organize Assisted in our town wide initiative to reduce plastic single-use straws from local businesses Compiled a list of sustainable landscapers and gardeners so go check it out and give them a try – go pesticide free! Spoke at various town meetings to encourage those in town government to consider sustainable options Worked on the “Sewing Bee” project Thanks again Sarah and have a great semester. We will miss you. If you, or someone you know is interested in becoming an intern for Sustainable Wellesley, please email us info@SustainableWellesley.com. We are looking for enthusiastic, hard working folks interested in taking on various initiatives intended to decrease negative environmental impacts on our community.  They will work has part of a team, learn collaborative skills and how to engage in constructive discussions focused on improving the success of Sustainable Wellesley and broadening it’s reach on our local community.  Additionally, they will be asked to do independently research, and organize into user friendly ways that enable Wellesley residents to make sustainable changes in their own lives. Hours are be flexible. Plus its FUN and meaningful!
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  • Add September 4 to Your Calendar: VOTE

    We have an important primary election coming up in Massachusetts the day after Labor Day — Tuesday, September 4. As environmentalists, the most important thing we can do is VOTE. Let us know if you want an election reminder from Sustainable Wellesley — click HERE to sign up! What’s at stake in the primary? There are a number of contested races that will decide the nominees from the Democratic and Republican state parties for the general election (November 6). The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts has an amazing online voter’s guide to the State Primary Election that allows you to enter your address, choose a ballot (Democratic or Republican), and see who is running in every race! Click HERE. Here are a few really important races to focus on: – US Senate: There’s a three-way race for the Republican nominee. – Governor: You have a choice of candidates whether you choose a Democratic or Republican ballot. – Lieutenant Governor: Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination. – Secretary of State: There’s a hotly contested race for the Democratic nominee for secretary of state. – Governor’s Council: This is a little-known but high-stakes position — the -Governor’s Council has an important in the approval of judges and other -public officials nominated by the governor. There are two candidates for the Democratic nominee for Norfolk County, which includes Wellesley precincts A, C, D, E, H. – State Senate: Voters in Wellesley precincts B, F, and G have three candidates to choose from for the Democratic nominee for state senator from the Norfolk, Bristol, and Middlesex district. (The rest of Wellesley is represented by state Senator Cynthia Creem, who is unopposed in the primary.) Our state and local officials are likely to have the biggest impact on our immediate environment and our state’s longterm environmental health — so please VOTE on Tuesday, September 4! If you wont be in town, student is away at college, are physically disabled or have religious objections to the date simply apply for an Absentee Ballot. August 31st is the deadline for applying for an Absentee Ballot for the September 4th election but fill one out at Wellesley’s Town Clerks office in Town Hall soon so you have time to get the form mailed back and forth. For more information, call the Town Clerk’s office a 781-431-1019, ext. 2252, or go visit them Monday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Tuesday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Friday’s 8 a.m. – Noon. If YOU are considering becoming a candidate for Town office going forward, now is the time to get organized for the March 5, 2019 Town Election! The League of Women Voters in Wellesley is sponsoring an evening to discuss how Wellesley’s town government works, what offices will be on the ballot in March, and the nuts and bolts of running a campaign. Add Wednesday, November 28th, 7:30 – 9 pm to your calendar and learn “How to Run for Public Office”. The meeting is at the Warren Building, in room 008 and light refreshments will be served.
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  • Yes, You Are An Environmentalist

    Someone once told me that I wasn’t really an environmentalist because [fill in the blank]. It doesn’t really matter why. I realized that this person was sharing with me something important to them that formed the root of their own environmentalism. They’d found a big way to be more environmental that mattered deeply to them, something they thought was so effective that they couldn’t believe everyone who identified as an environmentalist hadn’t adopted it. Somehow, I couldn’t take offense. I understand what it’s like to care deeply and to adopt an environmental practice and wish every environmentalist would automatically do the same. What a difference we could make if we could all simultaneously adopt all the good green ideas out there! But we don’t live in a world that makes that easy, or even possible. It’s important to remember that we all have different strengths as environmentalists. Maybe you’re into zero waste, or going without a car, or, like me, eating plant-based. We also all have weak points that are challenging or would make us unhappy to change, like plastic food packaging, a long commute or enjoying travel. I will probably go to my grave clutching a bottle of imported champagne with my Nest thermostat set to my preferred temperature. No matter what your strengths are or what areas you’re still tackling, if you’re reading this post you’re an environmentalist. Sharing solutions with each other to live greener lives is great. But we also have to welcome each other and meet everyone where they’re at on their journey. If we bombard green-curious people with a to-do list of changes they need to make if they’re going to be environmentalists, they may decide they’re not up to the challenge and turn the other way.  We also need to be kind to ourselves. Make the changes that are easiest first. Find your strengths as an environmentalist. Look for challenges that bring you satisfaction.
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  • Headed to the Beach?

    The end of August and Labor Day Weekend have many people squeezing in a few last trips to the beach. If you’re one of those people, we invite you to take the 3 Pieces of Plastic Challenge and leave the beach cleaner than you left it! Every time the tide comes in, the ocean brings us a gift; the chance to take back some of our plastic before it harms marine life. Even beaches that seem pristine at first glance will yield bits of plastic, large and small, caught in the seaweed or half-buried in the sand. My mother is an avid beach-trash picker. She brings a bucket or a mesh bag every time she goes to the beach, and she picks up a full load of plastic and hauls it away when she leaves. Sometimes people will stop her and ask what she’s collecting; sometimes they’ll tell her that they’re going to start picking up plastic, too. Those conversations are the best. Because what would happen if everyone picked up a few pieces of plastic every time we went to the beach? The non-profit company “Take 3 For the Sea” is encouraging beach-goers to do just that. And you don’t need to haul a bucket to take three pieces of trash; you can them those into a side pocket of your beach bag without much hassle. (But by all means, bring a bucket and challenge your family or friends to fill it with you.) Want to help reduce ocean plastic, but not headed to the beach? Here are a few ways you can help. Reduce your seafood consumption. Fishing equipment is one of the largest contributors to plastic pollution in our oceans. Plan ahead and bring reusables so you can decline single-use plastics Choose backyard-compostable items over plastic for parties Decline straws Bring your own reusable shopping bags – store them in the car so you always have them Buy unpackaged foods when possible Use a Guppy-Friend for washing fleeces and synthetic fibers Support an ocean clean-up non-profit (like 4Ocean etc.) as a gift for an ocean-loving friend You can read more about how plastic gets in our oceans here. Taking the 3-Piece or Full Bucket Challenge? Send us your beach-trash photos and we’ll include them in a future post! You can email them to kelly.caiazzo@gmail.com.
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  • Replenish Your Summer Books

    Read all those summer books? Ready for something new? The Friends of the Wellesley Free Library’s 2018 Fall Book Sale, is coming up September 13th-16th.  The sale is open to members on Thursday evening, followed by three days of a public sale, of which the last day, Sunday, is a $7 per bag sale.  Not a member?  Join Thursday evening! www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org
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  • What To Do With That Extra Watermelon

    Summer is watermelon season! But unless you’re slicing for a crowd, an entire watermelon can be hard to use. It’s no fun looking in your fridge five days later and finding half of a large, over-ripe watermelon taking up valuable real estate. That might be one reason supermarkets sell all those pre-sliced chunks in plastic containers. But why not skip the plastic and slice into a fresh watermelon instead? Serve whatever you’ll eat that day, and cut and freeze the rest in a mason jar. Having watermelon chunks in the freezer is a summer staple in our house. Frozen watermelon makes delicious blended drinks or a hydrating antioxidant-filled treat as is. It may even help reduce muscle soreness after a workout! Here are some great uses for frozen watermelon: -Freeze chunks on reusable chopsticks for an alternative to popsicles -Add frozen chunks to margaritas -Blend with a little lime juice and water for a refreshing summer spritzer -Toss into smoothies to sweeten them -Make watermelon sorbet by processing frozen watermelon in a food processor -Freezing Food You Suspect You Won’t Finish Is A Great Way To Reduce Food Waste When it’s clear that we’re going to have more food than we’ll eat I’ll often freeze half immediately after preparing it. Once food has been on the table freezing it is less appealing, and it often gets stuck in our fridge. Sometimes that works great, sometimes we get tired of eating leftovers and food goes to waste. But having a batch of three bean chili in the freezer that I can pull out on a rainy day, or a dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies? That’s when leftovers are awesome. That and watermelon margaritas, of course.
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  • State Legislature Wrap-Up: What Happened to Environmental Bills?

    With great disappointment, we offer an update on the fate of some environmental provisions during the 2017-18 state legislative session, which ended on July 31. We expected our State Legislature to act with vision and courage in the face of disastrous effects of climate change unfolding daily, world-wide — catastrophic wildfires, dangerous storms, record-breaking temperatures, animal die-offs, rising sea levels. They did not. Sadly, the House shot down the appropriately ambitious legislation that passed in the Senate. We saw no leadership or sense of urgency from the governor, who might have influenced the House to act boldly. In the end, only a modest clean energy bill was enacted (H.4857) — a bill that is not commensurate with the climate crisis we face and that includes a shocking provision that allows trash incineration to be defined as a source of clean, renewable energy. To quote State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton), “There is a serious problem with democracy in Massachusetts, when the voices of tens of thousands of concerned residents and climate change activists, and dozens of clean energy advocacy groups, are ignored. The battle is not just in DC, it’s here, too.” So — before we review the results — we want to urge you to VOTE this fall in the primary elections on September 4 and the general election on November 6. We have an important race for governor coming up, as well as other state and federal elections. Find candidates who will stand up and fight for our planet and our future — instead of those who step back and stay silent. Go to candidate forums, ask tough questions, and then ask your friends and family to vote with you. We can’t count on national leadership right now, so let’s make sure officials at every level of state and local government are ready to take action on environmental issues.  Click here to let us know you plan to vote on September 4 and November 6 and we will send you a reminder! Here is a quick round-up of a few key environmental measures we were tracking during this session, followed by links for more details: Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): The is the state requirement that specifies the percentage of electricity that utility companies must obtain from qualified renewable energy sources. Under current law, the RPS is 13% and it increases at the rate of only 1% each year. The new law raises the rate of increase to 2% a year starting in 2020, but reduces it back to 1% by 2030. At this level of increase, Massachusetts will fall behind the 2030 RPS mandates of California, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and many others. It also means that Massachusetts will reach an RPS of only 36% by 2030, and a 56% by 2050. We note with gratitude that Wellesley’s State Representative Alice Peisch supported a House amendment that would have raised the RPS increase to 3%, but House leadership ultimately forced the withdrawal of that amendment. Gas Leaks: The clean energy bill that passed included provisions that would require utility companies to provide more information about gas leaks to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU). The new law defines how utility companies should measure “lost and unaccounted” for gas — which is the difference between the amount of gas purchased by the gas company and the amount that is actually delivered to customers or used by the gas company in its operations. Utility companies must also identify and measure the sources and locations of the lost and unaccounted for gas. The new law also allows the DPU to grant waivers for the development of innovative projects that reduce lost and unaccounted for gas in order to reduce the cost to ratepayers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Methane from gas leaks is at least 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.) State Senator Cynthia Creem (who represents Wellesley Precincts A, C, D, E, and H) was a strong advocate for action on gas leaks.  Plastic Bags: The House blocked a state-wide bill passed by the Senate that would have banned single-use plastic bags. More than 80 cities and towns in Massachusetts — including Wellesley — have bylaws banning the bags. The state bill would have created a uniform regulation that was intended to reduce plastic litter and the hazard that plastic bags pose to animals and our environment. Both State Rep. Alice Peisch and State Senator Cynthia Creem have supported plastic bag bans in the past. For more information: Click here for a summary from Massachusetts Sierra Club. Click here for a summary from the Climate Action Business Association. Click here for a summary from the Conservation Law Foundation. And click here to let us know you plan to vote on September 4 and November 6 so we can send you a reminder!
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  • Response to the New York Times Article: Losing Earth

    Some of you may have read the recent article in New York Times Magazine titled Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change. For anyone who hasn’t, it paints a pretty bleak picture of where global warming stands now, and candidly explains some devastating predictions about our future on this planet. It was hard to read. You should read it. I was flooded with a mix of emotions after I finished, including despair, nihilism, and a waning interest in ever having grandchildren when I pictured what their Earth will look like. Underneath it was a surge of hopelessness that made me wonder why I’m writing blog posts about Meatless Mondays and reducing our plastic consumption when the Earth is doomed anyway. But then I remembered the joy I feel when my husband and I have an afternoon together. Or the surge of emotion when our children have a perfect day at the beach, riding waves into the shore, grandparents staying for dinner. The delight of a dinner out with friends where camaraderie and laughter make it one of those nights you just remember. And it reminds me that even an extra day is worth fighting for. Reading the article, it seems likely a 2 degree, 3 degree, 4 degree change is inevitable. That doesn’t give us the license to speed it up.  It makes it even more imperative that we do what we can to slow it down. To hold off the spread of the flooding and the heat waves as long as we can. To hope that we can rewrite this narrative, yes, but to acknowledge that even when the outcome doesn’t seem promising, we can and must do whatever we can to hold the line. I speak of joyful memories and the belief that they’re worth fighting for, but the other side of the coin is acknowledging that climate change causes real human and animal suffering. When we look for ways to live and vote more responsibly, we reduce the harm we’re causing and accelerate global warming a little less. So I choose to keep doing what I can, and when it feels futile, I think about the beauty of a single sea turtle getting to bask a little while longer in the sunshine because I pulled a plastic bag out of the ocean. And it helps me keep going.
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  • Hey 18+ Year Olds

      Is every eligible voter in your household registered to vote?     Voting with the environment in mind is one of the easiest and most effective ways to to be green. Let’s get out the vote and make a change in the world! August 15 is the deadline to register to vote in the next election (which is the September 4th primary).   We are encouraging everyone to vote, including all students (18 years old and up) in your household. If you have a current Massachusetts Driver’s License or State ID, you can register to vote here.  Otherwise, you can print out and mail in the registration form here, or register to vote in person at Wellesley Town Hall.   If you have students who will be away during the elections, they can apply for an Absentee Ballot.  August 31st is the deadline for applying for an Absentee Ballot for next election (September 4).  Your students can apply for an Absentee Ballot at the same time they register to vote. Absentee Ballots also work for those who know they will be out of town on election day, are physically disabled or have religious objections to the date. An Absentee Ballot can even be applied for by a member of the voter’s family!   So, if your registered college student is already out of town, you can have an Absentee Ballot sent to him or her by completing and submitting the form here. An Absentee Ballot will be mailed to the voter the same day the Town Clerk receives the signed request. Absentee requests may be filed at any time prior to the election, up until noon the day prior. Ballots will be mailed beginning 21 days prior to the election. If you require the Absentee Ballot to be mailed out of Wellesley please allow sufficient time for mailing in both directions (generally allow 10 mailing days for a ballot to go out of Wellesley and be returned, domestically). Voters may apply for an absentee ballot in person and vote at the same time, if ballots are available.  Absentee Ballots cannot be hand carried out of the office. Absentee ballots must be received in the Clerk’s office on or before the close of the polls on election day (September 4), so be sure to remind your college student to complete and return them on time!
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  • Its Hot Out There!

    Extremely hot days (and extremely cold days) put a strain on the energy grid, causing utility companies to turn to dirty fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to meet this “peak demand.” And, in order to be reliable, utilities must build enough infrastructure to meet this peak, even if peak demand is not reached most days. All this means higher rates for you (up to 10 times higher on peak days!) and more carbon pollution for the planet. With just a simple text or email alert, Shave the Peak empowers residential electricity consumers to unite for affordable electricity and a low-carbon future. Each member of this growing community is committed to reducing electricity usage at home on days when skyrocketing overall demand is met by the dirtiest and most expensive fossil fuels, or “peak days.” These actions advocate forward-thinking policies that can transform our electric grid. To sign up for these peak demand “alerts” simply go to massenergy.org and sign up. It will take less than a minute to do your part. Or learn more at a free webinar on August 7, at either 1:00 or 7:00 pm, sponsored by the non-profit Mass. Energy Consumers Alliance.
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  • Stop one of the Worst Plastic Polluters is “Styrofoam” (Polystyrene)

    In response to community demands, many companies from Starbucks to Alaska Airlines, as well as local shops in our community have pledged to reduce plastic waste. Let your favorite spots know that their customers care about protecting our ocean — especially from one of the worst plastic polluters, “Styrofoam”  — and ask them to pledge to stop using harmful single-use plastics. Help your local eatery be the next one by simply downloading this letter, printing, signing and dropping it off at local businesses where you shop! Click here to take action. Write one yourself as well.
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  • Make Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop TOMORROW

    Help your garden beat the heat this summer! Make-your-own rain barrel adapter kits from the Rain Barrel Depot are available for $25 through tomorrow — July 31st. Reserve your kit now on CRWA’s page here! A recycled syrup drum courtesy of Coca Cola’s Needham facility and weather-proof paint are included with each kit. CRWA will be hosting a workshop at their office from 6-7 pm on Tuesday, July 31st for anyone who would like to receive instruction for assembling a rain barrel. Anyone who is unable to attend the workshop will be welcome to pick up materials from CRWA’s office in Weston during our regular business hours.  
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  • In Praise of In-Person Shopping

    I did a lot of online shopping after my kids were born, and I admit there were some major perks. No lines, open twenty-four-seven, and no listening to my toddler scream to get out of the stroller so they could try to escape out from under the dressing room door. You have access to more inventory, more price-comparisons, and you can try things on in the privacy of your own home. But I’ve recently fallen back in love with in-person shopping. I’M MORE LIKELY TO BUY CLOTHES I LOVE WHEN I SHOP IN PERSON Being able to touch fabrics and try things on in the store means I’m more likely to buy items I love, not just clothes I like or that aren’t worth the hassle of returning. That means I’m more satisfied when I open my closet door to get dressed for the day or for an event, which means I’m less likely to go shopping again soon. (This is good because I would rather spend free time elsewhere.) I DON’T HAVE TO BREAK DOWN BOXES AND THROW AWAY BAGS I bring a large tote bag to carry around my purchases, and when I get home all that I have to throw away are the tags. (And yes, the paper part is recyclable.) Beyond the environmental impact of having items shipped to my house in plastic packaging (that Wellesley no longer recycles), it’s also less hassle. SPEAKING OF HASSLE — I MAKE FEWER RETURNS Because I’ve tried things on! How magical. I’m not being facetious, processing returns was my least favorite part of online shopping. Going home with only things that fit well and look good is amazing. IT’S EASIER TO BUY IN OUTFITS If I’m looking for shirts that will go with a specific pair of dress pants, I’ll wear those pants to the store. If I wonder how something would look with jeans, I can grab a pair in the store to try on with the item I might purchase. Buying with outfits in mind helps me build a functional wardrobe which helps me buy less overall, saving money and reducing my environmental impact at the same time. IT’S A GOOD LESSON FOR THE KIDS I usually don’t bring my 6 and 7 year old, but I try to sometimes, because I think it helps build their patience. (Ok, maybe mine too.) And I’m bringing them more and more to select their own clothing. I want them to have agency in choosing their own clothes so they can have smaller wardrobes filled just with clothes they love, too. BUYING QUALITY SECOND HAND IS EASIEST IN PERSON I’m not great at buying second-hand yet, but the best way to do that is in person where you can see a garment, inspect it for signs of wear, and make sure it fits. Buying vintage is one of the most environmental things you can do, but even if you’re not quite there yet, buying just clothes you love and wearing them for a long time can have a great impact on your clothes’ footprint!
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  • Students, Commuters, Everyone- Check Out New $1/hr. Bikes!

