Chelmsford Climate Action Team

"The test of the morality of a society is
what it does for its children."

-Deitrich Bonhoeffer

"Sustainability balances the 3 E's:
Environment, Equity, and the Economy"

Chelmsford Climate Action Team was formed in 2020 to help educate our community about climate change
and to promote climate legislation and activities.  Subscribe to our newsletter so you will know
when your voice is needed to help drive change in town.

Current Actions to Take

  1. Sign petition to stop private jet expansion as Hanscom Air Force Base
  2. Go to this page to learn about Chelmsford’s initiative to increase home energy efficiency. Then schedule your NO COST Home Energy Audit. Call 1-978-350-0293 or go to HomeWorks Energy Chelmsford Program
  3. Opt Up for clean electricity in Chelmsford Choice
  4. Review the CEAS Climate Action Plan
  5. Get trustworthy quotes for Solar on your rooftop from EnergySage who is partnering with National Grid
  6. Start planning your next car to be all electric using Green Energy Consumers Alliance’s Drive Green program
  7.  Request a FREE consultation on heat pumps from Heat Smart Allianceon our page dedicatdd
  8. Check out the incentives for electrifying your home
  9. Sign up for Chelmsford’s new curbside food waste composting program

Chelmsford Recruiting for MVP 2.0

The Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program (MVP) provides support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to build resilience to climate change. Communities who completed the MVP Planning program (MVP 1.0) became certified as an MVP community and are eligible for future funding to complete resilience projects. Chelmsford completed MVP 1.0 and is in the process of building a core team for MVP 2.0.

Evan Belansky, Director of Community Development for the Town of Chelmsford, is seeking volunteers to join the MVP 2.0 team. Ideally, he would like one CCAT member to serve on the Core Team. He is also asking CCAT to assist with identifying  / nominating a Community Liaison. or volunteer to be the CL.

Community liaisons are people who live or work in your community and who are from and/or have strong relationships with Environmental Justice or other priority populations. They may have a formal role within the community, such as an outreach coordinator for a community-based organization, or an informal role, such as someone who is well-connected and respected within their neighborhood or community. Consider
including a youth or young adult representative as one of your community liaisons. Grant funding will be used to compensate Community liaisons for their contribution to the process.

Based upon socio- economic data the following are examples of targeted CL’s Evan is seeking.

  • Senior living alone
  • Single female household with children
  • Disabled person (living alone)
  • Minority (Indian / other) who speaks English as second language.
  • Renter and the above criteria

The below link provides an overview of the MVP 2.0 purpose and process.  download (mass.gov)

If you know anyone and/or you think they may be a good candidate and interested in serving as a CL with compensation please let Evan Belansky know.

978-250-5231

upcoming events & Activities

Climate Change: Challenge and Hope

An Art Contest

Calling all middle school students to participate in a climate change art contest. There will be cash prizes! Entries must be dropped off at the library between April 22 and April 29th, 2024. The artwork will be exhibited at the Chelmsford Library from May 4 to May 30, 2024. For more information and the entry form, go to our Art Contest page.

Recent Events & Activities

Harvey Leonard Presentation, Climate Change: Simple, Serious, Solvable, January 23rd at 3:00 PM

We, the Middlesex Conservation District, are inviting you to attend a presentation by Harvey Leonard,
Chief Meteorologist Emeritus of WCVB-TV/DT. Harvey will be presenting Climate Change: Simple, Serious, Solvable on January 23rd, at 3:00 PM at the First Parish Church United of Westford. The address for the church is 48 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886. This event is free and in-person.

Details about the event and where to register can be found here. Alternatively, you may contact Andrea Grossman at this email address, admin@middlesexconservationdistrict.org to RSVP.
 
This event is co-sponsored by the Middlesex Conservation District, First Parish Church United of Westford, and Westford Climate Action.
 
Kind regards,
Andrea Grossman
 

Andrea Grossman, District Administrator

Middlesex Conservation District 

319 Littleton Road, Suite 205, Westford, MA 01886

(978) 303-8272 admin@middlesexconservationdistrict.org

Environmental Justice and Building Our New Grid -
Where Should It All Go?

Saturday, January 20th, 2024 2pm – 3:30pm

Hybrid Event: In person at First Parish Concord – 20 Lexington Rd and online

RSVP Here. 

Facebook Event here.

