THANK YOU to those that have volunteered to help get the word out about the Wellesley Food Waste Recycling Program! With the holidays coming up, when there is often more food on the table, there is also more food waste to recycle :) So, this is a great time to talk to folks.
We have been given permission to have a table outside of Roche from 10am-2pm on Saturday 11/16 & 11/23.
Please contact Sharon at 781-325-3292 to let her know what DAY and TIME(S) you will be there. We have had a very positive experience thus far talking to folks outside of Green's Hardware and at the RDF. People have been genuinely engaged and interested to see the compostable bags, the counter-top collector bins and the garage bucket/bin as well--of course these are all optional, except for the compostable bags.
This volunteer opportunity is easy; just have a natural, quick, nice interaction with folks asking them if they live in town, know about the food waste recycling program which is not only good for the environment, but saves the town money. Hand those a flyer that are busy and or want more information.
The reason for this initiative is that 30% of everyday household trash is food waste.
Right now, Wellesley's recycling of food waste is 6% of the total recycling at our RDF. So there is a lot of food waste Wellesley is NOT recycling. We can do better and it’s easy to do.
How the Wellesley Food Waste Program works:
-You collect your food waste- leftovers, cooking/baking scraps, or food that you didn't get around to eating at home in a compostable bag.
-Food waste in compostable bags is collected at the Wellesley RDF, in the FOOD WASTE receptacles, next to the general trash receptacles.
-The Wellesley RDF takes this to the Charlestown company, Save That Stuff, where their anaerobic digesters convert it to methane, which produces electricity for their company. A portion of the leftover byproduct is made into pellets of low grade fertilizer.
-Wellesley delivers approximately one ton of food waste to them weekly at a cost of $60 per ton which is $22 per ton less than The Town pays to dispose of regular household trash.
Try recycling your food waste. It’s good for the environment, produces clean energy, fertilizes the soil and saves the town money—a savings that we can increase!
At last week’s FUNdraiser we did in fact, have lots of fun.
We met new folks, found great pre-loved designer pieces at a fraction of the original cost, and saved items from the waste stream. While we are certain that the Hermes pocketbook, fine cashmere sweaters, Tiffany jewelry, Ferragamo shoes, Stella McCartney jacket, and the Alexander McQueen scarf we spotted won't end up in the garbage, many items in our families’ closets sometimes do.
The Wellesley community is very committed to donating to Cradles to Crayons and other important non profits which is very generous. However, many don't necessarily think about “waste” when we are shopping for clothing. Our community is getting more mindful of reducing the use of plastic bags, straws, etc., and increasing the use of litter-less lunches and water bottles. However, those are not the only disposable items in our daily lives. Let's be real, fast fashion is not a friend to mother nature.
A high amount of energy is expended in factories to churn out these products using a great deal of water, electricity, and natural resources. In addition, the majority of fast fashion is made from synthetic compounds which can take hundreds of years to decompose. This means that the shirt we got for a deal and wore only a few times that is disposed of ends up sitting in landfills and letting off mass amounts of carbon dioxide.
Keep America Beautiful shared some staggering facts recently. Are you sitting?
Stay tuned for more pre-loved fashion FUN!
Thursday, November 14, at 7 pm
Join us for a FREE screening of Paris to Pittsburgh, a new film from National
Geographic, at the UU Wellesley Hills, 309 Washington St.
From coastal cities to America’s heartland, Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the age of climate change. As the weather grows more deadly and destructive, they aren’t waiting on Washington to act. Learn about their incredible stories and be inspired to create change in our community!
A discussion led by Sustainable Wellesley follows the screening. Co-sponsored by Sustainable Wellesley, UU Wellesley Hills and League of Women Voters of Wellesley.
Sustainable Wellesley is hosting its first Shopping FUNdraiser on Thursday, November 7th.
Drop into Lemon Tree at 29 Main Street in Natick Center anytime between 4pm -7.30pm for some nibbles and drinks, fun and cheer, and pre-loved women and teen fashion.
Bring friends and family as there will be a wide array of labels, price points, styles, and sizes. Plus, a portion of each sale will go to support Sustainable Wellesley. After 5pm the commuter lot and street parking are free.
This award winning, upscale casual shop is large enough to accommodate this event, but there is also a great consignment store in Wellesley called Elan.
We are doing this event for FUN and to raise awareness that:
- a lot of energy goes into clothing manufacturing - from the transportation of raw materials and production processes, to getting the clothes into the stores and disposing of unwanted items.
- water consumption is extremely high when producing, manufacturing, packaging and transporting clothing. In the production process alone, one kilogram of cotton requires 5,300 gallons of water.
- the production of cotton is highly pesticide-intensive, causing soil acidification and water contamination. Harmful dyes, caustic soda and crude oil by-products are also a concern as these chemicals are generally dumped into areas around manufacturing units, contaminating surface and ground water through soil runoff.
- Americans throw out anywhere from 60 to over 80 pounds of textile waste annually. Buying pre-loved also removes the vast amount of packaging materials waste that comes with new clothes.
The Resale Revolution is Twice As Nice!
As you may be aware, the third large gas blowdown in the last 3 months happened again in our community on October 8th.
Professor Nathan Philips of BU took methane measurements, and the plume was detected over Tender Loving Care daycare center in Weston and traveled into Wellesley, despite the fact that Enbridge had informed town officials that it would not enter our air space.
A number of people stood on the River Road bridge over I-95 at rush hour to express their concerns about this.
You are probably concerned too.
Comments we have heard are:
- Why was the notification of the municipalities so haphazard and on extremely short notice?
- The plume traveled quite far afield of where Enbridge said it would go. This is not surprising since meteorological conditions determine the behavior of plumes of gas.
- A daycare center was subjected to this fumigation event. This is interesting since the Department of Public Health and all of the municipalities did an assiduous job of notifying people about precautions to take when they performed aerial spraying recently for eastern equine encephalitis, but they had no oversight or involvement here. Many have said that if they had know, they would have kept their children at home instead of sending them to the day care center subjecting them to this exposure.
- Was any consideration given to capturing this release, as opposed to just 'scrubbing' it to remove the odorants? The only effect this has is to keep the public from being aware that there is odorless gas and contaminants in the air. This seems deceptive.
Please consider writing or calling your local legislators. Ask them these same questions and share your concerns about the impact of blowdowns have on our local environment and community.
The methane they release is a major contributor to climate change, is extremely flammable and is a harmful air pollutant.
Breathing air polluted with the components of natural gas is hazardous to human health. Natural gas contains other chemicals aside from methane, including respiratory toxins and cancer-causing compounds.
Here are their contact information. Please take a few minutes and reach out to them.
Rep. Alice Peisch
Phone: (617) 722-2070
Senator Becca Rausch
Phone: (617) 722-1555
Senator Cynthia Creem
Phone: (617) 722-1639
Be part of Sustainable Wellesley’s “Truly Scary” Halloween campaign. Share these images on social media, or change your profile to these this month as part of our awareness campaign.
The truth is a little scary. But without it, we can’t take action to prevent the even scarier consequences. We are sharing these as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change) estimates that we only have 12 years to prevent the earth from surpassing 1.5 degrees Celsius of global warming. Consequences include droughts, increased severe weather, rising sea levels and flooding, famine, and refugee crises.
Choose the scary theme that resonates most with you; or share them all on all of your social media accounts. Learn more about the issues as well as ways you can make a difference by clicking here. Email email@example.com for more images.
Every incremental increase has an impact on rising sea levels, droughts, and severe weather patterns. 1.8 billion people: the number likely to be directly affected by sea level rise by 2050. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that “extreme sea level events that used to occur once a century will strike every year on many coasts by 2050”.
The market for recyclables has severely diminished since China began refusing our plastic waste in 2018, and even then only about 9% of plastic was being successfully recycled. Contaminated single-sort recycling loads get refused by buyers and end up in landfills or incinerated. Some gets shipped to overwhelmed countries without laws against dumping it into the oceans if they don’t end up recycling it. Demand lags severely behind amount being created.
Reducing the amount of beef you eat by choosing smaller servings, making a beef stew instead of a pot-roast, and adding more meatless meals can have a drastic reduction on your carbon footprint. Lots of options here.
Children, seniors and those with lung health issue are particularly at risk. Plus, its against the law!
There are many ways you can be part of the solution from being an informed voter, to grabbing jackets for those sitting in the carline instead of idling. Please click on the “Take Action” or “Get Involved” tabs above to learn more ways you can help be part of the solution.
Tomorrow! Check out Electric Vehicles & Learn How Driving One Can Help Reduce Wellesley's Carbon Footprint
Concerned about climate change?
Learn how driving an electric vehicle can make a difference. A free event on October 24, 2019, at 9 a.m. at the Wellesley Free Library, “Electric Vehicles: Driving Wellesley to a Greener Future” will demonstrate how the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) can dramatically reduce Wellesley’s carbon footprint.
A 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory provided by the Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) shows that 46% 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 the single largest cause of greenhouse gases in our town. With zero tailpipe emissions, the adoption of EVs in Wellesley by residents and our town government makes sense, and is one way we act locally to preserve our planet.
The October 24 event is co-hosted by the Wellesley Green Collaborative and will provide an overview of EVs currently available for consumer and commercial use. Several EV makes and models will be on display in the library parking lot for firsthand viewing.
Featured speakers will address topics including: the costs and benefits of EVs and available rebates and incentives; strategies for increasing the use of electric vehicles by town government; and case studies of nearby communities that have piloted the use of electric school buses.
Scheduled speakers include:
Anna Vanderspek, Electric Vehicle Program Director, Green Energy Consumers Alliance. The Green Energy Consumers Alliance “Drive Green” program includes an electric vehicle discount program and provides educational outreach to consumers interested in vehicle electrification.
Benjamin Hartford, National Accounts Sales Representative, XL Fleet. XL Fleet provides electrification solutions for commercial and municipal vehicles that may improve fuel efficiency by up to 50%.
Kevin King, School Bus and Transit Sales Manager, Lion Electric. Lion Electric school buses were included in a pilot in Concord, Amherst, and Cambridge, MA.
Kevin Kennedy, Project Manager, Town of Wellesley. A progress update on the town hall annex project, Wellesley’s first net-zero energy facility, will be provided.
Wonder what is the Green Collaborative?
The Wellesley Green Collaborative, whose mission is to share information and collaborate around common interests regarding the environment, is facilitated by the town of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee and meets several times a year. Participants include members of Town departments, boards and committees; grassroots environmental and conservation organizations; civic groups; houses of faith; and interested members of the public. New participants are always welcome and no RSVP is required.
Looking for a natural way to reduce mosquitos in your backyard?
Bats are critical in keeping the vast numbers of pests and insects under control, pollinate flowers, and carry seeds for important plants. Did you know that a single bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitos and other small garden pests every single hour? Bats also safeguard our health by reducing demands for toxic pesticides—one of our planet’s most serious, but too often ignored, health threats.
Make your own bat house or check out BatBnB's home for bats that you can easily install on your house or in your yard.
Natural gas is 95% methane, which is 86 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over the first 20 years in the atmosphere. Over-dependence on natural gas as a "bridge fuel" is impacting Massachusetts greenhouse gas emissions targets. Gas infrastructure in MA is the second oldest in the country. Limited ongoing maintenance has led to an increasing number of leaks, which are not only a health and safety hazard in our communities, but also impacting the health of our planet.Sustainable Weston Action Group (SWAG) invites you to the "Natural Gas: Triage & Transition" panel event for October 24th at 7pm at the Amy Potter Center, Weston Middle School (456 Wellesley Street, in Weston).During this panel discussion, local experts will share their insights and experience in addressing both short and longer term issues with natural gas, outlining the impact on our communities and providing solutions for a way forward.Speakers include:
Another Gas Release in Wellesley is scheduled for October 8.
The Town has been advised that there will be another release of gas from the valve site near 68 Walnut Street in Wellesley on Tuesday, October 8 between 7 am and 7 pm. This gas is being released from the Algonquin pipeline, the main gas distribution line for the northeast. A segment of the pipeline runs through Wellesley.
Algonquin Gas said it will be releasing odorized natural gas due to planned maintenance work, but did not give more details for this gas release, or for the two releases that took place on August 16 and 27.
Please note that very high levels of methane were recorded in the area by Dr. Nathan Phillips of Boston University during the August releases. Methane is an extremely potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to the devastating effects of global warming. Methane is also known to have a negative effect on human health.