    Need to get into town quickly from school or get home from the train?  Now you can easily grab a dock-less Ant Bike and ride it wherever you need to go in Wellesley.  Find where the signature green bikes are in town on the app, ride it where you need to go, and simply leave it in a “legal” spot for only $1 an hour. Learn more here.
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  • DIY: DEET-FREE Mosquito & Tick Spray

    Thanks for the tip Charles! Looking for a DEET free way to keep mosquitos and ticks away? Charles found this formula while in the Dominican and says it works, smells great and oils last for many years. Give it a try: What you need: – Peppermint essential oil – Geranium essential oil – Lemon essential oil – Eucalyptus essential oil – Citronella essential oil – Lavender essential oil – 4oz glass spray bottle How to do it: – Fill the bottle with water – Add 20 drops of each essential oil – Shake and spray yourself as needed
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  • Action Update on Critical Energy Legislation in the State House

    Last week, Lise Olney and Raina McManus represented Sustainable Wellesley at a State House rally with more than 300 advocates who combined forces to advocate for clean energy and fair treatment for immigrants. The rally called for ambitious legislation on renewable energy and for provisions to safeguard immigrants in Massachusetts. In recent weeks, the House and Senate have passed very different energy-related bills and a House and Senate conference committee is now working to come up with a compromise before the clock runs out on July 31. We can still make a difference by calling Wellesley’s State Rep. Alice Peisch to thank her for her support for raising the increase in the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 3% per year, and to ask her to urge her colleagues on the conference committee to include this critical provision in the bill along with an equitable solar policy. To call Rep. Peisch’s office, dial 617-722-2070. A suggested script from 350 Mass is available here. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is the state requirement that specifies the percentage of electricity that utility companies must obtain from qualified renewable energy sources. Currently, the RPS is at 13% and increases at only 1% each year. The Massachusetts Senate voted unanimously and on a bipartisan basis to raise the annual RPS increase to 3% per year, while the House voted to raise the annual increase to only 2% starting in 2019, and then to reduce it back to 1% in 2029. This is simply not enough to achieve our state-wide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Click here for more on this from Mass Sierra Club’s Emily Norton.) Please make your call today!
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  • Local Landscapers That Don’t Use Pesticides

    Looking for a local landscapers or yard management company that wont use pesticides on your lawn? Look no further. And Don’t Forget To Take The Pledge To Be Pesticide free!   http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/pledge-to-be-pesticide-free/. Arborcare Ropes ‘n Saddles P.O. Box 515 South Easton, MA 02375 (508) 584-2516 cbrodeur1@comcast.net https://www.arborcareropes.com Estate Gardners Wellesley, Massachusetts (781) 235-4130 https://www.facebook.com/EstateGardeners/ egardeners@aol.com Hartney Graymount Adam Cervin 433 Chestnut St, Needham, MA 02492 (866) 932-2057 http://www.hartney.com **have to ask for organic specifically Inspirational Gardens John Rice (978) 274-5633 johnrice@inspirationalgardens.biz http://www.inspirationalgardens.biz Organic Soil Solutions Mike Murray 38 Fuller Rd. Needham, MA 02492 (781) 937-9992 mikem@organicsoilsolutions.com & james@organicsoilsolutions.com https://organicsoilsolutions.com Pure Solutions Shawn Spear 582 Boston Post Rd. Weston, MA 02493 (781) 899-7873 info@puresolutions.com https://www.puresolutions.com Simply Safer Premium Lawn Care Inc. P.O. Box 1018. Wrentham, MA 02093 (508) 384-4444 {Toll Free: 1-866-GO-SAFER (467-2337)} http://www.saferlawns.com **have to ask for organic specifically Sweetgum Horticulture Catherine Volic Natick, MA (781) 591-2370 catherine@sweetgumhorticulture.com http://www.sweetgumhorticulture.com/contact.html
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  • Check Out the New Volunteer Opportunities List

    Sustainable Wellesley now has a new list of volunteer opportunities where you can make a difference in your community, have fun, meet new folks, use your skills, and learn new ones. There is a great variety of jobs; some require just a few hours of your time, once; while others are project based. See something you like here? Something missing that you would like to work on, write us at info@SustainableWellesley.com. You will be making a difference, using your skills and talents for good, meeting others in the community, working for a cause you believe in and helping others. THANKS  
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  • Babson’s Hidden Gem — Its Sustainability Office

    You may not realize this but our neighbor, Babson College, has had a sustainability office for 8 years working behind the scenes to make Babson a leader in sustainability.  We sat down with Alex Davis, Program Manager, GreenerU, Inc., who manages the College’s Sustainability Office to learn more about what is happening at Babson. “Babson will soon release its 2017/2018 Sustainability Report which looks at sustainability as it relates to the College’s academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration,” said Davis. “Although it might seem challenging to measure sustainability, Babson uses the STARS tool — used by higher education institutions — to objectively measure its efforts in sustainability,” Davis said. Babson has made substantial progress, and in some cases is a leader in higher education for some of its efforts including its hazardous waste management, electronics purchasing, and sustainable dining practices. The College has made progress in many sustainability initiatives, but knows it has an opportunity to improve practices further when it comes to efforts such as outdoor air quality, building operations and maintenance, renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as sustainable food purchasing. Babson has seen a growing number of students getting environmental sustainability certifications as well as an increase in applications for sustainability office internships. The number of water bottle filling stations is also increasing — now up to 27 allowing the community to get 275,000 refills a year.  More will be installed as buildings get built and renovated. There are also 12 car charging stations on campus that have been used by 73 different drivers from faculty and staff, to guests and students this year alone; producing 5900 miles of electricity power. To learn more about the campus energy, waste and emissions reductions efforts, click here.
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  • Cooler Hack: Bring Your Own Water!

    We’re in the habit of bringing our own water bottles everywhere, sometimes to the point of awkwardness. (Nice restaurants will serve you tap water in a glass, plopping your hydroflask on the table’s cloth napkin kind of detracts from the ambiance.) But what about day trips or long afternoons on the beach where one water bottle per person isn’t really enough? I used to bring multiple reusable water bottles for everyone in the family, but that got heavy and awkward. Now what I do is I skip packing ice packs in our cooler, and instead I use an extra large mason jar filled with ice-water. It keeps our snacks cold, and when we’re done eating, I can use the ice water to refill everyone’s water bottles. Wrapping it in a light kitchen towel helps prevent condensation from getting on snacks if that’s a concern! If it’s too heavy to carry, sometimes I’ll leave it in the car, knowing that we can refill everyone’s waters before we drive home. You can use ice cubes or you can put water in the mason jar and freeze it in a solid block. If you do the latter, make sure you don’t fill it all the way because ice expands and you don’t want to shatter a mason jar in your freezer. Also be aware that it might not melt in time for you to have enough water to refill your water bottle! There are also a lot of large insulated reusable water jugs on the market made from food-safe stainless steel; these might be a good purchase if they’ll help make it easier for you to avoid buying plastic water by the case to bring on your outings. They are also good for places that don’t want you to bring glass in, such as many amusement parks and pool areas. Look for them anywhere that sells camping supplies. But for me, having a mason jar of ice water in the cooler has made summer just a little easier!
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  • Make Your Own Frozen Burritos!

    Plastic-free July had me thinking about the places in my life where I still struggle with single-use plastic, and it is undoubtedly food packaging. It can feel like convenience = plastic. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Frozen burritos are a great example. They’re so easy to make yourself, and when you do that, you can eat leftovers when you’re craving a burrito instead of the day after you’ve made Mexican. The last time we had taco night, I spent a few minutes after dinner making burritos from all the leftovers. I made 10 burritos and froze them in parchment paper inside a rectangular pyrex container I popped in my fridge. They won’t last as long without freezer burn as they would in plastic wrap, but mine didn’t even make it two weeks before we’d (ok, I’d) eaten them with a little thrill of self-satisfaction at finding a healthy and delicious meal in my freezer that could be ready for me to eat in just minutes. The USDA estimates that 40% of food in the United States is wasted; what if we could get back in the habit of freezing our leftovers and eating them instead of packaged and processed convenience foods? Food for thought! How to: 1. Use room temperature or lightly warmed tortillas, they roll better! 2. Choose hearty fillings that freeze well; beans, rice, sweet potato, cooked spinach (but not fresh), refried beans, corn and sauteed red peppers are some of our favorites. Avoid freezing guacamole, salsa or leafy greens – those are best added fresh after reheating. 3. Roll your burritos and then wrap them tightly in compostable parchment paper to help keep the air out and keep them from sticking together. 4. Place them in an airtight freezer-safe container and pop them into your freezer 5. Reheating varies based on burrito size; unwrap them from the parchment and start with 45 seconds in the microwave at power level 7 on each side for small burritos, and up to 90 seconds on each side for larger. You can invert a bowl over the burrito to help steam up the tortilla if desired! Tip: Make some mini burritos for snacks – they’re a great savory hand-held snack for after a workout or to combat your mid-afternoon slump! You can even bring a frozen burrito to work if you have a microwave; it’ll stay cold enough to be food-safe until lunch time.
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  • Go Green With Your Sunscreen!

    Welcome to Kelly C’s lifestyle blog. Follow on her journey as she joyfully shares simple, real life solutions to lower impact living. You will be glad you did as she is funny too. Take it away Kelly… ______________________________________________________________________ We hope you’re loving the summer sun as much as we are! Looking for environmentally friendly sunscreen options? We’ve got you covered. Here are some ways you can go green with your sunscreen: 1. Look for sunscreens that are labeled “reef-safe”, especially if you’re going in the ocean. 2. Opt for zinc-based sunscreens when possible. Mineral-based sunscreens offer great protection and are the least disruptive to our health and the health of the environment. 3. If using a spray sunscreen is non-negotiable, look for one that contains just avobenzone and not oxybenzone. Whole Foods 365 makes a version with 3% Avobenzone that sprays clear. 4. Reduce your need for sunscreen by wearing a hat and long sleeved rash guard. Choosing clothing with an SPF rating of 50+ is the easiest way to stay safe in the sun – no need to reapply! Kids swimming in the pool will be wet enough to stay cool, and you can rest easy knowing their backs won’t burn. 5. Get the most out of your sunscreen by cutting open the tube so you can use every last drop, and choose recyclable containers when possible. Did you know? Oxybenzone is an ingredient in many sunscreens, but not only is it an endocrine disruptor, it’s also damaging to coral reefs. It’s such a hazard to our oceans that Hawaii is considering banning the use of oxybenzone sunscreens. Read a NY Times article about it here. Look for alternatives that are labeled “reef safe” – they’ll be safer for you, too. Check out the EWG Sunscreen Guide: The Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep database is an excellent resource for evaluating the safety of sunscreens and their efficacy. Their top kids’ sunscreen list includes a rating of it’s UVA/UVB balance as well as ranking the health concerns associated with ingredients. ThinkSport is one of our favorite sunscreen brands – the “Everyday Face” sunscreen is slightly tinted to help reduce the visibility of the bright white sunscreen after application.
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  • Call Today to Get Action on Clean Energy at the State House!

    The current legislative session ends on July 31 and the House is meeting in formal session this week! Please call today to urge Rep. Alice Peisch to make sure that energy stays at the top of the list of important priorities for the House. The Senate has already passed a far-reaching clean energy bill that could be a model for the country. We need the House to step up! Our partners at Mass Power Forward have created a suggested script — just click here and then make the call! Do it from the office, the beach, etc.
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  • Cool Summer Activity

    We just had a variety of fun fabrics donated to us. Let us know if we can give them to you to start sewing on one of these warm summer days for our Town-Wide Project. Sustainable Wellesley is looking for crafty Wellesley children and adults; sewers: novice to expert; anyone looking for a fun and easy community project. “We are creating beautiful, Japanese Furoshiki style cloths and reusable bags for a future, community gift wrapping event,” said Kelly Caiazzo, one of the organizers of the town-wide project. Here are the details: Cut a square piece of fabric a little larger than your desired size. 20″ and 28” are standard finished sizes, but in general any square that’s about 3x larger than the object being wrapped works well. Fold in each of the edges a quarter inch and iron; fold again and iron. Find instructions online for sewing mitered corners, follow and then sew around the perimeter of your prepared cloth in the middle of the fold. Flexible fabrics like thin cotton work best for tying. For instructions on hemming and three different corner options, click here. Please e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com when you have completed some and Sustainable Wellesley will make plans to collect your cloths. Be sure to save wraps for yourself. To learn how to fold furoshiki gift wrap, click here. For a nice complement to Furoshiki (and one that doesn’t require any explanation for re-using!) the community will also be making Boomerang cloth bags. Check out the free pattern online here. Once you have created some for personal use, and some for the community, simply email Sustainable Wellesley to collect your the bags. Email is: info@sustainablewellesley.com. Feel free to organize your own sewing event. Might be fun with friends or new folks.. All are encouraged and welcome to join in this relaxing, community event where simple acts make a difference. Every year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded worldwide. Un-recycled bags plague the environment, greatly damaging the ocean as well as many other complex ecosystems. Since plastics take an average of 1,000 years to decompose, our waste isn’t going anywhere fast, so it’s up to us to help minimize our negative impact on the planet. Plus, the activity is relaxing, easy, and fun! Questions? E-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com.
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  • 2 Volunteers Needed from 12-3 on July 21st for July Jubilation 2018! 

    This year’s July Jubilation will take place on Saturday, July 21st, 9:30am – 4:30pm. We’re super excited for this annual community event and our collaboration with Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission and the Health Department. We would love for you to help!  This event is a great way for Sustainable Wellesley to share its message and spread awareness about sustainable practices that can be integrated into our town’s community. We will share a few messages day of but it takes NO preparation time. Just show up and meet some fabulous folks in Wellesley. Please consider volunteering from 12-3pm and help promote sustainable practices, engage town residents with our activities, and encourage residents to look further into how they can help Wellesley become more green. Any help is appreciated and even if you can’t volunteer we hope you can stop by and see what we’ve been working on!  Click here to pick a time slot. A big thank you to the Wellesley Square Merchants Association for welcoming the water station to July Jubilation this year. Simply bring your water bottle or just grab a drink from the fountains that day.
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  • #SkipTheStraw Update

    According to the World Wildlife Federation, at current rate of use, the amount of plastics in the ocean will literally outweigh fish by 2050. The 500 million plastic straws used each day are one of the top beach polluters, according to 5 Gyres, a global health nonprofit organization against plastic pollution in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging local restaurants to be part of the #SkipTheStraw Initiative and we need your help asking local managers to re-evaluate their use of plastic straws. A few we know of have already switched so swing by and say thanks to the folks at CocoBeet, The Local, and Quebrada Bakery.  If you know of more please let us know at info@SustainableWellesley.com. Please consider adding your name next to one or some of the 74 restaurants/cafes here in Wellesley that you would be willing to contact. Although some of these restaurants may not currently serve plastic straws, it is still beneficial to highlight the importance of keeping it that way. After adding your name to the document above, feel free to use these talking points  when talking to them. Many thanks! This is not a pipe dream. The city of Seattle is now straw-less and some local restaurants are planning to #SkipTheStraw too, including the Local in Wellesley and and many of Boston’s fun locations. Why the buzz? The average straw is sipped for only 20 minutes but it can take over 200 years to break down. Straws are very lightweight and often wind up in our oceans and on our beaches where they are a danger to marine life. Plastics never biodegrade — they just break into smaller and smaller pieces.
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  • Celebrate the 4th with an Easy Action for the Planet

    Here’s an easy action you can take this weekend: Write Wellesley’s state Representative Alice Peisch and ask her to support key environmental bills as the state House of Representatives gets ready to close out the legislative session on July 31!  Rep. Peisch has supported important environmental legislation in the past and she needs to hear from us now so she knows that these issues are a top priority for her constituents and we have her back. We’ve made it easy for you to write to Rep. Peisch — you can just copy and paste the letter below (edit as you wish!) and send to Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov. Please include your full name and address so Rep. Peisch knows that you are a Wellesley resident. Spread the word — please share this message with your friends and neighbors! Representative Alice Peisch Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov Dear Rep. Peisch, I am writing to thank the legislature for taking up energy and environmental policies and to ask you to please do everything you can to help enact these critical priorities.  Clean Energy Legislation:  In June, the Senate unanimously passed bold clean energy legislation (S2545), arguably the strongest clean energy bill in the country. This bill contains critical measures such as solar for all, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, Community Empowerment, and a plan to act on climate change. I am grateful that the Senate supported this bill and hope you will urge the House to take it up. Environmental Justice: I also strongly support the Massachusetts Environmental Justice Act, H2913/S426, which is currently pending in House Ways and Means. Please urge Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez of the Ways and Means committee to release this bill and press forward for environmental justice. Plastic Pollution Reduction: Please also ask Rep. Sánchez to move the statewide bag bill, H4234 An Act Reducing Plastic Pollution, out of Ways and Means. As you know, Wellesley passed a bag bylaw in 2016 — one of 79 Massachusetts cities and towns that have done so. Without any regulations, Massachusetts residents would discard more 3.6 billion plastic bags per year. These bags are clogging our gutters, littering our landscape, and killing birds and other wildlife — and now that China has stopped accepting plastic waste, the bags are essentially not recyclable.   Thank you for your attention to these environmental priorities, YOUR NAME
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  • Wellesley Water & Energy

    WATER As of July 1, Wellesley’s sewer rates will rise based on the amount of water you use. See the letter sent to your home or email with your recent bill for more specifics. Use this as a discussion point with your family to use less water in your home as a measure of conservation and cost. Here are a few tips from the EPA. ENERGY In addition, Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant is working with National Grid to offer energy assessments which can help you save energy and money. Learn more here and below. From National Gird: Drafty rooms, noisy appliances, groaning boilers—ever wonder if your home is trying to tell you something? Maybe it’s time to find out with a no-cost Home Energy Assessment. Your National Grid Energy Specialist will come to your home, complete an attic-to-basement evaluation, and provide a custom home energy report outlining recommended energy efficiency improvements. Please call 1-855-891-9899 to schedule an assessment of your 1 to 4 unit home. In addition, you’ll receive the following no-cost upgrades: -7-day programmable thermostat or a no-cost or discounted Wi-Fi enabled thermostat -ENERGY STAR® certified LED light bulbs -Faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads -Advanced power strips -Based on your assessment, you may be eligible for:         -An instant incentive for 75% off insulation (or based on your household income, you could receive an enhanced offer of 90% off insulation). – No-cost air sealing of leaks in drafty areas of your home -Rebates of up to $3,500 for upgrading to qualifying energy-efficient heating, cooling, and water heating equipment -The opportunity to apply for 0% financing for eligible upgrades through the HEAT Loan program
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  • Take the Plastic Free July Challenge!

    For the past few years, our family has been taking the Plastic Free July challenge — spending the month of July making an intentional effort to reduce our single-use disposable plastic waste. The challenge has helped us focus on finding new ways to avoid plastic and we’ve been able to adopt those new habits throughout the year. We started with some simple changes such as switching to reusable bags, and reusable to-go cups and utensils. Then we moved on to things like bar shampoo (no plastic bottle!), crackers that don’t come in plastic (Wasa brand!), eliminating plastic wrap (use foil or beeswax wrap!). The Plastic Free July campaign started in 2011 in Perth, Australia, and has grown into a world-wide movement, involving more than 2 million people in 159 countries. Now that China has stopped accepting plastic waste for recycling, we all have an even bigger incentive to cut back to help keep our environment and our oceans from being overwhelmed by plastic. If you are wondering how you can get started, just visit the Plastic Free July website to find tips and answers to common questions. You can also find Plastic Free July on Facebook and Twitter (@plasticfreejuly). We’ll be writing about more resources during the month of July to help inspire you to #ChooseToRefuse plastic waste!
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  • We Won!

