Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Memory Tree Project Profile: The Henderson Family

Photo by Renée DeKona

By Pam Sinotte

The Memory Tree Project is in its second year and we continue to hear stories of those who are caring for the city’s street trees in memory of loved ones.

Sarah Henderson explained why her family is participating in The Memory Tree Project:

Photo by Renée DeKona
“My brother Owen passed away in March 2017. He made the inexplicable decision to take his own life. As his family, we were left with many unimaginable and unanswered questions. We spent the first few weeks after his passing, walking zombie-like through Fallon Field. On one day, I happened to notice the signage on a tree outside the park. I contacted my friend Natalie, who works for Liz Malia's office and was immediately connected to Pam from The Memory Tree Project and the Office of Neighborhood Services for Roslindale. The next day Pam met with my mother and me to help guide us through our grief to elect the right tree to adopt. In the end, we remember my brother Owen through an oak tree. It stands strongly and protectively alongside the park yearning to provide shade and comfort to generations of children.”

Clockwise from the left in the photo, Aoife Marshall, Joann Henderson and Sarah Henderson water their memory tree.

We hope you’ll be inspired by Sarah and her family to join The Memory Tree Project and care for a street tree in memory of a loved one. You’ll be honoring a loved one, helping to reduce Roslindale’s carbon footprint, and beautifying the neighborhood! To sign up for your own tree, go to or email

Rozzie Businesses Join The Memory Tree Project

By Pam Sinotte

Three local businesses have joined The Memory Tree Project: Pet Cabaret, CJM Insurance and Atlas Liquors.

Lisa DiPietro, co-owner of the Pet Cabaret at 4404 Washington Street, is watering a honey locust in memory of her dogs and cats.   

Paul Joyce, Chartered Financial Consultant of CJM Insurance at 147 Belgrade Avenue is watering a linden tree in memory of his beloved mother-in-law, Suzy Mousalli, who passed away in June of 2016. CJM and Anthony’s Tax Services are sharing watering duty.

Atlas Liquors co-owners Peter, Jeff and Natalie are caring for two ginkgo trees at their Roslindale store at 591 Hyde Park Avenue. They’re watering trees for Bernard White, their grandfather Lou White, the founder of Atlas Liquors, and his wife Beatrice. Lou and Beatrice are also honored in a new mural celebrating immigrants painted by The Mayor’s Mural Project.

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business flows in. Tree-lined streets also slow traffic – enough to allow drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by. For more reasons to have and maintain street trees, see Top 22 Benefits of Trees.

When business owners take care of the trees near their businesses by watering them and clearing the tree pits of debris, they and the entire community benefit. When you patronize these businesses, please thank them for helping to make Roslindale a greener, more sustainable community!

   Photos by Pam Sinotte

MIT’s Climate CoLab wants you!

By Eric Smalley

MIT’s Climate CoLab is harnessing the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change. The Climate CoLab is holding a set of seven contests to generate ideas to help people and communities deal with climate change.

The contest topics are:
  • Shifting attitudes and behaviors
  • Land-use: agriculture, forestry, waste management
  • Buildings
  • Energy Supply
  • Adaptation
  • Carbon pricing
  • Transportation
The deadline is September 10, 2017. Winners will be invited to MIT and will join the Climate CoLab winners’ alumni. A $10,000 Grand Prize winner will be selected from among winners across all seven contests.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

City Council weighs Community Choice Energy

By Eric Smalley

The Boston City Council held a working session on April 25th to take testimony and discuss bringing Community Choice Aggregation to Boston. Community Choice Aggregation will allow city residents to band together to buy greener electricity.

Experts and community leaders joined Austin Blackmon, head of the city’s Energy, Environment and Open Spaces department in giving testimony. The lively session was led by councilor Matt O’Malley, chair of the Environment & Sustainability committee.

Here’s a recent blog post about Community Choice Energy, the name of the campaign Boston Climate Action Network and the Green Justice Coalition are leading to bring Community Choice Aggregation to Boston.

