About Wakefield CAP

The working/draft mission of Wakefield Climate Action Project of Wakefield Massachusetts USA is to create and promote programs that address global climate and environmental issues. Our current projects include supporting a farmer's market in Wakefield (Farmer's Market), encouraging elementary students at Dolbeare and other schools to walk to school in the mornings (Walking School Bus), hosting educational forums at the library (Educational Forums), working to encourage expansion of town recycling efforts (Recycling), and NEW - initiating an Anti-Idling Campaign in Wakefield. You can get more information on these projects by clicking on the links on the right or on our Home Page http://www.wakefieldcap.org/

We are always looking for new members and good project ideas. If you are interested in joining us or have an idea for a project, email us at: info@wakefieldcap.org.

Also, join us on Facebook.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Join Earth Hour 2009

Join Earth Hour 2009 for Largest Climate Event in History
Sat. March 28 at 8:30 p.m.

The Wakefield Climate Action Project (WCAP) invites all individuals, schools, businesses and organizations in Wakefield to join millions of people around the world to switch off lights for one hour—Earth Hour—at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 and send a powerful global message that we care enough about climate change to take action. The Earth Hour event is hosted by World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

From Amman to Warsaw, city skylines will go dark for one hour as individuals, businesses, government buildings, schools and major landmarks turn off non-essential lighting in what will be the largest climate event in history. The list of participating cities in the US includes Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Nashville with more signing up every day.

“As lights go out in cities around the U.S. and the world on March 28th, Earth Hour will provide world leaders with an unmistakable mandate to negotiate a new international climate change agreement,” said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. “The climate crisis threatens the ability of our planet to support its inhabitants, and it has never been more urgent that the voice of the people be heard on this issue. Earth Hour not only focuses global attention on the need to find solutions to climate change, but demonstrates the power that each of us has to make a difference in the future of our planet.”

During Earth Hour 2008, more than 50 million people in 400 cities on all seven continents turned off their lights as major icons also went dark, including the Sydney Opera House, the Coliseum in Rome, Stockholm’s Royal Castle, the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Google turned its homepage black for an entire day in tribute.

WWF says per capita emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels in the U.S. are more than four times the world average and are increasing steadily. WWF says “Earth Hour may be just an hour, but it’s also an opportunity to make resolutions to reduce your carbon footprint—and put them into action. Every action you take to lower your emissions helps.”

WWF gives these action tips to save energy and help prevent climate change: 1) Turn down the thermostat on your water heater and central heating. 2) Conduct an audit. Look around your home for opportunities to insulate spaces and eliminate drafts. 3) Plant native deciduous trees on the south side of your house to shade it and reduce air conditioning use. 3) Replace incandescent with fluorescent bulbs. Remember to turn off when not in use! 4) Unplug electronics such as TVs, computers, stereos and even cell phone chargers when not in use. They still use energy if they are plugged in when turned off. 5) Contact your utility company and sign up for “green power”—electricity generated by sources with low or no routine CO2 emissions. 6) Replace old appliances with high-efficiency models. 7) Install low-flow showerheads—less hot water means less energy use. 8) Drive less. Resolve to use public transportation, join a car pool, ride your bike or walk.

What will your family do for one hour in the dark? This is a chance to shut off the TV and computer and do something different. Some ideas are to have a “lights-out” party, take the dog for a night walk, have a treasure hunt, tell stories, read or play games by candlelight, or check out the night sky. Take photos and share what you did at www.earthhourus.org .

Be flexible to make Earth Hour work for you. Families with young children should feel free to turn their lights off earlier than 8:30 p.m. and for those having too much fun in the dark during the hour, don’t feel you have to limit yourself to one hour and switch back on at 9:30 p.m. If you are already committed to another worthwhile event that night such as Blossoms at the Beebe, pick a different night to enjoy ‘lights out’ with friends and family.

Join this global effort to make an impact on climate change. Visit www.earthhour.org to register and see the difference you can make. Turn off your lights, celebrate the planet, enjoy the moment and cast your vote for Earth. For a fun challenge, check out www.carbonrally.com .

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Energy Saving Tips

Here are some more resources to help you find ways to reduce your energy use.