    The Wellesley Celebrations Committee announced last week that the Sustainable Wellesley float was awarded “The Best Organizational Float of the 50th Wellesley Veterans’ Parade”. Pete Jones, Treasurer of the Wellesley Celebrations Committee awarded the plaque to Scott Bender of Sustainable Wellesley. Thanks to all that contributed to make the float a success and to those who cheered us on during the Parade. Now we need to up our game even more. Let us know if you have ideas for next year’s float!
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  • Your Milkweed Is Calling You

    Just a quick reminder for those that have not picked up your milkweed plants yet, please do so as they are eager to be in the garden now! We have a few extra plants in case you have not ordered one and would like some. By planting milkweed in your yard, you are helping the monarch butterfly population. They need to eat milkweed to survive, plus it is a beautiful pink and white plant that attracts even more beautiful butterflies to your home! Please click here to order yours. Happy Summer. Send us your butterfly photos.
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  • Pollinator Garden Workshop

    The Wellesley Police Station will soon be the site of a beautiful new pollinator garden! The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission applied to the New England Wild Flower Society (NEWFS) to host a garden and our community was chosen as one of three in Massachusetts for a garden installation! The Wellesley Police Department kindly agreed to provide the location. On June 26, NEWFS will offer a talk on pollinator gardening from 6:30 to 8 pm (the garden installation workshop from 1 to 4 pm is FULL). Come learn about gardening for pollinators using beautiful native plants adapted for our area. These events are free but space is limited so please register right away! For the lecture, please click here.
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  • 2 Clicks to Help Pass Clean Energy Legislation

    From Mass Power Forward: Last Thursday, the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed the most ambitious and far-reaching piece of clean energy legislation (S2545) in the country. It includes key Mass Power Forward priorities: solar equity, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, a dedicated plan to act on climate change and reforms to push back on pipeline expansion. Click here to easily thank your Senator for supporting this historic bill, and urge your State Representative to take action. This victory shows the enormous public pressure to combat climate change––pressure YOU helped generate. But now we need the House to act. Please tell Your State Representative: Pass A Bold Clean Energy Bill Before July 31! Click here to thank your State Senator today and urge your Representative to take up the bill!
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  • Interested in Becoming Appointed?

    From the Town of Wellesley: Volunteers are, and have always been, an integral part of Wellesley Town Government. It is volunteers, elected or appointed, who make policy, serve on committees, give of their time and talents, and make the Town what it is. The Board of Selectmen are charged with making a number of these appointments to town boards which they do annually in late spring for the ensuing fiscal year that begins on July 1. Do you have a special interest in a particular area or a talent you are willing to share? Would you just like to become involved? We encourage you to contact us and make your interest known. The Board of Selectmen follow their Appointments Policy to select persons to serve on boards/committees, including: Council on Aging Cultural Council Veterans Council If you would like to be considered for one of these positions, you can apply online or download the application and email it to BOS@wellesleyma.gov, or mail it to us at Town Hall, 525 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482. For July 1, 2018 appointments, please respond by June 1st. To learn more about individual Boards or Commissions, please visit this page. Review this document for a list of current vacancies.
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  • Make A Call or Send Email TODAY

    From the Sierra Club: Clean energy and environmental justice are on the move! Please email and call your state senator TODAY. – There is a major vote tomorrow, Thursday.  (There is new information in this notice concerning the amendments.  If you have already called, calling again is not a problem.)  To find your state senator’s phone number, go to https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator The Senate will vote on S.2545, An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future, and on a variety of amendments. This is a bold clean energy bill with strong provisions for the Renewable Portfolio Standard and offshore wind. However, it can be made even better if several amendments are voted as well. S.2545 is missing: solar access for all, reforms to push back against pipeline expansion, community empowerment, and a comprehensive plan to combat climate change. Please call your Senator and Chairwoman Karen Spilka, Karen.Spilka@masenate.gov, 617-722-1640. Urge them to support the bill and the following amendments: Amendments 6 and 60 will push back on pipeline expansion Amendment 22 will empower communities and give new tools to promote renewable energy Amendments 41, 42 and 43 (by Senator Chang Diaz) will ensure all communities can access solar energy. Amendment 44 will create a detailed plan for achieving our 80% global warming pollution reductions by 2050. If you can’t call, please send your senator an email.  You can use the text below. SAMPLE SCRIPT/MESSAGE: Thank you for your dedication to clean energy and our environment. I support S.2545, An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future which is strong on the environment and climate. Today, I am also asking you to support several amendments to the bill: Amendments 6 and 60 will push back on pipeline expansion. We must ensure Massachusetts does not burden ratepayers or our environment with costly investments in polluting gas pipelines. Amendment 22 will empower communities and give new tools to promote renewable energy Amendments 41, 42 and 43 will ensure all communities can access solar energy. I am calling to urge you to fight for equity and justice in our environmental policies. Amendment 44 will create a detailed plan for achieving our 80% global warming pollution reductions by 2050. Thank you for your support of our environment. Please support S.2545 and these amendments.
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  • Thank You Wayne

    We are sorry to share that Wayne Yee Mon has passed away. He devoted much of his time recently to helping to reduce plastic pollution in Wellesley. We are grateful for his lovely spirit, and dedication to the topic and fully appreciated his interest, efforts, ideas and compassion. His devotion to this cause, all while waiting for a heart transplant, shows his true passion for making a change. He developed this eco friendly products list, as well as data on where plastics are being banned as part of his efforts to get Wellesley to #SkipTheStraw. Our hearts go out to his friends and family. -Sustainable Wellesley Community  
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  • Use This Free Drinking Water Fountain @ Your Next Event

    The MWRA Free Drinking Water Fountain is coming to the Schofield Road Race this Sunday! This is the first time this very cool Water Fountain has visited Wellesley. Schedule this fountain for your next event. The fountain provides free chilled drinking water to public event-goers in Boston and other MWRA service communities. Just bring your own bottle or cup and fill it at the fountain for free, or try drinking from one of the old-fashioned bubblers. Either way, the water is fresh, local and safe, and you don’t have to spend extra money on bottled water or worry about throwing away an empty container. MWRA’s water comes from the pristine and protected Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs in Central Massachusetts. It is treated according to strict state and federal standards and tested every step of the way to your tap. If you are planning a public event within the MWRA service area and would like to book our free fountain, please contact Katie Ronan, MWRA, (617) 788-1177.
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  • Dining Out? Consider This…

    Thank you to those who have already have signed up to talk to some local restaurants. There are a few left so please take a look at this list and jump in where you can. Here are #SkipTheStrawWellesley Talking Points and a leave behind you can use when speaking with restaurant managers. Might be best to make time in advance to meet with them on their non busy hours. Finally, please use this form for EACH restaurant you meet with so we can keep track of the progress we are making around town. Big shout out to Hardy Elementary School’s 3rd Grade Girl Scout Brownie Troop (#72113) for their huge efforts to get our community to make small changes that have a big impact.                                       
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  • A Message from Sustainable Wellesley About June 5th Special Town Meeting

    On Tuesday, June 5, members of Wellesley Town Meeting will vote on whether to approve $1 million to fund a feasibility study for the reconstruction of Hunnewell Elementary School. There are many excellent reasons why the reconstruction of this school will help to maintain a high standard of educational services for our children. We believe it also makes sense from an environmental perspective. This project presents an extraordinary opportunity for Wellesley to take another leap forward in becoming a model for sustainability as we build a school for the decades to come. Technological advances have now made it possible to build a high performing, sustainable building within the same budget as a conventional building. A school building also happens to be a particularly appropriate application for net-zero energy design (defined as a building that uses no more energy than it generates). Net-zero energy schools have proven to – Save thousands of dollars in energy costs every year – Create valuable learning opportunities for students as the features of the building can be used for research projects – Enhance the sense of common purpose as the whole school community works toward reducing energy use – Provide a healthy and appealing work environment for students and teachers. For the past year, the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee (comprised of members appointed by the Selectmen, and representatives of the School Committee and the Municipal Light Plant board) has been working with the School Building Committee on this project. Together, they have incorporated into the scope of the proposed feasibility study an evaluation of the most sustainable options for the Hunnewell site. We are confident that these options will be presented to the School Building Committee and that the priorities for educational services, fiscal responsibility, and sustainability will be in full alignment. We know that there are still issues to be resolved concerning Upham and Hardy. In the meantime, it is clear that Hunnewell is an antiquated building in poor condition that must be re-envisioned as a school for the future — both from an educational perspective and from an environmental one. Please contact your Town Meeting Members and urge them to vote for favorable action on Article 3 this week. Scott Bender, Mary Gard, Lise Olney, Quentin Prideaux, Phyllis Theermann, Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team
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  • Felt the Love @ the Parade

    Thank you to all that marched in the parade and encouraged us on along the lovely parade route. We heard more shout outs and got more cheers than ever before, and are very thankful. We are grateful to Laurel for organizing us, the Bender Family for building the float, the Wellesley Wonderful Weekend Parade organizers and Dedham Tesla for letting us borrow the Tesla Model X. There is a great deal of environmental enthusiasm in town. Simply, email info@SustainableWellesley.com to learn how you can get involved.
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  • Update from The Sustainable Energy Committee

    ***Green Communities The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) agreed to fund both projects in Wellesley’s Green Communities Designation Grant proposal. A grant award of $137,250 will go toward an exterior light-emitting diode (LED) retrofit on the Department of Public Works (DPW) campus that will upgrade 116 lights, and an energy audit of the Town’s water and wastewater systems. The audit is expected to identify energy conservation measures that the Town will propose in future Green Communities grant applications. ***Sustainable Development Guidelines The SEC is reviewing development and building guidelines and policies for cities, towns and colleges across the United States. The information gleaned from this review will inform the process by which the Town of Wellesley writes its own sustainable development guidelines. ***Transportation Our new Assistant Superintendent, who will join the school department in July, currently directs the Weston Transportation program that is in house and she is very knowledgeable on the subject. The Transportation Working Group is meeting with the Transportation Director of MAPC (regional planning agency for eastern MA) to be briefed on a variety of issues including: collaborative models, the latest technology (e.g. a potential pilot for anti-idling equipment), school transportation models, programs to reduce single vehicle trips (e.g. bike sharing) and potential access to metrics that would better measure our success directly in Wellesley. Immediately afterwards, Ellen Gibbs, Chair of the Selectmen, will convene a meeting with the three local colleges to explore whether collaboration is possible on transportation programs.
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  • This Float Has Your Name On It. See You This Sunday @ New Location 🙂

    March with us in Wellesley’s 2018 Veterans’ Parade! This year, we’re celebrating the legacy of environmental champion Rachel Carson, by encouraging our community to stop using pesticides on their lawns. The parade is a great opportunity to meet new folks and enjoy a stroll through town supporting a cause you care about. Plus it is fun – simply show up, smile, and wave! Details: New Date– Sunday, June 3rd New location –See you near the intersection of Oakland and Washington St. @ Pole # 5, look for our signs. Looks like the weather will be lovely for a walk through our town! Please meet us at 12:30, the parade gets underway at 1:00. We have a fabulous float this year thanks so very much to Scott Bender for his work and enthusiasm!  The theme is Healthy Lawns = Healthy Kids! Please come and see the float and march with us! Bring the kids, bring the neighbors! We’ll provide signage or you can bring your own. Parade route is approximately 2 miles. Parking: at the Wellesley Public Works yard – entrance is off of Woodlawn Ave. Shuttle Bus: a big yellow school bus will be at the Crest Road Bridge (end of the parade route) to take folks back to the Wellesley Community Center. (Near the Public Works lot) Or you could leave a vehicle at the Wellesley train station parking lot. Please contact Laurel at laurellanders2003@yahoo.com if you, your neighbors, family and friends are interested.
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  • Make a Call on Clean Energy Today!

    We’re nearing the end of the legislative session on Beacon Hill. With so much legislation to consider, important bills on clean energy must be strengthened and they may get lost in shuffle unless we act now! Let’s make sure that Rep. Alice Peisch — Wellesley’s state representative — knows how important clean energy is to Wellesley voters. Please give her office a call to express you support for key clean energy legislation. Call 617-722-2070 and ask for Rep. Peisch’s office. CLICK HERE FOR AN EASY CALL SCRIPT created by our partners at Mass Power Forward. Rep. Peisch has been a supporter of clean energy in the past and we need her support again now. Please make your call today and thanks for taking action on clean energy!
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  • Action Requested on Gas Leaks Near Schools

    The Wellesley School Committee recently sent this letter to National Grid at the request of the Natural Resources Commission and Wellesley Green Schools, asking that the utility company take action on gas leaks near Wellesley schools and preschools. An independent survey by the NRC last year revealed extensive leaks throughout town, including a number of leaks in or near school zones. Click here for a map showing Town-wide gas leak data Earlier this month, the NRC invited Zeyneb Magavi, Research Director for HEET (Home Energy Efficiency Team), to speak at the Wellesley’s Green Collaborative about the state-wide efforts to address gas leaks. Ms. Magavi spoke about the partnership HEET has formed with gas companies National Grid, Eversource, and Columbia Gas to devise a reliable method to identify the largest volume gas leaks for urgent repair. She also explained HEET’s efforts to help homeowners and builders transition from fracked gas to electricity for heating and cooling, and appliances. She also addressed the serious issue of fracking – the process of injecting toxic chemicals and high-pressure water into fissures in underground rocks to extract gas. The gas we use in New England is fracked in Pennsylania. With HEET, Magavi is working to build relationships with families in Pennsylvania who have been devastated by the health impacts fracking. Click here for more on gas leaks in Wellesley. Thank you to NRC for this update
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  • Wellesley High Senior Projects: Lots of Sustainability Themes

    Many Wellesley High School Seniors take on a Senior Project during the last quarter of the year before graduation and once again, the sustainability theme was highly represented. From educating the public on the importance of bees, and getting WHS teachers off 400+ junk mail lists, to collecting data on the gas leaks effect on trees in town, and creating a video capturing all that Wellesley Students have done over the years, student’s projects show that sustainability resonates with many. Other projects included collecting WHS recycling data, a campaign to keep the playing fields clean, digital artwork creation, as well as green certifying classrooms. These are our future generation, and we are grateful.
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  • Fun at the Council on Aging

    Wellesley Council on Aging hosted the first sewing Bee to launch the Town-Wide Craft Project last week. An enthusiastic group created beautiful, Japanese Furoshiki style cloths and discussed how to make reusable bags. Crafty Wellesley children and adults; sewers: novice to expert; anyone looking for a fun and easy community project, Sustainable Wellesley is looking for your talent.  Less crafty folks are welcome to rummage through their closets and donate fabrics, bandanas, and scarves and/or join us to help cut fabric. This is a great relaxing summer activity for all. “We are creating beautiful, Japanese Furoshiki style cloths and reusable bags for a future, community gift wrapping event,” said Kelly Caiazzo, one of the organizers of the town-wide project.  Here are the details: 1. Donate Fabric Flexible fabrics are ideal! Stiff fabrics are hard to tie furoshiki style Fabric remnants measuring at least 20″ square work best e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com to make a fabric donation 2. Sew Furoshiki Cloths:Cut a square piece of fabric a little larger than your desired size. 20″ and 28”  are standard finished sizes, but in general any square that’s about 3x larger than the object being wrapped works well.  Fold in each of the edges a quarter inch and iron; fold again and iron. Find instructions online for sewing mitered corners, follow and then sew around the perimeter of your prepared cloth in the middle of the fold. Flexible fabrics like thin cotton work best for tying.  For instructions on hemming and three different corner options, click here. Please e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com when you have completed some and Sustainable Wellesley will make plans to collect your cloths. Be sure to save wraps for yourself. To learn how to fold furoshiki gift wrap, click here. 3. Sew Bags:For a nice complement to Furoshiki (and one that doesn’t require any explanation for re-using!) the community will  also be making Boomerang cloth bags. Check out the free pattern online here. Once you have created some for personal use, and some for the community, simply email Sustainable Wellesley to collect your the bags. 4. Email info@sustainablewellesley.com to organize or attend a sewing event.
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  • Do the Write Thing…Recycle Your Pens, Mechanical Pencils and Markers Starting June 1st

    Cleaning out classrooms or lockers at the end of school? Don’t throw away dried-up markers and pens – you can recycle them at the Wellesley Town Hall and the Wellesley Free Library starting Friday, June 1, 2018. The Natural Resources Commission is partnering with the Department of Public Works on a zero waste solution for old pens, pencils, and markers. Throw items into the specially-marked TerraCycle recycling boxes in the Town Hall Lobby and the children’s area at the Wellesley Free Library Main branch. TerraCycle will separate the components, smelting the metal and molding the plastic into new plastic products. Accepted items: Pens, pen caps, mechanical pencils, markers, marker caps, permanent markers, and permanent marker caps. Not Accepted: Wooden pencils, colored pencils, paint brushes, batteries, paint, pressurized containers, or medical sharps. Next time you shop for school supplies, consider switching to refillable pens, and use wooden colored pencils instead of plastic markers and highlighters to reduce your plastic waste! Questions? Email nrc@wellesleyma.gov
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  • MORE MILKWEED AVAILABLE!

    We have more. This time its the Asclepius syriaca variety. Order yours here. If you don’t know if this is for you, read this New York Times article and you will understand the Milkweed madness. LUCKY MONARCHS and lucky us!
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  • Inspiration for North 40

    The North 40 is important.  Learn how forests will determine our future on Monday, June 4th, from 7 pm – 9 pm at the Cary Memorial Library in Lexington — 1874 Mass. Ave in the large meeting room. Bill Moomaw will be speaking at the GWAC free event that is open to the public.  Moomaw is a Professor Emeritus of International Environmental Policy at Tufts Fletcher School and has a PhD in Physical Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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  • TONIGHT – Popcorn & Cake @ Movie Night – Good For Your Lawn… & Your Health

    Movie Night: “A Chemical Reaction: The Story of True Green Revolution” Wednesday, May 16, 7pm, Wakelin Room – Wellesley Free Library A screening and discussion of this 2009 film about a Canadian community that banned lawn chemicals after a local dermatologist noticed a connection between her patients’ health and their exposure to pesticides and herbicides, and the tremendous legal battle waged by the big chemical industry. Information about organic landscape professionals and earth-friendly lawn and landscape techniques will be available. Birthday cake honoring Rachel Carson and popcorn will be provided. Sponsored by the NRC, Heath Department, Department of Public Works, Sustainable Wellesley, and Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project.
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  • Hardy Girl Scouts Say “Skip The Straw” & Invite All to Straws Short Film May 22nd

    “Skip the Straw, Save Our Seas” is the focus of Hardy Elementary School’s 3rd Grade Girl Scout Brownie Troop (#72113)  initiative. While working on their Wonders of Water Journey Badge, the Troop decided to advocate, educate and inspire our community to protect the world’s water with this challenge. First, the Troop created a large noticeboard at Hardy Elementary filled with information about the plastic problems in our oceans and waterways and specifically the problems of single use plastics, like straws. They also installed a pledge sheet to encourage others to sign up to refuse plastic straws in restaurants and cafes, and if possible explain why they are refusing the straw. The Troop followed this with a presentation to a whole school assembly on why Wellesley should “Skip the Straw”. They then wrote to a dozen local and national restaurants explaining the problems of  single use plastics, and asked them to only give out straws on request and also to think about ending the use of plastic straws in their businesses. The troop will be visiting a few local restaurants to ask them in person to join the “Skip the Straw” project. They are inviting the Wellesley community to their screening of the film Straws this Tuesday, May 22nd from 7.30-8.15pm in the Wakelin Room of the Wellesley Free Library. This topic has been in the press a lot lately (Boston Globe, and the New York Times)  and has moved one Wellesley resident to write the following blog.
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  • Letter to Wellesley College President & Board of Trustees

