The New Carlisle Solar Challenge is Launched!

CarlisleSolarThe Carlisle Solar Challenge is a community solar campaign sponsored by the Carlisle Energy Task Force with support from the Town of Carlisle.  The objective of the Carlisle Solar Challenge is to make it easier and more affordable for Carlisle residents to adopt and own residential solar energy systems. Our goal is to double the amount of residential solar from about 70 solar systems today to more than 140 home solar systems by the end of 2015.  Request a Free Home Solar Evaluation Continue reading

Environmental Home Remodeling: Recycling and Composting

This article was recommended by Carlisle School 5th grader Sarah Mathews who is recycling and composting in Carlisle

In the United States, approximately 70% of everyday waste is recyclable. Of this 70%, Americans only recycle about 30%. This means that more than half of the waste that could be recycled in one way or another is instead ending up in landfills across the country. Landfills are quickly becoming overfilled with waste that cannot simply disintegrate in the landfill within our lifetimes. One plastic water bottle, for instance, takes around 450 years to disintegrate.


• Traditional Methods of Recycling – Plastic, Glass

• Getting Creative with Recycling – Clothes, Freecycle, Make Art

• Composting

• Worm Composting

• More Recycling Resources

Read more: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Environmental-Home-Remodeling-Recycling-and-Composting.17357.html#ixzz3L4Bd3lmC

Heat Pumps for Cold Climates?? Yes, Indeed!

Carlisle Energy Task Force member, Bob Zogg shares his experience and knowledge on the benefits of heat pumps. “The conventional wisdom is that it’s a bad idea to heat a home with an electric heat pump in New England. Everyone knows that heat pumps are noisy, inefficient, unreliable, and just don’t put out enough heat for New England winters. So, why did my wife and I install an electric heat pump two years ago? We did it to cut our heating bills in half, to reduce our environmental footprint, and to make our home more comfortable year-round” Read the article Cold Climate Heat Pumps 2014 and learn how they might work for you.

IPCC Issues its 5th Assessment Report on Climate Change

“Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and oceanclimate have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased” Source IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers Page 4

Visit the IPCC website.

EPA ActOnClimate Today Tips

Climate change is a serious threat to the health and welfare of American families. EPA is taking common-sense action to reduce carbon pollution and promote a cleaner energy economy. Meanwhile, many families, communities, businesses, and states are taking action to reduce carbon pollution.

For Earth Month, we’re sharing 30 tips to help you act on climate. Help us spread the word! Share these tips with your friends and family on social media using the #ActOnClimate hashtag. Learn more…

Statewide Mercury Level Reductions in Freshwater Fish

MassDEP Research Study Connects Mercury Emission Regulations to Drop in Fish Contamination

lm-bassFeb 14, 2014 – The Patrick Administration today announced a significant drop in toxic mercury levels in two types of freshwater game fish that is linked to the Commonwealth reducing mercury emissions by more than 90 percent from waste incinerators, power plants and other sources in Massachusetts. The drop in mercury levels is reflected in recently published data. learn more

Check Out These Winter Energy Savings Tips!

houseEach of these organizations has plenty of tips to help you save energy this winter. Click on the links and check it out:

What We Eat Matters

groceries How much meat and dairy products we eat isn’t just a health issue, it’s also an environmental issue. Environmental Working Group has done research and calculated the life cycle total of greenhouse gas emissions for common protein foods and vegetables. Click here to see the comparison chart and explore their informative website.

If you want to go deeper into this important topic, Johns Hopkins offers a free online course called Food Production, Public Health, and the Environment

Check out this TED talk by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman: What’s wrong with what we eat

Beekeeping in Carlisle

Written by Ernie Huberernie

The video link to the TED talk by Marla Spivak on this website is an excellent introduction to what’s happened to US honeybees in recent years and what we can do about it. Marla lays the blame for the disappearance of our pollinators at the doorstep of several sources-(a) lack of good bee nutrition because of loss of diverse food sources and our increasing use of crop monocultures,(b) increases in the number of foreign pathogens which have arrived in the US like the varroa mites, and, most importantly, (c) a change in the types and efficacy of the pesticides which are in use today.

I have been keeping bees for 34 years in Carlisle and have seen many changes through the years. Beekeeping used to be easy before the foreign varroa mites came to Massachusetts in 1988. The first hive that  my kids and I set up in 1979 yielded about 300 lbs. of honey. Beginners luck, perhaps, but a 100 lb. yield  per hive was common  and expected in those days..When the varroa mites (alluded to by Marla Spivak) arrived thelosses the in first year  were cataclysmic- maybe 90% over the State.  A few years later Roger Morse, Chair of the Entomology Department at Cornell, told me that he thought that all of the feral (wild) colonies of honeybees in New England had been wiped out by the mites.

Ernie Huber opening a hive at a house on Westford Road .  All the little dots are bees in the air. (Photo by Steve Kirk.)
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Opportunity to Replace your Inefficient Boiler & Save Money

Do you have an inefficient boiler?  Is it at least 30 years old?  Through the 2013 Early Boiler Replacement Program , National Grid and NSTAR are offering qualified customers a limited-time rebate of $1750 to $4000 to upgrade to a more efficient boiler.

In order to claim the rebate, you must first complete a no-cost Home Energy Assessment between May 1 and August 31, 2013.  Schedule your assessment through Next Step Living by calling 866.867.8729.  If you’re unsure whether or not your old boiler qualifies for a rebate, your Energy Advisor should be able to determine this during the assessment.  Learn more at www.gasnetworks.com/efficiency/pdf/EBR-2013-Contractor-Flyer.pdf

Please remember that after you complete your assessment, your new boiler must be installed by October 1, 2013 in order to take advantage of the rebate.

Act quickly as rebates are limited!

A new boiler could save you hundreds of dollars in heating costs each year, as well as prevent hundreds of pounds of carbon and noxious pollutant emissions.

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