Women for a Healthy Environment's
"Living Well" Newsletter

Empowering Communities for a Healthier Tomorrow
January 2015
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Start off the new year with new information!

As a continuation of WHE's Farm to Community programming, we are excited to announce an upcoming free webinar series
for food service directors and staff, as well as interested teachers.
"Starting Your School Garden: A Guide for Food Service Personnel & Staff" is a three-part series (one hour each) that guides school staff and faculty on the creation and implementation of growing food on school grounds.

This series will be led by Barbara Nissel. Since 1988, Ms. Nissel has focused on school operations in the area of food service becoming a nationally recognized leader in the field. She has presented nationally on a varie
ty of subjects, including childhood obesity, wellness policies in schools, and contracted services to non-public schools.

Download this flier for more information. Please feel free to share with colleagues.  Click here to register. Anyone who participates in all three sessions will be eligible to win a $25 Visa gift card.

Special thanks to the Highmark Foundation  for sponsoring this program. 
WHE Calls for Children's Health to be Top Priority

Women for a Healthy Environment joins Moms Clean Air Force this Wednesday, February 4th in Harrisburg to call on Governor Wolf and his administration to place children's health as a top priority over the next four years. If you are in the Harrisburg area this Wednesday, please join us at the Capitol Rotunda at 10:00 am. Other speakers include:
  • Carrie Nielsen, Ph.D. - Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, Cabrini   College
  • The Rev. Amy E. Reumann - Director Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania 
  • Jacqui Patterson - Environmental and Climate Justice Program Director, NAACP
  • Francine Locke, MS - Environmental Director, School District of Philadelphia
Free Community Programs Offered

 WHE is offering free community programming in the area of Maternal and Child Health. There are three modules to choose from: Healthy Homes, Healthy You; Creating a Healthy Start for Baby; and Food, Our Health and Our Environment. If you would like to schedule a session, please contact us at 412.404.2872 or info@WomenForAHealthyEnvironment.org. This program is also open to family support centers and early head start programs. For more information,  click on this flyer. Special thanks to the Heinz Endowments for supporting this initiative.

WHE Start At Home...


Over the last several months, WHE staff have been busy training community leaders who can assist the organization in its outreach efforts. These individuals will offer workshops in the following areas: Food, Our Health and the Environment, Personal Care Product Safety, and Environmental Hazards that Lurk in Our Home. We have trainers who are able to provide programming in the following communities: East Liberty, Hazelwood, Homewood, Hill District, North Side, North Versailles, Verona and Wilkinsburg. Please contact us if you or someone you know would like to host a conversation around the kitchen table, church classroom or community center (just to name a few!). We can be reached at 412.404.2872. WHE staff and the trainers are excited to begin their outreach!  

Valentine's Day is Near! 

Here are some helpful tips to green your Valentine's Day:


  • Check your local florist for organic bouquets or order online at organicbouquets.com. A potted plant from a local nursery is also a great alternative and will last longer. flower-chocolates.jpg
  • Try sustainable, organic, and/or biodynamic wine. Organic vineyards do not use herbicides or pesticides while sustainable vineyards focus on practices that can yield constant product over time. Biodynamic methods concentrate on holistic practices and ecological self-sufficiency. Check your local wine shop for these alternatives.
  • Buy organic and fair trade chocolates. Child and slave labor continue to be used in the production of cacao. Support companies that pay workers livable wages. The East End Food Coop, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's carry organic and fair trade chocolate. Amazon also has a variety of chocolates for sale. Search for brands like Shaman, Equal Exchange, and Sweet Earth Organic.
  • Light a beeswax or soy candle for the perfect ambiance. These candles are paraffin free, burn longer, and are better for the environment.  
  • Learn new vegetarian or vegan recipes together. Sign up for cooking classes.
  • Purchase unique upcycled/repurposed jewelry. These accessories are often one of a kind. Look for artists on Etsy to suit your style.  
  • Have dinner at an environmentally-conscious restaurant. 
  • Write your valentine a special note on a card made from recycled material.
  • Purchase natural and organic soaps, lotions, and cosmetics.  
In This Issue
Special Feature
Recently the Chicago Tribune reported that major furniture retailers including Crate and Barrel, Room and Board, Williams-Sonoma (Pottery Barn, West Elm) have all mostly eliminated chemicals known as toxic flame retardants from their furniture. They also reported that the Futon Shop, Scandinavian Designs and Walmart
have told vendors to stop adding flame retardants to furniture."

Ashley Furniture, the largest furniture retailer and manufacturer in America, just announced that that they are phasing out toxic flame retardants in their furniture!  But they haven't disclosed when these chemicals will be eliminated. Click here to thank Ashely for their commitment and ask them to develop a timeline! 


Ashley's announcement was triggered by a recent letter to the company from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families' Mind the Store campaign (of which WHE is an endorsing member) urging the retailer to identify and phase out the use of toxic flame retardants.

Upcoming Events
February 21st - The Power of One Voice: A Film Exploring the Impact of Rachel Carson's Life and Work at Chatham University
March 7 - TEDx Changing the Way We Eat
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Contact Information
WHE Executive Director
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis