Stop Litter and Landfill Overfill                     

Vote YES on Question 2

stop litterA YES vote on Question 2 on November 4th will finally update a successful 32-year-old law, the 1982 Bottle Bill, to include five cent deposits on water bottles and sports drinks. Question 2 is our answer to a critical problem: instead of being recycled millions of these bottles are ending up in our town fields, parks, beaches, streams, oceans and landfills where the plastic they are made of never breaks down. Voting YES on Question 2 to update the Bottle Bill will begin solving the problem of harmful plastics in our environment and will:

  • Increase recycling rates

The facts tell the story: more than 80% of bottles with deposits are redeemed, compared to less than 23% of bottles without deposits. The rest of those containers, which are mostly water and sports drink bottles, become litter or end up as trash in landfills.

According to the Container Recycling Institute, people in the US buy about 34.6 billion plastic water bottles per year, and 8 out of 10 of those bottles go un-recycled and directly into landfills. As a result, landfills have become so full that water bottles and other plastic materials end up landfilled, downcycled, incinerated or exported to other countries.

  • Save money and resources

Cleaning up these bottles is expensive– by redeeming and/or recycling water & sports drink containers would save our cities and towns about $6.7 million a year or an average of $1 per person living in MA in litter pick up and trash disposal costs.

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Wellesley Green Schools’ No Idling Campaign Receives State Award

wgs State House Award 2014By Matthew Hornung ’16 and Olivia Gieger ’17 
Posted May. 7, 2014 Wellesley Townsman 

On Tuesday, a contingent from Wellesley Green Schools traveled to the Massachusetts State House to receive an Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award. The contingent included students on the Wellesley High School Green Team along with Wellesley Green Schools’ parent volunteers.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) annually collaborates with the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education (SAGEE) and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) to award school groups throughout the Commonwealth for their proactivity in environmental affairs. The awards were first created in 1994 and are awarded to organizations that “voluntarily incorporate environmental education into public or private school curricula,” according to the EEA. The awards are intended to increase or encourage continued environmental education in schools across the state.

Idling_postcard_FINAL copy

This year Wellesley Green Schools was nominated for an Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education Award by Wellesley Police Chief Terrence Cunningham and Officer Evan Rosenberg for the no-idling campaign that they pushed throughout the winter and early spring. The initiative was designed to encourage drivers to turn off their engine while waiting in carlines and parking lots by rewarding those that already did so before the initiative, leading them to set an example for others.

The WHS Green Team also played a big role in the execution of the campaign. Every Friday, students stood outside the high school’s main entrance and asked drivers to turn their cars’ engines off or handed out informational cards on the effects of idling to parents already making the right choice.

“Wellesley Green Schools is honored to have received this designation and award from EEA Secretary Rick Sullivan, but is more enthusiastic that so many organizations both governmental and non-governmental supported this important initiative in Wellesley,” said Phyllis Theermann, Co-Chair of Wellesley Green Schools. “The result is that individuals around town are slowly changing their habits to turn their cars off when they are not driving. They simply needed a reminder about the effects it has on their communities’ health, environment as well as wallets. See the details at,” Theermann said.


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Turn the Key, Be Idle Free!


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P2C_Logo_2014 web use


It is part of the Town’s MORE POWER TO CHOOSE Campaign that includes other opportunities to improve your home efficiency & “Make Wellesley Even Better”

Wellesley is offering homeowners a FREE thermal image report that displays an exterior heat loss image of your home and an analysis of what the image implies. The image is ONLY viewable by the homeowner. This is part of the Town’s MORE POWER TO CHOOSE campaign that includes other opportunities to improve your home efficiency and “Make Wellesley Even Better.”

P2C_Magnet_2014_200pxThis campaign is working to “Make Wellesley even better” by offering any or all of the following:

  • FREE home thermal image report
  • No-Cost home energy assessment
  • Advice on how to accomplish one’s list of efficiency


  • FREE preliminary analysis of a home’s suitability for a solar installation
  • Discounted price for solar panel installation through a group purchase program
  • The chance to sign up or increase the amount of clean, local renewable energy purchased through Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant

    Power to Choose 2014 IconsA thermal image report informs homeowners through a visual demonstration of exactly where their homes are losing energy. Sagewell, Inc. is Wellesley’s partner for this aspect of the campaign. The Cambridge- based firm drove through Wellesley on a very cold night last winter in a vehicle equipped with heat loss sensors to get the images.

