CLEAN & GREEN: Reducing our Carbon Footprint

A series on clean and green living and ways to reduce your carbon footprint. This series is funded by the Chelmsford Friends of the Library and from a grant from Constellation Energy.


Library programs filmed by Chelmsford TeleMedia (CTM) are available on DVDs in the Library's collection and on the CTM website through video streaming.
Visit http://ww

Beat the Heat Climate Change Event
 Did you know that UMass Lowell and the surrounding community are making strides to be greener to combat climate change? Join Student Environmental Alliance and find out how you can be a part of the transformation! Featuring guest speakers Mayor Murphy, Lowell Recycling Coordinator Gunther Wellenstein and more! Clubs and organizations that promote environmentally friendly practices will have booths to show how you can get involved. Free and open to the public.
When: Saturday April 27 from 12:30- 3p.m.
Where: UMass Lowell, East Campus, Campus Recreation Center lawn
Rain Date: April 28th
Free food, music, raffles and more!
Check out the Facebook page for more information and to see who is attending:


Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 7 p.m.
"Greening Your Holidays”

presented by Maria Bartlett

Save money, time and energy this holiday season! Maria Bartlett will cover just about everything you need to know about keeping your holidays green, simple and inexpensive. Maria’s programs focus on basic, simple and easy ways to incorporate eco-friendly ideas into busy lives. Some topics she'll cover include holiday decorating, gifts (gifts of time, events, environmentally-friendly gifts), gift wrapping, foods (healthy holiday eating), plants as gifts, cleaning for the holidays, etc. Bring your own tips to help make the holidays green and to go smoothly!

Maria Bartlett is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Parenting Educator. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, and a Masters in Public Health from University California Berkeley. Maria is a current chair of the Environmental Awareness Committee, Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts and a Past President of League of Women Voters in Andover/North Andover.

Maria worked for 25 years as a Nutrition Consultant in Pediatric Nutrition, and for 7 years as a parenting educator. In addition she has volunteered with the League of Women Voters and with Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts with a focus on environmental issues for almost 20 years. Initially she became involved around incinerator and power plant issues in the Merrimack Valley. She is now involved with at the state, national and global levels on many issues such as pesticide reduction and organic lawn care, home composting, engaging children with nature and the environment, the Updated Bottle Bill and Safer Alternatives legislation in MA, climate change and global warming.

"CLEAN & GREEN: Reducing our Carbon Footprint" -- Related Programs and Resources:

See photos of the Library's Solar Panels being installed and view a graph showing the "real time" electricity these panels generate at

Chelmsford's Farmers Market

Town of Chelmsford's GCI Greener Chelmsford Initiative

Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell -

View of list of Green Resources
, including books, databases and websites that provide information on green living & technologies.
"Green Careers" presentation by Jen Boudrie (2/23/2011)


Thank you to Chelmsford TeleMedia for making many of these programs available on DVD in the library's collection and through video streaming on their website.

Wednesday, Sept 19, 2012 (this workshop was not filmed)
“MassSave 101” - a mini workshop on making your home more energy efficient
presented by Blair Kershaw of Next Step Living and Tim D'Souza of Sagewell

A workshop on how your home loses energy and how you can access the No-Cost Mass Save utility program to tap into rebates and incentives. Presenters were Blair Kershaw of Next Step Living and Tim D'Souza of Sagewell. Both companies have been working as Community Outreach Partners in Chelmsford to promote energy efficiency by leveraging the Mass Save program on behalf of homeowners. They
outlined several easy (and inexpensive) steps all homeowners can take toward a more energy efficient home and save money and reduce our carbon footprint.
Benefits of the Mass Save assessment include, if eligible:
1. Free light bulbs, thermostats, refrigerator rebates
2. A combustion safety check
3. 75% off insulation up to $2,000
4. Additional generous rebates including heating systems and solar energy
Note: You have already paid for these benefits through your utility bills.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at 7 p.m.
Lawns and Landscapes with Ann McGovern,
Consumer Waste Reduction Coordinator, Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection (click here to see a bio on our speaker)

Ann's Handouts

Ann's Outline

Ann returned to Chelmsford on May 23rd. Ann's May presentation focused on the following topics:

- How to use finished compost;
* Health effects of pesticides;
* How to create healthy soil for lawns and landscapes;
* Management practices for healthy lawns;
* Management practices for other types of landscapes (flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables);
* Alternatives to pesticides and chemical fertilizers;
* Resources for more information.