 

Join the MA Environmental Justice Legislative Table to discuss the elephant in the room- how do we build the renewable distributed electric grid we need fast, while not repeating the mistakes of the past? Learn more about our vision for infrastructure, energy democracy, and centering frontline communities in the process- as well as the current policy proposal from the EJ Table to greenlight good projects fast and nip bad projects in the bud.

 

The MA Environmental Justice Legislative Table members include GreenRoots, Alternatives for Community & Environment, Coalition for Social Justice, Arise for Social Justice, Groundwork Lawrence, and the North American Indian Center of Boston with allied support from Conservation Law Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, Massachusetts Public Health Association, Unitarian Universalist Mass Action, Clean Water Action, MA Climate Action Network, and Environmental League of MA.

 

This event is co-sponsored by 

  • 350 Mass

  • Brookhaven Residents’ Climate Change Committee

  • Canton Sustainable Equitable Future 

  • Climate Action Group, Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence 

  • Climate Action Now (Western Mass)

  • Fix the Grid Campaign

  • Massachusetts Climate Action Network

  • Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light, Inc. 

  • Mothers Out Front Massachusetts

  • Our Climate

  • Slingshot

  • Sunwealth

  •  

To have your organization co-sponsor this event, fill out this form: https://forms.gle/ZX4nTCwgpkfrgRVn8 

Neighbor to Neighbor Solar Energy 101 Thursday, January 18, at 7:00 pm, at the J. V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main Street, Westford.

Westford Climate Action presents “Neighbor to Neighbor: Solar Energy 101” a free, in-person and online event on Thursday, January 18 @ 7:00 pm, at the J. V. Fletcher Library, 50 Main Street, Westford. The evening will include presentations by a WCA member as well as Westford residents sharing their experiences with their rooftop solar systems. A Q&A will follow.

Topics covered will include: How Solar Panels Work, Components of a Home Solar System, Solar System Energy Production, How Home Solar Saves You Money, Available Tax Credits, Backup Batteries and Solar, Buying/Renting a Solar System From Initial Quotes to an Operational System

This seminar is also sponsored by the Westford Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee and the J. V. Fletcher Library.

This program will be hybrid. For online registration, please click here  for the online Zoom option only. If you are attending in-person, you do not need to register.

CEAS Presented Article 25 at Fall Town Meeting
Asking town to Opt-in to Specialized Energy Code
October 19 at senior Center

NOTE: The Specialized Energy Code was Passed!!!!

The Specialized Energy Code:

    • Affects new construction only, not existing buildings
    • Allows for use of gas or oil in new construction but demands that solar also be added to building site to partly offset greenhouse emissions.  Also wiring for future electric appliances and heat pumps must also be installed during construction.
      • Costs of adding wiring are very modest.   Solar install expense has been shown to be approximately recoverable in house sales price- it is also an improvement to the home, and an asset in reducing electric utility costs..
    • New construction that is all electric has the same requirements as the already adopted Stretch Code

Thanks to all who attended the Town Meeting and advocated for passage of  Article 25.

We had heard grumblings that Solar makes it harder to sell a house, and that incentives are better than regulations for private homes. In general, the current push to reduce emissions through electrification is using incentives rather than penalties. As a result, the home owner will get a 30% tax credit to install on-site Solar. When building a new house, an optimal Solar system can be designed by orienting the house toward the sun and maximizing the size of the rooftop on which to place the panels. 

The home owner will have the choice to continue using fossil fuels in spite of the fact it is counter to our town and state goals to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050. In the long run that jeopardizes our
safety from the damages caused by escalating climate change. It is not such a hardship to ask them to make up for these emissions by generating some clean renewable energy.

Westford Climate Cafe
Thursday, October 19th, 1:30 PM
J. V. Fletcher Library, Westford
Mary Atwood Room

Westford Climate Action will host an informal Climate Cafe: The Climate Crisis:  What can we do in our daily lives? This will be the first in a series of informal community conversations based on residents’ questions and concerns on climate and sustainability.

A representative from the New England Energy Efficiency Company (NEEECO), an affiliate of Mass Save, will be available to discuss money saving ideas to make our homes more energy efficient. All are invited and no signup is necessary. Refreshments will be served.

Check our website for more information: https://westfordclimateaction.org/events.

