Phyllis Theermann

Waste reduction efforts should be our number one priority, re-using is number two, and recycling is the third option — so lets get it right!

Wellesley’s Recycling and Disposal Facility (RDF) was part of a story last Friday on Public Radio International’s The World.  You can listen to it here and learn how contaminated recycling compromises the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively sort materials into bales of marketable recyclable materials. This is especially true since China changed its policy, disrupting the global marketplace for mixed paper and mixed plastics.  This story will encourage you to rethink recycling.  When cardboard, cans and bottles are treated like real commodities, and not just trash, it can be worth some real money.

If you want to learn more about recycling in Wellesley, come to the League of Women Voter’s evening with the Wellesley RDF’s Superintendent, Jeff Azano-Brown, on January 31 at 7pm in the Chapel at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills.

Dessert will be served and the event is open to the public.

Now that this topic is on the brain:

– Consider ways to reduce waste this holiday season including wrapping gifts with re-usable gift wrapping  — similar to what Sustainable Wellesley did at last month’s Wellesley Marketplace (thanks again Kelly C).

– Read, borrow, and/or gift the book Zero Waste Home for ideas on creating less waste and less “stuff” to recycle!

– In an effort to reduce bag (paper or plastic) waste, Wellesley’s Natural Resources Commission is reminding the public that January is Bring Your Own Bag month.

– Get you post-holiday mailboxes under control. Get rid of junk mail!

Phyllis Theermann

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Wellesley Hills is the first community of faith in town to enroll in the Wellesley Renewable Energy program. Last month, the governing committee agreed to sign up to receive ten percent of the church’s electricity from renewable sources.The church uses about 58,000 kilowatt hours per year, and it will be saving about 4,200 pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere by signing up for the Wellesley Renewable Energyprogram.

Enrolling in the program is part of a larger effort by the church’s Green Sanctuary Committee to encourage the church and its members to become more environmentally sustainable. In the church building, members have installed motion sensors on light fixtures, placed CFL light bulbs in appropriate locations, and resealed many of the windows. “Living a life that is respectful of our environment is a central element of our faith,” says the minister, the Reverend Sara Ascher. “By supporting renewable energy and implementing energy conservation measures, we are doing what we can to protect the interdependent web of life.” On Sunday, March 18, the Green Sanctuary Committee sponsored a special service to promote environmental action among the entire congregation.