Climate Solutions Week

Winchester's Climate Solutions Week is Saturday September 24 through Sunday October 2

CSW_Logo_White_BkgrndFor those who want to see the climate crisis solved, this is an exciting time, especially for Winchester residents. At the federal level, President Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act, a law that will invest $369 billion in climate measures that will reduce U.S. greenhouse gas pollution 40% by 2030. At the state level, Governor Baker recently signed An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind, the second major state climate bill in as many years and one that will green our electricity supply, make electric vehicles more affordable and add charging stations throughout the state, and direct our electric utilities to incentivize clean heating and cooling systems in homes and businesses. Here in Winchester we adopted a 2020 Climate Action Plan that will reduce our Town's greenhouse gas pollution 80% by 2050 and we hired a Sustainability Director to implement the Plan. All of this comes on top of existing proven technologies like heat pumps, solar power and electric vehicles that are getting more efficient and less expensive to purchase and install and financial incentives that keep getting more generous. Join us during Climate Solutions Week to learn about how you can help solve the climate crisis with practical tips and strategies that take advantage of available technology and financial incentives.

Upcoming Schedule of Events

Daily

  • Keep an eye out for a daily Climate Solutions Week message listing the day's events and highlighting one key thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint. Messages will be shared via Winchester's social media channels, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Climate Solutions Week will also be Walk and Roll to School week at all Winchester public schools. Walk and Roll to School is a national movement to encourage walking and bicycling to reduce carbon pollution and improve health. Each school will provide details in its own parent / student newsletter.
  • Check out the selection of climate change books featured at Book Ends, 559 Main St, Winchester
  • See the climate change book display at Winchester’s Public Library, 80 Washington St.

Thursday 9/29

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Panel Discussion with Sen. Jason Lewis, Sen. Pat Jehlen, Rep. Mike Day and Rep. Michelle Ciccolo on Recent and Upcoming State Climate Legislation. Come hear from all four of Winchester's distinguished state legislators as they discuss major climate legislation passed in 2021 and 2022, and expected legislation coming next year. Introductory remarks by Richard Mucci, Select Board Chair, and Beth Rudolph, Acting Town Manager. Moderated by Ken Pruitt, Winchester Sustainability Director. Jenks Center, 109 Skillings Rd. Bring proof of vaccination (photocopy of vaccination card acceptable).

Friday 9/30

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Mend Your Jeans Hands-On Workshop. Mending clothing extends its life and reduces environmental impact. Learning just two basic sewing stiches and some simple techniques, you can easily and quickly repair your favorite jeans and give them a whole new life. With a little time, imagination, needles and thread, your jeans can become individual works of art, completely unique to you. Bring your own jeans and sewing kit (if you have one - if not a basic mending kit will be given to you) for a hands-on experience. Instructor: Karen Bellacosa. Location: First Congregational Church of Winchester, 21 Church St. 

Saturday 10/1

9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Protect Winchester’s Trees table at Farmer’s Market, Town Common. The preservation and enhancement of our trees is the goal of the Protect Winchester’s Trees group. Please stop by their table on the Town Common during Farmer’s Market to learn more about the critical roles trees play in Town and how we can ensure their future.
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Climate Solutions Week table at Farmer’s Market, Town Common. Pick up a copy of Winchester's 2020 Climate Action Plan summary, a Climate Solutions Week calendar, and talk to volunteers about Winchester's efforts to help make Winchester a more sustainable community.
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Less Lawn, More Habitat – Ecologically-Landscaped Property Tour. Come see how an ecologist planted for beauty, wildlife, ecosystem function and reduced maintenance and cost, in just a few thousand square feet. Learn the key principle of ecosystem gardening, get ideas for your garden and answers for your questions. With Prassede Calabi (61 Brookside Ave. - plenty of street parking).
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Hands-on Electric Leaf Blower Demos at Farmers Market. Using gas-powered lawn equipment, especially gas leaf blowers, directly contributes to climate change. There is a readily available, cost-equivalent alternative in battery powered electric lawn equipment and leaf blowers. Join Quiet Clean Winchester for hands-on demos of electric leaf blowers and decide for yourself!  Learn about MassSave rebates on electric lawn equipment. Farmers Market, Town Common.
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Net Zero Home Tour with informational handouts. Visit Alan Field's home at 27 Edward Drive to see an all-electric heating and cooling system, two electric vehicles and a home charging station.

Sunday 10/2

3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Electric Vehicle Showcase. Come see a variety of electric vehicles owned by local residents, who will answer questions about vehicle ranges, capabilities, charging systems and more. See Teslas, Chevy Bolts, Ford's Mach-e and 150 Lightning pickup truck and many more makes and models. Location is Winchester High School parking lot adjacent to the Commuter Rail tracks.

Past Events

Saturday 9/24

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Repair Café, First Congregational Church of Winchester, 21 Church St. (Chidley Hall). Bring anything broken, and volunteers will do their best to fix it and teach you how to do it yourself next time. Sign up for a half-hour appointment at the Winchester Repair Cafe website. Walk-ins will be available on a first-come, first-served basis after appointments are honored.
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Protect Winchester’s Trees table at Farmer’s Market, Town Common. The preservation and enhancement of our trees is the goal of the Protect Winchester’s Trees group. Please stop by their table on the Town Common during Farmer’s Market to learn more about the critical roles trees play in Town and how we can ensure their future.
9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Climate Solutions Week table at Farmer’s Market, Town Common. Pick up a copy of Winchester's 2020 Climate Action Plan summary, a Climate Solutions Week calendar, and talk to volunteers about Winchester's efforts to help make Winchester a more sustainable community.

