After being involved with a residential composting program at university, rising sophomore Emma Goldenthal found herself excited to contribute to similar efforts over summer break. She reached out to Sustainable Wellesley in May, with the hope of finding volunteer work and learning more about the town’s environmental efforts.

Energized by the organization’s grassroots nature, she has since jumped into creating a program to help restaurants in town reduce landfill-bound waste, decrease their resource and carbon footprints, and promote sustainable values within the community. Targeting categories such as food waste, community influence, and energy use, her proposal outlines dozens of environmentally-minded steps that food establishments can pick and choose from.

Ultimately, the aims of this program are to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability, formalize a procedure by which local restaurants will reduce their environmental impact, and motivate other businesses, individuals, and communities to do the same. With a framework now in place, the next phase of the project will be to begin working with a few pilot restaurants — so keep an eye out for updates! Let us know if you want to jump in and help on this project by emailing info@sustainablewellesley.com.

Phyllis Theermann

“We have a ‘waste’ problem,” said Jeff Azano-Brown, RDF Superintendent at a recent presentation in Wellesley. If you missed it, watch it here thanks to Wellesley Media.

The good new is that the current crisis in recycling gives us the opportunity to take a look at how we handle waste.

The United States generates 30% of the world’s waste and only comprises 4% of the world’s population.

Massachusetts is projected to export 40% of our trash out of state by 2025.  That’s enough trash to fill Fenway Park 30 times per year.

We need to clean up our recycling and reduce our waste.

Wellesley has several programs to assist in this effort and the RDF is one of them.

The food waste program at the RDF is a new initiative to increase recycling and is now open to all residents.  To learn more about the program click here or call 781-235-7600 extension 3345.

Thanks to Wellesley’s League of Women Voters, the UU Church in Wellesley for sponsoring this event.

Kelly Caiazzo

We want to thank everyone who participated in our “Take 3” Beach Challenge to pick up at least three pieces of trash the next time you went to the beach. As you can see, most people didn’t stop when they reached 3! We received trash photos from beaches and even islands everywhere from Cape Cod to Casco Bay, Maine.

As hard as it is to look at some of these photos and think about the danger they pose to ocean life and human health, this all trash that won’t be washed back into the ocean at the next high tide. For that, we’re really thankful.

It’s also interesting to look at the types of plastic found and think about how we could reduce it.

Maybe flowers are a good choice instead of birthday balloons, or balloon lovers could tie them to a chair inside the house instead of to a mailbox outside where they might blow away.

The photo

comprised solely of forgotten beach toys (that have been found new homes) is one that my mother sent me on a day when she arrived at the beach to discover many toys but zero families in sight. Writing our family name on our beach toys could help us keep track of them; I’ve looked at a shovel and left it behind because I wasn’t sure it was ours and wanted to avoid awkwardly stealing it from another family. Writing on items with a sharpie will help us retrieve our stuff with confidence before we leave the beach.

Plastic water bottles, plastic cups, fishing gear and plastic bags are also common features of these trash photos. And if you’re celebrating the Fourth of July, it’s extra patriotic to make sure you bring your flag home so it doesn’t end up washed up on the beach and forgotten with other trash. (It’s been rescued from the sand.)

Thanks everyone who picked up trash and sent us photos, and thanks to everyone who mindfully reduces their consumption of plastic to help fight this problem.

With your help, we can enjoy burying our toes in cleaner sand.