Wishing you warm wishes and inspiration this holiday season.
In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions, Sustainable Wellesley is encouraging all of us to consider helping others by lowering our thermostats and working to decarbonizing our homes and cars.
That's right, trimming fossil fuel consumption and pollution can help others. Not only is the small individual action of lowering the thermostat a few degrees better for our health, savings and greenhouse gas reduction, it is a way to act in solidarity with environmental justice communities turned upside down due to fossil fuel and climate-related disasters.
The majority of Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emissions come from heating our homes and buildings (63.3%), then transportation (30.6%). The rest is waste at 6.1%. Lowering our thermostats and looking for ways to electrify our homes are small shifts that contribute to a larger collective impact.
Wondering ways you can tackle this new year's resolution? Click here for a variety of inspirational actions - big and small.
Remember, we don't need a handful of us taking climate actions perfectly. We need all of us to show we care and take as many steps as we can.
Plus, there has never been a better time to consider a clean home energy project. The Federal Government is offering new tax credits for weatherizing your home, purchasing and installing efficient heat pumps (they cool your home too!) and making your car all electric.
Ask us for tips and guidance and/or share what you are doing with us!
Join Sustainable Wellesley’s Conversation with the Candidates on Tuesday, February 15 at 7:00pm.
Meet the candidates running for the many important town positions and hear where candidates stand on issues specifically related to sustainability.
Mark your calendars for this event, Election Day on March 1 and be sure to get your ballots and vote in this election.
Get your spot on the Zoom call by clicking here.
If you have a question for the candidates, please email it to email@example.com before Monday, February 14th at 7pm. Thanks!
What will Wellesley do about PFAS in our water? What is the most prudent course of action?
This is a good time to educate yourself about where the water that runs throughout your home -- from your kitchen tap to outdoor hoses -- originates. Currently, Wellesley’s municipal water supply comes from 10 town wells and from the regional Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA). There are four wells near Morses Pond which represent about half of the water the town uses.
Last spring, during mandated testing, Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) found that our Morses Pond well exceeded the Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) maximum allowable levels of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS). Wellesley’s DPW swiftly moved to turn off that source and worked with a consultant to shape a plan for short- and long-term water safety.
Why the concern? PFAS is also known as “forever chemicals” because they break down very slowly and are linked to cancer, kidney and liver problems, birth defects, and more.
This week, Wellesley Special Town Meeting will debate and vote on whether the DPW can borrow $1.5 million through the Water Enterprise Fund for an interim solution and $5.3 million for a long-term solution to address the PFAS issue at the Morses Pond Water Treatment Plant. The ARTICLE: 6, MOTION: 1 is on page 8 here. These funds would be allocated to a specific solution. Here is the dilemma:
Some residents in town (an infectious disease physician, PhD organic chemist, PhD and pesticide expert among others) have questioned whether the proposed granular activated carbon remediation system will sufficiently remediate all pollutants and have urged the town to start converting toward a cleaner water supply from the MWRA, which is sourced from the protected Quabbin Reservoir. One strong argument for this approach is that Welleslley's aquifer is surrounded by dense development and roadways adding to our groundwater contamination. However, it would take at least 3 years to add a second connection and increase present connectivity to the MWRA.
What would we do in the meantime?
The DPW has been thoughtful about this issue and has noted reasons why it may be prudent to continue to have more than one source of water. They also have noted the supply constraints caused by having the Morses Pond well offline, and expressed those constraints as part of the desire and goal to bring the Morses Pond well back on line using the interim solution noted above.
Some suggest waiting until the next Town Meeting to allow time for more public discourse, and recommendations from State and Federal officials (the State is due to come out with comments before the end of the year, and the EPA is working to set enforceable drinking water limits and will work to regulate PFAS).
One concern about waiting to decide on this issue is it may create a time lag on implementation of a solution, and possibly put Wellesley further back in the line as other towns and cities move quickly to remediate their water supplies.
To learn more about PFAS read here from the EPA and watch this video clip from the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA). Be mindful that this is not just a cost issue (cost of MWRA water vs. cost of Wellesley’s water) but a health and safety issue.
Actions for you:
Sustainable Wellesley encourages sustainable actions to protect our climate; reduce pollution of air, land and water; preserve biodiversity; minimize waste; and ensure environmental justice.
The Town is developing a Climate Action Plan that will provide a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and enhancing our resilience to climate change.
Give input on the Climate Action Plan design and priorities by taking a 5-minute confidential survey.
Your responses will help the Climate Action Committee develop climate change mitigation programs in the areas of energy, buildings, mobility, and waste.
The Climate Action Plan supports GHG reduction goals established by Annual Town Meeting in 2009 and revised in 2021. These goals align with state and federal targets and call for net zero town-wide emissions by 2050, a 75% reduction below 2007 levels by 2040, and a 50% reduction by 2030.
Access the survey online here and additional Info is here.
