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!

Sustainable Solutions Tour – Sat Oct 14th, 1 PM – 3:30 PM

We’re pleased to announce our second sustainable solutions tour of 2017, this Saturday, October 14th, from 1-3:30! Plus, we’re partnering with Button Up VT this fall, so come out to receive information and a cool give-away!

Climate change got you feeling down? Come lift your spirits on this Solutions Tour hosted by the Sustainable Williston community group. Your neighbors will welcome you to their homes to show you what they’ve been doing to reduce their carbon footprint and protect our natural environment. Enjoy good company, good ideas, and get inspired!

Meet at 1PM @ 50 Spruce Lane off of N. Williston Rd. The group will carpool to the other tour stops together. Or feel free to drop in at the locations you are most interested in.

Schedule, locations and features listed below:

1:00-1:20 @ 50 SPRUCE LN: Deborah will show off her rain barrel, solar, organic gardening, composting, DIY solar heater for pool! Bonus: This bike commuter will share the best bike route into Burlington!

1:35-2:00 @ 413 BUTTERNUT RD: Living sustainably isn’t easy! Check out a mix of successes and failures with Steve.

2:15-2:35 @ 137 VILLAGE GROVE: Thinking about roof-mounted solar? Ben and Lori will show theirs off as well as perennial gardens, raised beds, and a rain barrel.

2:50-3:10 @ 497 TALCOTT RD (Allen Brook School): Did you know ABS has a wind turbine!? Principal John Terko gives us the scoop!

Tour Maphttps://goo.gl/maps/qXUsGTthtaU2
RSVP for our event and like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/482188012146106/
Have questions or interested in being a stop on a future tour? Contact: ReedCarrGS@gmail.com
Learn more about our group at www.sustainablewilliston.org

$17,500 Off a Nissan Leaf Electric Car Now Extended to all of Williston (and Beyond)

In a recent post, we reported that Green Mountain Power customers could participate in a program that gives a $10,000 discount on a 2017 Nissan Leaf. More recently, Vermont Electric Co-op has worked out a partnership with Nissan to also offer a that $10,000 discount to all its customers.

There’s more information in the previous post, but to recap: the Nissan Leaf is a reliable, well-reviewed, all-electric vehicle with an estimated 107-mile range between charges. EVs like the Leaf have much lower fuel cost than the average gas car (on average, just over 1/3 the cost) plus much lower maintenance costs. The batteries have proven durable and lasting, and by some careful estimates an EV like the Leaf will last twice as long as a gas car. The biggest limitation, of course, is that you have to recharge, and that takes longer than pumping gas. However, you can charge at home overnight, and there are a lot more charging stations in the area than you might guess:

Interactive charging station map available at ChargeHub

In addition to the $10,000 discount, most taxpayers can qualify for a $7,500 tax credit (note that this is a credit deducted from your tax liability, not just a deduction from your income calculation). Vermont Electric Co-op also offers a $250 bill credit to customers who buy an electric car.

Not all Nissan dealerships are participating, but there are three in the region where you can get a Leaf with this discount, so you can comparison shop. You don’t have to pay sticker price minus the discount: you should be able to get a better price from your dealer. The three participating dealerships are:

Save Energy and Lower Greenhouse Gases With Your Phone This Summer

Here’s some information from Generation 180 about their Keep It Cool Campaign, an easy way to help save energy and lower carbon footprints:
Keep it Cool Open Shop Sign

Keep It Cool is a simple campaign by Generation 180 with a huge potential impact: it focuses on stopping the energy waste caused by storefront doors staying open while the A/C is running. Although already illegal in places like New York City, this behavior is common around the country, and collectively it adds up to enormous amounts of wasted electricity and associated pollution.

Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness.

Why the big fuss?

A small action—as simple as closing a door—can not only prevent waste and pollution; it can spread the idea that energy is a resource that we should consume responsibly.

You can be a part of crowd-solving this problem (and it’s really simple):

The Problem

Each store with an open door wastes 4,200 kWh of electricity over the summer.
Generating 4,200 kWh of electricity releases significant pollution (CO2 + SO 2 + Nox + PM)
The pollution released is equivalent to that of a semi-truck driving from NY to Miami (200 gal of diesel).

How Our Campaign Works

On hot days, take notice of retailers’ front doors and send us (Generation 180) store locations via Facebook Messenger (read how to or watch a video)—either to recognize a store for keeping its door closed, or to flag a store that needs a friendly reminder to conserve energy.
For stores with doors that are kept closed, Generation 180 will send them an affirmation for their energy-conscious behavior and place a pin on our campaign map that promotes their location. We will reach out to remind retailers with their doors open to close their door to conserve energy.

Every retailer that Generation 180 contacts will be invited to join our campaign. As retailers commit to keep their doors closed, we’ll recognize them on our map.

Check the map periodically to watch the progress of the Keep It Cool project as it spreads across your community—and across the country.

$17,500 Off a New Electric Car for GMP Customers

Green Mountain Power has just announced a new program for its customers in partnership with Nissan, giving buyers of the 2017 Nissan Leaf a $10,000 discount. This is in addition to a $7,500 tax credit for which most new Leaf buyers will qualify. The base MSRP for a Nissan Leaf is $30,680, meaning buyers who take advantage of the discount and who qualify for the tax credit can get a new Leaf for $13,180.

In addition to savings on purchase of the car itself, electric car buyers enjoy much lower fuel costs and much lower maintenance costs, with no oil changes and few moving parts to wear out.

You may have heard that electric cars aren’t really any better for the environment than gasoline cars. That story has gone around the Internet a lot, but it’s not true. You can read some of the details here.

Transportation is the single biggest factor in most individuals’ and families’ carbon footprints, and cars are the biggest part of the transportation carbon problem. Buying an electric car is one of the very best ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

The 2017 Leaf has an estimated electric range of 107 miles on a full charge. This goes down a little in winter, but it’s also a conservative number; careful driving can get better range. Many families have an electric car for local transportation and a gas car or hybrid for longer drives. Other electric cars currently available have a greater range: for instance, the Chevy Bolt has a range of 238 miles, and the Chevy Volt (yes, it’s ridiculous that they have two cars with such similar names), while it has only a 53 mile electric range, has a backup gasoline engine that kicks in automatically when the battery runs out of power.

In this deal sounds too good to be true, I can explain Nissan’s motivation here: in a few months they’ll start selling the 2018 Leaf, which has much greater range and some other advantages. Discounting the 2017 models so steeply offers them a change to generate interest in the brand and get the old stock off the lots before it’s eclipsed by the new model.

Questions or concerns about electric cars? Check out the information at Drive Electric Vermont, comment here, or contact us.

Birth Tree Lilacs

Sustainable Williston’s Birth Tree Project, with the support of state and town government and local businesses, gifts local families with a new child with a free tree or bush of their choice to plant. Here’s Finn, a Birth Tree kid, enjoying the lilac bush that was planted for him. Many thanks to Finn’s mom, Sarah, for sending the photos!

http://www.sustainablewilliston.org/ongoing-projects/birth-trees/

Sustainable Williston Meets Thursday 5/4: Community Energy, Summer Reading, and More

Sustainable Williston, our community environment and sustainability group, will meet this Thursday, May 4th, at 7:15 PM at the Dorothy Alling Library. In addition to checking in on other news and projects, we’ll talk about a possible collaboration with the library and will get a walkthrough of Vermont’s new Community Energy Dashboard, a powerful tool for Vermont towns to collaborate on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Everyone living or working in Williston with an interest in sustainability is welcome.