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Making Hudson Fest Waste Free By 2026

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The 36th annual Hudson Fest will be Saturday, June 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. And, Green Hudson will be there in our third year of a 5-year plan to make Hudson Fest a zero-waste event.

Our strategy began in 2022, when we introduced and monitored 3 recycling stations for aluminum and #1 plastics. 

In 2023, we expanded our recycling to collecting glass and composting materials.

And this year, we are adding a 4th recycling and composting station. Each station will have a trash barrel, recycling barrel, and a bin for compost. Our friends at Black Earth Compost have agreed to pick up the material as part of their weekly Hudson route. Are you taking advantage of curbside composting?

For food vendors this year, Green Hudson is offering at $25 rebate to any participant that provides compostable, single-use items. With this incentive, we hope to encourage vendors to consciously consider compostable products. If you patronize a vendor who provides compostable, single use items, be sure to mention how much you appreciate their leadership in transitioning to a less wasteful business.

In 2025, Green Hudson will expand compost and recycling to all trash locations at Hudson Fest and expand our outreach to vendors to try to reach 100% compliance for compostable packaging.

And in 2026, we will attain our goal where all single use items distributed at the event will be recyclable or compostable, with minimal trash generated by the event.

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How you can help achieve zero waste every day:

1.  Bring a reusable bag from home. If you have your own bag, there’s no need to take another one from a store.

2.  Keep a zero-waste food kit in your reusable bag whenever you are getting take-out or have take-home food from a restaurant.

3.  Decline disposable, single-use items: no need to take a disposable straw. Come by the Green Hudson booth where we will be handing out reusable straws. Bring them with you whenever you might be getting something served with a straw.

4. When out and about, politely suggest to vendors that aren’t using compostable packaging and utensils that they consider doing so and thank those vendors that are using reusable or compostable utensils.

Civics Action Projects Presented

On Tuesday, May 28th, the Hudson High School cafeteria was filled with 8th-grade students and several upperclassmen presenting their Civics Action projects to family members and dozens of community members, including several from Green Hudson. Their projects analyzed complex community issues, engaged with local authorities, and used fact-based evidence to support their conclusions.

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This is the second year that the local chapter of the League of Women Voters has partnered with Hudson High School to sponsor a showcase of the student groups' civics projects, with over 200 students presenting nearly 80 projects on a wide range of topics. Green Hudson members served as contacts for students researching recycling, energy efficiency, sustainability, and trash and litter clean-up, and also participated as reviewers at the showcase.

Committee Reports

Climate and Energy Committee

The Climate and Energy team is exploring options to highlight the proposed use of propane for heating at the Lakemont development on Lake Boon. We are looking for ways to bring awareness to prospective customers that by asking for an electric heat pump for water and heat they can save money, be environmentally friendly, and avoid an expensive forced conversion in the future. Please reach out to Brian White, [email protected] if you are interested in joining.

Education and Outreach

Green Hudson's Outreach and Education committee is having a busy month. On May 28, we hosted our final Climate Cafe of the season. Joan Pillsbury, a Board member of Green Burial MA (greenburialma.org), talked about what green burial *is* and also what their organization is trying to do in MA. Current burial methods are highly toxic to the environment, and are also very expensive. You can explore an alternative green option by watching a recording of the presentation with slides, that should be posted on our website soon.

June 8th is Hudson Fest, and we are in our 3rd year of a 5-year outreach plan to make Hudson Fest waste free (our lead article in this issue). Many Green Hudson volunteers have signed up to staff our table during the day, plus we'll be managing 4 trash/recycle/compost stations. We'll be educating the public at each station about which "trash" can be recycled or composted. We see this as a great way to make Hudson Fest the pilot for making Hudson waste-free! If you come to Hudson Fest, please stop by our table and say hello when you head to the barrels.

Plastics Reduction Committee

The Plastics Reduction Committee is watching to see what happens with the new Omnibus Bill, an Act to Reduce Plastics. S.570/H.882 sponsored by Senator Becca Rausch, Senator Jamie Eldridge, and Rep. Ted Philips. It is now in the Ways and Means Committee. This bill seeks to reduce single-use plastics in many ways including plastic bags, straws, and polystyrene containers.

For more information on how you can reduce plastic use in your home and what is happening on the state level, check out greenhudson.org/plastic-reduction/. To help with our efforts, please
email: Elisa Pearmain [email protected].

Legislative Update

With the House and Senate versions of the budget now being reconciled in secret in a conference committee, it is time for our legislators to cobble together the final versions of bills that may have a chance of making it past the July 31 finish line. Two months is not a lot of time to deal with approximately 1200 bills sitting in the Senate and House Ways and Means Committee. Only a tiny fraction of those bills will ever come to a vote, although some, including several climate bills, will be mashed up into omnibus bills.

We expect that some form of a climate bill has a reasonable chance of getting to the governor’s desk given President’s Spilka’s public commitment to a bill and Rep. Roy’s strong interest in getting something done to accelerate decarbonization of the electric grid, but the content of a bill or bills remains unclear at this time.

The plastics reduction bill remains in Ways and Means.

Did You Know the USDA’s Gardening Zones Shifted?

In 2012, the USDA classified Hudson as Zone 6a. Back then, Hudson’s coldest winter temperature was somewhere between -10 and -5 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

In 2023, the USDA reclassified Hudson as Zone 6b. Now, the lowest winter temperature is between -5 and 0 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

That’s because the new average minimum temperature in Hudson is 4.6º F warmer than the previous average.

