Making Democracy Work

The Environment

LWV-Needham's Programs, Studies and Actions on the Environment

League Friday Forum: Invasive Plants: More than Just a Nuisance

Did you miss the September 2015 League Friday Forum about Invasive Plants: More than Just a Nuisance? Dr. Eric Olson, professor in the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program at Brandeis University, spoke to this issue.

Watch it here:

Organic Lawncare

Click here for a link to a pamphlet about pesticide use on your lawn.

The Water Resources Committee has worked with the Needham Board of Health on promoting the importance of organic lawncare. Read more about organic lawncare.

For more information, contact the Needham Board of Health ( or call: 781-455-7523: FAX: 781-455-0892) or check these websites:

10% Energy Challenge

LWV-Needham, as a founding member of the Green Needham Collaborative, in 2009, encouraged Needham residents to participate in the 10% Energy Challenge to reduce their energy use and save money. Members submitted plans to reduce their carbon footprint. Possible actions include unplugging a second refrigerator, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents, reducing flying or driving miles, adding vegetarian meals to the weekly menu, or taking other actions presented by the 10% Energy Challenge.

Community Solar Challenge

Many League members supported the 2008 Needham Solar Challenge by donating and by spreading the word to family, friends, and neighbors. The campaign was a success far beyond our expectations. With a total of 281 new contributors to the New England Wind Fund, a large amount of money was raised for supporting wind power, and Needham earned a 2kW Photovoltaic Array which the Town installed at the High Rock School in 2010. Plus, since each contribution to the New England Wind Fund triggered a matching amount paid into an energy fund for Needham, the Town obtained more than $21,000 to spend on clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

Needham Summit on Energy and the Environment

This October 2011 collaboration of Olin College, Needham League of Women Voters, and Green Needham included a conversation with David Cash and Anthony Brooks about the Massachusetts 2020 plan and the roles of the state and communities in achieving it.

The forum included: interested citizens; town leaders; students from Olin, Wellesley, and Babson Colleges; Needham students; representatives from businesses, houses of worship, and community groups; and legislators.

Visit Green Needham's Summit Resource Page where information and resources are maintained and updated.

Green Energy Tour of Needham Homes

View the 2011 Home Energy Tour flier

Click here for more details.

If you want more information about individual houses on the Green Energy Tour, click here.

Envisioning a Sustainable Needham

On October 19, 2009, Award-winning architect and urban planner Paul Lukez inspired us with ideas and examples of how suburbs can thrive in the 21st Century. An accompanying environmental fair with town planners and community groups displayed exciting plans for Needham, including bike paths, nature trails, and "smart growth" in Needham center.

For a copy of the event flyer, click here.

Food for Thought: Eating Well for Ourselves and the Planet

In October 2008, the Climate Action Committee featured the internationally acclaimed food activist, Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and many other books. She informed us how to choose foods that promote health and help reduce global warming. An accompanying environmental fair featured various local food-related efforts, such as the Needham Community Farm committee, local community supported agriculture, the neighborhood farm project, and promoters of "edible landscaping." As a bonus, we provided some great vegetarian recipes! For more information about Frances Moore Lappé click here.

For a copy of the event flyer, click here.

Global Warming: How You Can Make a Difference

The 2007 Fall Forum was an ambitious and lively event that offered a wealth of information on how individuals can take action to fight climate change. It attracted 120 people, a number that attests to the increasing awareness of climate change.

The keynote presentation given by Larry Chretien, executive director of the Mass. Energy Consumers Alliance, can be seen by clicking here.

The keynote was followed by four breakout sessions: Solar Energy in the Home, Cutting Home Energy Use, Fuel Efficient Cars, and A Citizen-based Approach to Global Warming.

View Lilah Glick's presentation about Clean Power Now.

Read a newspaper article about this Fall Forum.

In Needham buildable open space is rapidly disappearing. What can each of us do to keep our Town as green and livable as possible? We can plant street trees and take care of the trees already growing in our yards. Here are some of the benefits we derive from the trees growing around our homes.