Sustainable Williston goes to Montpelier over Single-Use Plastics

What Happened?

Melinda

Melinda Petter of Sustainable Williston prepares to testify on single use plastics bill at the State House.

On Wednesday morning (3/13), representatives from Sustainable Williston testified as the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy considered bill S.113 – An act relating to the prohibition of plastic carry out bags, expandeded polystyrene food service products (Styrofoam), and single-use plastic straws. Melinda Petter, Lynn Blevins, and Brian Forest made the trip on behalf of 111 Williston area residents who signed onto letters of support for S.113 and its companion legislation, bill H.74 in the House.

Why it Matters.

We spoke at the Senate Natural Resource and Energy Committee hearing to relay the concerns and support from over 100 VT residents who are interested in reducing single-use plastics waste. With testimony being given by agencies and industry, we felt it important that our legislators also heard directly from the people they represent.

What’s Next?

Sustainable Williston will monitor progress of the bill(s) at the state level, and consider next steps based on the outcome.

*Update* – The Senate bill (S.113) made it out of committee (with some amendments) on 3/15! This means it WILL go to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Want to Get More Involved?

We welcome you to join us at a monthly social (2nd Thursday, 7:15pm, VT Tap House) or meetings (4th Thursday, 7:15pm, DAM Library) – See Calendar. You can also use the “Contact Us” on our website to request we add you to our meeting group emails where we share agendas, minutes, and coordinate action.

New Real and Virtual Watershed Information

From Williston Planning & Zoning Office:

”The Town of Williston Planning Department and Conservation Commission recently developed and installed a new wayside interpretive exhibit…Check out the new exhibit at the Williston Community Park and along the Allen Brook Nature Trail, or view a “virtual tour” at http://arcg.is/meuCP. To learn more about water quality and how you can help, visit the Lake Champlain Basin Program’s website at www.LCBP.org.”

February Social Cancelled – Join Us 2/28

We’re sorry to report that the social for tonight, 2/21 has been cancelled due to lack of interest. If you’re interesting in learning about Sustainable Williston, we invite you to join us for our monthly meeting on 2/28 @ the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library (we meet the 4th Thursday of each month), or to come to our March Social on 3/14 (we hold a social on the 2nd Thursday of each month).

There a ton of opportunities for volunteers to get involved in 2019, so please do not hesitate to contact us via the “Contact” link above. Some of the activities we have planned for 2019 include:

  • 4 Zero Waste events where the Sustainable Williston team provides waste warriors to help educate and facilitate collecting trash, recycling, and compost in separate streams (ex. July 3rd Icecream Social, WFD Pancake Breakfast, etc.)
  • A seed starting event
  • A forum series on topics relating to sustainability and community resiliency
  • Silverware-share to eliminate single-use plastic utensils
  • April Stool dog poop pick-up
  • Birth Tree program

Sustainable Williston helps residents Button Up

This year, Sustainable Williston is a Button Up Vermont community partner. This means that Williston is one of 18 Vermont towns whose residents are eligible for a free home visit from a professional energy contractor who can identify opportunities for home weatherization. Buttoning up your home is the best way to conserve home energy and reduce heating and cooling costs. Sustainable Williston has a few upcoming events where Williston residents can get more information and take action.

  1. Curious about the increasingly popular cold climate heat pumps? Attend a free workshop to learn about cold weather heat pump options for hot water and space heating on Wednesday, November 14th at 7pm at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. RSVP on Facebook
  2. Ready to Button Up your home or just want to hear more? Attend the free Weatherize Williston Button Up workshop on Wednesday, November 28th at 7pm at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library. There will be a home weatherization talk and time to meet with Building Energy, the Williston energy contractor conducting the free home visits. RSVP on Facebook
Want to participate but can’t make any of these events? Visit https://buttonupvermont.org/ and click on “Sign up for a free contractor visit” by December 15. After filling out a short survey about your home characteristics and energy usage, you will be contacted directly by the energy contractor, Building Energy. While you are at the Button Up website, review the checklist to find ways to start buttoning up right away and find out about DIY weatherization incentives (up to $100) from Efficiency Vermont.
For more about the Button Up program in Williston, tune in below to the November episode of What’s Up Williston: The Chief of Police and a Look at Sustainable Williston (Button Up information starts in minute 15).

Registration Ends 8/31 – Birth Tree Project

Williston Residents, take note. Registration for the 2018 program (children born between August 2016-Aug 2018) ends Friday 8/31! If you or someone you know has a recent birth and is a Williston resident, they can register and receive a free, native, tree/shrub to plant at their home in Williston!

Register Now!

Program Info

July Social Moved to tomorrow, Wed, July 11th

For July, Sustainable Williston’s social is rescheduled to Wednesday, July 11th at the Tap House starting at 7:15 (usually until 8:45). In addition to good company, we have a mission this week, to speak with the manager about taking the Straws Upon Request pledge. In many Williston restaurants, straws are given with drinks (including water) by default. This campaign changes the default to no straw, greatly reducing plastic waste. It isn’t a ban because straws can still be available if requested by the customer. This summer, Sustainable Williston will be working to convince at least 3 Williston restaurants to take the Straws Upon Request pledge. Who will be the first?!

Join us this Wednesday in our efforts to reduce plastic waste, starting with the Tap House. If you’ve never joined us before, just ask the Tap House host to direct you to the Sustainable Williston table.

Links:
VPIRG Straws Upon Request – About
VPIRG Straws Upon Request – Who Has Signed?

10th Annual Zero-Waste Ice Cream Social!

Ice Cream Social- July 3, 2017

This week’s July 3rd Ice Cream Social in Williston marks a decade of zero-waste efforts by Sustainable Williston. In 2009 residents and SW members Lynn and Lori formed a new partnership with the Williston Historical Society (host of the Ice Cream Social) to make the event zero-waste by using compostable materials for serving, and collecting the compost at the end of the event.

Did you know?
The waste collected at the July 3rd event is composted locally at Green Mountain Compost on Redmond Road in Williston!

Making a big event like the July 3rd social waste-free isn’t always glamorous. Volunteers help everyone properly sort their waste to ensure a clean batch of compostables, and it can be a messy job handling melted ice cream, fudge sauce and strawberry topping! The compost then travels to a volunteer’s garage to wait for Green Mountain Compost to open on July 5th. All that work is worth it though, and diverts a significant amount of waste from the landfill into a renewable resource. The event also provides an opportunity to answer questions about composting and educate residents on how to sort their waste stream.

We hope to see all Williston residents this Tuesday to enjoy some ice cream, music by the Williston Town Band, and of course enjoy the peace of mind knowing your bowl, spoon, and food scraps are going to eventually turn into nutrient rich compost!

Sustianable Williston Springs into 2018

Sustainable Williston is springing into 2018 with a series of events.

  1. In March we partnered with the Williston Fire Department to help make their Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser a waste-free event.
  2. April 7th is the annual April Stools Day event at the Williston Community Park and Area Trails.April Stools Banner
  3. April 15th is the annual Seed Starting and Swap at the gazebo on the Williston Town Green

Come on out!