All Stories

  • TONIGHT – Popcorn & Cake @ Movie Night – Good For Your Lawn… & Your Health

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

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

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

    March with us in Wellesley’s 2018 Veterans’ Parade! This year, we’re celebrating the legacy of environmental champion Rachel Carson, whose birthday is on May 27th by encouraging  our community to stop using pesticides on their lawns. The parade is a great opportunity to meet new folks and enjoy a stroll through town supporting a cause you care about. Plus it is fun – simply show up, smile, and wave! Details: THIS Sunday, May 20th Meet in our “usual” spot on Washington Street between Elm and Pine Streets Assemble at noon and parade begins at 1:00 We’ll provide signage or you can bring your own. Parade route is approximately 2 miles. Parking: at the Wellesley Public Works yard – entrance is off of Woodlawn Ave. Shuttle Bus: a big yellow school bus will be at the Crest Road Bridge (end of the parade route) to take folks back to the Wellesley Community Center. (Near the Public Works lot) Or you could leave a vehicle at the Wellesley train station parking lot. Please contact Laurel at laurellanders2003@yahoo.com if you, your neighbors, family and friends are interested.
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  • Wellesley Public Schools Hat Trick! Recognized 3 Times For its Sustainability Efforts

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

    UPDATE- WE HAVE SOLD OUT! LUCKY MONARCHS. There will be lots of milkweed here. EMAIL INFO@SUSTAINABLWELLESLEY.COM IF YOU WANT TO BE NOTIFIED IF/WHEN WE RECEIVE MORE THIS SEASON.
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  • Review & Comment on Wellesley’s Draft of the Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Study Phase I

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

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

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

    According to the World Wildlife Federation, at current rate of use, the amount of plastics in the ocean will literally outweigh fish by 2050. The 500 million plastic straws used each day are one of the top beach polluters, according to 5 Gyres, a global health nonprofit organization against plastic pollution in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging local restaurants to be part of the #SkipTheStraw Initiative and we need your help asking local managers to re-evaluate their use of plastic straws. Please consider adding your name next to one or some of the 74 restaurants/cafes here in Wellesley that you would be willing to contact. Although some of these restaurants may not currently serve plastic straws, it is still beneficial to highlight the importance of keeping it that way. After adding your name to the document above, we will reach out in a few weeks with talking points and a simple check list you can use when talking to them. Many thanks! This is not a pipe dream. The city of Seattle is now straw-less and some local restaurants are planning to #SkipTheStraw too, including the Local in Wellesley and and many of Boston’s fun locations. Why the buzz? The average straw is sipped for only 20 minutes but it can take over 200 years to break down. Straws are very lightweight and often wind up in our oceans and on our beaches where they are a danger to marine life. Plastics never biodegrade — they just break into smaller and smaller pieces. Want to learn more? Check out the film Straws at the Watertown Free Public Library on Tuesday May 15th at 7 PM. There will also be a speaker from Surfrider.
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  • What’s that smell?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Planning an event? No matter if it is big or small; for fun, work, or school, Wellesley Green Schools has you covered with this updated SMART EVENT GUIDE 2017.jpg. Check it out, and share it; you will be glad you did.
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  • Complete Streets

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Day: Saturday, September 16, 2017 Time: 9am – 1pm Location: Natick Common 3 East Central Street Natick, MA 01760  to attend this event and complete a short survey for a chance to win $250.  to help the organizers for this event.  the organizers for this event. Thinking about driving an electric car? Head over to the Natick Common for a fun and informative day for the entire family. Learn about all-electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles from owners and dealer representatives, while enjoying the locally made or grown food at the Farmers’ Market. Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, helping America reduce its dependence on oil.  Electric vehicle range varies by model, from 80-330 miles on a full charge. EVs are known for their performance and efficiency.   Your energy cost is just a fraction of your current gas bill.  If you have recently installed solar panels on your house, imagine never paying for gas again, and charging from energy generated from your own solar panels!
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  • Pre Loved Books- Fall Book Sale

    Lots of amazing pre-loved books for sale at the Wellesley Free Library. September 14 MEMBERS Preview (or become a member of Library that eve) 5-9pm September 15 9am-6pm – Open to the public September 16 9am-5pm – Open to the public September 17 1pm-5pm with  $7 Bag sale The Fall Book Sale supports library programs so its a win-win!
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  • Wellesley’s Farmers’ Market

    Wellesley Farmers’ Market is proud to announce the launch of an exciting new model. Beginning Thursday, September 7th, hundreds of farm fresh and organic products, including vegetables, meats, fish, dairy, eggs, bakery and pantry items, fruits, juices, pet and home offerings from more than 80 New England farmers and food producers, will be available every Thursday from 12:30-2:30. Pre-orders are available, so place your first order today. Residents and food lovers who work in and around Wellesley simply choose from hundreds of just harvested Farmers to You products via www.wellesleyfarmersmarket.com, and indicate the Wellesley Farmers’ Market pick-up site ( UU Church at 309 Washington St.). Seamless home delivery by a local pedal-powered business is also available by request. See details online. The Wellesley Farmers’ Market team is thrilled to announce this exciting new model that brings a wider variety of products, offers a longer season and is highly efficient for the small, local, family farmers. Wellesley Farmers’ Market remains dedicated to serving the food insecure in this community and is looking for sponsors for a Food Pantry Program. For more information, please email  wellesleyfarmersmarket@gmail.com. Keep an eye out for familiar Wellesley Farmers’ Market vendors and community opportunities in coming months as well. Many gluten-free and vegan options available. 
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  • Another Bus Run Added for Wellesley High School Students

