Phyllis Theermann

Greenpeace UK image

Two sisters, Ayesha & Vaani, are hoping to reduce plastic in local communities by elimination, education and prevention. These Wellesley Public School students have learned how plastic is destroying the Earth but are frustrated that not many people are doing anything about it. They want to make a change. They believe the first step to doing so is by picking plastic up from the streets of our own town.

Please join them on Saturday, April 27th from 2-3pm to pick up plastic, and other litter from the sidewalk of Route 9 that stretches from Cliff road to Kingsbury street.  Meet at the bottom of Cliff road, at the intersection with Route 16, where they will provide the trash collection bags and gloves.

“We would just like people to come with a positive attitude, and be ready to help, and if they cannot join us, we would love for people to go out to their backyards and streets and help remove plastic from their community,” said Ayesha & Vaani. “Thank you so much for all you help!”

They were aware of the challenges plastic creates in the world, but did not realize how people were personally being affected by it until they had the opportunity to visit India. There they saw first hand that people were living in areas where their houses were surrounded by plastic waste. They were inspired to bring some change and created The Project Plastic USA  – follow the initiative on Instagram @projectplasticusa.

Their goal is to reduce plastic locally by picking it up from the roads, educating people about the harms plastic creates, and lastly preventing large companies to produce single use plastic products. They are starting with the clean up in their neighborhood in hopes of motivating other communities to do the same – perhaps, eventually, reaching places similar to the ones they saw in India.

Kelly Caiazzo

I was running down Washington Street in Wellesley the other day when I saw what had to be one the biggest plastic bags I’ve ever seen. It was blowing around on the sidewalk, with some packaging air bubbles lying nearby.

It must have been around an enormous package and somehow gotten away from the recipient. I looked around and realized I was probably half a mile from the trash cans I knew were available in the center of town.

No helping it. I had to run with a giant trash bag billowing behind me and a fist full of packing bubbles.

I’d resigned myself to this less than flattering new running accessory when only a few minutes later a van with Wellesley school stickers stopped next to me and rolled her window down.

“Is that trash?” she called out. “Did you pick that up? Want me to take it?”

“Yes!” I said in startled delight, and proceeded to shove the giant trash bag through her car window and watch her drive away.

Just a few minutes earlier, I’d felt a bit dejected seeing such a huge piece of plastic left to wander at will through Wellesley. But having someone stop and help reminded me that there are so many people who are willing to help.

If you’re picking up trash, you’re not alone. If you’re trying to reduce plastic in your life or avoid chemicals, you’re not alone. And if you’re feeling resigned and frustrated, there’s someone out there who is working towards the same goal who might just be willing to help.

Many thanks to the kind person who let me finish my run unencumbered, you did more than lighten my load, you lifted my spirits!

p.s. This is actually — ‘Plogging’ — the Swedish fitness craze where runners pick up trash! Try it out.

Kelly Caiazzo

The end of August and Labor Day Weekend have many people squeezing in a few last trips to the beach. If you’re one of those people, we invite you to take the 3 Pieces of Plastic Challenge and leave the beach cleaner than you left it!

Every time the tide comes in, the ocean brings us a gift; the chance to take back some of our plastic before it harms marine life. Even beaches that seem pristine at first glance will yield bits of plastic, large and small, caught in the seaweed or half-buried in the sand.

My mother is an avid beach-trash picker. She brings a bucket or a mesh bag every time she goes to the beach, and she picks up a full load of plastic and hauls it away when she leaves. Sometimes people will stop her and ask what she’s collecting; sometimes they’ll tell her that they’re going to start picking up plastic, too.

Those conversations are the best. Because what would happen if everyone picked up a few pieces of plastic every time we went to the beach?

The non-profit company “Take 3 For the Sea” is encouraging beach-goers to do just that. And you don’t need to haul a bucket to take three pieces of trash; you can them those into a side pocket of your beach bag without much hassle. (But by all means, bring a bucket and challenge your family or friends to fill it with you.)

Want to help reduce ocean plastic, but not headed to the beach? Here are a few ways you can help.

  • Reduce your seafood consumption. Fishing equipment is one of the largest contributors to plastic pollution in our oceans.
  • Plan ahead and bring reusables so you can decline single-use plastics
  • Choose backyard-compostable items over plastic for parties
  • Decline straws
  • Bring your own reusable shopping bags – store them in the car so you always have them
  • Buy unpackaged foods when possible
  • Use a Guppy-Friend for washing fleeces and synthetic fibers
  • Support an ocean clean-up non-profit (like 4Ocean etc.) as a gift for an ocean-loving friend

You can read more about how plastic gets in our oceans here.

Taking the 3-Piece or Full Bucket Challenge? Send us your beach-trash photos and we’ll include them in a future post! You can email them to