All Stories

  • Babson Zero Waste Conference This Friday

    BEEC-Final-Logo
    Babson is hosting the 11th Energy & Environment Conference. This year’s theme is Babson Challenge: Zero Waste. Our esteemed thought leader panelists will discuss the opportunity and challenges associated with attaining a zero waste existence. Gwen Ruta Keynote Speaker Gwen Ruta is Vice President, Programs for Environmental Defense Fund, a leading nonprofit organization that links science, economics, and law to solve serious environmental problems. Ms. Ruta’s focus is to ensure that EDF delivers on execution of its strategies to protect human health and the environment. Georges Dyer Speaker Georges Dyer is Executive Director of the Crane Institute for Sustainability, and a Principal of the Intentional Endowments Network, supporting endowments in aligning investment policies with institutional mission, values, and sustainability goals. For over 20 years he has been engaged in solutions-based approaches to sustainability. Udi Meirav Speaker Dr. Udi Meirav is CEO and Founder of Boston-based enVerid Systems, a technology leader in Air Care, which has developed and commercialized groundbreaking HVAC Load Reduction (HLR®) technology that enable dramatic reduction in HVAC energy consumption. Barbara Finer Speaker Barbara Finer, CEO & Founder, TechSandBox, has founded several technology companies. She has served on Boards including MIT Enterprise Forum, WPI Venture Forum, Choices Wellness Center, and Spidersplat and has judged and/or mentored at Ignite/CTO. Conference Details Date:      March 31, 2017 Location:  Olin Auditorium, Babson College Time:      8.15am – 3.00pm Prices:    $10 – $50 Register : Click here to register
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  • Do Golfers Hate Trees?

    trees at country club
    Probably not. But if they love trees like the rest of us then why is the Wellesley Country Club destroying so many of them?  The club has already cut down over 80 trees that were outside of the town’s jurisdiction, and is now headed to the Wetlands Protection Committee this coming Thursday, March 30, 6:30 p.m. to ask for permission to remove another 67 trees that are in wetlands. The club offers a number of reasons for this widespread tree removal – some of the trees are in decline, some interfere with play and some are invasive species.  But one driving force behind the plan seems to be a problem with fungus on the turf that they say can only be dealt with by either the application of pesticides or by removing trees so that better air circulation can eliminate it. There is a problem with both of these strategies. First, using pesticides in a wetland area is not a healthy, safe approach. Secondly, if better air circulation creates a drier environment that will kill off the fungus, then it seems it will also dry up – and eliminate – the wetland.  Fungus is a naturally occurring growth and does especially well in damp environments – like a wetland. At a time when people around our planet are working hard to save and plant more trees in order to stave off climate change, it just seems wrong to be cutting them down for “interfering with play”. A quick look at articles in the USGA magazine, November 6, 2015 issue, reveals that this is a growing trend on golf courses nationwide.  Trees are viewed as obstacles to the game and not appreciated for the beauty, shade and habitat they provide (not to mention oxygen).  This outlook runs counter to common sense and treats trees as if they were merely furniture and not the living, breathing beings that they are. The Country Club is a beautiful open space.  It’s beauty however, comes mainly from its trees. If you are passionate about trees and preserving as many as we can in our town, please come to the wetlands hearing – Thursday, March 30 in the office of the Natural Resources Commission, Town Hall.  Public Voice begins at 6:30 p.m.
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  • WMS Recycles Bottles and Cans!

    wms recycles
    Did you know that the WMS Cafeteria sells over 60,000 bottles and cans per year? That is about 300 per day.  Now, with new and improved recycling can locations and signage, the bottles and cans are easily being recycled – rather than ending up in the landfill.  Not only is this great for the environment, it saves on WMS trash removal costs! Thank you to the administration, staff, custodial services, and cafeteria employees for supporting this important effort. And, a special thank you to students for using the bins! Keep up the great work! –Wellesley Middle School Green Team Leaders
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  • Reducing and Recovering Wasted Food – Lessons from the Cafeteria Line!

    marybeth
    Join EPA Sustainable Materials Management Web Academy and Wellesley’s own Sustainable Energy Administrator on Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT School food invokes memories of cafeteria lines, pizza and cartons of milk. What most of us didn’t pay attention to or remember was the amount of wasted food (food that could be eaten by someone else if recovered) and food waste (food that is inedible or has been partially consumed and could be composted) created in school cafeterias. In this webinar, attendees will hear from three leaders in the industry on how to more effectively managed the entire food process affecting school cafeterias. First, you will hear about methods to teach children about the impacts of food waste and wasted food. Then, moving directly into the cafeteria, you will learn about practices to evaluate the amount of food waste and wasted food. Finally, you will learn about a new initiative to collect the wasted food and redistribute it into the community for people to eat. Please register here. Speakers: Nayiri Haroutunian is the Program Manager at Washington Green Schools. Through this non-profit, she works closely with schools and teachers in the state to provide curriculum support that is rooted in environmental standards as well as guidance to encourage student environmental leadership projects. She recently developed an NGSS-driven curriculum on waste and decomposition for Seattle Public Schools called Zombie Guacamole. Nayiri previously worked as an environmental educator at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago developing, implementing, and evaluating engaging programs for diverse urban youth, including local stewardship and restoration programs. Nayiri holds an MS in Natural Resources & Environment from the University of Michigan and a BS in Psychology from the University of Iowa. Nayiri is committed to access and equity in environmental education and is passionate about local food and photography. Marybeth Martello, Sustainable Energy Administrator for the Town of Wellesley, MA and Program Coordinator for the MetroWest STEM Education Network at Framingham State University.  Inspired by USEPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, Marybeth led an effort at Bates Elementary School to design a comprehensive cafeteria waste assessment and implement a food recovery and recycling program that is now being replicated at other schools.  Marybeth collaborates with Town government, state and federal agencies, and community groups to devise and run initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions via sustainable materials management, building design, and energy conservation.  Marybeth’s projects also work to advance STEM learning, especially as it pertains to the environment.  She is currently helping to develop a climate change education program for middle school teachers.  Marybeth holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a B.A. in English from UCONN.  She has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and an interdepartmental Ph.D. from MIT. Lynn Johnson is the Supervisor for the Child Nutrition Services at the Bremerton School District, in Bremerton Washington since January 2015. She has been involved in Child Nutrition for over 15 years.   Bremerton School district serves over 5,000 children across 9 schools. Lynn has been instrumental in the School Food Share project that started with the Bremerton School District in 2016. This project keeps on an average 3,000 pounds of reusable food per month out of our landfills and puts it into the mouths of people in our community who need it.  Lynn has 4 married children, 3 grandchildren with another on the way.  Lynn enjoys spending time with her family on their 5 acer “hobby farm” in Belfair, WA where they garden, grow fruit and have lots of animals!
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  • Human Health & the Environment

    you-are-invited
    Over the past few decades, Dr. Eric Chivian has been inspiring medical and environmental professionals, as well as policy makers, religious groups, and others—through his research, writing, teaching and organizing—to recognize the implications of biodiversity loss in particular, and the health of the global environment in general, on human health and well-being. Dr. Chivian is a physician, and the Founder and Former Director of The Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He shared the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for co-founding The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. He is currently Director of The Program for Preserving the Natural World, Inc., and an Associate in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Now, as the reality of climate change is setting in, Dr. Chivian’s work and messages are more important than ever before. We’ll have the chance to hear from him just how critically important conservation work now is, not just for the earth’s ecosystems—for its people too. Dr. Chivian’s award-winning Oxford University Press book Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity will be available for sale, and he will be happy to sign copies. The Mass Audubon’s Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary sponsored event takes place on Sunday, March 26th from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm at the Natick Center for the Arts (TCAN) at 14 Summer Street, Natick and is is free, but preregistration is required as it will fill fast. Register here.
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  • BE THERE TUESDAY PM: National Grid In Town at Gas Leaks Forum

    Ethan Gas Leaks
    Mark your calendars and join us on Tuesday, March 21, 7:00 to 8:30 pm, at the Wellesley Free Library for a public discussion of gas leaks in Wellesley. You smell the leaks, and see the signs around town marking the roughly 200 gas leaks in our neighborhoods (thank you 40+ volunteers who made it happen). Perhaps you have seen this Wellesley Media and the Natural Resources Commission’s video on the topic. Unfortunately, there surely are leaks in your neighborhood. We want do something about all that leaking gas that poses a risk to our safety, our health, and our environment — don’t you? As ratepayers, we are also all paying for this wasted gas. Now is the time to hear what we can do about it from health, environmental, and energy efficiency experts, as well as ask questions to National Grid and Town Officials. The Board of Selectmen will preside, joined by Representative Alice Peisch. Featured panelists: Dr. Nathan Phillips, Dept. of Earth & Environment, Boston University Audrey Schulman, Home Energy Efficiency Team Dr. Regina LaRocque, Mass General Hospital Sue Fleck, Pipeline Safety, National Grid Town officials will also be available to answer questions Please click here so we know you are attending! This event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Wellesley Board of Selectmen, State Representative Alice Peisch, State Senator, Cynthia Creem, State Senator Richard Ross, Natural Resources Commission, Sustainable Energy Committee, Health Department, and Sustainable Wellesley.
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  • Buy Your Bus Ticket Now for The April 29 DC Climate Mobilization

    change everything
    Join people from all over the country on April 29, 350 in Washington, DC for the People’s Climate Mobilization—a massive march to protect our climate, our families, and our communities. Join us—buy your bus ticket now! The huge mobilization on April 29 is a chance to fight back against Trump’s disastrous plans and show our passion, our commitment, and our fierce love for this planet and one another. Just as importantly, it’s a chance to build the relationships that will allow us to transform our movement right here in Massachusetts. We’re mobilizing for April 29 alongside a powerful coalition of labor unions, faith organizations, and youth organizations, in addition to environmental justice groups with deep roots in Boston’s communities of color. We’ll travel to DC together, march side-by-side, and return to Boston ready to fight together for our shared future. This could be a crucial moment for the Massachusetts movement, and we want you to be part of it. Buy your bus ticket now! Ticket prices will rise significantly after March 24. Buy your ticket now to secure your spot and take advantage of our $85 round-trip early bird rate. “Can’t go to DC? Come to the People’s Climate Mobilization on the Commons in Boston — start time will be 1 pm. A coalition of organizations is working on building this amazing event — more information coming soon!”
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  • Growing, Harvesting and Serving Lettuce at Wellesley Middle School

    Wellesley Middle School Students in the greenhouse:
Eddie Trenk, Blake Lothian, and Michael Ossam
    Wellesley Middle School Students in the greenhouse: Eddie Trenk, Blake Lothian, and Michael Ossam Story written By: Alex Abdelal and Eddie Trenk, Wellesley Middle School Students Photo By: Greg Bodkins, Science/IT Department, Wellesley Middle School          Growing lettuce in the Wellesley Middle School greenhouse? Yep, that’s a thing. This year’s Design and Technology class, an elective at Wellesley Middle School, changed its  curriculum. Spearheaded by Mr. Bodkins, a teacher at WMS, the goal this year was to hydroponically grow vegetables and herbs to be served in the middle school cafeteria. Hydroponic growing means growing in water and not in soil. Students had to build hydroponic growing systems to meet their goals, which took much dedication and work. The hydroponic systems were installed  in the newly renovated greenhouse at WMS. The greenhouse windows had been replaced and it was fixed up last summer, so this class could take place. This course was open to all 8th graders, first semester.          To build hydroponic growing systems, students first had to learn about what was necessary for plant growth. After a few weeks of study, students had a solid understanding of the process needed to grow plants, the systems they would use, and how to construct them. Classes reviewed the options for growing and decided to build Deep Water Culture systems (DWC) and Vertical Drip systems.           Students were then able to select seeds for growing. Most of the chosen produce was lettuce because Mr. Delaney, the head of Whitsons, which is the food service at WMS, requested lettuce and herbs. Mr. Bodkins placed an order for the many varieties of seeds selected by the classes from Johnny’s Seeds.           Then, Design and Tech students faced the challenge of actually growing plants, but before the germination process could start, the benches in the greenhouse had to be fixed. Classes then improved the broken benches in the woodshop over the course of many classes in the woodshop. Once the benches were fixed, the germination process started while students started to build the hydroponic systems.           One of the systems built to grow plants was a Deep Water Culture System. This system holds plants that have germinated in rockwool growing cubes. They are then immersed into a tub of nutrient rich water — essential for plant growth. The DWC systems installed at WMS were rafts, which held the plants in a large tub of water. The students also built vertical drip systems. These were wide plastic tubes with holes filled with various media. The water dripped down from a tube above, and it went to the plants placed in the tubes. The students melted plastic until it was malleable to make this particular system.            Michael Ossam, a Design and Tech student, remarked, “I really enjoyed building the parts for our system. For example, I liked melting the plastic for the vertical drip system,” Ossam said.         Design and Technology students also had an opportunity to go on a field trip to Water Fresh Farm in Hopkinton where they grow produce hydroponically. The students got a tour of the facilities and even tried the food. They got to walk around and look at the systems that Water Fresh Farm uses and compare them to the systems at WMS. Water Fresh Farm uses Deep Water Culture systems, similarly to WMS, but their systems are used on a much larger scale. They also used vertical drip systems for growing some of the herbs. It was a very informative field trip, where students witnessed more developed systems in which they could look up to, or try to replicate.            At the end of the semester, the students created logos which went on the salads. Slides for advertising the produce were displayed on the TV’s outside the WMS main office for students to see. Finally, it was time to harvest (on Friday the thirteenth of January, really…) The produce had mostly been successful and usable, and the high quality food was eventually served at lunch. The students picked and washed the plants, and then the salad was served the same day in the student cafeteria with lunch!          “Produce does not get much fresher than that,” said Noah Ford, a Design and Tech student. “It felt really good when the lettuce was served in the cafeteria. It felt like all the hard work in Design and Tech was worth it,” Ford said. The Design and Technology challenge was met, and much of the food in the cafeteria that day was made by just two classes.             Ultimately, as Will Fortescue, a Design and Tech student commented, “If somebody has a knack for gardening, growing plants naturally, or just learning something new, they should sign up for Design and Tech.”              This year’s new Design and Technology challenge was innovative, and there is still much room for development after the success in Mr Bodkins’ semester one classes. With semester two underway, more WMS students will be building on the progress made during semester one.           “It gives kids a chance to learn something new about vertical farming and hydroponics that many kids don’t get the chance to learn,” said WMS student Jordan Monsen.  “It really is a great class for thinking about how the world can sustain itself in the future,” Monsen said. This year, the WMS Design/Tech Challenge will be on display at the Wellesley STEM Expo on April 8th.
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  • Need A Beverage Dispenser For Your Event?  

    lemonade
    Whether you are having a meeting, team dinner, party or any other event serving drinks, we have a great alternative to cans and bottled drinks. Wellesley Green Schools has these 3-gallon beverage dispensers that they would be happy to lend you. Fill them with water, lemonade, ice tea or your favorite cold beverage and save yourself lots of clean-up and recycling. Just e-mail Sue Morris at susan.morris@verizon.net to coordinate getting them.
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  • Food We Eat & Its Environmental Impact

    cowspiracy
    NEW DATE Mark Your Calendars for Tuesday, April 11th 7:30 pmShowcase Cinema at Legacy Place Middle School and High School Students Welcome as well. Email kelly.caiazzo@gmail.com to reserve free tickets today for Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist. As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.
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  • Got Lawn Signs?

