Making a Difference at the Local Level



 "We have no choice about whether to change the world. We are changing it every day. The choice is only whether our acts contribute to the world we want ... or not."

     - Frances Moore Lappe, author, EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think, to Create the World We Want

We are so pleased that there's lots happening on the environmental front in Belmont.
1. We're excited to tell you of movement on a possible solar project that would install photovoltaic panels on all Belmont schools, fire stations, and some other municipal buildings this year. The project would cut CO2 by 1.3 million pounds and potentially save the town $2.6 million over 10 years at no cost to the town. Read more details here and be sure to let the Belmont Board of Selectmen know that you support renewable energy projects in town. And speaking of, a tip of the hat to Belmont Hill School, which recently installed an impressive PV array.
2. Three members of Sustainable Belmont's planning committee recently attended a meeting with other Metro West sustainable groups to discuss collaborating on some common goals. Zero-waste was a top topic of interest. We'll let you know more if this project moves forward.
3. John Kolterman will meet with Dan Scharfman, at his request, to discuss the town's award-winning Climate Action Plan (spearheaded by Sustainable Belmont and found on our website).
4. Tom Neel has lined up folks from MIT who are developing the Copenhagen Wheel (which uses a smart phone to turn ordinary bikes into hybrid electronic bikes) to give a presentation in Belmont on May 16. More details to come soon. Thanks, Tom!

Sustainable Belmont is now on Facebook!  Please like us and keep up with and share your views on the latest environmental news, locally and beyond. 
Upcoming Sustainable Belmont Meetings    
All events are open and free to the public!

2/1 (Wednesday)  "Preparing Your Home for the 21st Century"  Are you tired of high heating bills and want to do something about it?  Then join us for a presentation on how best to weatherize your home. Paul Eldrenkamp, a local expert on air sealing and insulation, and owner of Byggmeister, will offer advice on weatherizing existing housing stock.  Attendees are encouraged to bring a copy of their utility bills and a tool to perform some simple math (calculator, spreadsheet, etc) for insights on how they might save.  A drawing will be held after the hands-on exercise with the winner receiving a free 2-hour comprehensive energy audit of their home.
Belmont Public Library Assembly Room, 336 Concord Ave.,  7-9pm

3/7 (Wednesday)  "Establishing Sustainable Local Food Systems Through the Power of Partnership"  This talk will be presented by Mary Joan McLarney from the USDA and Paul Browne, supervisor of food services for Belmont Public Schools.  Mary Joan has won several national awards for her efforts of raising the nutritional quality of Somerville's elementary schools.
Wellington School cafeteria, 121 Orchard St.,  7-9pm

4/4 (Wednesday)  "Sustainability by Design: A Progress Report"  by  Dr. John Ehrenfeld.  Dr. Ehrenfeld is a distinguished professor, environmentalist and author of Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming our Consumer Culture.
First Church of Belmont - Parish Hall, 404 Concord Ave.  7-9pm

5/2 (Wednesday) Presentation by Belmont resident and host of NPR’s  Sunday evening program,   Humankind ,  on his recent public transportation series, Passengers. Also, an update on alternative transportation in Belmont by Energy Committee co-chair Ian Todreas. 
Belmont Public Library Assembly Room  7-9 pm
6/6 (Wednesday) - Time Trade Orientation meeting to initiate a Belmont Time Trade circle.  This would allow people to barter hours and skills and become part of a national movement.
Belmont Town Hall Selectmen's Room,  7-9pm

Other notable events:

2/4 (Saturday)   A benefit and celebration performance to "Save the Maple Forest" will be hosted at the First Parish Unitarian Church in Arlington.  Click here for more details.  $

2/15 (Wednesday) Sustainable Winchester presents a free talk "Sneaking Food: Have Your Garden and Eat It, Too," which will explore simple strategies to “sneak in” veggies and fruits to an existing landscape. Winchester Public Library, 80 Washington St., 7pm
   Kind regards and please stay mindful of your impact on the environment!
   John Kolterman
   chair, Sustainable Belmont

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