Phyllis Theermann

Big thanks to the Wellesley High School Football players and coaches who took part in the first high school team town-wide clean up this past weekend. This event was so motivating that the team will start doing it annually and have challenged other teams to do it as well.

Members of Wellesley Green Schools and Football Coach Jesse Davis last came together to create a meaningful community-service project to call attention to the increasing problem of single-use plastic pollution.  A team-building cleanup project was proposed and organized, with the NRC providing maps of areas in need of cleanup, as well as gloves, safety vests, and other supplies.

“The Wellesley Football Team town-wide clean up not only beautified Wellesley’s public spaces, but also allowed the players to see first hand the amount of single use plastic around town. This started conversations on ways to reduce it,” said Coach Davis. “To encourage players to create less waste, the team purchased water bottles with their numbers on them for students to re-use,” Davis said.

Thanks to the team’s hard work, residents noticed trash-free areas around the High School, Memorial Grove, Perrin Park, Ollie Turner Park, Ouellette Park, and Reeds Pond.

“The coach encourages us to give back to the community since they support us on the field,” said Holt Fletcher, Wellesley High School senior and one of the four captains of the football team. “Not only was the town-wide clean up a great way for us to do that, and to get out into the community as a team, but it really opened up our eyes to the amount of trash lying around our school and many of the town’s parks and conservation areas,” Fletcher said.

“I hope other teams and community members join the football team in this important effort to help our town,” said Nicholas Cavallerano, a junior on the team. His brother Louis, a freshman, said proudly, “This was my first football community activity and I really liked that coaches and players worked together to help our community with the cleanup.”

To get involved in other town cleanups or propose one of your own, contact the Natural Resources Commission at 781-431-1019, ext. 2294. To learn tips on plastic waste reduction visit Wellesley Green Schools at  www.sustainablewellesley.com.

Phyllis Theermann

Wellesley Middle School student Vaani Kapoor and her sister organized a plastic pick-up day along Route 9 in April. After this event, where Wellesley students picked up 17+ bags of waste in less than a half a mile, Kapoor came to a Sustainable Wellesley event and a Natural Resources Commission meeting to discuss how to expand and sustain these efforts.

Now Kapoor, her family and many amazing Wellesley Middle Schools students will be doing another clean up this Sunday. Please consider joining them on Sunday, May 19th at 9 AM at the Middle School.

“There is unseen plastic all over our town” said Kapoor. “While we are celebrating Wellesley this weekend, the amount of litter will most likely increase. If you would like to help make a change, please join us this weekend for our second monthly plastic pickup,” Kapoor said enthusiastically.

Support this youth-led volunteer effort and show your Wellesley pride by limiting your waste, and picking up during and after the parade and fireworks.

Kelly Caiazzo

The STEM EXPO’s Sustainability Challenge is back. Get ready Wellesley students!

Submit your project promoting a local resource, policy or behavior change that makes Wellesley greener. These can be in the form of an advertisement, op-ed or essay, video commercial, infographic, poem, music or another form of audio/visual artwork. Convince your audience that it’s a great way for them to help the environment!

Entry Criteria:

  • Submissions are welcome from K-12 students who are residents of Wellesley and/or enrolled in the Wellesley Public Schools

  • Deadline to enter is Friday, March 15, 2019

  • Entries must be entirely original content (no clips from movies or other videos)

  • Videos must be shorter than 3 minutes, essays must be fewer than 500 words, and infographics or advertisements must be legible on a single 8.5×11 page

  • Entry must explain the problem that you are proposing to solve, and how promoting a current local resource, policy change, or behavior change will make Wellesley greener.  The entry must provide a convincing argument for the positive impact this resource or activity can make.

  • Entries may be submitted by an individual, or a team of up to 3 students

  • Entries must include appropriate citation

Entry Submissions:

  • Submit your entry here

  • Entries to be uploaded on the WEF website must be less than 100mb

  • Submitting your entry authorizes [Wellesley Green Schools, etc.] to post either the submission, or a photo thereof, on display in public arenas in the township – including but not limited to public libraries, school display cabinets, or on the STEM Expo website.

  • Winning entries for Elementary, Middle and High School levels will be selected by Wellesley Green Schools

  • Winners will be recognized at the Wellesley STEM Expo on April 6, 2019 and receive a VIP tour of a featured exhibit, and have their project published in town newspapers by the Wellesley Education Foundation

Questions that Projects Should Answer and Topic Ideas

Questions to Answer:

  • What environmental problems does this organization/resource/behavior change help solve? Provide data or examples of how the environment is negatively impacted by this problem.

