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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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  • 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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  • 2 Volunteers Needed from 12-3 on July 21st for July Jubilation 2018! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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