    “Seeing the energy leaking from the house is a vital first step, and an in- home energy assessment then allows homeowners to fully realize how they can achieve energy savings in their home,” said Tim D’Souza, of Sagewell, Inc. The EPA estimates that insulation and air sealing typically save 20% of heating and cooling costs.

    “During an energy assessment, experts conduct a thorough evaluation of your home from attic to basement,” said Peter Holland, Wellesley resident, licensed Massachusetts’s LEED-accredited professional and Managing Partner of Riverstone Custom Partners. “In addition to some immediate energy efficiency measures, they leave estimates or recommendations of deeper measures you can take to reduce your energy use. Homeowners who heat with gas will be advised about rebates and incentives. Homeowners who heat with oil will be advised about the most appropriate and cost effective measures they can take. Everyone will see energy savings from the thermal image report, energy assessment, and by following up on the recommendations,” Holland said enthusiastically.

    More than 400 Wellesley residents had assessments during the Town’s 2013 Power to Save campaign but some still need assistance to get started on the recommended improvements that will make their homes comfortable, healthy and high performing. Assistance is available through this year’s MORE POWER TO CHOOSE program. Wellesley residents can save $1,000 a year or more on energy costs by making these improvements.

 Another exciting part of the MORE POWER TO CHOOSE program is that Wellesley homeowners interested in solar can get a free preliminary solar suitability analysis. “Later in the spring, through a Wellesley group purchase, Wellesley’s solar partner Astrum will provide residents very competitive pricing for solar installations” said Ellen Korpi, Chair of the Town of Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee. “This is possible because the vendor passes on the cost savings from the benefits of economies of scale and the avoidance of marketing costs,” Korpi said.

More than 30 communities in Massachusetts have already participated in similar programs and Wellesley is one of 16 more – including Needham and Lexington – that are rolling them out in 2014.

As many Wellesley residents know, the 2012 Power to Choose renewable energy campaign enabled Wellesley to have the 3rd highest participation rate for voluntary renewable energy in the country behind Palo Alto, CA and Portland, OR. Wellesley is also the only EPA-designated Green Power Community in Massachusetts. This means that more than 11% of Wellesley customers voluntarily pay a 4 cent per kilowatt hour premium to purchase 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of their power from renewable sources. For the median household at the 10% level, this costs less than a gallon of gas per month.

Jack Stewart, Chair of the Wellesley Municipal Light Board said, “MORE POWER TO CHOOSE allows residents another chance to sign up for this program or to increase their participation. This gives the Town of Wellesley the opportunity to move our participation rate ahead of Portland, OR to second in the country,” Stewart said. Go to or call Wellesley’s Municipal Light Plant at 781 235-7600 X3366 to sign up or get more information.

“We have much to celebrate in Wellesley and more to do when it comes to making our community even more energy efficient and sustainable,” said Ellen Korpi. “We have exceeded our carbon footprint reduction goal of 10% between 2007 and 2013 and now we have the opportunity to set a new reduction goal for 2020 and to continue our successful progress. As many members of our community take these modest steps, it adds together to achieve a material difference,” Korpi said proudly.

Example of a thermal image.

 Half insulated home - annotated (1)

This thermal image example shows leaks and importance of insulation.

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Wellesley. Making the Switch

SWLightsOutFlyer copy

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Halloween Vampire Energy Hunts



k-2 try this

 Grades 3-5 can go for this one



Artwork by: Brianna Burke grade 9


Ever wonder how much always being “plugged in” is costing you? Cell phone chargers and computer power adapters that are plugged in when not in use have an energy and fiscal cost.

Thus, in the Halloween spirit, we would like to suggest students try out this  vampire_hunt homework around their homes.

This exercise will allow Wellesley students and families to understand which electronic appliances are constantly using energy – even when you think they are off. Students will be able to calculate how much energy and money the energy vampires are draining out of their home. Making changes will lower energy usage and money. Parents may enjoy this exercise with their children.


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Thank you Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project for this great information!EPSON MFP image

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Wellesley Middle School Green Locker Clean Out

Unused and Gently Used School Supplies Removed from Waste Stream and Donated to Cradles to Crayons cradles to crayons collection

More items are thrown away at schools during June than any other time of the year. This contributes to the already full landfills across our state and country. Last month, students at the Wellesley Middle School participated in MassRecycle’s Great Locker Greenout to prevent school’s single biggest waste day.

