Stefanie Valovic is making Southie a little greener. Last summer, Stefanie and her husband Aaron began Planet Southie after feeling distressed about the environmental degradation of the world. They decided to try something positive on a local level by pulling together from various green South Boston initiatives and organizing a group that would promote green work and collaboration by way of meetings, a website, newsletters, and social media. Their mission is not only making South Boston greener but to raise awareness about environmental problems in the neighborhood.
In the past year Planet Southie has helped two groups start two additional green initiatives: Southie Trees – a group that helps protect existing mature trees, care for trees throughout the city and plant new trees wherever they can.
Southie Bikes – an initiative that promotes riding a bike as an alternative to using cars and safer bike routes in South Boston.
Currently Planet Southie is trying to get an energy savings group off the ground as well.
Scoop on Stefanie:
- Grew up on the South Shore
- Lives with her husband Aaron and their dog Milo on West Second Street
- Favorite childhood memory – longs days at Nantasket and Paragon Park.
- Favorite take out spot – Land of Pizza – “We order more often than we’d like to admit!”
- Favorite Restaurant – “We recently tried Wolfie’s and loved it!”
- Favorite Bar – “The Blackthorn! Aaron is a huge soccer fan and we always feel so welcome there.”
- Favorite spot in Southie – The No Man’s Land garden between Thomas Park and the high school. The garden is a project of Medicine Wheel Productions. It is very peaceful and beautiful. It also has a compelling and beautiful story behind it (read about it here: http://mwponline.org/projects/nml.html).
- One of the reason that Southie is Stefanie’s hometown is the strong sense of community and the fact that its residents are all so friendly. She has lived all over the greater Boston area and has never felt more at home then here in South Boston. She loves walking down the street and seeing friends. She also loves the duality of Southie – the fact it is so close to the city and has beautiful beaches. “I love my 10 minute bus ride to work in the South End too,” says Stefanie.
Why is being green so important?
Being green is a matter of community pride. Taking part in clean-ups, or stopping to thank those cleaning up, help with not only with the beautification of South Boston but strengthen the ties within it. “When we do clean ups, people stop and say thanks and sometimes pitch in,” says Stefanie. Environmental issues can be daunting and even overwhelming, but by doing little things, it can make a big difference.
Here are some simple ways to go green
- Riding or walking to work or school
- Recycle and responsibly dispose of hazardous waste
- Shop at the Farmer’s Market on Mondays
- Volunteer at South Boston Grows.
- For more ways to go green: https://caughtinsouthie.com/lifestyle/8-steps-greener-new-year
- Planet Southie is also encouraging residents to take part in Renew Boston – a free energy savings and weatherization service. Stefanie believes it is important to get on their list for a free home assessment now, because it can take several weeks. Before we know it, temps will be dropping and Renew Boston helps homeowners and renters save on heating costs and save energy. Sign up for a free energy assessment here: http://nextsteplivinginc.com/bdedc/?outreach=Dorchester%20Bay%20EDC&utm_source=Planet+Southie+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9c9baabade-Plug_In_Southie_8_19_2011&utm_medium=email
Also, on a community level Stefanie applauds South Boston efforts like South Boston Grows (community gardens), the Action Center’s South Boston Environmental Empowerment Project, the Health Center’s Youth Ambassador clean ups, Southie Trees, Southie Bikes, Neighborhood Association garden projects and many others.
With her dedication to the community and her drive to make it a better place, Stefanie Valovic is a valuable and vital part of South Boston and we are proud to call her one of our own. She is a smart, warm, and enthusiastic person. Her passion of greening our community and spreading the word is motivating and contagious. Just attend one of Planet Southie meeting and you’ll see for yourself.
If you would like to volunteer or just be informed, all are welcome to Planet Southie monthly meetings. Check our website at www.planetsouthie.org for info.