Massachusetts Sierra Club

February 2013  

Wasted Energy, Toxic Emissions:
The MassDEP is planning to lift a 22 year moratorium on new incineration facilities as its solution for dealing with our trash. While itís true that landfill capacity is dwindling, we need to find a way to better manage the tons of garbage headed to the dump. However, burning garbage is a step in the wrong direction. The MassDEP has an available solution, one that could be put in place immediately Ė enforcement of existing waste ban regulations, established in the 1990s. 90% of whatís in the trash could be reused, recycled or composted. Putting this material into landfills or incinerators wastes scarce landfill space and strains incinerator capacity. It adds to greenhouse gas emissions, contributes to global warming, and fouls our air, soil and water with toxic pollutants like dioxin and mercury. Burning recyclable and reusable material is a terrible waste of resources and energy. Recycling saves 3-5 times more energy than incineration because of energy saved by using recycled material for manufacturing instead of using virgin resources. Tell the MassDEP not to go backwards. Instead of building new incinerators, we need to reduce solid waste by enforcing waste bans so valuable resources donít go up in smoke.  Click here for more.

BACK THE BAN: Tell MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell to maintain the ban on increased incineration, including variations on traditional incineration such as gasification. Send your comments by Feb. 15, 2013, 5pm to: John Fischer or by mail to: John Fischer, MassDEP, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108. Please copy the Sierra Club on your communication to 

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ith the Sierra Club and Sungevity
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Dumpster Dining:
Dishing Up Food Waste Reality 
Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion of food every year. This food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste. Click here for more.

Recycling FAQ:
Do I need to remove plastic windows from envelopes and things like staples? 
You do not need to worry about removing the plastic window on envelopes or tissue boxes, staples, paperclips, spiral bindings or even the plastic spout on beverage cartons. These "contaminants" are separated out from the pulp when paper is mixed with water during the recycling process. But please DO remove plastic wrap or plastic bags from junk mail and phonebooks. Plastic bags jam conveyor belts at the recycling facility causing costly repairs and delays. Republished courtesy of Ms. Randi Mail, Recycling Director, City of Cambridge.

Share your ideas, opinions, and thoughts on our Members' Blog

Special Events

Boston Inner City Outings
Fundraiser and Raffle Party
March 7, 2013, 5:30 - 9:30pm
Boston Beerworks Restaurant
112 Canal Street, Boston
Sierra Club Inner City Outings (ICO) is a community outreach program that provides opportunities for urban youth and adults to explore, enjoy and protect the natural world. Join us at our March 7 Bi-Annual BrewFest fundraiser and raffle party for a chance to meet other volunteers and support the Boston ICO organization and our mission of bringing kids outside. We provide safe, fun, and educational outdoor experiences to youth that would not otherwise have access to these opportunities. Rucker Alex, Chair, More info and sample trip reports:

A Moral Response to Climate Change
February 9, 2013 - 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Unitarian Universalist Church
840 Sandwich Road Falmouth, MA
Religious leaders discuss religious organizations and their response to climate change. Part of the "Groundhog Days on Cape Cod" series. This event is being developed with the support of Interfaith Power and Light and the Sierra Club's Cape Cod and Islands Group. For additional information, please contact Bob Murphy. (508) 563-5948. 

Committee Meetings

Chapter Transportation Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 5, 2013 Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Chapter Office, 10 Milk Street #417, Boston
Use 294 Washington St. entrance
Furture meeting(s):
Tuesday, April 2
The highways that are built to sustain our sprawling suburbs add to our pollution and energy problems, and increase our dependence on an auto-centric way of life which is unhealthy, anti-social, and unsustainable. The Big Dig has drained fiscal support away from maintaining the deteriorating highways that we already have and from expanding our public transit infrastructure, beyond a few ill-conceived projects like the "Silver Line" bus and the "Urban Ring" busway. Join the Chapter Transportation Committee us to help the Sierra Club encourage public transit and pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly neighborhoods.  John Kyper,  Click here for more

Thoreau Group Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday, February 5, 2013, 7pm - 8:30pm
Location TBA, contact Group Chair for more information
The Thoreau Group executive committee meets the first Tuesday of the month unless otherwise noted. Group meetings are free and open to Sierra Club members. This group consists of Concord and 11 neighboring towns. Meetings focus on local initiatives, building awareness of and support for Sierra Club programs and capacity building through town team development. Launa Zimmaro, Group Chair

Greater Boston Group Executive Committee Meeting
Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 , 7 pm
Chapter Office, 10 Milk Street #417, Boston
Use 294 Washington St. entrance
Free and open to all Sierra Club members. Ask questions, make suggestions, find out what you can do. Learn whether your state senator and representative are environmental leaders. Meetings focus on local initiatives, building awareness of and support for Sierra Club programs and capacity building through town team development. For details contact

Cape Cod & the Islands Group Excom Meeting
Monday, February 11, 2013, 7-8:30 P.M.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth
840 Sandwich Road in East Falmouth (call 508-457-0449 if you need directions) Upcoming Meetings: Second Monday of each month (meeting locations may vary)
Excom meetings are open to all Sierra Club members living on Cape Cod and there is no charge The meeting agenda includes announcements on recent activities or upcoming events and discussion of Group campaigns (environmental justice; climate change; wastewater; municipal solid wastes; civic engagement and outreach). Contact: Bob Murphy, Chair,

Massachusetts Chapter Executive Committee Meeting
Date TBD
Chapter Office, 10 Milk Street #417, Boston
Use 294 Washington St. entrance
Free and open to all Sierra Club members. Ask questions, make suggestions, find out what you can do. Learn whether your state senator and representative are environmental leaders. Hear updates on the chapter's varied work to protect the environment. For details contact Dan Proctor; see contacts page for email address. 

Chapter Political Committee
Tues. Feb 12, 2013, 6:30pm
Chapter Office, 10 Milk Street #417, Boston
We will be meeting in one of the Sierra Club offices, tba
Politicos, Activists, Organizers, Bloggers, People who like to breathe clean air... the Sierra Club needs YOU! Do you want to make sure we elect politicians who want to protect the environment? Do you enjoy politics and want to make a difference in elections? The Sierra Club needs your help! The Chapter Political Committee endorses and supports environmental candidates in local, state, and national elections. This meeting would be a great opportunity to see what the Political Committee does. Contact 

Twitter: @MassSierraClub         Facebook:  Mass Sierra Club  

We Need Your Support!
We depend on your generous direct support of our statewide initiatives including working towards a clean energy future, curbing climate change and advocating for critical environmental legislation. Click here to donate 

Other Mass
Chapter Pages

Mass Chapter
Beyond Coal Mass.
Ban Plastic Bags
Bottle Bill


Volunteer Opportunities
There are many ways you can get involved with the Sierra Club's activities. Click here for more information.


The Sierra Club is the nation's largest and oldest grassroots organization with 1.4 million members and supporters, 22,000 of which are here in Massachusetts. We fight for clean air, clean water, the preservation of the Commonwealth's most precious natural spaces, and healthy, vibrant communities.

About the E-Sierran
The E-Sierran is the electronic newsletter of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Sierra Club. In an effort to reduce printing costs and the environmental impacts of print communications, the Chapter publishes this monthly e-newsletter to members and subscribers. In accordance with our privacy policy the Sierra Club does not sell or otherwise disclose emails or other such user information outside the organization.

Contact Information:

Massachusetts Sierra Club
10 Milk Street, Suite 417
(weekends/evenings, enter at 294 Washington St.)
Boston, MA 02108
Tel:617-423-5775, Fax: 617-890-0338

Photo of solar panels by US Navy via Wikipedia Commons.