Saving Energy with The Green Team

This week’s featured topic is Saving Energy. Teaching students to conserve energy introduces them to the value of energy efficiency. Students can learn how reducing energy consumption can have a positive impact on the environment.

Here are some activities and lesson plans that THE GREEN TEAM has created or collected about saving energy at home:

  • THE GREEN TEAM Light Bulb Energy Efficiency Lesson: Aligned with Massachusetts curriculum standards, this lesson plan, answer key, and pledge card encourage students to calculate the impact of switching to more energy efficient light bulbs as an action to mitigate climate change.
  • Cambridge Energy Alliance Energy Efficiency Lesson Plans: This document compiles a number of activities and lesson plans on energy efficiency, with separation by activity length and topic. Easily adaptable for home use, these lesson plans engage students with hands-on projects on subjects such as wind energy, energy conservation, and insulation.
  • Energy Savings Challenge: Teachers create a list of energy saving tasks and assign a point value to each one: turn off lights (5 points), unplug electronics/appliances while not in use (5 points), switch to LEDs (15 points), electronics free day (10 points), etc. Challenge students to reach 25 points the first week, 50 points the next week, and so on for the entire month of April. Students can also be challenged to create energy saving posters and signs to display around the house.

Presented by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. More at The Green Team

Join Educators, Parents and Students at the School Connections Meeting

Green Newton’s Schools Connections will meet ONLINE on Thursday, March 11, from 4-5pm. Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 881 7693 0015
Passcode: 469110

Green Newton’s Schools Connections is a forum for parents, students and educators to promote sustainability in the classroom and beyond. You are welcome to participate as we share experiences and ideas that support the implementation of green initiatives in our schools. 

For more information contact: [email protected] or visit

Join Educators, Parents and Students at the School Connections Meeting

Green Newton’s Schools Connections will meet ONLINE on Thursday, Jan 14, from 3:45-5pm. Google Meeting Link: 

Green Newton’s Schools Connections is a forum for parents, students and educators to promote sustainability in the classroom and beyond. You are welcome to participate as we share experiences and ideas that support the implementation of green initiatives in our schools. 

For more information contact: [email protected] or visit

Webinar: Environmental Injustice and the Crisis of Environmentalism

Join us at 7pm on Tuesday, January 12 for a virtual session about climate change and the ecological crisis, as well as issues of environmental and climate injustice.

Register Now

Students, educators, and parents are invited to participate in the discussion!

Dr. Daniel Faber, Director of the Northeastern Environmental Justice Research Collaborative, will discuss how we must embrace a more transformative politics of environmental justice that addresses the root causes of the ecological crisis, as well as an inspiring vision of a new and better world.

This free program is co-sponsored by Green Newton and the Newton Free Library,
and is a part of the Green Newton Library Series.

Register in advance for this webinar.

Sponsor a Tree to Honor Lives Lost to COVID-19

Spearheaded by Green Newton’s Environmental Youth Leadership Program, the Capture Carbon Commemorate COVID-19 Tree Project (4C Tree Project) hopes to demonstrate the resilience of our City through difficult times and its commitment to a healthy ecosystem. 

Sponsor a 4C Tree

Why trees? Trees symbolize life, connection, strength and ancestry.

We hope the planting of young trees will help our community look ahead to renewed vitality and balance in our lives while remembering the lives we lost and the challenges we endured. We hope that each sighting of a 4C tree will remind us of how precious life is and how important it is for us to care for the environment that sustains it.

Why trees? Trees are an amazing green infrastructure. They:

  • Capture carbon dioxide from the air, store carbon in the trunk, leaves and soil, and release oxygen into the atmosphere
  • Offer cooling shade, block cold winter winds, attract birds and wildlife
  • Contribute to a clean water supply by preventing soil erosion and chemical runoff
  • Provide grace and beauty to our homes and community

This is where you come in. You can contribute to this tree memorial project by making a gift now.

Sponsor a 4C Tree

We hope to fundraise enough funds to begin the first round of tree plantings in spring 2021. Through the generous support of Mayor Ruthanne Fuller, we will work with the Newton Department of Forestry and community volunteers to plant the trees.

In 1970, Newton’s public spaces had 40,000 thriving trees, but that number has dwindled to around 20,000 in recent years. With your contribution, we can plant trees, offset carbon emissions, and provide a living reminder of those we lost to COVID-19.


Questions? Check out our FAQs here, or email Barbara Brousal-Glaser at [email protected]. If you are interested in joining the tree care team, please email Elizabeth Sockwell at [email protected].

Climate Education in Newton Schools – Join our group

Are you interested in advancing Climate Education in Newton Schools? We have a group dedicated to this work. We gather resources, curriculum ideas, and learn about how other communities are implementing Climate Education for K-12. This year we would like to offer Professional Development on the topic for Newton teachers of all grades and disciplines.