    save north 40 photo
             First of all, thanks for voting! Now that the election is behind us, it is time to remove the lawn signs decorating town. Feel free to re-use them for the next election, turn them into happy birthday signs, craft them into something useful or fun but PLEASE don’t just throw them away. Simply separate the metal from the plastic and make sure the plastic goes into the Rigid Plastics Area at our local RDF. In some cases, the signs can eventually be converted into plastic pellets which are used to help make many consumer goods we use every day.  
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  • ‘Time to Choose’ Film and Discussion This Sunday

    time-to-choose
    How can we, as individuals, address the climate crisis? See, Time to Choose, a powerful 90-minute climate change film at First Parish in Needham, 23 Dedham Ave. With footage from five continents, Time to Choose explores the scope of the climate change crisis and the power of solutions already available. The film will be followed by a discussion of concrete steps to address climate change. Attendees can also enjoy refreshments and a chance to browse informational tables from local groups. This free event is sponsored by First Parish in Needham, Green Needham Collaborative, as well as 10 Metro West environmental groups, local League of Women Voters groups, and houses of worship. For more information, see greenneedham.org. Academy Award®-Winning documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson (Inside Job, No End in Sight) turns his lens to address worldwide climate change challenges and solutions in his new film TIME TO CHOOSE. Featuring narration by award-winning actor Oscar Isaac, TIME TO CHOOSE leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but WHAT CAN BE DONE to fix this global threat. Ferguson explores the comprehensive scope of the climate change crisis and examines the power of solutions already available. Through interviews with world-renowned entrepreneurs, innovators, thought leaders and brave individuals living on the front lines of climate change, Ferguson takes an In-depth look at the remarkable people working to save our planet.
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  • Vote Tomorrow. Your Voter’s Guide W/ Candidates Views of Sustainability

    vote small
    With numerous contested races, it shows Wellesley residents are leaning in and are taking steps to make changes on the local level, regardless of what is happening in Washington.   Wellesley voters are doing their research and getting ready to vote on Tuesday because they realize that local politics greatly affects their day-to-day lives.    Thus, we have asked all candidates, except the Moderator, to answer three questions about sustainability and how it relates to the work of that particular board.   Please share widely with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE!   Board of Selectmen – Click here. Board of Assessors – No response. Board of Health – Click here. Housing Authority – No response. Library Trustees – Click here. Natural Resources – Click here. Planning Board – Click here. Board of Public Works – Click here. Recreation Commission – No response. School Committee – Click here.    
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  • Help Families Tag the 200 Gas Leaks In Wellesley This Weekend

    gas leaks tag
        Wellesley Green School and Sustainable Wellesley families will be tagging the nearly 200 gas leaks in Wellesley this weekend as a very visual way of getting the message out about the upcoming Wellesley’s Gas Leaks Public Forum taking place on March 21st from 7-8.30 pm in the Wakelin Room at the Wellesley Free Library. Join the families at a pre-tagging rally on March 11th from 9.30-10am at Town Hall. Interested in helping out? A sign-up form for tagging leaks is here. Tagging is easy; simply hang up signs with pre organized materials in specific spots (map provided) and hang a few door hangers. The Town is working to get National Grid to fix these leaks (click here for map), some of which are 20 years old. Many residents are familiar with the smell of gas in their neighborhoods but they are not aware of the damaging effects of gas leaks to the public’s health and the environment, as well as the costs to Wellesley residents — the Forum will be an opportunity to learn more. The goal of the Forum is to build public understanding and awareness about the leaks, equip residents with expert information, and allow residents to ask questions directly to National Grid representatives. Featured panelists include Dr. Nathan Phillips, Dept. of Earth & Environment at Boston University who will discuss the environmental impact; Audrey Schulman, Home Energy Efficiency Team, will discuss ways of  improving coordination to repair leaks; Wellesley’s own Dr. Regina LaRocque of Mass General Hospital will share vital information on the dangers to humans; and Sue Fleck, Vice President, Pipeline Safety, National Grid, will talk about the company’s plans for fixing the leaks in Wellesley. Town officials will also be available to answer questions. Registration is recommended for the Gas Leaks Forum. Do so here. The Gas Leaks Forum is co-sponsored by Wellesley Board of Selectmen, State Representative Alice Peisch, State Senator Cynthia Creem, State Senator Richard Ross, Natural Resources Commission, Sustainable Energy Committee, Health Department, Sustainable Wellesley, and Wellesley Green Schools.
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  • Candidate for Board of Public Works

    town of wellesley
    There is one seat for a 3 year term on the Board of Public Works which oversees the Department of Public Works (DPW): Engineering, Park, Highway, Recycling & Disposal, Management Services, Water, and Sewer. Jeff Wechsler Candidate for Board of Public Works answers Sustainable Wellesley’s questions below. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? I try to infuse sustainability throughout my life, and look for pragmatic and cumulative ways to make a difference. Since joining the Environmental Club in high school during it’s inaugural year – I’ve done my best to recycle, reuse, and conserve. My home and my property are as chemical- and pesticide-free as possible. We love and frequently use the town recreation facilities and parks. We’re also Mass Audubon members, and enjoy the properties they protect and care for. I try to be sustainable in my food choices (Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.) and choose local and/or organic as much as possible. I am currently involved in a business to streamline the supply chain for small share farmers and to help the good food economy compete with, as well as influence, industrial agriculture. I am extremely interested in alternative energy sources and believe they won’t be so “alternative” in a decade. I’m interested in reducing our carbon footprint and was fascinated and inspired when recently touring a zero-energy home in Newton (thanks, Sustainable Wellesley for telling me about it!). As a car geek, I love electric vehicles, and am excited about the future of transportation. And as someone that commuted on the MBTA for years, I’m excited to see what sustainable and clean mass transit solutions can replace the aging, unreliable, fume-spewing trains that run through our town. But I know that I can do more, my family can do more, and our community can do more. I know that the choices we make today will directly impact the world that our future generations will inherit, and I want to do my part to make it better. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of policy and strategic goals for the Board of Public Works, given the board’s oversight authority over both the Department of Public Works and the Municipal Light Plant? One of the reasons I wanted to join the Board of Public Works is because I believe that the choices we make every day regarding our infrastructure have a direct and long-term impact on the environment and the world we live in. I believe sustainability should be an underlying consideration in as many public infrastructure policies and goals as possible. I believe that Wellesley is, and can continue to grow as, a leader in municipal management. Fortunately, we are increasingly seeing that sustainability can be good business. Which means it should become easier over time to balance sustainability goals with financial goals and constraints. I know there will be hard decisions, and people won’t always agree. But my hope is that if we  take a minute, and remember the long-term impact of decisions being made, sustainability will become almost second nature. Similar to how alternative energy will become “energy”, electric cars will become “cars,” zero energy homes will become “homes” and good food will just become “food.” I believe that sustainability goals should eventually become so commonplace they are just “goals”. I look forward to becoming a part of our community leadership and having the opportunity to help our town, our DPW and our MLP balance the demands of sustainability, safety, service, and cost. What specific policies might the Board of Public Works undertake related to sustainability and environment? First, an outreach and community involvement suggestion: I think we could as a community inspire our kids through increased exposure to the workings of the DPW and MLP. If our kids take an active interest in recycling, water conservation, maintaining our parks, taking care of our streets, etc. I’m pretty sure that would translate into more families becoming involved, informed, and invested in the policies that determine the sustainability of our town infrastructure. As for policy, the Board of Public Works is a representative body and is well served when it has input from our town residents as well as the professionals that we trust to make everything work. I expect that superb ideas for our community are already out there, and I look forward to hearing them, studying them, and helping to make smart choices regarding those ideas. For example, I’ve recently heard of community members advocating for waste reduction through programs such as food composting at the RDF. I want to be methodical about getting to know the people we rely on to take care of our infrastructure, get to know our residents, get to know what is already in place, what is already in the works, what has already been considered and what has already been tried. I believe that as I learn from and stay connected to the community, I will be in a good position to help make good policy decisions. If you are a resident who has a policy suggestion or question, please let me, Board members, or the DPW and MLP staff know what it is!
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  • Board of Selectman Candidates

    town hall
    There are 2 candidates running for the 2, three-year-term seats for Board of Selectman. The Board of Selectmen serves as the chief executive board of the Town, and as such, oversees all matters affecting the interest and welfare of the community. The Board exercises the authority vested in the Town not specifically assigned by law to any other board or office. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Tom Ulfelder I have not been employed in an industry or specific position directly related to sustainability. My experience is with the personal choices my family and I make on a daily basis. Our approach to energy conservation at home, recycling, and food are consistent with the goals of optimal sustainability. Beth Sullivan Woods I am a strong believer in sustainability and the importance of the 3R philosophy. As a family, we are avid recyclers and proud users of our amazing RDF facility, including the take-it or leave-it swap area. Not surprisingly, we take advantage of the collection at the Library for movies and books; our home library is filled with “recycled” books and movies purchased at the Friends of the Wellesley Free Library book sale, and we donate back the materials we no longer use so they can be enjoyed by others. We shop locally whenever possible, and enjoy the Wellesley Farmers’ Market. As a Town Meeting member since 2009, I have voted in support of the key sustainability initiatives that have been brought forward, including funding the restoration of Fuller Brook Park, enacting the tree by-law, supporting overlay protection to NRC land, and implementing the plastic bag ban. I currently serve on the Library Board of Trustees and we recently voted to have library lands maintained according to the NRC’s Organic Integrated Pest Management plan in order to cut down on harmful chemicals in our environment. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of policy for the Town of Wellesley? Tom Ulfelder The Town of Wellesley has established an interest in and a willingness to evaluate and implement sustainable choices. Whether it is the MLP (Municipal Light Plant), the PBC (Permanent Building Committee) working with the schools and the FMD (Facilities Maintenance Department), or the recent implementation of the plastic bag ban, the town and its residents have demonstrated a willingness to incorporate sustainability in our long term decisions and personal lives. Wherever applicable, sustainability should continue to be a consideration in the way we approach projects and town policy. Beth Sullivan Woods Sustainability should play a critical role in how our town approaches all projects, and be embedded from the beginning. We need to continue to build on and support the efforts of our boards, committees and staff to improve energy efficiency in our town buildings, maintain our beautiful open spaces which act as important natural resources, and identify strategies to alleviate traffic as well as cut down on fuel use and emissions. I’m excited about the prospect of obtaining Green Community status for Wellesley in order to be eligible for grants for projects that will help us achieve our town’s carbon reduction goals. The Selectmen should seek early engagement with the SEC, NRC and other non-government groups in town as part of development decisions and building design. What specific new initiatives related to the environment should the Board of Selectmen undertake in your prospective first term?  Tom Ulfelder The Unified Plan is well underway and in the course of the planning process the committee has asked for participation in surveys that ask about public attitudes toward sustainability in Wellesley. This information may be the most current data we have as a town in terms of public perception and support for this issue. It is important to develop policy and identify initiatives consistent with town wide opinion and priorities. Some of these decisions are easily made where there is a clear return on our investment. As a new Selectman, it is important to first understand the Board’s view on sustainable practices and then to understand the projects where sustainability is a concern and the Selectmen are involved. Once understood, choices may be made regarding environmental initiatives. Beth Sullivan Woods The upcoming partnership with the Board of Selectmen to co-host the gas leak forum in order to aggressively address the numerous gas leaks in town is an example of the type of partnerships that should be embraced; I would like to see the BOS encourage more of these town-wide collaborations. I believe the schools are playing an important role in educating our children about sustainability and the environment so that they are empowered to think and act sustainably; these types of programs should be celebrated. Finally, I look forward to working with our knowledgeable and talented citizens who so generously and passionately give of their time and energy towards this end, and as a Selectman will encourage and welcome their ideas and participation.  
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  • Join Us To Talk About Food, Energy, Gas, Waste, & Govt. This Saturday, 3-5pm

    jess and susan
    Please join us this Saturday, March 4th from 3-5 for our next action meeting. We will gather at Quentin’s home, 75 Emerson Rd. All are welcome—bring a friend! These meetings always run on time and allow us to break out into small teams that get things done in town. We encourage you to share your ideas, creativity, and energy to any of the following topics our teams are discussing and working on: Gas Leaks Town elections/government Food and its Environmental Impact Renewable Energy Plastics and further waste reduction Please email info@sustainablewellesley.com for more information; let us know you will be joining in, or simply swing by on Sunday.
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  • Meet Our Natural Resources Commission Candidates

    NRC logo
    The mission of the Natural Resources Commission is to provide stewardship of, education about, and advocacy for the Town of Wellesley’s park, conservation, recreation and open space system so that the full value of the Town’s natural assets can be passed onto future generations. This commission works on many projects with Sustainable Wellesley and is one of two Town governmental committees truly looking at the environment and sustainaiblity concerns. There are two seats available for 3-year terms, with two incumbents running (Joan E Gaughan and Lise Olney). What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Joan Gaughan During my tenure on the NRC we have had many sustainable initiatives. We have run an active campaign under the expert guidance of Dr. Sarah Little to educate our citizens to the dangers of pesticide/ herbicide use to our health, the health of our wildlife and the environment in general. Many forums were run, much literature was developed and distributed. We have had dialogues with even the local golf courses, especially Wellesley Country Club, which abuts some of our town wells. Healthy organic lawn signs were created and people displayed them proudly as a contrast to the “Chem Lawn “ signs. The NRC has protected our limited and precious open space on more than one occasion from assaults on it (two serious ones during my chairmanship) and the constant encroachment of its boundaries. Strong efforts were made to try to use herbicides in Morses pond to eradicate the weed problem. I fought this with other NRC members and were successful. Other strong efforts were made by many in town to use artificial turf for fields composed of recycled tires which contained many harmful carcinogens. The NRC along with the Cancer Prevention Committee again were successful in convincing Town Meeting to choose the more expensive alternative of virgin rubber. In past years the NRC has promoted composting of food waste by encouraging  and helping to make available through the RDF back yard food composters. We have promoted recycling in our community and in our schools, through the Environmental Aide program in our elementary schools of which I was a member for many years and though scout and other groups. As an NRC member I have protected our tree canopy by not allowing trees to be removed unless they are hazardous. We have even needed to impose fines on people who have violated our laws. Many of our new trees planted along FBP were financed from fines imposed on severe violations. I sat though many meetings with our legal council to insure we received adequate compensation. We actively encourage citizens to replant trees that must be removed and work with our very competent arborists to make sure we maintain a beautiful tree canopy in town. I have shepherded three Eagle Scout candidates through their projects to help to protect habitat and encourage usage of our open space. They have built trails, bog bridges, bat houses, and wildflower gardens to encourage pollinators, just to name a few. I endorsed and supported our plastic bag ban and hope to work to reduce use of polystyrene and other non recyclable materials in the near future. The NRC has been aware of the many gas leaks that have been harming our health and the health of our tree canopy and have worked and will continue to work to hold the gas companies accountable. I have worked diligently with the Trails Committee ( I am the NRC liaison)to promote use of our trails to help people realize how important a walk in the woods is to the health of our citizens both physically and mentally. I ( and Denny Nackoney) have developed and run 6 successful Kids’ Trail Days where we try to educate our youth about the importance and fun of open space. I have introduced many groups, including this one, to the biodegradability of trash left in the woods( or anywhere) based on studies done at the Woods Hole Institute. Regina LaRocque I have been active in a number of sustainability initiatives in Wellesley. Currently, I am co-leading the reinvigorated Power to Choose campaign, which aims to increase participation in the Municipal Light Plant’s voluntary renewable energy program. I am a citizen representative on the committee working on the town’s proposed LED streetlight conversion. As a Town Meeting member from Precinct E, I worked to pass the recent plastic bag ban. I am also an active member of Sustainable Wellesley and Wellesley Green Schools. Lise Olney I have been on the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team since 2011, helping build Sustainable Wellesley into a strong grassroots non-profit that advocates for sustainable living and decision-making in our town. In 2015, I co-founded the Massachusetts Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action to help organize people of faith to take collective action on issues of climate justice, and to advocate at the state level for a transition to clean renewable energy. For the past three years, I have served on the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission. Last year, I co-led the successful initiative to pass a bag bylaw to reduce plastic litter and encourage residents to switch to environmentally friendly reusable bags. I have also organized a public forum to discuss Wellesley’s 200-plus gas leaks on March 21 at the library–this event is co-sponsored by Sustainable Wellesley, the Board of Selectmen, and others. We have also initiated the NRC’s new Grow Green Wellesley campaign to promote eco-landscaping and reduce pesticide use in cooperation with the Board of Health and Sustainable Wellesley, with whom we are co-sponsoring a day-long forum called “Landscapes for Living” on May 13 (also at the library). 2. What do you think the priorities of the NRC should be for the next three years of your prospective term? Joan Gaughan Over the next three years I believe the NRC priorities should be to do everything we can to hold the gas companies accountable for the leaks that are harming our trees. We should encourage […]
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  • Local Environmental Action Conference

    you-are-invited
    Join community leaders, environmental advocates and experts from across New England to learn, connect, get inspired, and take real action for change at the 30th annual Local Environmental Action conference. WHEN?  March 05, 2017 at 9am – 6pm WHERE?  Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave., Boston Click here to register, visit the conference website at to learn more, or call 617-747-4362 with any questions.
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  • Styrofoam Frustrating You?