Most of the changes across the country are due to the warming climate. Winters are warming at a faster pace than other seasons, according to Deke Arndt, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information. At the same time, an increase in the amount and quality of data collected at weather stations across the country helped to improve the overall accuracy of temperature readings in recent years.

Venom and Saving the Planet

Great strides are being made in the medical field as scientists discover the wealth of resources found in the venomous animals on earth. Already, new medications for chronic pain (non-addictive), controlling sugar for diabetics, and high blood pressure are on the market.

Mande Holford discusses the power of venom and how it could one day save your life. She exhorts us to save the ecosystems that support venomous creatures; which can only be done by saving the planet.

Click here to watch Mande’s Ted Talk about venom and the important impact future discoveries will have on the health of humanity if we can save these creatures' ecosystems.

Lake Boone Fish Advisory

On May 23, 2024, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) notified the Hudson Board of Health of a new fish consumption advisory for Lake Boon in Hudson and Stow. The advisory says that sensitive populations should not eat Black Crappie and Largemouth Bass from Lake Boon and should limit consumption of other fish to 1 meal/6 months due to high levels of PFAs found in fish tissue. The report that led to this advisory can be viewed here.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large class of fluorinated synthetic chemicals that tend to break down slowly and can accumulate in humans, wildlife, and the environment. They are highly persistent and toxic.

PFAS are found at low levels in the environment, consumer products, and food, thus it is nearly impossible to eliminate all exposure. DPH recommends following fish consumption advisories at tested waterbodies and eating a variety of fish from safe sources.

Medical Mythbuster

Do Natural Insect Repellants Really Keep the Bugs Away?

Do they really work? The good news is that insect repellants that use natural ingredients can be effective. However, the essential oils used do tend to evaporate quickly from the skin. This means their effectiveness will not last as long as other man-made repellants (DEET and picaridin). So be aware you will need to apply natural repellants more often to get proper protection.

If you want to use a natural insect repellant, look for one that uses some of the ingredients below which have been proven to work well.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus

Used since the 1940’s, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is the only essential oil registered with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as being safe and effective for repelling mosquitoes. Keep in mind that insect repellants that use essential oils have the potential to cause skin reactions in people with sensitive skin.


A popular ingredient in many mosquito repellants, Citronella was originally used by the Indian Army to repel mosquitoes at the beginning of the 20th century. It was found to be a highly effective insect repellant in a 2011 research study. Keep in mind citronella can evaporate quickly from the skin if it is not formulated properly.

Tea tree oil

Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is made from a plant found in Australia. Popular in a number of skin-based products, tea tree oil can be a very effective insect repellant. This study performed in Australia showed that it worked well against flies, mosquitoes, and biting midges.

Soybean oil

A common ingredient in food, soybean oil can also be an effective bug repellant. When the University of Florida’s Medical Entomology Laboratory tested a number of repellants, they found that a 2% soybean oil formula repelled mosquitoes for 1.5 hours. While effective, products using soybean oil will probably need to be applied more often than others.

Thyme oil

A popular herb, thyme is often used to season food. However, thyme oil is considered to be one of the best essential oils for providing protection against mosquitoes. This 1999 study showed that thyme oil was a highly effective repellant that provided 1 ½ to 3 ½ hours of protection, depending on strength.

Whichever insect repellant you choose, be sure to read the directions and safety information on the label carefully. Wearing a hat and long sleeves outdoors is also a good way to keep from getting bitten by those pesky bugs!

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Climate Cafes will be taking the summer off. We will restart the fall season with our September Climate Cafe, featuring our State Senator Jamie Eldridge as our speaker. That will be on Tuesday, September 24th, in the Avidia Community Room. Come get an update on the many climate action and environmental bills that are now pending in the MA legislature. We hope to hear of some successes!

2024-2025 Transfer Station Tags Available!

2024-2025 Transfer Station tags are now available!

You can visit the DPW offices at 1 Municipal Drive, Monday through Friday, 8am–4pm OR purchase online at this link and for a $2 fee, tags can be mailed to your residence!

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Green Hudson's next meeting

will be at 6:00 p.m. 

on Sunday, June 16th,

at the Avidia Bank’s Community Room, 

located at 17 Pope St., Hudson

(rear parking lot, side of building 

near the drive thru)

or via zoom.

Agenda and zoom invites are sent out one week before meetings.

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Recycling Volunteers Needed!

Have fun! Meet your neighbors and

make new friends while helping the planet.

Recycling volunteers needed Saturdays.

For more information:

contact [email protected]

June is National Rivers Month, a time to celebrate the importance of rivers to our planet. Rivers are our planet’s lifeblood, providing essential services, including water, food, recreation, and transportation. Rivers also play a vital role in the global climate system by moderating temperatures and storing carbon dioxide.

 The Assabet River flows through   the town of Hudson providing a   powerful reminder of why we   want to protect the beauty the   earth provides. Scientists are   alarmed as we witness climate   change happening. We need to   do more to put a stop to the   threat.

 Join Green Hudson now to   learn more.

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You are invited

This newsletter is a work in progress. Send your comments and suggestions for articles, notable resources, relevant books, etc. to [email protected].

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For more information on Green Hudson...visit our website at www.greenhudson.org.

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