Join Mother's Out Front's second Climate Action Call to take quick and effective action in just 45 minutes! This month, we’ll be advocating for legislation to make clean heat, clean air, and healthy soils a reality across the Commonwealth.
This event is designed for everyone - from curious newcomers to long-time volunteers. We’ll give you everything you need to take action right on the call. No experience necessary to help move forward legislation designed to protect all Massachusetts communities from environmental pollution and climate change.
If you missed the Sustainable Wellesley/Wellesley Books discussion with author Paul Greenberg about his inspiring, accessible book, the Climate Diet last week, you can watch it here.
What a treat for our group to hear directly from the author! "Naked food" and "shipped vs. flown" were just a few of the inspirational stories he shared on ways we can address our own household carbon footprints. As Paul says, "everyone can and should do something," and this book offers a wide array of things you can do.
He calls this book a "peace offering," for adults and teens/millennials that shares ideas that are not only good for the planet, but good for your health and wallet too.
Take some time to read The Climate Diet this summer. Its short, informative and available at the library and the local book store! Then share the book; we all have something to learn.
Award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg will join a discussion of his book, The Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint tomorrow, Thursday, at 7 p.m., sponsored by the nonprofit Sustainable Wellesley and Wellesley Books.
Greenberg’s short book provides an accessible guide to caring for the planet right now. Register here to receive a Zoom link for the event. You can purchase a copy of the book from Wellesley Books here or visit the Wellesley Public Library. Wellesley Books will donate a portion of sales to Sustainable Wellesley.
The book opens with this question: “Should we do nothing? Or should we do something?” In the 120+ pages that follow, Greenberg provides a list of urgent, achievable actions that could add up to big impact; for example, switch from beef to chicken to cut your carbon footprint by a fifth, hang your clothing to dry instead of using the dryer, which is “the second-most energy-intensive appliance in your home (after water heaters),” or reimagine your gift giving to include less packaging and more creativity.
Readers are urged to take steps to cut carbon emissions and generate less waste, but also to tackle broader efforts like writing to government representatives to support legislation that fosters big change. Greenberg writes that “no one responds to a finger in the face.’ Instead, he suggests that concerned citizens use their own knowledge of issues to inform and encourage support from leaders.
Shifting to sustainable practices is not just better for the planet, Greenberg suggests, but improves quality of life by leading to cleaner air, quieter neighborhoods, and nourishing, more delicious food. To start, readers are urged to ask questions like, do you really need or want to travel to a business conference, or could the next event be virtual? Or just how far did that pineapple travel before it arrived in your fruit bowl?
The book-group discussion will include a slide-show presentation and Q&A with the author, followed by community discussion. Space is limited, so please sign up today.
The Climate Diet is a book to read, discuss and then take along to revisit while sitting on a porch this summer. Pass the book to a friend, or use it as a reference when you wake up at 2 a.m. panicked about the state of our precious natural world. Don’t fret, do something! Greenberg assures that we can get started today. Greenberg’s other books include Four Fish, American Catch and Goodbye Phone, Hello World.
Know these folks?
Give them a big shout out!!
Congratulations to Wellesley High Schools' Climate Action Club members Vaani Kapoor, Kaitlin Braun, and Catherine Smith, who won the Community Engagement Award for their work on Solar Power and other initiatives from Project Green Schools' 2021 Green Difference Awards.
Also big congrats to Lisa Moore, Wellesley Natural Resources Commission's Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator, on receiving a Project Green Schools' 2021 Green Difference Awards for Outdoor Learning and Education.
Thanks to Wellesley Green Schools for taking the time to nominate these outstanding individuals. Way to go, Wellesley!
An energy efficient building code that still allows the combustion of fossil fuels is not helping Massachusetts achieve its goal of Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Because of the state’s Net Zero goals outlined in Gov. Baker’s Clean Energy Climate Plan, new homes will have to either be built to Net Zero now or be retrofitted later. It is less expensive to both the state and owners to build Net Zero buildings now than to retrofit buildings down the line. But cities and towns are prohibited from exceeding the state’s “stretch” code (a building code that requires higher energy efficiency standards for new buildings than the base code) even while many developers are already building to Net Zero standards at little to no a to no additional cost (ReadyforNetZero_03.01.21.pdf).
That’s why Massachusetts needs a new “Net Zero” stretch code that includes the use of renewable energy instead of gas or oil.