    mass green netowrk
    Reducing Plastic Waste Activists and interested citizens, municipal officials and staff, as well as business people are invited to the Mass Green Network 2017 Summit. Learn from other communities that have banned polystyrene (“Styrofoam”), share experiences and ideas for new campaigns and network with other sustainability organizations.  At the Summit there will be opportunities to reflect on the lessons of the past year, share stories, and learn about new resources and best practices (both for passing new regulations, and for implementing those that have been adopted). Register here for the summit which takes place on Saturday, March 25 from 9:30 am – 3:30 pm at the First Baptist Church, 111 Park Avenue, in Worcester. Admission is absolutely free!
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  • Meet the Library Board of Trustees Candidates

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    Sustainable Wellesley continues its series of questions to candidates in regards sustainability, and how it relates to the important town positions they are running for. This week we are publishing the responses from the 2 candidates running for the Wellesley Library Board of Trustees. This board focuses on the general oversight of all library services and policies, assess the Library’s needs and its role in town, establishes policies and procedures and works in conjunction with the Library Director to prepare a budget. 1. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Ann-Mara Lanza I am a firm believer in the concept of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Growing up in Lincoln, Massachusetts, recycling has always been a part of my family practice. We are proud that we now live in a community that has a more comprehensive recycling program, and love our trips to the RDF. I borrow most of my reading material from the Wellesley Free Library, rather than buy books. I have turned my son into an avid thrift store shopper. We drive a Tesla. My particular interest is in saving this world for our children and their children. 2. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of policy and strategic goals for the Wellesley Free Library system? Ann-Mara Lanza The library is, inherently, all about sustainability – the ultimate source of reusable materials. By providing materials (books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, and more!) to borrow, we encourage residents to conserve the resources of our planet, rather than to purchase new. Today, the library lends items beyond what one might remember from their childhood. Recently, the library has expanded our “library of things” to enable residents to borrow items that they might only use once rather than purchase, like a character cake pan. The WFL is in the process of developing a new 5-year strategic plan. This plan will outline new initiatives for the Wellesley Free Library and new ways that the WFL can encourage residents to borrow. 3. Please describe any new initiatives related to the environment that you think the Library should undertake. Ann-Mara Lanza The Wellesley Free Library is always ready to partner with other organizations in town to protect the environment.  Last year, working with the MLP, the Wellesley Free Library installed a solar powered charging station outside the main library building where residents can charge their cell phones.  We are also working with the Sustainable Energy Committee to expand our “library of things.”  As we create our strategic plan, we will continue to work with the community to develop programs and services that promote sustainability. Ann Rappaport I joined the grass roots organization SMART (Sustainable Management of Appropriate Resources and Technology) formed in 2006 to lobby for a ‘green’ high performance high school. Our group was very effective in advocating that the WHS School Building Committee incorporate sustainable design into the WHS project. We raised awareness of green school building practice in the US and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts through researching and writing white papers and presenting our findings in citizen speak before SBC/PBC. We also formed a ‘Green Team’ to compete at the 2007 and 2008 WEF spelling bees (Pamela Posey, Katie Smith Milway and I won the Bee both years). The new high school achieved 34-point MA-CHPS certification, necessary to receive reimbursement from the Massachusetts School Building Authority and the PBC added $1MM more in ‘green’ features to the project. WHS was ultimately awarded a Green Difference Award in the Outstanding Green School category. In 2007, I was asked to participate on an Ad Hoc Green Committee which produced a report to Town Meeting (see March 2008 Advisory Report, pp 125-127) in which we recommended the establishment of a “Green Ribbon Study Committee” charged with examining town energy usage and developing a Sustainable Energy Plan. (The GRSC ultimately led to the permanent Sustainable Energy Committee.) I was the Wellesley Advisory Committee Liaison to the SEC in 2012-2013 and participated in a WMLP pilot program to “peak smooth” my family’s energy usage; we got very used to doing laundry and running the dishwasher after 10 PM at night! As a Town Meeting Member for the past decade, I have supported all sustainability initiatives, including the formation of the SEC, stretch energy code, and recent plastic bag ban. On a personal level, I live in a house built in 1848 lacking standard modern conveniences like central air-conditioning. (Our family has discovered that the shade trees on our property help keep us cool in the summer.) My family composts, avoids non-organic lawn care and tries to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible. I recently attended a PBC meeting to speak as a former member of SMART to encourage the PBC and SEC to incorporate sustainable building guidelines into Wellesley’s current and future building projects. It was very encouraging to see so much support on both committees for this initiative. As a Library Trustee, I would continue to advocate for sustainability practice in building design, energy, resource and material conservation whenever possible. I was encouraged to read about the Library’s new “Library of Things,” whereby old games, puzzles, instruments, baking pans, etc. are offered for patrons to take home – a way to recycle items no longer used and/or to avoid having to purchase items that might only be used a few times. Most recently, the Library Trustees voted to support the town wide Integrated Pest Management policy promoted by the NRC. As a Library Trustee, I would encourage the Library to continue to work with SEC, NRC, and other groups in town which promote sustainability whenever possible; I believe the Library is, and should continue to be, a good neighbor which works collaboratively with other boards toward common goals that benefit our community and the greater good.
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  • Meet the Planning Board Candidates

    townhall
    This week, we are covering the race for the Planning Board. This Board both codifies Town policy to manage the community’s assets through Zoning Bylaws, and permits how many of these assets are developed. Catherine Johnson is running as an unopposed incumbent, for another five-year term. There is 1 seat and 2 candidates running for the 1 year term and they are Thomas MacDonald and James Roberti. 1. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Catherine Johnson It is impossible to separate sustainability and planning. Since 2013, when I joined the Planning Board: – I have pushed forward Planning’s sponsorship of the Natural Resources Protection Development Zoning Bylaw (Section XVI F), which protects 50% of all land in 5+ lot subdivisions as open space. It now needs to be reviewed. – I also have worked to change Planning’s Zoning Bylaw/Map overlay for NRC-owned land from “residential” to “park/recreation/conservation”; the two boards brought some of the NRC parcels through the 2016 ATM and another 17 parcels will be before Town Meeting this year. This adds a layer of protection for open space in Wellesley. – I was Planning’s representative to the Route 9 Enhancement Study Committee (Route 9 is both a thoroughfare and a residential street: it should have more trees, environmentally sensitive lighting, and even sidewalks). – I am sponsoring a new Lighting Bylaw that will be before Town Meeting next month. Though not as comprehensive as everyone would like, it is a necessary incremental step to permit fully shielded, cut-off lighting and some Dark Sky Compliancy, where possible. – However, my major focus is residential development and how to make it sustainable. Over the last 15 years, Wellesley has witnessed incredible changes to the character of our residential neighborhoods: tear downs and subsequent building of large houses. This chews up the open space in our yards and removes too many trees during the building process. One of Planning’s tools for restoring sustainable sanity to development is adjusting our Large House Review (LHR) Zoning Bylaw (Section XVI D). For the last two years, I have spearheaded a study to address what changes are needed for LHR. The Planning Board is bringing this very important Article to this year’s Town Meeting. If passed – and I need everyone in Sustainable Wellesley to email their Town Meeting Members to get them to vote in favor of Article 32, LHR/TLAG (Total Living Area + Garage) amendment – the size, scale, and mass of new houses will include the garage area and the “attic” area as part of the square footage of the house. This doesn’t prohibit large houses, but it mandates a review of mass and scale, lighting, trees and ground/storm water discharge. Almost all speculative developers try to avoid LHR permitting by building only to the square footage threshold that would trigger a review. If garages and attics are counted, as they are in Newton, Weston, and other nearby towns, much of the new construction in Wellesley still will be built below the review threshold. Houses will appear about 9-10% smaller than what you see today. More yard, more trees, smaller basements that push down into our land. Thomas MacDonald I am currently the Operations Manager, Office of Facilities Services at Boston College.  I have oversight at any given time of more than 150 buildings and their infrastructure, 338 acres of campus land and more than 7 million square feet of physical plant.  As you can imagine in a University setting sustainable initiatives are of key importance.  Some University-wide initiatives in conjunction with my department include converting all CFL to LED lighting in classrooms and common use buildings; investigating alternative energy sources for a conversion where possible to clean energy and the use of non-fossil fuels, the institution of a major water conservation effort; including low flow toilets and showers, the installation of faucet aerators, and the inclusion of a grey water system in the new 490 student dormitory to recycle almost one million gallons of water a week treating personal shower water for reuse as toilet water.   James Roberti I am a real estate attorney with 30+ years of experience in land use planning and real estate development. During my practice I have worked with several different clients in the area of  large scale development of solar fields.  I got involved in solar field development in 2008 upon the passage of the Green Communities Act in Massachusetts by Governor . Patrick and the Massachusetts Legislature.   At home my wife, my sister and I have been tireless recyclers since we moved to Wellesley in 1994.  I was also very involved in attending and supporting the process of acquiring the North 40 by the Town as a vital open space asset for the Town.  I also supported and voted for as a Town Meeting Member the ban on the use of  plastic bags by large retailers at last spring’s town meeting. 2. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of planning policy in Wellesley? Catherine Johnson Right now, the answer is simple. Planning is revising its 2007-2017 Comprehensive Plan to merge it with the Board of Selectmen’s strategic plan. The new name will be The Unified Plan. It should be ready to come before Town Meeting for endorsement by the spring of 2018. It is not supposed to be a magic wand that will make Wellesley as sustainable as we want it to be on day one, but it will address issues and give us tools. It should provide policies, goals, and action strategies. Everyone can and must have input. Your voice is as important as mine. Going forward, it will be my personal goal to adopt the action strategies at the Planning Board level to guarantee preservation of open space, to resist bad development in favor of smart growth, and to support the residents and other Town boards or committees that want to keep us Green and […]
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  • Bates’ Clean Air Charlie

    Bates Snow Man
    Some Bates families had fun creating “Clean Air Charlie,” last week. Clean Air Charlie sent a gentle reminder about not idling in car line. Even in cold temperatures, idling is against the law, is bad for the environment and public health and has costs that go along with it. Wellesley Green Schools and Sustainable Energy Committee created this flyer with lots of reasons why NOT TO IDLE including: Lets say you never idle, talk to those who are idling near you (in parking lots, on your street, etc.). Tell them it is against the law and you wouldn’t want them to get a ticket. Better yet, print this out and share it with them.
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  • Teachers. Parents. Gardeners. 2 Great Events For You

    school garden
    Mass Horticultural Society’s School Garden Conference: Beyond Education will take place this Thursday, February 23 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM in the Hunnewell Building. Their third annual school garden conference will feature workshops that explore regional best practices for planning and running a garden that will not only meet educational goals, but also provide opportunities for a diverse student body, and make connections within the school community and beyond. A variety of workshops will support interested parents and volunteers, teachers and administrators—those who have established gardens and those just breaking ground. _________________________________________________________ Garden in Woods promotes awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the botanical and natural world through experiential and inquiry-based learning. They now offer programs that meet MA STEM curriculum standards. Each k-4th grade garden visit is one hour long and is accompanied by pre- and post- classroom activities. Programs are led by committed teacher-naturalists who guide students in hands-on field investigations of plant life, diverse habitats, and the effects of weather and climate. Could be a unique field trip for your school.
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  • Save the Date: Wellesley Gas Leaks Forum on March 21

    Image from Sierra Club
    Do you ever smell gas when you are walking or driving around Wellesley? If so — it’s likely that you are getting a whiff of one of the 200-plus gas leaks in our town! Sustainable Wellesley is co-sponsoring a town forum on gas leaks with the Board of Selectmen, Natural Resources Commission, Sustainable Energy Committee, and State Senator Cynthia Creem.  Join us to learn more about these leaks, their harmful effects on the environment and human health, and what’s being done to address them. A representative from National Grid is also expected to attend.   Click here to let us know you are coming! Featured guests: Dr. Nathan Phillips, Boston University, speaking on the extent of the gas leaks and the environmental impact Audrey Schulman, Home Energy Efficiency Team, speaking about how towns and utility companies can improve coordination on leak repair, and how to find high volume leaks Dr. Regina LaRocque, Mass General Hospital, addressing the impact of gas leaks on human health Sue Fleck, Vice President, Pipeline Safety, National Grid, on fixing the leaks in Wellesley Please click here to register now!
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  • Two Opportunities to Meet Local Candidates!

    meet potential leaders
    With five contested races in the Annual Town Election on March 7, 2017, it’s time to focus on who’s who! Fortunately, Wellesley voters have two upcoming opportunities to meet candidates for the Board of Health, Natural Resources Commission, Planning Board, Recreation Commission, and School Committee. On Thursday, February 16, the Wellesley Democratic Town Committee will host a meeting at the Wellesley Community Center (219 Washington Street), with remarks from the candidates starting at 8:00 pm. On Thursday, March 2, the League of Women Voters of Wellesley will present “Meet the Candidates Night” at the Wellesley Free Library, Wakelin Room. Candidates for all townwide elected board positions have been invited to answer questions from the League and from the audience about their qualifications and their priorities for the Town of Wellesley. The evening will begin with a brief recognition of retiring Town Board members, and then move directly to hearing from candidates. Doors open at 6:30 for light refreshments and an informal reception during which participants can speak casually with voters and other candidates. This event is open to all (not just women). Spend just one hour on either of these evenings and decide for yourself who belongs on these town boards. Bring your questions on sustainability and the environment and see what the candidates have to say!
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  • Meet the Board of Health Candidates

