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July 2010 Newsletter

Sent out July 1st.

Michael's Comments:

So much has happened since early May when I sent out the special notice about [our EPA Environmental Merit award (1)] that it was hard to wait for our next newsletter to let you know. Though it's only a drop in the e-mail bucket, we hope doing that makes it just a bit easier for you to take a minute to catch up with what's happening in energy and the environment in Needham. Our [blog (2)] is another way to do that - and to tell us and others what you think. Please [check it out (2)] and bookmark it for future reference.

[1] http://www.greenneedham.org/blog/2010/04/2010-epa-environmental-merit-award-presented-at-faneuil-hall-ceremony/
[2] http://www.greenneedham.org/blog/

Tad - it's a bit longer than I originally anticipated, but I think it's important to make a personal connection along the request to read the newsletter, and I really wanted to get a mention of the blog in. (Once you've put it together, we can look at trimming it if needed, though I would like to keep all three elements.)

Additional thought - how about also adding the following right before my signature (since that's a non-distracting space)?

To paraphrase a former mayor of New York - "how're we doing?". Send us your thoughts and suggestions via e-mail [3] or on our blog[2].

[3] mailto:mgreis@greenneedham.org

News Stories:

  • Becoming a Massachusetts Green Community
  • Newton-Needham Chamber Green Business Award for Public Facilities Department
  • Town Meeting approves zoning for Met Tower

Next newsletter (July) or later newsletters


  • NStar donation
  • Kill-a-watt meters
  • North Hill Article

July or later:

  • High Rock Panels
  • Green Kids Grant
  • Needham Houses of Worship Update and Success Stories

Did you know?:

Eleanor to provide
Make this item a live link to: http://www.greenneedham.org/blog/

March 2010 Newsletter

Scheduled for early March

Michael's Comments:

  • Note: We're waiting to hear back from a possible speaker for the March Meeting. If we get confirmation back before this newsletter has to go out, I'll announce the meeting in these comments. If not, I'll do something else.

Five News Items:

  • Call for Volunteers (Eleanor) This all goes on the main page. No "Read More."

Solar and wind power at the Needham RTS. Energy efficiency. Legislative action. Community education. Would you like to help Green Needham but are unsure how you could fit in? Whether you are a beginner or an expert, whether you have a little time or a lot, we can help match your interest in the environment with a volunteer opportunity.

Take the first step - talk with us. Just click here [efrosell@aol.com] and tell us when one of our Steering Committee members can reach you for a quick phone call to explore the many possibilities of getting involved.

  • Earth Hour (Susan McGarvey0
  • Massachusetts is an “Earth Hour” state. On Saturday March 27, from 8:30 to 9:30 pm the state of MA is going to turn off all its own lights except those necessary for public safely. The city of Boston is doing the same thing, as are numerous colleges and other institutions. Individuals from all over the world will also be turning off their lights for an hour. Read more: http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/EarthHour

  • Renewable energy projects update (Michael)
  • Needham in Motion campaign (Eleanor)
  • For the Newsletter main page: Get ready for Needham in Motion! The month of May will see wildflower walks, a “tour de Needham” bike ride, an introduction to geocaching, and more. These activities are part of a community-wide initiative encouraging Needhamites to leave their cars at home and make trips on foot, by bike, or using public transportation.
  • Read more: http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/Needhaminmotion
  • Home Energy Efficiency Seminars (Michael)

Backup - for later newsletters

  • Solar Panels at High Rock
  • Needham Houses of Worship Success Stories
  • Pointer will be to wiki item
  • Michael to provide teaser
  • Energy efficiency measures at North Hill (Jim)

Did you know?:

Needham recently received an $86,000 federal grant for energy management?
Make this item a live link to: http://www.greenneedham.org/blog/2010/03/needham-receives-stimulus-funded-energy-management-grant/

January 2010 newsletter

  • January Green Needham Collaborative meeting

What's under the (Green Needham) umbrella? Join us on Thursday, January 21 from 3:30-5:00 p.m. (Olin College Room ??) for our January meeting, featuring an update on sustainability projects underway in Needham. Local groups will share what they have accomplished in 2009 and give a preview of interesting projects on tap for 2010. Following the presentation will be a discussion of “Needham in Motion,” a exciting community-wide initiative planned for next May to promote walking, biking, and taking public transportation.

