Tonight: Free showing of Bag It

Bag It! poster

An average guy makes a resolution to stop using plastic bags at the grocery store. Little does he know that this simple decision will change his life completely. He comes to the conclusion that our consumptive use of plastic has finally caught up to us, and looks at what we can do about it. Today. Right now.

Watch the trailer: scroll down to or click on this link for the March 11th entry.

Our Next Meeting is Wed, Mar 19th at 7pm at the Library

Sustainable Williston, our town’s grassroots environmental group, meets Wednesday evening at 7pm at the Dorothy Alling Library, and anyone interested in local environmental issues is welcome.

Current meeting topics include increasing bus ridership at CVU, plastic waste, the Birth Trees project, Williston bike paths, reducing waste at town celebrations, and more.

Williston Collaborates with Other Local Communities to Improve Water Quality

You may have heard about the stormwater improvements that are in the works for Williston and surrounding communities. Stormwater improvements are an environmental double win: they protect water quality while providing greater resilience in the kinds of large storms that are becoming increasingly common.

Lisa Sheltra of the Williston Public Works Department kindly brought us this update on Williston’s stormwater initiatives.

stormwater damage at a Vermont fishery

stormwater damage at a Vermont fishery

For more than ten years, several Chittenden County communities, including Williston, have worked together to create and operate the Regional Stormwater Education Program (RSEP). This organization is a collaborative effort of nine municipalities, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the Burlington International Airport. The central mission of RSEP is to educate the public on how stormwater affects our streams and Lake Champlain and the simple things we all can do to improve overall water quality. Together, we have been able to do much more than we would if efforts were town-by-town

Our efforts have included extensive community outreach and education to residents on key behaviors that anyone could do: picking up pet waste, reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides, testing soils to determine if fertilizers are even needed and greener practices for car washing.

We are happy to report that progress is being made and the overall results are promising. In 2013 we surveyed more than 400 residents of the nine RSEP member towns. More than 80% of those surveyed now pick up pet waste compared to only 62% in 2003. Pet waste can be a significant source of bacterial contamination to our streams and Lake Champlain. Similarly, only 29% of the citizens surveyed use fertilizers on their lawn, down from 50%. We also saw an increase in soil testing to determine whether fertilizers are even needed. Testing soil for fertilizer need saves money, but also prevents unnecessary pollutants from entering our local waters.

Your efforts have resulted in significant progress. Additionally, Williston has partnered with a number of private landowners to plant over 4000 trees along the Allen Brook and its tributaries in an effort to improve the stream buffer that helps keep surface waters clean. Williston also works with local volunteers to organize stream clean-up events and to mark our storm drains to make everyone aware that what goes down the storm drain directly impacts our local streams. The town also spent a half day at local schools teaching students about how important it is to prevent stormwater pollution and protect our streams. We applaud your ongoing commitment to improving our water resources, and remain committed to working with you to advance these common goals

To that end, in 2014 and beyond we will be providing you more information on how you can further protect waterways by using rain gardens, rain barrels and reducing impermeable surfaces on your property. As spring and summer rainstorms become more intense, these actions can “Slow the Flow” of stormwater so our local waterways don’t become excessively eroded and/or clogged with silt and other trash.

We would like to thank the people of Williston for your stewardship of our streams and Lake Champlain. We encourage anyone who wants to learn more about what you can do to keep our Town’s streams and Lake Champlain clean to please visit

Lisa M. Sheltra
Assistant Public Works Director

Photo by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region

Free showing of Bag It! The Movie

Try going a day without plastic. Plastic is everywhere and infiltrates our lives in unimaginable and frightening ways. In this touching and often flat-out-funny film, we follow “everyman” Jeb Berrier, who is admittedly not a tree hugger, as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. What starts as a film about plastic bags evolves into a wholesale investigation into plastic and its affect on our waterways, oceans, and even our own bodies. We see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it. Today. Right now.

WHEN: Monday, March 31, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, 21 Library Lane, Williston

COST: It’s Free! Please bring your own cup and bowl for local popcorn and cider and help keep this event “zero waste.”  Enter to win raffle prizes and a chance to win a backyard SoilSaver compost bin too!

INFO:  This event is hosted by Sustainable WillistonDorothy Alling Memorial Library and Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD). Film is best suited for ages 12 and up. For more info contact Marge Keough/CSWD at 802-872-8100 x234.

2014 Sustainable Living Expo in Middlebury March 29th

Sustainable Williston member Dennis Bates passed along this information about the 2014 Sustainable Living Expo in Middlebury, where he’ll be exhibiting his sunroom / solar greenhouse designs (details edited from a notice sent out by ACORN: Addison County Relocalization Network).

A one-day exposition of workshops, exhibits and events promoting sustainable living in the Champlain ValleyWhy
To gather the community together with the purpose of inspiring each other to explore, design and create a vibrant self-sustaining future, rooted in ourselves, our communities, and in nature

Saturday March 29, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT
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Middlebury Union High School
73 Charles Avenue
Middlebury, VT 05753

Driving Directions

Presented by:

Sponsored by:Co-operative Insurance Companies


Middlebury College

You can be part of the planning process as a volunteer!

You will get first hand experience at event planning, see immediate results for your efforts, meet new people, have fun, and get a free Expo t-shirt!

Register to volunteer

If you need any more reason to attend, look at what else is in store:

  • Keynote speaker Kathy Blume
  • Student Presentations
  • Off-Site Tours
  • Kids’ activities and workshops
  • Videos that inspire innovation
  • Lively music and festive performances
  • Local foods available throughout the day
  • ACTR bus will make continuous, fare-free loop around Addison County
  • Community organizations offered space to hold meetings and events during the Expo

More Info
For Information on exhibiting, submitting workshop proposals, or volunteering, check out our website or contact:

Elizabeth Golden-Pidgeon, Managing Director
Sustainable Living Expo 2014
P.O. Box 65
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 598-2388 (cell)
Natl Bank of Midd logo VBT

With additional support from: 

Art from Trash: Creative Reuse Showcase

News from The Chittenden Solid Waste District:

Breakfast at Tape-anys by Sarina Cannizzaro

18th Annual CSWD Creative Reuse Art Showcase

The CSWD Creative Reuse Showcase is an art competition for Chittenden County students in grades 9 through 12. The purpose of the Showcase is to encourage students and the community in general to reduce waste by reconsidering what we consume and discard. Creative Reuse Showcase art is made from items and materials that have been used for their original purpose and then discarded either as landfill-bound trash or as recycling.

By entering, students compete for hundreds of dollars in cash and prizes from local sponsors. They may also earn a spot in a month-long exhibit of the Showcase at Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Gallery in Burlington.

See the Showcase:

March 7: Showcase art exhibit opening at Frog Hollow. 85 Church St., Burlington, during First Friday Art Walk.

March 27 Closing Awards Bash at Frog Hollow. 6-7 pm (Awards at 6:30 pm)

More information at