    HEALTH DEP
    The upcoming town election on March 7th, is an unusual one in Wellesley electoral politics because there are so many contested races. But with so much happening in Washington at the federal level, Wellesley voters may find it hard to concentrate on these local candidates. The fact is, the folks on these town boards are more likely to affect our day-to-day lives than the folks in Washington.  Thus, we have asked each candidate running for a contested seat to answer three questions about sustainability and how it relates to the work of that particular board. We will be covering one race at a time leading up to the election on March 7. Please share widely with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE! All responses will be posted on our web site through Election Day on March 7, 2017, for your reference. We believe sustainability is an important dimension of the Town’s responsibility to Wellesley so we asked all candidates how they believe sustainability relates to their work for us.  Meet the two Board of Health Candidates Shepard Cohen and Robert Anthony. Here is what they had to say about their possible three-year term position. Robert Anthony’s responses: Q1. What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? A1. Your February 10 deadline for a response is perfect because I am in the forest area of Yellapur, India working on Rotary’s international ‘Peer Leadership & Depression Prevention’  program. Each day here I see examples of the  failure to live in sustainable ways. Even in the forest, the air is smoky by too many people working too little land and using wood as their primary fuel.  Tap water is not safe to drink. Q2. How do you view the relationship between public health, the environment, and sustainability? A2. I view the relationship among public health, the environment and sustainability as clear and direct. As soon as I leave the smoky forest areas, the noise pollution is constant. Vehicle horns are used at each bend of the road and over each hill crest. Debris litters every roadside. I love the people of Katnataka state in India but it’s geography has been devastated. Q3.What specific initiatives related to the environment should the Board of Health undertake in your prospective three-year term? A3. As a member of the three person board, I would consistently encourage collaboration with all town departments and the wider community. Sustainable Wellesley initiatives and wellness initiatives naturally complement the other. Simple examples: fabric shopping bags could advertise the wellness workshops for new parents at Newton Wellesley hospital, distribution of seedlings from historic trees of Wellesley could be packaged with a mindfulness activity (such as visual imagery)  focused on the tree, and the aquaponic experiment could be fostered with a lesson on how nutrition affects mind and body. Shepard Cohen’s response: Thank you for your questions regarding local public health and the environment. Given the shared mission of protecting the health, safety and well-being of all Wellesley residents, there has always been and always will be a strong link between public health and environmental protection services. The Wellesley Health Department’s section on Environmental Health is staffed with expert, experienced Environmental Health Specialists and our current Health Director has a graduate degree in environmental sciences. During my 25 plus years on the Board of Health (20 as chair), we are proud of a long list of environment/sustainable accomplishments, to name a few: anti-idling campaign, artificial turf studies and directives, toxic use reduction grants, pesticide awareness campaign, integrated pest management policies, sharps/needle/medication disposal, and several others. Looking to the immediate future, the Health Department, under the leadership of the Board of Health, will do education and enforcement of the plastic bag ban, will work with the Green Collaborative on food waste initiatives, and will participant in the planning and conduct of the Landscapes for Living Symposium in May, 2017.  
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  • Meet School Committee Candidates

    wps compasss log
    The upcoming town election on March 7th, is an unusual one in Wellesley electoral politics because there are so many contested races. But with so much happening in Washington at the federal level, Wellesley voters may find it hard to concentrate on these local candidates. The fact is, the folks on these town boards are more likely to affect our day-to-day lives than the folks in Washington.  Thus, we have asked each candidate running for a contested seat to answer three questions about sustainability and how it relates to the work of that particular board. We will be covering one race at a time leading up to the election on March 7. Please share widely with your friends and neighbors — and please VOTE! All responses will be posted on our web site through Election Day on March 7, 2017, for your reference. We believe sustainability is an important dimension of the Town’s responsibility to Wellesley so we asked all candidates how they believe sustainability relates to their work for us.  This week, we are covering the race for School Committee. There are five candidates — more candidates than seats — so your choice of candidate is very important. Their responses are listed alphabetically. 1.What is your track record on sustainability, including any particular interests and experience with sustainable ideas and initiatives? Ron Alexander Response: My main experience with sustainability is from my youth in a rural setting in north central Massachusetts. Our family had a large garden that fed half of the neighborhood with fresh vegetables raised using organic farming techniques and no pesticides or fertilizers. I managed a large compost pile that took in yard waste, kitchen refuse, and animal manures and produced a natural fertilizing compost that was spread out and turned under in the fall to prepare the soil for the coming spring planting. We also reduced our dependence on fossil fuels by burning wood in a barrel stove in the basement to heat the floors and use less oil in the furnace. After moving out on my own, I still always had a garden, and made use of vermiculture (worm composting) to compost kitchen waste, paper, and yard refuse, and used the resulting rich compost on my various gardens. Eli Burstein Response: My commitment to sustainability has taken myriad forms, helping govern my professional pursuits, my personal life, and my civic responsibility. Professionally, I am very proud to be a real estate investor in developing Boston’s first USGBC LEED Gold Certified condominium building, The Lancaster. Further, all of our development projects are LEED certifiable, being built to the same standards as The Lancaster. Personally, my family has assumed (and vigilantly enforced!) the practices of most environmentally conscious families. I also have been a consistent, long-time supporter of (Rhode Island’s) Save the Bay organization and, when living in RI, an active participant in their organized activities. Most relevantly, though, sustainability is a fundamental tenet that Rebecca and I emphasize to our children; seeking teachable moments to ensure that sustainability is never an afterthought. My responses to the following topics address how I intend to apply the principles of sustainability to my civic life, if elected. Jennifer Jordahl Response: Personally and professionally, I have a strong interest in sustainability initiatives. Volunteering my time professionally to visualize data, I have supported initiatives such as government programs to dole out carbon credits and, what will seem strange to US citizens, the European concept to bring back airships to travel between cities. Personally, when my house was destroyed by fire, I researched the many different kinds of sustainable concepts for my rebuild effort. Our family planned tours of the Ford plant in MI to see the living roofs and porous pavement concepts implemented at scale. I researched toilets: those with dehydrators, some with dual flushing systems and some with toilet bowls fed by reservoirs from sink waste water, grey water. Further, I researched economical energy alternatives regarding solar, thermal energy, wind generators, and bio-chemical reservoirs. Finally, I researched the kinds of heating systems forced air vs hydro-air systems, paying particular attention to the cleanest air each system provided. The give an take of various options were important to me though many were not yet feasible for my rebuild. My answer to sustainability is don’t just think about it do it, because I am particularly interested in giving my grandchildren a wonderful world to inherit. Matthew Kelley Response: As a School Committee member, my first focus has been on supporting education. As part of that mission, though, I have supported a number of activities related to sustainability, for example, the Bates School participation in the EPA Food Recovery Challenge. I served as one of the School Committee liaisons to the North 40 Committee. While we made clear that it was certainly possible to build a first-class school on the site, we did not support that use of the land, recognizing and supporting the priority for maintaining open, undisturbed space in town. We have also moved several facilities maintenance projects forward, most notably the Middle School Windows project, which has greatly improved integrity of the building envelope, and is expected to result in reduced energy costs. A fun (albeit small) part of that windows project also included renovation/repair of the greenhouse at the Middle School, where students were able to grow and recently harvest vegetables. Melissa Martin Response: As a mother of four children, I am interested in ensuring that we manage our resources in a manner that will allow the future to be bright for many generations.  I have worked in areas in which I have seen the blight caused from degradation of the environment, and I highly value the natural green spaces that we have preserved in Wellesley. Within our own town government, last year, as a Town Meeting Member, I supported the plastic bag ban that was presented at Town Meeting in 2016.  On a personal front, I have improved over the past months in bringing my own reusable bags when I […]
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  • Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution

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    The new year is underway and you made a resolution to make more mindful decisions. That can happen even when you shop and want to update your wardrobe. One Savvy Mother –  launched by Wellesley Green Team Leader and resident Lara Crawford – sells a curated collection of eco inspired handbags, jewelry, socks, shawls, belts and more.  One Savvy Mother enables shoppers to update their look with low impact accessories. One Savvy Mother thoughtfully takes into consideration the artists, materials, sourcing as well as recycling efforts so you don’t have to. Simply enjoy your beautiful fashion accessories.
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  • The Event Calendar Needs You – Volunteer Opportunity

    volunteer
    Looking for an easy way to make a difference in an hour or so a week? Sustainable Wellesley is looking for a volunteer to maintain its event calendar. Message us at info@sustainablewellesley.com and we will get you started. Share with others you know looking for a volunteer position. Students welcome too.
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  • February Vacation Activity -Contest for Students

    Sustainability Challenge 2017 header
    The Wellesley Education Foundation, the Wellesley Municipal Light and Wellesley Green Schools launched the 2nd annual STEM EXPO Sustainability Challenge. This contest is designed to engage young people  by inviting them to write an essay, story, poem, or persuasive argument; create an artwork/model or make a video about how renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, etc.) might impact their lives and the environment in the future. To enter the Sustainability Challenge, participants must live or go to school in Wellesley. For more information and to submit, please click here by March 24th. “With nearly 90 homes in Wellesley powered by solar, and the numerous wind turbines scattered across New England, students see this form of energy every day,” said Jessica Stanton of Wellesley Green Schools. “This Challenge offers them a non-traditional way to get more familiar with renewable energy and an understanding of how it provides energy to our homes and businesses today, and in the years to come,” Stanton said.   Creative and visionary winners will be honored at the Wellesley STEM EXPO on April 8th with special VIP access, refreshments, award recognition, and a chance to be interviewed on television.  This is also a  great launching pad for state and federal student environmental awards. The EXPO, hosted by Wellesley Education Foundation (WEF), is a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) exposition. On Saturday, April 8th, Wellesley High School will be transformed into an interactive science center, offering hands-on exhibits, workshops and a student work showcase. Mark your calendars to be inspired by the 140+ exhibits and workshops between 10am – 2pm; the Keynote speaker (Dr. Ed Bertschinger) from 2-3pm, and a meet the STEM Professional’s event for High Schoolers from 3-4pm. “WEF, a charitable organization dedicated to  advancing innovation and excellence in the Wellesley Public Schools, is proud to present the 2017 Sustainability Challenge,” said Susan Ryan, Co-President of WEF. “Through the funding of programs and grants for over thirty years, WEF has championed THE LOVE OF LEARNING in our district — from the first day of preschool, through high school graduation and beyond — and this Challenge continues to promote this love of learning,” Ryan said. WEF works to unite the entire community in enthusiastic support of Wellesley’s schools, and is going even further to support another community project: Wellesley’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint. “Wellesley’s goal to reduce its carbon footprint 25% by the year 2020 requires commitment from all different sectors of the community and Wellesley’s MLP is proud to be doing its part,” said Debra J. Healy, Assistant Director of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant. “Through our Power to Choose program, we offer residents and local businesses the opportunity to elect to have some or all of their energy come from renewable energy sources. “Choosing renewable energy, in many cases for less than the price of a cup of coffee a month, will not only help the town meet its carbon reduction goal, it will improve Wellesley’s national ranking for voluntary renewable energy from it’s current number 3 position,” Healy said.
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  • Call Your State Legislators Before FRIDAY!

    lobby day jan 2017
    Last Wednesday, members of Sustainable Wellesley joined more than 200 climate activists from around the state for the Mass Power Forward “Clean Energy for All” Lobby Day. We discussed our priorities for the 2017-2018 legislative session in meetings with aides to Wellesley legislators Senator Cynthia Creem, Senator Richard Ross, and Representative Alice Peisch. We urged them to co-sponsor specific bills to accelerate the transition to clean, renewable energy. Now it’s your turn! The deadline for legislators to co-sponsor bills is this Friday, February 3! Make your voice heard by calling Senator Creem, Senator Ross, and Representative Peisch. Here is a summary of our goals: – Accelerate the transition to clean energy by increasing the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 3% per year instead of the current 1%, and by requiring municipal light plants to comply with the RPS. Click here for fact sheet. – Establish a statewide solar target of 25% solar by 2030, eliminate limits on solar net-metering, and ensure low-income solar and community-shared solar projects receive fair compensation. Click here for fact sheet. – Give local municipalities and community members a voice when pipeline decisions are being made by the Department of Public Utilities. Click here for fact sheet. – Incorporate the principle of environmental justice into provisions of the MA Environmental Policy Act. (Environmental justice is the right to be protected from environmental pollution and to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment regardless of race, income, national origin, or English language proficiency.) Click here for fact sheet. – Support public safety through the decommissioning of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant, with increased funding from the owner/operator and by enlarging the Emergency Planning Zone to a 50-mile radius around the plant. Click here for fact sheet. Click here for more details and specific bill numbers. Call before Friday, February 3, to ask our Wellesley legislators to support these goals! Senator Creem (for Wellesley precincts A, C, D, E, H): 617-722-1639 Senator Ross (for Wellesley precincts B, F, G): 617-722-1555 Representative Peisch (all Wellesley): 617-722-2070
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  • What To Say When Discussing Climate Change

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    Wondering how to handle the next climate change discussion you engage in? Get insights on this topic at the upcoming Climate Reality Talk given by Sustainable Wellesley’s President, Quentin Prideaux or contact us at info@sustainablewellesley.com to have him come speak at an event you would like to organize. Prepare to be educated and inspired. With the U.S.’ part in the Paris Climate Accord under discussion, it is vital that we all get involved. These talks are a great way to do so. Grab a friend and relative, neighbor or colleague and learn more.
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  • We Marched — Now Let’s Take Action!

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    Millions of people took to the streets this weekend in a passionate response to the Presidential inauguration and backward thinking of the new administration. Many of you were out there too — and so were we! Sustainable Wellesley folks marched in Boston and Washington DC to express outrage at the climate denial that is taking hold of the federal government. Here’s what we heard at the rallies: It is up to US to take action. This Wednesday, January 25, you can take action — join us on Beacon Hill at the Mass Power Forward Lobby Day! Sustainable Wellesley is participating in a day of clean energy advocacy with the statewide Mass Power Forward coalition. Join scheduled meetings with Wellesley legislators State Representative Alice Peisch, State Senator Cynthia Creem, and State Senator Richard Ross. Environmental issues will slide to the bottom of the agenda in the new legislative session unless our elected officials hear from us. Click HERE for a summary of the Mass Power Forward priorities for the 2017-2018 legislative session. Click HERE to sign up for January 25, and to receive specifics on the schedule, logistics, and fact sheets. DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, January 25, 9:45 am to 3 pm LOCATION: Meet at the Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy Street, Boston (near the State House)
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  • WASTE: Take The 1 Minute Survey

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    Not only does the Town of Wellesley pay $86/ton to haul our trash to a landfill in New York State, the US EPA estimates that food waste makes up nearly 30% of the weight of trash deposited in landfills.  This waste produces methane emissions that create up to 80 times more greenhouse gas impact than CO2. Thus, Wellesley’s Reduce Reuse Recycle {3R} Working Group issued a survey to explore ways to cut down on the amount of food waste sent to landfills. They are asking residents and business to please take this food waste diversion survey. Perhaps a long term goal is to send food waste to a local compost facility, returning it to the earth as healthy fertilizer.
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  • More Treasures at The Wellesley Free Library

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    The Wellesley Free Library is a treasure for our community. That treasure is even more impressive these days. They recently opened the “library of things” area where library card holders can borrow non-traditional library items such as toys, games, tools, etc for up to 3 weeks. As part of the Town wide effort to reduce waste, this is a welcomed addition to the library. Items added all the time so check in frequently.One hidden gem in the “library of things” is a little easy-to-use device called the Kill-A-Watt meter. It will enable you to measure the electricity usage of electrical items in your home. Go CHECK IT OUT.
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  • Energy Savings From Your Cable Box