  • 10% Energy Challenge Update

Good news! Since the launch of the 10% Energy Challenge campaign one year ago, 464 households have taken the Challenge and have collectively committed to actions that will keep nearly 4 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

For 2010, Green Needham has an ambitious goal – to double the number of participants and get 1000 households to reduce their energy use. We will need your help to do this. First of all, if you haven’t taken the Challenge, please do so now and starting saving energy and money. If you have already taken the Challenge, you can help us by getting your community group, club, house of worship, or place of employment involved. Read more here. Thirteen groups have participated in the Challenge and received recognition certificates for participation levels, including large groups such as churches and schools, and groups as small as a 3-person office. Every bit helps. Contact Green Needham at

  • Zero Energy Homes Featured at November meeting

Imagine a home that produces all the energy it needs and is built with existing technology at an affordable price. The featured speaker at Green Needham’s November meeting was builder R. Carter Scott, president of Transformations Inc. Using energy-conserving building design and solar power, the company has built several “zero energy” homes in Townsend, Mass., which sell for less than $400,000. Read more. Link to http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/Outreach/Newsletter/More_Information

  • Volunteer Spotlight - Graphic Artists
  • Article provided by Eleanor.
  • Teaser paragraph - Included in file
  • Full text (with teaser) here
  • Green Needham Foundation Awarded Tax-exempt Status
  • The Green Needham Foundation Corporation is now a Massachusetts not-for-profit corporation. The Foundation was awarded tax-exempt status as a public charity under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code in September, 2009. Gifts to Green Needham are now tax deductible.
  • Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Workshop (Michael)

Note from Eleanor: I'm not sure this article is coming

  • Let's hold off on this one since we're still working on dates and sponsors for the next

home energy workshop. Michael 20:58, 19 December 2009 (EST)

  • Next workshop planned for January - want article in advance
  • Bill Okerman to write up one-page flyer from Michael's material on the wiki, which will be the full article for this item
  • Michael will provide the teaser

November 2009 Newsletter

Michael's Comments:

Saturday Oct. 24th, Needham was one of over 5,200 communities in 181 countries that held events to mark the International Climate Day of Action. Groups from several Needham Houses of Worship and from Green Needham fanned out to carry out carbon emission reduction and energy saving projects across town.

We've assembled a summary of the day's events, along with a video from the Needham Channel News, on the Green Needham wiki.

News Items

  • Next Green Needham Meeting - Carter Scott
  • Home Depot puts an eco-friendly twist on trade-ins for holiday shopping
  • Best Buy will recycle your unwanted electronics

Did you know?

  • None this newsletter

August 2009 Newsletter

Scheduled for early August, 2009

Michael's Comments:

Summer's finally here, but that doesn't mean Green Needham is slowing down. Over 450 households have now taken the 10% Challenge thanks to the end-of-year challenge in Needham Schools and six lucky families got $50 gift certificates to Needham restaurants as a thank-you. Summer's a great time to think about having an energy audit, and we can help there as well. Read on for some great ideas....

News Items:

  • Free Energy Audits from Green Needham & Next Step Living
  • Were you one of the over 200 Needham residents who took the 10% Energy Challenge and said you would have an energy audit? Four lucky families who did were the receipients of a free comprehensive home energy audit from Green Needham and Next Step living...
  • No link for this item (I want to do a press release for this, but was planning to wait so we could include some results from the audit.)

  • See an energy audit on Talk of the Town
  • Wondering how a complete energy audit with a blower door test might save energy and money? Join host Jerry Wasserman on this month's Talk of the Town on The Needham Channel as he takes you inside a Needham home having an energy audit....
  • Link to the Talk of the Town page on the wiki.

  • Final Results of Schools Spring 10% Energy Challenge
  • Please excerpt the teaser text from the Press Release.
  • Link to the Press Release for the "read more..."

  • Green Communities - Presentation to BoS and Planning Board

Did you know?:

2/3 of Needham's homes are more than 50 years old?
1/2 of those - just over 1/3 of all homes - were built between 1946 and 1959?