Heating and Cooling:

Saving Water:

Computing Equipment:

Electronics and Home Appliances:

  • Turn down the brightness on your TV and computer monitor
  • Look for and purchase ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics
  • Consider replacing that old, second refrigerator in the basement - This calculator determines how much energy your refrigerator is using
  • Plug home electronics into a powerstrip and turn off when not in use. Or unplug appliances that you rarely use - when was the last time you used that VCR?
  • Don't keep your refrigerator and freezer too cold. Set temperature between 36-38 degrees F and freezers at 0-5 degrees.

Other Energy-saving Tips:

Government Programs:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pesticide Free Links

Organic Lawn Care
Beyond Pesticides Group
PAN North America Pesticide Action Network
Center for Food Safety; trying to eliminate unsafe food production practices
True Food Network
Pesticide Database
Pesticide Alternatives
Pesticide Free Dandelion Eradication
Northwest Coalition for Alternative to Pesticides
Toxics Action Center of Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wind Week @ MIT

MIT Energy Club

March 30-April 4 2009

An intensive week of immersion in wind energy:

technology, development, policy supports, environmental impact, and financing alternatives

Go to web site to register.


Meeting @ MIT on Battery Tech

The State of Energy Storage
Innovations, Development and Investments
in (trans) Portable Applications

New energy storage technologies, entrepreneurship and investing will be the focus of the next MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Innovation Series program on Tuesday, March 17th.

Join us for this exciting program featuring Disruptive Energy Storage (trans) Portable Applications— innovations which are essential to meeting the needs of new, power-intensive applications in hand-held electronics, electric vehicles and other types of transportable energy consuming devices. This program will focus on the rapid evolution of new battery, ultracapacitor and other storage technologies that are enabling new applications and devices while thrusting the doors open to new markets.

This Innovation Series has assembled an expert panel of entrepreneurs, corporate innovators and investors who are ready to share, explore, and reveal the opportunities, drivers and obstacles to development and scaling of new energy storage technologies.

click on blog title for web site and more information

The event will take place at MIT’s Kirsch Auditorium in the Stata Center, 32-123, Cambridge, MA, on Tuesday, March 17th, at 6:15pm

Introduction: Peter Rothstein, Executive in Residence, Flagship Ventures

Moderator: Douglas Banks, Editor, Mass High Tech

Mouli Ramani, Vice President of Business Development, Lilliputian
Nick Sugimoto, Principal, Honda Strategic Venturing
Kef Kasdin, General Partners, Battelle Ventures; co-founder, Planar Energy Devices
Jeff Chamberlain, Argonne Labs

Monday, March 9, 2009

Electric car charging stations

Electric Car Charging

If there’s one thing auto companies and electric-car advocates agree on, it’s the need for urban networks of recharging stations. Without that, no automaker is likely to commit to producing fleets of battery-powered electric cars or plug-in hybrids. But it appears that the charging infrastructure is finally in the pick-and-shovel stage.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Parade info:

note prize for best environmental float!

Floats information and general rules:

*Non-profit: Groups or committees classified as "non-profit " by state and federal government.

*No Floats will advertise for any political Candidate

There is no fee for a float entry from a non-profit group.

The float coordinator reserves the right to remove any float that the Committee considers inappropriate or a danger to spectators.

No food, water, candy or any other item may be thrown off any float...for safety reasons. No alcoholic beverages will be allowed on any float or in any other vehicle on the parade route.

Please No Throwing Candy from Floats, No Passing out of any flyers or Advertising materials,

No Fundraising -

No fundraising or political soliciting by any organization will be allowed

All floats must assemble at 3:00 pm SHARP at Quannapowitt Parkway and North Avenue, judging of eligible floats will be conducted at this time. All persons, decorations and equipment that are part of the float must be ready for judging at this time. Due to the overall Parade schedule, floats must be on time. Any float not ready at 3:00 pm will absolutely not be judged.

Float drivers must be in float driving vehicles 30 minutes before the start of the parade. Please be ready promptly at 4:30 pm.

Floats will be assigned a place in the Parade’s line of march by a Parade Coordinator.

Two sponsor signs, naming non-profit group entering float will be displayed, one on each side of float (supplied by float builders)

Theme competition for float decorating

Only non-profit groups are eligible for awarding of prizes.

There are two float divisions: Large: 20 feet or more. Small: under 20 feet.

Prizes to be announced before parade so that floats may travel in Parade with award recognition.


