Green eNews March 2016: Welcome Spring!
Published on Mar 23, 2016 15:50

  March 2016

Hello CPS Teachers, Students, Staff, and Community!

Spring reminds us of nature’s beauty and re-energizes us to make a difference in conserving this beautiful planet for future generations. Please read below for inspiring news, ideas, and events related to environmental sustainability around our schools and City. Thank you so much for reading!

Best wishes,

Kristen Middleton
[email protected]

go green

Go Green Challenge
Hang Up by April 1st!
Hello Elementary School Teachers! Please remember to fill out your Go Green Challenge worksheet and to hang it up outside your classroom door by April 1st! The school with the highest participation of teachers wins a trophy and press release. Meryl Brott and I will be coming to each school after April 1st to tally up the sheets. Please spread the word among your colleagues. For those of you who have already hung them up – thank you! Here's a link to the Go Green Challenge worksheet >> 

Energy Projects Completed
Check out our energy page on our school district sustainability website for a complete list of energy projects completed around our schools. Includes everything from boiler change-outs to direct digital control upgrades, to lighting retrofits, and more! Learn more >>

Climate Impact Visuals
Climate Access has a blog post about using visuals and conversation to deepen engagement on climate impacts. The case study focuses on Here.Now.Us project in Marin County, California.

solar map

Cambridge Solar Map
The Cambridge Solar Tool provides a web-based interactive tool to find out the potential for installing solar photovoltaic systems on rooftops in the city. The tool also evaluates the financial feasibility of installations and makes comparisons to alternative investments. The tool is designed by Mapdwell and based on the research of the MIT Sustainable Design Lab led by Dr. Christoph Reinhart. The City’s Cambridge Energy Alliance program can assist interested property owners with finding installers and understanding the financial aspects. The Mapdwell tool was upgraded in September 2015 and can now be viewed in Spanish.

green team logo

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!

In It to Win It

Help Cambridge Win the $5 Million National Energy Prize!
Cambridge is in a competition to reduce its municipal energy use over the course of 2016 as part of the Georgetown University Energy Prize.

While the City is tackling big projects like municipal aggregation and community solar, you can do your part to help reduce:
–Lower your thermostat a few degrees during the winter months. I know its cold, but do you really need to be a toasty 70 or 72 degrees? Drop it down to the 60s and wear that new sweater you got for the holidays! My mother (from Canada) used to open the windows in the middle of winter and tell us to put on a jacket, so I know it's possible!
–Turn the lights off. During daylight hours, try to keep your lights off. At night, be sure to turn lights off when exiting rooms.
–Avoid allowing electronics and other gear to passively siphon energy. Turn off surge protectors and unplug devices when you aren't using them. They still passively use energy even when "off"!

You can also (and should) take advantage of a FREE energy assessment. Not only can your energy assessment help save the planet, it can also help you figure out how to save bundles of money on your bills!

houseplants at tobin

Tobin Plants
Kudos to Tobin Montessori School’s main office for keeping plants alive and growing! Did you know that indoor plants clean the air, provide more oxygen, and brighten people’s spirits? Three more great reasons to make the sustainable choice to have an indoor plant in your classroom or office. Do you have a photo showing your environmental sustainability at work? Please send it to [email protected] to be featured in our next newsletter! Thanks!

junk mail

Opt Out of Unwanted Mail
Do you get unwanted mail from retailers, credit card companies, or cable/phone companies? You can opt out of mailings from over 4000 companies with Catalog Choice and help reduce waste. For example, you can stop getting weekly circulars from Global Direct, they will honor opt-out requests, so add them to “your choices”. Just register for FREE to create an account to start cleaning out your mailbox. To date, over 3700 Cambridge residents have signed up and opted out of nearly 25,000 different unwanted mailings!


Do you want to buy locally grown food and support small business? In partnership with Cambridge in Motion, a reminder that the Cambridge Winter Farm Market runs every Saturday from 10AM - 2PM, Jan. through Apr. inside the Cambridge Community Center at 5 Callender St. The market offers fresh food, hot coffee, lunch, live music and programs for kids & families. Location: Inside the Cambridge Community Center at the corner of Callender and Howard Streets; near intersection of Western and Putnam just outside Central Sq. We participate in SNAP matching and double EBT/SNAP buying power: $15 SNAP = $30 market credit. Learn more >>

bag ordinance

Remember, as of March 31st, you will be required to bring your own bag or be charged $.10 on all check-out bags. Do your part for the environment and bring a re-usable bag to the checkout line!

The City is working on preparing a vulnerability assessment that will serve as the foundation for a climate change preparedness plan that will follow. The project webpage provides background information and documents from meetings. Interested people can send an email to be placed on the project email list.

The City of Cambridge is hosting FREE bicycle education workshops. The upcoming workshops are listed below and are for Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students. A FREE helmet will be provided to participants!

Thursday, March 24
–For Cambridge Rindge and Latin School students
–Introduction to Hubway / Urban Cycling Basics
–CRLS - you must be a high school student to attend this workshop.  

Thursday, April 14
–For Cambridge Rindge and Latin Students
–Bicycle Maintenance Basics
–CRLS - you must be a high school student to attend this workshop.

For more information visit their website. To register for classes, please email or call 617.349.4671.

Application Period OPEN! Wednesday, March 30

344 Broadway, 2nd Floor
City depts/schools/projects – we want YOU to participate this year! What is PARK(ing) Day? What is allowed? Who can participate? What should I transform my parking spot into? Come learn about PARK(ing) Day 2016 in Cambridge and grab an application form. Applications are now open and are due by May 1. PARK(ing) Day is September 16th. Stop in any time between 5 and 8PM on March 30th to ask questions, meet other participants, and learn how to apply. The Cambridge Community Development Department (CDD) seeks creative folks to participate in the official City of Cambridge PARK(ing) Day celebration, an international event in which metered parking spaces are transformed into engaging “parks” for one day of the year. Previous spots have been: Shakespeare in the park, lemonade stands, book swaps, hula hoop lessons, CPR lessons, bocce ball, dog parks, pilates classes, mini-golf, spas, and much more. Learn more >>

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Kristen Middleton
Sustainability Manager
Email Kristen

Cambridge Green Schools Initiative
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