Sure its hot today. The National Weather Service said Boston could meet or exceed the heat record set in 1880, when the city reached 97 degrees. These more frequent, extreme heat days from a changing climate are a risk to our health and communities so consider doing something different.
IF YOUR AIR CONDITIONING FAILS YOU. PLEASE LOOK INTO AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMPS
Earn a Rebate of up to $2,000 from the Town's Clean Comfort Program. Info here
All the more reason for us to walk Washington Street to let more folks know about ways we all can make our homes more comfortable, and high performing while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, our new float, created by 2 Olin College students, is ready for debut!
Bring your family, neighbors and friends to march with us in the Wellesley Parade today from 1-2.30pm.
Enjoy the shout outs and cheers from friendly spectators along the route. You can feel the environmental enthusiasm in town.
Two incredible Olin College students Suki and Daniel built us this model high performance house we will show off. As you may know, 63% of Wellesley's emissions come from buildngs and nearly 40% of that is from homes. Thus, this is an effort to encourage actions that will make our homes more comfortable, less expensive to heat and cool, and help us meet the Town wide goal of being Net Zero by 2050.
We will be lining up at 12.45pm on the corner of Elm and Washington Streets and should be done downtown shortly after 2.
THANK YOU SUKI & DANIEL!
On Thursday, January 28, from 6-7:30 p.m., Sustainable Wellesley will sponsor a panel discussion entitled Banking on Our Values, inviting the community to learn more about investing in companies that prioritize climate action and equity. Financial experts Heidi Vanni, Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden, Sumeit Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Finhive, and Glenn Migliozzi, Lecturer in the Finance Division at Babson College, will share their expertise and field questions on the non-financial factors that influence investment decisions. Personal and professional investors will learn from this conversation on the short- and long-term benefits of incorporating these investment strategies and how one may begin to embrace them.
Heidi Vanni is Managing Director and Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden, a Boston-based investment management firm that invests in publicly traded companies. On behalf of clients, the firm seeks to advance sustainable business practices around climate, equality and governance. Ms. Vanni works with both institutional and private wealth clients, building portfolios that enable them to align their investments with their mission or values.
At Finhive, a Massachusetts-based social enterprise building personal finance into the core capabilities of communities and small businesses, Co-Founder and Managing Partner Sumeit Aggarwal is focused on narrowing the gender gap in investing and finance. Finhive hosts training sessions on topics like investing and financial health for individuals, and consults with small businesses providing cash flow analysis, budgeting, profit margin analysis, pricing strategies and other financial topics.
Babson College lecturer Glenn Migliozzi, teaches courses in personal finance, alternative investments and business ethics. Prior to joining the Babson staff, he held a range of financial positions from corporate finance director to hedge fund manager. In his free time, Migliozzi supports agencies that address food insecurity, financial literacy and legal services.
Organizers and moderators Jacob Nichols, President of the Babson Sustainability Club and Sustainability Intern at Babson; and Jacob Landau, a Sustainable Wellesley Intern, speaker at the October 2020 Wellesley Climate Rally and Wellesley High School junior, will guide the conversation about how values-based investing can maintain or improve financial returns, while better meeting social impact goals.
Register for this free event here. Sign up today. Space is limited to 100 participants.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
These gray winter months are a great time to consider ways to shape a more equitable and a greener community. Sustainable Wellesley recommends three engaging Zoom forums open to all residents.
The first, on Thursday, January 21, Sustainable Wellesley will host a webinar, Zero Carbon Home, from 7- 8 p.m. on Zoom. Sign up for this free event to learn how to lower heating bills and whittle household carbon footprints to zero from David Green, who achieved this goal and wrote about it in his book also entitled Zero Carbon Home. All participants will receive a free electronic version of the book for iPad or Kindle. “When I set out to cut my carbon footprint (I had no idea I could cut it to zero, let alone make money doing so) I found there was no guidebook,” Green writes. “So, I set about cutting our carbon footprint myself.” He is saving so much money on bills, in fact, that he is earning a 15% return on his investments. Register here.
On Thursday, January 28, from 6-7.30 p.m., you are invited to learn about investing with an eye to climate and equity. Join Sustainable Wellesley for Banking on Our Values, a panel discussion with financial experts including Heidi Vanni, Chief Client Officer at Boston Trust Walden; Sumeit Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Finhive; and Glenn Migliozzi, Lecturer in the Finance Division at Babson College. Personal and professional investors will learn from the conversation. Register for this free event here.
