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.


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:

Environmental Working Group App, Healthy Living:


  • Oeko-Tex certification:

  • 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


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. 


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

  • EWG Sunscreen Guide:

Lawn Care:

Video about Healthy Yards in Wellesley:

Organic Landscapers that Service Wellesley:

Letter from the Wellesley Board of Health and NRC about toxic lawn chemicals:

Reading Labels: 

EWG guide to label decoding:

Stink! documentary resources page:

Silent Spring Institute

Sustainable Wellesley:

Wellesley Natural Resources Commission:

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.

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:

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.


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.



Preview YouTube video Healthy Yards in Wellesley

Phyllis Theermann

The air inside our homes is, on average, 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside, largely because of household cleaners and pesticides.

The Dirty Truth about Cleaning Products 
Tips on Keeping Your Kids and Family Safe

Wednesday, October 13, 2010 
from  7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Wakelin Room in The Wellesley Public Library

Come hear speaker, Joy Onasch, from the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) at UMass Lowell give an overview of where toxic materials can be found in our homes and how to find safer alternatives for everyday household cleaning products.
Sponsored by The Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project (WCPP) a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that studies the relationship between cancer and the environment with the goal of reducing health risk factors for Wellesley residents and surrounding communities.

Phyllis Theermann

As the nights get longer, the amount of energy that we use for lighting increases significantly

Many of us have changed some of the bulbs in our houses but sometimes we get stuck with an unusual bulb type or buy one that has poor color. Dont dispair, many of the bulbs that used to be hard to find such as recessed can flood bulbs can now be found in many stores (try local first!). Another good source is

Here are some favorites.  The bulbs in the pendant and shaded fixtures are 5 watts each, enough to light a kitchen/family room with 25-40watts total lighting.

dimmable Pendant bulb                 Candelabra bulb                  Torpedo bulb 14watts

Each of the above bulbs is enclosed so that the spiral is not seen and therefore need about 1-2 minutes to reach full brightness, but offer warm white light with pleasing aesthetics and 75% reduced energy use.

A few things to watch out for:

  • Only bulbs marked “dimmable” or “three-way” can be used in dimmable or three way fixtures.
  • Electronic light switches with fade-on / fade-off switching do not work well with CFL
  • Many enclosed CFL require 1-2 minutes to come up to full brightness.

**from – An ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) will save about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75 percent less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.