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Green and Clean in North Central Massachusetts Phase I & II

Project Details

Year: 2012 & 2013
Location: Fitchburg & North Central Massachusetts
Project Manager: Donna Wysokenski
Partners: Montachusett Opportunity Council, City of Fitchburg, Fitchburg Housing Authority, Busy Bees Preschool Center, Toxics Use Reduction Institute, Spanish American Center, MOC Child Care and Head Start Services, and MOC Elder Nutrition Program

Overview

Phase I - Serving 30 cities and towns, MOC will reach approximately 2,500 individuals, including seniors and parents of young children, about toxins in household cleaning products and safer, less expensive alternatives. They will hold workshops, educate Head Start families and day-care providers and distribute free samples of the safer products for trial. They will also host a Green and Clean symposium for regional stakeholders that will include municipalities, housing authorities, schools and janitorial companies.

Phase II - The project team educated residents in North Central Massachusetts – which included the Hmong population, Spanish speakers and low­ income individuals as well as professionals working with vulnerable populations – about toxins in cleaning supplies and safer, less expensive alternatives. They conducted workshops with community groups, translated materials into Hmong and Spanish and distributed free samples of safer cleaning products for trial. To increase regional and state-wide impact, MOC presented tips, cleaning product recipes and cost comparisons at the 2012 Southern New England Community Action Conference and state-wide Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Child Care and Head Start meetings. MOC piloted the use of safer deodorizers and disinfectants in its own WIC program and presented the results to 80 WIC staff at the state-wide meeting.

Results

Phase I - For the entire grant period, 229 people were educated in green cleaning workshops including community residents, MOC staff and day care providers.  202 Head Start families were educated by Family Service Coordinators with an estimated impact of at least 606 adults and children.  2,000 informational one-pagers were distributed to a variety of sites throughout North Central Massachusetts.  MOC is switching to the purchasing of Green Seal certified or third-party certified green cleaners and talking to vendors and janitors about our green cleaning efforts.  The Sustainability Committee has done a multi-site chemical inventory.  They also held the 2 hour workshop that included 12 regional stakeholders representing municipalities, local business, schools and local non-profits.

Phase II - During the program, they were able to educate 50 Hmong residents and 77 English/Spanish residents.  The information was positively received at the state-wide monthly meeting of the State Elder Nutrition Directors of MA Meals on Wheels.  As a result, they will be piloting a safer sanitizer which will impact approximately 500 elders and staff who eat and work at these sites.  Safer deoterizers and safer disinfectants were provided at 7 WIC sites and will impact the 7,000 participants who are served annually.  In collaboration with Nancy Goodyear's Lab at Umass Lowell, several of the products that were trialed at WIC were analyzed.  Results are preliminary however these results will provide real world data about the use of safer disinfectants and sanitizers compared to the conventional option.   



This page updated Tuesday October 15 2013