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    Written by: Ellen Korpi, Chair of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee Contact: sec@wellesleyma.gov For a number of years, the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee has been highlighting the “vampire” electricity use of set-top cable boxes. While our TV sets are turned off, the energy use barely changes. Most of us have several of these boxes in our homes and hate to turn them off because then we can’t arrange recordings remotely and because rebooting is time consuming. In some homes with multiple pieces of older equipment, the cable boxes are using as much energy as a refrigerator, even if the TVs are rarely turned on. In December 2013, Comcast and Verizon participated in a voluntary set-top conservation agreement that the EPA estimates when fully implemented across the industry will result in about $1 billion in annual residential electricity savings and reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road each year. For Comcast customers in Wellesley, the best way to participate in this new technology is to upgrade cable boxes that are more than a few years old and switch to Comcast’s X1 platform. This is how it worked at my house last spring: • Comcast estimates that our new cable box uses 200 kWh/year of power. Comcast and their representative indicated that comparable boxes 6 years ago used at least 25% more energy. (This depends on the cluster of services provided by the box and the individual model. A neighbor reported that his replacement box reduced energy consumption by 60%.) • Our two cable boxes were replaced by one cable box and one “dummy” box (“DTA on the chart in the link above) that uses an estimated 70% less power per year. For those with more than two cable boxes, the savings are multiplied. • Our new cable box has a Power Saver mode. The chart in the link above indicates that this “light sleep” mode reduces the power use from 21.9 to 21.2 watts. • Our new system has many new features including higher quality TV pictures, voice recognition commands, the ability to record more programs simultaneously and access on both TVs for all recordings. • In the transition, we had to forfeit our existing inventory of recordings on our old DVR. Because the primary cable box only goes into “light” rather than “deep” sleep in Power Saver mode, it’s benefit is negligible and it is not Energy Star that requires a sleep mode with at least a 40% reduction in power use. The technology is well developed and readily available from manufacturers for deep sleep mode but what is holding back progress, at least in part, is that it requires technical changes in how Comcast servers communicate with each of our individual homes. According to a Comcast representative, they are moving towards more dramatic energy savings through new technology that will replace the set-top box completely with a cloud-based app. The beauty of the X1 platform is that it requires no change in customer behavior nor compromise of the user’s experience. I estimate that through the combination of the more efficient later model box and the use of the “dummy” box for our second TV, our household will reduce our annual electricity use by as much as 4%. This upgrade was free and did not increase our monthly bill. For many other Comcast customers, depending on what plan or contract they are on, this will be the case. To find out whether you can take this earth friendly step, reduce your energy bill AND get more features, contact Comcast Customer Service at 800-934-6489. I hope someone reading this is a Verizon customer and can educate us on what opportunities they provide to upgrade the energy efficiency of their set top boxes.
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  • House Torn Down Every 3.8 Days in Wellesley

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    Dear Sustainable Wellesley Readers,   Does it seem like there are a lot of teardowns in Wellesley? It’s not your imagination – a Wellesley home is torn down every 3.8 days. Teardowns are not unique to Wellesley, but the pace of demolitions is greater than in any other town. This is because all neighboring towns as well as 150 towns across the Commonwealth have a Demolition Review Bylaw in place. Wellesley does not have this bylaw, so we are a very attractive town to developers. In 2015 alone there were 95 teardowns in our town. Compare that with 42 in 2007.   Why should we care that our current housing stock is being torn down and replaced with large “speculative” McMansions built by developers? Here are just a few reasons: loss of our mature trees and tree canopy due to clear-cutting of lots loss of valuable topsoil due to regrading of landscapes loss of sun, sightlines, and privacy due to towering houses deeper basements mean ledge blasting and damage to nearby homes more lot coverage means more polluted stormwater runoff and flooded neighbor basements the original home’s materials, and the energy and resources used to build it, are wasted and sent to landfills neighborhood character and economic diversity are lost home values are decreased, as the remaining neighborhood properties are now worth only the value of the land and the glut of high-end supply is depressing values. What can be done to slow the teardowns? Our Historical Commission is proposing a Demolition Review Bylaw for Wellesley, which will put us on par with our peer communities and remove the target that exists on our town. It will be up for a vote at this spring’s Town Meeting. How would it work? The process would only review structures built prior to December 31, 1949, and the delay would only be triggered if the structure is deemed “preferably preserved” for its historical or architectural value. A public hearing would occur for these eligible structures and the Historical Commission would vote whether or not to delay demolition. If a delay is imposed, the Commission will encourage the owner to file a waiver to pursue an addition or renovation. (There are many lovely older homes in Wellesley that have been renovated to fit modern-day lifestyles.) However, if a compromise cannot be achieved after 12 months, the house can be torn down. Will a Demolition Review Bylaw hurt property values? The Historical Commission’s research shows that in recent years, towns with Demolition Review Bylaws have significantly outperformed Wellesley in property value appreciation. Want to learn more? View the Wellesley Historical Commission’s excellent presentations to the Advisory Committee [October 26, 2016] and the Planning Board [December 5, 2016]. Here’s How to Act Now: Sign the online teardown petition at http://wellesleysmartgrowth.org. Attend upcoming Board of Selectmen meeting (January 17 @7pm at Town Hall), where the Historical Commission will be discussing this topic and seeking the Selectmen’s endorsement of the bylaw. Forward this message to your Wellesley friends and neighbors who care about the character and economic diversity of Wellesley and want to encourage smart, sustainable growth, and ask them to do the same. More to come – We will be in touch over the coming weeks with more information and with additional ways for you to consider supporting this effort. “Wellesley, the Beautiful” didn’t just happen – it was planned this way. Let’s not let it slip away home by home. Please join the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team and support the upcoming Demolition Review Bylaw. Best Regards, Jeff, Lise, Paul, Phyllis, Quentin and Scott Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team
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  • “Show up, Dive in, Stay at it”

    action group Wil Quentin Mary Lise
    And we did. A full house filled the art studio last Sunday night at Sustainable Wellesley’s 2017 Kick Off Event with mingling, food and drink, break out groups and of course, inspiration. After a quick 2016 highlight recap — click here for an impressive view of all we accomplished last year — the more than 50 party attenders broke out into action groups to discuss some projects for 2017 including: State energy legislation Natural gas leaks Grow Green Wellesley – protecting our groundwater resources Supporting Wellesley’s goal to reach #2 in the nation with more Power to Choose opt ins for clean, local, easy to get renewable energy Historical preservation bylaw Town Policies– Sustainable Stakeholders, Unified Plan, North 40, 900 Worcester, HHU, etc. “Each topic discussed tonight impacts everyone in Wellesley – ‘sustainably-minded’ or not,” said one guest. “Being together and looking ahead at 2017 made this a valuable, fun evening,” said another empowered guest. One of these topics resonate with you? Simply send us a message and we will connect with folks leading the charge on the issues that matter most to you.
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  • This is Not Just for the Ladies

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    On Saturday, January 21, folks from across the state will unite in Boston to march in solidarity in the Women’s March for America in Boston. Let your environmentalist voice be heard by bringing signs that emphasize you are marching to safeguard the protections that exist and to push for more. This peaceful, nonpartisan march is open to everyone. Consider jumping on the 9:47am train from Wellesley Hills into Back Bay station, then walking with others to the Common. For more information about going into town with Wellesley residents and/or making signs, contact laurellanders2003@yahoo.com. You can also meet up with folks from 350 MASS and MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action when they assemble at the Arlington Street Church, UU, (corner of Boylston and Arlington Streets) between 9:30 and 10:30 am, before walking over to the Common with a big yellow parasol. For more information, contact Amy Benjamin at interfaithclimatecoalition@gmail.com.    
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  • Coming to YOUR Neighborhood

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    The Town of Wellesley is creating a Unified Plan to create a vision for the town’s future. The plan will include goals and strategies for the town’s physical development and a framework for effective implementation by Town Government. This is your chance to talk about specific issues in your neighborhood and comment on a draft vision for the town. Wellesley’s 8 precincts have been divided into three planning districts made up of adjacent precincts with similar character. Click here to find your precinct. Precincts A, B, and G Wednesday, January 18, 2017 7pm to 9pm Hardy Elementary School, Gymnasium 293 Weston Road Precincts C and D Tuesday, January 24, 2017 7pm to 9pm Warren Building, Room 008     90 Washington Street Precincts E, F, and H Wednesday, January 25, 2017 7pm to 9pm Town Hall, Great Hall 525 Washington Street Please share this email with your friends and neighbors in Wellesley. You can find more information about these events and the Wellesley Unified Plan at wellesleyunifiedplan.com.
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  • Edible Garden Event

    school garden event 2017
    An edible schoolyard is a great way to enrich both habitat and community. Inspire the next generation at a school, or just learn more for your home garden at this free event. School Gardens Wednesday, January 25th 9.30 Doors open in the Parkman Room at Elm Bank 10.30 Guest Speaker, John Forti, Director of Horticulture for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, begins Sponsored by the Wellesley Garden Study Group (active in town for about 65 years) and Wellesley Green Schools This event will explore the heirloom and native plants of our region and how these storied plants can be integrated into curriculum from seed to table.  The talk will inspire the interest of the home gardener and the school gardener alike.    Forti also serves as the Governor of Slow Food Massachusetts, was formerly the Director of Horticulture at Strawberry Banke Museum and Plimoth Plantation Museum.  Over 20,000 follow his blog as “The Heirloom Gardener – John Forti” on facebook. 
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  • Book Lovers, Get Ready

    Three open books on wooden table on natural background
    The Friends of the Wellesley Free Library’s Winter Book Sale is right around the corner.  Members Preview is on Thursday, Feb. 2nd from 5:00PM – 9:00PM. Not a member? Join now at friendsofwellesleyfreelibraries.org with a tax deductible membership to take advantage of the advance sale for the best selection. Public Sale: Friday, Feb. 3rd, 9:00AM – 6:00PM Saturday, Feb. 4th, 9:00AM – 5:00PM Sunday, Feb. 5th, 1:00PM – 5:00PM ($7 per bag sale). Through book sales and membership, the Friends are able to fund all adult and children’s library programs, Jackie’s Room programs, the Annual Arnold Lecture, museum passes, maintenance of the fish tank and support library staff enrichment. Thanks for supporting your local library! See you at the Main Library, 530 Washington St in the Wakelin room.
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  • Tonight’s Festivities

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    Sunday Night 5.30pm – 8.30pm Sustainable Wellesley’s 2017 Kick-off Event Meet, mingle, learn, engage, and get even more empowered to make a difference. Enjoy a fun and productive evening in the art barn studio at 161 Oakland St.  Rejoice in all we have accomplished in 2016, and discover what is in store for 2017. From local politics and gas leaks, to eco-landscaping and demolition delays. Plus, Power to Choose, food recovery in the schools, and other Town-wide initiatives going on. We will meet for an hour and the rest of the time will be discussing and mingling. It’s a new year so please join us even if you have not done so in the past. Bring a friend and consider carpooling – see below. There will be some parking on site and some across the street at 166 Oakland. Let us know you’re coming, and if you can contribute here. If you wish to carpool you may put a comment below asking/ offering a share. You don’t need to fill the name and email fields but will obviously need to find each other somehow.
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  • Welcome Back: Here is Your Post Holiday Recap :-)

    What is next
    o            If you care about our town, WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO RUN! You can run for any Board, whether you have previously served in town government or not, and whether or not someone else is running! Deadline is January 17th so head over to Town Clerk’s office soon. More details here. There are many important issues that will be decided or voted on by Boards and by Town Meeting in the months to come. Be part of it, including the fate of the North 40; the closing or renovation of Hunnewell, Hardy, and Upham schools; a new private sports facility at 900 Worcester Street; our town’s commitment to renewable energy; and countless others. o            For only $3 a month the typical Wellesley home can receive 10% of its energy from renewable energy. That is a really simple way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. WELLESLEY’S POWER TO CHOOSE PROGRAM enables residents like YOU to pay a small premium to purchase 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of your power from regional renewable sources (such as the Spruce Mountain Wind Farm in Maine). More than 10% of Wellesley residents already participate in this program, making us 3rd in the US in 2014 for voluntary renewable energy participation. However, approximately 200 new households could move Wellesley up to 2nd place! Learn more and sign up here. o            In Wellesley, so many decisions will be based on the UPCOMING UNIFIED PLAN. Lets show how strong our sustainability constituency is by letting the Planning Board know what the community — us — wants! Upcoming meeting dates here. o            Go BEHIND THE SCENES to learn about the design and construction of a net zero energy home that will produce as much energy annually as it consumes. Check out a home that will achieve exceptional energy performance, healthy indoor air quality, superior thermal comfort, and long term durability. While the home is under construction, you will get the unique perspective of seeing the building and systems while the walls are still open for viewing, plus a short explanatory presentation by the experts. Details here. o            SCHOOL GARDENS event on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017. Have one? Want one? Learn more at this free event by John Forti, Director of Horticulture at Elm Bank. Be there by 10.30 in The Parkman Room at Elm Bank. o            REMINDER: BRING YOUR BAGS! The town’s new bag bylaw kicks in this month, plus its the waste reduction and energy/cost savings thing to do. Simply move those re-usable bags you have to the front seat of your car, or the basket on your bike so you don’t forget them. o            Don’t miss the next Wellesley GREEN COLLABORATIVE MEETING this Wednesday, January 11 from 9:15 to 11 am, in the Wellesley Free Library’s Wakelin Room. Topics include the Historical Commission’s proposed demolition delay; WasteWise Wellesley campaign; NRC eco-landscaping initiative, Grow Green Wellesley; and WHS student presentations on community projects.
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  • Sustainable Wellesley’s 2017 Kick-Off Action Meeting and Potluck Dinner

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    We will review some of the sustainability highlights from 2016 in Wellesley, outline some of our major plans for 2017 and then break for drinks, food, and discussion.
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  • Support Sustainable Wellesley Through 2017!

