Wednesday, April 22, is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We surely didn't expect to be celebrating it from a physical distance but we have a few good ideas to help you celebrate.
1. Get out and continue to enjoy our beautiful outdoors. Even from a window, its inspiring and calming!
2. Join our Dinner and a Documentary event on April 22nd with yummy plant based pantry staples.
3. Let students know there is a great way for them to use their energy to help the climate here.
4. Vote your values from the comfort of your own home. Read up on the candidates here.
5. Reconsider your food waste by composting in your backyard or bringing it the dump/RDF.
6. Demand a cleaner, healthier environment and a just, clean energy future by:
Let us know what creative things you are doing to protect our climate by emailing info@SustainableWellesley.com.
THANK YOU to the folks sewing masks out of Sustainable Wellesley's up-cycled, reusable gift wraps for our community workers and first responders!
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) is developing the Massachusetts Decarbonization Roadmap to 2050. Public engagement is an important component in the development of this roadmap, and EEA is looking for feedback.
Several public meetings were planned through March, 2020, but out of precaution for COVID-19, most of the meetings were canceled. On March 27th, they held a public webinar. (You can see this presentation on YouTube here, or see the slides here.)
Sustainable Wellesley is concerned that, although the goal of 100% Net Zero by 2050 is a good one, we need to move to that goal more quickly, with a reduction of 60% by 2030. To do that we must prohibit all greenhouse gas producing combustion (including biomass), and we must address environmental justice issues with carbon pricing. We are looking for a climate plan that requires the elimination of all greenhouse gas pollution from the economy by 2050, with a reduction of 60% by 2030.
We encourage you to participate by watching the webinar, then dropping a note using the EEA Feedback Form, or sign on to this letter (provided by our affiliate, Mass Power Forward) concerning the 2050 Roadmap here.
Deadline is 4/10 by 5:00 pm
The Town of Wellesley's local elections were postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis and the rescheduled Election Date has yet to be set.
However, residents can vote now from home.
The Selectmen and the Town Clerk are actually encouraging it.
Get your Mail-in Early Voting Ballot by printing out this Mail-in Early Voting Ballot Request Form, completing it with a real signature and sending it to the Town Clerk’s office by using any of these options:
· Scanning and Emailing to Elections@wellesleyma.gov (smartphone scans are accepted)
· Dropping it off in the payment drop box in front of Town Hall (opposite side of the driveway on the Washington Street entrance)
· Mailing to Town of Wellesley, Elections, 525 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482
Here are a few things to take note of:
If you already submitted an absentee ballot, it has been counted and you do not need to vote again.
The mail-in early voting ballots are the exact ballots that would have been used on March 17, and will be used on the new election date.
If you are not yet registered to vote in Wellesley, you may register online. The last day to register to vote will be ten days prior to the new election date.
“Join” Sustainable Wellesley from the comfort of your own home for a DIY Dinner & Documentary Night!
What: Watch Forks Over Knives (Available on Netflix or Amazon Prime)
When: Prior to April 22nd
Then: Send in questions about plant based eating, cooking to info@SustainableWellesley.com. Feel free to send your favorite plant based meal ideas too!
The Big Event: April 22nd at 7pm - Join a Facebook live session on plant based pantry staples and meal ideas to go with them. Kelly C will share some great online resources, give some meal swaps (bean burgers for beef burgers) and take questions.
We realize that these are challenging times, so we’ve chosen a documentary that focuses on something positive.
Forks Over Knives is a film about the power of eating plants. It’s an uplifting movie that highlights the benefits a plant-focused diet has for cardiac health, cancer rates, and diabetes outcomes as well as the environment.
Released in 2011, this film is so popular that there are now four cookbooks available and its widely credited for popularizing the term “plant-based”.
Forks Over Knives has even compiled dinner recipes that rely on pantry staples, allowing you to stretch out your time between grocery store trips.
They also have a post called 15 things to do with a can of beans – something we’re all wondering these days!
Make yourself a plant-based meal with the lentils, beans or quinoa you’ve been keeping on hand but maybe weren’t sure what to do with, and settle in for a film that will inspire you to appreciate these foods in a whole new way!
We are looking forward to this Earth Day event. Thank you Kelly!
Stuck at home? Anxious to do something about COVID-19 and the climate crisis? Want to learn more about climate organizing, or hone your skills?
Sunrise School is an online community created by the national youth-led climate movement Sunrise. Join to build connections with other concerned folks from around the country, learn about the crises gripping our society and how to confront them, and build online and real-world organizing skills.
If you’re just getting started, there’s a 4-day Green New Deal & Coronavirus crash course, where you’ll learn exactly what the Green New Deal is and where it came from, how it fits into the coronavirus crisis, and how we can work together to win it, including actions you can take even while stuck inside.
Sunrise School has also launched a full slate of additional trainings, including Movement Building 101, Shifting Your Organizing During Corona, and a series of skill workshops on everything from leading good online meetings, to video editing, and more.
To learn more, check out smvmt.org/sunriseschool!