Thank you for participating!
Join the Zoom TONIGHT at 7.30pm to hear one woman's story how she walked away from tailpipe emissions and is loving her electric car. Its a great way you can take real action.
Sharon Kirby, a member of Sustainable Wellesley, generally tries to “do the right thing.” When it was time to buy a new car, she did her homework, ultimately choosing an Electric Vehicle (EV). She is so thrilled with her choice that she offered to share her research with us in this simple half-hour presentation. She has some surprising discoveries about Electric Vehicles and Hybrids. There will be plenty of time for questions afterward.
For car lovers, prepare to get excited and know you will be defending the planet as well. Believe it or not, 43% of Wellesley’s carbon emissions are due to the use of gas and diesel vehicles that rely on internal combustion engines. In other words, transportation in and around Wellesley is one of the single largest cause of greenhouse gases in our town. So when you drive; drive electric.
There are a variety of mobility options in and around Wellesley. If you are in the market for a car- new or pre-owned - small or large - join the conversation tonight and/or head over to the parking lot next to the library to see a variety of electric and hybrid cars this Saturday, October 2nd from 1-4pm. See and talk to owners of
Tesla Model Y
Audi e-tron SUV
MINI Countryman Plug-In
Toyota Prius Prime
Tesla Model 3
Register here or just come on by.
Both events are free and open to all. Ask about incentives on electric vehicles!
You are invited to the first Fall Sustainable Wellesley Action Meeting on Zoom this Thursday, 7.30-8.30pm. We will be powering you up with ideas on ways you can help Wellesley lower its greenhouse gas emissions starting with how you get around.
Believe it or not, 43% of Wellesley’s carbon emissions are due to the use of gas and diesel vehicles that rely on internal combustion engines. In other words, transportation in and around Wellesley is one of the single largest cause of greenhouse gases in our town.
There are a variety of mobility options in and around Wellesley. If you are in the market for a car- new or pre-owned - small or large - we have some events for you.
Join the Zoom this Thursday night to hear one woman's story how she walked away from tailpipe emissions and is loving her electric car. Its one way you can take real action. Register here. Sharon Kirby, a member of Sustainable Wellesley, generally tries to “do the right thing.” When it was time to buy a new car, she did her homework, ultimately choosing an Electric Vehicle (EV). She is so thrilled with her choice that she offered to share her research with us in this simple half-hour presentation. She has some surprising discoveries about Electric Vehicles and Hybrids. There will be plenty of time for questions afterward.
You can also see a variety of electric and hybrid cars this Saturday, October 2nd from 1-4pm at the Cameron Street parking lot on Cameron St . Come see and talk to owners of Chevy Volt, Chevy Bolt, Ford Mustang, Ford Fusion, Mini Cooper, Mini Countryman, Nissan Leaf, Tesla S, Tesla Y, Tesla 3, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen ID4, Chrysler Pacifica, and more! Register here.
Both events are free and open to all.
The Wellesley Department of Public Works (DPW) is helping cut carbon emissions with a significant investment in electric landscaping equipment. Starting this week, residents will see this new equipment in use in parks and open spaces and the entire Town will reap the benefits of these positive climate actions.
The department recently expanded its rechargeable battery-powered fleet, using funds from its Fiscal Year 2022 budget to purchase a large EGO riding mower and EGO brand cordless outdoor equipment including: two electric push lawn mowers, a pole hedge kit, six carbon fiber trimmers, and 4 leaf blowers. These new tools are in addition to other small rechargeable equipment like trimmers and leaf blowers that DPW bought in 2020. All are the same make and batteries for the equipment are interchangeable.
The purchases were spurred by panel discussions a year ago sponsored by the Town of Wellesley, Lexington DPW, Wellesley Natural Resources Commission, and Sustainable Wellesley in partnership with two nonprofits, American Green Zone Alliance and Quiet Communities, Inc.
Look for DPW crews using the new equipment at four established green spaces: Central Park near the Wellesley Square post office, Church Park in front of the Village Church, the Wellesley Police Department grounds, and the Tolles Parsons Center on Washington Street. These high-traffic parklands showcase pesticide-free landscaping and low-maintenance native plantings to foster birds, bees and other useful insects.
Because they run on rechargeable batteries, this equipment eliminates fumes and vibrations that are harmful to operators and passersby, and have lower decibel levels to reduce use noise. To keep equipment charged when away from power sources, DPW Director Dave Cohen is mounting charging stations on a trailer. “We are eager to see how this set up works and if the equipment can give crew members the sustained service that is required during long work days,” said Cohen.
According to Paul DePhillips, Assistant Superintendent of the DPW Park & Tree division, the team is also considering adding a solar panel to the roof of the trailer to provide some additional charging capability and reduce or even eliminate plug-in charging time. DePhillips’s crew has also added four electric chainsaws.
