Green eNews October 2016: Climate Congress, Pumpkins & Yard Waste, and More
Published on Oct 19, 2016 09:35

  October 2016

Dear Staff & Community,  

Hope your fall is going well! I was honored to present on what our schools are doing for climate change education and sustainability at the kick-off for Cambridge’s Climate Congress on October 1st. Watch all of the presentations right here. The schools’ presentation begins at time 2:02.

See below for CPS environmental sustainability news, events, and resources!

Thanks for keepin’ it green.

–Kristen Middleton
[email protected], 617.349.6856

CDD - biking family

Cambridge Celebrates
Women & Bikeshare Month
Join us for Urban Cycling Basics! While this is a class for and by women, we are happy to have anybody participate. And please do stay late to have a thoughtful conversation about bicycling in urban areas. This session is being hosted for Women and Bikeshare month!

Monday, October 24
6-7PM: Urban Cycling Basics for Women
7-8PM: Conversation about biking in urban areas and biking as a woman.
Location: Flat Top Johnny's, One Kendall Square
RSVP: [email protected] or 617.349-4671 


New Flood Protection Guidelines
The Cambridge Public Works Department issued a new brochure titled Flooding: Is Your Property Protected? The six-page brochure outlines how protect buildings with flood resistant materials, exterior floodwalls, backwater valves, and elevation or relocation of utilities. These steps are important to consider as we see the risks of flooding evolving with climate change. Download an electronic copy of the brochure >>

Leaving the Carbon Economy

Educational Video:
Leaving the Carbon Economy

Cambridge resident Sue Butler created a documentary film about how she decided to take on her own carbon footprint and retool her house and her life to achieve as close to zero carbon emissions as possible. Her film Leaving the Carbon Economy was recently featured at the Globedocs Film Festival and was also shown at the Chain Film Festival.

bag recycling

Recycle those Plastic Bags! 
While it’s environmentally ideal to use cloth or re-usable bags for shopping, sometimes we end up with plastic bags. However, plastic bags can greatly harm wildlife in waterways and oceans, and when they get trashed at a landfill; the dioxins in the plastic are chemically hazardous. But there is a solution – you can recycle those plastic bags!

Recycle clean and empty bags at the Recycling Center during open hours or at local supermarkets. Look for a collection bin near the front of the store or ask customer service: Harvest Coop (580 Mass Ave), Star/Shaw's Market (699 Mt. Auburn St, 20 Sidney St, Porter Sq Shopping Center & Twin City Plaza), Whole Foods (200 Alewife Brook Parkway, 340 River St, & 115 Prospect St). Click here for a list of what is accepted ~ and thank you for recycling!


Help Kids Compost
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 ~7:30am – 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.


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. More info at  

green cambridge

Green 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! For more information and a listing of community events, please visit:


Pumpkins & Yard Waste
After Halloween, pumpkins are accepted with yard waste for curbside collection (remove candles). But, consider cooking your sugar pumpkins! Chop and roast in the oven or steam/puree to use in delicious roasted breads, soups, cookies, pies and more.

Composting in your backyard? Save fall leaves to cover up or bury food scraps in your backyard compost bin, and remember to keep right ratio: 3 parts "browns" to 1 part "greens." 

For yard waste stickers, email [email protected], call DPW (617.349.4800), or stop by the office. Find out how to prepare yard waste >> 



Print double-sided to save paper!  

In Allston, Harvard Surplus has LOADS of great stuff to give away. Thursdays, 10AM-2PM, 156 Western Avenue. Open to all, first-come, first served.

See our map of locations where you can shop second-hand (red and green pins).

See if your neighbors want it! Check out

Learn about joining the Recycling Advisory Committee. Deadline November 10.

Be sure to try and walk, bike, carpool, or use public transportation to get to school! More info >>'s a link to local Hubway bike stations around Cambridge and Boston. Take a peek >>

Visit our Office for Sustainability website, and in orange font on the left hand side of the home page, scroll down to Resources. There are education videos, links to online teaching tools, and other resources!


Want to See How Your Recycling Gets Sorted?
October 27
Cambridge residents and City employees are invited to tour the Casella recycling facility in Charlestown on Thursday, Oct 27 in the morning. Tours last about 2 hours and involve walking on narrow catwalks and stairs, close to heavy equipment. You must be able to walk at a steady pace with a group. No children under 16. We meet at DPW and carpool, so please sign up at [email protected] and let us know if you can drive and how many people you can take. Can't make the tour? Watch this video >> 

Fresh Pond Activities
& Events!

Regular volunteer opportunities:
Tuesdays 9:30-1: Woodland Restoration Area Native Plant Gardening
Thursdays 10-noon: Wake Up & Weed
Fridays 10-11am: Fresh Pond Kids Walks
Please RSVP to [email protected] unless otherwise specified for planning purposes. 

Public programs:
Sat., Oct 22, 2-4pm: The Secret Life of Bats at Fresh Pond
Sun., Oct 23, 2-4:30pm: Fascinating Fungi of Fresh Pond
Mon., Oct 24, 6-7:30pm: A Bug's Night Out
Sat., Oct 29, 1-3pm: Do the Duck Walk
Sun., Oct 30, 2-3pm: Halloween Animal Parade for Families @ Kingsley Park
Sun., Oct 30, 4:30pm: Howl-o'-Ween Dog & Companion Costume Promenade

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
October 29 | 9AM-1PM
Bring Items Marked "POISON, DANGER, WARNING, CAUTION" for Safe Disposal – to DPW. The next (and last of the year) Household Hazardous Waste Collection will be Sat Oct 29, 9am-1pm, Volpe Transportation Center Lot 4 (via Munroe off 3rd St.). We encourage you to ask your neighbors if you can bring materials for them. See website for more info.      
Conference on Restoring Water Cycles to Reverse Global Warming
November 18-20
Excellent opportunity for students and teachers to attend or participate in the Biodiversity for a Livable Climate conference held at Harvard University November 18-20. Visit to sign up!

GreenBuild 2017
November 2017, Boston Convention Center. The international green building conference and expo of the U.S. Green Building Council will be held in Boston again next year. Persons interested in serving on the host committee or conference subcommittees should visit the USGBC Massachusetts Chapter website.

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Kristen Middleton
Sustainability Manager
Email Kristen

Cambridge Green Schools Initiative
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