Kelly Caiazzo

Thank you to all who attended the Sustainable Wellesley and Wellesley Natural Resources Commission documentary screening of Stink!.

We packed the Wakelin Room with approximately 70 attendees in honor of Rachel Carson Day on May 27th. That’s a lot more people who are now aware of the fragrance loophole and lack of regulation of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals in our everyday products! 

Vote your values! As helpful as it is to know how to buy safer products personally, sweeping change happens when busy consumers don’t need to do their homework because of protective legislation. If the film resonated with you, consider making chemical regulations and transparency part of your voting agenda.

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Below are some resources to help simplify the process of making safer consumer choices. Because kids should be worried about what’s on their pancakes, not what’s in their pajamas!

Resources: 

Apps for the phone: 

Silent Springs Institute App, Detox Me: https://silentspring.org/detoxme/

Environmental Working Group App, Healthy Living: https://www.ewg.org/apps/

Textiles: 

  • Oeko-Tex certification: https://www.oeko-tex.com/en/consumer/consumers_home/consumers_home.xhtml

  • Avoid flame retardants, look for pajamas that say “wear snug fitting, doesn’t contain flame retardant”

  • Tip: Google “oeko-tex certified _____” to find products, you’ll often discover brands and companies that way for everything from sheets to shirts

Cosmetics: 

Household cleaners: 

Someone asked specifically about dishwasher pacs – I use this powder in my dishwasher, but there are dishwasher pods & pouches listed in the EWG guide as well. 

Sunscreen:

  • Look for sunscreens labeled “reef safe” and avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate in particular

  • EWG Sunscreen Guide:  https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

Lawn Care:

Video about Healthy Yards in Wellesley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xztcmcjH_f0&feature=youtu.be

Organic Landscapers that Service Wellesley: http://www.sustainablewellesley.com/organic-landscapers-servicing-wellesley/

Letter from the Wellesley Board of Health and NRC about toxic lawn chemicals: https://wellesleyma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/14672/Joint-Letter-from-the-Board-of-Health-and-NRC-about-Pesticides-in-Wellesley-2019pdf

Reading Labels: 

EWG guide to label decoding: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/content/decoding_labels

Stink! documentary resources page: https://stinkmovie.com/take-action/

Silent Spring Institutehttps://silentspring.org/

Sustainable Wellesley: www.sustainablewellesley.com

Wellesley Natural Resources Commission: https://wellesleyma.gov/418/Natural-Resources-Commission-NRC

Audience suggestions:

  • Consider googling soap nuts (soap berries) for laundry – some attendees have had great success, one person recommended ones originating from Nepal

  • When speaking to people to encourage environmental change, using language like “Would you consider…” is less likely to put them on the defensive. A great tip for initiating respectful conversations!

Additional questions: Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me if you’re having difficulty finding a product replacement or have questions. I’m not an expert, but I am an enthusiast who has found a lot of resources who are experts. I am happy to point you in the right direction or dive into the problem solving with you to find a solution that works. kelly.caiazzo@gmail.com

There’s also a local Facebook group where people swap resources and problem solve together to find more environmental solutions for living: Sustainable Living Wellesley Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/372633353537543/

Thank you so much to everyone who attended!

Jon Whelan, the film’s narrator and director, responded personally to our request for a non-profit screening license to show the film. I was able to send him the photo below from the event thanking him for the license and let him know how many attendees we had. Given how personal the film was for him after losing his wife to cancer, it was meaningful to me to share with him how many of you showed up to hear his message.

Thank you.

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Special Thanks to Raina McManus of the NRC for presenting, Dr. Michael McManus (Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry) for fielding the Q&A, and Sustainable Wellesley volunteers Ellie Perkins and Janie Penn.

 

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Preview YouTube video Healthy Yards in Wellesley

Phyllis Theermann

Bring your family, neighbors and friends to march about environmental concerns in the Wellesley Parade this Sunday. Folks are lining up at 12.45pm on the corner of Elm and Washington Streets. Bring a wagon for the little ones. We have butterfly signs and pinwheels for them to hold.

Look for the sailboat and an electric vehicle promoting healthy, clean wind energy as well as the butterflies and flowers promoting healthy lawns and pollinators.  Sustainable Wellesley, Wellesley Green Schools, Friends of Morses Pond, Wellesley Conservation CouncilWellesley Natural Resources Commission, Friends of Brookside and others will march together. It’s so much fun, please join us!

You will enjoy the shout outs and cheers from friendly spectators along the route.

We are grateful to Laurel for organizing us, the Bender Family for building the float, the Wellesley Municipal Light Plant for their support, and the Wellesley Wonderful Weekend Parade organizers.

There is a great deal of environmental enthusiasm in town. Simply, email info@SustainableWellesley.com to learn how you can get involved.

Phyllis Theermann

Wellesley Middle School student Vaani Kapoor and her sister organized a plastic pick-up day along Route 9 in April. After this event, where Wellesley students picked up 17+ bags of waste in less than a half a mile, Kapoor came to a Sustainable Wellesley event and a Natural Resources Commission meeting to discuss how to expand and sustain these efforts.

Now Kapoor, her family and many amazing Wellesley Middle Schools students will be doing another clean up this Sunday. Please consider joining them on Sunday, May 19th at 9 AM at the Middle School.

“There is unseen plastic all over our town” said Kapoor. “While we are celebrating Wellesley this weekend, the amount of litter will most likely increase. If you would like to help make a change, please join us this weekend for our second monthly plastic pickup,” Kapoor said enthusiastically.

Support this youth-led volunteer effort and show your Wellesley pride by limiting your waste, and picking up during and after the parade and fireworks.