    Sustainable Wellesley’s Leadership team recently wrote the following letter to the Wellesley College President and the Board of Trustees applauding the College’s commitment to sustainability, and its recent completion of the “Year of Sustainability.” In addition, the letter urged them to continue to advance this leadership position by investing in renewable energy, rather than fossil fuel infrastructure, for the College’s new power plan, including the likely replacement of the cogeneration facility. For more details, see below. Consider writing to them yourselves —presidentsoffice@wellesley.edu and WellesleyBoard@wellesley.edu. May 10, 2018 Dr. Paula Johnson, President, Wellesley College Board of Trustees, Wellesley College, Dear President Johnson and members of the Board of Trustees, Sustainable Wellesley is a non-profit grassroots organization whose mission is to engage the residents, businesses, and the Town of Wellesley in the actions required for sustainability. Our organization strongly supports the Town of Wellesley’s carbon reduction goals, adopted by Annual Town Meeting in 2014, which commit the Town to reducing carbon emissions 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. We have also been encouraging the Town to consider more ambitious goals for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy sources. Wellesley College has demonstrated leadership through its commitment to sustainability, and we applaud the College’s recent completion of its “Year of Sustainability.” We are writing to urge you to continue to advance this leadership position by investing in renewable energy, rather than fossil fuel infrastructure, for the College’s new power plan, including the likely replacement of the cogeneration facility. A sustainable power plan at Wellesley College will certainly assist with the Town of Wellesley’s carbon reduction commitment and will also reduce particulate matter and other pollutants in the air we all breathe. Climate change represents an existential threat to the future of the young women who attend Wellesley College, and the future of all our children. We hope the College administration will consider the urgent need to address this threat as you make energy decisions that will affect us all. Sincerely, Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team
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  • Wellesley Public Schools Hat Trick! Recognized 3 Times For its Sustainability Efforts

    The Wellesley Public School District and the Wellesley Middle School recently received award recognition for environmental sustainability efforts from the Department of Education, Project Green Schools and the Healthy Schools Campaign. “Wellesley is a community that cares deeply about the environment and these awards reflect the degree to which that commitment is being operationalized in our school-based practices.  From the innovate ways that our schools are cleaned to the creative ways environmental issues are addressed in our curriculum, I am so pleased that the work of our team and Town partners is being recognized.” said Dr. David Lussier, Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools. Recognized by the Department of Education The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recognized Wellesley as a State Finalist in the 2018 Massachusetts Green Ribbon Schools recognition program. Launched by the U.S. Department of Education in 2011, the Green Ribbon Schools recognition program honors schools that are exemplary in reducing environmental impact and costs, improving the health and wellness of students and staff, and delivering effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways. The aim of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) is to inspire schools, districts and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) to strive for 21st century excellence by highlighting promising practices and resources that all can employ. The Wellesley Public School (WPS) system was recognized due to its creative and partnership approach to reduce the schools’ ecological footprint and inspiring students to be ecologically minded citizens.  WPS collaborated with many Town departments, students, faculty, parents and local non-profits to combine policies and actions that work to conserve energy, water, reliance on fossil fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while creating initiatives and curriculum to educate global citizens who have an environmentally conscious.  Some of the areas focused on are waste and water reduction, transportation practices, improving health and providing effective environmental education. As a community, Wellesley students learn environmental responsibility through various waste and energy reduction, and other earth friendly initiatives. This in turn will help create healthy, sustainable, schools and community. Project Green Schools Award In addition, Wellesley Middle School Science and IT Teacher Greg Bodkins received an honorable mention award by Project Green Schools. Project Green Schools honors and recognizes Outstanding National Environmental Education & STEM Education efforts led in our Schools & Communities. “Wellesley Middle School students have helped move the 8th Grade Design and Technology course down paths I had not anticipated at the inception of the new curriculum,” Greg Bodkins, said.  “Students entering the course have technology interests and skills that they can bring to the table. For instance, there were a number of specific parts necessary for construction of our hydroponics systems that were previously unattainable.  Using the school’s 3D printers, students are using basic CAD apps to produce customized files which they subsequently “slice” and print. The parts are then integrated into these self-sustaining systems. Eighth graders are also applying a good deal of the life and earth science concepts they were exposed to in previous Science classes at WMS to help meet the challenge they are posed with at the beginning of the semester,” Bodkins said. Bodkins worked with the curriculum team to revamp the Design and Technology elective offered to 8th graders. This course bridged the science and IT disciplines and focused on a real life issue rooted in sustainably and the environment. The goal of the course was within the confines of the school’s greenhouse, design/build a sustainable system to responsibly grow, maintain, market, process and deliver the maximum quantity of high quality food to feed students. “The course enables students to apply a wide variety of design, engineering, and science related concepts to achieving the goals described. Collaborating with the school’s facility department, Bodkins restored the very old, unused greenhouse so that he could open students’ eyes to relevant topics including locality, farming, water and other environmental issues. Simultaneously, this course enables students to learn and use a variety of STEM skills by building the systems. Project Green School’s mission is to develop the next generation of environmental leaders through education, project-based learning and community service and awarded domestic and international Principals, Teachers, Advisors, Students, Citizens, Schools, School Groups/Club at its annual event at the MA State House. The Healthy Schools Green Cleaning Award Finally, the 2018 NATIONAL Grand Winner of the Green Cleaning Award for K-12 Districts Schools was Wellesley, MA. The Wellesley Public Schools were recognized due to the districts innovative programs that protect health and the environment while galvanizing the community around green cleaning. “The Wellesley Facilities Management Department (FMD) is proud to receive this national recognition for ‘green cleaning’, and fully understand that it would not be possible without the hard work of the men and women of FMD that provide custodial care in our schools every day,” said Joseph F. McDonough, P.E., Facilities Director, Town of Wellesley. “The continued support by the Town and our partnering organizations including the Sustainable Energy Committee, Wellesley Green Schools and WasteWise Wellesley, have allowed the FMD to be at the leading edge of sustainability with initiatives such as our food recovery programs and use of ionized water as our primary cleaning product. This is a Town wide award that we should all take pride in,” McDonough said. From reducing carbon emissions to boosting test scores, green cleaning comes with a long list of benefits. A well-designed green cleaning program helps students stay healthy and learn; protects the health of custodial staff; increases the lifespan of facilities; preserve the environment and save money. The Healthy Schools Campaign is a non profit with a mission to ensure that all children have access to healthy school environments where they can learn and thrive.  
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  • Review & Comment on Wellesley’s Draft of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Study Phase I

    The draft of Wellesley Municipal Light Plant’s Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Study Phase I: Near-term measures for 2018 to 2030 has been issued. Please make time this month to read it and share your written feedback to Richard F. Joyce, Director, Wellesley Municipal Light Plant here at djoyce@wellesleyma.gov. You may simply comment on the report itself and send to them directly if that is easier for you. All input will be shared with the Analysis Group for their consideration when preparing the final report so please share your thoughts before June 1st. In addition, a public forum will most likely be held in September at Town Hall. Be part of the conversation on how Wellesley decides what the future holds and actions going forward by reviewing the document and sharing your thoughts.
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  • Only A Few Spots Left!

    Stop throwing away all of your food waste. Instead, EASILY turn it into bio gas and compost. The Town Of Wellesley will actually do it for you. There are only a few spots available left in the Town’s Food Waste Program. Get your free starter kit (paid for by DEP grants) by clicking here. It includes a counter top bucket, compostable bag liners, and a container for transporting your food waste to the RDF.  When you pick up your kit at the RDF, you will be provided with a brief tutorial on how to use the starter kit and what items to include or not include. This educational flyer includes frequently asked questions and a detail of acceptable and non-acceptable items. During the pilot program you will drop your filled bags into a container located in the trash drop-off area.  From there, the food waste will go to a farm or an anaerobic digester to turn into compost or biogas. If you would like to participate in the pilot complete this sign up form, and click the ‘Submit’ button. If you have additional questions, please call the RDF at 781 235 7600 x3345.
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  • Help Restore Monarch Habitat

    This is Sustainable Wellesley’s fifth year offering milkweed plants. Please help us help the Monarchs by purchasing and planting milkweeds! Order your variety of organic milkweeds today here. The Incarnata are very healthy and sturdy and should do really well. These will go fast, so order soon. Plants should be arriving in late May from growers associated with Monarch Watch. Please click here to purchase your plants. We will notify you when they arrive. Please note: you must pick up your plants. Don’t worry, they will be conveniently located at a home in Wellesley. _____________________________________________________________ Milkweed For Monarchs Sustainable Wellesley is helping residents do their part to support the Monarch butterfly – by sourcing milkweed for you to put in your yard.  Monarch populations are crashing and one reason is the lack of milkweed that Monarch caterpillars *must* eat to survive.  And milkweed is a beautiful pink and white plant that attracts even more beautiful butterflies to your home! Amazingly enough, Monarchs can produce four generations during one summer. After overwintering in the oyamel forests of central Mexico the first three generations have life spans of two to six weeks and keep moving north. During this time they will mate and have the next generation that will continue the northward migration. The fourth generation is different and can live up to nine months, and this is the one that needs to find milkweed in your yard. These are also the butterflies that will migrate south for winter to either Mexico or southern California. Monarch numbers have plummeted… …by 90 percent in recent years from both the loss of its overwintering grounds, and from the widespread elimination of milkweed in the United States by the use of herbicides like Roundup.  This is where you come in: by planting milkweed in your (herbicide-free, pesticide-free) yard you provide the vital link in the Monarch lifecycle.  Each year Sustainable Wellesley sources the correct species of milkweed for eastern Massachusetts (Asclepias incarnata) and makes it available to beautiful butterfly breeders like you. Please send any questions to info@sustainablewellesley.com, and do join the discussion in the comments section below.  Let us know how your plants are doing and if you’ve seen any butterflies
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  • What’s that smell?

    School Committee and Natural Resource Commission Seeking Action on Gas Leaks Near Schools Did you know that there are roughly 200 active gas leaks near homes, schools, and businesses in Wellesley? An independent study commissioned by Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission shows that the leaks are even more extensive than those reported by National Grid. Click here for map. The gas company is required by law to prioritize for repair any gas leak that present an explosion risk, or that is on or within 50 feet of a school zone (click here for the statute). Click here to see gas leaks near your school.  The School Committee and the NRC plan to request that National Grid take action on these gas leaks.  This important issue will be discussed at the upcoming School Committee meeting on May 8th at 6:30pm at the Town Hall in the Juilani Room. It is first on the agenda that night.  Please attend to learn more about this public health and environmental problem in Wellesley.
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  • Hunnewell Girl Scouts Encourage Wellesley to Ditch Disposable 4/27-4/29

    The 5th Grade Girl Scout Troop at Hunnewell challenges the community to a plastic water bottle free weekend, April 27-29, 2018.  This weekend is chosen in honor of Earth Day, a celebration of nature.  On this weekend, they ask you to plan ahead and bring a reusable water bottle to school, sports and activities. This video will encourage you to sign their pledge and adhere to do your best to ditch disposable water bottles and go reusable instead.  Some suggestions they offer to make the change include: Be prepared Try to remember to keep your reusable water bottle filled and ready to go for school, practice, rehearsal, on car trips, walks etc. Doing so will allow you to take action to help the earth, keep our environment cleaner, and to save money. They encourage you to lead by example and spread awareness so others will choose to go reusable too! If you can do it for a weekend, you will see how easy it is to make the change forever. Give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration Hunnewell Troop 78199!
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  • Wellesley Selectmen Proclaim Rachel Carson Day to Honor Environmental Champion

    Learn About Health Risks Associated with Pesticides The Wellesley Board of Selectmen have designated May 27, 2018, as Rachel Carson Day to commemorate the birthday of the famous ecologist who launched the modern environmental movement with her book Silent Spring in 1962. In a proclamation released today, the Board of Selectmen call on fellow Wellesley citizens to remember Rachel Carson’s life and legacy, and to join together to strengthen the protections of our health and the sustainability of our homes, schools, neighborhoods, communities. To launch this call to action, the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission is joining other town departments and community volunteer organizations to hold two health-focused events in May to promote the inspiring example set by Rachel Carson. Carson’s book Silent Spring documented the environmental dangers of pesticide use and ultimately resulted in the banning of the pesticide DDT. Though many people sought to discredit her work, Carson continued to speak out against the dangers of pesticides and the largely unregulated chemical industry until her death in 1964. However, fifty-five years later, pesticides and herbicides are still used on lawns in Wellesley. Last year, the NRC launched the Grow Green Wellesley initiative to alert residents to the dangers of using chemicals on their lawns and to encourage them to switch to organic methods. As part of the continuing Grow Green Wellesley initiative and using Rachel Carson Day as a springboard, the following FREE activities are planned for the month of May: Movie Night: “A Chemical Reaction: The Story of True Green Revolution” May 16 at 7 PM, Wakelin Room – Wellesley Free Library A screening and discussion of this 2009 film about a Canadian community that banned lawn chemicals after a local dermatologist noticed a connection between her patients’ health and their exposure to pesticides and herbicides, and the tremendous legal battle waged by the big chemical industry. Information about organic landscape professionals and earth-friendly lawn and landscape techniques will be available. Birthday cake honoring Rachel Carson and popcorn will be provided. Sponsored by the NRC, Heath Department, Department of Public Works, Sustainable Wellesley, and Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project. Celebrate Rachel Carson in the Wellesley Veterans’ Parade Sunday, May 20 at 1 PM The theme, “Your Lawn, Your Health” remembers Rachel Carson and includes the NRC, Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC), Sustainable Wellesley and other environmental groups marching together to encourage healthy lawn care and landscaping methods. For more information, contact the Natural Resources Commission, nrc@wellesleyma.gov.
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  • Done With Your Apple Product? Trade Ins Available!

    You may be done with your device, but chances are it still has more to give. If it’s in good shape, Apple will help it go to a new owner. If not, they’ll send it to their recycling partner, so they can save more precious materials and take less from the earth. Turn the device you have into the one you want. Trade in your eligible device for an Apple Store Gift Card. If it’s not eligible for credit, they will recycle it for free. No matter the model or condition, they can turn it into something. And through April 30, Apple will make a donation to Conservation International for every device they receive. Click here to select the device you want to get a trade-in estimate.
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  • Boston Vegetarian Society Food Demo & Tasting

    Sunday, May 6, 2018, at 2 PM Wellesley Free Library in the Wakelin Room FREE ADMISSION Learn the hows and whys of healthy, earth- and animal-friendly eating and cooking with Victoria Moran, bestselling author, national speaker, podcaster, and two-time guest on Oprah, whose new book, co-authored with JL Fields, is The Main Street Vegan Academy Cookbook: Over 100 Plant-Sourced Recipes Plus Practical Tips. SIGN UP HERE Victoria is the author of twelve books, including Creating a Charmed Life (in 30 languages,) The Love-Powered Diet, the iconic Main Street Vegan, and The Good Karma Diet: Eat Gently, Feel Amazing, Age in Slow Motion. Her college thesis became Compassion the Ultimate Ethic: An Exploration of Veganism, originally published in 1985 and the first work on vegan philosophy and practice to come from a major publisher. Victoria is founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy, training and certifying vegan lifestyle coaches. Her  new cookbook, and her classic Main Street Vegan, both will be available for purchase and signing. Then learn to make three enticing recipes from the cookbook! Diana Goldman, creator of Beantown Kitchen, is a recipe contributor to the cookbook, and a Main Street Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator. Diana will demonstrate preparation of a delicious hot entree, a dessert, and a scrumptious dip, with tasting samples! Please sign up to help plan for tasting samples. All are welcome to this free program sponsored by the Boston Vegetarian Society and Wellesley Free Library. The library is wheelchair accessible, has plenty of free parking and is accessible by public transportation -take the commuter rail Framingham/Worcester Line from Back Bay or South Station. Get off at Wellesley Square. It is then a 3/10 mile walk to the library.  
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  • Prep For Storms || Earth Day Festival || Books || Gas Leaks & More all Month!

    Thursday, April 26, 7:30-9 PM (Doors open at 7) Willard School, 185 Powder Mill Rd., Concord The Climate Solutions Speaker Series Presents Are We Prepared for the Storms of the Century? Climate change is happening now, causing increasing and very serious damage to our world. What exactly does that mean for the Concord area? Our vulnerabilities need to be realistically identified, along with strategies to increase the likelihood that we can rebound. This speaker series event features a three-person panel, designed to inform us about what is likely to happen as climate change advances and how to prepare for it. Speakers are Stephanie Covino (Mass. Audubon) Barry Keppard (Metropolitan Area Planning Council), and Linda Booth-Sweeny (local writer and educator). Click here for more information about the topic and panel. April 26th-29th, 2018 Friends of the Wellesley Free Library’s Spring Book Sale. Reuse pre-loved books! The sale is open to members on Thursday evening, followed by three days of a public sale of which the last day is a $7 a bag sale. Not a member? Join Thursday evening! More information here. Saturday, April 28, 9 AM – Noon Join the Natural Resources Commission for the Charles River Clean up. Help pick up litter, pull invasive weeds and enjoy time near the water. Sponsored by the Charles River Watershed Association, this annual event brings together more than 3-thousand local volunteers from Wellesley and neighboring communities. The NRC provides shirts, snacks and supplies. Sign up at nrc@wellesleyma.gov. Saturday April 28th (Framingham) Earth Day Festival The theme of this years festival will be “Local,” emphasizing local vendors and entertainment as a way to lessen the impact of the festival while fostering connections that extend beyond the day of the festival.
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  • Gubernatorial Forum on Energy and the Environment

    Come hear the candidates discuss their ideas and positions on the critical environmental issues we face. The discussion will be moderated by Katie Lannan of State House News Service. Democratic candidates Jay Gonzalez, Bob Massie, and Setti Warren have confirmed and Governor Baker has been invited but is unable to attend. Event takes place on Monday, April 23rd, from 5pm-7pm at the Suffolk University Sargent Hall Function Room (120 Tremont Street, Boston MA). The forum is free to attend, but attendees must register at gubforumonenvironment.eventbrite.com as space is limited. Participating Organizations include: 350 Mass for a Better Future, Acadia Center, Charles River Watershed Association, Conservation Law Foundation, Clean Water Action, Environment Massachusetts, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Mass Audubon, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Mass Rivers Alliance, Massachusetts Sierra Club, Metropolitan Area Planning.
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  • Wellesley College Students Looking For YOUR Support

    Renew Wellesley, a Wellesley College student organized campaign, aims to have its institution to be accountable for its actions. Thus, they are calling on the Board of Trustees, President Paula Johnson, Vice President for Finance and Admission and Treasurer Piper Orton, and Provost Andrew Shennan to make the most responsible decision regarding Wellesley College’s energy. Wellesley College’s  Campus Energy Strategy Committee is in the process of crafting five potential energy plans which incorporate a range of renewable energy options. This committee will present these plans for a vote to the Board of Trustees beginning on June 1st. These plans are not yet finalized, and its specifics are not public. In the meantime, students are sharing their educated concerns for the future. They are asking that the power plan presented by the Committee, incorporates the most renewable energy, irrespective of short-term cost. They see this as an ideal first step towards a commitment for 100% renewable energy by 2040. This is something they are asking the College to commit to as well. Thus, Renew Wellesley is encouraging students, faculty, alumni, organizations, and Wellesley town residents to read and consider signing this petition by April 21st. The letter impresses upon the Administration’s moral obligation as a significant energy consumer to follow the College’s motto and minister responsibly unto those most affected by climate change.
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  • Climate Change in the Era of Trump

    James Turner, Ph.D., Associate Professor Environmental Studies at Wellesley College, and an expert on the recent history of U.S. environmental politics and policy will be speaking about Climate Change in the Era of Trump on Sunday, April 22nd from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Sherborn Community Center at 2 Sanger St in Sherborn. This event — which is free and open to the public — is sponsored by the Upper Charles Climate Action MA 350.org, the Holliston Democratic Town Committee and Sherborn Community Center Foundation and their donors. If you have any questions, email ucca.350ma@gmail.com.  
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  • “Speaking for Our Trees” & Walk Through The Wellesley Woods

