TOMORROW – Imagine the Possibilities in Newburyport!

Interested in getting involved, sign up here.

A group of about 30 met on Wednesday, July 12 at the Newburyport Public Library to reflect on and discuss the documentary film TOMORROW. The film highlights examples of communities around the globe working to address some of the most challenging issues facing us and our planet through positive, local action. It provides examples of local initiatives in agriculture, energy generation, transportation, the economy and democratic action.

Transition Newburyport facilitated the discussion. The participants were asked “Which examples from “Tomorrow” would you most like to see happen in the Greater Newburyport area.” They wrote out their ideas individually and then broke into self-organized groups to explore how the ideas might be developed here. At the end of the gathering, the groups reported out on their discussion.

Curbside Composting
Advocate for continuation and expansion of pilot composting program citywide.

Host multi-generational roundtables on the environment.
Redefine growth in terms of quality rather than quantity..
Envision the future.

Community energy aggregation favoring renewables
Community energy generation group
Ward competitions for energy conservation

Food Growing
Identify and use unused space to grow food
Develop program to match unused land with people who want to garden
Explore permaculture

Transportation Alternatives (Bike, Ped, Public Transit)
City infrastructure is not well laid out for walking and biking
Explore use of jitney buses for in-town transport
Explore citywide bike hub rental stations
Implement Newburyport Greenway/Middleway

Address the Emerald Ash Borer threat

Promote meatless Mondays
Local Food Climate Cafe on August 13 at Parker River Wildlife Refuge

The next step agreed upon is to reconvene these topic-specific groups to further explore these and other related ideas. Transition Newburyport will facilitate setting up the next meetings for these interest groups. Those who were not able to come to the July 12 meeting are welcome to join in.

If you are interested in getting involved, sign up here.

Questions? Feel free to email

Here’s a full list of written responses to the question, “Which example(s) from Tomorrow would you most like to see happen in the Greater Newburyport area,”

A Zero-Waste Life – Jan 23 at 6:30 PM

A Zero-Waste Life
Yes, You Can Live Waste-Free in Newburyport (and other places, too!)

Join Christin Walth, from Newburyport’s Recycling Committee- Towards Zero Waste Newburyport , on Monday, January 23rd at 6:30 PM in the Program Room of the Newburyport Public Library, where she will share her practices and strategies for living a zero-waste life.

zero-waste-logoAfter years of living in Sweden, Christin returned to the US and had repatriation shock regarding American consumption and the amount of waste generated in US households. She conducted several New Year’s Resolutions experiments including not purchasing anything but food for a year, not purchasing any packaged food for a year, drinking nothing but tap water for a year, and went totally Zero Waste in January 2011. She has been working on perfecting the lifestyle ever since.

In 2012, the City of Newburyport’s Recycling and Energy Office applied for and received a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant to coordinate a zero waste pilot program. The program goal was to enhance and expand the city’s established bi-weekly single-stream curbside recycling program to a comprehensive program for responsibly disposing of almost any household item, as well as a follow-on pilot curbside organics composting program.

A major take away from the pilot was that too often the focus is on the Recycling component of zero waste, but that should be choice only after other options are exhausted. She’ll discuss recycling options but will also cover the more important Rs — Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rehome, Repair, Repurpose, and Rot. Audience questions (and challenges!) are very welcome to help attendees ponder steps they might be willing to take to decrease their waste footprint.

Christin continues to constantly research, develop, and refine her zero-waste practice not only to diminish waste but to make it more convenient to responsibly dispose of discards.

This program is sponsored by Transition Newburyport and the North Shore Permaculture Collaborative. For more information email

Community Showing of “Bag It” – May 22nd at 7 PM

An informative, inspiring and often funny documentary about plastic pollution, ‘Bag It’ tells the story of the real effects of plastics on the natural environment and human health. This public showing is a part of an ongoing to effort to work toward reducing single-use plastic bags in Newburyport. Co-sponsored by Citizens for Sustainable Bagging, Newburyport High School Environmental Club, The Gulf of Maine Institute and Transition Newburyport. The screening will be at Newburyport High School.

Look for the Citizens for Sustainable Bagging–Newburyport, MA Facebook page or call Janine Brunell Looker at (978) 499-8570 for more information.

By transitionnewburyport Posted in Zero Waste

Is Your Life Too Plastic? “Bag It” – Sept 16 at 4 PM & Sept 26 at 7 PM

In the US, it is estimated that we use 60,000 plastic bags every five seconds; most of these are thrown away. But where is “away”? Many communities and individuals have become concerned about the effects of plastic bags on our soil and water, marine life and even on extreme weather events by blocking storm drains. Simple steps can be taken by everyone to reduce the use of single-use plastic bags in our lives.

In the greater Newburyport community, a group has been formed called Citizens for Sustainable Bagging to learn more about these issues and look for ways that we can help reduce the number of plastic bags that are thrown away each day. Two meetings have been scheduled for all who would like to work on this issue. A film called “Bag It” will be shown to kick off the discussion at both meetings. “Bag It” began as a documentary film about plastic bags and evolved into an investigation of plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. The film is appropriate for all ages and families are welcomed and encouraged to attend.

The film screening is co-sponsored by Community Resilience Circles and Transition Newburyport and will be hosted on Sunday, September 16th at 4:00 PM by the Central Congregational Church at 14 Titcomb Street in Newburyport and Wednesday, September 26th at 7:00 PM by the Amesbury Friends Meeting at 120 Friend Street in Amesbury.

Following the September 16th program at Central Congregation Church, all are invited to participate in the Local Flavor Community Potluck Picnic at 5:30 PM.

Look for the Citizens for Sustainable Bagging–Newburyport, MA Facebook page or call Janine Brunell Looker at (978) 499-8570 for more information.

By transitionnewburyport Posted in Zero Waste