We’re grateful to everyone who joined us for Sustainable Wellesley and the NRC’s screening of Before the Flood.
I’m all about what’s possible. We saw that it was possible to fill a room with people who wanted to watch a documentary about the environment while serving a plant-based meal with no single-use plastics and entirely compostable or reusable serving ware.
Facing the reality of climate change and thinking about the way it impacts human and animal life on the planet is a heavy topic, but there are ways we can shift our behavior so that we contribute less to the problem. And when others see us making changes and prioritizing the environment when we vote, eat, consume, drive or entertain, public awareness increases and our efforts can compound.
Here are some resources:
Join the “Power to Choose” Program in Wellesley to get your electricity from renewable sources: https://wellesleyma.
Eat some meatless meals. See our guide with links to recipe blogs, a list of great vegetarian meals at local restaurants and other resources for adding some plant-based meals into your week: http://www.
Get a Home Energy Assessment: Mass Save has free home energy assessments that can lower your home heating costs and make your home more environmentally friendly by increasing its efficiency. https://www.
Consider an electric / hybrid / carpool / alternate transit option:
Sustainable Wellesley Mobility rEVolution slides.
Great list of available Plug-in Electric Vehicles PlugInCars.com
Anyone interested in further discussion or a test ride in a Tesla Model 3 should contact Scott Bender at Scott@MyBlueDot.net
Anyone interested in further discussion or a test ride in a Tesla Model S or Tesla Model X can contact Kelly Caiazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Drive Green” initiative by Green Energy Consumer’s Alliance has a great feature that allows you to easily compare various EVs, and has pre-arranged discounts on EVs with car dealers.
View the resources from the film: Includes information on supporting carbon taxes, maps of coastal flooding projections, and links to specific environmental initiatives. https://www.
Visit the Wellesley Natural Resources Commission page: Find information about the Gas Leaks initiatives , the Healthy Yard campaign, and other ways the NRC encourages Sustainability in Wellesley and protects our green spaces and natural resources.
Take a quiz on your “footprint” for personalized reduction strategies: Several sites offer this.
The Global Footprint Network: https://www.
Watercalculator.org (water footprint oriented): https://www.
Vote with the environment in mind.
Share what you’re doing: We need a shift in public opinion and awareness on climate change. Sharing what you’re doing and why, whether it’s telling someone about your home energy assessment or suggesting you carpool to an event together.
Have other ideas we missed? Want to continue the discussion? Have personal experience with solar panels or carbon offsets you want to share? You can:
Come to the next Sustainable Wellesley meeting on April 28th from 12:00 – 1:30 at 161 Oakland St. in Wellesley – the studio above the garage
Join a local Facebook group that discusses sustainable living strategies: https://www.
E-mail us at info@sustainablewellesley
Thanks so much for joining us last night, and we hope to see you again in the future! Our next film is Stink! on May 21st and we’re serving burritos. RSVP here
Thank you for being part of the solution!
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!
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
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!
The EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:
The EPA’s Household Carbon Footprint Calculator:
The Water Footprint Calculator:
The Footprint Network:
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.
Here are some ideas to get you started!
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)
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/?
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/
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)).
We’re in the habit of bringing our own water bottles everywhere, sometimes to the point of awkwardness. (Nice restaurants will serve you tap water in a glass, plopping your hydroflask on the table’s
cloth napkin kind of detracts from the ambiance.)
But what about day trips or long afternoons on the beach where one
water bottle per person isn’t really enough?
I used to bring multiple reusable water bottles for everyone in the
family, but that got heavy and awkward.
Now what I do is I skip packing ice packs in our cooler, and instead I
use an extra large mason jar filled with ice-water. It keeps our
snacks cold, and when we’re done eating, I can use the ice water to
refill everyone’s water bottles. Wrapping it in a light kitchen towel
helps prevent condensation from getting on snacks if that’s a concern!
If it’s too heavy to carry, sometimes I’ll leave it in the car,
knowing that we can refill everyone’s waters before we drive home.
You can use ice cubes or you can put water in the mason jar and freeze
it in a solid block. If you do the latter, make sure you don’t fill it
all the way because ice expands and you don’t want to shatter a mason
jar in your freezer. Also be aware that it might not melt in time for
you to have enough water to refill your water bottle!
There are also a lot of large insulated reusable water jugs on the
market made from food-safe stainless steel; these might be a good
purchase if they’ll help make it easier for you to avoid buying
plastic water by the case to bring on your outings. They are also good
for places that don’t want you to bring glass in, such as many
amusement parks and pool areas. Look for them anywhere that sells
But for me, having a mason jar of ice water in the cooler has made
summer just a little easier!