    Great news! There will be a second bus run for 8.30 arrival at the high school.  This will accommodate students who don’t have a class until second period.   This is a great way to get your students to school, and reduce the number of cars on the road and congestion at drop off. The fee for the year is $521, due upon registration.  The family cap will still apply to the fee if your family has other registered students. For those already registered for the bus, NO ACTION IS REQUIRED. Your student will be issued a bus pass that can be used for either the 7:30 or the 8:30 am bus. Bus passes and route schedules will be issued to all registered students by Monday, August 21, 2017.  All bus stops on the High School 7:30 am routes will be the same for the 8:30 am routes.  There are no changes to the afternoon bus routes and schedules. We encourage you to have your student take advantage of this transportation option. To Register — Click here to register online before Friday, August 18th. Complete the LOGIN and PASSWORD to enter the system, then click on the Yellow Bus photo. The only available option for you to select will be the “HS 8:30 Bus” Click on the shopping cart icon and proceed to register your student.
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  • An Open Letter to Wellesley Municipal Light Plant’s Board and the Selectmen

      This spring, amid growing concern about the federal government’s withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement, many Wellesley residents have been searching for ways to ensure that our town’s energy policies reflect the priorities and values of our community in combatting climate change.  In April, a group of 50 residents sent a letter to the Board of the Municipal Light Plant expressing concern over the board’s policy on renewable energy and whether it adequately supports our state renewable energy goals under the state Global Warming Solutions Act. The MLP board held a public meeting on energy policy in late May, and on June 26, the leadership team of Sustainable Wellesley presented a petition to the MLP board and the Board of Selectmen signed by more than 200 Wellesley residents. Our July 12 letter to the MLP board — included below — is the latest in this on-going dialogue about renewable energy policy in our town. Sustainable Wellesley invites interested residents to share their views with us at info@sustainablewellesley.com.   July 12, 2017 To the Board of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant:   We are writing to follow-up with you on the recent public discussions concerning your renewable energy policy and the Sustainable Wellesley petition submitted to you on June 26, 2017, signed by 205 Wellesley residents. The signers of the petition requested that you support the Paris Climate Agreement, despite the recent withdrawal by the federal government, and take specific local actions to reflect the priorities and values of our community. We asked that you commit to a goal of 100 percent renewable energy, and to meeting or exceeding state clean energy standards under the authority of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in support of the goals outlined by the state Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA).   As you know, Wellesley Town Meeting adopted a goal in 2014 to reduce Town-wide carbon emissions 25 percent below 2007 levels by 2020. Approximately one-quarter of the Town’s carbon emissions result from the electricity sector. The Town will be unable to achieve its carbon reduction goal without meaningful changes in the portfolio of the Municipal Light Plant. Given the urgent need for local action to protect our climate, we believe Wellesley should not only meet this goal, but also set a course for 100 percent renewable energy for our town. More than 30 U.S. cities and towns have committed to 100 percent renewable energy goals — and some have already achieved it. The town of Concord, MA, recently set ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is now on track for 65 percent renewably-sourced electricity by 2018.   Concerning our request that the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant accept the authority of the state Department of Environmental Protection, we appreciate that the board has a strong desire to maintain local control of their activities without regulatory oversight by the state. To be responsible to Wellesley residents, this local control needs to respect both the stated goal of Wellesley Town Meeting and the mandated requirements of the GWSA, the landmark climate law of our state. The GWSA requires reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from each sector of the economy summing to a total reduction of 25 percent below the 1990 baseline emission level in 2020 and at least an 80 percent reduction in 2050. Massachusetts will be unable to achieve the carbon reduction goals mandated by the GWSA without the participation of communities served by municipal light plants. We also wish to underscore that towns with municipal light plants, such as Wellesley, have so far avoided the challenge and higher costs of shifting to clean sources of energy, while ratepayers in towns with investor-owned utilities are required to do so. Wellesley currently enjoys an electricity rate that is roughly 30 percent below that of our neighbors who get their electricity from investor-owned utilities, which are subject to the state clean energy standard. We therefore call upon you:  1. To revise the mission statement of the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant to reflect a commitment to renewable energy and energy conservation. 2.  To develop a Wellesley renewable energy standard that meets or exceeds the state requirements. This standard should be quantifiable and should increase annually with a goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy on a schedule to be determined that works for our Town. 3. To work with the Municipal Electric Association of Massachusetts to develop a system of accountability for the proposed standard. We appreciate that the development of this policy will require input from Town leadership and from residents with relevant expertise, and therefore, we are sharing this letter with the Wellesley Board of Selectmen and the wider community. Respectfully yours, Regina LaRocque Jessica Stanton Sustainable Wellesley Leadership Team: Mary Gard, Lise Olney, Quentin Prideaux, Phyllis Theermann  
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  • What’s Your Water Footprint?

    You see the signs for water use restrictions in neighboring towns. Perhaps that encourages you to use less water on your lawn or garden, but have you considered your water footprint as a whole? This water calculator helps you estimate your total water use. Our water usage goes way beyond our  taps. Think about the water used for your breakfast this am, the technology you are reading this on, etc. Give the calculator a go. Let us know your thoughts by emailing info@sustainablewellesley.com
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