    The League of Women Voters Wellesley and the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC) are proud to present “Speaking for Our Trees: A Conversation about Wellesley’s Leafy Infrastructure,” featuring Dr. David Foster, Director of the Harvard Forest on Monday April 30, 7:00 pm at the Wellesley Free Library. Dr. Foster will discuss the “The History and Future of the New England Landscape.” An ecologist, author and Harvard University professor, Dr. Foster’s work focuses on understanding the changes in forest ecosystems that result from human and natural disturbance and applying these results to the conservation and management of natural and cultural landscapes. The Harvard Forest is the University’s 4000-acre ecological laboratory and classroom in Petersham, Massachusetts. As our town considers a stewardship plan for our Town Forest and begins planning for the North 40, come learn why urban forests are so vital to our well-being and how to protect them. For more information contact: nrc@wellesleyma.gov. On Sunday, April 29, the NRC is also hosting a companion event to Speaking for Our Trees, inviting residents to walk through Wellesley’s Town Forest to learn more about how to protect this valuable natural resource. Meet at the Longfellow Pond parking lot at 2:00pm for a guided walk through the Wellesley Town Forest with Forester Phil Benjamin, a consultant on the NRC’s forest stewardship plan. Our Town Forest protects much of our town’s drinking water – come learn more about how we can best manage and provide stewardship of this critical woodland. Both events are free and open to the public.
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  • Wellesley College Invites You

    Wellesley College student group Enact invites you to a variety of Earth Day Events! Tuesday, April 17 12.30-1.30 in Sci 396 (Location Tentative) Career Panel: Panelists include sustainable energy, climate science and local food movement professionals Tuesday, April 17 from 4:10-5 PM Hug a Tree: An interesting, fun forest appreciation, sensory awareness, empathy activity Wednesday, April 18 12.30-2 PM in the Lulu Cow Chair Room Phone banking: For the Carbon Tax Omnibus Bill in the Massachusetts State House Wednesday, April 18 8-10 pm in the PNE Atrium An Inconvenient Sequel Film: screening of Al Gore’s sequel to An Inconvenient Truth in advance of his visit the following week. Thursday, April 19 12.30-1.30PM meet at the Edible Ecosystem Teaching Garden (Behind OBS) Nature walk: Nature walk through arboretum with the app: Inaturalsists with the Botanistas (Wellesley Botany org). EnAct (Environmental Action at Wellesley College)’s mission is to engage students and the broader Wellesley community in direct action to combat climate change and other local and global environmental issues. Email enact-eboard@wellesley.edu with any questions. In addition, the Paulson Ecology of Place Initiative at Wellesley College invites you to: April 24th at 4:30pm Enjoy a Terry Tempest Williams reading and conversation with Elena Creef at Wellesley College in the Hay Amphitheater (Tishman Commons rain location) with reception, sustainable local food, and book signing following the event. Williams – a writer, a naturalist and a fierce advocate for freedom of speech — has consistently shown us how environmental issues are social issues that ultimately become matters of justice.
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  • See You THIS Sunday- 3.30-5.30pm

    Please join us THIS Sunday, April 8th from 3.30-5.30pm for our next action meeting at 161 Oakland Street, in the studio above the garage. Topics include: -Plastic straws reduction initiative -Rachel Carson Day and parade -Sewing/crafty folks to make bags and furoshiki wraps -Fundraising/ Sustainable Wellesley grant -Light pollution Action meetings are open to everyone in our community. During these fun, yet actionable, timely meetings, we get together and work on issues and opportunities as a team. Your ideas and input is important and the more folks working on projects, the more we accomplish. If you are limited on time, come to the meeting anyway and share your thoughts, even if you cant work on a project now. No problem. Don’t see a topic you are concerned about, let us know by emailing info@sustainablewellesley.com. Never been before. No worries. We’re an easy going, fun group that works together to make things better. Let us know if you will join in by emailing us at info@sustainablewellesley.com.  
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  • Sew Cool!

    Looking for Crafty Residents & Sewers          Adults and Children Alike Join the Fun in this Town-Wide Project Crafty Wellesley children and adults; sewers: novice to expert; anyone looking for a fun and easy community project, Sustainable Wellesley is looking for your talent. “We are creating beautiful, Japanese Furoshiki style cloths and reusable bags for a future, community gift wrapping event,” said Kelly Caiazzo, one of the organizers of the town-wide project. “Those who aren’t crafty can rummage through their closets and donate fabrics, bandanas, and scarves,” Caiazzo said. Here are the details: Please Donate Fabric -Flexible fabrics are ideal! Stiff fabrics are hard to tie furoshiki style -Fabric remnants measuring at least 20″ square work best – e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com to make a fabric donation Sew Furoshiki Cloths: Cut a square piece of fabric a little larger than your desired size. 20″ and 28”  are standard finished sizes, but in general any square that’s about 3x larger than the object being wrapped works well.  Fold in each of the edges a quarter inch and iron; fold again and iron. Find instructions online for sewing mitered corners, follow and then sew around the perimeter of your prepared cloth in the middle of the fold. Flexible fabrics like thin cotton work best for tying.  For instructions on hemming and three different corner options, click here. Please e-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com when you have completed some and Sustainable Wellesley will make plans to collect your cloths. Be sure to save wraps for yourself. To learn how to fold furoshiki gift wrap, click here. Sew Bags: For a nice complement to Furoshiki (and one that doesn’t require any explanation for re-using!) the community will  also be making Boomerang cloth bags. Check out the free pattern online here. Once you have created some for personal use, and some for the community, simply email Sustainable Wellesley to collect your the bags. Feel free to email info@sustainablewellesley.com to organize or attend a sewing event. All are encouraged and welcome to join in this relaxing, community event where simple acts make a difference.  Every year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used and discarded worldwide. Un-recycled bags plague the environment, greatly damaging the ocean as well as many other complex ecosystems. Since plastics take an average of 1,000 years to decompose, our waste isn’t going anywhere fast, so it’s up to us to help minimize our negative impact on the planet. Plus, the activity is relaxing, easy, and fun! Questions? E-mail info@sustainablewellesley.com.  
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  • BABSON SUSTAINABILITY FORUM 2018: DEFINING THE FUTURE

    REGISTER NOW HERE for the 12th Annual Babson Sustainability Forum on March 29th, 2017. Every attendee receives a copy of Blue Ocean Shift – a NY Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller – as a gift from the Blank Center of Entrepreneurship. There will be opportunities to get your book signed by Renee. There are a variety of panels and speakers discussing important topics such as what businesses can do to act on climate change. Your business can make changes to mitigate climate change. How can a company set ambitious long-term targets that resonate with stakeholders and align with climate science? Learn more about the B Corp Movement: Balancing Purpose with Profit. Companies around the globe are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. How can your business be as a force for good, better for consumers, employees, local communities, etc.? Another hot topic is Sustainability Trends in Food & Ag-Tech. Come learn how folks are shifting the paradigm. This panel will explore the latest food and agricultural innovations that are redefining their industries for the next generation. They will examine positive impacts that go beyond the bottom line. Don’t miss the closing remarks at 4.15 with Savitha Sridharan, Founder and CEO of Orora Global. Learn more about this for-profit, social enterprise that provides rural and urban communities globally with access to reliable, renewable energy. Networking begins at 5.15.  
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  • How can Wellesley help Monarchs throughout Their Life Cycle?

    Monarch Butterflies–Beauty on the Wing How can Wellesley help Monarchs throughout Their Life Cycle? WHAT: Wellesley Conservation Council Spring Lecture WHO: Kim Smith, Naturalist and Award-winning Photographer WHEN: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 – 7:00pm WHERE: Wakelin Room, Wellesley Free Library The Monarch’s life story is one of nature’s most incredible examples of adaptation and survival. But the Monarch migration is in great peril. Learn how you can help. Through photographs and discussion, Beauty on the Wing tells the life story of the Monarch Butterfly, the state of the butterflies’ migration and why they are in sharp decline, and the positive steps we can take as individuals and collectively to help the Monarchs recover from devastating effects of habitat loss, climate change, and pesticides. Kim Smith is an award winning nature author, documentary filmmaker, native plant landscape designer, and naturalist. She specializes in creating pollinator habitat gardens utilizing primarily North American native wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and vines. The Wellesley Conservation Council Annual Meeting for the election of officers and board members will precede the program at 6:30pm. This event is free and co-sponsored by Wellesley Free Library. For more information go to www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org.
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  • We Need Your Feedback!

    The Wellesley Town Election was on March 6 and now we’d like to follow up with a few quick questions for you to help us learn more about our members. Please click here to give us your feedback on the Town Election — even if you didn’t vote! Your responses will not be shared and the overall results will only be shared as general data.   We want 2018 to be the year when environmental voters turn out in Wellesley — so we’re working on a new initiative to encourage our members to vote. Please help us get started by filling out our brief feedback form. When people who are concerned with the environment vote, we all win. Thank you for participating!    
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  • CORRECTIONS!! Bring Your Utility Bill And Lets Talk

    If your home or apartment becomes more energy efficient, it is a win for both your budget and the environment. On behalf of the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee, Fred Bunger is conducting a seminar at 10 AM on Thursday, April 5th* at the Tolles Parsons Center, to help seniors take advantage of home energy assessments. Current Wellesley Municipal Light Plant and Mass Save programs apply to single and multi-family homes, rentals and condos. During the free energy audit, LED retrofits are completed*. In addition, there are generous incentives (e.g. a 75% rebate on new insulation!) for following many of the recommendations in the audit. Learn more at this event, or for gas heated homes call 855 891-9899, and for all others call 888 772-4242. For more information, call Fred Bunger at (781) 772-2027.   *This is updated information
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  • Our Health and the Climate

    Dr. Regina La Rocque, a Wellesley resident and physician at MGH, will be speaking on Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 pm in the Science Center room 278 at Wellesley College about the relationship between climate change and our health. Regina LaRocque has an MD from Duke University School of Medicine and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her fellowship in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has performed laboratory and clinical research for 15 years in the fields of travel medicine and enteric infections. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She was elected to the Natural Resources Commission in Wellesley, Massachusetts in 2017. She is concerned about the impact of climate change on human health and the spread of infectious diseases. Dr. LaRocque has been advocating on a variety of sustainability topics including gas leaks and clean energy. Learn what you can do next.
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  • Your Chance to Go to the State Dem and GOP Conventions

    In the spirit of encouraging political engagement here are a few opportunities we would like to share. Registered Democrats in any part of the state that consider themselves one of the following can apply to be add-on delegates for a chance to go to the Convention and VOTE. -Youth: Must be 18 by September 18, 2018 and 35 or under as or June 1, 2018 – LGBTQ+: Identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community – Minority: Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Cape Verdean – Disabled: having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more of the major life activities of an individual, a record of such an impairment, or being regarded as such an impairment Deadline is THIS FRIDAY, MARCH 23.  You and friends can apply here. Registered Republicans in any part of the state can participate in The 2018 Massachusetts Republican Convention that will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at the DCU Center in Worcester.
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  • DEADLINE EXTENDED- Unified Plan — Your Thoughts On Wellesley’s Future

    As you know, the Town of Wellesley is currently preparing the Unified Plan, planning for our future. A draft is now available and they are looking for public input. Please take a look at the draft here, or read parts of it including the Sustainability Resilience, and Green Practices, the Mobility and Circulation (especially you bikers!), Public Health and Wellness, Natural Resources and Conservation chapters. Consider reviewing it, mindful of some of these general themes: -Climate resilience and mitigation -Renewable energy -GHG emission reduction and energy efficiency -Walkability -Pesticide reduction -Native plants and trees -Tree and open space protection -Waste and litter reduction They are looking for YOUR feedback to the plan. Please share it here. Remember, the goal is to identify the visions and priorities of Wellesley residents and set goals and priorities for issues ranging from land use planning, economic development, housing, transportation, and education, to Town government operations and finance. Creating a livable, innovative and fiscally-sound Wellesley in the future, is something we can all agree on.
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  • Repair Café Is Coming Back to Wellesley- Get It Fixed!

    The Rotary Club of Wellesley wants to add REPAIR to the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) program by announcing its second Repair Café Event. It will be held on Saturday April 7th, from 9:00 AM to Noon, at the Warren Center. Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). At the Repair Café event, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make most repairs. Repairs can be made on clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields. Visitors bring their broken items from home. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY. There are over 1,300 Repair Cafés worldwide. Please register as a guest in advance to attend the Café. List the item you want to repair. If you have questions, feel free to contact John Adams at johnfadamsjr51@gmail.com or 617-817-0314. Connecting with him before the event, enables the Rotary Club to make sure they have the necessary parts for repair available. If you have repair skills and want to help out, please register as a volunteer.
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  • Turn Your Food Waste Into Biogas

    Join over 470 families who are already dropping their food waste off at the RDF where it is transferred to a facility that converts it to biogas. This biogas becomes a local renewable energy source that is substituted for natural gas. Diverting this food waste from landfills helps reduce the release of destructive methane gas. The RDF eliminates the “yuk factor” by providing a free countertop container to collect the food waste, bags to line the container and a sealable collection bucket to store the food waste until the next trip to the RDF. More information is contained on the attached flyer or call Ellen Korpi at 781 772-2045. This program is sponsored by the Town’s 3R Working Group (Department of Public Works, Sustainable Energy Committee and The Natural Resources Commission).
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  • 4th Graders Get Saplings & Lands Sake Comes to Wellesley

    The Rotary Club of Wellesley has more programs going on: SAPLINGS Every year, the Rotary Club purchases and bags 500 tree saplings for distribution to Wellesley fourth graders for them to plant. Susy Jordon, Wellesley Town Horticultural technician, hands out the bagged saplings and teaches a lesson on Arbor Day conservation. Please join them to bag 500 White Spruce seedlings at the DPW parking lot from 4:30 – 6:00 PM on Tuesday, April 17th. Any questions, call the Rotary Club at 781-591- 0759. __________________________________________ LAND’S SAKE The Wellesley Club of Rotary is pleased to announce that Margaret LeLacheur, Development Associate, will discuss all that Land’s Sake has to offer for local communities at their meeting on April 3rd. The meeting is at the Wellesley College Club and the public is welcome and invited for dinner as well. Learn more about Land’s Sake and their tri-fold focus: environmental education programs, food donation programs, and sustainable land management. Register for the optional buffet meal, available for $30.00, when you register here. Dinner begins at 6:15 PM and the meeting starts at  7:00 PM. 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 for times and locations.  The public is always invited to any Rotary program.  Please make a reservation on their website’s calendar or call 781-591-0759 to speak with one of the board members.  
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  • Please Vote TOMORROW– Tuesday, March 6!

    Important reminder that tomorrow — Tuesday, March 6 —  is the Town Election in Wellesley. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Click here to find your polling place. Please vote. When people who are concerned with the environment vote, we all win! For our local environment, no race matters more than the race for the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC)  The NRC is the only elected board in our town that is specifically tasked with an environmental mission — the members of this board are the stewards of our parks, conservation land, trees, and all our natural resources. There are four candidates running for two open seats on the NRC. Before you vote, we urge you to consider who will best represent your perspective on the environment in our town. Click here to read the candidates’ responses to our questions. (One candidate did not respond.) Let’s make sure that 2018 is the year when environmental voters turn out in Wellesley! Did you know that in last year’s town election, 3625 people voted? After this election, we are going to follow-up with you to see if you voted and what issues helped determine your choices. We all know it’s important to be a good voter, so please make a plan right now to get to the polls on Tuesday!
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  • You Are Invited: Brown Bag Lunch with State Rep. Alice Peisch this Friday!

    Come get an update from Wellesley’s State Rep. Alice Peisch about what is happening at the State House! The Wellesley League of Women Voters has organized an informal brown bag lunch on Friday, March 9, 12:00 to 2:00 pm, at the home of Lise Olney. Brown Bag Lunch with State Rep. Alice Peisch & League of Women Voters of Wellesley Friday, March 9, 12:00 to 2:00 pm 15 Windsor Road 12:00 – 2:00 pm Lise will provide drinks and cookies. Please bring your own sandwich — and questions for Rep. Peisch! RSVP: lmolney@gmail.com.
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  • Yoram the Stand Up Comedian/Economist is Back!

     Sustainable Wellesley’s favorite Stand-up Economist, Yoram Bauman, will be back in the area on Sunday, March 25, from 4-6 pm at TCAN (The Center for the Arts Natick). This “Comedy & Climate Change” event is entertaining and thought-provoking and will be followed by a reception with the speaker.  Yoram will be including material on a carbon tax as well as other environmental and climate related subjects. Don’t miss this free event, part of the Jean R. Stone Memorial lecture series, sponsored by Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary. Pre-registration is free, but re-quested. For more information and to register: Visit www.massaudubon.org/broadmoor or call 508-655-2296 during Nature Center Hours.
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  • Shout out to Land’s Sake Farm

    Just down the street is Land’s Sake Farm, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been connecting people to their local ecology in Weston, MA since 1980. Their focus is tri-fold: environmental education programs, food donation programs, and sustainable land management. Education programs run year-round and are for people of all ages, ranging from tomato canning workshops to week-long summer camps to maple sugaring (big event on March 24th), and after-school programs. These community-building programs are focused on connecting people to each other, as well as to the land around them. Land’s Sake sustainably manages land throughout Weston, whether it be keeping the local forests healthy or using organic methods on the farm. Their goal is to preserve the open space of Weston for generations to come. Part of this sustainable land management includes running a successful Community Shared Agriculture Program, and Farm stand. Visit landssake.org to learn more.
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  • Here is What The Candidates Have To Say

    Important issues are happening in our community. Use your voting rights to elect people you believe in. Local politics does affect your day-to-day lives so don’t forget to make time on March 6th to vote. Sustainable Wellesley asked all of the candidates to answer a few questions about sustainability and how it relates to the work of that particular board. Here are many of their thoughts. Remember most of these positions are for 3-5 years. Board of Assessors – No response. Board of Health – Click here. Board of Public Works – No response. Board of Selectmen – Click here. Library Trustees – Click here. Moderator – No response. Natural Resources – Click here. Planning Board – Click here. Recreation Commission – Click here. School Committee – Click here. Town Clerk – Click here. Please share widely with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE! See and hear from the candidates at the upcoming League of Women Voter’s Candidates Eve, Thursday, March 1st.
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  • Reuse at it’s Best: Donate Unwanted Items to the UU Wellesley Rummage Sale!