Small float division: 1st $600.00

2nd $300.00

3rd $150.00

Large float division: 1st $600.00

2nd $300.00

3rd $150.00

Best use of theme prize: $300.00

Judges prize: $100.00

The Spaulding Award: Commemorative plaque…. given for the float that best depicts environmental or conservation awareness.

Annual Mike LeDoux Memorial Award: Commemorative plaque

Parade will take place RAIN OR SHINE

Monday, March 2, 2009

Water Efficiency

Water Efficiency for Athletic Facilities, 
Schools and Colleges 
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

The MWRA's Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) Water Management program was developed to help businesses, industries and institutions improve their water efficiency. Since its formation in 1989, the ICI program has helped various facilities in the MWRA service area reduce their water consumption, thereby reducing operational costs.

The ICI program has produced surveys and water efficiency plans for almost a dozen schools and athletic facilities, including high schools, vocational-technical schools, colleges, universities and YMCAs.

The facilities studied had annual water usage ranging from 2 million gallons to over 17 million gallons. Each facility studied had at least one area where Water Efficiency Measures (WEMs) could be employed to achieve significant water reductions

see more @


Be A Trash Terminator

1.      RECYCLE MORE! Find out about the items you can recycle at 1-800-CLEANUP or www.earth911.org

2.      Choose products with minimal packaging and buy in bulk. Avoid individual-wrapped items. A jumbo box of cereal uses less packaging than several single serving-sized boxes.

3.      Choose durable, reusable products over single-use, disposable items. Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Get your coffee in a refillable mug. Use canvas bags for shopping.

4.      Reduce junk mail.  Find out how to get your name removed from unwanted mailing lists at www.junkmailstopper.com
5.      Reuse bags, containers, packaging materials and other items. Bags, cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, packing peanuts and padded envelopes can be used many times. Be creative!

6.      Compost.  Recycle leaves, grass, food scraps, paper towels, coffee grounds and tea bags into great garden soil.  Black gold!

7.      Donate unwanted items to charities or have a yard sale.

8.      Choose items with a recycled-content label.  This saves precious resources and is the key to making recycling work!!

9.      Keep toxic home and garden products out of the trash.  Learn about non-toxic alternatives at www.turi.org/community

10.     Reduce your use of paper.  Use e-mail, get bank statements and newsletters on-line and use the library.

Home Composting

A Guide to Composting Yard & Food Waste
Printer-Friendly Version: PDF 479 KB
What is composting? 

Composting is a controlled process of decomposition of organic material. Naturally occurring soil organisms recycle nitrogen, potash, phosphorus, and other plant nutrients as they convert the material into humus.

Benefits of compostingCompost bin

Composting is a convenient, beneficial and inexpensive way to handle your organic waste and help the environment. Composting:

  • reduces the volume of garbage requiring disposal;
  • saves money for you and your community in reduced soil purchases and reduced local disposal costs; and
  • enriches the soil. Using compost adds essential nutrients, improves soil structure, which allows better root growth, and increases moisture and nutrient retention in the soil. Plants love compost!
What you should compost?

Yard wastes such as leaves, 
grass clippings and weeds make excellent compost. Fruit and vegetable scraps, plus food wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, and eggs shells, can be composted. To keep animals and odors out of your pile, do not add meat, bones, fatty food wastes (such as cheese, grease and oils), dog and cat litter, and diseased plants. Do not add invasive weeds and weeds that have gone to seed to the pile. Elements of a good compost pile With these principles in mind, you can convert your organic wastes into resources by turning your spoils to soil.
The Biodegraders

Nature has provided an army of workers who specialize in decomposing organic material. These "critters" - bacteria, fungi, molds, earthworms, insects and other soil organisms - eat all types of organic material and in the process convert nutrients into a form plants can utilize. Without those compost critters, we would be surrounded by mountains of leaves and the soil would be barren. The process of composting is simply a matter of providing the soil organisms with food, water and oxygen. They do the rest.

Organic Material

Organic material contains varying amounts of carbon and nitrogen which nourish the organisms naturally present in your compost pile. (Billions of bacteria inhabit the surface of every leaf and blade of grass in your yard.) The critters need both carbon and nitrogen. An easy way to provide both of these is to remember that brown, woody materials, such as autumn leaves, are high in carbon while green, moist materials, such as grass clippings, are high in nitrogen (refer to "How to Make a Compost Pile" below).