Developing healthy soil helps eliminate the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in our lawns, gardens and landscapes. Learn how to create healthy soil by using compost, mulch and other practices. Learn what lawns need to grow well and what practices you can use to establish and maintain a healthy lawn with minimal inputs of chemicals, water, time and money. Many of these principles apply to other landscape plants as well. The workshop will be tailored to the topics of interest to the audience.


The March 28th Clean and Green program presented a talk on Composting with Ann McGovern, Consumer Waste Reduction Coordinator, Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection. The Chelmsford Recycling Committee gave away a few door prizes at this program - a composting bin and two Fishbones gift certificates.

According to our speaker, one can reduce household waste by up to 50% and create healthy soil by making and using compost. Compost is the basis for healthy soil. Healthy soil grows healthy lawns and gardens without the need for pesticides or chemical fertilizers. You can have a beautiful yard without using chemicals that can harm children, pets and the environment. Turn coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit and vegetable scraps, egg shells, yard waste and even paper towels into black gold that will transform your soil into rich, fertile earth.
Ann McGovern covered the basics of composting, different types of bins, indoor worm composting for apartment-dwellers, and how compost can eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides in your yard and garden. Her workshop covered the basics of home composting.

• How to make compost easily;
• What can and cannot be composted;
• How to choose a compost bin;
• How to compost without a backyard using an indoor worm bin

Link here for some great resources on composting:


"Bringing Your Home into the 21st Century" - a 2 part program - Sept 21 and October 26, 2011
Green home consultant Rachel White and designer/builderPaul Eldrenkamp returned for 2 talks on strategies for bringing your home into the 21st century. As follow-up to the workshop that they gave last January, these 2 programs provided more in-depth advice for efficient, durable, comfortable, resilient, and sustainable remodeling. Whether you are passionate about environmental stewardship or simply want to maintain the value of your primary investment, you'll want to watch these programs for strategies, resources, and information to realize meaningful and measurable improvements in your home's performance.

Rachel White, Ph.D.
has trained and worked as a researcher and educator for over 15 years. She received her doctorate in Religious Studies at Brown University and is currently studying Sustainable Design at The Boston Architectural College. As Principal of Greener Every Day LLC, Rachel helps individuals create greener & healthier homes and lifestyles. She also works with residential design/build professionals to incorporate sustainability principles into their projects. Rachel speaks and teaches on a variety of green living topics including sustainable consumption, environmental health, and green home remodeling. You can learn more by visiting

Paul Eldrenkamp is owner and founder of Byggmeister, Inc., a 27-year-old design-build remodeling firm based in Newton MA. He has served on the boards of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, the Newton Historical Society, and the Green Decade Coalition. He was also chair of the residential working group of the Governor’s Zero Net Energy Buildings Task Force and the first Certified Passive House Consultant in New England.

Wed. June 22, 2011 - "Soil Nutrition: Why the health of your soil determines the success or failure of your vegetables and your health" by Phil Jones of Jones Farm in Chelmsford. Phil talked about bio nutrient dense farming and how to "read your soil." There are many common sense ways to read your land before you start to plant any seeds. He talked about some easy ways to improve the soil in your garden plot. The secret to healthy vegetables is healthy soil. Phil talked about some of the secrets farmers have used for generations. "Bio nutrient-dense farming is the future of organic food." he explains. "It's a measurable way to look at the quality of food." Phil has been a local farmer for over 22 years.

Wed. May 25, 2011 "Beyond Coal"
Drew Grande of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, showed “Coal Country,” a film about modern coal mining. It introduces one to both coal miners and activists. The Sierra Club’s "Beyond Coal" campaign, strives to bring in higher standards of energy efficiency and more wind and solar energy.  The goal of the campaign is to stop polluters and create healthy clean air while starting the green jobs revolution in Massachusetts. Drew started with the Sierra Club on its "Beyond Coal" campaign in September of 2010, after working as an organizer with the Boy Scouts for 8 years. "In Massachusetts we are currently organizing in Lowell, Worcester, Holyoke, Salem, and Boston to move beyond the three coal plants in Salem, Holyoke, and Somerset and bring in higher standards of energy efficiency and more wind and solar energy. The goal of the campaign is too get stop polluters and create healthy clean air while starting the green jobs revolution in Massachusetts." says Drew.