    Are you doing some spring cleaning and getting rid of unwanted items? The folks at UU Wellesley are gladly accepting donations of household items including clothes, jewelry, books, home furnishings, kitchen items, china, linens, sports gear, electronics, and toys. Drop off at UU Wellesley (309 Washington St.) on Sunday, March 18, 12:00 to 6:00 pm, or contact rummage@uuwellesley.org to make arrangements for drop-off at your convenience! Click here for more information. The Rummage Sale itself will be on Saturday, March 24, 8:30 am to 1:00 pm. Proceeds from the rummage sale benefit the social justice work of the church.
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  • Climate and Our Health

    Two important events discussing our health are coming up. Wellesley Natural Resources Commissioner and resident, as well as MGH Infectious Disease Physician and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School Dr. Regina Larocque will be part of a panel discussion: Climate & Health: The Challenges Ahead. Topics will include the impact of climate change on infectious disease and the health benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy. Other panelists include Dr. Brita Lundberg, infectious diseases physician, moderator and Dr. Jonathan Levy, Boston University School of Public Health. This event takes place on Monday, March 19, 2018 7:00 pm in the Druker Auditorium, at the Newton Free Library. It is part of Green Newton’s Greening Our Community Series and is free and open to the public. In addition, the public is invited back to the Newton Free Library for another part of the Greening Our Community Series: “Update: Gas Leaks and Our Health,” on Monday, April 23 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. The panel discussion will describe how gas leaks damage the health of humans and trees and will cover organized efforts to protect our families and communities at the local and state level. Newton has almost 600 gas leaks from the pipelines in our streets. The gas is methane, a potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas. It can be explosive, kill our trees and contribute to air pollution. Panelists are Zeyneb Magavi, Research Director at HEET (Home Energy E ciency Team); Curtis Nordgaard, MD, a board-certified pediatrician, cofounder of Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy; Nathan Phillips, Acting Director of the Sustainable Neighborhood Lab and Professor at Boston University; Ann Berwick, Co-Director of Sustainability for the City of Newton. The event is co-sponsored by Green Newton, Mothers Out Front, the League of Women Voters Newton and 350 MA Newton.   
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  • We’re in This Together

    Some people from the Shale region of PA — where Wellesley’s fracked gas comes from — will be visiting Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM – 9 PM at the First Church in Jamaica Plain at 6 Eliot St. —  for the “We’re In This Together: Battling for Clean Energy and Fighting Fracking from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts” event. People from Wellesley interested in going can sign up to carpool with Sustainable Wellesley here. You are invited to this evening with community leaders from the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania. Families, landowners, and whole communities there have been deeply impacted by intensive development of fracking wells and facilities, and their struggle connects directly with our use of fossil fuels in the Northeast. Pennsylvania activists sharing their powerful stories will include Lois Bjornson, Craig Leland Stevens, Brian Latkanich and Jane Worthington. This event is free and open to the public. Donations encouraged to support the Jamaica Plain Forum. Sponsored by Clean Water Action, Mass Power Forward, Mothers Out Front & Mothers Out Front – Jamaica Plain Organizing Team, Resist the Pipeline and the Jamaica Plain Forum. Add this to event to your calendar as it is a chance to meet the people on the other end of the pipes and should be a powerful evening.
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  • Lower Your Heating & Cooling Cost with a Free Energy Audit

    Lower your heating and cooling costs! If you heat natural gas, National Grid offers a free energy audit. For the rest of you, the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant will pay for your free energy audit in which they install LED lights, offer power strips, and more. Learn about town and other appliance rebates available including mini splits, window air conditioners, wireless thermostats, etc.  Contact them here for more information. Even if you have had an audit before, please check to see if you are eligible another one which offers cost benefits.  
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  • Another Chance to Meet the Candidates!

    The League of Women Voters’ is hosting their Meet the Candidates Night on Thursday, March 1st from 6:30 – 9 p.m. in the Wakelin Room of the Wellesley Free Library.  The event promises to be a lively venue for voters to meet the candidates first-hand, hear their positions on issues of importance to the town, and pose questions directly to them.  Twenty-one candidates are running for eleven Town-wide offices, of which three – Town Clerk, Natural Resources Commission and School Committee – are contested. In addition, ninety-one candidates are running for Town Meeting with three contested Town Meeting precinct races.  The Meet & Greet reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a brief ceremony honoring retired elected officials and the formal Candidates Forum at 7:00 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public. Don’t forget that Wellesley’s town Election Day is Tuesday, March 6th, with polls open from 7:00AM – 8:00PM.   The deadline to register to vote in this year’s town election is Wednesday, February 14th. PLEASE NOTE – The polling place for Precinct H is now the Tolles Parsons Center, 500 Washington St.   Further election details are available through the Town Clerk and on the League of Women Voters of Wellesley website. The League of Women Voters of Wellesley, a nonpartisan political organization, has been dedicated to encouraging active and informed participation in government in Wellesley for the last 80 years.  In sponsoring Meet the Candidates Night, it adheres to strict guidelines to assure a fair and impartial opportunity for all candidates to present their views.   Related League-sponsored events include “How to Run for Public Office”, Voter Registration Days at Wellesley High School and other venues, and Town Government Meet-Ups to bring elected officials together with their constituency to share ideas and concerns.      
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  • Don’t Worry If you Missed it.

    No worries if you missed the recent conference at Boston University “Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health: From Local To Global” —  you can catch the video here!   Wellesley’s own Dr. Regina LaRocque (MGH and member of the Wellesley NRC) was a lead organizer of this impressive event at Boston University on January 30, 2018. The conference focused on the impact of our local energy choices on the health of our communities.   Take time to watch — you’ll find one big impact speaker after another:   Morning Session Featured speaker Barbara Gottlieb, Physicians for Social Responsibility, with an overview on the connection between natural gas infrastructure and human health (starts at 11:10 minutes in the morning session)   Panel on “The Landscape of Natural Gas Infrastructure in New England” (starts at 47:00 minutes in the morning session)   Panel on “The Health Effects of Air Pollution” (starts at 1 hour 40 minutes in the morning session)   Afternoon Session Featured speaker Ari Bernstein, Center for Health and the Global Environment, “Health, Methane and Climate: The Path Dependency of Energy Choices” (starts at the beginning of the afternoon session)   Panel on “Health and Environmental Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure” (starts at 30 minutes in the afternoon session)   Panel on “The Role of Comprehensive Health Impact Assessments and the Future of Natural Gas in New England” (starts at 1 hour 49 minutes in the afternoon session)   Featured speaker Marcus Franklin, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, “Fumes Across the Fence Line” (starts at 2 hours 38 minutes in the afternoon session)
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  • Give Your Input on Wellesley’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Study Tuesday Night

    Greenhouse Gas Reduction Public Forum 525 Washington Street, Great Hall, 2nd Floor Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:00pm The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) is hosting a public forum on Tuesday, February 13th at 7pm in the Great Hall at Town Hall, to inform the public and gather community input on a greenhouse gas reduction study that the WMLP has undertaken with the assistance of consultants from the Analysis Group.  The WMLP Board and lead consultant, Paul Hibbard, will be on hand to discuss the study and solicit comments from the public.  The forum will be taped and made available on the Wellesley Cable Channel. If you can’t attend on February 13, please share your ideas by contacting the Wellesley MLP.
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  • Get Your FREE Bin & Bags Today – Wellesley RDF’s Food Waste Pilot Has Expanded & Has a Spot For You

    In the first 12 weeks of Wellesley’s food waste pilot project, over 10 tons of food waste was diverted from the landfill and sent to Waste Management’s CORe facility in Charlestown where it was made into a slurry and then sent to an anaerobic digester at the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District resulting in the generation of approximately 3,000 kwh of electricity. In this second phase, Wellesley is looking to scale up the program. If you missed it the first time, you now have the opportunity to participate by filling out this sign up form. Its free, easy and very gratifying. They RDF sends a big thanks to those who already participate.
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  • Great News — Expanded Seating & Additional Tickets! Get Yours Today

    Due to the event’s popularity, we’ve expanded seating and added additional tickets for the Sustainable Wellesley and NRC co-sponsored screening of Triple Divide this Monday, February 12th in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library. If you or someone you know would like to come, please register here. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and the film will begin at 6:45 p.m. and be followed by a brief discussion and Q&A about natural gas and fracking and how it impacts Wellesley (and what you can do about it!) led by Dr. Regina LaRocque and Lise Olney. Those attending, please don’t forget your water bottles. Looking forward to seeing you for dinner and a movie and a big thanks to Chipotle for donating food for the event.
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  • 50+Boards Of Health Call On Gov. Baker To Require Health Impact Assessments For Gas Pipelines

    Please Note: Wellesley’s Board of Health has not signed this yet. Feel free to contact them by calling 781-235-0135 or emailing lizzo@wellesleyma.gov. From the Sierra Club: ________________________________________________________ “53 local Boards of Health across Massachusetts today urged Governor Charlie Baker to require comprehensive health impact assessments for any new gas infrastructure, to measure the effects on the climate and human health. In a joint letter, the Boards of Health say that fracked gas infrastructure “increases health disparities, worsens public health, and makes poor use of our health care resources by potentially creating public health problems, instead of preventing them.” Some boards sent personal letters to the governor, citing specific concerns related to their community. Referencing the large and geographically diverse number of signatories who are deeply concerned about the risks gas infrastructure poses to public health, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards, Marcia Benes, noted the documented hazards and potential risks of the production, transmission, and burning of fracked gas. “Health risks of fracked gas infrastructure include asthma and heart disease from particulate matter, neurologic disease and miscarriage due to heavy metals, and cancer due to carcinogens such as benzene and radioactive radon and lead,” Benes said. Studies have identified toxic and cancer causing substances in fracked gas including benzene, toluene, xylenes, and cyclohexane. Not only is more fracking dangerous for our communities, it is unnecessary. Attorney General Maura Healey has determined that the Commonwealth does not need new pipelines and should focus instead on cleaner and healthier forms of renewable energy. The delivery of the letters to Governor Baker follows the recent “Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health: From Local to Global” conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (MAHB), where academic and medical experts convened to discuss the significant health concerns with gas infrastructure. With utilities still pushing for increased pipeline capacity, Emily Norton, Director of Sierra Club Massachusetts, praised the letter by the Boards of Health: “To invest in gas pipelines now is the wrong direction for jobs, the environment, public health, and for ratepayers. We can’t stand by and allow new pipelines to be built without thoroughly understanding the consequences for our health and our climate.” The letter to the Governor and the list of local Boards of Health that signed it are here.  
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  • See You @ Wellesley’s Green Schools Summit 2018

    Join us for the 3rd Wellesley Green Schools Summit. First timers are welcome. Be prepared to walk away inspired.  Wellesley Green Schools is a collaborative group of students, parents and staff working together to reduce the schools’ ecological footprint and inspire them to be ecologically minded citizens. Our goal is to inspire students to create a healthy sustainable world. Together, we help Wellesley school students learn environmental responsibility through various waste and energy reduction, and other earth friendly initiatives. This in turn will help create healthy, sustainable, schools and community. At The Summit we will hear about things happening in and around the school district as well as some impressive curriculum based projects we can do more of. Then we will come together to discuss ways we can push our concepts forward.  
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  • 2018 Dinner Party & Meet the Candidates – This Thursday Eve 7pm

    Join us this Thursday, February 1st, from 7-9pm to enjoy dinner, drinks and hear/ meet the candidates running for offices in Wellesley. They will briefly share their views on sustainability and then you can ask them questions and mingle. Bring family members, friends and neighbors and please consider carpooling to the event at 161 Oakland St. – in the loft above the garage. Please RSVP today by simply emailing us info@SustainableWellesley.com. Also be sure to attend The League of Women Voters Meet the Candidates Night on Thursday, March 1 from 6:30 – 9 pm in Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library.
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  • Lets Repair the Environmental Crisis We Are In

    Ellen Moyer, PhD, PE, LEED believes we can repair the environmental crisis we’re in and create a sustainable way of life — in an enjoyable way. She is an environmental consultant, author, and speaker with a BA in anthropology, an MS in environmental engineering, and a PhD in civil engineering. Dr. Moyer’s work focuses on sustainability, resource protection, economics, pollution prevention, and environmental cleanup. Readers are loving her third book, Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to Thrive While Creating a Sustainable World.  Come hear more on March 18th at 2pm at the Wellesley Public Library. The event is free and open to the public. Jointly sponsored by the Friends of the Wellesley Free Libraries and Sustainable Wellesley.
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  • Local Environmental Action @ Northeastern University on March 3rd

    Sustainable Wellesley is a proud sponsor of Mass Climate Action Network’s (MCAN) & Toxics Action Center’s annual Local Environmental Action (LEA) Conference coming up on Saturday, March 3rd from 9am to 6pm at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center. Since Sustainable Wellesley is a co-sponsor of this, you are able to purchase tickets at a discounted rate by purchasing under our banner. But, the discount ends this coming Saturday, 2/10, so sign up soon! Go here for ticketing information. Join community leaders, environmental justice advocates and activists from across the region to build skills, discuss new ideas, and be inspired for the work ahead.   Lots of interesting and engaging workshops and speakers. See you there.
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  • Green Collaborative Grows. What An Impressive Morning

    Thanks to Ellen Korpi, the Sustainable Energy Committee and the Natural Resources Commission for organizing another inspiring and enlightening Green Collaborative Meeting. Get the next meeting date on your calendar for sure — Thursday, May 3, from 9 – 11:30 AM, in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library. For those who couldn’t make it here is a brief summary from the NRC: Wellesley Farmers’ Market The Wellesley Farmers’ Market is operating under a new model, partnering with Farmers To You. This new partnership offers online ordering of high quality food products delivered weekly to Wellesley from more than 80 farms and other producers in the Northeast. Participants can either pick up their food products every week on Thursday afternoon at the Wellesley UU Church (309 Washington St.) or have their groceries delivered to them with a new home delivery option. Green Collaborative members are encouraged to try this new model and spread the word about this innovative option for access to great tasting food and support of a sustainable, regional food system. Sign up here. Municipal Light Plant LED Streetlight Retrofit – The Municipal Light Plant is replacing more than 2,800 current high pressure sodium streetlights with LED (light emitting diode) fixtures. Benefits include: reducing greenhouse gases and saving approximately $125,000 annually for the town. Funding for the project includes $514,000 from the MLP, a $281,000 grant from the MA Dept. of Environmental Resources, and $105,000 from the Board of Selectmen. Fixtures on main roads such as Weston Road are receiving 3000 Kelvin bulbs; in February, fixtures on residential streets will begin receiving 2700 Kelvin bulbs. (Kelvin is the measure of color temperature). Follow the progress of the installation here. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Study – The MLP has hired Analysis Group to prepare a report on actions the town can take to conserve electricity and use more renewable energy. Phase 1 of the report will focus on opportunities from now through the year 2030 and will be delivered in March. Phase 2 will focus on the years 2030 to 2050. A public forum to discuss the project will be held on Tuesday, February 13, at 7 PM, at the Municipal Light Plant. Home Energy Audits and Appliance Rebates – Look for a new campaign beginning in February to encourage home energy audits through a partnership with National Grid. And the MLP rebate program now includes programmable and wireless thermostats, such as Nest, and a variety of Energy Star appliances. Click here for a complete list. Natural Resources Commission Gas Leaks – The NRC is continuing to look at ways to address the roughly 200 gas leaks in Wellesley. Activity includes: Analyzing the results of an independent gas leaks survey of the town commissioned by the NRC Developing a plan to acquire a device and training to test public shade tree locations for gas leaks to better understand how gas leaks are affecting our trees Coordinating with the statewide Gas Leaks Allies coalition on efforts to develop state policy to fix the leaks Coming up: The NRC will roll out a check list of indicators for identifying trees in your neighborhood that may be affected by gas leaks. Tree Bylaw Survey – In response to concerns raised by residents about the number of trees cut down on private property in recent years, the NRC is gathering information about the town’s current Tree Preservation & Protection bylaw. Residents are urged to complete a brief survey by Friday, Feb. 2 to give feedback. Contact the NRC to learn more. Wetlands Protection Committee – Preserving our town’s wetland areas is critical to prevent flooding and erosion, protect our drinking water supply, improve bio-diversity and create native habitats for plants and animals. Historically, wetlands were seen as “waste lands” and subjected to dumping and in-filling. As development in Wellesley has created new wetlands, residents need to know if their property contains wetlands and steps to take to protect them. To learn more, contact Julie Meyer, Wetlands Protection Administrator. WasteWise Wellesley Drop-off Food Waste Pilot Project – Due to the success of the pilot, the RDF is extending the project through this fiscal year and is recruiting an additional 300 household participants. Watch for an updated promotional campaign that will be rolled out in the next few weeks and shared with current participants, Green Collaborative groups, RDF users and other targeted audiences. Volunteers are invited to help with this project. Contact Jeff Azano-Brown. Green Communities – Wellesley was designated a Green Community in December and received a grant of $137,250 which will be used on exterior LED lighting at the DPW, a water/wastewater treatment audit, and a pilot of IdleRight technology. As part of its Green Communities application, the town prepared an Energy Reduction Plan (with a goal of reducing municipal energy use 20% below 2015 levels by 2020) and a Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy (FEVP). The FEVP requires town departments to opt for fuel efficient models when replacing vehicles. Transportation Working Group – Working on behalf of the SEC, the group is looking for initiatives that will lower transportation emissions. Some technology to retrofit commercial vehicles into hybrids has been introduced to the DPW and local colleges. Following a review of a school transportation study by Needham, we are hoping the Wellesley School Committee will incorporate into its strategic plan an evaluation of the current overall school transportation model. We have also started a dialogue among the town and local colleges to explore ways we can work together to improve transportation and reduce energy use and emissions. Sustainable Development Guidelines – The SEC continues to work on these guidelines. Successful efforts on HHU and the Wellesley High School Track and Field Phase II projects are providing key information. To learn more about these issues, contact Marybeth Martello, Sustainable Energy Committee. Wellesley Green Schools The community is invited to the 2018 Green Schools Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 13 from 9 – 10:30 AM at the Wellesley Free Library. Banquet in a Box – Green […]
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  • What About Those Trees? Tired of Seeing Them Cut Down? Want A Tree?

    The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission is gathering information on the town’s Tree Protection and Preservation bylaw.   As the official Tree Warden for the town, the NRC is responsible for protecting and enhancing the more than 3-thousand public shade trees that beautify and benefit our community. These trees are managed by the NRC in partnership with the Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) through a regular maintenance and planting program. Wellesley has been named a “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation for 34 consecutive years, the longest-running designation in the northeast. In 2011, Annual Town Meeting passed the Tree Protection and Preservation bylaw to encourage the protection of large trees on private property where houses are being demolished or developed. However, the effectiveness of this bylaw is in question due to concerns about the many trees that have been removed on private property in recent years. The members of the NRC would like to know what you think. Click here to complete a brief survey about the Tree Bylaw. Please respond to the survey by Friday, February 2, 2018. Request a Tree for Your Yard The NRC is also taking requests from residents who are interested in having town trees planted on their property this spring through Wellesley’s tree planting program. Homeowners who would like to be considered for this program should email the NRC.
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  • Sunday’s Meet The Candidates and Kick Off Event Is POSTPONED

      Due to the Patriots success, we have decided to reschedule our event on Sunday. Please stay tuned for new date and timing. Many thanks for your interest in this event, and our community.   We will soon have the annual kick-off potluck and meet the candidates’ night. At the event, dine, drink, mingle, learn more about what 2018 has in store, and meet the candidates!
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  • Mom’s: Dont Miss This

    This Thursday, January 18th, join Neighbors United women for an inspiring discussion on the climate and how it is impacting our health and our families. Wellesley resident and MGH physician, Dr. Regina LaRocque will discuss the health effects of natural gas infrastructure and the need to move to clean energy sources for Massachusetts. Wellesley College’s Dr. Alden Griffith will provide a framework for taking action in the face of uncertainty and Mothers Out Front will inspire you as well. This event draws from folks from neighboring towns and will happen from 7.30-9 pm. Please RSVP to katie.alt.griffith@gmail.com for address.
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  • Need a Place Your Xtra “Things”?