Home Energy Efficiency - Tuesday, October 10, at 7:00 PM
Chelmsford Public Library

Are you interested in reducing your home energy costs, making your home more comfortable, and cutting your carbon emissions? Chelmsford’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Committee will discuss the town’s partnership with HomeWorks Energy. Come learn how you can save energy and money! Watch for further notice in the Chelmsford Library newsetter and calendar to register.

Fall Festival on The Chelmsford Common - Saturday Sept 30th 12-4 pM

CCAT will be participating in the 2nd annual Fall Festival on the Common, organized by the Chelmsford Health Department. We will have information about how residents can reduce use of polluting fossil fuels by transitioning from gas to electric stoves, dryers and heating/cooling systems, and by opting for clean energy sources through the Chelmsford Choice electrical aggregation program. We will also have a children’s activity to encourage adoption of sustainable actions. Stop by to chat with us at Booth #47 on Westford Street and help spread the word to your family, friends and neighbors about this new Chelmsford tradition.

Climate Impact of Private Jet Expansion Forum -
Thursday, September 28 - 6:30 - 7:45 -Reed Room, Bedford Town Hall, 10 Mudge Way, Bedford

Massport is planning a massive hangar build-out for private jets at Hanscom Field (NOT at
Hanscom Air Force Base), representing the largest single development in Hanscom’s history. If carried out, these plans will dramatically increase greenhouse gas emissions and undermine municipal, state, and national climate goals at a time when climate scientists are urging us to accelerate these goals and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The speakers will present information on the proposed expansion and its impact on our climate and our community. After hearing from the speakers, there may be opportunity for questions. RSVP to attend in person or by Zoom: REGISTER HERE  Registration link

For questions, contact: info.ma.bedford@mothersoutfront.org

For more information see this Handout  and this Flyer

"Neighbor to Neighbor": Heat Pumps 101 Thursday, September 28 @ 7:pM At J. V. fletcher Library, 50 Main Street, Westford

Westford Climate Action presents “Neighbor to Neighbor: Heat Pumps 101” a free, in-person and online event. The evening will include presentations by HeatSmart Alliance and Westford residents sharing their experience with heat pumps in their homes. A Q&A session will follow.

Learn about financial incentives and rebates.

Cold-climate heat pumps can maintain 100% of their rated capacity down to 5° F and operate to -15° F. In summer, they provide all the benefits of central AC in homes both with and without ducts. Does this technology for heating AND cooling make sense for your home? Learn why you should invest in heat pump technology and how heat pumps will reduce your energy bills while lowering your home’s carbon footprint!

This seminar is co-sponsored by the Westford Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee, HeatSmart Alliance, and the J. V. Fletcher Library.

For online registration, please click here. Or go to WestfordClimateAction.org/events/

No registration is needed for in-person attendance at the library.

 Here is a copy of the slick flyer

 

Home Energy Efficiency - Wednesday, September 27, at 10:30 AM
Chelmsford Senior Center, 75 Groton Road, Rm B07

Are you interested in reducing your home energy costs, making your home more comfortable, and cutting your carbon emissions? Chelmsford’s Clean Energy & Sustainability Committee will discuss the town’s partnership with HomeWorks Energy. Come learn how you can save energy and money! Call 978-251-0533 or email ndussault@chelmsfordma.gov to register.

Cornell Events

CCAT on July 4th

This year we are going to host a table. Visit the Chelmsford Climate Action Team at the Chelmsford Country Fair on July 3rd and 4th –  We will be in the Unitarian Church parking lot. Learn about Mass Save audits, the Chelmsford Choice Electrical Aggregation Program, and other ways to save energy and help fight the climate change crisis. 

Please stop by our booth and let us know how you view sustainability and climate change in Chelmsford.
•    NEW Town sanctioned Mass Save weatherization program.  Come to learn about energy savings
•    Chelmsford Choice-our Town electricity aggregation program.  Increase your use of  clean electricity up to 100% without needing solar panels or contracts!

Last year we marched in the parade

Garden Tour at Pollinator Preservation Garden
saturday July 1st, 9AM - 11AM

Come to a garden tour at the Pollination Preservation Garden, Sunny Meadow Farm
168 Robin Hill Rd, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Garden host Giancarla Kalpas will be available to answer questions about the plants and the at-risk pollinators that we are trying to help.