To keep the pressure up to guarantee that the Net Zero stretch code developed by the Department of Energy Resources is truly Net Zero, please consider:
1) Writing to the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (Dan.P.Walsh@mass.gov) to let them know that a true Net Zero stretch code means building safe and healthy housing, affordable to heat and cool, and effective in mitigating climate change. A true Net Zero stretch code transforms our buildings from a major source of emissions to being part of the climate solution.
2) Share the news on your favorite social media and include any and all of the following hashtags: #NetZeroForAll, #NetZeroNow, #ProtectOurAir, #ElectrifyEverything, #AllElectric, #PassOnGas, #GasFreeHomes, #CleanEnergy, #AirPollution·
Harvard Study estimates burning fossil fuels for buildings costs Massachusetts $8.4 billion in annual health impacts
An interactive map shows health impact of building emissions by state
Last night Wellesley Town Meeting voted to set ambitious new town-wide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% below 2007 baseline by 2030 and net zero zero emissions by 2050. Congratulations to all! Link to video presentation is here.
Summer temperatures in the Northeast are increasing, along with extreme heat days and heat waves. Learn about the intersections of climate change, heat, and health in the Greater Boston area at an event entitled "From Snow Days to Heat Waves," on May 24th at 6pm via Zoom. Register here.
Speakers will highlight projects across the Greater Boston area addressing the issues of rising and extreme temperatures, public health, equity, and climate change via short presentations and a panel discussion. A full list of speakers will be announced soon.
Extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather events in the United States, and can exacerbate existing health conditions. Unfortunately, the effects aren't experienced equally: the impacts of extreme heat are greater in low-income and BIPOC neighborhoods, where historic disinvestment has resulted in less access to green space, fewer street trees, and inadequate housing and cooling infrastructure. These impacts will likely be intensified as climate change causes temperatures to increase and humidity to rise.
This event is co-hosted by the Museum of Science, Boston; Mystic River Watershed Association; and Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The Metropolitan Mayors Coalition Climate Taskforce and Resilient Mystic Collaborative are co-sponsors.
The program is made possible with generous support from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Program.
May 24, 2021 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Last week the Town of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) launched its climate
action planning process. The SEC is seeking approval of updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals in Article 24 at Wellesley’s Annual Town Meeting next week. The SEC tracks Wellesley’s GHG emissions and leads efforts to mitigate them. The updated goals call for achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050, and interim reduction goals of 50% below a 2007 baseline by 2030 and 75% by 2040.
These science-based targets are similar to those set by many of Wellesley’s peer communities and are in line with recommendations from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has also committed to accomplishing net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 with interim goals. Governor Baker signed “An Act creating a next-generation roadmap for Massachusetts climate policy” into law on March 26, 2021.
Residents are encouraged to contact their Town Meeting Members to show support for these objectives that will drive action to minimize the causes of climate change while also improving Wellesley’s environmental resiliency.
To assist in Wellesley’s climate action planning efforts, Kim Lundgren Associates, Inc. (KLA), a local firm focused on climate action planning and solutions, will work with the SEC on a ten-month effort involving outreach to the Wellesley community and Town boards and committees.
KLA has two decades of municipal climate action and sustainability planning experience. In the past
three years, KLA supported development of 16 climate action plans for local governments across the country, including eight for Massachusetts communities. The firm’s ability to facilitate a data-driven and practical approach contributed to the firm’s selection.
“We are excited to begin the climate action planning process working together with representatives
from Town departments and the community to evaluate which GHG emissions reduction measures will be most appropriate for Wellesley,” said Laura Olton, Chair of the Sustainable Energy Committee. “We are confident that Wellesley will produce an evidenced-based, fiscally-responsible, equitable and practical plan to guide local climate action.”
In October 2020, Town Meeting Members approved a Select Board resolution calling on Wellesley
departments, boards, and committees to take action to address the accelerating climate change crisis.
Town-wide carbon goals will help to catalyze community-wide climate action. “It is important that we develop a strategy to bring our community together to protect our environment and promote
sustainable building and mobility practices, as well as the use of renewable energy sources where
possible,” said Thomas Ulfelder, Select Board Chair. “The town may benefit from increased financial
savings through energy efficiency and improved quality of life.”
To lay a foundation for developing the plan, Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Director, Marybeth Martello, is briefing Town departments and committees on the climate action planning process. The SEC and key department heads will hold a televised kick-off meeting on Friday, May 7. Public Forums and other community engagement efforts will take place throughout the process. Residents who are interested in keeping up to date with climate action plan development can subscribe to receive periodic updates by email at ClimateAction@WellesleyMA.gov.