Category Archives: Education

Sustainability

When elected officials and Town staff in Acton are making decisions, they are thinking of maintaining health, welfare, financial solvency, and other measures of the town’s well-being. “Sustainability” takes those same measures, but deepens them to include future generations, and broadens them to include the wider web of life of which we are a part, including people beyond Acton.  Because of the intertwined environmental emergencies we are in the middle of, sustainability usually has an environmental focus: a large part of these emergencies arise from short-term and narrow thinking, and making progress on environmental crises requires a consistent focus on the wide and deep impacts of today’s decisions.

In 2017, the Acton Board of Selectmen voted during their annual goal-setting exercise to put the creation of a sustainability policy as their top priority for the upcoming year, and they asked Green Acton to help them think this through.

Media coverage of sustainability policy discussion

The Beacon covered Green Acton’s July 24 presentation at the Board of Selectmen about a sustainability policy: http://acton.wickedlocal.com/news/20170727/acton-selectmen-address-sustainability-goals

You can also watch it on Acton TV’s youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQ24dJzzf-c&t=94m20s

 

Sustainability Policy background information, prepared for Acton Selectmen

By Debra Simes, Jim Snyder-Grant, and a host of commenters from Green Acton

(For Board of Selectmen meeting on 2017-7-24)

Hello Board of Selectmen and other Acton Sustainability Policy allies: Continue reading

Sustainability brainstorming

On July 5, 2017, as a first step in developing a proposed sustainability policy, Green Acton hosted a sustainability brainstorming session. Many ideas emerged, placed on a large table with pieces of paper, and transcribed here in this Google document.

Acton Cleanup WEEK: April 22-29

Please mark your calendars and plan to participate.

Acton Cleanup Week: April 22 – April 29 

This year, Acton Cleanup will be a week long.

The Cleanup is being co-organized by the Acton Chinese-American Civic Society. You can learn more about them at the ACACS website.

The new site to let everyone know about streets that need cleaning, or streets that are already clean, and to sign up to clean streets, is ready now at actoncleanup.info.

 

We encourage everyone to sign up for a site and make a difference.  This service for your community can be done anytime from Saturday April 22 through April 29.

On Saturday April 29, our usual Cleanup Day crews with a list of areas needing your help will be available to give out bags and gloves, and collect the debris that has been removed from the streets and paths of our town.

Stay tuned for details!  Or contact us today at cleanup@greenacton.org .

First Lego League Presentation

First Lego League 6th grade girls’ team presentation: Microfiber pollution of oceans. All from different schools. There are three parts to this team’s competition project: (1) the project they’re presenting today, for which they had to research a problem within the theme of interaction between humans and animals (“animal allies”). They chose how microfibers (tiny plastic shards from fleece clothing) can end up in the ocean, be eaten by organisms, and then move up the food chain. They did a presentation in the form of a skit; (2) a robot game, on the same theme (animal allies), in which robots have to complete missions; (3) sharing their project with their communities. Continue reading

Black Lives Matter statements of October 2016

The Green Acton Board of Directors just issued two statements through our social media accounts:

• Twitter: Real sustainability = every person & voice are included & valued. After centuries of racism & exclusion, we agree: #BlackLivesMatter.

• Facebook: Green Acton’s focus is primarily local, but we know that our small community is interdependent with the wider world’s concerns. Long-range sustainability means every person and voice must count. To unpack and heal centuries of systemic racism, and to ensure that everyone is valued and included, we understand the importance of affirming that #BlackLivesMatter.

These posts were the result of discussions at the July and October 2016 Green Acton meetings, at which we talked about the connections among racism, inequalities, environmental damage, and environmental justice. We noted that, although we are a local organization, focused primarily on Acton, we understand that our small community is interdependent with the wider world’s concerns, and that achievement of our broader sustainability goals means that changes will need to happen in the rest of the nation and world, as well as here at home.

Globally: we note that people who live near the equator, in deserts and tropics, are feeling the damaging effects of climate change first, and that these are areas populated largely by brown- and black-skinned people. Without clear empathy and a sense of connection to all sorts of people, white environmental activists in northern climes might not appreciate fully the urgency of stopping climate change.

Nationally: we recognize that much of everyday life in the United States has been distorted by a narrative of white supremacy, which allowed slavery and its persistent and insidious residue — a broad system of racial oppression that has huge impacts on black people’s lives. Silence in the face of oppression permits it to continue; we felt called to make a statement.

Locally: we recognize that Green Acton itself has room to grow as an organization, and that we’d benefit by the addition of people with a wider variety of life experiences, including more people from racial and ethnic minorities.

Broadly: we recognize that progress on environmental — and economic, social, and racial — justice necessitates that we connect across our “silos” of activity and advocacy to speak up and out. At every level, we understand that undoing racism is part of the work of making progress on environmental sustainability that works for all.

Going forward: One way we will continue this work is to look at how our planned actions in the coming years can be more inclusive. Another step we will take is to identify the local groups engaged in this justice work, and pass on their calls to action to our membership. We look forward to continuing this dialogue with all of you.

Green Acton Board of Directors

Debby Andell
Jane Ceraso
Sue Cudmore
Danny Factor
Karen Herther
Sue Jick
Steve Long
Debra Simes
Jim Snyder-Grant

Tribute to Charlotte Sagoff – Social Justice

From  John Abernethy: Continue reading

Planet Chillers: 2014 Siemens Team

The Planet Chillers came to Green Acton in the Spring of 2014. They spoke to us about the impact of food choices on climate change. Continue reading

Black Gold Miners – 2011 Junior High School Siemens Team

The Black Gold Miners came to Green Acton in 2011. Continue reading