by Administrator August 4, 2019 Columbi Gas community center Danger Eversource gas leaks health Methane National Grid protect our climate safety students
Last week, Sustainable Wellesley called on National Grid to fix the dozens of persistent gas leaks in Wellesley. The leaks emit vast amounts of methane, which is a dangerous and highly potent greenhouse gas that is contributing to global warming.
Sustainable Wellesley President Quentin Prideaux said, “We first started looking at gas leaks in Wellesley in 2015 when there were 197 leaks reported by National Grid — now there are 261. The leaks are actually getting worse and we need National Grid to step up to protect our climate, our safety, and our health.”
The Sustainable Wellesley action was part of a larger effort across the Boston metropolitan area led by Mothers Out Front, the Gas Leaks Allies, and other environmental groups frustrated by the lack of progress on gas leaks. In Boston, more than 100 protesters gathered on Cambridge Street near a 13-year old leak. Activists are particularly concerned that National Grid has backed away from its previous commitment to identify and repair the largest volume leaks, sometimes called “super-emitters.” These large volume leaks make up only about 7 percent of the more than 16,000 leaks in the state but they emit roughly 50 percent of the methane. The other large gas companies — Eversource and Columbia Gas — have already begun using the accepted method for identifying and repairing these leaks, while National Grid has said it will not do so until next year.
by Administrator June 5, 2019 bag ban bill (H.771/S.462) health plastic polution Representative Alice Peisch State Rep. Lori Ehrlich State Sen Becca Rausch State Senator Cynthia Creem State Senator Jamie Eldridge Town Meeting
Wellesley Town Meeting passed a bylaw restricting plastic bags back in 2016 — now 121 cities and towns in Massachusetts have passed plastic bag regulations! We need a state law that will help reduce plastic pollution even more and create consistent regulations for retailers across the state.
State Rep. Lori Ehrlich and State Senator Jamie Eldridge have proposed a strong bill (H.771/S.462) but lobbyists are trying to weaken it by removing a fee for paper bags, barring cities and towns from passing stronger bans in the future, and allowing many stores to continue to pass out plastic bags. All these changes would damage our efforts to reduce plastic waste and we can’t let that happen. The ocean is filling with plastic every day!
Sustainable Wellesley is joining the Conservation Law Foundation in asking you to contact Wellesley legislators:
Rep. Alice Peisch: Please thank Rep. Peisch for co-sponsoring H.771/S.462 and ask her to resist efforts to weaken the bill.
State Sen. Cynthia Creem: Please ask Sen. Creem to support H.771/S.462 and ask her to resist efforts to weaken the bill.
State Sen. Becca Rausch (representing Wellesley precincts B,F,G): Please thank Sen. Rausch for co-sponsoring H.771/S.462 and ask her to resist efforts to weaken the bill.
Here are some talking points:
Wellesley Town Meeting strongly approved the town bag bylaw and the bylaw has been successfully implemented for the past several years.
Plastic bags are consistently among the top six most common items found in cleanups. They’re dangerous to wildlife and can break down into micro plastics that end up in our drinking water, threatening our own health.
Plastic bags contaminate our recycling and jam up machinery, increasing costs to towns.
More than 100 Massachusetts cities and towns, from Pittsfield to Boston, have already passed bag bans and this bill would help reduce plastic pollution throughout our state.
A $0.10 fee on paper bags would encourage people to switch to reusable bags, which are the best option for the environment. Towns are prohibited from levying a fee on paper bags so a state law is the only way for that to happen.
Thanks for taking action to reduce plastic waste!
by Kelly Caiazzo May 22, 2019 cancer carcinogens and toxic chemicals cleaners cosmetics everyday products family health Household it matters labels lawn care safety Stink! sunscreen values vote
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.
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!
Apps for the phone:
Silent Springs Institute App, Detox Me: https://silentspring.org/
Environmental Working Group App, Healthy Living: https://www.ewg.org/
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
The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database: https://www.ewg.org/
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: http://www.
The Environmental Working Group Guide to Healthy Cleaners: https://www.ewg.org/
12 Homemade Cleaning Products that work from HuffPost (careful with vinegar on porous surfaces like marble): https://www.huffpost.com/
entry/12-homemade-cleaning- products-that-really-really- work_n_ 57853926e4b0e05f0523a9db
Books like Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson have recipes for making homemade cleaners, and the Wellesley Free Library has titles like Green Housekeeping by Christina Strutt and Natural Solutions for Cleaning & Wellness by Hallie Cottis.
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.
Look for sunscreens labeled “reef safe” and avoid oxybenzone and octinoxate in particular
EWG Sunscreen Guide: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
Video about Healthy Yards in Wellesley: https://www.
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
EWG guide to label decoding: https://www.ewg.org/
Stink! documentary resources page: https://stinkmovie.com/
Silent Spring Institute: https://
Sustainable Wellesley: www.sustainablewellesley.com
Wellesley Natural Resources Commission: https://
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!