The Environmental Issue

The Environmental Issue is one that I’ve been excited to put together for some time. It’s a subject that has become increasingly important to me, and as I look around at my neighbors in Somerville and Cambridge, I can tell it is on their minds as well.

In this edition, we address the threat climate change poses head on. “We are going to be dealing with a very different flooding and heat landscape,” Oliver Sellers-Garcia, director of the Office of Sustainability and Environment, tells us in our piece on the city’s climate action plan, which outlines the path to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 (p.34). It’s serious, and at times grim, as is the reality that climate change and pollution don’t affect all groups equally, which we examine with a story on a new research project from Tufts University (p.16).

But we also want to use this issue as an opportunity to celebrate the work our neighbors and local businesses are doing to hold themselves accountable regarding their treatment of the environment. What we’ve found is quite exciting.

Local breweries are turning spent grain into bread and reducing water use to counteract the copious amount of resources needed to make beer (p.18). Companies working out of Greentown Labs are gathering data and creating products that will allow us to use less heat and destroy fewer rainforests (p.24). Recover Green Roofs is increasing green space while aiding in stormwater management (p.30). And Earthwise Aware (p.22) and Groundwork Somerville (p.28) are creating avenues for people to engage with their environment, even in our urban landscape.

We hope their work inspires you as much as it has inspired us.


Reena Karasin

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