    The Library of Things “Wish List” Help Wellesley Free Library expand its Library of Things! If you have items you are not really using and could donate them, the Library would like to make available for loan for all to use. Below is their “wish list.” To be accepted, items must be new or nearly new. Donations will be considered outright gifts and will be added or removed from the Library of Things using criteria from the library’s collection policy. The library also seeks donations of new or like-new padded cases of all sizes; camera bags, padded rolling backpacks, clear backpacks and clear small Sterilite cases are all reusable as protective packaging for the Things. Borrowing instead of buying useful items like these is a great value that also reduces waste and exercises our environmental stewardship. So next time you want to use something, consider going to the library and borrowing it instead. Questions? Contact librarian Lisa Arm. We are sure you have some of these in your homes that you are not using… Garden  Bulb planter Home  Electric or chargeable drill  Electric or chargeable screwdriver Outdoor  Lawn game sets such as Bocce, Badminton, and Croquet  Pickle ball (racquets & ball)  Snow shoes  Paddle ball  Lawn darts (not pointed)  Cornhole (2 boards, 8 beanbags)  Rechargeable lantern  Archery set with rubber (safe) arrows  Telescope Fitness  Fitbit  Pedometer  Small hand weights  Exercise bands Musical instruments (easily transportable, nothing with a mouthpiece) Toys and games  Risk, Life, Chess, Backgammon, Cribbage (with all the parts)  American Girl doll  Karaoke machine Electronic devices, chargers must be included if applicable  Drone  Record player  Portable DVD player  Cozmo and similar robots  Digital audio recorder  Bluetooth speakers  Portable speakers  Portable chargers Travel  Hanging scale (small) to weigh luggage  Travel stroller
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  • Lots Happening This Year: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Dinner and A Movie Series & Much More

    – Bill McKibben discusses “What Now? The Climate Fight at a Desperate Moment” on Jan. 17th in Jamaica Plain and on Jan. 18th at The Climate Solutions Speaker Series from 7:30 – 9pm (Doors open at 7) at the First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington St. – Moms come meet to discuss the climate and our health at a Neighbors United meeting on January 18th from 7:30-9pm. Please email neighborsunited@sfly.com for the address in Wellesley. – “Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health: From Local to Global” will take place at the Boston University Photonics Center on Jan. 30th, from 10am – 5pm. Get your free tickets at ngipublichealth.eventbrite.com. – The Friends of the Wellesley Free Library’s Winter Book Sale is happening Feb. 1st – 4th. The sale is open to members on Thursday evening, followed by three days of a public sale of which the last day is a $7 a bag sale. Not a member? Join Thursday evening! – Former Vice President Al Gore will visit Wellesley College on April 25, 2018, to deliver this year’s Wilson Lecture. – Sustainable Wellesley’s new Dinner and a Documentary Series on Feb.12,  March 14 and April 11. Register here today! Please have a look at our Event Calendar because 2018 is already filling up with some fabulous events.  
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  • Still Have Your Christmas Tree?

    Remember, its against the law to leave your holiday trees and greens in parks and conservation areas. Instead, bring them to the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal for mulching or email Wellesley Scouts Venture Crew 42 to have your tree picked up on January 6 for disposal. This is their sole fundraiser for the year and pays for all activities, materials, and other expenses involved in running out Scouting unit. Email them with your name, address, and phone number. You can mail the $20 payment – cash or checks (made out to Venture Crew 42) – to 62 Longfellow Rd, Wellesley Ma 02481, or simply leave it with your tree. Hope your holidays were lovely.
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  • Great News for 2018! Wellesley Earns Green Community Designation

    The Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has just designated the Town of Wellesley a Green Community. This designation comes with an initial grant totaling $137,250 and makes the Town eligible for future, annual grants to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Laura Olton, Chair of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee expressed appreciation for the hard work of many people across Town who helped to prepare the application and stated, “This step furthers the Town’s sustainability goals, presents tremendous opportunities to obtain grant funds for energy reduction projects in the future, and mitigates the Town’s energy costs and costs to taxpayers.” Wellesley’s first grant application will include an exterior light-emitting diode (LED) project at the Department of Public Works and an audit of the Town’s water and wastewater treatment equipment and operations. Wellesley joins more than 185 municipalities across the state that earned a Green Communities designation since the program began in 2010. Between 2010 and January 2017, the Division awarded over $65 million to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds. Eligible projects include heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, lighting improvements, variable frequency drives, electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations, education programs, consultant services, and more to support renewable energy and energy efficiency. To earn the Green Communities designation, the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee worked collaboratively with the Facilities Management Department, Municipal Light Plant, Department of Public Works, Board of Selectmen’s office, Planning Department, and other departments, boards, and committees across Town. Through this collaboration, the Town met five criteria required for designation: 1) zoning in a designated location for as-of- right siting for a renewable energy generating facility; 2) an expedited application and permitting process for siting as-of- right energy facilities; 3) a municipal Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy (FEVP); 4) a municipal Energy Reduction Plan (ERP); and 5) adoption of the Stretch Building Code. The FEVP requires that when the municipality replaces vehicles subject to the policy, the municipality purchases efficient models where these models are commercially available and practicable. The ERP details how the municipality can reduce its energy use by 20% below a fiscal year 2015 baseline by fiscal year 2020. Future Green Communities grants will help to fund the energy conservation measures outlined in the ERP. According to Joanne Bissetta, Acting Director of the Green Communities Division, “This designation is quite an achievement and reflects the hard work and tireless efforts (Wellesley) has exhibited in meeting the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program’s five criteria. Meeting these criteria is proof of Wellesley’s position as an energy leader in Massachusetts, poised to reduce its energy costs, improve the local environment and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with funding through the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program.”  
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  • Your New Year’s Resolution

    Did your New Year’s resolutions include a role in town government? It should. Our fabulous Town Clerk, Kathy Nagle, put out a message to the town for those considering running for municipal office. Read on for more inspiration and details recently shared by her office.  Feel free to contact her at 781-431-1019 ext. 2250 with any questions. “The Town of Wellesley depends on the active participation of citizens like you! We have 11 Boards and Committees elected at the Annual Town election this March. The seats on these boards are staggered so that one or two seats are elected each year for 3 year terms (Planning and Housing are 5 year terms). Wellesley also has a representative Town Meeting for 240 members elected by voting precinct. Town Meeting Members have staggered three year terms so 10 are elected each year from each precinct. Town Meeting meets in March/April to vote on operating budgets, capital expenditures and bylaws for the town. The process of our local elections begins with candidates obtaining nomination papers from the Town Clerk. Candidates then solicit signatures of registered voters and return the papers to the Town Clerk for certification. Nomination papers are available beginning December 6, 2017 for both town-wide offices and town meeting members. Candidates must obtain papers for town wide offices on or before 5 pm January 12, 2018; and for Town Meeting on or before 5 pm January 26, 2018. The offices on the ballot for the March 6, 2017 election are: 1 seat each for Board of Assessors, Board of Public Works, and Board of Health, and Moderator (1 year); Town Clerk (3 years); 2 seats each for Board of Selectmen, School Committee, Library Trustees, and Natural Resources Commission. Planning Board (one 5 year and one 3 year) and Recreation Commission (also 1 one year) have a regular seat to elect and an unexpired term due to resignations. All 10 Town Meeting seats for each precinct with some additional seat available due to resignations. View a table of offices here: http://www.wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8311“
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  • Can You Think Beyond The Holidays?

    We know this is a busy time of year. But please take a moment to breath and enjoy the season. Also, have a look at our Event Calendar because 2018 is already filling up with some fabulous events. The variety is great. Some highlights are below. Al Gore comes to Wellesley College! Conservation Council talk at the Wellesley Rotary Club Talks about eating locally & seasonally Sustainable Wellesley party Documentary and dinner evenings Wellesley Green Schools summit RDF’s talk on reducing food waste at the Hills Library Grow your own garden talk at the Hills Library Learn about raising backyard chickens Author of Our Earth, Our Species, Our Selves: How to Thrive While Creating a Sustainable World speaks Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you.
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  • Local Food Rescue Program to Donate Apx. 20,000 Meals!

    Great news from Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee: “A number of schools and colleges in Wellesley and the Metro-West area will donate an estimated 20,000 meals this year to an organization in Cambridge that takes wholesome, edible surplus and leftover food and passes it on to people in need. Wellesley’s 3R Working Group – which consists of representatives from the Department of Public Works, the Sustainable Energy Committee, and the Natural Resources Commission – has been working with the Environmental Protection Agency/New England and the Cambridge-based non-profit Food For Free to develop a collaborative food rescue initiative. The food service vendors dedicated to its implementation include Whitsons Culinary Group, Rebecca’s Café, Sodexo, Chartwells, and AVI Foodsystems. The initiative delivers on the goals of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Program focusing on local K-12 schools, colleges and universities. The collaborative food rescue program participants include Wellesley Public Schools, Babson College, Bentley University, Olin College of Engineering and Wellesley College. To date, over 4,000 pounds of food have been donated since September from Bentley, Olin and Wellesley Middle School; the program was rolled out in the other schools in recent weeks. With this critical mass of participating schools and colleges in place, other local organizations with serviceable leftover food will be encouraged to join. Food For Free – a food rescue organization that distributed over 2 million pounds of food last year – is repackaging this rescued food into single-serve meals. Recipients may include people living in shelters, in temporary housing such as motels, in housing without full kitchens, and those receiving Meals on Wheels. “Translating this dream into a realty has been a complicated challenge as there were few precedents of such a comprehensive and collaborative initiative,” said Ellen Korpi, Vice Chair of the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee. “It took the support and guidance of the Wellesley’s school administration, food services vendor, and the health department to bring this project to fruition.” “In order to make it worth our sending a truck to this area, we needed a minimum volume per pick up,” explained Sasha Purpura, Executive Director of Food For Free. “Because these institutions collaborated and came to us as a group, we were able to view this as a single collection, making them a viable food donation partner.” “The commitment and teamwork of the food services organizations is key to the success of such an initiative,” said Alison Cross, 3R Working Group member and author of the program’s standard operation procedures. “They are responsible for moving the surplus food through the process of collection, storage and preparation for pick-up, while protecting the integrity and safety of the food.” Wasted food is a growing problem in this country and an untapped opportunity. In 2014 alone, more than 38 million tons of food waste was generated and the EPA estimates that food makes up the single largest category of waste material in landfills, constituting a fifth of discarded municipal solid waste. Much of this wasted food is wholesome and edible and could be serving the one in six, or 52 million American households, that were “food insecure” in 2013, according to the US Department of Agriculture. “Food insecurity,” which describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life, is one way to measure hunger. In Massachusetts today, it is estimated that one in ten people are food insecure. One of the side benefits that stem from food waste donation programs, according to the EPA, is that organizations that donate food see new opportunities for reducing leftovers. The donation process creates an informational feedback loop for waste generators that inevitably reduces both their wasted food, and their food waste removal costs. As the 3R Working Group recruited local colleges for this program, conversations with MassBay Community College, located in Wellesley, revealed that 52% of the students surveyed there, indicated they were food insecure. Food For Free is now working with MassBay to develop a program for these students to receive food from the Food For Free Family Meals program. For more information, click here
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  • Low-Waste Holiday Season? It’s Easier Than You Think!

    Bring on the bells and the bustle—the holiday season is here! As we rush to prepare, we sometimes reach for what seems most convenient rather than what is more sustainable. Thanks to Sustainable Wellesley member Kelly Caiazzo, we have a handy guide with low-waste gift ideas and resources that will give your family and friends simple ways to reduce their waste — all year long. Click here for the Sustainable Wellesley Holiday Gift Guide with ideas for reusable gifts that keep on giving!  My own family has been working to reduce our waste all year. In October, we fit all our landfill waste into one tiny paper bag! Here are some of the ways we plan to reduce our waste over the holidays: – Eliminate “disposables:” We have stocked up on inexpensive cloth napkins, glassware, ceramic plates, and flatware for parties—eliminating all disposables. Overnight houseguests get their own reusable bags, reusable coffee cups, and bamboo utensils so they don’t bring “to-go” trash back to the house. – Wrap with reusables: There are many easy ways to wrap gifts — beautifully — without using wrapping paper and ribbon! We have cloth gift bags that we’ve been reusing for years and Kelly Caiazzo has introduced us to the Japanese style of tying cloth around gifts of all shapes and sizes. Click here for a video demo. – Shop in the bulk food section and avoid plastic and non-recyclable packaging: Buying in the bulk section eliminates a lot of packaging. We avoid products that have “hidden” packaging that can’t be recycled — such as crackers with a plastic pouch inside. (Wasa brand crackers are packaged entirely in recyclable paper.) – Manage food waste: We are participating in the food waste program at the Wellesley Recycling & Disposal Facility so we have eliminated all food waste from our landfill trash. (Thanks, RDF!) Please send us YOUR favorite tips for reducing waste and we will include them in a Sustainable Wellesley update: info@sustainablewellesley.com.
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  • TONIGHT: Wellesley’s Unified Plan Open House

    Swing by the Great Hall in Town Hall TONIGHT for the Unified Plan Open House between 7 & 9pm. Learn more about ideas for preserving and enhancing Wellesley’s environmental resources, natural and recreational open spaces. Other main topics include housing, town government, zoning, transportation and economic development. Share your ideas on these and other important sustainable issues facing Wellesley.
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  • A Message from the Sierra Club

    Here is a message from the Massachusetts Sierra Club. Contact Jacob at (617) 423-5775 or jacob.stern@sierraclub.org for more information. “Wellesley is one of ~50 towns in Massachusetts that receives its electricity from a Municipal Light Plant (MLP). There are 41 MLPs in Massachusetts today and electricity generated from these plants cover about 15% of customers in the Commonwealth. What is a Municipal Light Plant (MLP)? MLPs are municipally-owned utilities. This might sound familair because you probably receive your power from a local light plant utility instead of an investor owned utility like Eversource. In many ways MLPs function similarly to larger Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), but there are some key differences. First, in Massachusetts IOUs cover large regions of the state. MLPs, by contrast, serve just one or a handful of towns. Second, MLPs are not subject to the same laws as IOUs, namely the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard is a requirement for our Investor Owned Utilities to maintain an annual increase in the percentage of renewable energy generated for our grid. MLPs are EXEMPT from the RPS and not eligible for many of the associated funds unless they choose to opt into the same IOU standards. What can I do to bring more renewable energy to Wellesley? There are options for MLPs participate in renewable energy generation and some have already begun moving in that direction. Recently the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) proposed better clean energy policies that include MLPs. Unfortunately, more than a third of the MLP boards submitted comments to the state saying they disagreed with being included in the Clean Energy Standard. The DEP needs to hear from people in their towns that you care about clean energy and want them to do better. Please email the DEP at climate.strategies@state.ma.us to urge them to include MLPs in the standards: As a resident of Wellesley, I have become aware of the stakeholders sessions that the Department of Environmental Protection is holding in regards to the inclusion of Municipal Light Plants (MLPs) in the Clean Energy Standard. I write to urge you to include MLP’s in the Clean Energy Standard and encourage light plants to plan for a steady integration of renewable energy resources, with a priority on Class I renewables. MLPs should be a part of commonwealth’s solution to climate change and not be exempted. Want to learn more? Join our January 2018 MLP meeting! Mass Climate Action Network (MCAN) is hosting a summit in January 2018. This meeting will focus on information sharing and provide you with the skills needed to advocate for better clean energy standards for your local municipal light plant. Click here if you’re interested in attending!”
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  • Less STUFF This Holiday Season

    This holiday season consider expressing your love by doing things with friends and family, instead of necessarily buying Stuff for them as STUFF has serious consequences for the planet. As you attend holiday parties, have lunch with work colleagues, try starting a chat about all that Stuff, where it comes from and where it goes; as well as the impacts on people and the planet along the way. This oldie but a goodie short film called Story of Stuff is good to show and share on social media, but they have a whole slew of newer films too. Some non-material gifts ideas include event tickets or membership to a local museum; something home made or pre-loved, something they have on their to do list that you can do for them (ie. unsubscribe them from unwanted junk mail through Catalogue Choice). You can also do a volunteer event with them or make a donation to a local charity that means a lot to them (maybe donate to Sustainable Wellesley or Wellesley Green Schools by clicking here). For those that must buy something, try Sustainable Wellesley’s holiday gift guide that offers ideas on items that help create less waste. What are you doing for folks this holiday season? Share your ideas with us on Facebook or by emailing us at info@SustainableWellesley.com. Happy Holidays!  
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  • Take Advantage of Electric Vehicle Incentives – Before 2018

    NOW is the time to buy an electric vehicle. Mass Energy Consumers Alliance’s “Drive Green” program makes EV purchases or leases more attractive, on top of the federal tax credit and the Massachusetts state MORE-EV rebate. Click here to learn more about possible discounts to purchase or lease a top EV model at a participating dealer. This is great news as EVs are cheaper to run per mile, require less maintenance, pollute less and are an excellent way of reducing your carbon emissions. This nonprofit organization is working to reduce emissions 80% by 2050 and stop climate change and have created this EV program as part of the solution. Be aware that there is a Federal bill that would eliminate the $7500 tax credit for EV purchases.  If this tax bill passes, that credit will only be available until the end of 2017, making the thought of buying/leasing an EV car timely.
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  • Doesn’t Matter When You Donate

    Sustainable Wellesley’s ever-expanding team of volunteers has successfully brought a wide variety of events to Wellesley residents, businesses, and neighbors: sustainable living, sustainable investing, trips to climate marches, hosting talks and movies and campaigns, Action Group meetings, and work on transport, renewable energy, food waste, Monarch butterflies, pesticide reduction and more. Sustainable Wellesley once relied on personal, ad-hoc contributions from its Board, but now is looking toward larger and longer-term projects and we could use your help. Our team will be grateful for any level of annual, tax-deductible contribution you might be willing to make to support our work together here in Wellesley. You may confirm our EIN charity number 47-3458525 here. Many thanks!  
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  • US = You & Me @ Unified Plan Open House – Lets Build a Sustainable Future for Wellesley

    The Town of Wellesley is developing a Unified Plan that will be a guide for all town decision-making for the next 10 to 20 years. That sounds important, right? IT IS! If we want the Town to make decisions that prioritize sustainability, now is the time to say so. Come to the Unified Plan open house to get an update on the plan and speak up about how you envision a sustainable future for Wellesley. Drop in on Wednesday, November 29, anytime 7:00 to 9:00 pm, in the Great Hall at Wellesley Town Hall.
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  • Residents Urge Governor Baker to Take Action to End Construction of New Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

    Wellesley residents Lise Olney and Raina McManus traveled to the State House in Boston on Tuesday, November 14, to ask Governor Charlie Baker to use his executive authority to stop the construction of dangerous fracked gas pipelines and infrastructure in Massachusetts. They joined 60 people outside the governor’s office in silent protest, ending in song. This “stand in” is part of a larger campaign organized by the Mass Power Forward Coalition, a group comprised of 200 environmental and community groups — including Sustainable Wellesley — demanding that the state take a leadership role by acting on climate justice. The campaign began on September 13, and has grown every week as waves of Massachusetts residents have traveled from around the commonwealth to Baker’s office. Residents of Wellesley, Barnstable, Middleboro, North Andover, Bedford, and Boston were at the event. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, Governor Baker joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, acknowledging that the effects of climate change “threaten the people of [Massachusetts] and put an intense burden on [its economy].” But concerned residents say Governor Baker’s energy policy reflects a pro-pipeline stance rather than a commitment to a clean energy future. A member of Sustainable Wellesley’s leadership team, Lise Olney said, “We took our concerns to the governor’s door because he’s not listening to the people. Governor Baker says he’s taking action on climate change, but when you look at his policies, he’s actually in favor of building new fracked gas pipelines and power plants that we don’t need. He should insist that gas companies fix the 16,000 gas leaks in Massachusetts before they expand pipelines that endanger us and undermine our future.” The Baker administration has continued to side with utilities and fossil fuel companies by promoting the notion that more fracked gas is needed to meet Massachusetts’ energy needs, and by supporting a gas infrastructure tariff known as the “pipeline tax.” Sustainable Wellesley leadership team member Mary Gard has also been participating in the stand-ins at the governor’s office, along with Regina LaRocque, Amy Benjamin, and other Wellesley residents. “Massachusetts does not need any more fracked gas pipelines.  Instead, we’re asking Governor Baker to take bold action on climate change and transition the state to a renewable energy infrastructure. It’s better for both our environment and our economy,” said Mary Gard. At the stand-in, residents delivered a letter to the governor asking him to issue an executive order instructing state agencies to do everything in their power to deny permits for new large fossil fuel infrastructure projects such as gas pipelines, compressor stations, and gas power plants. More information about the campaign can be found at www.betterfutureaction.org/standupcharlie.  
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  • Let Us Wrap Your Gifts for FREE on SATURDAY