April 27, 2011: A talk on "Invasive Species" was presented by speaker Kathi Gariepy
Kathi Gariep is past chairman of the Master Gardener Advisory Board, past president of the Attleboro Garden Club and past chair of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts' Gardening Study School. Kathi is Landscape Design Consultant and on the Gardening Study Council. She has worked with the Master Gardener training program and the Caterpillar Club, as well as being an active member of the Mass Master Gardeners Speakers; Bureau and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Kathi lives in an old farmhouse with perennial borders, herb gardens, a vegetable garden,grapes, blueberries, raspberries and some very old apple trees that are still producing. She is a member of the Massachusetts Audubon Society's task force on invasive plants. She is presently the vice president of the Mass Master Gardeners Association.

March 23, 2011: Louisa Dell'Amico presented "An Inconvenient Food: The Link Between Animal Agriculture, Global Warming and Environmental Degradation"
Louisa has an A.A.S. in dietetic technology and a B.A. in environmental studies. She teaches a cooking class using whole, unprocessed foods and has organized several events educating the public about food, nutrition, animal agriculture, and environmental issues. She's been eating a plant-based diet for over 40 years. Louisa's talk covered the various aspects of animal agriculture that produce carbon, methane, and nitrous oxide gases. "It's basically the missing piece in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."' Louisa's information is based on fact and science. She says, "I like to let people draw their own conclusions about what they want to eat." Louisa and a couple of her friends brought along plenty of literature and books about vegetarianism, plus cookbooks and delicious vegan snacks.

February 23, 2011 "Green Careers" with Jen Boudrie
Jen Boudrie, director of the Massachusetts Green Career Conference presented an overview of Green Careers, talked about educational opportunities in the Chelmsford region and shared some great resources. She gave us permission to include her presentation here on our website. Click here to see her slides. They include some helpful websites. After 15 years of growing a business in workforce development as an instructional designer and three years of leading Marlborough’s environmental sustainability efforts, Jen Boudrie created Green Workforce Training, the MA Green Career Conference and MA Sustainable Communities Conference. People who know Jen, primarily know her as the founder of a local environmental group, Green Marlborough, where she works on sustainability projects with other members of her community. Jen has a master’s degree in education (M.Ed. Instructional Design) and enjoys working with people on sustainability and workforce development. For more information about her work go to,,,

January 26, 2011 - Strategies for Bringing Your Home into the 21st Century:
Tips for Energy Efficiency, Environmental Sustainability, Durability, Comfort and Overall Resilience"
with Paul Eldrenkamp and Rachel White
(see Sept and Oct 2011 for more information)


November 17, 2010
"Laundry: An Inconvenient Chore?" presented by Alex Lee, founder of Project Laundry List (

Alexander Lee, protagonist in the forthcoming documentary, "Drying for Freedom," spoke about his organization's successes and about his forthcoming book, More Time to Hang. With recent appearances in People magazine, on the BBC World Service's News Hour and an appearance on the Colbert Report, Mr. Lee uses humor, intrigue, and his law degree to garner attention for the lowly clothesline. He talked about the "Right to Dry" movement. Alexander is the founder of "Project Laundry List" and lives in Concord, N.H. - see his complete bio at

October 27, 2010
"Reducing Toxins in Your Everyday Life" with Joy Onasch from TURI

Joy Onasch provided an overview of where toxic materials can be found in our everyday lives. From the foods we eat, how we manage our lawns, what we put on our bodies, how we clean our clothes and our homes, what we give our kids, materials we use in building our homes, to what we use in our recreational activities. She told us about TURI's role which focuses on finding feasible alternatives that are safer for our bodies and our environment.
Joy oversees the community program at the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell. She manages TURI’s community grants, which are awarded each year to community or municipal organizations striving to reduce or eliminate toxins. She works on special projects such as: reducing the use of perchloroethylene in dry cleaning, lead in fishing applications and solvents in nail salons. She is an engineer with over fifteen years of experience with industry, government, and institutions, assisting them with environmental compliance issues and pollution prevention projects. Her technical focus areas include hazardous waste, stormwater, wastewater, oil storage and toxic use reduction. Joy earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Union College and a Master's in Engineering and Policy from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a registered Professional Engineer in three states.

September 22, 2010
Our September C&G program was devoted to alternative energies with an emphasis on solar. Our speakers were Todd Melanson, Environmental Compliance Manager for the Chelmsford Water District. Todd introduced us to the Chelmsford Water District's new solar facility on Crooked Spring Road. Todd is the District’s lead on this project under the direction of the Superintendent Bob Delaney.
The District's new water treatment plant is powered entirely on solar energy. It is the largest facility of its kind in the country.

Jean Clements, founder of Chelmsford CAN, works as the assistant to the Director of the “Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust,” the fund responsible for statewide programs like “Commonwealth Solar” and “Clean Energy Choice”. Jean gave an update on the State's Commonwealth Solar Program ( and provided info about the rebate program.
Fred Schlicher from Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN) joined us for this program and told us about the state organization.

