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).
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
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
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.
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. Jim led Green Newton’s effort to help our community save energy and money on street lighting.
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.
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.
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.
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. Realizing that climate change is the most pressing issue of our time, she attended a three day leadership training in 2015 at the Climate Reality Project. Cory also works on climate change issues as an active member of 350 Mass, Newton node, and on projects with environmental photographer, Bill Hoo.
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.
Karen heads “Newton CALM” (Citizens Against Leaf Blower Mania): Newton City Council recently passed an ordinance increasing regulations on leaf blowers. Self-employed as a PT, Karen takes clients outdoors often. Karen envisions kitchen waste/compost collection at the curb in Newton.
With over 10 years of environmental engineering and sustainability industry experience, “Green Claudine’s” interests and passions are in sustainable waste management, water resources, renewable energy and resource efficient homes and buildings. She received a MS Degree from Columbia University in Earth Resources Engineering with an emphasis on sustainable waste management. Claudine contributes her experience and education toward making Newton as clean and green of a community as possible.
Lisa is Director of Annual and Special Gifts at Brandeis University. She enjoys hiking, biking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. A member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) since 1997, Lisa serves as an AMC Boston Chapter Local Walks leader and committee member. Her concern for the environment led her to volunteer for Green Newton promoting Newton Energy Savers and then accept a position on the board.
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 other environmental topics. In addition to working on the adoption of new solar projects, Craig attended the 2016 Mass Energy Bootcamp on how electricity can be delivered to homes and towns while helping to promote the development of local green energy sources.
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. Tennis, golf and cooking are among his many interests. Paul represents Green Newton on the Newton Non-Profit Networking Group.
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.
Board member since the early 1990s. Early activities included Transportation Day planning and tree planting for Earth Day. Member, High Performance Buildings Coalition.
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 adoption of Green Municipal Aggregation with an aggressive renewable component and helping the city adopt plastic water bottle and polystyrene bans. A teacher who helps other teachers provide more environmental education.
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.
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 conducted research on the detrimental environmental effects of coal for a traveling museum exhibit, The Rock that Changed the World, and advocates for improved energy efficiency as part of the Newton Energy $avers Project. An internist and infectious diseases physician, Brita is working to launch a private “house call” practice.
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.
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.
A founding board member and Past President, Peter has been Editor of the Green News, a bi-monthly newsletter since Green Newton was founded. 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.