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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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