Use approximately three parts "brown" material to one part "green" material to optimize the composting process and prevent odors from developing. This recipe will yield finished composting in three to eight months. Leaves alone break down in six to 15 months. Grass clippings or food scraps composted alone result in unpleasant odors because they contain more nitrogen than the compost organisms can use. Mix leaves, straw or shredded newspaper with green material, or let it dry until it turns brown before composting it alone.

The compost critters need oxygen, just as we do. Lack of oxygen will slow down the composting process and cause odors. Turn your pile, fluff it with a hoe or compost turning tool, or build air passages into the pile with cornstalks to provide oxygen to the organisms.


Compost organisms need a moist environment. The pile should be as damp as a wrung-out sponge, but not dripping wet. Make sure leaves are damp when you add them to the compost pile because they will not break down if they are dry. Since moisture evaporates as the pile heats up (a sign of active composting), let rain and snow replace it, or add water during dry spells. A cover helps retain moisture in hot weather.

people doing yard work
How to Make a Compost Pile

There are as many different ways to make compost as there are people who do it. The following guidelines will get you started, but soon your own experience will help you tailor a method that best fits your needs.

  • Build or purchase a compost bin. Check to see if your community has a composting bin distribution program, or order from a garden catalogue, nursery or hardware store. Enclosed compost piles keep out pests, hold heat and moisture in, and have a neat appearance. Or, bins can be simply made of wire, wood, pallets, concrete blocks, even garbage cans with drainage holes drilled in them. In urban areas, rodent-resistant compost bins - having a secure cover and floor and openings no wider than one-half inch - must be used.
  • Set up the bin in a convenient, shady area with good drainage. A pile that is about three feet square and three feet high will help maintain the heat generated by the composting organisms throughout the winter. Although a smaller pile may not retain heat, it will compost.
  • Start the pile with a layer of coarse material such as corn stalks to build in air passages. Add alternating layers of "brown" and "green" materials with a shovelful of soil on top of each layer. Shredding leaves or running over them with a lawn mower will shorten the composting time. Be sure to bury food scraps in the center of the pile.
High Nitrogen "Green" Ingredients
High Carbon "Brown" Ingredients
grass clippingsautumn leaves
food wastes: fruit & vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags, egg shellspaper towels, napkins, bags, plates, coffee filters, tissue and newspaper
manure (cow, horse, chicken, rabbit)cornstalks
seaweedwood chips
alfalfa hay/mealsaw dust
blood mealpine needles
  • Add water as you build the pile if the materials are dry.
  • As time goes on, keep oxygen available to the compost critters by fluffing the pile with a hoe or compost turning tool each time you add material. A complete turning of the pile - so the top becomes the bottom - in spring and fall should result in finished compost within a year. More frequent turning will shorten the composting time.
woman mulching a treeHow to use compost

When the composted materials look like rich, brown soil, it is ready to use. Apply one-half to three inches of finished compost and mix it in with the top four inches of soil about one month before planting. Compost can be applied as a top dressing in the garden throughout the summer. Compost is excellent for reseeding lawns, and it can be spread one-quarter inch deep over the entire lawn to rejuvenate the turf. To make potting soil, mix equal parts compost, sand and loam. You may put the compost through a sieve to remove large particles - these can go back into the pile. 


Grass clippings, leaves and woody yard wastes can be used as mulch in gardens and around shrubs to keep the soil moist, control weed growth and add nutrients. Woody materials should be chipped or shredded. Use a mulch of pine needles around acid-loving plants. Leaves will work first as mulch, then as a soil enricher as they decompose. Grass clippings should be dried before using as mulch. Do not mulch with grass clippings which have been treated with herbicides; composting them first, however, will break down the herbicides.

Composting without a yard

Composting can be done indoors using an earthworm farm. Not only can you recycle your food scraps, you can also have a steady supply of fishing bait! See MassDEP's 
vermicomposting page
Printer-Friendly Version: PDF 479 KB


Stop Junk Mail

1-888-567-8688 or 1-888-5OPTOUT. This will remove you from junk mail sent by Trans Union, Equifax, innovis, Experian and. The individual contact information is:

Go green, donate an old car

donate car, car donation

Cars4Charities is a truly unique, not-for-profit, car donation center. When you donate car, truck, van or SUV to our car donation center, we'll send the entire net proceeds to the charity you select from our extensive list.

read more @

Cell phone recycling program at Galvin Middle School

he Galvin Middle School PTO is collecting cell phones in a recycling effort to raise money for the school. They are working with the Race to Recycle Program by Motorola. This is a simple program that works on a couple of levels. First, community members can get rid of all the old cell phones they have. Second, cell phones contain mercury, lead and cadmium, and must be disposed of properly. Community residents can drop off cell phones in the collection boxes at the Galvin Middle School office or at Town Hall. Third, the school will be rewarded every time someone donates an intact cell phone that is sent to Motorola.