May 26, 2010
Ami Hughes of Lowell and Sue West of Chelmsford presented "How to make your own earth-friendly cleaning products."
Using non-toxic cleaning products can make a big difference in your health and your family’s health, and you can make your own cleaning solutions easily at home. Sue West and Amy Hughes offered affordable, hands-on advice to make cleaning products that work. They provided easy to follow instructions and recipes.Sue and Ami are co-chairs of the Green Committee at the First Parish Church in Chelmsford. They were a big hit at Chelmsford’s recent Earth Fair as they gave out free cleaning solutions and easy to follow instructions. They do not sell their products, rather they share information so you can make your own. Ami and Sue shared the following handouts:
Cleaning Agents (pdf)
Recipes for Cleaning Products (pdf)
Things to Avoid (pdf)

April 28, 2010
"Clean and Green Roundtable" - We wanted to hear from you to get your ideas for how to reduce the carbon footprint in our community. We talked about the Earth Fair scheduled for May 8th on the town common and ways we can encourage our friends and neighbors to think and act green! Krsity Medina talked about the Chelmsford Green Group on Facebook that she administers. Jean Clements taked about the "Green Communities Act" and other ways the state and federal governments are developing renewable energies and encouraging energy efficiencies. Pat Wojtas talked about the Greener Chelmsford Initiative GCI. Bill Moreau talked about the Lowell Canalwaters Cleaners, an organization that he started as part of an environmental project at All Saints Church. Jennifer Almeida handed out infomation on the changes in trash pick up and recycling that will become effective July 1st, 2010. We are always looking for program ideas so we welcome your suggestions for C&G program topics! Please email suggestions to

March 24, 2010
"Xeriscape Gardening" with Master Gardener Paul Steen
Master Gardener Paul Steen gave an informative presentation on using xeriscape gardeng to plan gardens and landscaping. Paul Steen is the president of the Massachusetts Master Gardeners Association, Inc. and a “Lifetime Master Gardener.” He is a retired engineer, physician (internist) and executive in the medical software industry who lives in Sturbridge, MA. He is an instructor at Tower Hill Botanic Garden on tropical plants, home/hobby greenhouses and shade gardening, and he is an Overseer for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Paul has been editor-in-chief of Worcester Medicine for the past five years.
We opened the March program with tips on Spring Cleaning & Yard Spruce-Up from Jennifer Almeida and Jean Clements.
Jennifer Almeida from the town’s Recycling Department talked about how to get rid of the old stuff like batteries, old paint, etc. What you can donate and where. Jean Clements, of ChelmsfordCAN, provided energy efficiency tips that go hand-in-hand with spring cleaning. Jean works at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and updated us on the program that provides rebates for energy-efficient applicances, solar panel installations, insulation and other energy purchases available for the average homeowner. Jean offered to place many of the tips on the Chelmsford CAN website at

FEBRUARY 24, 2010
"Crafting with PLARN" (plastic bag yarn), a hands-on workshop with Kristy Medina
In this workshop Kristy Medina showed us how to make plarn(plastic bag yarn), a plastic bag wreath, and how to fuse (iron layers together) the plastic bags to create a stronger bag. Here are some internet links to both video and written instructions for further information:
Kristy's website:
My Blog (lots of how to's on it):
My You Tube Channel (lots of how to's):

JANUARY 27, 2010
The January “CLEAN & GREEN” program presented author Lindsey Carmichael whose book “Greening Your Family” was just released. Many of the household products lining the shelves of our grocery stores contain ingredients that are linked to adverse health effects. Lindsey Carmichael discussed tips and strategies every family can use to minimize exposure to these hazardous ingredients, by buying safe food, personal care, and cleaning products. Lindsey Carmichael has a BA degree in English from the University of Vermont, She received her Masters degree in Public Health from the University of NH after her son developed asthma. In grad school she learned about commercial products that threaten health. She has worked in the health field for 15 years and is a frequent speaker about healthy and green living. She lives in NH. Visit the author's website at

NOVEMBER 7, 2009

In November the "Clean and Green" series presented a free Home Energy Savings Seminar which was sponsored by the Mass Municipal Association. This seminar, "Home Energy Savings," was one of 130 being held statewide. The seminar covered the key elements to reducing home energy costs and explained how to be most effective in reducing energy use and costs. Speaker Laura Kischitz, stressed the importance of reducing heat usage by providing do-it-yourself sealing techniques; information on which in-depth alterations are most cost effective; tips on reducing electricity and water usage, resources for home audits and resources for rebates and financing alterations. She provided hands-on tips and handed out free educational materials. Laura Kischitz is the president of Sustainable Life Solutions, a company she co-founded to help companies and individuals take advantage of simple changes to begin reducing energy, waste and toxins at home and in the workplace.

