Ideas for Summer!

keep-calm-and-clean-out-your-locker-1june WGS newsletter 2015

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Wellesley Student Is Awarded Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education

Olivia Geiger, Wellesley High School student and Green Team member was honored at the Statolivia geigere House last month when she received the Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education from Secretary Matthew Beaton of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Geiger won the award for her work on a video she made to encourage fellow students to submit videos to the “Sustainability Challenge”  at the Wellesley STEM Expo 2015.

For more information see the story from Wellesley Hometown News here.

 

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April is Earth Month

Happy-Earth-Day-1

 

April is not only awesome as plants and trees start to bud…but also because it is Earth Month.

Here are a few simple things you can do to celebrate the planet this month:

what can i doGo paperless or double-sided – avoid printing if you don’t have to as most of us have our devices handy anyway or use both sides of paper when printing or copying and save some trees!

Unsubscribe from catalogues using www.catalogchoice.org or www.paperkarma.com.

BYOB – Bags and Bottles, that is. Use your reusable grocery bags instead of the store’s disposable plastic bags and avoid using disposable water bottles whenever possible…it adds up quickly to a better environment!

Plant a tree – a single tree has a number of benefits beyond just its beauty and shade value as it also has the ability to act as an air filter for carbon dioxide and provide a supply of enough oxygen for two people!

Walk or bike if you can – leave the car at home and walk or bike to do that errand. Or carpool with some neighbors or friends to school or activities.

Turn off your engine whenever possible.

Small changes can make a big difference! Here are some other great actions you can take!

For more information go to www.wellesleygreenschools.com.

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Sustainability Challenge Winners Announced

sustainability challenge logoWellesley Green Schools’ goal is to inspire Wellesley students, teachers families and our community to create a healthy, sustainable world. With the word sustainability getting a lot of “play” in Wellesley these days, we challenged High School students to define the word sustainability in terms of the environment so that 5th graders understood what it meant. The top 3 videos submissions were shown to 5th graders all over Wellesley and we let them be the judges. The scores were tallied and we have a winner…
“We would like to thank all the students that submitted videos and congratulate Luisa Coakly and Lily Fenton,” said

 

Jess Stanton of Wellesley Green Schools at the Wellesley STEM EXPO on Saturday to a full house.

Watch the inspiring video here.
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Sustainablity Challenge Winner Annoucement

Join us Saturday, March 28th at 2pm in the Wellesley High School auditorium as we announce the winner of the Sustainability Challenge. Thank you to all the students that worked so hard and used lots of creativitysustainability challenge.

 

 

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Kermit Knows Its Easy Being Green

As seen in Bates Cafeteria!
bates cafe

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SMART Events Checklist

plastic bagWellesley Green Schools would like to ask for your help. As members of a unique partnership between the Town of Wellesley’s Sustainable Energy Committee, Natural Resources Commission and Sustainable Wellesley we work hard every day to advocate for energy conservation, improved recycling programs, stewardship of our local green spaces, and sustainable practices in our schools.

Please help us cut down on the use of single-use plastics, which are polluting our environment, and contributing to human health problems. Plastic bags, bottles, cups utensils, and lids are admittedly a huge convenience, but pose a unique and overwhelming problem as 93% of plastics go directly to landfill and once there, they photodegrade: break down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering our food chain.

HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS:

Here is a SMART Event Checklist, which you can use at events big and small.

What is a SMART Event?

A SMART (Sustainable Materials and Reduce Trash)  EVENT refers to an event that is hosted in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. The goal of event greening is “to reduce the consumption of natural resources, reduce waste to a minimum, limit impacts on global climate and protect biodiversity and human health.” It requires responsible, sustainable decision making and implementation and can leave a positive legacy for the natural environment and local community. 

The gist: first reduce the amount of garbage, then reuse and recycle as much as possible. Following are some ways to do that.

1) Skip the Theme:

Themes are cute, but those specialized paper plates, streamers, banners and decorations end up in our local landfill. Similarly, those prizes the kids love also end up collecting in our streams, and rivers and polluting our environment so consider ways to downsize the plastic prizes. If you must use balloons, choose balloons made from recycled latex and avoid plastic table-coverings.

2) Use Electronic Communication:

Try to avoid printed handouts and instead use e-mail, signupgenius or other volunteer management tool and electronic invitations to manage registration, announcements and updates. If printouts are necessary, use recycled or eco-friendly paper.

