Who We Are

Founded in 1990, Green Newton (formerly Green Decade Newton) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our members and volunteers work to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems facing our city and our world, often in collaboration with City government and schools, and with other nonprofits across Massachusetts.

Our programs and advocacy build awareness, provide opportunities for public dialogue, and educate about and empower citizens to take personal and civic action to protect our environment.

Our members include people who live or work in Newton and neighboring communities, as well as representatives of community organizations, institutions and businesses.

In 2013, The Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM), the oldest statewide environmental advocacy group in the Commonwealth, honored Green Decade Newton for their “Outstanding Community Leadership Protecting the Environment.” Green Newton was also honored to receive a 2015 New England Merit Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).

Our Mission

Green Newton is dedicated to creating an environment in better balance with the natural world by making significant, measurable improvements in the way we use resources. Goals include helping households, businesses and institutions to:

  • Increase energy efficiency and seek alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuels
  • Use integrated pest management and organic alternatives to pesticides
  • Promote high performance/green building measures
  • Prevent pollution through source reduction and reduced consumption
  • Promote reuse and recycling practices
  • Improve waste disposal practices
  • Conserve water and other resources

History

In the late 1980’s, Louise Bruyn brought together local environmental activists to form the Green Decade/Newton (now known as Green Newton) to work on global warming issues and the protection of our natural resources.

Louise Bruyn’s longtime activism is a model to all. In 1971, she walked from Newton to Washington, DC to protest the Vietnam War and her journey is recorded in her must-read book She Walked for All of Us. She has been an all star community leader, who also spent much of her time working on issues of peace and justice.

Louise thoughtfully devoted several years to serve as Green Newton’s first president from 1990 to 2000, minus a one-year respite, as co-editor of the Green News for 19 years. Under her inspiring leadership, our organization made a significant difference in our community by educating and motivating hundreds of residents to work with our organization to make steady progress on environmental protections and conservation.

The Bruyn Fund was established in honor of our founder and president emerita, Louise Bruyn. The Bruyn Fund encourages and rewards Newton students and teachers who identify and investigate solutions to environmental problems.

To contribute to the Bruyn Fund, go to the ‘Donate’ page and enter ‘Bruyn Fund’ in the ‘Reason for Contribution’ box. Contributions are fully tax-deductible.

