On Saturday October 26th, Medford held its annual Harvest Your Energy Festival to celebrate ways to stay energy and environmentally friendly. Hundreds of adults and children attended to enjoy the sunny, brisk day while visiting more than two dozen vendors offering great deals on energy-efficiency products and services.
The winners of the second annual Medford Green Awards were announced by Mayor Michael McGlynn, Jodie Coyne, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, and Fred Laskey, Chairman of the Medford Energy Committee, who presented bamboo plaques to five residents and ten businesses. The businesses also received a Green Award window decal that can be displayed for patrons to see.
The Green Awards Program is co-sponsored by the Medford Energy Committee and the Chamber of Commerce. The program recognizes businesses (including non-profits) and homeowners who are implementing energy efficiency and conservation measures, as well as environmentally friendly practices that promote sustainability. Examples of environmental initiatives that were popular among the 2013 Green Award recipients include installation of solar PV systems, rainwater collection systems, edible landscaping, and energy-efficient appliances and lighting. Their actions and dedication to improve Medford today and in the future were addressed by Mayor McGlynn: “The 2013 Green Award winners represent an incredible array of projects that range from a massive solar panel system to an innovative residential rain barrel irrigation system. They are a remarkable group of individuals, organizations and companies who doing the right thing for the environment and Medford.”
Applications from both businesses and residents were reviewed by a sub-committee to the Energy Committee made up of Energy Committee Members, the Executive Director of the Medford Chamber of Commerce, and the Director of Medford’s Office of Energy and Environment. Environmental practices that were put under consideration include generation of sustainable landscaping and construction methods, waste reduction and reuse, renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation, water conservation, and other innovative environmental and energy conservation initiatives. “The Medford Chamber of Commerce is proud to co-sponsor this innovative awards program that highlights the sustainable initiatives undertaken here in Medford,” said Jodi Coyne, Executive Director of the Medford Chamber of Commerce.
Among the Green Award recipients were two organizations that did not fit the traditional business or resident categories. The Emerald Award is for an organization or person whose actions are environmentally friendly and help conserve energy or resources for the community at large.
The Green Awards Program began in 2012 and will occur annually, with applications available in April and due in late August. “The volunteer members of the Medford Energy Committee and the staff of the city’s Office of Energy and Environment deserve a hearty round of applause for all their efforts, but in particular for the Green Awards Program and the Harvest Your Energy Festival,” stated Fred Laskey. “They are hard working, forward thinking people who are making Medford a better place.”
The Energy Committee hopes to encourage and support programs that teach businesses and residents how to invest in energy efficiency while taking advantage of programs offered by utility companies. Please visit www.medford.org/energy for more information on these opportunities and other energy and environmental events or call the Office of Energy and Environment at 781-393-2137.
2013 Green Award Recipients
Dave Boettcher did a complete energy efficiency rehab of his Medford home featuring dense pack cellulose insulation and spray foam insulation throughout the building, occupancy sensors to control his heating and cooling system, new double and triple pane windows and thermostats that can be controlled remotely. In addition he installed a 3.77 kW solar PV system and an on-demand hot water system. He also uses composted food waste as fertilizer for his backyard garden, and waters the garden using roof runoff.
Tim McGivern designed and built a 160 gallon rainwater collection system that collects water from his roof and stores it in 3 rain barrels 6 feet above the ground. The water is channeled and accessible on all sides of the house for landscaping purposes. Additionally, they have had a Mass Save Energy audit and installed they insulation they recommended.
Martin Selig recently installed a 6.75 kW solar PV system which will generate 100% of his electricity consumption as part of the Solarize Medford program. He graciously opened his home as an example solar installation for others interested in Solarize Medford. Martin commutes via motorcycle or train to reduce his carbon footprint and has a hearty vegetable garden.
Dale Bryan installed a solar PV system several years ago and upgraded all his appliances to energy efficient appliances. To reduce the particulate emissions that would be put off by his fireplace, and to increase its efficiency, he installed a wood pellet stove insert. Dale drives a Prius hybrid. He is also active in his garden where he uses two rain barrels for water harvesting and garden use, composts, and plans to convert more lawn space into an edible garden.
