Phyllis Theermann

unified plan 2017

The Town of Wellesley is currently preparing a Unified Plan, collaboratively with Wellesley residents, Town staff and members of the Town’s boards and commissions.

They are diving into topics you care a lot about including land use planning, economic development, housing, transportation, education, Town government operations and finance.  Let your vision and priorities be heard to create a livable, innovative and fiscally-sound tomorrow.

Mark your calendars and be sure to attend: “Sustainable Systems & Networks,” May 24, 6 to 8 pm and “Natural and Cultural Heritage,” May 31, 7 to 9 pm.

Phyllis Theermann

Join EPA Sustainable Materials Management Web Academy and Wellesley’s own Sustainable Energy Administrator on Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 from 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT

School food invokes memories of cafeteria lines, pizza and cartons of milk. What most of us didn’t pay attention to or remember was the amount of wasted food (food that could be eaten by someone else if recovered) and food waste (food that is inedible or has been partially consumed and could be composted) created in school cafeterias. In this webinar, attendees will hear from three leaders in the industry on how to more effectively managed the entire food process affecting school cafeterias. First, you will hear about methods to teach children about the impacts of food waste and wasted food. Then, moving directly into the cafeteria, you will learn about practices to evaluate the amount of food waste and wasted food. Finally, you will learn about a new initiative to collect the wasted food and redistribute it into the community for people to eat.

Please register here.


Nayiri Haroutunian is the Program Manager at Washington Green Schools. Through this non-profit, she works closely with schools and teachers in the state to provide curriculum support that is rooted in environmental standards as well as guidance to encourage student environmental leadership projects. She recently developed an NGSS-driven curriculum on waste and decomposition for Seattle Public Schools called Zombie Guacamole. Nayiri previously worked as an environmental educator at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago developing, implementing, and evaluating engaging programs for diverse urban youth, including local stewardship and restoration programs. Nayiri holds an MS in Natural Resources & Environment from the University of Michigan and a BS in Psychology from the University of Iowa. Nayiri is committed to access and equity in environmental education and is passionate about local food and photography.

Marybeth Martello, Sustainable Energy Administrator for the Town of Wellesley, MA and Program Coordinator for the MetroWest STEM Education Network at Framingham State University.  Inspired by USEPA’s Food Recovery Challenge, Marybeth led an effort at Bates Elementary School to design a comprehensive cafeteria waste assessment and implement a food recovery and recycling program that is now being replicated at other schools.  Marybeth collaborates with Town government, state and federal agencies, and community groups to devise and run initiatives to lower greenhouse gas emissions via sustainable materials management, building design, and energy conservation.  Marybeth’s projects also work to advance STEM learning, especially as it pertains to the environment.  She is currently helping to develop a climate change education program for middle school teachers.  Marybeth holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a B.A. in English from UCONN.  She has an M.S. in Environmental Engineering and an interdepartmental Ph.D. from MIT.

Lynn Johnson is the Supervisor for the Child Nutrition Services at the Bremerton School District, in Bremerton Washington since January 2015. She has been involved in Child Nutrition for over 15 years.   Bremerton School district serves over 5,000 children across 9 schools. Lynn has been instrumental in the School Food Share project that started with the Bremerton School District in 2016. This project keeps on an average 3,000 pounds of reusable food per month out of our landfills and puts it into the mouths of people in our community who need it.  Lynn has 4 married children, 3 grandchildren with another on the way.  Lynn enjoys spending time with her family on their 5 acer “hobby farm” in Belfair, WA where they garden, grow fruit and have lots of animals!

Phyllis Theermann
alexAlex was at the local hardware store the other day picking up Holiday lights.  As many others this time of year, he was looking at LED lights versus the traditional incandescent lights.
In past years he avoided LED lights because he didn’t like the cold “blue” light they seemed to emit.  This year, however, he was happy to see that there were many options for “warm white” lights, which look very similar to the traditional incandescent mini lights.
Alex admitted he was conflicted about the price.  The LED lights still cost more than the incandescents.

The environmental side of him wanted to buy them, but the practical, yankee side wanted to buy the less expensive.

After some quick mental calculations to incorporate the energy savings of LED lights, Alex found to his delight that they aren’t more expensive after all.  It goes like this:
Incandescent LED
Cost of  string of 100 lights $5.95 $19.98
Energy Usage per Hour 40 W 8 W
Hours on per night (4:30 to 10:30pm) 6 H 6 H
Nights on per year (Dec & Jan) 61 Days 61 Days
Energy Usage per Year 14.64 kWh 2.93 kWh
Electricity Cost: 13.5 ¢/kWh 13.5 ¢/kWh
Electricity Cost per Year  $1.98  $0.40
Annual Electricity Rate of Increase (Average over last 50 years in US) 3% 3%
Total Cost over 8 years $23.52 $23.49
Warranty 1 yr 7 yrs
Over 8 years they are effectively the same price.
However, he knows that every year around the holidays when the incandescent strings come out of the box, he will find one or two that have so many bulbs out that they are unusable.

If you factor that into the economics the payback is even shorter.

The economics of LED lights inside the home are even better as you use those lights all year long.  So, if you haven’t already bought your holiday lights for the year, make the smart choice and buy LED.  If you have all your holiday lights up already, make the switch next year and start looking inside your home for other lights to switch.

As you probably have heard, the Town of Wellesley is making the switch too.

Happy Holidays to all.