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009
Jean Clements from Chelmsford’s Climate Action Network and the Mass Technology Collaborative talked about how saving energy reduces our carbon footprint. Jean summarized some of the things we’ve talked about at previous programs and filled us in on the upcoming climate change “Day of Action” on Oct 24th.

Summer Break

On Thursday, June 11, 2009, Rishi Sondhi, the originator of the Library's "Financial Fitness" series, presented a special program on "Green Investing" at the Chelmsford Public Library. Chelmsford Telemedia videotaped this presentation. Watch their schedule guide to see when this program will be aired. The Library has a DVD of Rishi's presentation that you may check out. Click here to see a pdf copy of Rishi's PowerPoint presentation on green investing.
Did you know this about green technologies?
-The biofuels, wind, and solar market is expected to increase 50% from $76 billion in 2007 to $116 billion in 2008.
-The above benchmark technologies are expected to grow to $325 billion in the next 10 years.
-Global investments in clean energy grew from $148 billion in 2007 to $155 billion in 2008 in spite of a down market.
-Green business is no longer a fringe movement: General Electric's (GE) environmental solutions Ecomagination unit is expected to earn $25 billion in revenues in 2010. Rishi Sondhi talked about the future of energy, reviewed alternative energy trends, and explored investment opportunities in green businesses. Read more about our presenter, Rishi Sondhi, at
Read more about his seminar and other Financial Fitness programs at

May 2009
On May 27th, Jennifer Almeida, Chelmsford's Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator presented "In the Bin: Everything you always wanted to know about recycling in Chelmsford but were afraid to ask!" Jennifer gave a brief overview of recycling basics, explaining "dual stream" (and why it's so important that we separate fiber and containers - and the exceptions to that rule). She explained the reasons behind some of the rules that seem arbitrary; and talked about the affect of the recession on recycling markets and how that has an impact on what we put in our bins. She also told us about some new things in the area of recycling and solid waste management.

April 2009
On April 22nd, our speaker was Todd Melanson, Environmental Compliance Manager for the Chelmsford Water District. Todd's presentation, "Water and Energy: Today’s Connection” encompassed present-day water issues (in terms of regulation and water shortage). He showed how energy comes into play in delivering you clean water. Todd has a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. He is also a veteran with 11 years served (US Army and MA Army National Guard). He has worked in the Environmental field as a Microbiologist and Chemist for 19 years, having worked on projects from Hazardous Waste (Disposal and Cleanup), Remediation, and Drinking Water, Waste Water and Surface Water monitoring. He has a strong working knowledge of DEP and EPA regulations. As the Environmental Compliance Manager for the Chelmsford Water District Todd has the following duties: ensuring compliance with DEP regulations in regards to water quality reporting, watershed protection, water conservation, emergency response, community outreach and education. In this vein of duties, energy planning and conservation have become topics that he has needed to address and work on as well. Visit the website of the Chelmsford Water District at

MARCH 2009
On March 25th Phil Jones of Jones Farm in Chelmsford explained the science of composting and why you might want to compost. He touched upon organic gardening and landscaping. He also told us about Chelmsford's community garden
. Virginio Mendonca of Chelmsford also covered composting and told us about his veggie car. You can visit Virginio's website to learn more about his amazing means of transportation that actually helps to clean up the environment!

Our first speaker on February 25th was Jean Clements from the Mass Technology Collaborative. Jean talked about how saving energy means saving money through simple energy efficiency tips, and she provided information on Renewable Energy programs that are available to individuals and small businesses through the Mass Technology Collaborative. She also introduced the new Chelmsford chapter of MCAN. To learn more about how Chelmsford can help reduce the carbon footprint visit  
Also that evening we heard from Scott McClintock of Nexamp. He talked about the solar technologies that homeowners and small business owners can install to lower their electricity bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Check out his website at:

We want to hear from you!

We want your input as we design future programs and choose speakers for this new series! Please send your suggestions for topics and speakers for future programs in this series. Email your suggestions to the Library's Community Services Department at


Visit the websites of our partners:

Chelmsford's Climate Action Network

Chelmsford Recycling Department

Chelmsford Telemedia

Visit the websites of our funders:

Chelmsford Friends of the Library

Constellation Energy