The Galvin PTO is funded primarily through dues and the magazine drive, as well as the paper recycling effort. The PTO consists of parents and faculty who volunteer their time to plan social events for each grade, end of year activities, the student-faculty basketball game and faculty welcome back breakfast. The PTO also supports the school by funding advisors for clubs, organizing volunteers, granting funds for technology, contributing to the parent lecture series, and providing mini grants to faculty for special projects.

Keeping green at the Greenwood School

Reduce ... reuse ... recycle! That's the message students at the Greenwood School heard during the Wakefield Department of Public Works (DPW) recycling education program. During the classroom presentation, the students received materials to share at home with their families.

Greenwood School third graders also sang about the clean up of Boston Harbor during the recycling education program. The annual program teaches children about recycling at an early age and the importance of recycling on the environment.


Reducing and reusing can save money and the environment

Reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills doesn't just involve recycling, according to Richard Stinson, director of the Wakefield Department of Public Works. It also involves reusing products like glass containers and lunch bags, buying in bulk to reduce trash volume, and returning deposit beverage cans and bottles to the store or recycling center.

read more 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carbon footprint

Carbon Footprint logo

Your tree pledge will help to support local disadvantaged communities in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, in addition to offsetting your carbon emission

Wakefield Rail to Trail Committee

Wakefield has an abandoned rail line that runs through the center of town.  The Committee is appointed by the Wakefield Board of Selectmen to transform this former rail road into a Rail-Trail.  Browse our latest Committee Update to find out what we've been up to over the past year.  To find out more about who we are and our mission, click here...

Plant Sale 2010



FREE advice when purchasing plants, other times by appointment

SEEDS AVAILABLE: Purple cone flowers, Black eye Susans, Anise Hyssop, Angelica, Garlic Chives, and more that can be put in early spring $2 per (snack baggie size) seed pkg.

Help the DPW increase recycling

Town Seal

For information contact:
Wakefield Department of Public Works
(781) 246-6301

If every resident Wakefield recycled one can, bottle, newspaper and plastic container each day, the Department of Public Works (DPW) would save thousands of dollars in trash disposal fees in one year. That means extra money for town programs and services for Wakefield residents.

read more

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Recycle empty cartridges and cell phones today

New Green Labels

We pay schools and other nonprofit organizations to recycle their inkjet and laser cartridges as well as cell phones and PDA devices. We provide prepaid shipping materials and all other marketing materials free of charge. 

Wakefield Climate Action Project is now registered

Carbon Carbon Footprint

Carbon Rally logo

Save energy and reduce global warming by taking simple challenges. 
Compete with others in your area and around the world

Town Climate Action Plans

http://www.wakefieldcap.org/ Wakefield, MA
http://www.amherstma.gov/departments/Conservation/CAP_9-27-05_FINAL-cover1.pdf Amherst, MA
http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us/reports/ClimateActionPlan.pdf Worcester, MA
http://wakefieldcrf.wdfiles.com/local--files/online-resources/brooklineSustainabilityInventory.pdf Brookline, MA
http://www.cambridgema.gov/cdd/et/climate/clim_plan/clim_plan_full.pdf Cambridge, MA
http://wakefieldcrf.wdfiles.com/local--files/online-resources/medfordcap.pdf Medford, MA
http://wakefieldcrf.wdfiles.com/local--files/online-resources/newton.pdf Newton, MA
http://wakefieldcrf.wdfiles.com/local--files/online-resources/SomervilleActionPlan.pdf Somerville, MA
http://www.burlingtonelectric.com/SpecialTopics/Reportmain.htm Burlington, VT
http://www.ci.wellesley.ma.us/Pages/WellesleyMA_DPW/rdf/index Wellesely, MA

Town Resources

Town Site
Town of Wakefield

Wakefield Public Schools

Wakefield Police Department

Wakefield Fire Department

Wakefield Public Library

Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department

Wakefield Recycling Calendar


Town News