Haystack: Mission, History and Present Climate Change Work - Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 pm

On Thursday, April 27 at 7:00 pm at the Westford JV Fletcher Library, Dr. Colin Lonsdale, MIT Haystack Observatory’s Director and radio astronomer, will present a talk on “MIT Haystack: Mission, History, and Present Climate Change Work” both in-person at the Library and via Zoom.  This is free and  open to all. Dr. Lonsdale will be sharing the Observatory’s work, climate change science and how things affect astronomy.  Q&A will follow with the audience. Please contact Justin Liberti for the Zoom link at jliberti@westfordma.gov.

Earth Day Celebration at Library on April 22nd, 1-4 pM

Hope you joined us for Earth Day for our  second environmental fair that was held at Chelmsford Library on April 22. CCAT. In spite of the cold, several town committees and local climate related organizations provided information on the town’s sustainability efforts, heat pumps, electric vehicles, solarization and other topics.  Plus some nature friendly exhibits.

Organizations that were represented were:

Chelmsford Library – (who had a display of books inside, co-sponsored the event, and gave out Douglas Fir seedlings from the Mass Tree Wardens.)
Chelmsford Climate Action Team – cohost
Chelmsford’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee
Chelmsford Land Conservation Trust
Chelmsford Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Chelmsford Recycling Committee
Chelmsford Center Water District
Chelmsford High School Eco Club
National Grid Clean Transportation
Energy Sage
Pollinator Garden at Sunny Meadow
Heat Smart Alliance
Community Teamwork CAP Contractor
Conscious Planet (SaveSoil)

This event was free and open to the public and held on the library’s Scoboria Greenway. The library lead contact was Jessica at jfitzhanso@chelmsfordlibrary.org

Here are some pictures showing you what it looked like at this terrific event. Please come out next year to celebrate Earth Day!

Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee

Dave's Wind Turbine

Recycling Committee

CHS Eco Club

Energy Sage

Heat Smart Alliance

National Grid Clean Transportation

Pollinator Gardens

Chelmsford Climate Action Team

Tom's Tesla Y

Community Teamwork CAP Contractor

Chelmsford Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Save Soil (Conscious Planet)

Tamar's Teepee

The What, Why, and How of EVs, LIRA Zoom April 18, 1-3

This presentation explained what an electric vehicle is, and how it differs from hybrids. It also covered the many benefits associated with electric vehicles, the various brands available, what to consider when buying an EV, and resources for assistance in selecting an EV. The many rules for rebates and incentives were also presented and clarified, along with specifics of charging an electric vehicle.

The speaker was Tom Amiro of Chelmsford Climate Action Team and Elders Climate Action. He has been driving an EV since October 2019 and recently drove 1557 miles back from St Pete Beach FL. Here is a blog he wrote about the trip.

See the slides

Here is a document with all sorts of links for information relevant to the presentation

Understanding Massachusetts’ Stretch and Specialized Energy Codes at library on Tuesday, April 11⋅7:00 – 8:15pm

The recording of Tuesday night’s program on Massachusetts’ Energy Codes is now available on the library’s YouTube page: https://youtu.be/tEY0eS7ZaIE
 

Learn about Massachusetts’s Stretch and Specialized energy codes-how they address building energy efficiency and how the new Specialized code encourages building electrification. Chelmsford may decide whether to adopt the new Specialized code at a future town meeting. In the first part of this event the Chelmsford Clean Energy Committee discussed what this adoption would mean for the town.

Then the main speaker, Paul H. Raymer, discussed moving from the Stretch Code to the Opt-In Specialized Code; the thought behind the new energy codes and the impacts to new and existing buildings, locally and globally.

Paul Raymer has more than 45 years of experience in the energy conservation field and is presently Subcommittee Chair for Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Standard Work Specification; He has held numerous positions within the Building Performance Institute and is a certified HERS Rater. He has also developed and taught courses for numerous colleges, professional societies, and states.

You can get more information on the Specialized Stretch Energy code from:

McCarthy PTO Rock and Roll Bingo Fundraiser
March 25 8-11pm

The McCarthy Middle School PTO presents Rock and Roll Bingo Friday, Mar. 25 at the Chelmsford Elks Lodge (8-11 p.m.) located at 300 Littleton Road. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

Rock and Roll Bingo is open to adults aged 21 and over. Tickets for a table of 10 cost $250 with proceeds to directly benefit enrichment programs for all McCarthy Middle School students.