Green Newton Board Members

MCooperMarcia Cooper, President
President since 2008; Board member since 2005. Leads Green Newton public affairs and outreach to City leaders and partners with external organizations in support of Green Newton’s mission.
JPurdyJim Purdy, Vice President, Transportation/Smart Growth Committee Chair, Communications Committee, Governance Committee
Jim led Green Living and Eco-team groups, and is a long-time member and officer of Friends of Hemlock Gorge. As a land use planning consultant, Jim works with communities to incorporate sustainability into their comprehensive plans and to support pedestrian and bicycle transportation and open space planning.
SCushingSharon Cushing, Treasurer
Sharon Cushing taught social studies for 10 years and has worked for 25 years as a financial/retirement advisor. She believes it is our responsibility to honor, protect and enjoy our beautiful planet.
JCheng Jack Cheng, Clerk/Secretary, Social Media Chair, Communications Committee, Governance Committee
Jack is committed to keeping our planet and our community safe and chemical-free for our children and ourselves. His first major upgrades to his house were largely invisible but substantial: insulation blown into the walls and new windows. Biking and gardening are among his many interests.
DRubenDan Ruben, Chairman of the Board
Board member since 1996. Executive Director, Boston Green Tourism. Dan has coached more than 25 Household Eco-teams; also a board member of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance.
coryalpersteinCory Alperstein, Advocacy
Cory is an educational consultant, currently working with high school students who seek support with their college search and admissions process. She has been involved in arts education for many years and believes the arts are critical to social and political change.  Cory also works on climate change issues as an active member of 350 Mass, Newton node, and on projects with environmental photographer, Bill Hoo.
Karen Bray, School Connections, Healthy Homes and Lawns
Member since 1991. Karen enjoys combining the arts and environmental education. She has produced dance/theatre performances in the Newton Schools to teach kids about recycling and care of the earth and is the heads “Newton CALM” (Citizens Against Leaf Blower Mania). Self-employed as a PT, Karen takes clients outdoors often. Karen envisions kitchen waste/compost collection at the curb in Newton.
Claudine Ellyin, Solid Waste, Water, Renewables, Energy Efficient Homes
Claudine received a MS Degree from Columbia University in Earth Resources Engineering with an emphasis on sustainable waste management and is currently the sustainability director for Mass College of Art. Claudine contributes her experience and education toward making Newton as clean and green of a community as possible.
craigheadshotCraig Forman, Energy Efficiency Committee Chair
After a 30+ year career in Engineering, working in telecom and medical devices, Craig is now a professional trader and teaches trading equity options. He also teaches a class in Going Solar at local community education programs. He regularly contributes articles to Green Newton on solar energy and leads the Newton Goes Solar program.
PHoltPaul Holt, Fund-raising/Membership Committee
Paul is committed to keeping our planet and our community safe and chemical-free for our children and ourselves. His first major upgrades to his house were to have insulation blown into the wall and new windows, and recently, Paul had a solar hot water systems installed.
SKahngSunwoo Kahng, Web Editor, Education & Communications Committee Chair, Waste Reduction Committee
Building a LEED Silver home in Newton inspired Sunwoo to become an advocate for energy and resource efficiency. She is active in her childrens’ school community promoting green practices. She is also an avid gardener who believes in feeding the soil but is ok with not turning the compost.
Carolyn Lattin, School Connections Committee Co-Chair
teacher and a lifelong environmentalist (recycling, composting, water-saving, grocery-bag-toting, EV-driving, solar panel owner). Also on the Mothers Out Front Newton Steering Committee, working to raise awareness of methane leaks around Newton, decrease dependence on natural gas, and increase reliance on renewables. Interested in helping the city adopt plastic water bottle and polystyrene bans.
LLevinLois Levin, Transportation Committee Chair
Board member since 2005. Has written numerous articles for the Newton TAB; also volunteers at Newton Farmers Market and other events. Initiated first annual BikeNewton event in May 2008.
BrtiaLunbergBrita Lundberg, Waste Reduction Committee
Brita is a delegate from the Charles River District to the Massachusetts Medical Society, where her interest lies in public health and health policy issues. She has presented on the health dangers of plastics.  An internist and infectious diseases physician, Brita is working to launch a private “house call” practice.
KMalloryKen Mallory, Greening Our Community Coordinator, Communications Committee
Former organizer of public programs for the New England Aquarium including the Lowell Lecture Series, an Environmental Writers Festival, a film festival, and Women in Science Program. Brings leadership to the Green Newton’s Greening Our Community Series at the Newton Free Library, as well as writing and photography skills. He has written 8 nonfiction books for children about the world of water and ocean science and helped develop many others.
Mindy Gregory SieberMindy Gregory Sieber, Governance Chair, Communications Committee,Planning Committee, Fund-raising/Membership
Board Member since 2012. Mindy founded an online store selling goods that are both sustainable and fair-trade called Upland Road | Eco-Boutique. She is also Acting Chair of the Newton Cultural Council and on the  Steering Committee of Newton Open Studios.
PSmithPeter Smith, Executive Committee, Communications Committee
A founding board member and Past President, Peter has been editor of the Green News.  He is Co-Chair of the Environment Committee of the Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce since 2007 initiating their Green Business Awards Breakfast and “Green Solutions EXPO” as well as coordinating outreach to businesses for the Eversource energy reduction program, Newton Business Energy Savers.
Andrew Thompson
Andrew has been teaching at Newton South High School since 2000, and co-created a senior elective in sustainability, which has helped students work to make Newton a greener and stronger community. Andrew has worked to make his home as efficient as possible, and had solar installed on his roof in early 2019. He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, running, and being outside as much as time allows.