Join our Google Groups or contact us if you have any questions: schoolconnecti[email protected]

Zoning Redesign Wants to Hear from You! 

Calling all Newton community members! We want to hear what you think and have questions about for the City of Newton’s Zoning Redesign project as stakeholders in Newton’s future. It’s critical that we hear from those who work, live, and/or are growing up here! We invite you to (1) watch this presentation about what Zoning Redesign is and (2) fill out this survey to tell us your questions about Zoning Redesign and your ideas for community engagement in 2021. (The survey closes at the end of January 10th.) 

For context, zoning law regulates how land is used across the city and shapes buildings, homes, blocks, neighborhoods, and village centers. Zoning Redesign is the City of Newton’s multi-year effort to update, clarify and rewrite Newton’s Zoning Ordinance so that it reinforces our goals. You can also find this information at the Zoning Redesign website. If you have any questions or additional ideas, reach out to[email protected] or npi[email protected].  

Greening the Holidays: a virtual public meeting for all ages

Green Newton Student Group presents Greening the Holidays, a virtual public meeting for all ages on how to celebrate a sustainable holiday season.

Newton student leaders are offering this unique opportunity for us to make plans to celebrate a more sustainable holiday season. The program will include great gift ideas, trivia questions and easy steps to make an environmental difference. Presentation topics are listed below.

Greening the Holidays
Sunday, December 6, from 4-5pm
Please register in advance HERE

  • Food & Waste, with Kaleigh Yee (NSHS ’19) and Hailey Strickler (Beaver Country Day ‘22) How does food and waste play into the culture of a holiday? How can we make more sustainable choices while maintaining tradition?
  • Fashion, with Ahona Dam (NSHS ’23) and Mia Santangelo (NNHS ‘22) What is fast fashion? How can we consciously avoid supporting it during the holidays?
  • Transportation, with Ava Freeman (NSHS ’22) During a ‘normal’ holiday season, how can we realistically prioritize conscious transportation choices?
  • Gift Giving, with Windley Knowlton (NSHS ‘18) What makes a gift special? What are some  meaningful, environmentally conscious gift ideas?
  • Advocacy, with Coral Lin (NNHS, ‘21) Why is advocacy important to prioritize during the holidays?
  • Taking Action!, with Clara Dutton (NSHS ‘21) How energy efficiency steps can be considered a gift?
  • The 4C Tree Project, introduced by Elizabeth Sockwell (NSHS ‘16) and Jojo Parks (BC ‘24) What is the ‘Capture Carbon Commemorate COVID-19’ project all about? How can one incorporate volunteering experience into a gift?

With gratitude to Esther Zhang (NNHS ’22) for designing the graphic for this Green Newton event!



Greening the Holidays

Tip of the Week: Arts & Crafts Supplies Exchange

Tip from the Countryside Green Team

If you have arts and crafts supplies that you can no longer use but are in good shape and can be enjoyed by others, or if need more supplies for your kiddos but want to avoid buying brand new items at the store, there’s a Facebook group for that!  ZWB Arts & Crafts Supplies Exchange – Boston Area is the Arts & Crafts Supplies subgroup of Zero Waste Beginners – Boston Area (which is a zero waste discussion group) and can be found at here. In this group you are invited to:

(1) offer up FREE arts & crafts supplies!,
(2) discuss and share Do It Yourself (DIY) projects, and
(3) talk about how to cut down waste in the community.  

There are several other ZWB subgroups for exchanging items, and a list of them can be found here.

How do we include schools in the climate agenda? Let’s ask the new president

K12 Climate Action is asking just that in a letter to the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

In the letter urging the Department of Education participation in a cross-agency approach to address climate change, they note, “By including representation of education in a cross-agency plan, the Biden-Harris Administration can help to acknowledge the critical role education can play in climate solutions and help our country build long-lasting change to advance a more sustainable society.”

“The U.S. K-12 public school ecosystem is a large public sector with a considerable environmental impact. With over 98,000 schools across the country, schools are among the largest energy consumers for public sector buildings, and energy costs for schools have been estimated at $8 billion annually, the second highest cost for schools behind only salaries. Schools operate the largest mass transit fleet in the country with 480,000 primarily diesel school buses and drive an estimated 3.45 billion miles annually. Schools also serve over 7 billion meals each year, and decisions on food sourcing, options, and waste contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”

“In addition to the considerable need to address climate change in America’s public schools,
education also provides a critical opportunity to work toward climate solutions. Our education
sector can work to mitigate its environmental impact and work to build resilience in preparation
for climate change. With over 50 million children enrolled in public schools, education can help
prepare children and youth to advance a more sustainable world.”

Read full letter here