Sunday 9/25

4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Decarbonize Your Home and Transportation: Practical Tips and Financial Support for Heat Pumps, Clean Electricity, Electric Vehicles and More. Join the experts from Green Energy Consumers Alliance to learn how you can reduce your climate impact through clean heating systems, electric vehicles, renewable electricity, and other methods.  See examples with photos and learn about current and upcoming financial incentives from the federal and state government. This was a virtual event, and the recording will be available soon. Green Energy Consumers Alliance is a nonprofit whose mission is to harness the power of energy consumers to speed the transition to a low-carbon future.

Monday 9/26

6:00 - 7:30 p.m. How to decarbonize your home: the Wright Locke Farm Example: Walking tour and panel discussion. See the farmhouse and barns for examples of clean heating (all-electric heat pumps) and rooftop solar systems. Learn more about these systems and how you can decarbonize your own home with a panel discussion featuring Archie McIntyre, WLF Executive Director; Karl Rexer, local all-electric homeowner and Chair, Energy Management Committee; Steve Jaslowich, Program Manager for National Grid's Mass Save residential programs; and Dave Judelson, local solar expert. Moderated by Susan McPhee, Winchester Energy Conservation Coordinator. Wright Locke Farm, 82 Ridge St. Meet at All Seasons Barn.

Tuesday 9/27

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Growing and Eating Food as if the World Depended on it: Food, Climate and Sustainability. Panel discussion with Kelcy Scolnick, WLF Chef/Kitchen Manager; Adrienne Altstatt, WLF's Farmer; Erika Gorgenyi, WLF Associate Executive Director and Farm Educator; and Fred Yen, Founder and Manager, Winchester Farmer's Market. Moderated by Michelle Prior, Member, Wright Locke Farm Conservancy - Board of Directors. Location: Wright Locke Farm, All Seasons Barn. 82 Ridge St.

Wednesday 9/28

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Protecting Your Health in a Changing Climate. Discussion panel with Elisa Jazan, Researcher and PhD Candidate, Tufts University, Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Jen Murphy, MPH, Winchester Director of Public Health; Cheryl Sbarra, Executive Director, MA Boards of Public Health; Dr. Richard Weiner, President, Winchester Hospital. Moderated by Dr. Greg Sawicki, Winchester Board of Health member and pediatric pulmonologist. Join us to explore how climate change is impacting our health in ways as diverse as high heat, extreme storms, rats, mosquitos, ticks, closing our beaches and affecting our mental health. Virtual event, pre-registration required. Click here to register
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. A Healthy Energy System talk by Dr. Jonathan Buonocore, Boston University School of Public Health. Join us to explore how transitioning from fossil fuels to other energy sources can improve health in the United States. Dr. Buonocore’s research focuses on the impacts on human health of burning coal, gas, biomass and wood, and how we can use this information to build a healthier energy system. Dr. Buonocore will also introduce us to the growing concerns regarding small polluting particles called PM2.5. Virtual event, pre-registration required. Click here to register.

Daily Climate Solutions Tips

Tip #1: You can quickly and easily green your power by enrolling in 100% renewable electricity via Winchester’s WinPower 100 program. It takes two minutes to complete the simple form, and rates are lower than Eversource Basic. Click here to sign-up.

Tip #2: Schedule a free home energy audit! By scheduling a Mass Save energy audit, you can get free advice about how to make your home more efficient. Getting a free audit also entitles you to hugely discounted energy efficiency work like insulation and air sealing. We all pay for Mass Save via a surcharge on our utility bills, so why not take advantage of a program you're already paying for? Click here for more details and a link to the Mass Save program.

Tip #3: Switch to heat pumps! Switching from oil or gas heating to all-electric heat pumps reduces carbon pollution, and Massachusetts offers rebates of up to $15,000 if you make the switch. To learn more about this climate solution, click here.

Tip #4: Make healthier choices for you AND the environment. There are many things we don’t have control over when it comes to our environment and climate change, however, what we put in our bodies, on our bodies, and how we live our daily lives can directly affect the future of our planet and our personal health. Click here for some suggested steps you can take.

Tip #5: Reducing carbon pollution improves public health. Climate change increases air pollution which has significant effects on asthma, heart disease, cancer, mental health and emergency department visits. Watch “Protecting Your Health in a Changing Climate” on 9/28 at 1:00, and “A Healthy Energy System”, on 9/28 at 5:30 pm to learn more!

Tip #6: Get involved. Climate Solutions Week is all about finding solutions to the climate crisis. Our elected and appointed leaders at the local, state and federal level play an extremely important role in finding and implementing solutions. What can you do? Ask those who represent you at all levels of government what they plan to do to help solve the climate crisis. Consider running for office yourself. Visit the Town Clerk's website for information about elective offices and how to vote.