On February 24 at 7:30 p.m., we encourage you to join Sustainable Wellesley for a Conversation with the Candidates via Zoom. Meet the candidates running for a variety of open Board seats in town and hear their thoughts on how sustainability should be woven into the fabric of those boards going forward. Send questions in advance to info@SustainableWellesley.com.
All three events are virtual, free and open to the public. Questions? Or for more information, please reach out to email@example.com.
Ready to dip your toe into politics with an important, but limited commitment role?
The Town Meeting is the legislative body for the Town of Wellesley. 240 voting town meeting members are elected by precincts. Each precinct has 30 members elected to three year staggered terms.
The Annual Town Meeting begins on the last Monday in March and meets Monday and Tuesday nights until the business of the meeting is concluded. The length of the town meeting is dependent on the number of articles on the Warrant and the complexity of the issues to be discussed.
Get your papers to be a Town Meeting Member by January 22, 2021, 5 pm and turn them in (with 10+ signatures in precinct) by January 26, 2021, 5 pm.
What You Need To Know:
There are seats in your district (As of 12/1/2020):
Precinct A 10-3 year terms
Precinct B 10-3 year terms
Precinct C 10-3 year terms, 1-2 year term
Precinct D 10-3 year terms
Precinct E 10-3 year terms, 1-2 year term
Precinct F 10-3 year terms
Precinct G 10-3 year terms
Precinct H 10-3 year terms
For more information on how to run, click here.
SAVE THE DATE AND REGISTER FOR THIS FREE EVENT
Thursday, January 21, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
Add to Calendar
This webinar will help you save a lot of money and cut your carbon footprint. In addition, all attendees will receive a free electronic version (for iPad or Kindle) of David Green's, Zero Carbon Home.
In this webinar David describes what they did to cut their home's carbon footprint, heating bill and electricity bill to zero. He is saving so much money on bills that he is earning a 15% return on my investments in heat pumps, insulation, triple-glazed windows and solar panels, which he calls the fab four. Yes, he is a Brit and a Beatles fan.
He is both an energy geek, with a degree in physics from Oxford University, and a finance nerd with an MBA from Harvard Business School. His financial analysis ensured that they only did things that made financial sense as well as energy sense. He found that geothermal, solar hot-water panels and adding insulation to your walls made energy sense but made no financial sense.
When he set out to cut his carbon footprint (he had no idea he could cut it to zero, let alone make money doing so) he found there was no guidebook. So, he set about cutting their carbon footprint himself. Having succeeded in going zero, he wrote a book on how to do it. Zero Carbon Home is the guidebook he had been looking for. It is written in simple, clear language that focuses on saving money by cutting your carbon dioxide emissions. He does not tell you to lower your thermostat, eat vegan or vote for Al Gore. He shows what they did that worked. Both the book and webinar are full of pictures, charts and diagrams, usually of our own experience. Both are scientifically rigorous and financially sound. They are sprinkled with pithy observations and, on occasion, a dry English wit.
David does not work for or get paid by any manufacturer or installer of equipment. He is free of the conflicts of interest that permeate the industry. After a nasty road accident in 2014 that nearly killed him, he retired from his career in biotechnology ( founded two companies, was CEO of both and took both public). He now sometimes works 14-hour days helping people cut their carbon footprints. So much for retirement.
He looks forward to hearing your questions on the webinar.
And yes, Green really is his family name. He got it from his father. He is not making it up, just like he is not making up anything else in the book or webinar.
This event is co-sponsored by Sustainable Wellesley and the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant.
On Thursday, January 14, 7:30pm join a community discussion about housing in Wellesley with:
Jennifer has served local, regional, state, and national housing, community development, and planning organizations and she recently became a Climate Reality Leader with the Climate Reality Project.
The discuss will center around how Wellesley’s zoning created our desirable community, but also contributes to Wellesley’s increasing lack of affordability. How can we ensure that Wellesley’s housing supports our values? What action steps can we take to allow a greater diversity of people to call Wellesley their home?
To register for free Zoom event, please click here.
This event is presented by the League of Women Voters of Wellesley, and the Wellesley Free Library and sponsored by many organizations, including Sustainable Wellesley.
Join Newton students on Sunday, December 6 from 4-5pm for a pre-holiday Zoom discussion about ways to have a sustainable holiday season. The program will include gift ideas, trivia questions and easy steps to make an environmental difference. Please register in advance for this webinar.
Presentation topics include:
For students at home this holiday season looking for something to do, here are 3 ideas.
1) EVERY Friday, you can join the weekly climate vigil from 3-4pm on the grounds of Wellesley Town Hall (525 Washington St., Wellesley). Bring your friends, family and neighbors to the this local Greta Thunberg inspired Fridays For Future event. Wear a mask, and feel free to bring a sign about why protecting the climate matters to you!