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    Please help Sustainable Wellesley continue our work in 2017, we are an independent and all-volunteer group (not a Town body) so we completely rely on your support.
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  • Get Your Papers & Run For Office

    Cool Image from http://www.theoffbeattimes.com/
      The new year will bring a new era in Washington, with little hope of progress for our planet at the Federal level The members of the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team are feeling that now, more than ever before, our best chance of having an impact on environmental issues will be at the local and state level. And we have heard from many of you who are feeling an urgent need to take action. So we have a suggestion: Run for a position on a town Board or as a Wellesley Town Meeting Member! Now is the time to get your name on the ballot. We have made great progress on many issues of sustainability in our community And we have a lot of room for improvement. In the face of the climate crisis, we need to elect more people for whom sustainability is among their top priorities. We are fortunate to live in a highly democratic town with many elected Boards and offices (see list below), and we have an elected Town Meeting that generally meets once a year to decide critically important issues for our town’s future. In years past, there has been a general sense in Wellesley that departing incumbents should “choose” their successors, and incumbents or their chosen successors should run unopposed. We would like to encourage a new tradition in which it is the voters who choose among candidates and we have a polite and healthy exchange of views. No one should be discouraged from running just because someone else is running or because they weren’t “chosen” by someone who is stepping down. If you care about our town, we encourage you to run You can run for any Board, whether you have previously served in town government or not, and whether or not someone else is running! There are many important issues that will be decided or voted on by Boards and by Town Meeting in the months to come, including the fate of the North 40; the closing or renovation of Hunnewell, Hardy, and Upham schools; a new private sports facility at 900 Worcester Street; our town’s commitment to renewable energy; and countless others. Stay tuned, in the coming weeks leading up to the March election Sustainable Wellesley plans to be asking candidates their opinions on these and other issues. To run for any town position Start by visiting the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall. The clerk will provide you with nomination papers to gather signatures of Wellesley residents. For town Boards and offices, you will need to gather 50 signatures by January 17, 2017. For Town Meeting, you will need to gather only 10 signatures from residents of your precinct byJanuary 31, 2017. Elections will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Here is a list of the Boards for which there are open seats, with the names of those residents who have obtained papers so far. If no one else is running you may run completely unopposed. If there are more candidates than seats then your joining the race will, at worst, get Sustainability on the agenda and the winner’s approach to conserving the character of our Town on the record. What do you have to lose? Moderator (single office): Thomas Frisardi Board of Assessors (one position) Board of Health (one position): Shepard Cohen (incumbent) Board of Public Works (one position) Board of Recreation (one position) Board of Selectmen (two positions): Beth Sullivan Woods; Thomas Ulfelder Housing Authority (one position): Michelle Chalmers Library Board of Trustees (two positions): Ann-Mara Lanza (incumbent); Ann Rappaport Natural Resources Commission (two positions): Joan Gaughan (incumbent); Regina LaRocque; Lise Olney (incumbent) Planning Board (one position): Catherine Johnson (incumbent) School Committee (two positions) Will you step up and be the change you want to see?
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  • Too Many Catalogues? WHS Students Will Rid You of Them This Saturday

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    Have catalogues you don’t want to get in the mail anymore? Worry not! The WHS Climate Action Club will unsubscribe you from them. All you need to do is drop off your catalogues at the RDF THIS SATURDAY, December 17th, or in the boxes in any house office at the high school until January 4th. Don’t feel like carrying the whole catalogue? Just bring the back page with your name and the catalogue’s. Easy, check that off the list.
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  • Your Thoughts on Wellesley’s Future

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    Here in Wellesley, so many decisions will be based on the upcoming Unified Plan. Lets show how strong our sustainability constituency is by letting the Planning Board know what the community — us — wants! We now have an opportunity to say what we want and let the plan reflect our priorities. Last Saturday was the first well-attended (even in the midst of the holiday season) event where folks were engaged through a variety of mediums to prioritize what they appreciated, and would like to see differently here in Wellesley. Your opportunity to help decide Wellesley’s future will be in January at the neighborhood meetings so save the appropriate date. To find out which meeting/precinct is for your neighborhood click here. Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – 7pm to 9pm: Precincts A, B, and G Tuesday, January 24, 2017 – 7pm to 9pm: Precincts C and D Wednesday, January 25, 2017 – 7pm to 9pm: Precincts E, F, and H
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  • Check Out A Net Zero Home

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    Go behind the scenes to learn about the design and construction of a net zero energy home that will produce as much energy annually as it consumes. Architects ZeroEnergy Design, and contractors Auburndale Builders will explain how this home will achieve exceptional energy performance, healthy indoor air quality, superior thermal comfort, and long term durability. While the home is under construction, you will get the unique perspective of seeing the building and systems while the walls are still open for viewing, plus a short explanatory presentation by the experts. DATE:  January 18, 2017, Wednesday at 12PM LOCATION:  Newton MA (Address provided approximately a week before tour to confirmed attendees.) DETAILS:  Attendance is free.  RSVP required! Reserve your space by emailing info@zeroenergy.com with name & phone number.
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  • 2017 Sustainable Wellesley Party

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    Join us Sunday, January 8th from 5.30 – 8.30 for Sustainable Wellesley’s Annual Party. The holidays will be behind you and new year’s resolutions under way, so come by and meet some new folks, see friends, join the discussion about sustainable things happening around town that affect you, your neighbors, family and friends. You will be glad you did. Never been to a Sustainable Wellesley event before? No problem. You are welcome to bring friends. Please RSVP to info@sustainablewellesley.com and we will send you the location.  
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  • Many Important Issues at the Planning Board Meeting TONIGHT

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    Lots on Deck at the Planning Board Meeting TONIGHT Wellesley Town Hall, Great Hall, 6:30 pm The Wellesley Planning Board has a packed agenda tonight and a lot of sustainability-related issues will be discussed, including: a proposal to require a delay for house demolitions, a proposal to change how house size is calculated for projects that come under the “Large House Review” process (known cryptically as “LHR TLAG”) a proposal for a bylaw amendment on outdoor lighting a presentation by the Sustainable Energy Committee on gaining “Green Community” designation for Wellesley (which would allow the town to apply for state grants) Click to see the agenda here.
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  • Piloting at WHS

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    In an effort to add more sustainabilty practices around the schools, the Wellesley Facilities Department is conducting a pilot project of the Tennant Orbio os3 Generator at Wellesley High School. The Orbio Multi-Surface Cleaner is certified as environmentally responsible by Green Seal, an independent, science-based standards developer. The multi-surface cleaner uses a dilution of a product that meets Green Seal Standard GS-37 based on effective performance, concentration of a product, minimized/recycled packaging, and protective limits on VOCs and human & environmental toxicity. This machine uses water, water softening tablets (salt), and an electrostatic charge to make a multi surface cleaner and disinfectant that can replace 3 to 4 of currently dispensed chemicals. Michael T. Santangelo, Custodial Services Manager, Facilities Maintenance Department for the Town of Wellesley, said “this easy and efficient means of making-your-own cleaners, also has the added benefits of no fuel used to deliver the product, and less cardboard and plastic packaging added into the waste stream.”
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  • Take One Action TODAY

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    Today, Sustainable Wellesley is observing a National Day of Action to honor the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and other indigenous peoples who are protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Missouri River. Organizers at 350 MA for a Better Future and others in the climate movement in Massachusetts have been working with local Native American organizers to determine how best to express support for Native peoples who are working to protect the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux and the millions of others who live downstream from the pipeline (click here for explanatory map). Non-native allies have been requested to honor the commitment of these water protectors in two ways: 1. Educating ourselves about Native history and Indigenous sovereignty, especially here in New England 2. Donating, making phone calls, or otherwise showing public support for the #NoDAPL struggle Here are two organizations that have great resources to help you take action TODAY! Click here for more information from 350 MA for a Better Future. Click here for recommended actions from UU Mass Action (a local Unitarian Universalist organization committed to issues of social justice).
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  • Make a Difference Easily – for Less Than That Cup of Coffee In Your Hand

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    For only $3 a month the typical Wellesley home can receive 10% of its energy from renewable energy. That is a really simple way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. Wellesley’s Power To Choose program enables residents like YOU to pay a small premium to purchase 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of your power from regional renewable sources (such as the Spruce Mountain Wind Farm in Maine). More than 10% of Wellesley residents already participate in this program, making us 3rd in the US in 2014 for voluntary renewable energy participation. However, approximately 200 new households could move Wellesley up to 2nd place! Did you know? A typical Wellesley home (750 kWh/month) that shifts all of its electricity to renewable sources for one year, provides the same environmental benefits as driving 15,000 LESS miles in the average car Our Town’s electric rates are so low that even a 100% participant would have a lower rate than residents of surrounding towns such as Needham and Natick Please consider choosing Renewable Energy as it provides cleaner air & water, a stronger energy future, and greater energy independence. You can easily sign up to participate at 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% online HERE or by calling the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant at 781-489-7766. They can also provide an estimated cost, based on your home’s electric use and participation rate. Once you are signed up, the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant adds 4 cents per kWh to your bill each month and the proportional amount to its renewable energy purchases. You will see your percentage of participation and the amount of the surcharge on your monthly electric bill listed as “Residential Renewable.” There are no installations or hookups, this is simply a paper transaction and can be canceled at any time. What a gift to your family and our future.
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  • Locally Crafted Gifts That Carve Out a Better Future

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    A Locally Crafted Gift That Carves Out A Better Future Handmade cutting boards are created by youth in the UTEC Woodworking social enterprise from 100% reclaimed east coast hardwoods When you choose a UTEC cutting board, you support our social enterprise and our mission. Your cutting board is a beautiful, high-quality gift for a loved one or colleague. And your purchase breaks barriers for young people at UTEC, who are working hard in our social enterprises to carve out better futures for themselves. Find UTEC cutting boards in 11 Whole Foods Market stores or order online at Preserve Products – and ship your gifts anywhere! And don’t forget about the Wellesley Square Art Walk this coming Sunday, in conjunction with the Holiday Stroll.  Find a variety of local gifts from Wellesley merchants and local artists (both emerging and established).
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  • Thankful for You

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    We are so thankful for our community and the amazing efforts folks are making. While the federal government is not acting urgently enough to address climate change and other environmental challenges, there are huge opportunities for progress at the state and local level. Is the future written? No. Are there things we can do? Yes. What do we do when there’s work to be done? We do it. Together. To make a difference in our community, we need your help. Many of you are stepping up and lending your voice, your time, your talents, and your passion. In the same spirit, this coming Tuesday happens to be #GivingTuesday — The global day of giving back.  This annual celebration of giving has spread across the country and world, inspiring people everywhere to support causes and nonprofit organizations that are making a difference. It’s your turn to get involved.  Please consider being part of the #GivingTuesday movement and support Sustainable Wellesley and other non profits you are thankful for. If you can, please make a gift here. We thank you for your support. You can also support Sustainable Wellesley every time you shop on Amazon – at no cost to you – by going to Smile.Amazon.com. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, set your supporting organization to Sustainable Wellesley. You’ll find the same experience and prices, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Sustainable Wellesley to support our programs. Your generosity funds schools, transportation, gas leaks, renewable energy, pesticides and other important initiatives in Town. Thank you for your support!  
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  • Your Seat

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    One of the ways you can make a huge impact in our community is by running for a seat on an elected town board or in Town Meeting. Town elections will be held on March 7, 2017; all you have to do is gather some signatures to have your name appear on the ballot. Nomination forms for signatures are available at the Town Clerk’s office at Town Hall. The Wellesley League of Women Voters is having a meeting on “How to Run for Town Office,” Wednesday, January 11, at 7 pm (location to be determined – check http://www.lwvwellesley.org). There are 10 elected town boards and two elected offices in Wellesley: Board of Assessors Board of Health Board of Public Works Board of Selectmen Housing Authority Library Trustees Moderator Natural Resources Commission Planning Board Recreation Commission School Committee Town Clerk If you are interested in running, nomination forms are available on December 8th and due on January 18. You will need 50 signatures of Wellesley residents. Running for Town Meeting is another option. One-third of the 240 Town Meeting Members are elected each year – 10 from each of the 8 precincts. Nomination forms are available on December 8th and due on February 1st. You will need 10 signatures from the residents in your precinct. Annual Town Meeting is held in the spring and decides some of the most important issues in the town, including amendments to town bylaws and appropriations to town departments. Make your voice heard in Wellesley town government!
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  • What is Your Vision for Wellesley?

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    How can we make Wellesley an even better place to live, work and play? Come to the Community Visioning Forum on December 10th from 9-12 and help shape the future of Wellesley. Environmental sustainability measures woven into the unified plan can enhance our resources, prevent harm to the natural environment and human health, and benefit the social and economic well-being of the community for the sake of current and future generations. Share your thoughts on climate action plans, transportation, further conservation and protection of our natural resources, greenhouse gas reduction, and other ideas of yours to make our community even more environmentally conscious.
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  • Turkey Trot

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    Did you see these? On the heals of America Recycles Day, the Wellesley Turkey Trot jumped in to do their part for the national campaign that raises awareness about the benefits of recycling and buying products made with recycled materials. Thanks for reducing, reusing and recycling this holiday weekend. Whether you ran it or not, you can support the Wellesley Turkey Trot Foundation HERE. The organization supports local charities in the areas of cancer, medical research, education and community service. Something we can all support.
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  • Wellesley’s Changing Wildlife

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    Come learn about “Wellesley’s Changing Wildlife” Thursday, December 1st at 7pm at the Wellesley Free Library, Wakelin Room​  Red Tail Hawk at the North 40 ​ How are climate, habitat, hunting, and invasives changing Wellesley birds and mammals? Climate change is upon us and there is a shift of southern species northwards. Invasive alien plants from other continents escaping from horticulture and our gardens are impacting many habitats. Birds from overseas are competing with native species. Learn about these newcomers and how they are affecting our backyards and wild lands. Peter Alden is the author of 15 books including the National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England. Free and open to the public.Sponsored by the Wellesley Conservation Council and the Wellesley Free Library.More information can be found at http://www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org/wcc-news, Like this event on Facebook,  or email info@wellesleyconservationcouncil.orgThe Wellesley Conservation Council is our local 501(c)(3) non-profit land trust that protects 14 sanctuaries across more than 45 acres of natural land in Wellesley and bordering lands in Needham and Weston. More information about our mission, the sanctuaries and membership can be found at www.wellesleyconservationcouncil.org.
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  • Saturday Shopping & Sustainability

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    Come visit Sustainable Wellesley at the Wellesley Marketplace – on the 2nd floor mezzanine at Wellesley High School – this Saturday, November 19th between 9am and 4pm. Find out where the gas leaks are that are near your home, sign up for renewable energy via Wellesley’s Power to Choose Program and talk to us about pesticides and eco landscaping ideas. Then swing by the many artisans with quality crafted reclaimed, salvaged, organic and natural products. For example, you will love Folk Couture‘s one-of-a-kind, hand-stitched, up cycled stunning and comfortable clothing. Tickets are available online here, at Roche Bros. and at the door.  Premium shopping tickets ($20) offer exclusive “early bird shopping” from 9 am to 10 am.   Premium tickets, which must be purchased in advance, can be bought at the Wellesley Roche Brothers courtesy booth or online at WHJWC.org.  Regular admission is $15; admission for seniors and students is $5.  
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  • What is Next? Join Us Sunday to Discuss

    Photo from Time Magazine
    It is more pressing than ever to raise the number and volume of our voices! Channel your energy into action. Come to the Sustainable Wellesley Action Group Meeting on Sunday, November 20th from 1-3 pm at 75 Emerson Road. There are clear actions we can all do to step up our game. We will discuss general topics, than break-out into action groups. These meetings are on time, leave you with a sense of purpose and a great way to meet new folks as we have fun along the way. All are welcome—bring a friend! Snacks provided. Please email us to confirm your attendance at info@SustainableWellesley.com.
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  • Buy Local For Thanksgiving This Sunday

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    This Sunday, after the Action meeting, swing by the PRE-HOLIDAY MARKET before 4 p.m inside the Historic Stone UU Church at 309 Washington St. for lots of local Thanksgiving delights. It will be a festive place to shop for your favorite poultry, pork, steaks, sausages, ground beef and other goodies that you enjoyed all summer from Fixx Chocolates, Tea is the Way, Nu3Kidz pancakes, Chrissy’s Crumble, and more! Enjoy acoustic trio Cold Car and shop for cookbooks and gifts at the Wellesley Books Pop-Up Store.
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  • Inspiring Highlights From Wellesley Green Schools’ Summit

