Blackstone River Watershed Association
What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.
Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid
TIP OF THE MONTH
Home Appliance Tips
Here are some home appliance related tips to help
save money, energy and water:
If you’re in the market for new appliances, visit the Earth 911
Buyers Guide to Washers and Dryers . Visit the
Mass Save website for incentives
for purchasing energy efficient appliances as well as tax credit information,
technical assistance, and training for homeowners, businesses and professionals.
Also look at this issue’s Of Global Interest
section for a listing of energy efficient products.
- Use your dishwasher. It’s estimated that using a dishwasher,
fully loaded and without pre-rinsing, can save 10-20 gallons of water
per day. Also, air drying of dishes instead of heat drying uses
half the electricity per load.
- Tune-up your refrigerator. Clean the condenser coil on the back
of the refrigerator at least twice a year. Built up dirt and dust
can lead to reduced efficiency. Set the thermostat to maintain a
temperature between 38 and 42 degrees F, optimum for protecting food
and saving electricity.
BRWA Special Member Paddle
The BRWA will be holding a
special Member Paddle on June 26, 2011 from 3pm to 5pm. Join us for
a guided paddle starting and ending at the River Bend Farm Visitor Center.
The route will take us up the Blackstone Canal, down the Blackstone River,
portage at Stanley Woolen and then up the canal to the Visitor Center.
The trip is considered suitable for paddlers of all ages with a
beginner/intermediate skill level. Paddlers have the option of remaining
in the canal, as well. Canoes, paddles, and personal flotation devices
will be available. Remember, this is a members-only event.
for information on BRWA membership.
Don't miss out - join today!
Canal Fest at River Bend Farm
Visit River Bend Farm on Sunday June 26, from
1 – 5 pm and enjoy a day out at the park with live music and activities
for all age groups. A concert by the Blackstone Valley Community
Concert Band will begin at 3pm. Come visit us at the BRWA table to see
what we're up to and how you can help improve water quality in our rivers and streams!
Canoes will be available from 1pm to 3pm for members to use in the canal.
Green Electricity and
How to Get It - By Maggie Plasse
What if you could buy only green
electricity for your home? What if you could reduce harmful emissions
from fossil fuels and improve the air quality all over New England?
What if you could reduce dependence on foreign oil? Well, you,
personally, can do all these things through Mass Energy’s
What is New England GreenStart?
New England GreenStart is a program of Mass Energy,
a Massachusetts-based non-profit organization and is offered by
National Grid. GreenStart allows you to choose cleaner,
healthier electricity right on your regular utility bill and is
available to all National Grid residential and small commercial
customers. New England GreenStart is a blend of 100%
renewable energy resources all located right here in New England.
You can choose to match either 100% or 50% of your electricity use
with renewable energy sources.
How does it Work?
In New England, everyone is served by a large, interconnected
electricity grid, which makes it nearly impossible to deliver energy
produced by a specific generator to a specific end-user. So, in order
to track generation, the Independent System Operator (ISO) New England,
the organization in charge of coordinating the region’s grid,
established a system to create, trade, and track certificates that
describe electricity generated anywhere on the grid
(even if it’s behind someone’s meter). When the certificate comes from
a renewable source, like a wind turbine, the certificate represents all
of the benefits associated with renewable energy, and is called a
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC). Mass Energy purchases and retires
these RECs on behalf of its members.
By retiring the RECs, the organization prevents double-counting,
ensuring no one else can claim to have used that renewable energy.
This is extremely important, and is verified by the system operator
. (An independent accountant also checks our accounting to ensure the
accounting is accurate.)
The REC recombined with energy from the grid that you buy from the
utility then officially becomes green power. Since Mass Energy buys
the exact number of RECs to match the amount of electricity you use
each quarter of the year, you can be sure that the amount of energy
you use comes on to the grid on your behalf from renewable resources.
Green power marketers like Mass Energy aren’t the only ones buying RECs.
The utility company had a mandate to get 5% of its electricity from
renewables in 2010 and also uses RECs to certify their compliance with
the renewable energy standard.With your purchase of green power, you
create additional demand in the REC market, which supports new renewable
energy projects coming online. So while Mass Energy can’t deliver that
electricity to your home, we can ensure that you have the exclusive right
to claim that enough renewable energy came onto the grid to cover your
What Does it Cost?
New England GreenStart 100% costs an extra 2.4 cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh)
and New England GreenStart 50% costs an extra 1.25 cents/kWh
and 100% of your payments for New England GreenStart can be
deducted from your federal taxes if you itemize charitable contributions.
Payments for New England GreenStart will appear on your
electricity bill as a separate line item. You only have to make one easy
payment each month to National Grid, including both your regular electricity
charges and your New England GreenStart payment.
