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The Milton Change Maker Coalition: Spotlight on Sustainable Milton

Louis Pierro

Sustainable Milton has been around now since 2006.  It is hard to believe that so many years have passed already since Laurie Macintosh created this organization.  But I am not going to remind you about the films we have shown, the discussions we have gathered around, the Green Homes Fairs we held at Cunningham Hall.  Instead I am going to tell you about the things we are doing now in 2019, and about some of the things that still need to be done. Our primary series of events for this year is the Green Homes Conversations – four presentations at the Milton Public Library by leading architects from the town of Milton teaching us about ways to make changes to our homes for the benefit of the planet and ourselves.  Changes that will all be legally required soon and that must be made if we expect to survive beyond 2050.   The first of this four part series was presented by Joseph Kennard in March about A Milton Net Zero Home.   That was followed in June with Do You Know Your Home’s MPG presented by Henry MacLean.  Coming next on Sept 12th from 7:00-8:30 will be Form Follows Energy by J.B. Clancy.  And the series will be closed out in the winter by Thomas Piatt and Creative Opportunities for Sub-dividing Larger Homes.   We hope you will come out to hear, learn from and support these outstanding forward-looking architects. One of the things that we do each year and makes me so proud is the awards we give to deserving students graduating from Milton High School.  This year their applications were so good that we could not pick just one but had to give three awards.   On May 28 each received a monetary award and a book that was related to interests expressed in their applications.  Eliza O'Donnell who plans to attend St. Lawrence University was given the book Stolen Harvest:the Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by Vandana Shiva.  Isabel Caridad Smith who plans to attend Fordham was given the book Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America by Liz Carlisle.  And Molly Baker planning to attend the University of Vermont was given the book Losing Earth: A Recent History by Nathaniel Rich.  These students graduated on June 2, 2019 and Sustainable Milton wishes them all the best.  And it was a true joy to receive thank you notes from each one of them.   There is still hope for our future. Another thing we did this year in early May was get together with the Milton Bike Committee and hold the event Bikes, Barrels, Bags at Cunningham Hall.   This event replaced a similar one that used to be at the DPW yard but hasn’t been there for a few years.  Here we had The Bike Committee selling and repairing bikes and accepting those that people no longer wanted.  They were also fitting and giving away helmets to kids.  Sustainable Milton worked to present all the things we are involved with, had Tote Bags and new mesh vegetable bags for sale – no more plastic! We had info available about compost bins and rain barrels.  And in addition to having electric vehicles on view, we had battery powered yard equipment on view, thanks to Steve Wells of Blue Hills Power Equipment.    Let’s eliminate the oil and the noise!   Do you like hearing those leaf blowers?   Also Chris Lee and Karen of Music for the Greater Good contributed free music throughout the event – and it really was good.  I suspect we may make this an annual event.  Look for it again in the spring. We are an education organization.  We get together to present the issues and suggest the solutions to the residents of Milton and to our Milton town officials as well as those in our school department.  It is not our job to make the changes that need to be made, but to point those changes out.  And so I must ask, in the memory of Martha Curtis and Loyola Sylva, who worked so hard in the ‘70s and ‘80s to get recycling started in this town, why is it still not everywhere?  Is there a recycling bin next to every trash barrel in every field in Milton? No.  Nor do I see them in the library.  And I wonder about the offices,schools and businesses.   Everything we use must be reused.   Everything that cannot be reused must be recycled.  Anything that cannot be reused and recycled must not be purchased in the first place.  There are so many other issues to tackle.  Isn’t it time we got waste resolved? Visit Sustainable Milton a tour table at the Milton Farmers Market the second Thursday of each month where we have Tote Bags and mesh Vegetable Bags to replace plastic ones for sale,information about all our coming events and about the importance of reducing and recycling, and so much more.   Buy healthy local food. Mark your calendar now for Celebrate Milton on Oct 6th noon – 4:00 where Sustainable Milton will have tables with lots of information as well as electric vehicles and other equipment for viewing.  Many of the other Milton Change Makers will be there as well. Sustainable Milton aims to create a community that acts to preserve our ecosystem as a whole. We raise awareness, educate and motivate residents, town government and businesses to reduce waste of all forms and create a healthy, vibrant future for all. You can find Sustainable Milton as a public group on Facebook.  Our website is still active but outdated and soon to be replaced by a brand new site.  You will hear from us when that is ready.   If you are interested in getting involved with our group check us on Facebook for updates.   If you want to become a paying member,annual dues can be paid on the website, and Sustainable Milton is a 501(C)3 charitable organization and your contributions will be deductible for income,gift, and estate tax purposes. The Milton Change Makers is an alliance of 10 progressive groups with members in the Milton and Mattapan communities.  Many have been long established, others more recently formed, some in response to the countries shift in leadership and regressive agendas. We started organizing in 2017 with the purpose of both coordinating and promoting progressive efforts towards change in our communities and in our local, state and federal governments.     Learn more at the website



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