The latest Wellesley, Mass., sustainability news:
National Grid’s enticing offer
The Boston Globe reports (“Wellesley teed up a bold move on climate action. Then came an offer it couldn’t refuse.” You may need a subscription to access) about the dilemma recently faced by Wellesley by possibly accepting about $1.5M in incentives from National Grid if the town agreed on the installation of gas lines to its two new elementary schools and a renovated Town Hall, which were designed to be all-electric (net-zero ready).
The article in part reads: The offer was a small fraction of the $105 million price tag on the projects, but it quickly sowed doubt, dividing town leaders and undercutting the community’s resolve to break with fossil fuel.
As the Globe details, National Grid did backed off its requirement for the gas lines, but not before much discussion among town officials (we heard the issue referred to as something along the lines of “the you know what” during a Permanent Building Committee meeting months ago), and a Globe call to National Grid.
The article goes on to point out the complexities of utility business interests and efforts by municipalities and others to address climate change.
Wellesley rolled out its Climate Action Plan early this year.
Another successful EV showcase
More than 150 attendees took part in the recent Wellesley EV Test Drive & Owner Showcase at the MassBay Community College parking lot. The event featured a variety of dealers allowing test drives, and local owners showing off their vehicles and answering questions. Vehicles on hand includes cars as well as e-bikes.
“The conversations went beyond EVs (solar, energy efficiency, etc.) and there were so many new faces, which was great to see,” said Sustainable Wellesley’s Phyllis Theermann.
Wellesley High plastics display
Wellesley High School’s Climate Action Club has been helping the community visualize just how much plastic is used and discarded throughout the school via some big “WHS”-shaped containers outside the building. Student Vaani Kapoor says “The idea is to create a visual of how much plastic we use each day as a school and to highlight how the school’s recycling doesn’t get recycled because it’s too contaminated, so all this plastic that we create is dumped into the trash.”
The Climate Action Club is working on measurable successes. It has tried to convince the school’s food service provider to convert from plastic utensils and bottles to greener alternatives. The club is also attempting to re-start the composting program piloted last school year.
The display went up during STEM Week.