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!
A ROUTINE THAT SAVES MONEY AND TRIMS CARBON FOOTPRINTS IS NEW AGAIN
Not that long ago, in the 1950s, automatic clothes dryers were still a novelty. So for most, laundry routines included hanging clothing out on a line or on a drying rack. Now, there are 90 million electric dryers in the United States, according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, and each of those dryers uses 5.8 percent of total household energy and accounts for 2,400 pounds of emissions per year, estimates the Natural Resources Defense Council. Multiply 90 million household dryers by an estimated 400 loads a year per household, and you discover...a stellar opportunity for energy savings.
As Wellesley shapes a Climate Action Plan and strives to join the nationwide effort to cut carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030, here is a way each of us can make a difference. If household energy consumers sidestep dryers and use a clothesline even just occasionally, the effect on energy consumption and carbon emissions rates would be significant.
A clothesline also can save you money. One energy blogger estimates savings of $15-$20 a month, and notes that line drying is also much gentler on clothing.
So let’s start a trend, Wellesley.
Show us your clotheslines!
Send images like mine above to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to inspire others. Your household can help our town reach our goals simply by foregoing use of the dryer. Consider rigging a clothesline between two trees, buying a retractable line or simply adding a drying rack inside to your laundry space.
Lise Olney, a member of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen, is giving it a try. She just ordered a bamboo umbrella-style clothesline to be installed in her verdant back yard.
“Basically, I was inspired by the book talk (Sustainable Wellesley’s first book group with Paul Greenberg, author of Climate Diet: 50 Simple Ways to Trim Your Carbon Footprint) to think of what other steps I can take to use less energy,” Olney said. “We already hang most of our laundry in the basement laundry room rather than using the (gas) dryer. But in the summer, the wet laundry just kicks off the dehumidifier, and that uses a lot of electricity. I think the clothesline will lower our electricity use and reduce the need to use the dryer. Our long-term goal is to get rid of gas from our house — we have gas heat, gas stove, and gas dryer so it’s going to take some doing!”
Wellesley resident and Natural Resources Commission board member Bea Bezmalinovic says her household has used a retractable clothesline in the basement for over 20 years. Her husband is from India where his family always dried clothing on lines to save wear and tear on items. At their home in Wellesley, she says: “We wash at night and clothes are usually dry within 8-12 hours,” adding that she and her husband split the work.
In my own house, I use a laundry-room drying rack for about half of laundry loads and in the summer, I hang clothing to dry outdoors, a routine I unscientifically calculated takes on average 6 minutes.
I learned my love of line-dried laundry from my mom, who as a child living with her grandmother in the Bronx clipped laundry to a rope strung across a courtyard on a pulley out their apartment window with all like pieces of clothing grouped end to end sharing wooden clothespins. Her grandmother insisted that the clothesline reflected on their household, my mom remembers: “Our laundry on display always looked perfect.”
During my own childhood, we had an old-fashioned wringer washing machine in the garage below the house at our small lakeside place in Maine. On breezy days, my mom would enlist all four kids to help collect sheets and laundry, fill the tub of the washer – agitate with detergent, rinse, agitate and rinse again. We then ran the bedding and clothing piece by piece through the rubber rollers of the ringer. Feeding a soaked face cloth in one end and receiving a rough flattened, clothing line-ready wafer out the other was so satisfying. Then all we had to do was shake out and hang the laundry on an extensive clothes line tied around the trunks of several massive pine trees between our house and the water. We had a conventional washer/dryer at home, but my memories of this summer chore were fun. Really.
As an adult, I find the exercise calming. Freed from routines inside the house juggling work and kids creates time to breathe in fresh air. And when my girls were small, I would plop them on a pile of clean, dry laundry in a basket and carry them inside laughing – good energy.
Nostalgia aside, there are real possibilities for energy savings. Energy Star estimates that Americans could save more than $1.5 billion each year in utility costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more than 2 million vehicles if they shifted to line drying. This seems worth the effort. So send us images of your clotheslines, Wellesley, and we will post them here to inspire others. Start making a difference today.