  • What is the positive impact of your topic? How does it help solve the problem? Be as specific and concrete as possible.

  • What can Wellesley residents do to help or how can they participate? Convince them this resource deserves their support or participation!

Resources:

The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:

https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator

The EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator:

https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/household-carbon-footprint-calculator

The Water Footprint Calculator:

https://www.watercalculator.org

The Footprint Network:

https://www.footprintnetwork.org/

Remember to cite your sources when you’re providing specific data! We’ll accept any style citation, provided it’s clear where data in your project came from.

Topic Ideas:

Here are some ideas to get you started!

Reuse:

How can buying second-hand clothing reduce our environmental footprint? Create an ad for Shopper’s Corner, the Second Hand Store at Schofield: https://www.facebook.com/schofieldshopperscorner/

Or, create an ad for another reusability resource in town, such as the Wellesley Free Library (https://www.wellesleyfreelibrary.org/) or the Wellesley RDF reusables area (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhLOHGydhUM)

Gas Leaks:

After explosions in our state and general unhealthy aspects of gas coming into the state and into our homes, Wellesley’s NRC is concerned about gas leaks. Could you make Wellesley residents aware of this problem and to encourage national grid to fix them? Wellesley Gas Leaks: https://www.wellesleyma.gov/449/Gas-Leaks

Reduce Plastic Waste:

Reduce waste – use less plastic.  China is refusing more and more recycling, explain the plastic problem and provide some ideas and solutions for reducing plastic consumption in our town. What else can we do besides #SkipTheStrawWellesley:http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/skipthestrawwellesley/?

Transportation:

What are some options in town for reducing our reliance on single-occupancy vehicles? (Commuter rail, school buses, town bus, MBTA or carpool, walking, biking, etc.) Create an ad explaining the impact of transportation and providing some solutions. Or, create an ad explaining the effects of idling and encouraging people not to idle:http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/no-idling/

Environmental Food Choices:

How can making some easy switches with what we eat and how we dispose of leftovers add up to a positive impact for our planet? Meatless Mondays: https://www.meatlessmonday.com/ , Wellesley Public School’s Food Recovery: https://wellesleyma.gov/1127/School-Recycling-and-Food-Recovery The Wellesley RDF Food Waste Drop-Off Program:https://www.wellesleyma.gov/899/Food-Waste-Program or why to buy local food from The Wellesley Farmer’s Market:https://www.wellesleyfarmersmarket.com/, Shrink your food footprint: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/shrink-your-food-footprint

Protect our Pollinators:

What we plant and the type of chemicals we use on our lawns and gardens has a real impact on our eco system. What happens to the lawn chemicals we use? How can we support pollinators in our community? Resources: Safer Lawns Initiative: Pledge to Be Pesticide Free – http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/pledge-to-be-pesticide-free/ and Sustainable Wellesley’s Milkweed for Monarchs: http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/milkweed-for-monarchs/

Energy at Home:

What are some ways to conserve our energy or get it from a more sustainable source? Resources: Wellesley’s Power to Choose Program: https://www.wellesleyma.gov/261/Voluntary-Renewable-Energy, Get a Mass-Save Home Energy Assessment:  https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/energy-assessments/homeowners/, Solar Panels:

Protect our Resources:

Did you know that we have groups in Wellesley that work together to protect our waterways from litter, chemical runoff, etc? Explain what they do, why it’s important, and how residents can help. The Wetlands Protection Committee: http://ma-wellesley.civicplus.com/421/Wetlands-Protection-Committee, Friends of Brookside: http://friendsofbrookside.org/

Sample sustainability submission (credit Stella Glassenberg of Wellesley, MA)

Citations:

http://darksky.org/light-pollution/

https://www.globeatnight.org/light-pollution.php

https://newrepublic.com/article/120624/nasa-photos-show-light-pollution-us-during-christmas-holidays

www.wellesleyma.gov/914/Smart-Outdoor-Lighting

 

Judging Criteria:

Submissions will be scored on a scale from 1-5, based on the following criteria:

  • How well does the project explain the problem and its environmental impact, using data / examples?

  • How well does the project provide a specific solution to the problem, with data or examples on how this organization/behavior/resource makes a positive impact?

  • How compelling, convincing and creative is the project?

  • Are sources cited, does the project meet length requirements, and does it have correct grammar and data?

A winner will be selected by panelists from Wellesley Green Schools from each school level (Elementary (K-5), Middle (6-8) and High (9-12)).