You can watch the video: Working Session: Implementation of a Community Choice Aggregation in the City of Boston

Here’s what you can do to help make Community Choice Energy happen:
  • Call District Councilor Tim McCarthy at (617) 635-3040 and Mayor Marty Walsh at (617) 635-4500 and tell them to bring Community Choice Energy to Boston.
  • Help with the campaign for Community Choice Energy. If you’d like to join us, send a note to

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pam won!

By Eric Smalley

GreeningRozzie board member Pam Sinotte won this year's Greenovate Award in the Trees, Open Space, and Landscaping category. Way to go, Pam! Pam won for her innovative thinking and hard work in putting together The Memory Tree Project.

The project helps increase the survival rate of street trees by encouraging people to care for a street tree in memory of a loved one. The project, in partnership with Boston Parks and Recreation, is being piloted in Roslindale.

To join The Memory Tree Project, check out the project webpage or stop by the GreeningRozzie table at the Roslindale Farmers Market. See the Events page to find out when we'll be there.

Check out all of the Greenovate Award winners.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Community Choice Energy: greening our electricity collectively

By Eric Smalley

We have a unique opportunity to lower Boston’s carbon footprint and there are steps you can take to make it happen. First, some explanation.

With a stroke of the mayor’s pen and at no added cost, Boston can increase the amount of renewably generated electricity that residents and businesses consume. At current energy prices, the boost in renewables through this Community Choice Energy initiative would be enough to jump us nearly 8% of the way toward the city’s 2020 goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% from 2005 levels.

Community Choice Energy takes advantage of a Massachusetts law that allows cities and towns to buy electricity for themselves rather than relying on the utility companies to do the purchasing. The law was passed as part of the state’s deregulation of the electricity market, which required the utility companies to get out of the business of producing electricity thus opening the way for competition among electricity generators.

When cities and towns buy electricity for their residents, the purchasing decisions can take into account the residents’ interests and values. Other cities, including Melrose and Dedham, have started buying electricity. They’ve increased their mix of renewables by almost half without increasing residents’ electric bills. Community Choice Energy will allow Boston to do the same.

State law requires utilities to purchase 12% renewable electricity. According to the city’s latest calculations, the Community Choice Energy initiative would increase that to 18% renewables without raising electricity rates.

Community Choice Energy will:
  • Increase the amount of renewable power available to everybody, including renters and others who can’t put solar panels on their roofs.
  • Build more renewable energy sources. Each additional percent of renewable energy consumption in Boston translates to about five new wind turbines.
  • Create jobs here in Massachusetts and New England, especially jobs building wind farms.
  • Help minimize extreme heat, extreme storms and sea level rise from climate change, all of which threaten Boston.
Here’s what you can do to make this happen!
  • Call District Councilor Tim McCarthy at (617) 635-3040 and Mayor Marty Walsh at (617) 635-4500 and tell them to bring Community Choice Energy to Boston.
  • Attend the city council working session scheduled for Tuesday, April 25 at 3:00 pm in the Iannella Chamber on the 5th floor of Boston City Hall. The city Council will take input and discuss Community Choice Energy.
  • Help with the Boston Climate Action Network/Green Justice Coalition campaign for Community Choice Energy. If you’d like to join us, send note to
In addition to boosting Boston’s renewable electricity consumption across-the-board by supporting Community Choice Energy, you can take action right now on your own. You can switch your home to 100% renewable electricity through the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance’s green electricity buying program.  (Note that Mass Energy is a Massachusetts nonprofit offering local renewable electricity, not one of the many for-profit companies that have been going door-to-door and calling people lately.)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Tell the city to ban single-use plastic bags

By Eric Smalley

The Boston City Council has a Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance in the works. Let the city council and mayor know that you support the ban on single-use plastic bags. This online petition at features a video put together by a group of Dorchester Girl Scouts.

Also call District Councilor Tim McCarthy at (617) 635-3040 and Mayor Marty Walsh at (617) 635-4500 to let them know you strongly support the ban.

West Roxbury Saves Energy has a great collection of links about the ban, including a link to the proposed ordinance.