The city of Medford on Oct. 18 handed out its annual Green Awards to Medford homeowners, businesses and organizations working to keep the city environmentally sound.
Business Green Awards
Best Neighborhood Care Dry Cleaner, 570 High Street
In 2009, Best Neighborhood Care Dry Cleaners converted to being a dedicated wet cleaning facility, eliminating the use of the carcinogenic chemical perchlorethylene.
Through TURI and State grants, they were able to purchase new equipment, including computer-controlled washer, dryer and tensioning equipment.
It has switched from being a drop off facility that sent its dry cleaning out to facilities using perchlorethylene to now being able to perform all of its cleaning services in house using the environmentally friendly wet cleaning method.
Use of the wet cleaning method: Eliminates the contaminated waste associated associated with using perchloethylene; is more energy efficient; is a non-toxic alternative to traditional dry cleaning; is a water-based process which uses biodegradable detergents; is a non-toxic alternative to traditional dry cleaning; and creates a safer work environment for employees who are no longer exposed to the cancer-causing chemical perchlorethylene.
Owner: Tuan K. Nguyen
Grapevine Travelers, 18 High St
Grapevine Travelers is a retail Wine, Beer and Spirit Shop. Last year they had undertaken the following energy efficient projects:
1) Extended their existing 30 feet long cooler having 9 doors to 55 feet long containing 19 doors. Each of the doors has a 2X10 foot long high power florescent light installed.
2) They converted each door to LEDs. Currently they have over 38 LED 8 foot long lights.
3) The 55 feet long cooler was converted over to Automatic temperature control. A computerized module was installed to control the temperature inside the cooler.
4) The cooler used to run 24/7, but after the energy efficiency conversion now it is controlled by a specified set point and shuts off every 15 mins and maintains the set point. It works as modern day refrigerator unit that only draws power when the temperature is not in specification.
5) Converted store lighting to LEDs which has resulted in reduced energy use.
6) As a result of their investment in energy efficient installations, their energy consumption has dropped during the peak season from ~8500KWHs to ~4000 KWHs.
http://www.grapevinetravelers.com/ Owner: Sameer Sharma
Grace Episcopal Church, 160 High Street
Grace Episcopal Church is a multigenerational, diverse and welcoming Christian community that values shared leadership, service to those in need and nurturing all in the love of God. They also operate an affordable daycare and preschool program.
Over the past two years, Grace Episcopal Church has undertaken the following environmental and energy efficient projects:
1) Converted their old oil boilers and 4 furnaces to high efficiency gas boilers with hydronic heat exchangers.
2) Upgraded sanctuary lighting from 300W incandescent to custom dimmable LED fixtures.
3) Worked with National Grid to upgrade the interior and exterior lighting to LED and high efficiency fluorescents and occupancy sensors throughout.
4) Installed 25.7 kW solar array that provides about 80% of our annual electricity consumption.
5) Initiated a community garden on their front lawn with raised beds, of which the food grown is donated to local food pantries.
6) Installed two rain barrels to capture and use rain water on the grounds.
http://www.gracemedford.org/ Contact: Noah Evans
The Medford Garden Club
The Medford Garden Club was started in May 1998. Their mission is to provide free education & lectures to all and undertake beautification projects installed and maintained within the city.
In addition, The Medford Garden Club makes donations to school garden projects (Brooks School and Columbus School), and donates books and subscriptions to garden magazines to the Medford Public Library.
A monthly newsletter is sent to our dues-paying members. Attendance at our meetings/lectures is free and open to all. Their primary fundraiser is an annual spring plant sale.
The Medford Garden Club holds free lectures open to all at The Medford Public Library.
Beautification projects are installed using organic practices and no pesticides.
Projects include: Medford Public Library garden and decorative pots — started c. 1999, and ongoing; West Medford Post Office Garden started c. 2001, and ongoing; and Medford Historical Society: In 2013 the Garden Club initiated a renovation of the garden in front of the Historical Society, including design, provision of plants and shrubs, and installation.
This garden will be maintained primarily by the Historical Society, with occasional help from Garden Club volunteers.
Co-Directors: Maryann Langen and Sarah Cummer
City of Cambridge
City Engineer Owen O’Riordan and his team from the city of Cambridge designed and built one of the premier “green storm water” projects in the country.
This is part of the MWRA’s Mystic/Alewife Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) projects to clean up the Mystic River.
Together with the separation of stormwater from combined sewers, the basin will increase historically low flows in the brook and enhance the health of adjacent natural wetlands, providing a significant improvement over the existing degraded habitat caused by many decades of neglect.
The innovative wetland includes plant and wildlife habitat, natural flood control, wetlands treatment, recreational and educational benefits.
This award winning project has been nationally recognized and, while upstream of Medford, will lead to substantial water quality improvements in the Mystic River in Medford.
Contact: Owen O’Riordan
Residential Green Awards
Jonathan and Kerry White
As a result of a Mass save energy audit, they insulated their walls, attic and basement, upgraded heating equipment and water heater, zoned the heat and installed separate programmable thermostats.
They also purchased energy efficient appliances, changed to compact florescent bulbs and replaced all the windows in the home with energy-efficient windows.
They also embrace recycling and regularly fill the bin provided by the city.
Mary C. and Carl DiMaiti
They have replaced all bulbs in the house to new energy efficient bulbs. Solar panels were installed, resulting in a marked reduction in energy use.
They have also hosted several families interested in “going solar” since the installation. After purchasing the solar panels, they were able to lease a Honda FIT EV, thus maximizing their solar energy use in a manner that reduces their gasoline use/carbon footprint significantly.
Chris Gerber and Tom Hagerty
They have done many things in their home to be green, including installing insulation and programmable thermostats throughout their home and all light bulbs have been switched to LED’s. New energy efficient windows were also installed in the entire home.
They also lead a very green lifestyle. They take public transportation or carpool to work to reduce use of a vehicle. They have very little waste in their home — everything is composted or recycled if possible. The compost is then used in their non-chemical garden.
They have a rain barrel to collect water, which is then used to water their garden. They have installed low flow toilets and the dryer in their home is rarely used — clothes lines and drying racks are the main source for drying clothes!
She changed all bulbs to LED, installed solar panels, and purchased and energy efficient refrigerator. She also changed her gardening practices to be wildlife friendly by providing food, water, cover and places to rear young.
She does not use pesticides or herbicides. Her backyard is certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. She has a sign on the front garden to announce that and to encourage others to do the same.
She also has been gardening the traffic island in front of her house to attract butterflies and butterfly caterpillars. This garden has now been certified by the North American Butterfly Association.
Sarah & Jason Cluggish
They have insulated their entire house, installed solar panels on their roof, use CFL light bulbs throughout our house, have installed four solar screens in their windows, replaced major appliances with energy star ones and installed ceiling fans throughout the house.
They also compost all food waste and hair clippings, use a rain barrel to water their garden and bike to work 10 months of the year to reduce the use of a vehicle.
They participated in Medford’s Energy Smackdown in 2007.
Hallie & David Lee
They installed solar panels on their roof and converted to CFL and LED lighting throughout their home. They also have been regularly recycling for years and have introduced a composting protocol which was part of their son’s Environmental Science Honors project in this senior year at Medford High School.
They also participated in Medford’s Energy Smackdown in 2010. They also are involved with the group Mother’s Out Front, which has a mission of mobilizing for a livable climate.