Urban agriculture improves access to fresh, healthy, affordable food, with decreased transportation costs and lower carbon emissions. In December 2013, the City passed Article 89, a city-wide zoning article that allows for commercial urban agriculture in Boston. Small or large, new farming endeavors will bring communities together, empower small entrepreneurs, and increase access to fresh food for Bostonians.
To develop Article 89, the Boston Redevelopment Authority worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Food Initiatives and the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Working Group, a group of farmers, experts, residents and advocates gathered together to advise and guide staff. Article 89 is the product of 18 open public meetings of the Mayor’s Urban Agriculture Working Group and 11 Neighborhood Meetings, which took place throughout Boston in June and July, 2013.
Reducing your energy use at home is one of the best ways you can save money. Weatherizing your home – i.e. plugging air leaks, insulating, and more – can equate to more than one ton less of carbon pollution in the air. Boston has the best energy efficiency program in the nation, so whether you live in a condo, rent an apartment, or own a home, there are plenty of resources you can access to help make your home more comfortable and affordable.Read more
Dishwashers and laundry machines waste a significant amount of water and energy. For example, each time you use your dishwasher, you can waste up to two pounds of CO2. And according to the New York Times, nearly three quarters of our greenhouse gas emissions from washing laundry comes from heating the water. An essential action for reducing waste is to always use cold water with these machines. Hot water rarely disinfects more than cold water, and is really only useful when your clothes have stains.Read more
Ever wonder why your office keeps its lights on when no one is working? Or why air conditioning continues to run over the weekend and computers stay on?
About 50 percent of savings at work come from “operational savings” – low-cost or no-cost opportunities to cut emissions and stop wasting money and energy. Not taking advantage of these opportunities causes businesses and their employees to lose a lot of money.Read more
Composting is the practice of turning your food scraps and organic waste into nutrient-rich soil, which can then be sold or used for gardening or farming. Here are some resources on composting in Boston:Read more
Boston’s summer can get hot, but you can stay cool without releasing too much carbon pollution. If you have central AC, check out our tips for keeping cool, while reducing your carbon footprint. No AC? No problem! Instead of using air conditioning at home, try going to a designated cooling center or pool at one of Boston Cooling Centers. Or spend your time at a public library or a nearby coffee shop.Read more
Having a sustainable landscape is important to water quality, local animal and plant life, and your wallet. By mimicking a natural landscape in your own yard, you can eliminate the need for toxic chemicals and irrigation, provide a habitat for New England flora and fauna, and save money!Read more
Small actions at work can add up to huge reductions in carbon emissions, as well as your health and comfort.Read more
- MassSAVE: State website for Massachusetts-specific rebates, tax breaks, planning, and technical assistance. Includes both residential and commercial building incentives.
- DSIREUSA: A national open database. Most useful for understanding federal incentives as a complement to MassSAVE’s website.
- OpenEI:Massachusetts: Nationwide database for understanding broader context of building energy in Massachusetts.
- National Grid NEST rebate: National Grid instant rebate on the NEST learning thermostat