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    More than 25 Town employees, committee directors, parents, teachers, and students gathered together last week to join their voices and have a roundtable discussion about all things sustainable at Wellesley Public Schools (Dana Hall too). The annual Green Schools Summit guest speaker was Eric Magers who has created an intriguing model at Manchester Essex High School where 120+ students are part of a green team course. He inspired many with his curriculum which: promotes environmental literacy encourages student service-learning projects enriches students’ learning experience by developing 21st-century and e-STEAM skills empowers students to take on personal environmental responsibility and civic accountability Mary Gard, of Wellesley Green Schools and Sustainable Wellesley, reminded folks that a few years ago school administrators, town officials, parents and teachers were discussing the creation of the new Wellesley High School. The first goal was to create a school with sustainable design features and technology that would support the Town’s energy goals while also creating a healthy learning environment for students and teachers. The second goal was to create a green community that would live and breathe in it. We now have a Massachusetts Certified High Performance School (status as defined by the Massachusetts School Building Authority), and its time to reach the second part of that goal and utilize the building we have paid for. What amazes folks the most at the Green School Summit is the vast amount of programing going on across the district and the cross pollination that occurs. Some highlights include: Town boards working together to create building guidelines that help the town meet it’s carbon reduction goals More waste reduction and food waste recovery are happening many thanks to the SEC, NRC and the Manager of Wellesley Food Service’s Provider, Whitsons. Bates School is piloting an outdoor learning project, created scarecrows for Festival with reusable materials and are participating in the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge Wellesley High School Evolution students are working on a variety of town community projects including aquaponics, solar and renewable energy, reusable bag and tree adoption initiatives To promote using less single use plastics, Wellesley Green Schools offered loaner H20 pitchers for meetings and shared the Smart event guide Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging HHU and the Town to choose a scenario that creates the least, long term negative environmental implications, and the greatest sustainable opportunities for our community WMS has new science curriculum with interesting programing including: – 6th grade – 1/2 a year on energy including renewables – 7th grade – part of the ecology section they are doing a program with the Charles river watershed and Community Rowing Inc (CRI) doing water quality testing and looking at drain channels (leaks and all) – 8th grade – hydroponics in the newly renovated greenhouse WHS has local plantings/landscaping Sustainable Energy Committee will be re-launching Power to Choose Schofield will have the Garbage is My Bag assembly coming up courtesy of the Wellesley RDF Wellesley’s Department of Public Works is adding items the town can recycle and working on Waste Wise Wellesley Program Hunnewell is enthusiasically re launching green team Upham is working on recycling lunch trays The Natural Resources Commission gave a bag ban update Sprague School is  working on some no idling programs now and will do a survey of students and faculty to see what direction green team should head Dana Hall is looking to coordinate with WPS on ideas and methodologies -working with Natural Resources Commission on some projects with green team and recently showed “Before the Flood” to very intrigued students. Custodial Services now has a new piece of equipment that they are piloting at WHS which will pull even more chemicals out of the line, eliminate packaging and transportation (cost and waste!) Present WHS students couldn’t make meeting but wrote in to say they are excited and eager to help raise awareness more For those unable to make the meeting, or interested in learning more, simply email us at info@SustainableWellesley.com. We are here to help.
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  • To Our Sustainable Wellesley community:

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      In the aftermath of the election, we wanted to reach out to you — our Wellesley neighbors — who share our deep concern for the environment and our planet. The election outcome has sent our country into uncharted waters. For the first time, we will have a president who considers climate change to be a matter of belief, rather than science. In this new era of uncertainty, it will be up to local communities such as ours to continue to promote actions and decisions that will protect our planet. We will need to organize as never before. In the meantime, we invite you to share your thoughts with us about how you are feeling and processing the events of this week. We are here for you and we are listening. Our email address is: info@sustainablewellesley.com, or feel free to message us here on Facebook.    In solidarity,   Jeff, Lise, Paul, Phyllis, Quentin and Scott   Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team   
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  • Buying A Car? Read On.

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    In the market for a new car? Wondering how you can compare the carbon footprint of various car makes and models? Try out http://carboncounter.com/. MIT’s Trancik Lab designed it to help people shopping for a car (new or used). You may be surprised that some of the big electric cars have a higher carbon footprint than some hybrids!
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  • No Candy Waste

    All Metro-West schools and organizations are invited to join Wellesley Dental Group’s 9th Annual Community Candy Drive to benefit the U.S. ​troops serving overseas. From November 1st to November 9th, Wellesley Dental Group will be collecting candy, as well as handwritten notes and cards, to be sent to American servicemen via non-profit organization CarePacks, along with oral hygiene supplies. Continuing last years tradition, the competition is bigger than ever! The Wellesley Dental Group will be awarding a grand prize of $1000 to the school PTO that donates the most candy​​​. The winning school will be selected based on the amount of candy donated divided by the number of students in the school, to ensure fair competition. The Candy Drive is open to any school or institution that is interested in participating in this cause. The Wellesley Dental Group also invites schools and organizations to be a part of their ​Veteran’s Day ​e​vent on November 10th at 10:00 am, at their office in Wellesley. Principals, faculty members, parents, and students (with the permission of their​ parents and​ teachers) are welcome to attend. Local institutions, media and photographers are also invited to participate.​ RSVP requested.​ To schedule a candy drop-off, please call 781-237-9071 or email the Wellesley Dental Group at ​candydrive@wellesleydentalgroup.com.
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  • Looking for Volunteers to Interview Food Waste Vendors

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    Volunteers needed: As part of our WasteWise Wellesley initiative, we are looking for ways to reduce waste that goes to landfills.  Food waste is a particular problem because it emits methane gas as it deteriorates in the landfill, a greenhouse gas as much as 80 times worse for the climate than carbon dioxide.  Food waste as a percentage of our residential trash is estimated to be 20% to 30% by weight. We have a number of initiatives underway that address diverting surplus food and food waste.  Among these are the pilot project at Bates School that will hopefully be rolled out to other schools, diversion of surplus cooked food from WMS that is sent to Wellesley’s Food Pantry and the colleges’ food waste diversion that is mandated by the State.  We are looking to expand our activities. We are looking to form a Working Group that would interview the current vendors that provide small scale food waste pick up services in the Boston area that are currently delivered to composting sites.  We have identified 3 vendors to interview but there might be several more. The goal is to fully educate ourselves on how each of these services works in terms of logistics and economics and to see if this better understanding will point us to new initiatives. Anyone interested in working on this should email Ellen Korpi at ellenkorpi1@gmail.com.
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  • HHU

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    Take a moment to add your voice to the Hardy, Hunnewell and Upham (HHU) discussion. They are looking for your opinion. Please take the survey, paying special attention to questions 14, 23 and 24. Your input can help the Town decide on a scenario that creates the least, long term negative environmental implications, and the greatest sustainable opportunities for our community.
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  • PRE ORDER LOCAL TURKEYS AND ROASTS FOR THANKSGIVING

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    Add the Thanksgiving Marketplace to Your Calendar Sunday, November 20th 1-4pm Wellesley Farmers’ Market The Wellesley Farmers’ Market invites you to it’s indoor pre-Thanksgiving market at the Unitarian Universalist Church on SUNDAY, November 20 from 1-4 p.m. The scene inside the historic stone church will be festive and customers will be able to pick up pre-ordered turkeys from Copicut Farms, roasts from Shire Beef, and shop for a range of holiday goodies and gifts from Tea is the Way, Nu3Kidz, Fixx Chocolates, Chrissy’s Crumble, Wellesley Books and more! Don’t Delay on Reserving Popular Holiday Turkeys!  Turkeys are $5.69/lb. Order here https://store.copicutfarms.com/collections/turkeys today. Pre-order to your own specifications Shire Beef’s roasts for your holiday celebration by November 3rd! Email them the cut type and approximate weight request and they will have it ready for you on Nov. 20th. INFO@SHIREBEEF.COM. – boneless rib roast (prime rib) $24/lb – bone-in rib roast (prime rib) $22/lb – strip loin roast $23/lb – tenderloin roast $28/lb Bring an extra bag so you can store up on some of your favorite poultry, pork, steaks, sausages, and ground beef and other goodies that you have been enjoying all summer long. www.WellesleyFarmersMarket.com
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  • Andrew Zimmer & Gail Simmons @ Babson Food Days

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    The zero-waste and sustainability overarching themed Babson Food Day event happens this Tuesday and Wednesday (October 25 & 26). Food Sol and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Andrew Zimmern & Gail Simmons are hosting the 6th annual event. Location:  Babson College Full agenda + speakers are listed here   babson.edu/foodday No registration required, no cost to attend (save $10 if non-Babson attendees want lunch).
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  • Shred (those documents) This Sunday

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    Head to the RDF this Sunday, October 23rd, between 11am and 3 pm with all of your documents to be shredded. Thanks RDF!!
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  • Make Halloween Green!

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    Scarecrow seen at the Bates Pumpkin Fair last week! This fabulous up/re cycled scarecrow was one of many created for the Bates Pumpkin Fair. All materials were sourced from Wellesley RDF, Home Depot’s throw-out twine, old clothes, hay.  Clothes were washed and given away to Planet Aid, twine was reused numerous times, hay was composted and used as winter mulch and then composted.  Kids had great fun! Way to go Bates School. Sustainable Wellesley’s Eco-Friendly Tips for Celebrating Swap decorations and costumes: You knew we were going to say Halloween Costume swap, right? Yes! But how about Halloween Decorations, too? Swap with friends or neighbors, check sites like Craigslist and freecycle.org to list your unwanted items or request decorations you’d like. Start now so your items have a good chance of finding a new home. Take One: Don’t be afraid to be the house on the street that gives children one piece of candy on Halloween. The majority of kids end up with more candy than they need, and many parents have kids donating their leftover candy to charity, or swapping it out for a toy so their kids aren’t consuming so many unhealthy calories. There’s no need to let kids take a handful! Make better candy purchases: Look for candy that doesn’t contain palm oil, an ingredient that contributes to deforestation of rainforests. Consider buying less candy, and keeping track for next year so you don’t over-buy. Decorate with local produce: There’s an abundance of fall produce waiting to become decorations. Forage for biodegradable and locally sourced decorations. Paint pumpkins from the farmer’s market, make wreaths from fall leaves. Scour Pinterest for ways to make spooky skeletons or witches brooms from twigs in the backyard. Avoid disposables for parties: You don’t need Halloween themed cups, plates and napkins to set the mood for a party. Let the food and decorations take center stage, and commit to running that load of dishes through the dishwasher. It’ll make your party feel even more sophisticated! For more event ideas check this SMART event guide. Go home-made: Consider it a fun challenge! Shop at home first, and make costumes from scratch. Children take delight in the creative process of making their own costumes. Pajamas, hoodies and leggings can all provide a great base for costumes.  
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  • What are Wellesley’s Long-Term Waste Reduction Plans?

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    You have seen this at the RDF but don’t you want to know more about the Town’s plans for long-term waste reduction? Learn about the new WasteWise Wellesley initiative, a program to reduce trash in landfills, as well the town’s creative ways to reduce food waste in our schools on Monday, Oct. 24, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This FREE event is part of the Wellesley Weston Lifetime Learning adult education class “Conservation Information for Suburbanites,” and is sponsored by the SEC and Wellesley RDF. Join them at the Wellesley Unitarian Universalist Chapel, 309 Washington Street.
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  • Books & Bags

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    This Thursday, October 20th at 5:30 pm, you are invited as local Girl Scouts unveil the Little Free Library they designed for their Silver Award in the Linden Square Courtyard. Please bring a used book to swap or to donate to this Little Free Library. All books welcome! Girl Scouts that attend will receive a Free special bookmark. Also, stick around to find out the Grand Prize Winner announced for the Wellesley High School Evolutions Team Reusable Bag Design Contest and hear speeches from the Greater Boston Food Bank; Roche Bros.; Lovin’ Spoonfuls; and the Natural Resources Commission.
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  • Harvest with a Heart

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    Enjoy the fall weather and do good at the same time with Boston Area Gleaners! From June to December, the local non-profit group organizes volunteers to spend a few hours at nearby farms harvesting produce that would otherwise be plowed under. The produce goes to food pantries and meal programs, reaching hundreds of people who may have limited access to fresh, healthy food. The gleaners’ goal is to create “a reliable supply chain of surplus produce between local farms and our neighbors in need.” You can go once — or many times — depending on your schedule. October and November are the busiest months — gleaning trips are scheduled every day! Children 13 and older are welcome. For more information and to register to volunteer, click: http://www.bagetc.org/Pickers/NewPickers.php
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  • Local Artists

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    Many of the Wellesley Women Artisans work on, and support Sustainable Wellesley’s initiatives such as eco-landscaping, the Wellesley Farmers’ Market and more. Thus, we wanted to give you the inside scoop about the Opening Reception of their Studio Tour on Saturday, October 22nd from 5:30-8:00pm at 161 Oakland Street in Wellesley. Guests will see a sampling of all participating artist’s work and get a chance to meet the artists and chat about their inspirations and process. On Sunday, October 23rd, from 12-5pm invite a friend and visit the studios (see map here). Enjoy the stunning, inspiring up-cycled art, organic pottery, photography and paintings by local artists. Maybe even do it on your bicycle. More interesting events located on our calendar page.  
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  • See you SUNDAY, October 2nd 1-3pm

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    Sustainable Wellesley’s next Action Meeting is Sunday, October 2nd from 1-3pm at a new location — 161 Oakland Street. The meeting will be done promptly at 3pm for anyone prepping for Rosh Hashana. {Happy New Year! What a way to start of the new year by taking action to help Mother Earth}. Never been? No problem. It is a great way to feel connected, hear what is happening in town and jump in where you can make a contribution. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE CHANGED? Feel free to email us at info@sustainablewellesley.com with your initiative/topic ideas in which you want a team to work with. NEW LOCATION: THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD AT 161 OAKLAND STREET.  These are casual meetings, yet we get things done! Some of the topics we will be discussing and taking action on include: Gas Leaks – how many do you think there are in Wellesley? Ecological landscaping – Power to Choose – easy renewable energy option in town Demolition Review Bylaw Sustainable Stakeholders – what is happening in town government For other events, please check Sustainable Wellesley’s calendar section here.
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  • Wellesley’s Biking Community

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    – Please welcome and thank Sustainable Wellesley’s new contributor, Kelly Caiazzo! Last Saturday the Wellesley Farmers’ Market held a Cycle Day, encouraging people to ride their bikes to the market to load up with local goods, free coffee in BYO mugs, and fitness offerings. Shoppers picked up beautifully displayed fall produce, which they could stow away in their complimentary reusable bag. Hillary Keenan participated in Cycle Day by riding her bike to the Wellesley Farmers Market, and she’s no stranger to bike riding. A Wellesley resident who works in Boston, she often commutes to work on her bike. “It’s that or get up to exercise before I commute,” she said with a laugh. She says the new bike lane in Wellesley does help, though Wellesley could look to Newton for inspiration where bike lanes are even more common. The new bike lane is on the westbound side of Washington St. across from Hunnewell field, and bike arrows remind drivers and cyclists on the eastbound side that bikes are allowed to use the full lane. Wellesley’s Bicycle Safety Committee plans to continue making Wellesley an easier place to bike. Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging residents to take advantage of the town’s new bicycle lanes. It’s zero emissions, and an efficient way to exercise! You may find that for short trips, choosing to bike instead of taking the car doesn’t add much time. Google maps allows users to select a bicycle icon and get cycling specific directions, helping riders find backroads routes to familiar destinations. Have thoughts on the biking topic? Reach out to Wellesley’s Bicycle Safety Committee and help make Wellesley an even better biking community.
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  • Drought Alert!