Wellesley Middle School students redirected much of their end of year locker materials by bringing items home to use there or next year; donated to teacher’s supply stocks; and repurposed a vast amount of binders, pencils, sharpeners, paper, notebooks, books, pens, rulers and much more to Cradles To Crayons.

This effort highlighted reusing practices and kept a great deal of items out of a landfill, all part of the 6th grade Green Ambassadors’ June initiative. Students and teachers of the Middle School Green Team as well as Wellesley Green Schools lead this initiative.

Wellesley Middle School teacher and Green Team Advisor Rich Chute donated the numerous boxes of school items to Cradles to Crayons via the Wellesley Dental Group’s Back to School Drive. This community effort to support Cradles to Crayons’ *Ready for School* program will distribute essentials that children deserve and need to arrive at school ready.

The program ran through September 6th, 2013 but feel free to make the first weeks of school an exciting endeavor for the children in need and donate here.

Wellesley Dental Group is also a permanent drop-off location for Cradles to Crayons and welcomes donations throughout the year.

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Small Daily Efforts Pay Off

upham schoolThe students arrived at Upham School on foot or by bike, parents and pets in tow, more than 600 times last week. They donated 180-plus pairs of gently worn shoes and enjoyed over 300 litterless lunches, cutting the custodian’s post-lunch trips to the dumpster in half.

The third annual Green Week at Upham was celebrated last week not with grand gestures but with small daily efforts.

It’s the little things, though, that add up – and sometimes, the students have learned, they can lead to some big recognition.

Upham’s culture of green practices was honored last month at the State House in Boston, when the school earned a Green Difference Award from Project Green Schools. Last year, Upham became the first in Wellesley to get every classroom “green certified” by Wellesley Green Schools, which means the students and teachers are doing little things daily to be environmentally friendly. No effort is considered too small, such as:

• Using both sides of the paper
• Encouraging recycling
• Creating and posting guidelines for conserving water
• Use fewer lights and turning them off when leaving the room
• Incorporating eco-friendly books into the classroom
• Assigning classroom “green ambassadors” to help with sustainability

The effort to get Upham’s classrooms green certified was led by parent volunteers Sarah Bua, Jessica Stanton and Bettina Eikeboom, with support from teachers, staff and then-interim principal Elaine Harold. Representatives from Wellesley Green Schools nominated Upham for the statewide Green Difference Award.

At the State House, Upham was awarded third place in the “Commitment to Environmental Education” category, earning praise from such notable figures as Boston city councilor John Connolly and state Rep. Alice Peisch.

Upham’s commitment has continued this year, with first-year principal Jeff Dees saying that the school plans to expand its green practices.

Building a sense of community at Upham is one of Dees’ main goals. He said he has found that focusing on sustainability and green practices has been a great way to boost school spirit and make the students feel good about themselves.

Making it fun doesn’t hurt.

The school celebrated its big award during a Green Week assembly on Friday with what one parent quipped to Dees was a “combination pep rally and recognition for a school wide effort.”

The school’s student “house band” (Screaming Sushi) and dance group Shimmer performed. A dozen students who brought in litterless lunches all week won gift certificates to the Linden Store and Truly Yogurt in a raffle. Dees unveiled the school’s Green Difference Award, gave a shout-out to the parents and teachers who helped pull it together, and then praised the students for their efforts – both then and now.

“Everyone worked so hard during the week to contribute,” Dees said. “I think the adults (including teachers) had more fun than the students. We are building something special.”

Big thanks to Guest Writer,  Sharon Gray

Photo by Quentin Prideaux, Wellesley Green Schools
Representatives from Upham School were honored with a Green Difference Award from Project Green Schools at the State House in April. 
Left to right: Principal Jeff Dees, parent volunteer Jessica Stanton, student Elsie Stanton, unidenitifed Green Schools volunteer, student Cecily Bua, teacher Carolyn Collins, state Rep. Alice Peisch


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Congratulations to the Middle School’s House M


They created the least amount of trash in Thursday’s Green Ambassador Litter less Lunch Event.

6th graders will have another chance after vacation on Thursday April 25th.

Do your part to create LESS and come withdsa a litter-less lunch or when buying lunch, only take what you will eat and recycle as much as possible.

House M homeroom teachers will hand out Green Bucks. Save them for the Green Fest on May 22 after school.

You can use Green Bucks to get food & drinks, participate with the band, games, see special sports guest visitor and much more.

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