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

Kelly Caiazzo

Welcome to Kelly C’s lifestyle blog. Follow on her journey as she joyfully shares simple, real life solutions to lower impact living. You will be glad you did as she is funny too. Take it away Kelly…

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We hope you’re loving the summer sun as much as we are! Looking for environmentally friendly sunscreen options? We’ve got you covered.

Here are some ways you can go green with your sunscreen:

1. Look for sunscreens that are labeled “reef-safe”, especially if you’re going in the ocean.

2. Opt for zinc-based sunscreens when possible. Mineral-based sunscreens offer great protection and are the least disruptive to our health and the health of the environment.

3. If using a spray sunscreen is non-negotiable, look for one that contains just avobenzone and not oxybenzone. Whole Foods 365 makes a version with 3% Avobenzone that sprays clear.

4. Reduce your need for sunscreen by wearing a hat and long sleeved rash guard. Choosing clothing with an SPF rating of 50+ is the easiest way to stay safe in the sun – no need to reapply! Kids swimming in the pool will be wet enough to stay cool, and you can rest easy knowing their backs won’t burn.


5. Get the most out of your sunscreen by cutting open the tube so you can use every last drop, and choose recyclable containers when possible.

Did you know?

Oxybenzone is an ingredient in many sunscreens, but not only is it an endocrine disruptor, it’s also damaging to coral reefs. It’s such a hazard to our oceans that Hawaii is considering banning the use of oxybenzone sunscreens. Read a NY Times article about it here. Look for alternatives that are labeled “reef safe” – they’ll be safer for you, too.

Check out the EWG Sunscreen Guide:

The Environmental Working Group’s Skindeep database is an excellent resource for evaluating the safety of sunscreens and their efficacy. Their top kids’ sunscreen list includes a rating of it’s UVA/UVB balance as well as ranking the health concerns associated with ingredients.

ThinkSport is one of our favorite sunscreen brands – the “Everyday Face” sunscreen is slightly tinted to help reduce the visibility of the bright white sunscreen after application.