Purchase Tickets | View Flyer

A cash bar will be available (no outside alcohol is permitted) while contestants are encouraged to bring their own snacks. Raffles will be held and prizes will be awarded through the evening, which includes a 50-50 drawing. CCAT has participated in the donation of a Sustainability Basket with!

  • An indoor compost bin
  • A bag of compost starte
  • A pass to Garden in the Woods
  • A book on native plants
  • A cloth grocery bag
  • A book on zero-waste homes

For more information, contact Kristen Faucher at kristen.faucher@yahoo.com

Get Your Compost Bins and Rain Barrels:
Order by March 17 and Pick up on March 25th

Compost Bin

Composting is one of the easiest ways to reduce trash, address climate change, and build healthy soil for our plants. By using a compost barrel  and turning food scraps and yard trim into compost, we can change our waste streams into a beneficial resource. Chelmsford is offering Free-Garden Compost Bins at the discounted price of $25 versus the retail price of $100. To take advantage of this community program discount please go to

www.enviroworld.us/chelmsford

Rainwater harvesting helps homeowners to reduce their water bills while conserving water and protecting the environment. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lawn and garden watering comprise nearly 40% of domestic water usage during peak summer months. Rain barrels save most homeowners about 1,300 gallons of water each summer, reducing the demand for clean water. Chelmsford is offering the FreeGarden Rain Barrel at the discounted price of $70 versus the retail price of $120. To take advantage of this community program discount please go to:

www.enviroworld.us/chelmsford

Deadline for purchase: Orders must be received by March 17th, 2023 at midnight. Barrels will be available for pick up at the DPW side entrance, 9 Alpha Road on Saturday, March 25, 2023 9:00 am-1:00 pm

For more information contact Chris Haley, Sustainability Manager: 978-250-5203  or 9rncyoet@chelmsfordma.gov

Ongoing Events & Activities

Chelmsford's Curbside Composting Program

The Chelmsford DPW innitated a new curbside organics program for food scraps. The curbside service provides every other week pickup.  A 6-month subscription for every other week pickup is $14.99/month. 

DPW will provide the compost starter kit, which includes a 13-gallon bin or 4-gallon (apartment option) bin and set of compostable liners that will be delivered by Black Earth. Interested residents can sign up directly through Black Earth at https://blackearthcompost.com/residential-curbside-compost-pickup

Starter kits will be delivered on October 4th and pickups will begin Wednesday, October 11th at the DPW on Alpha Rd.  

Residents that participate in the curbside program are also provided with a voucher for one 40-lb. bag of compost redeemable at places nearby. 

Should more than 300 Chelmsford households register, the subscription price will be lowered by 20% for all participants. 

Monthly member meeting

Usually hosted on the third Monday of every month at 7:30pm.  These meetings are not content-focused.  They’re about accomplishing our goals around town, so the conversation largely revolves around strategy, priorities, and logistics.  If you’d like to attend, just reach out to us and we’ll send you the link for the Zoom meeting.

December’s meeting will be moved up to the 2nd Monday, so it will be December 11th.

About Us

We are residents of Chelmsford, Massachusetts who share a commitment to climate legislation, advocacy and education in our community.  We want to prevent the harmful effects of climate change and protect the planet.

Are you concerned about climate change?

Then join our team!  Reach out to one of us if you have any questions, or feel free to just show up to one of the meetings you see in the Calendar section of our site.

Taking action in Chelmsford

A proven track record of helping to make Chelmsford green!

Net Zero Chelmsford

It was our group that introduced the Warrant Article at Town Meeting that set Chelmsford on the path to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Sharing Ideas and Connections

We sponsor occasional speaker programs with the Library, along with environmental fairs to meet with other organizations..

future programs and plans

We are coordinating with the town's Clean Energy and Sustainability Committee (CEAS) to help drive equitable change in Chelmsford.

Let's talk

Please reach out to us if you have any questions about Chelmsford Climate Action!

Blog Posts by our Members

2022 Newsletter Released

2021 Year in ReviewChelmsford Climate Action Team (CCAT) had a successful year in 2021 with the achievement of ourmain initiative – to promote the formation of a town committee to

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How I have reduced my carbon footprint

We should all take inventory of our personal carbon footprint. A good calculator is at carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx Before I tell you what I’ve done to reduce my footprint, you may want

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