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.
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
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.
Here’s a note from Green Mountain Transit (GMT), formerly CCTA. This Saturday, they’re encouraging shopping at small businesses throughout the area and offering free bus rides wherever you need to go. This can be especially handy if you want to go to downtown Burlington, but don’t want to have to park.
By the way, they’ve introduced a new app for smartphones where you can see where your bus is at any moment. There’s a Web page for it, too. They’ve also built a great new bus station in Burlington, in case you haven’t seen it yet. It offers sheltered outdoor seating, free Wi-Fi, bathrooms, indoor seating, a ticket agent, a water fountain, and countdown signs that tell you how long it will be until your bus arrives. In addition to GMT routes, the station also serves Greyhound, Vermont Translines, and Megabus.
You can catch GMT buses at Taft’s corners, in Williston village, and at some other locations locally.
Enjoy GMT’s “Free Ride Day” on Small Business Saturday
For the second year in a row, Green Mountain Transit is having a free ride day on Small Business Saturday, November 26, 2016. Take the bus to local shops on this Small Business Saturday and help us support our community.
This system wide free ride day is also our thank you to our riders this holiday season. Public transportation (and FREE on Small Business Saturday) is a great asset to all! We would love for everyone to be aware and utilize the service!
The mission of GMT is to promote and operate safe, convenient, accessible, innovative and sustainable public transportation services in the northwest and central Vermont regions, that reduces congestion and pollution, encourages transit oriented development and enhances the quality of life for all.
WILLISTON, VERMONT – Sustainable Williston, Williston’s grassroots environmental group, will commemorate Williston children born or adopted between August 2015 and August 2016 with the gift of a free tree or shrub for each child at the third annual Birth Tree Celebration Sunday, September 25th, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at Gardener’s Supply on Marshall Avenue in Williston. The free event is expected to include refreshments and craft activities for children. All Williston residents are invited. Families can register and select their tree and shrub choices by Friday, September 16th at www.SustainableWilliston.org/BirthTrees .
“It’s a unique program, and one that families will cherish as their children grow,” said Brooke Thomas, the celebration’s organizer. “What better way to welcome our new residents than with a living tribute which will grow alongside their child? The program also helps develop an early appreciation for nature and the environment while bringing together the Williston community.”
Williston’s Birth Tree Program was founded in 2014 by Sustainable Williston member Marie-Claude Beaudette, who wanted to recreate the tradition she knew from the birth of her own children in St. Bruno, Quebec.
The tree and shrub selections, donated by Gardener’s Supply, include flowering shrubs like Red Dogwood, trees like River Birch, and blueberry bushes.
Sustainable Williston is a citizen group active in projects like alternative energy, water quality, and carbon footprint reduction. They are online at SustainableWilliston.org.
Here’s an announcement from Melinda Scott, our town Conservation Planner:
This year marks the 46th anniversary of Green Up Day, which began in April 1970 and continues today as a unique Vermont tradition. Green Up Day brings out thousands of volunteers throughout the state to remove litter and trash from our roadways, waterways and public places. This year Green Up Day will occur on Saturday, May 7th. This unique tradition helps us all practice stewardship on a local level.
In 2015, approximately 200 Williston residents picked up over 1.5 tons of trash and 25 discarded tires! We’re hoping for just as many volunteers and a warm, sunny day for this year’s annual event. Before heading out, please review this safety list. For more information or to pick a stretch of roadside in Williston to “Green Up” stop by the Williston Planning Office or call Melinda at 878-6704, Ext 4.
You’ll notice that South Burlington and especially Burlington are greener (literally and figuratively) than we are in terms of carbon footprint, but that’s a little misleading: it turns out that cities tends to have lower carbon footprints, but they result in widespread suburbs with larger carbon footprints. Burlington depends on its suburbs, so unfortunately it’s a linked effect.
The good news here is that those of us in the suburbs have an enormous opportunity to reduce carbon footprint, and that anything we learn to do can spread to other suburbs around the world, where we see this same pattern.
It’s hard to make out from the picture above, but look at the blue and purple columns in the graph. Those represent transportation (blue) and heating (purple). Reducing car trips, reducing use of airplanes, carpooling, using mass transit, and electric cars all can combine to drive that blue bar way down. For the purple bar, we have similarly big possibilities, including insulation, weatherization, and air source heat pumps (or if you don’t have a home suitable for one of those, the next best thing would be wood or wood pellets).
As a matter of pride, let’s not be just an average suburban town: there’s a lot more to Williston than that. Let’s show people how a small town like ours on the fringe of a small city can make a big difference.
The Town of Williston is offering a build-your-own rain barrel event July 25th. Here’s the announcement:
Summer is officially here! It’s the perfect time of year to consider incorporating the use of a rain barrel for lawn and landscaping needs. The Chittenden County Stream Team and the Town of Williston are hosting a workshop in Williston to help you build your own rain barrel. This workshop is meant for individuals interested in saving water and reducing stormwater runoff, which can carry pollutants to our streams and Lake Champlain. The water you save in a rain barrel can be used for watering lawns and flower gardens, washing your car or tools. Save water, save money, and save our streams all at the same time! In the workshop you will learn how to properly maintain and install a rain barrel and take home your own barrel.
What: Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop When: Saturday, July 25th at 10 am Where: The new Williston Department of Public Works building on Avenue A, off of Industrial Ave Cost: $30
Pre-registration by Friday, July 10th is required and participation is limited to 30 rain barrels. Please pre-register by calling 802-288-8155 Ext 104 or by emailing: anna at winooski nrcd dot org
For more information about stormwater issues or volunteering in your community, please visit the Chittenden County Stream Team’s website:www.ccstreamteam.org
It’s a great weekend for solar energy events in Vermont!
First, there’s a series of free solar tours around the state this Saturday, June 20th, including several sites in Chittenden County, like South Burlington, Jericho, and our own town solar array in Williston Village. The tours are sponsored by Renewable Energy Vermont, VNRC, 350 Vermont, and the Sustainable Energy Resource Group. For more information, including an interactive map, see http://www.revermont.org/main/celebrate-solar-tours/
Second, on Sunday solar installation and design company SunCommon is offering yoga and live music as a solstice celebration in Jericho:
Sun Salutations & Solar
Community Solar Array (CSA)
35 Old Pump Road
Jericho, VT 05465
Sustainable Williston will meet next on Thursday, May 28th, from 7:15-8:45 PM at the Dorothy Alling Library. Williston Town Planner Ken Belliveau will attend the first part of the meeting as a guest to discuss the 5-year town plan currently under development. We’ll also hear abbreviated reports from some of Sustainable Williston’s active task forces, including an update on the Sustainable Energy Series, which hosted an event on solar power in May and will host one on electric cars in June. Everyone interested in sustainability is welcome to attend.
Williston residents, including some Sustainable Williston members, attended recent kickoff meetings for the new 5-year town plan process.
Sustainable Williston will kick off its new Sustainable Energy series with a presentation from Vermont solar energy company SunCommon at 6pm on Monday, May 4th at the Dorothy Alling Library in Williston. Learn about costs, benefits, and opportunities for home and community solar power, and bring your questions. Free and open to all. Light refreshments will be served.
Questions or ideas? Please comment here or use the form on our contact page. Thanks!