Friday, October 1, 2010

Big "greener" doings afoot on 10/10/10!

This October 10 -- or 10/10/10, a date whose unique stamp is sparking many environmentally-conscious efforts -- St. Andrew's Church will be the launchpad for the Ayer Go Greener Challenge. This project offers residents of Ayer and other local towns a chance at prizes for making some not-too-difficult, inexpensive changes in their energy consumption habits. The grand prize will be a two-night stay for two at the Appalachian Mountain Club's Highland Visitor Center in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire.

Those who sign up for the challenge will be able to collect points for each step they take in the greener direction, whether it's contacting MassSaves for a free home-energy audit or changing out traditional light bulbs for lower-wattage options, and more. Children can help their families collect more points, for example, by remembering to turn off the water when brushing teeth or turn off lights when leaving rooms. For every 10 points, participants earn another entry toward winning prizes.

To help locals learn more about the types of steps they can take, St. Andrews will host inspirational events over the next several months -- and yes, attending any of these is worth additional points in the challenge. Currently planned are a kids' showing of the Disney movie "Wall-E," which has resonating environmental themes; a presentation geared toward helping families do what they can toward stemming climate change, and a pre-release screening of the film "Carbon Nation."

"Many people want to live green, but 'going green' can be such an overwhelming prospect," says Ayer resident Faith Salter, who is organizing the challenge. "So this event is to help residents see that they can take it in smaller, manageable steps -- going 'greener' a little at a time. All these seemingly small changes by individuals and families add up across the community."

To sign up or learn more about The Ayer Go Greener Challenge, you can go to the kickoff event on Oct. 10 at St. Andrews Church from 2 to 5 p.m., or register to begin collecting points by going to the church website. You can also join the Go Greener Group on The contest wraps up on January 1, 2011.

Ayer's Go Greener Challenge is registered with grassroots climate change action group, one of thousands of projects that will be part of the group's October "Global Work Party." To read more about this overarching effort, visit

Important info on town stormwater planning this Monday -- yes, tomorrow!

Dan Nason, superintendent of Ayer's Department of Public Works, will introduce plans for a stormwater enterprise fund to help cover the cost of Ayer's efforts to meet state and Federal stormwater management regulations during a public outreach and education session on Monday, Oct. 4., at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

Find new homes for your used winter sporting goods

As part of the Ayer Recycling Committee's Recycle Your Reusables Day on Oct. 23, People of Ayer Concerned about the Environment (PACE) will be holding a sale of gently-used winter sporting goods, from coats and boots to skates and hockey gear to skiing and riding equipment and snowshoes -- and more. If you have items in good condition that are taking up valuable space in your home, stop by one of several collection bins, conveniently located around town, to make donations for the sale:
  • Ayer Post Office
  • Ayer Public Library children's room entrance
  • Ayer High School gym entrance
  • Ayer-Shirley Middle School
  • Parker School

The sale, which benefits PACE and the Ayer Public Schools, will take place during the Recycle Your Reusables event on Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ayer High School.

Green goings on
Ayer Greenway Committee fall foliage walk
-- Saturday, Oct. 9, 9-11 a.m.
For an easy walk and nice views of Long Pond, meet at the end of Wright road, near the cut for a new subdivision. The rain date will be Oct. 10.

The Human Powered Vehicle Festival -- Saturday, Oct. 16, on the Nashua River Rail Trail, all day

Bring the family out for a bike ride to see fun and creative travel solutions, with events and booths on the trail in Ayer and Groton.