3) Buy Recyclable Materials:

If possible, eliminate water bottles and other single serve containers from all school events. Re-usable water bottles are the best option, but if beverages are necessary please consider bulk water or juice and cups. Consider investing in reusable plastic cups (available at Ikea or Target), which can be washed by a volunteer or clear plastic cups labeled with a #4 which are recyclable. Finally, if no other alternatives exist, buy beverages in aluminum cans and glass bottles that can be recycled. By buying wisely, you can make a huge impact.

  • When Serving Food:  Consider renting dinnerware in certain situations or, if possible, choose food options which don’t require utensils and can be eaten by hand:

-popcorn, pretzels, pirate booty, goldfish, etc.

-whole fruit or fruit on a stick

-pizza can be served on a paper napkin

– ice cream on a cone vs. styrofoam or paper cups

If you must use disposable dishes, look for biodegradable choices such as bowls and dishes made from recycled paper or a renewable resource like bamboo. Whole Foods offers a number of options and BJs offers a line of Chinet plates which are compostable. Choose aluminum foil, wax paper and good old-fashioned paper lunch bags for food and avoid disposables like paper towels and wipes where possible.

4) Twin Garbage and Recycling Containers:

Insure that sufficient and large enough recycling bins are clearly and conveniently placed adjacent to all trash cans and provide waste monitoring assistants to ensure recycling procedures are adhered to. Put up signage clearly stating which products can and should be recycled and consider adding the waste monitoring assistant to your volunteer list. Contact the Wellesley RDF to reserve the Recyclemobile for your event and they will remove recyclable items from your event free of charge. They can be reached at 781-235-7600 x3340.

Keep in mind that while these efforts are important to human health as well as the health of our environment they also can have a significant positive financial impact for the town and our local PTOs.

In the event you are interested in learning more about the movement to reduce plastic and its toxins from our environment, the following link contains more information. http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/learn/basic-concepts/

 

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Winter Hasn’t Stopped These Green Ambassadors @Sprague

Sprague no Idling Snowman (2)Sprague student Kurt Marten, with his 4 year old brother Hans and his mom Elaine, proudly built this snow man and created the no idling sign that now stands next to the Sprague School car line.

This gentle message — even in cold temperatures — reminds us all that idling is against the law, is bad for the environment and public health and has costs that go along with it. It also show that advocacy starts at a young age around Wellesley.

Go ahead, create one of your own in your yard, or at your school too!

For more information on idling click here.

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January is Clothing/Textile Donation Month

7gRecycleBinThe U.S. EPA estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5% of all landfill waste and that the average US citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing annually!

The answer to this problem is remarkably simple. Since the mid 1940’s U.S. charities and the post-consumer textile recycling industry have repurposed and recycled billions of pounds of clothing, household textiles, shoes, and accessories. This ensures that old clothing, footwear, and textiles continue to add value to the U.S. economy and beyond. Click here for more information on textile recycling: http://www.weardonaterecycle.org.

Consider hosting a clothing/shoes/textile collection in your schools this January and promoting the event as both a community service and earth friendly!

Newsletter blurb: New year, new resolutions! Are you cleaning out closets and clutter this January?  Please help us take textiles out of landfills by simply donating and recycling what you buy and wear when no longer useful. These efforts not only create a much-needed source of revenue for nonprofits, but also continue the sustainable practice of recycling second hand clothing.

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Green Holiday Season Tips

holiday season tipsLess is more…buy less: Instead of buying unneeded gifts consider giving the money to a worthy charity or sponsor a family in need. Or limit gift giving to one gift each or pick names from a hat and buy one gift for one person.

Buy/give greener: Buy gifts made from recycled materials, that are locally made or don’t require batteries. Re-gift something new that you don’t need and someone else might want. And choose a live tree, not an artificial one made from petroleum-based products.

Reduce energy use: Put heat on timers and keep it lower during the hours that no one is home and/or you are sleeping. Use motion sensor lights where possible which turn off when no one is in a room or outdoor area. Switch to LED lights.

Economize on wrapping: Enormous amounts wrapping paper and ribbon are used every year at the holidays. In fact, 38,000 miles of ribbon alone are thrown out each year…enough to tie a bow around the earth! Use less wrapping paper (a huge source of paper waste and not recyclable) by just tying a bow around a box or using reusable holiday bags & boxes.

The bottom line…small changes you make during the holidays like using less wrapping paper and energy can make a big difference in helping the environment and saving money!

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