Green eNews June 2016: Happy Summer!
Published on Jun 21, 2016 18:56

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  June 2016


Happy end-of-year! Principals, Teachers, and Staff – thank you for all you’ve done to help keep our schools environmentally sustainable and healthy this past year.

Congratulations to our whole district for collectively recycling 63,581 pounds of material and composting 21,740 pounds of food waste for the month of May. Fantastic job, everyone! We are indebted to the help and partnership of our recycling department at DPW and to all the custodians, principals, and teachers who have made this program possible in every school across the district.

Now, as we finish out school this week and clean our classrooms and offices, I encourage you to follow the sustainability guidelines listed below.

They contain important information about how to dispose of your “stuff” in a sustainable way (e.g., how to recycle certain materials like paper and cds/dvds) and various donation options. As always, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions!

This is the last green e-news until school begins again in September.

Wishing you a terrific and restful summer vacation!

Kristen Middleton
[email protected]


Sustainability Clean-Out Guidelines
Cleaning out your classroom or office before summer break? Please think before just tossing everything you don't want/need in the trash! Here's a handy list of where everything should go >> 


CPS Recycling & Composting Reports
For the month of May, Cambridge Public Schools collectively recycled 63,581 pounds of material and composted 21,740 pounds of food waste. Way to go, everyone!!! View the May Recycling and Composting report for the school district >> 

Municipal Building Energy Use
The 2015 Municipal Energy Use Disclosure Report has been released by the Department of Public Works. The report shows energy use data for all City-owned buildings that contain at least 10,000 square feet. Data is also posted for 2013 and 2014. The 2015 data show that the average Energy Star score for school buildings is 74 on a scale of 1 to 100 where 50 is average.
350 Massachusetts is a volunteer-led, campaign-focused initiative connecting and organizing a strong grassroots coalition to address climate change and build a just and secure future beyond fossil fuels. Meetings are held every two weeks. All meetings are held at First Church Cambridge, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA and begin at 6:30PM. Get more info at

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Recommended Educational Articles for Student Discussions on Climate Change
--Spiraling Global Temperatures – A visualization of global temperature change spiraling over time toward the 2 degree Celsius threshold has been created by UK climate scientist Ed Hawkins.
--Role of Methane in Global Warming – A new study in Nature Climate Change shows why understanding the importance of methane in global warming is difficult and confusing. The Washington Post discusses the article.
--10 Things to Know about Sea Level RiseThe Washington Post published a list of the 10 things you should know about sea level rise and how bad it could be (e.g., there is enough water stored in ice to raise oceans by 230 feet).
--Basis of Scientific Consensus on Climate Change – A new article has been published in Environmental Research Letters bringing together researchers who study the views of climate scientists on human caused climate change. The 16 researchers reached a consensus that 97% of climate scientists agree that human caused climate change is happening.
--Why People Don’t Take Climate Action – An interesting paper in Nature Climate Change looked at why even among people who are “alarmed” about climate change, often do not take public action, although they may be addressing the problem in their own lives. The researchers found that what drives public action is the sense of how active people around them are on climate change and the sense of whether they think their own actions will be effective. [Washington Post, 5/16/16]
--Benefits & Limitations of Urban Agriculture – A paper from the John Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future examines the benefits and limitations of urban agriculture. [Vox, 5/16/16]


Ride Green!
Have You Joined Hubway Yet?
It’s free for many City employees...and discounted for all! Hubway is our municipally-owned bikeshare program in Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, and Brookline.   
Learn more >> 

MBTA Rider Tools
The MBTA has a number of rider tools that help riders to anticipate arrival times of buses, subways, and commuter trains and to receive alerts of delays. These tools can be used on iPhones, Android phones, text messges, emails, and the Web. There is also a trip planning tool.

Real-time Transit Now Available!
Real-time transit and Hubway information is available at 6 City buildings! Just another reason to choose public transportation instead of driving your car to work! Head on over to see when the next bus will arrive, or simply stay at your desk and check the website!
–City Hall:
–Senior Center:
–Cambridge Rindge and Latin School:
–147 Hampshire:
–Cambridge Hospital:
–344 Broadway:



Spotted at Our Schools and Beyond...
Photo 1: CRLS ASD students planted hardy pothos plants in the high school cafeteria this month.
Photo 2: Remember, you can recycle plastic bags at your local Shaws, Star Market, or Stop n Shop location. 


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Donate your clothes, books, furniture, and other items you no longer want, rather than throwing them in the trash.

Did you know our Tobin Montessori, Peabody School, Baldwin School, and Kennedy Longfellow School earns money for every pound of textiles and books donated in the “Recycle That” bin located outside each school? Visit these four schools to drop off any extra clothing, textiles and books that you no longer need. All textiles, including clothing, single shoes, leather belts, purses, hats, linens, stuffed animals, and fabric scraps can go in the bin. You can even donate items that are torn, stained, broken or missing something. Just no dirty rags, nothing wet, nothing soiled, no carpets, no rugs, and no mildewed items. Textiles in good condition are reused and damaged textiles are turned into wiping rags or processed back into fibers that are remanufactured into paper, yarn, insulation, carpet padding, sound proofing, etc. Visit our Donate Your Stuff map of donation spots for more options, and learn more about a second life for textiles.

Friends of Alewife Reservation is a stewarding and educational non-profit for the Alewife Reservation in northwest Cambridge and for the surrounding city natural resources of marshes and wetlands abutting Belmont and Arlington. Free wildlife and history educational tours, clean ups and conservation initiatives for the silver maple forest. "Virtual" tour of the Reservation >>

The Laptop Project is a community initiative designed to address the digital divide by accepting laptop donations to distribute to students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin high school who do have not have adequate computer access. Donations are accepted through July 10. Learn more >>

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! More information and a listing of community events >> 

Welcome to the Cambridge Year of Solar! Cambridge has lined up local solar installers through the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to make sure that residents receive the best price on solar. Request, receive, and compare solar quotes 100% online for free with support available every step of the way! Find out how you can save money, help the environment, and help make Cambridge the #1 energy saver in the country! Go to to start receiving quotes now!

Would your class like to mobilize around saving the rainforest and reducing the impact of climate change? A new program from Rainforest Trust enables classroom students and teachers to take action! Everyone, no matter their age, has the ability to protect rainforests and endangered species. The Rainforest Ambassadors program is dedicated to engaging, empowering and educating a new generation of conservationists and rainforest stewards. The program fosters rainforest learning while providing students with meaningful opportunities to protect threatened forest. Learn more >>

Kroka Expeditions and Farm in Marlow, NH, offers year-round outdoor education adventures, camps, and class trips, giving students an opportunity to connect with nature and to learn about sustainability. Kroka Expeditions awakens a connection to nature and spirit, and develops willpower for conscious living and compassionate service through adventure sports, community living, farming, and the practice of traditional and indigenous skills. Learn more >>


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!

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Kristen Middleton
Sustainability Manager
Email Kristen

Cambridge Green Schools Initiative
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