    Get your great Wellesley Marketplace gifts wrapped FREE onsite at the Sustainable Wellesley booth! Volunteers will be doing complimentary gift wrapping in up cycled Furoshiki cloths that you can reuse and regift for years to come. Sustainable Wellesley is also giving away free Holiday Gift Guides for earth-conscious consumers. See eco-friendly gift ideas on display and walk away with a free gift guide tucked into a food-safe reusable cotton bag! Find Sustainable Wellesley upstairs at the 41st Wellesley Marketplace THIS SATURDAY, Nov. 11th at Wellesley High School. Entry tickets available at the door or online here.
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  • Landfill Diversion | CDs/DVDs | RDF Closed This Sat. | Reusable Area Open Thru Dec. 2

    Lots of great news from Wellesley’s Recycling and Disposal Facility — – The food waste pilot is diverting 1 ton a week from the landfill! Congrats! – Got CDs/DVDs? You can now drop them off at the new bin – next to the book exchange – and they will go to the non-profit, More Than Words. – Note that the RDF will be closed on Veterans’ Day, Saturday November 11th. – Do some home clean up and participate in America Recycles Day on November 15th. Be sure to drop some items off at the Reusables Area before it closes for the season on Dec. 2nd. – Nov. 26th is the last Sunday the RDF will be open until the Spring. – Speaking of waste, here is a recent report from the UN on Where the 50 Million Tonnes a Year of Toxic E-Waste Go.  
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  • Rethinking Urban Transportation

    The last of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Transportation’s four public listening sessions around transportation will be held this Thursday, November 09, 2017 from 6pm – 8pm at the West Middle School, 271 West St. in Brockton. These public listening sessions for stakeholders across Massachusetts will help identify the best state and regional policies aimed at reducing transportation sector emissions, increasing deployment of zero emission vehicles, and increasing the resilience of transportation infrastructure as the climate changes. They are also welcoming comments on designing transportation policy solutions with environmental justice communities in mind. Please submit written comments before January 1st here, or email them to gwsa@massmail.state.ma.us. The Union of Concerned Scientists can send you an action alert with suggested information on this topic. To receive that information once the listening sessions are complete, sign up here. In addition, discussions are happening around Wellesley on this topic. If you are interested in learning more and getting involved, please email info@SustainableWellesley.com.  
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  • Food, Films, Transportation & More This Sunday From 1-3pm

    Join us Sunday, November 5th from 1-3pm in the loft overlooking the golf course at 161 Oakland Street for a Sustainable Wellesley get together. Interesting Topics including: – Transportation and clean vehicles discussion from Eleanor Fort, Union of Concerned Scientists – Food and The Environment – Winter Film Series – Gas leaks update – including upcoming pipeline event on 11/6 at the State House ***Please bring clean bandanas, fabric squares, scarves you can donate for Sustainable Wellesley to use at our booth at the Wellesley Marketplace event*** This is a great group of folks who’s actions together make a measurable difference in Wellesley. Plus, the meetings are humorous and on time, so please add this to your calendar. Feel free to invite a friend, family member, work colleague or neighbor. Never been before? No problem. Sustainable Wellesley gets together a few times a year to talk about issues happening in our community and what we can do to make a difference. Please email us at info@sustainablewellesley.com to let us know if you will be there, plus issues, concerns, ideas of your own. See you Sunday! Snacks provided.
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  • Frustrated With The Train?

    You are not alone. The Union of Concerned Scientists acknowledges that our transportation system is old, congested, under funded, and inaccessible, and it’s our state’s largest source of global warming emissions (40%). Plus, transportation related pollution causes over 3,000 asthma attacks, 500 preventable deaths, and $1.3 billion in combined health costs in Massachusetts a year. Low income and otherwise vulnerable communities suffer disproportionately from these impacts. However, they have an idea on how to build a clean, affordable, accessible, equitable, convenient system that offers access to jobs, schools, and services across the Commonwealth. Come hear about it from Ms. Eleanor Fort from the Union of Concerned Scientists this Sunday, November 5th from 1-3pm at 161 Oakland Street. Since Governor Baker has shown continued commitment to the Paris climate agreement, including setting a goal of reducing transportation emissions by 35% by 2030 under the Global Warming Solutions Act, and working on a regional collaboration with other Northeast states to address these issues, there is hope. Ms. Fort will explain a transportation cap and invest program that could potentially raise up to $4.7 billion, including over $120 million per year for clean vehicle incentives, $120 million in affordable housing initiatives, and $225 million to improve public transportation for Massachusetts. A cap and invest program could help the Commonwealth achieve their climate goal while also expanding transportation access, creating jobs, and reducing health costs. Similar regional programs, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), have succeeded when states work together to reduce emissions, strengthen the economy, and save consumers money. A clean, equitable, modern transportation system is within our reach.
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  • Donate Clean Bandanas, Fabric Squares, Scarves

     Please donate your clean bandanas, fabric squares, or scarves. Simply drop them off this Sunday between 1&3 at 161 Oakland Street or email us at info@SustainableWellesley.com to make alternate plans. We will be using them to wrap gifts at the Wellesley Marketplace on November 11th at the Wellesley High School. The materials you donate will be created into furoshiki -an ancient Japanese tradition of easily and elegantly wrapping gifts without waste. Come visit Sustainable Wellesley’s booth upstairs to get your gifts wrapped. If you are skilled at this, we would welcome your help. Please email us at at info@SustainableWellesley.com to help out.  
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  • EASILY FLEX YOUR POLITICAL MUSCLE

    We are Making it Easy For You.   Don’t feel paralyzed.  Make your views heard on important federal and state ENERGY issues: FEDERAL The EPA estimated the Clean Power Plan would prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths and 150,000 asthma attacks in children. Yet, the EPA Chief announced that the Administration will start the process of dismantling this policy. The health and well being of our communities depends on strong climate action from our government, not the removal of protections. Here is an easy way for you to write to our Federal Government about maintaining and improving our Clean Power Plan. STATE The gas industry has been pushing for a tax on OUR electric bills to build new interstate fracked gas pipelines. Not only is this terrible for our environment, but it is a risky investment for us consumers. Democratic and Republican state legislators are circulating a sign-on letter to oppose the pipeline tax and reform the Department of Public Utilities to make the agency more democratic. Urge your state legislator to sign on by clicking here here.  
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  • Shoppers

    As the seasons change, your families’ wardrobe may need to as well. Swing by Shopper’s Corner, located in the Schofield Elementary School, on Wednesday’s from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. during the school year to find — and share –gently loved accessories, shoes, and clothes for women, men, and children. This thrift/consignment shop is open to our entire community and is a great way to share clothes that don’t work for you any more and find new things that do. Second hand is en vogue these days and is better for the environment than buying new. Think about how all that textile waste. Ready…more than 80 billion articles of clothing are produced and sold around the world annually. There is a huge consequence of fast fashion, but you don’t have to always be part of it. Plus, a great portion of the funds go to Schofield’s PTO which supports a variety of initiatives so its a win-win.  
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  • Final Say on New LED Streetlights

    At their meeting on Monday, October 30 at 5:30 pm, the Board of the Municipal Light Plant will make a final decision on new LED light fixtures for Wellesley streets. Any resident may make comments during the “citizens speak” period at the very beginning of the meeting. The two LED fixtures under consideration are installed on Croton Street and Pine Street. Have a look and have your say! See you at the Municipal Light Plant, 4 Municipal Way, on Monday, October 30 at 5.30pm upstairs in the Kingsley Boardroom.
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  • The Wellesley Green Schools Newsletter is back!

    Yeah!! Please SUBSCRIBE HERE for Wellesley school updates on green initiatives like school lunch food recovery, cafeteria recycling, student recognition, green tips and more! Every newsletter has a green activity you can do with your kids, a book recommendation, a link to a kid-friendly seasonal recipe, and updates on all the great environmental work going on to make our schools greener. Thanks Kelly for bringing us back.
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  • Sign Up To Turn Your Compost/Food Waste Into Biogas @RDF

    You can easily turn your food waste/compost into biogas by collecting it and bringing it to Wellesley’s own Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF). Now that is renewable energy! Wellesley residents are invited to participate in a food waste drop off program at the RDF that’s intended to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfills by making composting more convenient for residents. The three-month pilot, part of a series of initiatives conducted by Wellesley’s 3R(Reduce Reuse Recycle) Working Group, will help the town determine if there’s enough interest to permanently offer the program. The 3R Working Group includes the Department of Public Works, the NRC and the Sustainable Energy Committee. Food waste starter kit. As participation in the pilot is on a first-come, first-served basis, interested residents are encouraged to sign up NOW. All participants will receive: -A free starter kit, paid for by Dept. of Environmental Protection grants, that includes a counter-top compost bucket, compostable bag liners and a container for transporting your food waste to the RDF -A program tutorial – Information on acceptable food waste items and those items that are not accepted Participants will bring their waste-filled bags to a container located in the RDF trash drop off area.  The collected food waste will go to an anaerobic digester to be turned into biogas. Pilot program participants will also be asked to complete follow up feedback surveys. All enrolled participants can pick up their starter kits at the RDF. The food waste drop off area will be open during regular RDF hours. Learn more about the Food Waste Drop Off Pilot here!
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  • Positivity and Informative Posts on Instagram

    Looking to add some positivity and informative posts into your Instagram feed? Follow us on Instagram @sustainablewellesley. We love pictures of green initiatives or anything outdoors! Send us your pictures or tag us using our very own hashtag #sustainwellesley to be featured on our page! Big thanks to Emily C. for this!
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  • Massachusetts + Solar

    Last week, Sustainable Wellesley — with 84 other environmental, civic, housing, health, faith organizations and businesses representing tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents — co signed a letter to Chairman Barrett, Chairman Golden, and members of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy urging them to approve legislation that will expand solar energy and ensure that its benefits are available to all. Excerpts from the letter are below. To learn more and get involved on the State level, please email info@SustainableWellesley.com. “Solar energy has grown rapidly in recent years, with more than 300 times as much solar capacity installed today as in 2007. Thanks to supportive state policies as well as the efforts of countless families, businesses, institutions and municipalities, Massachusetts has emerged as a national leader for solar energy. We are seeing the benefits of solar energy all around us. Solar is helping to clean up our air and protect our health from dangerous fossil fuel pollution. We are emitting less carbon dioxide and other climate-altering pollution, which contributes to rising sea levels, more severe storms, and other impacts of global warming. Cities and towns are reducing their municipal electric bills and saving money for their residents by installing solar panels on capped landfills, brownfields, and rooftops. Nonprofits and affordable housing organizations are switching to solar to stabilize their energy costs and invest more of their resources in serving their communities. According to MassCEC, more than 18,000 Massachusetts residents are now working for solar companies, a number that will grow with continued policy leadership from state officials. For all of the progress we have made, we have still tapped only a small fraction of Massachusetts’ solar potential. To maximize the benefits to our environment, our health, and our communities, we should accelerate the growth of solar energy and ensure that everyone in Massachusetts has access to its benefits. Unfortunately, the caps on net metering are preventing families, businesses, nonprofits and local government from switching to solar power. Although the Legislature acted last year to raise the caps, the increase was insufficient to accommodate continued solar growth. As a result, communities served by National Grid and Unitil, as well as Western Massachusetts communities served by Eversource, have once again seen solar projects stall due to the caps. Additionally, the 40 percent cut in the value of net metering credits, adopted by the Legislature when it raised the net metering caps last session, is making it harder for many to switch to solar. This adverse impact is particularly severe for affordable housing providers, low-income families, renters, and others who are unable to install solar panels on the roofs of their homes…. Specifically, we recommend taking the following steps: 1. Eliminate the caps on net metering. Absent an elimination of net metering caps, they should be lifted by no less than 5 percentage points for public and private projects, to provide certainty for solar projects over the coming year. 2. Restore the full value of net metering credits, particularly for projects that benefit low-to-moderate income communities. For the long term, we also support a thorough and transparent process to study and adopt a “value of solar” methodology that fairly accounts for all of the benefits that solar provides as well as the costs. 3. Set aside a portion of any future solar incentive program to benefit low-income communities and renters. 4. Allow net metering”  
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  • Truth To Power

    Quentin Prideaux, President of Sustainable Wellesley, spoke most recently in Wakefield about the impacts and causes of climate change, the actions we need to take, and what it all means for Massachusetts and the Northeast. You can watch the talk by clicking on the video above. Quentin will be part of a panel of experts at the conclusion of TCAN’s showing of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power this Sunday night at 7.30pm. Grab tickets to learn how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy – including Quentin. Interested in hearing more from Quentin? Having him speak to a group of yours? Contact him at qprideaux@gmail.com. His talks: -Share why some have been confused about the science – Discuss a serious topic, Quentin keeps it positive and lighthearted where possible – Lead into a question and answer session and/or a workshop where participants can discuss specific actions they will take – according to the wishes of the organizers – Are informative, intelligent, visually appealing, very lively, smart and funny
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  • Night Light Activity- Deadline is Friday

    Wellesley Municipal Light Plant is planning to retrofit 3,100 streetlights with LEDs that would save taxpayers $125K annually and eliminate 930,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The good news is that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has preliminarily approved the WMLP’s bid for a grant. Plus, they want your feedback! DEADLINE IS THIS FRIDAY. Please go to Croton Street and Pine Street to look at the new LED streetlights that they are evaluating. Then rate them by responding to the survey mailed to you this week or seen here. The poles are clearly marked with signs and colored bands so its easy. Thanks for taking a few minutes to check out marked streetlights on Croton Street and Pine Street, and providing feedback.
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  • Have Broken Items In Need of Repair?

    The Rotary Club of Wellesley will be holding its first Repair Café event on Saturday, October 14th from 9:00 AM to Noon at the Wellesley Recreation Center, Room 008. Repair Cafés are free meeting places that are all about repairing things (together) rather than tossing them out. At the Repair Café event, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make many effective repairs to clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, gadgets, toys, et cetera. You’ll also find volunteers with varying repair skills in all kinds of fields. There are currently over 1,300 Repair Cafés worldwide, with more communities joining regularly – this will be the first such event in Wellesley, and it should be a lot of fun. Here’s how it works: Registered guest visitors bring their broken items from home. With the help of the volunteer specialists on site, they start analyzing the damage, deciding whether the repair can be done, and then picking up tools to attempt their repairs right there in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process for everyone. If you have nothing to repair, you can just drop by to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while you watch and learn. Or you can even lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get some repair inspiration at the reading table – by leafing through available books on repairs and DIY. To join in the learning and fun, and to learn much more about the event and how to participate, please register at the following link: Repair Café / Rotary Club of Wellesley. If you have an item to repair, just register to attend the Café as a guest by filling out the form at the bottom of the page, and please list the item you want to repair in the comments section of the registration form – one item to a guest, please. If you have further questions, feel free to contact John Adams at johnfadamsjr@gmail.com or 617-817- 0314.  The more details they know about your repair before the event, the better they can plan to have the necessary parts and tools available for the repair. If you already have repair skills and want to help others out, please register as a volunteer on the website form; once again, the link is Repair Café / Rotary Club of Wellesley.  
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  • Complete Streets

    What are complete streets? Mass DOT says they “provide safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit and vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities.” Designing with these principles in mind contributes toward the safety, health, economic viability and quality of life in a community. It improves the pedestrian and vehicular environments, provides safer, more accessible and comfortable means of travel between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations. That is why it was discussed at a recent Selectman’s meeting. There seemed to be some debate around this topic so please write to our Selectmen and let them know your thoughts on complete streets and how it helps to promote more livable communities. Here is their email address: sel@wellesleyma.gov.  
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  • From Medicines to Building Materials, We Have Disposal Ideas

    , With Fall in the air, you may be doing some housecleaning. Here are a few resources for you to dispose and share some small, medium and large items in your home. Have other ideas/suggestions. Please let us know. – PRESCRIPTIONS – Got medicines that you are not taking and/or are expired? Please dispose of them safely and properly by bringing them to the Wellesley Police Department’s drug take-back container.   – PAINT? PAPER? – Sunday, Oct. 1 there is a Shredding Event at the RDF and Paint Collection Day is Sat., Oct. 7.   – BUILDING MATERIALS – If you have a home improvement project on your fall agenda, you may end up with leftover building materials that are in good shape. If you don’t need it, but it can be reused, consider donating to the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources (a 501(c)(3) charity) so someone else can use your item for home maintenance, repairs, or improvements. Cabinetry, appliances, windows, doors, bathroom fixtures, lumber, flooring, electrical, tools, hardware, tile … whether it’s gently used, a misorder, or you just bought too much, your unneeded items can help someone else improve their home. Keep good-quality materials out of the landfill Save on disposal fees Pick-up service available Fill out a materials donation offer form –  material and financial gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.  
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  • Foodie Event, Book Club, RDF Dates, Global Warming Discussions and more

    Check out our CALENDAR page to learn more about upcoming foodie events, book clubs, paint collection/ shredding at the RDF dates, global warming and your backyard discussions and much more! Have something to promote? Let us know at info@sustainableWellesley.com.
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  • See You Sunday 1-3pm

    Please join us for the next action meeting THIS SUNDAY, September 17th from 1-3 pm, upstairs in the loft at 161 Oakland Street. Never been before? No problem. Sustainable Wellesley gets together a few times a year to talk about issues happening in our community and what we can do to make a difference. Come meet State Senate candidate (and WHS teacher) Jackie Katz! Some topics include: – Renewable energy initiative overview – Learn what is happening on the local and state levels and what can we do – Wellesley’s own Green Awards Program – Big town projects – LED street lights/HHU/900 Worcester/Green Communities – Food and the environment Please email us at info@sustainablewellesley.com to let us know if you will be there, plus issues, concerns, ideas of your own. See you in Sunday! Snacks provided but please bring your own coffee, water, tea, etc.
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  • Bright Ideas: A Workshop on Smart Outdoor Lighting

    ​ As you may have heard, new streetlights are coming to Wellesley. The Municipal Light Plant is planning to replace the town’s 3,000 cobrahead streetlights with energy and cost saving LED (light emitting diode) fixtures. This fall, the MLP will pilot these LED fixtures on selected streets to gather public input. Join the Natural Resources Commission at a free workshop to get information that will help you determine the best outdoor lighting for your home and neighborhood. Research has shown that artificial light can create light pollution that affects human health, and has adverse consequences for trees and plants, birds, turtles, bats, and even fireflies. To help inform residents about outdoor lighting, the Natural Resources Commission is hosting a workshop with lighting expert Bob Parks of Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance.  “Bright Ideas: A Workshop on Smart Outdoor Lighting,” will include and outdoor demonstration of LED lighting options. Tuesday September 26 7:00 to 8:30 pm Wellesley Free Library The “Bright Ideas” workshop will help you: evaluate different types of lighting; choose the correct lighting for your property; make sure your lights improve safety; choose environmentally friendly lights; talk to your neighbors about lighting, and more! Click here for more information on outdoor lighting from the Friends of Brookside. Click here to email the NRC with comments or questions about lighting in Wellesley. Download the flyer here.  
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  • Wellesley Schools

    SO many exciting sustainable-minded things happened last year in the Wellesley Public Schools including: – Impressive senior projects on food waste, bike tours and green building signage at WHS – 2 state wide food waste awards – After school ecological program at Bates – Middle School students grew and served their green house salads – Lots of sustainable projects at the STEM EXPO – 4 Wellesley High School Evolutions projects In addition, Wellesley’s School Department has added another bus to incentivize more public transport, and reduce traffic. Plus, Wellesley’s Facilities Management Department has moved to a sustainable cleaning initiative for all of the schools (plus, most municipal buildings). They have installed the Tennant Orbio os 3 Generators which uses water, water softener salt pellets, and electricity to create a multi-purpose cleaner and an EPA rated disinfectant. Many thanks to Michael Santangelo, Wellesley’s Custodial Services Manager, who worked on this and other important projects. We wish him luck on his new endeavors. We are so proud of the students, teachers, administrators and parents involved in these initiatives and many more across the district. Those interested in learning more about what is happening at the schools, and those with ideas for 2017/2018 school year, please email susan.morris@verizon.net.  
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