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    With Wellesley still under a serious drought warning, we all need to take another look at our watering habits. Consider watering your trees and shrubs — and turn off the sprinklers on your lawn or cut back on your lawn watering schedule. Lawns are easier and less expensive to restore than mature trees and shrubs. If your lawn dries up, consider replacing it this fall with drought-tolerant native plants that support local birds and bees. Click here for tips on watering trees! Click here for tips on water conservation, inside and outside your home! Click here for tips on replacing your lawn with native plants!
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  • Tour de Farmers’ Market – Cycle Day

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    Bike on by to the fun-filled Cycle Day at the Wellesley Farmers’ Market –300 Washington St. — Saturday, September 24th between 9 am and 1 pm. Fuel up on FREE coffee and the nourishing produce overflowing such as gorgeous greens, squash, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, kale, garlic, corn, etc. FREE tote bag to store your Shire Beef steaks, slow cook cuts, ground beef and sausage; and wings and drum sticks and other free range, sustainably-raised poultry from Copicut Farms; delicious desserts; prepared foods and everything in between for your weekend football parties. Special Guest Steve (THE Bike Guy) will be there offering quick tune-ups and consultations from 9:00-1:00. Get minor issues dealt with immediately on-site, or schedule your appointment for a full tune up. Located 10 minutes away in downtown Sherborn, Steve the Bike Guy Velo Studio offers sales and service to local riders. Plus family-owned CycleBar Wellesley will host a “pop-up” classroom with free high-energy demonstrations. Come to be eligible for prizes, enter a drawing and simply have fun! Need More Adrenalin? Get a combo of cardio conditioning and mindful yoga at the Wellesley Farmers’ Market FREE Community Fitness Class at 9:30 am. Children ride on over and get your face painted thanks to our sponsor Wellesley Bank, and makes a paper robot with folks from the Wellesley Free Library. Learn about the Library’s NAO robots, Wellesley Reads Together Program and the upcoming Fall Book Sale. Here are some of the vendors that will be there so you can dream about them on your bike ride: Caroline’s Kitchen Copicut Farms Edie’s Homemade Cookies Fixx Chocolates Jordan Brothers Seafood Nu3Kidz Red Apple Lunch Room 4 Desserterie Shire Beef Tangerini’s Farm Tea is the Way The Alternative Horticulturist Enjoy our community on your bicycle and support our local farmers and artisans.  
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  • Historic Preservation Demolition Review Bylaw

    0415_TCLO_HadleyHouseDemo
    The Wellesley Historic Commission plans to bring a Historic Preservation Demolition Review Bylaw to Town Meeting next spring. They will be presenting some of the information at the next Sustainable Wellesley Action Meeting on Oct. 2nd from 1-3pm. Please save this date on your calendar as other interesting topics will be discussed and groups will take action on. The Wellesley Historic Commission is also hosting three public forums to share their research and initial perspectives on how a demolition delay could work in Wellesley.  They welcome your participation in this process and would especially appreciate any feedback you may have. Please join in at any of the below three forums, all from 7:30pm – 9:00pm: Thursday, 9/22/2016: Warren Building, Room 008, 90 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA Monday, 9/26/2016: Great Hall at Wellesley Town Hall, Wellesley, MA Tuesday, 9/27/2016: Warren Building, Room 008, 90 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA Feel free to share this information with your friends and neighbors as well as this petition.
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  • What is Happening When?

    calendar
    Bookmark Sustainable Wellesley’s calendar to find events you are interested in. Local events are a great way to stay up to date and meet like-minded people. Find it on the homepage of www.sustainablewellelsy.com. You can even download events into your personal calendar on your laptop or phone. Let us know what you think, and if your green event is missing from our Calendar please let us know at info@sustainablewellesley.com!
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  • Bookmark it!

    support SW
      Don’t forget, when you shop at smile.amazon.com, your purchases support Sustainable Wellesley  AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Sustainable Wellesley every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the same experience and prices, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Sustainable Wellesley to support our programs. Your generosity funds schools programs, sustainable business initiatives as well as research in transportation and other important issue for our town. You can donate directly to us here as well. Thank you for your support!
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  • Check Out Electric Cars This Saturday

    tesla
    Sustainable Wellesley invites you to the Drive Electric Week celebration on Saturday, September 17th from 9-11am in the parking lot at the Wellesley Farmers’ Market at 309 Washington St. in Wellesley. Are you considering going electric? Experience the excitement of driving electric, and learn about the financial and environmental benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars. With a range of “EV’s” on the road, there is an electric car for every lifestyle. Local enthusiasts and dealers will be there with plug in Prius, Tesla’s, BMW i3, Chevrolet Volt, Nissan and Smart cars as well. Already own an EV? Come put your car on display and talk to attendees about why you love driving electric. This is the ideal event to meet with other local EV drivers.
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  • Wellesley’s Green Wave Event & Luncheon: How Sustainability Is Transforming Our Town

    Wellesley Friendly Aid Association cordially invites you to attend The Ninth Annual Networking Forum. This year the event is titled “Wellesley’s Green Wave: How Sustainability Is Transforming Our Town” and takes place on Tuesday, September 20th. Enjoy coffee and networking at 10:00 am, before the speaker portion begins at 11:00 am. The program will include an overview of Wellesley’s Green Collaborative by Ellen Korpi, Chair of Town of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee, with presentations from Collaborative participants including: The Sustainable Energy Committee on a new WasteWise Wellesley campaign; The Natural Resources Commission on the plastic bag ban and ongoing environmental initiatives; Sustainable Wellesley on gas leaks Lunch to follow for those who pre register by Wednesday, September 14. RSVP to wellesleyfriendlyaid@verizon.net or 781-235-3960 The event takes place at Henderson Hall, Wellesley Community Center at 219 Washington St.
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  • Sustainability Lecture Series for 55+ Starts Sept. 19th

    lifetime learning
    A series of 5 lunch-time classes focusing on climate change and sustainability issues in Wellesley and neighboring towns, titled Conservation Information for Suburbanites, is being offered by Wellesley Weston Lifetime Learning to seniors 55 years-old and over. Presenters will cover a range of sustainability topics including: September 19 Quentin Prideaux, Climate Change and Massachusetts September 26 Natural Resources Commission, Fuller Brook Park reconstruction project and rain gardens October 3 Rick Lent, Elders Climate Action October 17 Cricket Vlass, Landscaping with Native Plants October 24 Wellesley WasteWise, Food and other waste reduction Teacher: Our own Quentin Prideaux, President of Sustainable Wellesley, is leading the first event. Classes meet once a week at the Wellesley Unitarian Universalist church. Email for registration information.
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  • There Is A Spot For You At the National Moral Day of Action

    action alert
    In the highly charged atmosphere of this election season, people of many spiritual traditions are coming together at the State House this Monday, September 12, to ask candidates and elected officials to take a stand for higher ground moral values. Mass Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action will be there to help deliver the message that climate change is a moral issue. Join them at the State House on Monday, September 12, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. To prepare, folks will be painting signs at an “art build” in Wellesley on Saturday, September 10, 3 to 5 pm. Sign up through this link to receive the address.
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  • Milkweed for Fall Planting

    photo courtesy of Janet K.
    Lots of happy customers saw monarch butterflies on their milkweed plants this summer. If you would like to order big, healthy plants for your fall planting, please let us know. They can be planted now through mid-October. They are super easy: just give them a little water and a little extra mulch around the roots and you will have a head start for next Spring. If you would like to purchase some plants, please click here to make a payment. The plants are either $2 per (our cost) or $5 per with a donation to Sustainable Wellesley. Many thanks for helping the Monarchs!
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  • Attend the Route 9 Public Forum

    rt 9
    Plan to attend the Public Forum regarding the Route 9 Enhancement Study on Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30pm. Be there when they review and prioritize draft recommendations for the Route 9 Corridor. Please click here or here for additional information, including a draft of the Phase 2 Recommendations Report.
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  • Pre Loved Books

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    The Friends of the Wellesley Free Library’s Fall Book Sale starts September 22 and runs through the 25th. The sale is open to members on Thursday evening. Not a member, no worries you can join that night. Friday – Sunday, the sale is open to the public. Don’t forget, Sunday books of bags are only $7!  
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  • Make “Back To School” A Little Greener

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    Written by Kelly Caiazzo The seasonal change and back to school can have all of us rifling through our closet realizing whatever we wore for the past few months isn’t going to work anymore. But before you hit the stores, keep these simple tips in mind to help you shop a little greener. You’ll save yourself some money and buyer’s remorse in the process! Shop your closets first. Check older kids’ closets for potential hand-me-downs, see what fits, and don’t assume your children have outgrown something until they’ve tried it on. Reduce: buy clothing that works well together, and buy fewer items. You can always go back to the store if your laundry situation isn’t manageable. Having drawers that close is a bonus! Reuse: The used clothing market for kid’s (and adult!) clothes is fantastic. Check places like Kid to Kid in Natick, Cool Threads Consignment in Newton or ThredUp.com for great deals that help reduce our impact on the planet. Start small. Remember you don’t have to buy everything all at once. There will still be sweaters in the stores if you give your children an extra month to grow before you buy. Only buy what you love. Many children love having “favorite” outfits and only wear a percentage of their clothes. Shop strategically and buy just the favorites. Organize a clothing swap with friends, family and/or neighbors. Happy Back to School!  
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  • Attention Electric Car Owners!

    mini electric
    Are you proud of your green vehicle and would like to help spread the word? Please consider joining us in the parking lot of the Wellesley Farmers’ Market on Saturday September 17th for an EV Vehicle Show.   We are particularly looking for an owner of a Nissan Leaf, and electric Smart Car, and a Volkswagen e-Golf who would be willing to have their car on display and perhaps even answer some questions!   So far we have owners bringing in a Volt, a BMW and a Tesla. I also hope to have a couple of dealers available to offer test drives.  More details to follow. If you wish to be involved or have any questions, please email me Philipa at philippa.biggers@gmail.com or phone her at 508-308-0691. If you are in the market for an EV car, please save the date and come on by.
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  • Editorial: How Wellesley Can Become Even More Sustainable

    Editorial by Catherine Johnson We have been a Tree City USA for 34 years. We passed a plastic bag ban at 2016 Town Meeting. We are completing the requirements to become a Green Community by 2017. We continually strive to support alternate energy, recycle, and reduce our carbon footprint. We even have an Integrated Pest Management Policy for town-owned land. What else can we do? Well, a big part of our effort to make Wellesley truly sustainable remains offstage in the wings, unnoticed. We must start to spotlight residential housing: specifically, how do we manage the demolition of older houses and what are we building as their replacement? After all, approximately 20% of our nation’s landfills can be attributed to demolition debris. And replacing older, smaller houses with new large ones eliminates open space and mature tree canopy. And, in many cases, the new house is out of context with the surrounding homes, which is an affront to a basic principle of sustainability. We should all join in the discussion: 1.) The Historical Commission has a subcommittee that is working to create a Demo Review Bylaw. This would review the potential demolition of older houses that add to the character and demographic fabric of Wellesley by promoting restoration and smart rehabilitation. Visit the Historical Commission’s website to read more. Consider signing the petition regarding tear downs and commenting on this issue. 2.) The Planning Board has a working group studying Residential Housing. Its goal is to assess what we have right now and what we need to do to promote smart growth. Eventually, we can craft Zoning Bylaw changes that make how we build sustainable. This is a large discussion that will be folded into the town-wide Unified Plan scheduled to be in place by 2018. At present, the Large House Review (LHR) Bylaw controls mansionization in Wellesley. But does it work as intended? The board plans to hold a public forum in early October so it can hear from residents. More information on attendance and how to make your voices heard will follow.
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  • Help Set the Vision & Priorities for Wellesley’s Future

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    Here is an important lesson we’ve learned about Wellesley town government: People who step up to get involved early in the life of a project can have a big impact on the outcome. Right now, the project getting underway is no less than the creation of a long-range strategic and comprehensive master plan for the future of our town! The Unified Plan Working Group is inviting residents to apply to be part of a Unified Plan Steering Committee, which will also include representatives of town boards, committees, and members of Town Meeting.  Would you step up to be a voice for a more sustainable Wellesley?  In their announcement, the working group describes the plan as a blueprint that is “intended to serve as the Town’s principal planning document, establishing a vision for the future and setting priorities, goals, and implementation strategies needed to make that vision a reality. The Unified Plan will explore conditions and develop policies related to the physical development of the Town, the needs of the Town’s current and future residents, the Town’s finances, and the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.” To see the “Charge to the Unified Plan Steering Committee,” please click here. To see the application for participating in the Steering Committee, please click here. We hope you will take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to advance the vision for a sustainable future in our town! 
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  • Art Exhibit

    Bird Nests–Natural and Scavenged August 2 – 31, 2016 Ever since Paula Pitman was a child, she enjoyed collecting objects from places she had traveled to. Now she collects objects in urban neighborhoods, ballparks and a mini mall and began painting all kinds of birds co-existing with her found objects. Get inspired by the variety of colors, shapes, textures and sense of place in her mix-media paintings, while reflecting on how human beings leave a tremendous footprint for animals to inherit, use and cope with. On exhibit at the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary Gallery during the month of August. Opening Reception Sunday, August 7, from 2pm-4pm Gallery Information Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm Call ahead (508-655-2296) as the exhibit space may be unavailable due to program use. Contact Information 508-655-2296 broadmoor@massaudubon.org
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  • Action Alert: State House Leaders Negotiating Final Energy Bill – Please Call Now!

    action alert
    A message from our partners in the MA Interfaith Coalition for Climate Action: We are in the last stretch on the way to historic energy policy in Massachusetts! House and Senate leaders are negotiating a final bill to send to the Governor for his signature. Just before the July 4th holiday, the State Senate gave a huge boost to the prospects for clean energy in Massachusetts with a unanimous, bipartisan vote for an energy bill (S2400) that includes: an historic commitment to offshore wind power (2000 megawatts), a significant increase in the amount of renewable energy that would power our state by 2030, a pipeline tax ban that prohibits utility companies from charging ratepayers for pipeline construction, other provisions that strengthen energy efficiency programs, protect utility workers responsible for fixing gas leaks, and support safe decommissioning of the Pilgrim nuclear power plant. The House passed its own energy bill a few weeks earlier (H4385), so a conference committee must now come up with a compromise bill before the legislative session ends on July 31st. Now is the time to raise our voices once again on behalf of our planet and future generations. Please contact your legislators this week to tell them you want the conferees to stand firm on historic provisions that move us closer to a sustainable and clean energy-powered Massachusetts. Utility companies are working hard to persuade our legislators that we need more dangerous fracked gas in our state – we must make sure our elected officials hear from us!   Click here for a suggested script and feedback form!
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  • Free Yoga & Fitness On the Green At the Wellesley Farmers’ Market Tomorrow 9.30 am

    Wellesley Farmers’  Market has some Egg-citing News! Tomorrow, the Farmers’ Market wont only be filled with Farm-fresh foods, but a FREE YOGA & FITNESS CLASS too. Join Wellesley residents Elaine Marten and Jenny Schneider at 9:30 a.m. on the lawn for a fun hour of fitness, stretching and relaxation – 30 minutes of cardio and strength training designed to get your hearts pumping, followed by a 30-minute yoga stretch and sweet relaxation session. All fitness levels are welcome. Bring a mat, some friends and plenty of water! Grab Copicut Farms’s pastured, sustainably raised chicken raised on their family-owned, GMO-free farm and then try this fresh summer recipe from British chef Nigel Slater– you’ll be a hero! The Wellesley Council on Aging will be there too offering FREE COFFEE so bring your own mug and learn more about how enhances life for residents over the age of 60 by fostering connections that inspire a spirit of community across the generations in our town. This week, Tangerini Farm will bring blueberries, raspberries, black raspberries, new potatoes, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and so much more, including Linda’s homemade pestos, hummus and salads. (Have you tried her cole slaw?! Mmmm.) Got dull knives? Don’t forget to bring your knives to the market so Vernier Forge can sharpen them and make them like NEW. Learn more about the other wide variety of vendors here, and come by to pick up lots of fresh, local produce and items.
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