Rachael Burger and Hitesh Hathi (Hathi at left, with son Mohan) designed their house with passive solar concepts in mind – to allow the sun to heat the house in the winter and to be cooler in the summer. The roof is designed to hold solar PV, but due to very low electrical use, they find it’s not cost-effective. They have installed a high-efficiency gas boiler/hot water heater, insulation, water-saving shower heads and energy-efficient appliances. They water their vegetable garden with rain water collected in four 50-gallon rain barrels. When building their house, they used some “green” materials such as local wood flooring, and low VOC paints to reduce the chemicals they breathe in at home.
Business Awards (for profit and non-profits):
Domenic Camarra, chairman of the Medford Water Commission, implemented an aggressive leak detection program and conservation education program leading to a 10% reduction in total water consumption by the City of Medford (500,000 gallons/day). Mr. Camarra has also reduced energy use in his office buildings by over 60 percent through insulation and energy efficiency light and ballast replacements through a partnership with National Grid.
Medford Housing Authority has invested in energy improvements at the elderly high rise building, 121 Riverside Ave, such as a new solar powered domestic hot water system, conversion to a natural gas fired heating system, and insulated balcony doors. MHA has also installed 182 energy efficient heating systems and 482 energy star rated refrigerators at three of its other sites.
Hallmark Health System Inc. owns and operates hospital and health center facilities such as Lawrence Memorial Hospital. They have made significant investments in infrastructure to improve overall energy efficiency including upgrades to high efficiency boilers/burners to reduce national gas consumption, modern control systems, central chilled water plant upgrades that allow motors to run based on demand, and high efficiency HVAC units. Other environmental initiatives implemented include electric car charging stations, recycling, and linen use programs.
Clevergreen Cleaners, a Sustainable Business Network (SBN) certified retail laundry and dry cleaners,
use energy efficient lighting and Green Earth solvent in their dry cleaning process. Not only do they reuse filtered and chilled solvent in their 18 gallon solvent dry cleaning machines, but they also recycle the water used as coolant for the machines. Hot water is generated by used steam from pressing garments. They recycle hangers and plastic bags that customers return and they’ve given up their delivery van in favor of a Toyota Prius.
Station Landing/National Development owns 168 urban green apartments and retail space built with green construction practices and low VOC and locally made materials. The 75 Station Landing project was the first LEED Gold rental apartment building in Greater Boston. The apartments and retail space have a live vegetated green lower roof, Energy Star-rated appliances, and water saving faucets, shower heads, and dual flush toilets. Additionally, it is a mixed-use facility with businesses and mass-transit options available, as well as indoor bike storage and car-sharing available on the property.
Stop & Shop at 760 Fellsway has installed the largest solar array in Medford to date. It is a 241kW system comprised of 800 solar panels! Other environmental initiatives implemented at this particular Stop & Shop include recycling throughout the store and greens produced by the produce, bakeshop and floral departments are picked up by a local pig farmer to serve as feed.
Bestsellers Café, a retail bookstore & café chose to locate in a LEED certified building so they would benefit from water saving toilets, CFL lighting, bamboo floors, and extra wall/floor insulation. Bestsellers Café sell Fair Trade coffee and other products from organizations like Global Exchange, and save their organic coffee grounds for customers who wish to take it for composting.
Mystic River Bend Garden was established 10 years ago and is a successful organic and chemical free community garden with over 40 garden plots for the Medford community to benefit from the locally grown produce. The garden provides a plot for use by the nearby McGlynn Elementary School, which utilizes the garden as part of their science curriculum. All garden waste is composted in a three stage composting station funded by and constructed by the volunteers.
Mystic River Watershed Association raised $175,000 and rallied 349 volunteers to hand pull 3113 baskets of water chestnuts, to reduce and someday eliminate, the invasive plant from the Mystic River. This year was a banner year in combating the water chestnut, but was just one in a multi-year strategy. The results are already becoming apparent as the upper reaches of the river are now water chestnut free.