We are grateful to Dr. Regina LaRoque for her Facebook Live posts with insight into our current health care situation. This seems to be an engaging topic, so we will continue to offer our space for her insights and your questions, and concerns.
If you have not seen/heard from Regina, you can see the videos here. She will continue these so check back on the Sustainable Wellesley Facebook page or our website to learn more. Send questions for Regina to info@SustainableWellesley.com.
Many thanks to all of our healthcare and first responders out there.
Stay well everyone!!
500 medical colleagues call on Gov. Baker & other state leaders to address the dire situation facing our healthcare workers due to COVID-19.
Dear Sustainable Wellesley community,
Dr. Regina LaRocque and more than 500 of her medical colleagues are calling on Governor Charlie Baker and other state leaders to address the dire situation facing our healthcare workers due to COVID-19.
As many of you know, Dr. LaRocque is a member of the Sustainable Wellesley leadership team, a Wellesley resident, and an infectious disease specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Sustainable Wellesley is opening all our lines of communication to support Dr. LaRocque and her colleagues and we urge you to join us in taking action.
Please read her message below and share it widely. Then, call (1) Governor Baker (2) your State Representative and State Senators to let them know how important this issue is to you. (Click Find My Legislator if you aren’t sure who to contact.)
1. Governor Baker: Please speak out forcefully and publicly as a Republican governor to counteract President Trump's dangerous narrative that we will be back to normal business by Easter.
2. Governor Baker: We need to ramp up military style local production of personal protective equipment. This needs to be coordinated centrally by the Governor’s office and executed by the National Guard. Right now, hospitals are doing all of this on an ad hoc basis. Governors have to take responsibility since the federal government is not. President Trump is not using the Defense Production Act. Massachusetts is forced to fight with other states and groups to access the national supply. We are already running short of critical personal protective equipment and supplies BEFORE the tidal wave has hit in Massachusetts. We do not have enough ventilators and respiratory clinics.
3. Governor Baker: Please add to your Command Center team a "Tony Fauci" point person with expertise in disaster management and infectious disease to communicate to the public about this epidemic.
4. Governor Baker: Please embed experts in infectious disease on the state’s Coronavirus Response Command Center. We need experts dedicated solely to this effort. There are many qualified people in Massachusetts who are willing to serve, including the names that have been forwarded to you. The current 'advisory panel' is made up of people who are already working 24/7 at their own institutions.
5. Governor Baker: Please keep pace with the governors in New York and Washington by giving clear and direct orders to stop all non-essential work, and give local governments the clarity and support they need to enforce your directives.
6. We need personal protective equipment to be delivered immediately to the MA medical community.
8. Culture media, COVID19 tests, vaccine and drug development needs to take priority in biotech. Widespread easily accessible testing needs to be available immediately.
You can reach Governor Baker here:
Main # (617) 725-4005
Toll Free (888) 870-7770
Springfield Office (413) 784-1200
TTY (617) 727-3666
There is a dire situation in our hospitals, putting our healthcare workers at risk, and consequently, all of us. Many thanks for making the calls and sharing this with your community!
Stay well and safe.
TONIGHT at 7 pm, Dr. Regina LaRocque will be on Facebook Live to answer your questions about COVID-19.
Regina is an infectious disease specialist at Mass General Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases -- and she’s also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She earned her MD at Duke and has a Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Regina and her family live here in Wellesley -- and we are really lucky to have her as a member of our Sustainable Wellesley leadership team!
Regina is on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19 -- but she is taking the time to answer your questions here on Facebook Live tonight at 7:00 pm, to help people understand what’s happening. So please send us your questions! You can send us a question via direct messaging on Facebook or emailing at email@example.com.
Thanks and see you at 7 pm!
A motion, especially interesting to Sustainable Wellesley readers, received unanimous favorable support from Advisory Committee members at their meeting last week.
This motion, an Opt-Out Voluntary Renewable Energy Program (based on the Power To Choose Program), will go before Town Meeting later this month. The premise is that an opt out program enrolls all Wellesley Municipal Light Plant customers into the program which will fund projects that will directly reduce our Town’s greenhouse gas emissions. Projects may include purchasing renewable energy, encouraging local solar power, adding electric town vehicles, providing charging stations, and other initiatives.
This program introduces an optional fee of about $7 per month for the average Wellesley household. For those who do not wish to, or can not afford to participate, opting out will be easy by phone, mail, or email. Opt out programs such as this are recommended by The U.S. Department of Energy, and exist in numerous Massachusetts towns including Newton, Lowell, and Concord. In addition, reducing energy usage would be ideal for our planet, and offset this fee.
As you may know, Wellesley did not meet Town Meeting’s goal to cut carbon emissions 25% by 2020. However, the results from The Opt-Out Voluntary Renewable Energy Program would enable the Town to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions going forward. This approach directly supports Wellesley's Unified Plan’s mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and complements the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant, Natural Resources Commission, and the Sustainable Energy Committee's initiatives.
Please consider voting for Town Meeting Members that will support such a motion on March 17th.