2) Share your/family/local friend/local business/neighbor's story with us! You know you get inspired by others so let us get inspired by you/them! We know you are doing something cool for the planet, and we want to hear about it. Check these out ideas and then write to us about local climate friendly acts, or send in a video!
3) Collect the cardboard and newspapers in your house and bring them to the RDF. As you can imagine, those items are in high demand and the Wellesley RDF ("dump") is being offered a lot of money for them. Help recycle high quality goods and make money for the Town!
4) Sustainable Wellesley is redesigning its logo and is inviting you to submit entries. Wellesley residents (students too) are encouraged to participate and can submit up to three entries in .png, or .jpg format. Submissions will be accepted until December 31, 2020 here. A mood board for some inspiration is here.
Have another climate friendly idea/interest you want to talk about, join forces on, etc.? Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a group of volunteers and a platform to inspire and raise awareness around lower impact living. "We" includes You!
The Wellesley Municipal Light Plant (MLP) is showing itself to be a thought leader in it's approach to the procurement of energy. Last year, it was given the opportunity to enter an energy buying contract with the proposed Palmer Renewable Energy biomass plant in Springfield. This plant, not yet in operation, would be the first major commercial wood-burning power plant in the state.
At a time when municipal light plants seek alternatives to fossil fuels, the Palmer plant first appeared to offer an opportunity to meet energy needs more sustainably. The MLPs of Reading, Braintree, Norwood, Danvers, and Taunton are some of the municipal light plant towns lured into entering 20-year contracts to purchase power from this allegedly “green” power plant. The Wellesley MLP, however, noted the carbon emissions, particulate and chemical pollution, and the environmental injustice concerns regarding the plant, and looked elsewhere for renewable energy opportunities.
An October 20, 2020 article in The Boston Globe entitled ‘In the Nation’s Asthma Capital, Plans to Burn Wood for Energy Spark Fury’ notes that residents and city councilors in Springfield have been fighting construction of the plant for over a decade, citing health concerns in a city that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has already listed as the “asthma capital of the nation” because of existing industrial pollution. Not only do Springfield residents, half of whom are minorities, suffer from a higher rate of asthma than in other cities, but a quarter live under the poverty level.
The Baker administration has pushed to weaken the rules for biomass energy to qualify as “renewable” under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, allowing for rate-payer funded subsidies, potentially in the millions, to go to the Palmer plant, which is currently ineligible for these subsidies. Hundreds of Springfield residents, grassroots advocates, environmental organizations, health advocates, local officials and scientists spoke out at public hearings opposing these regulations, and over 100 groups signed on to written comments. Attorney General Maura Healy called Baker’s proposed rule change a “step backward” in addressing climate change.
A state-commissioned study in 2010 by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences found that biomass “generally emits more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels per unit of energy produced.” The study also found that large biomass plants are likely to produce much greater particulate and chemical pollution than coal and natural gas plants.
In the closing days of July, the Massachusetts House of Representatives rushed through language in it's 2050 Climate Roadmap Bill – a broad package of climate proposals – that defines large-scale biomass power plants as “non-carbon emitting energy” sources. The Senate version - the Next Generation Climate Bill - contains no such loophole; Palmer is projected to emit nearly one ton of carbon dioxide per minute. A conference committee with three members each from the House and Senate will decide the ultimate fate of this legislation.
Just last week, the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee issued a recommendation that biomass be removed from eligibility in the state’s RPS and other clean energy programs by 2022.
“During my 20 years in Town I’ve always been impressed with how much importance the Wellesley community as a whole has placed on the impact their decisions have on other towns and cities,” said WMLP Director, Don Newell. “The Municipal Light Board’s decision not to purchase electricity from a wood burning, biomass plant is reflective of the entire community’s thoughtful consideration of others. Given the premium we place on renewable energy and fuel diversification this wasn’t an easy decision but the Light Board made the correct one.”
Do Your Part - Stop burning wood to be labeled as non-carbon emitting by MA state legislature
The Conference committee that is conferencing two climate bills is considering adding the House’s definition of wood burning as “non-carbon emitting” to our state laws to allow wood burning to receive state incentives for making electricity.
Wood burning is dirtier than coal.
You can sign this petition, and contact your legislators to demand they contact the Conference Committee Chairs Senator Barrett and Rep. Golden and tell them to not classify wood burning as “non-carbon emitting.” For draft language from the Sierra Club, and conference committee contact names, click here.