Written by Trish G
Sustainable Wellesley has teamed up with HomeWorks Energy to help spread the word about no-cost virtual Home Energy Assessments.
Eligible Massachusetts residents who sign up for a Home Energy Assessment get a custom home energy report and access to the Mass Save® HEAT Loan, 100% off air sealing, and 75-100% off approved insulation.
Your home may qualify for same-day instant savings measures like:
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.
New, Updated Gas Leaks Map shows Wellesley still has 250 unrepaired pipeline leaks, emitting a whooping 91 MT of methane (natural gas).
This puts Wellesley in the state’s top 11 emitters of methane, with the other 10 being much larger cities & towns: Worcester, Weymouth, Quincy, Newton, Medford, Lynn, Dorchester, Brookline, Arlington and Boston.
Methane has more than 80 times the climate warming power of carbon dioxide during the first 20 years after it reaches the atmosphere.
Leaky, corroded pipes run all over under our town and the entire state. The estimated cost to repair all if these pipes is enormous, at the ratepayers’ expense. Despite the fact that 70 pipe lines have been repaired in Wellesley so far, it seems even more leaks have sprung anew.
It’s time to stop using “natural “ gas for our heating and cooking.
Gas is unhealthy, dangerous, costly (we are paying for all those leaks!), and bad for the environment.
Consider going electric! Email us to learn more!
Electric Heat Pumps Save You Money While Heating & Cooling Your Home
Heating With Heat Pumps Is Super Cost Competitive Due to Wellesley's Low Electricity Rates
Learn how air source heat pumps can save money and improve the comfort of your home when you replace an aging air conditioner or archaic heating system on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m.
Join the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (WMLP) and its expert panelists for an informational webinar to learn more about the Clean Comfort Program and answer your questions regarding air source heat pumps. For a limited time, this program offers a rebate of up to $2,000 for qualifying residents who install air source heat pumps. Click here for more details about this program.
The modern and efficient air source heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, significantly lowering operating cost and eliminating the need for separate heating and cooling systems.
Register here to learn how to:
Improve the comfort of your home
Shrink home cooling and heating costs
Reduce your carbon footprint
This free webinar is co-sponsored by the WMLP and Sustainable Wellesley. To register by email for this webinar, please click here.
Small gas engines are a leading source of air pollution. Find out why battery powered maintenance equipment is the superior solution.
Join the Electrify Coalition for an important webinar on electric outdoor power tools. We'll be talking with some of the leading experts and advocates for the electrification of the landscape maintenance industry about why this is important, the state of the transition away from gas powered tools, and provide tips on how you can make this transition in your home or community. We will cover:
The Electrify Coalition: Our coalition of non-profits, faith based groups, HVAC contractors, youth groups, builders and energy providers is dedicated to accelerate electrification through education and policy.
The RDF Reusables Area has revised hours and instructions for the Drop-Off and Pick-Up/Shopping for items.
Reusables Area Hours
7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thursday - DROP OFF ITEMS ONLY
Friday - PICK UP (shopping) ITEMS ONLY
Saturday- BOTH DROP OFF AND PICK UP (shopping)
10 minute area limit - No gatheringWhen using the Reusables Area...
Green Collaborative - March 31 - 9 to 10 am on Zoom
Click Here to Register
Please Help Search Out Prospects
A key purpose of the Green Collaborative is to find ways to mutually assist in green initiatives. The Municipal Light Plant, Sustainable Energy Committee, Sustainable Wellesley and the WHS Climate Action Club are reaching out to ask for your assistance.
We are in search of the 1 in 50 homeowners who can benefit by purchasing an air source heat pump this year. The MLP is providing up to $2,000 in rebates.
It's a numbers game and we are seeking your help in reaching out to as many homeowners as possible.
Our one hour program will provide: