Green eNews December 2015: Glocal Winners, CitySprouts on the Rooftop, and More!
Published on Dec 16, 2015 13:56

  December 2015

Dear CPS Staff and Community,

Thank you for making this a wonderfully successful fall of environmental sustainability!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday break and a happy, healthy New Year 2016.

Warm wishes,

-Kristen (von Hoffmann) Middleton


Baldwin School Joins in Composting
This fall, Baldwin School students began lunchroom composting! Now, Baldwin students place leftovers and napkins in the yellow compost barrel so they can be turned into soil. In addition, students place their empty milk cartons and juice cups in the blue recycling bin so they can be turned into new products. Congratulations, Baldwin School, for taking this step to protect animals and nature!

The King Open was the first school to begin lunchroom composting (2009). Now, all but two Cambridge Public Schools have the program. The Martin Luther King, Jr. School will have it in their new school on Putnam Avenue, leaving the Morse School as the only school yet to begin lunchroom composting.

The food scraps are picked up weekly and taken to a compost facility to be turned into rich soil to be used by farmers, gardeners and landscapers. Please contact Meryl Brott at DPW ([email protected]) or Kristen Middleton at CPS ([email protected]) if you have any questions.

Photo credit: EF Education First
Glocal Challenge Winners Announced!
Congratulations to Team A.H.E.E.P. and Power Saviors for winning the two trips to Iceland with EF in March! Congratulations to the five finalists – all of whom will receive seed money and will be working next spring and summer with the City of Cambridge to implement their ideas. Hear more >>

CPS Food Services Director Honored
Mayor David Maher recently presented awards to the 2015 Cambridge Food Heroes at a reception at Cambridge City Hall. We are honored that our own CPS Food Services Director, Mellissa Honeywood, was a recipient! She has done an excellent job to incorporate sustainability into her nutritious and delicious food plans. Learn more >>

Alewife clean-up

Alewife Reservation Clean-Up
Kristen and John Middleton were among volunteers at an Alewife Reservation Clean-up on December 12th, picking up trash. For more questions about Friends of Alewife Reservation (FAR) and how to get involved, please e-mail [email protected].

Green Team Reminders!
The GREEN TEAM participants across Massachusetts are busy building compost bins, setting up idle free zones, expanding their recycling programs, and much more! We hope you will register for THE GREEN TEAM this school year. Registered schools have access to free recycling and compost equipment, free idling reduction signs and materials, and can receive prizes and recognition for their efforts!

If you are looking for a green way for your school to celebrate the holiday season, consider Reuse as a theme. There are a number of donation programs that can help deliver unwanted items from your school community to people who need them: Register to be a Coats for Kids collection site. Anton’s Cleaners collects, cleans, and distributes over 60,000 coats each year.

Host a Cradles to Crayons Drive and collect items like children’s clothing, sneakers, and baby books. Cradles to Crayons partners with social service organizations to help deliver these resources to children ages 0 to 12.

Collect textiles! Site a Baystate Textiles Collection Box or Recycle That Collection Box in your parking lot, or organize a Bag2School collection. All of these programs help your school raise money in exchange for the textiles you collect.

Thank you to our Cambridge classrooms that participate in Green Team Activities!

Reusable Bag Drive!
Congratulations to the Tobin School and Morse School for currently participating in the re-usable bag drive! Do you have re-usable bags to donate? Read below for more information.

Many of us have more reusable bags than we actually use. The Recycling Advisory Committee RAC is sponsoring a reusable bag drive from November 2015-January 2016. Let’s reuse and donate clean, empty and useful bags!

Please bring bags to the following locations:
1. Recycling Center, 147 Hampshire St, In the back right corner of the DPW yard
2. Department of Public Works, 147 Hampshire St, 1st floor main lobby
3. City Hall, 795 Massachusetts Ave, 1st floor near the brochure stand
4. City Annex, 344 Broadway, 1st floor main lobby
5. North Cambridge Senior Center, 2050 Massachusetts Ave, 1st floor main lobby
6. Main Library, 449 Broadway, 1st floor entrance
7. Cambridge Police Department, 126 Sixth St, 1st floor by prescription drug kiosk
8. Harvard University Smith Campus Center, 1350 Mass Ave
9. Tobin School, 197 Vassal Lane, main entrance
10. Morse School, 40 Granite St, main entrance on right

The goal is to collect 10,000 bags and give them to Cambridge residents that need them most, in advance of the BYOB Ordinance, which takes effect March 31, 2016. Plans are still being worked out, but the bags will be cleaned and ideally, distributed by food pantries and family/elderly services.

The purpose of the BYOB Ordinance is to reduce the use of disposable checkout bags by retail establishments to protect the marine environment, advance solid waste reduction, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect waterways. The Ordinance seeks to reduce the number of plastic and paper bags that are being burned, used, discarded and littered, and to promote the use of reusable checkout bags. We’ll be reminding residents to bring their bag to avoid the mandatory 10¢ charge on all checkout bags at businesses. No more single use plastic bags will be allowed.


CitySprouts Garden on New School Building Rooftop
The Martin Luther King Jr. and Putnam Avenue Upper Schools will soon open a beautiful new rooftop learning garden. This outdoor classroom will provide an outstanding space for hands-on learning about science, the environment, and food. CitySprouts Garden Coordinator Solomon Montagno is eager to get to work this spring, planting crops and helping teachers develop lessons that use the outdoor classroom to its fullest potential. Learn more about CitySprouts >>

School Joins with Georgetown University Energy Prize Efforts
The City of Cambridge is working with Fletcher Maynard Academy, John M. Tobin Montessori School, The Amigos School, and Haggerty School to implement free energy education programs over the coming year. We are particularly excited to be collaborating with “e”-Inc., a local environmental education NGO offering 6 class modules on climate and energy along with action based projects to save energy in schools—FMA is in their second year of the program and we’ve heard nothing but rave reviews!

Cambridge Public Schools are the single largest source of energy use in the city and educating K-12 students about energy efficiency is one of the major judging criteria for the Prize. We’re counting on the schools to take action in two ways:
1. Reduce school building energy use with student, teacher, and staff action
2. Make the Georgetown Prize a theme for the school year to educate students and teachers about energy efficiency, encourage them to take actions at home, and engage others

Our goal is to implement at least one program in every school: Contact Seth Federspiel at [email protected] to talk about how your school can get involved in this exciting initiative! Learn more >>

Photo by Charles Williams

Cancel unwanted mail subscriptions & junk
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Why? Because this action saves paper!


Planning a zero waste event at your house? The key is careful planning and education. Serve finger foods to avoid the need for tableware. Everything used (dishes, cups, utensils, etc) should be reusable, recyclable or compostable. Tell guests what to recycle and compost, and place signs throughout your space. Use reusables whenever possible or use certified compostable tableware. Remember, no plastic, metal or glass in your compost. Collect material in compostable bags, paper bags, or cardboard boxes. Find out about where Cambridge residents can drop off food scraps. If you have a large quantity, please bring to the Recycling Center during open hours at email us 1-2 days before at [email protected].

Make the 10th anniversary festival special with your creative entries and exciting research. Whether it’s a demonstration, contest, workshop, performance or a crazy new idea, they would love to hear from you and learn about your proposal. The festival runs for 10 days & nights and welcomes all ages and backgrounds, so enter your proposal before December 4th by going to the 2016 Cambridge Science Festival website.

Want to get involved in greening the City of Cambridge? Green Cambridge is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization and a founding chapter of the Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN). Green Cambridge works to create a more sustainable Cambridge, and to protect the environment for the health and safety of all. Green Cambridge meets monthly at the Eastern Bank community room in Harvard Square, usually on the first Thursday of every month at 6:30pm. All are welcome and invited to attend!
Get more info and a listing of community events >>

tree recycle

DPW will offer curbside collection of holiday trees from Dec 28, 2015 through Jan 15, 2016, weather permitting. Trees will recycled into mulch or compost. Remove all decorations and the stand. Place bare trees (no plastic bags) at the curb by 7AM on collection day or after 6PM the night before. Residents can also bring bare trees to the Recycling Center during open hours (Tues/Thurs 4-7:30PM and Sat 9AM-4PM) from Dec 26, 2015 - Jan 30, 2016.


Love kids? Love composting? Volunteer, a little or a lot, to remind students "what goes where" and why we compost and recycle. Breakfast shifts are ~7:30-8:30AM and lunch shifts are ~11:00AM-1:15PM. You can help the continued success of the school composting programs! Please email [email protected] to learn more and join the team.


The Cambridge Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Report – Part 1 has been issued and is available here (under the “CCVA Report” tab). The report consists of a 36 page summary report and three technical reports. CCVA Report-Part 1 focuses on risks related to increasing temperatures and precipitation, and addresses risks from sea level rise and storm surge flooding through 2030. The City has also completed modeling of climate change risks related to sea level rise and storm surges in 2070. The City will be completing the vulnerability assessment with the sea level/storm surge results and issuing a second report about February 2016.


Kristen (von Hoffmann) Middleton
Sustainability Manager
Email Kristen

Cambridge Green Schools Initiative
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