Voicing concern for the environment in Southborough
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Southborough – At the March 14 meeting of the Breakfast Club at the Southborough Senior Center, Carl Guyer, chair of the Southborough Green Technology and Recycling Committee (SGTRC), spoke about the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. He and SGTRC are encouraging residents to support the effort for Southborough to become a certified Green Community. There are currently 123 designated Green Communities in Massachusetts including Marlborough.
“We’re trying to raise awareness in Southborough about the need to become a more green community,” Guyer said.
His presentation started by making the topic of CO2 relevant for that morning’s breakfast guests.
“All of your breakfast this morning came from atmospheric CO2 because you’re eating plants and animals,” he said. “All that carbon that you just consumed came from out of the atmosphere. Plants are amazing. With such a low concentration of CO2 they’re able to grow and extract enough nutrients out of the air to provide you with food. Even though it’s a low concentration, it’s very important to life.”
He provided historical data and graphs to illustrate the rapid rise in CO2 concentrations.
Emphasizing the significance of climate change, Guyer shared a January 2012 quote of Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund: “The science is sobering – the global temperature in 2012 was among the hottest since records began in 1880. Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of our planet is in peril.”
Guyer noted, “This January was the fourth warmest January on record for Earth.”
The presentation included a helpful tip for the guests to make their homes more energy and cost efficient. Guyer recommended they contact Mass Save for an energy audit.
“They’ll do an energy audit on your house and won’t charge you for it,” he explained. “They’ll find places where you’re losing energy.”
Guyer also discussed the goals and benefits of the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program. A designated community can apply for grants toward energy-saving projects.
“It can only save the town money,” Guyer said of the program.
SGTRC presented an introduction to the Green Communities Program two years ago at the Southborough Public Library. Speakers included Kelly Brown, the regional coordinator of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.
“We tried to get this going two years ago and it ran out of steam,” Guyer said. “We’re trying to build momentum again.”
An updated presentation of the program was offered by SGTRC at the library last fall. Guyer is making himself available to other organizations interested in hosting the presentation. He hopes the Breakfast Club guests will spread the word.
“Maybe some of these people will leave here, they’ll see a selectman and ask, ‘Why isn’t Southborough a Green Community?” he said.
The Board of Selectmen recently compiled a list of priorities. Among them is to explore becoming a Green Community and learn what it would entail.
Two members of SGTRC recently moved out of town. Any resident interested in joining the committee, which meets one evening a month at the library, can email Guyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates about SGTRC are posted at facebook.com/SouthboroughGreenTech. For more information about Mass Save, visit masssave.com.
The Breakfast Club meets the second Friday of each month at 10 a.m., excluding July and August. The next meeting is April 11, featuring Dr. Andrew Vitz, the state ornithologist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Vitz will speak about the local bird population.
Suggested donation is $6 for members of the Friends of the Southborough Senior Center; $10 for non-members. A required reservation can be made by calling 508-229-4453. For more information, visit southboroughseniors.com.
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