The most expensive piece is the rider electric mower, which retails for about $4,999 and can cut up to two acres on a single battery charge. The motor emits a sound that resembles a ‘faint whine,’ instead of a louder mowing noise.
In the coming months, DPW will be collecting data to quantify the benefits of shifting to electric equipment and will present this information to the Town to help inform future decisions about expanding the electric landscaping program.
Climate Action in Wellesley
The electric landscaping equipment program is helping support the Town’s climate action goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% below 2007 levels by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. Wellesley is currently developing a Climate Action Plan that will serve as a roadmap for reaching these goals. To learn more visit https://www.wellesleyma.gov/1584/Climate-Action-
Learn about Electric Vehicles: Sept. 30- 2 Online Events. View Multiple EV Makes & Models In-Person, Oct 2nd, 1-4pm at Cameron St. Parking Lot
Considering buying an electric vehicle (EV), or just want to better understand what it’s like to own and drive one?
Transportation accounts for 43% of Wellesley’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The Town of Wellesley has set an ambitious climate goal of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050 and interim goals of a 50% reduction by 2030 and 75% reduction by 2040. Driving an EV is one way you can reduce your environmental impact and help our community reach these goals.
Learn more about electric vehicles at three upcoming events to help you become an informed buyer:
Thursday September 30, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Energy New England Drives Electric Learn about new EV choices available this year and get your questions answered by EV experts at this National Drive Electric Week virtual event. Sign-up here.
Thursday September 30, 7:30 p.m. EVs, PHEVs, Hybrids: Car Options for Today Sharon Kirby, a Wellesley resident and EV owner, will share her firsthand perspective on EVs and answer attendee questions at this Sustainable Wellesley virtual event. Sign-up here.
Saturday October 2, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Wellesley EV Showcase (part of Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend) View different makes and models of EVs in-person and chat with Wellesley residents about their experiences owning and driving EVs. This event takes place at the Cameron Street parking lot in Wellesley. Sign-up here.
EVs are fun to drive and more affordable than ever, thanks to a $7,500 federal tax credit, a $2,500 Massachusetts state rebate, and a Green Energy Consumer Alliance Drive Green discount. And the savings continue, because an EV owner can save up to $1,000 per year on fuel and maintenance costs when compared to a traditional gas powered vehicle.
“We can all help combat climate change by choosing an EV the next time we buy or lease a new or used car," said Dr. Marybeth Martello, Wellesley’s Sustainability Director. "The U.S., along with more than 140 other nations, the state of Massachusetts, and Wellesley are actively working to curtail greenhouse gas emissions. We all can make a difference.”
These EV events and information are offered at no cost to all residents through a partnership between:
Sustainable Wellesley, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that engages residents, businesses and the town of Wellesley to take sustainable actions to protect our climate; reduce pollution of air, land and water; preserve biodiversity; minimize waste; and ensure environmental justice.
The Wellesley Climate Action Committee which engages our community and establishes goals, actions, metrics, and implementation blueprints for building resilience and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Wellesley Drives Electric, a program offered by the Municipal Light Plant to inform Wellesley residents about the benefits of driving an electric car and the electric utility bill savings available by charging an EV at home overnight.
Contact Terry Connolly, Wellesley Municipal Light Plant for more detail at 781-489-7766 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create Healthy Habits While Helping Wellesley Reduce Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The new school year is a chance to begin new routines. Recent climate studies show that 30% of Wellesley's traffic is school-related transportation. Instead of driving, start some new school traditions this fall.
- Get together with friends and walk to school
- Form neighborhood walking groups with other parents, caretakers, families – take turns leading the group.
- Ride bikes or scooters with neighbors.
-Check in with the Wellesley Public Schools to see if there is space on the bus: it is free if you live more than 2 miles from school.
More information on Wellesley's upcoming “Safe Routes to School” walking and biking initiative is coming out soon. Learn more about it from the Town's Mobility Committee members (see below). Better yet, consider participating in it by serving as a parent representative for your school.
Wellesley Select Board member Colette Aufranc at email@example.com
Wellesley School Committee Chair Catherine Mirick at firstname.lastname@example.org
Concerned About the Efficiency of Your Water Heater?
Sustainable Wellesley has teamed up with HomeWorks Energy to help spread the word about no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessments and the importance of energy efficiency in all seasons.
Water heaters decrease in efficiency as they age. Upgrading an old water heater to a more energy-efficient unit can help save money on energy use and lower your carbon footprint.
Schedule a no-cost Home Energy Assessment today to unlock access to professional advice from a Home Energy Specialist about your hot water tank. Ask about the Mass Save® HEAT Loan, a 0% interest rate loan for up to 7 years, that can be used to help finance new heating systems. The sponsors of the Mass Save program also offer generous rebates for qualified water heaters!
Schedule your Home Energy Assessment here, and for every performed Assessment, HomeWorks Energy will support Sustainable Wellesley with a donation. Save money and support us at the same time by signing up today!