June 2009 Newsletter

News Items:

  • Needham Schools Take on the 10% Energy Challenge
  • Be part of the action on July 4th!
  • Recap on the latest Green Needham Meeting...

Did you know?

  • Massachusetts has already received over $44 million for energy programs, including the Green Communities Act, through auctioning carbon dioxide allowances in the Regiional Greenhouse gas Initiative (RGGI) program?

April 2009 Newsletter

Scheduled for early April, 2009

News Items:

  • Energy Workshop for Needham Houses of Worship
  • Summary:
Green Needham, in cooperation with the Needham Clergy Association, invites all Needham Houses of Worship to a free, two-hour workshop on Environmental Stewardship on Sunday, May 3rd from 1:30pm to 3:30 pm. This workshop will focus on how to cut energy costs and reap financial, environmental and spiritual benefits from doing so.
  • Detail Page: [http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/images/e/eb/Needham_Houses_of_Worship_Workshop.pdf]
(Note - use this as the "More Information" link for the newsletter)
  • Weatherize your home for year round savings - April 30th
  • Summary:
Attend a free energy-saving seminar sponsored by the Massachusetts Municipal Association on Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 6 PM at the Broadmeadow Elementary School. Clayton Shuller, Needham Resident and member of the Board of Directors for the Builder's Association of Greater Boston will present inexpensive, do-it-yourself solutions, plus tips on hiring a contractor for in-depth alterations. (Break here?)Information on financial incentives, such as rebates and financing options, will also be presented. Representatives of various town departments and community organizations will be present with displays and information. Registration and Refreshments are scheduled for 6 p.m. The two-hour seminar begins at 6:30 p.m.
  • Detail Page:http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/Other_Events#Weatherization_Workshop
  • Needham goes Geothermal
  • Summary:
Needham's new Public Services Administration Building, now under construction at the DPW site on Dedham Ave., will be the first municipal building with a renewable energy system for heating and cooling. Twenty 500 foot-deep closed loop wells and a heat pump system will combine to create a system that uses no fossil fuels on site for heating of cooling.
  • Detail Page: http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/Municipal/PSAB
  • Green Business Solutions Expo
  • Businesses and homeowners are invited to the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce's 2nd annual Green Business Solutions expo at the Newton Marriott on Tuesday, May 19th. Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind, will be the luncheon keynote speaker. WCVB-TV's David Brown will emcee the lunch and awards presentations to local businesses.
  • Detail Page: http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/images/a/a7/2009_NN_Chamber_Expo_Flyer.pdf

Did you know?

  • Olin College has demonstrated just what a focus on energy savings can accomplish. Olin has actually achieved a 10% Energy Reduction in

February 2009, reducing electricity consumption 11% and natural gas consmpution 14% over last year. That's a total reduction of over 94,000 pounds or 47 tons of carbon!


  • March 16th meeting - sustainability in Needham school building construction (Lynn)
  • Newton Needham Chamber 2009 Green Business Leaders awards nominations (MJG)
  • Town Update - Geothermal for PSA Building. (MJG)
  • Environmental Stewardship Workshop for Needham Houses of Worship (MJG - Done)
  • Earth Day Announcement - 10% Challenge Groups (MJG, I guess...)
  • Weatherization Workshop - (Lynn to finalize)
  • Reminder to Green Needham members to submit their 10% Challenge Plan (Lynn) - NB: we'll do this as a separate item using the Meeting Notice template

Past Newsletters

  • February, 2009 - 116 sent, 59 opens, 19 click-throughs by 14 people
  • 10% Challenge underway in Needham
  • Solar power featured in "Your World...Bringing It Home" on THe Needham Channel
  • A piece of the action - Economic Stimulus Packages and Sustainability
  • Parametric Technology provides support for wind feasibility study
  • Did you know? - Gov. Patrick's goal of 2,000 MW from wind by 2020

  • October, 2008 - 99 sent, 43 opens, 18 click-throughs
  • Turning over a new leaf at the Harvest Fair
  • Your World...Bringing It Home debuts on The Needham Channel
  • Getting involved is hard...or is it?
  • September, 2008
  • Wind Power Study Grant
  • 10% Challenge
  • Needham earns solar panel array for the Pollard School