Green Christmas in New England – Global Warming? Got Solar?

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Today is Christmas day. Here in New England, we often dream of a white Christmas, and we often get one. But for the last few years, Christmas day has been green. Some years we had snow before Christmas, only to have it all melt before Christmas Day. This year, not a flake, and today, it was close to 65 degrees. I began to think that instead of a turkey, I should have had a BBQ.

After the kids finished opening their gifts, I want for a walk. People were out in shorts, and as I walked by the lake, after saying Merry Christmas to a neighbor, we talked about the unusual warm weather. I said it was almost warm enough for swimming and she told me she was thinking of going Kayaking.


Last year in New England, after a green Christmas, Boston had the snowiest season on record. Yet, many people question whether or not Global warming is happening. Last night, while walking down town looking at the Christmas lights, I mentioned the unusual warmth to a passer-by, mentioning global warming, and she thought the weather was great, just like Christmas in California.

Dispute this person’s statement, I am hopeful, as final more than 70% of people believe that global warming exists, as found by a recent opinion poll by Yale University.  After watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Incontinent Truth” in 2006, I knew I wanted to do something to make a difference – something to slow this warming trend. It is very clear when you see aerial photos, taken before and after picture taken of Antarctica, with huge chunks of glacier ice, the size of country break off, it is clear that this is a very real problem. It should be required that all middle school students watch Al Gore’s documentary:

“You see that pale, blue dot? That’s us. Everything that has ever happened in all of human history has happened on that pixel. All the triumphs and all the tragedies, all the wars all the famines, all the major advances… it’s our only home. And that is what is at stake, our ability to live on planet Earth, to have a future as a civilization. I believe this is a moral issue, it is your time to seize this issue, it is our time to rise again to secure our future.”

Even my 6 year old daughter realizes that there is something wrong, if it feels like summer on Christmas day. Today, while playing outside, with flip flops and shorts, this is what she said to me: “it feels like summer but it is winter, but it is Christmas… Because there is pollution which is causing global warming, which is causing it not to snow, at my Nana’s house the Crocus are growing and trees are budding already.”


This kind of weather worries me. Global warming is not just about warm winters, but extreme weather patterns.


Now, I have finally found a way to make a difference. First, I will soon have solar panels installed on my roof, which has the environmental impact of planting 3030 trees. Second, I have found a way to become a green energy ambassador with my part time green energy business. I am working hard to educate people, to let them know they have a choice of where their energy comes from.


Please share with me what you are doing to decrease your environmental footprint.

By day, Rachelle, working mother of two, serves as an education advocate and career advisor for MassEdCO. By night, Rachelle provided career consulting and works to promote green energy. When Rachelle is not writing her blog, advising her students, or coaching her clients, she enjoys camping and going to the theater with her two children.

Follow Rachelle on Twitter at @RLappinen and follow her blog at


About Rachelle Lappinen

​Rachelle Lappinen is a Career and Academic Consultant and a Green Energy Ambassador. Currently, Rachelle serves as an education advocate for MassEdco working with high school students on college and career navigation. Rachelle also consults working with MIT on a research program, researching the effects of long-term unemployment on the middle class and developing best practices to help this population. Rachelle has worked at Mount Wachusett Community College, the YWCA and Becker College as a Career Development Counselor. Before becoming entering the field of workforce development, Rachelle spent over 10 years working as an insurance underwriter. Throughout her coaching and volunteer experiences, Rachelle has been noted for her determination and persistence to help those in need of career guidance. As a volunteer, Rachelle is actively involved with the non-profit organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Leominster and Fitchburg and the Center for Women and Enterprises. Prior to entering the coaching world, Rachelle was a senior group insurance underwriter for Unum, and sales representative for Prudential Financial. She actively involved with the Career Counselors Consortium and is a member of the Career Resource Rachelle M. Lappinen, MBA, GCDF, CPRW
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