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Last Saturday, Boston residents, students, businesses, community organizations, and city officials gathered at the 2015 Greenovate Boston Community Summit to celebrate Boston’s sustainability progress to date and plan ahead on how we can work together to achieve the City's climate action goals. The day was charged with positive energy and we couldn't wait to share some of our favorite moments from this year's Summit with you.

Starting off the day on the right (key)notes!

We kicked off the Summit with two keynote speakers: Dean Cycon of Dean's Beans and Andy Brooks of Bootstrap Compost. They shared their stories--Dean spoke about the importance of community engagement, and Andy on using innovation to achieve both business and sustainability goals--setting an inspiring tone for the Summit.

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Rolling up our sleeves for some peer-to-peer learning

Following the morning address, Summit participants headed off to workshop sessions to discuss  topics relating to the environmental, social, and economic well-being of Boston. The first session was dedicated to sharing best practices and research and opened our eyes to global and local sustainability initiatives. The second session focused on identifying actions needed for creating a greener, healthier, and thriving Boston. Just as a few highlights of these workshops: we heard stories of BPS students advocating for sustainable changes in their schools, we learned about a fungus that consumes plastics, and we found out how higher education students collaborate with those of other schools to share resources and ideas.

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Looking back (and forward) in time

Throughout the day, we asked Summit attendees to help us build a Boston Sustainability Timeline, where participants added key events that have shaped Boston's environmental movement in the past few decades. By the end of the day, the Sustainability Timeline was filled with milestones ranging from all the way back to 1960s to into-the-future ideas of what participants envision Boston will look like in 10 and even 35 years from now. The Timeline was an impressive collection of Bostonians’ memories and ideas, and it truly demonstrates what an environmentally progressive city we are living in, while providing a gentle reminder that there is still plenty of work to be done to prepare our City for a changing climate.

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Celebrating 2015 Greenovate Boston Leaders with Mayor Walsh

As part of the Summit, Mayor Walsh presented 13 winners of the 2015 Greenovate Boston Awards and the Boston Public Schools Recycling Competition. The Greenovate Boston Awards, now in their ninth year, recognize sustainability leadership across Boston in businesses, community organizations, non-profits, residents, and institutions. For the full list of this year’s awardees, visit http://www.cityofboston.gov/eeos/greenawards/

The Boston Public Schools “Race to Recycle” competition is a three week recycling program that encourages recycling among BPS students and staff. By recycling materials from the classroom and cafeteria in a single stream, Boston schools hope to educate the community about the importance of recycling, decreasing the City’s greenhouse gas emission, and saving valuable natural resources. This year’s winners are: Curley K-8 for having the highest recycling diversion rate and biggest increase in recycling rate over the 3-week competition; and Boston Green Academy for having the best recycle education plan to engage their students and staff on reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Congratulations to all the award winners this year!

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Achieving Zero Waste: No trash bins needed

Thanks to the help of Basil Tree Cafe  & Catering, Northeastern University, our dedicated Zero Waste volunteers, and Summit attendees, we diverted more than 90% of waste generated at the Summit from the landfill!

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Keep the buzz going

With so many dedicated Bostonians coming together to collaborate, share new ideas, and take action, we are looking forward to turning ideas and inputs generated at the Summit into actions! In the meantime, let’s keep the conversations going on Greenovate Boston's Community Forum. Tweet at us @GreenovateBos or email us at info@greenovateboston.org.


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