By purchasing renewable energy produced from the sun, wind, water and
organic matter found right here in New England, you are helping to
create and maintain local jobs rather than supporting fuels that come
from other parts of the country or the world. GreenStart members
increase the total amount of green energy purchased in the state,
which creates a demand for more renewable energy technology, causing
more wind turbines to be built and other renewable energy.
To sign up for Mass Energy’s GreenStart program or for more
information visit http://www.massenergy.org/.
|CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Great American Backyard Campout
Canal Festival & Concert - Blackstone Valley Community
Concert Band 1pm-5pm River Bend Farm, Uxbridge
BRWA Special Member Paddle 3pm-5pm River Bend Farm, Uxbridge
July is National Ice Cream Month
John H Chafee Blackstone River Valley National
Heritage Corridor Ranger Walkabouts Thursday Nights, June - August
Alternatives, Inc. Free Summer Concert Series
Thursday Nights 6pm, July - Sept
BRC Water Quality Sampling
BRWA Board Meeting 6:30pm 271 Oak St., Uxbridge
Wilds of Worcester - Free Discovery Days Event
MA Audubon Broad Meadow Brook Sanctuary
National Cheesecake Day (Mmmmm...cheesecake)
IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Local Bear Sightings
There have been black bear sightings in the Watershed
communities of Grafton, Hopedale and Bellingham. In all cases, a single
animal was reported. The mating season for black bears is mid-June to mid-July
and they can range as much as 120 miles. Black bears will rarely harm people
but may become dangerous if they get too used to humans and human food sources.
To discourage bear encounters in residential areas, remove bird feeders, secure trash
containers and eliminate any potential outdoor food source. For more
information on the natural history of and conflict avoidance with black
bears and what to do if you see a black bear, go to the
MassWildlife Living with Black Bears web page.
This is part of the excellent MassWildlife "Living with Wildlife" series.
Mendon Votes For Green Community Designation
Voters at a Special Town Meeting earlier this month
passed several by-law changes that will help qualify the town for Green
Community status including:
Designated Green Communities are eligible for State and Federal energy
related grants and can tap into the resources provided by the
Green Community Division
of the Department of Energy Resources.
- allowing a Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Facilities
(SPF) Overlay District
- excluding Large-Scale Ground Mounted SPF units from the list of
- add a Stretch Energy Code chapter to the town's by-laws that mandates
that any new residential or commercial construction to be 20 percent more
energy efficient than required by current MA Building Codes
For more details of the Mendon Special Town Meeting, see the Town Crier
“Mendon Becomes Greener”.
OF GLOBAL INTEREST
Pesticides & Produce
A recently released report may provide guidance
for consumers looking to purchase healthy foods. The report from the
Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists the fruits and vegetables
with the highest and lowest pesticide levels. EWG’s
Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce lists the “Dirty Dozen”
and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables to help consumers make educated
choices about the produce they buy. EWG stresses
that fresh produce is still a healthy component of our diets but that
we should be try to be selective about the types and sources of the
products we consume.
New Consumer Non-Profit Identifies
TopTen USA, is a new non-profit organization that provides free,
web-based rankings of the 10 most energy-efficient products in a wide range
of categories: refrigerators, freezers, televisions, computers, vehicles,
dishwashers, clothes washers, and monitors. On
TopTenUSA.org, visitors will find lists of the 10 best choices for each product
category, along with pricing, specifications, local and online retail options,
and personalized rebate information. Consumers can use this information
to select products that will not only lower their energy bills, but also
help to reduce pollution and lessen our dependence on foreign oil supplies.
National Parks Protection Project
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)
has launched the
National Parks Protection Project. The goal of the project is to show
Congress how important our national parks are through photos, videos, stories
and a petition drive. The federal government has a responsibility to
keep our national parks adequately funded to protect the country’s natural
and cultural heritage. The National Park system consumes a tiny portion
of the federal budget yet Congress continues to target it for funding cuts.
Use this opportunity to share your experiences in your national parks and to
remind our elected lawmakers of their responsibility to preserve this
resource for current and future generations.
Views & opinions expressed in linked websites do not necessarily
state or reflect those of the BRWA.
Your input is crucial to this eNewsletter. If you have a local
watershed-related story, information of interest to our subscribers, or
comments about this publication, drop an email to the editor.|
The Blackstone River Watershed Association (BRWA) has a mission to
engage, educate and advocate for improved water quality in the Blackstone
River Watershed; its objectives are to:
The BRWA eNewsletter is published monthly by the Blackstone River Watershed
Association. BRWA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Engage the public in watershed stewardship activities,
- Educate members, supporters and watershed residents on watershed protection strategies, and
- Improve the water quality and esthetics of the Blackstone River Watershed’s water bodies.
Editor: Michael Sperry email@example.com
Mailing address: BRWA, 271 Oak Street Uxbridge, MA 01569
Phone: 508-278-5200 Web: www.thebrwa.org
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