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Earth Day is April 22nd - Shades of Green

by Jason Dione
April 26, 2017

From individual choices to our collective actions, each of us has the power to be “green” and make a positive difference for ourselves and our planet.  There is always something we can do, and there is always something more we can do.

Earth Day is April 22nd - Shades of Green

From individual choices to our collective actions, each of us has the power to be “green” and make a positive difference for ourselves and our planet.  There is always something we can do, and there is always something more we can do.

Green:  Vote for lawmakers who are environmental champions.

Greener:  Lobby your lawmakers to ensure they are environmental champions.

This is Massachusetts, but don’t just assume your lawmakers are casting green votes.  Much is expected of our lawmakers, and the best way to let them know what’s important to us is to tell them.  When it comes to the environment, make sure lawmakers are not only supporting green bills, but also sponsoring or co-sponsoring them.  Local resources such as the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club (http://www.sierraclub.org/massachusetts) can provide the guidance needed to lobby lawmakers to support progressive environmental legislation.

Green:  Buy organic food.

Greener:  Grow your own organic food.

Organic food is great, but reducing one’s carbon footprint by growing local organic food is even - better.  Don’t have space for a garden?  Consider contacting the Holliston Community Farm (https://hollistoncommunityfarm.org) to rent a plot and grow food organically.

Green:  Plant a tree.

Greener:  Plant a native tree.

We all know that trees absorb carbon while releasing oxygen.  When planting, native plants are an excellent option.  Not only are they adapted to local growing conditions, but they provide habitat and a food source for the native birds and insects that depend on them for their survival.  New England Wild Flower Society is a great resource to learn about the benefits of and purchase native plants. (http://www.newenglandwild.org/).

Green:  Utilize your local recycling program.

Greener:  Recycle everything possible.

 

Local recycling is a wonderful community benefit but may have its limits.  For example, items such as textiles may not be part of the local recycling program.  To keep textiles out of landfills, donate old or unwanted clothing to Planet Aid (http://www.planetaid.org/your-local-planet-aid/new-england).  Not only will they take full advantage of reusable clothing, but will recycle older textiles that can no longer be worn.

Green:  Switch to energy efficient LED bulbs.

Greener:  Conduct a full home energy audit.

Many energy saving benefits are available to Massachusetts residents through Mass Save® (http://www.masssave.com/en), including a free home energy assessment.  During the assessment,  the home’s energy use will be evaluated, and the homeowner will be provided with a custom list of energy-saving recommendations.

Want to advocate locally?

  1. Get involved with a local political group.  Holliston Dems meet the second Saturday of every month in the Selectman’s office at Town Hall.
  2. Learn more about the Holliston Green Community status on May 6.  More info at http://bit.ly/HollistonGoGreen.

Want to advocate on the state level?

  1. Call Representative Carolyn Dykema (617-722-2680) to thank her for Sponsoring Budget amendment 1073 – DCR Watershed Management. (http://bit.ly/BA1073). 
  2. Call Senator Karen Spilka (617-722-1640) to urge her to support the FY2018 Green Budget, a budget that calls for a 1% state operating budget for environmental agencies (DAR, DCR, DEP, DFG and EOEEA). (http://bit.ly/FY2018GreenBudget).

Want to advocate on the Federal level?

  1. Call Senator Edward Markey (202-224-2742) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (202-224-4543) urging them to oppose the so-called Honest Act.  An act that adds governmental red tape to solve a non-existing problem. (http://bit.ly/HR1430HonestACT)
  2. Call Representative Katherine Clark and urge her to oppose HR 637, which would prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gasses. (http://bit.ly/2opncrM)

Holliston’s representatives appreciate calls of support as well!

 

 

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Comments (5)

There are other places to donate usable clothing, but does anyone know where unwearable textiles can be donated? I have searched online without much success. Thanks!

- Mary Curran | 4/29/17 3:24 PM

I too have heard the stories about the Planet Aid organization's problems. It's worth it to drive a little father to better places to donate.

- ST Woodrow | 4/23/17 11:01 AM

Donating old clothes for re-use or recycling is great. But the collector you mentioned ? Planet Aid, with the yellow bins ? has drawn controversy for disturbing reasons. Charity watchdogs say little of the proceeds from the nonprofit's sale of used clothing actually go toward charitable causes. The Chicago-based CharityWatch analyzed Planet Aid's 2015 tax form and audited financial statements, and found it spent only 17% of its expenses on programs. That's far too low, but the actual percentage may be even lower. Since 2001, Danish prosecutors have linked Planet Aid to an alleged cult called the Tvind Teachers Group. Five leaders of the group are Interpol fugitives wanted in their native Denmark in connection with a multimillion-dollar tax-fraud and embezzlement scheme. The Teachers Group (TG), the controlling body of the broader Tvind organization, is reportedly a political cult based on communist ideology. Last year, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting unveiled its findings that also tied Planet Aid to the TG. Reveal's report "traced USDA Foreign Agricultural Service funding [given to Planet Aid] for anti-poverty programs in Malawi and, in a local farming project, found little evidence the money had been properly spent." Sound like a group you'd care to support? You are by giving your stuff to Planet Aid ? if Danish authorities and journalists are correct. Research before donating. Support legitimate, local charities instead of Planet Aid. Google search: US taxpayers are financing alleged cult through African aid charities - Reveal News Also Google search: Tvind Alert website

- Wade Larsen | 4/23/17 5:12 AM

Excellent ideas, thanks!

- Jean Spera | 4/22/17 6:20 AM

Great article Jason! Thanks for providing these great tips on how to be "green".

- Bill Blinstrub | 4/21/17 6:58 PM

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