On Earth Day, Mayor Walsh makes a call for action on climate
April 22, 2015
The Mayor will announce the new Greenovate Boston web platform where residents and business owners can learn what they can do for the environment, commit to action, and connect with others. The Mayor will also highlight a variety of recent and upcoming environmental actions, including two energy positive (E+) green building parcels in Dorchester, the Boston Public School’s Race to Recycle program, over 40 municipal energy efficiency projects, protected bike lanes in Dorchester and Allston, and the return of the goats to Boston Parks.
“Our Greenovate Boston Climate Action Plan sets ambitious sustainability goals and the community and city must work together to achieve them,” said Mayor Walsh. “Earth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate our progress and consider new ways we can integrate climate action into our lives.”
“Even small actions like switching to cold water wash, or turning your computer off at night can add up to significant impact,” said Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space. “This new site not only encourages action, but it helps us better understand what actions people are taking and empowers the community to connect with each other and learn from one another.”
In addition to supporting community action, the City of Boston has made significant progress and continues to lead by example. In 2014 alone, the City, in partnership with Eversource Energy, implemented over 40 energy efficiency projects that will save over 9 million kWh and approximately $1.4 million per year. Over 80 percent of these savings came from the Public Works Department’s LED streetlight conversion program.
Mayor Walsh is also expanding efforts to encourage residents and small businesses to combat rising energy prices through programs and partnerships with Eversource, National Grid, and Mass Saves.
- Until the end of May, residents may purchase steeply discounted Renew Boston energy efficiency kits online, which include LEDs, water-saving shower heads, and smart power strips at Techniart.com/renewboston.
- For a limited time only, Mass Save and the utilities are offering generous rebates for replacing inefficient boilers and furnaces with more energy efficient heating equipment. Residents may be eligible to receive a rebate up to $4,000 for replacing a 30+ year old boiler or up to $1,000 for replacing a 12+ year old furnace. Learn more at RenewBoston.com or call 617-635-SAVE.
- Restaurants can take advantage of 70%-off rebates on EcoThermal Filter System, which is a series of grease filters that when mounted in the ventilation hood captures wasted heat from the cook line and generates hot water. These systems significantly reduce hot water heating costs and have the potential to save thousands of dollars a year. Visit www.EcoThermalFilters.com or call 866-867-8729 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for your restaurant
The City’s sustainability initiatives continue to expand under the Greenovate Boston umbrella:
- The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) announced its Energy Positive (E+) program is expanding to a new site in Dorchester. The BRA, in partnership with the Department of Neighborhood Development, will be releasing an RFP for two vacant parcels at 36-38 Colonial Avenue to be developed into housing that produces more energy than it consumes.
- Boston Public Schools is hosting the Race to Recycle competition from May 1 - May 22. The Race to Recycle will measure school recycling improvements, and is a chance for schools to be rewarded for all their recycling efforts.
- The Grove Hall, East Boston, and Mattapan branches of the Boston Public Library will once again be caring for and cultivating their seed libraries this spring through the fall, allowing local gardeners access to seeds, and preserving global plant diversity on a local scale.
- Since adding a recycling day in July 2014, recycling rates were up nearly 13%, or by 800 tons, in downtown neighborhoods.
- The Department of Neighborhood Development is making 3 new urban agriculture sites in Mattapan and Roxbury, totaling 34,203 square feet, available in Summer 2015.
- The Boston Parks and Recreation Department will be using goats again this year, to combat invasive plant species growing on their property. Exact dates and locations are forthcoming.
- In early April Mayor Walsh announced his support for the “Diesel and Vehicular Emissions Ordinance,” filed by City Councilor Stephen Murphy to help reduce harmful emissions from diesel vehicles and idling. The proposed ordinance requires all pre-2007 vehicles owned or leased by the City or used by its contractors to have been retrofit with more effective emission-reduction equipment. It also simplifies and unifies the authority for the City of Boston to enforce the current state-wide anti-idling laws in a consistent way.
- In 2015 the Boston Transportation Department expects to add its 100th mile of bike lane, and is planning to install two protected bike lanes on Mt Vernon Street in Dorchester and Commonwealth Avenue in Allston.
- Boston will have 90 Hubway stations located across the City this season.
Greenovate Boston will be hosting its second annual Community Summit this year on Saturday, June 6. The event will bring together over 500 Bostonians including city officials, residents, and the business and non-profit community to identify ways we can work together to implement the climate action plan. For more information, and to register, please visit Summit.GreenovateBoston.org.