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Cut Waste

March 21

6:30 - 7:30 pm

No reservations required.

Dover Public Library

73 Locust St, Dover, NH 03820

A Day Not to Waste!

In honor of leap day on February 29, 2024, sustainability advocates and community members came together at Dartmouth Health in Lebanon, NH, to share knowledge during their “A Day Not to Waste” event. 

This event was a collaboration between the Climate Health Alliance at Dartmouth College, NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action, and the NH Network Plastics Working Group. The event focused on ways to reduce waste by using alternatives to single-use items and encouraging the gradual switch to a circular economy model. 

Ten Towns Team Leader Cindy Heath participated in this successful event.

Unwrap the Future II: Global and Local Solutions to Plastic Pollution

Monday — February 12, 2024 - 7:00 PM

2nd Anniversary 

of the 

Ten Towns • Ten Actions Toolkit

Globally, each year more than 380 million tons of plastic waste harm our health, pollute our environment, and hurt our economy. This program will highlight practical solutions for reducing plastic waste in the business and restaurant sectors, current research on plastic pollution policy, and legislation being considered in New Hampshire to address single-use plastics, extended producer responsibility, container deposit programs, and PFAS regulations.


Christina Dubin, Senior Organizer, Beyond Plastics; Campaigns Coordinator, Surfrider NH; Co-Founder, NH Network Plastics Working Group


“By the Numbers, Ten Towns * Ten Actions Toolkit Two Year Impact”

Overview of the success of the Ten Towns Ten • Actions Toolkit Campaign at work in 47 towns across all regions of New Hampshire.

“BYO (Bring Your Own): Community Level Strategies for Zero Waste”

Hear about “Ithaca Reduces | BYO,” which has over 100 businesses that welcome customers to Bring Your Own containers, bottles, utensils, bags, and K-12 school reusables.

Research & Policy on Plastic Pollution Solutions”

Discussion of the Plastics Policy Inventory, a global body of government responses to plastic pollution, and the Policy Effectiveness Library, research on the effectiveness of the policies.

Learn about the Seacoast area restaurants reusables pilot, Reusable Seacoast, and Surfrider Foundation NH Chapter’s Skip the Stuff Campaign.

Update on Container Deposit, Skip the Stuff, PFAS & EPR Legislation in NH

Please note that the video above starts at about 8 minutes into the meeting, so the video lacks the first few slides of Patsy's presentation. 


Patsy Beffa-Negrini:

Unwrap the Future II - By the Numbers

Yayoi Koizumi

BYO (Bring Your Own): Community Level Strategies for Zero Waste

and Plastics policy inventory

Dr. Zoie Diana

Research & Policy on Plastic Pollution Solutions

Christina Dubin

Seacoast area restaurants reusables pilot, etc. 

Cindy Heath

Update on Container Deposit, Skip the Stuff, PFAS & EPR Legislation

See also the meeting chat.

Mesh Bag Mamas © 2023 

Theme Song by 

Mary K. Armstrong

Craftivists from the Upper Valley and Monadnock regions, Cornish Quilters, and St. Paul’s Church sewed, sang, and delivered 1,000 handmade, reusable, 100% organic cotton, mesh produce bags to the Lebanon Co-op Food Store in October 2023, along with an eye-catching educational display. 

With support from Sustainable Lebanon, Cornish Community Initiative, Community Action Works, and Co-op Food Stores, the project gives customers the choice of using a hand-made reusable produce bag instead of single-use plastic bags.

Mesh Bag Mamas Launch!

On Saturday October 21, 2023 from noon to 2:00 PM, Mesh Bag Mamas handed out a lot of bags at the Lebanon Co-op! The Co-op staff let us load up the demo counter across from the service desk with more bags for customers to take after we finished at 2 pm. 

Customers were very appreciative, and some shoppers with large families in tow received several bags. Bags were distributed both at the entrance to the store and in the produce section. Thanks to Mike, Sandy & the Service Desk staff for the great support.

Three sets of bags were hung on display racks in the produce section as well — it will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to disappear!

We’ll be working with Mike from the Co-op Marketing Department to set a date for further distribution at the other Co-op stores. 50 bags were dropped off at the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction. 

The Mesh Bag Mamas Theme Song Choir was in full performance mode, singing at the entrance and in the produce department to light applause by customers. The tallest singer in the video (link below) is Mary Armstrong from Harrisville, the song’s composer who traveled up from the Monadnock region.

Special thanks to the singers for putting it out there — Nancy Wightman, Colleen O’Niell, Phil and Judith Bush, and Katy Chaffee. And a shout out to Jan Kilfeather-Mackey and Patsy Beffa-Negrini — set up mavens and bag distributors extraordinaire.

Check out this link of the premier performance of the Mesh Bag Mama theme song! (It IS a catchy tune!)

All in all a fabulous effort, and so much gratitude to the Mesh Bag Mamas who joined us and to everyone who participated to get us to 847 bags! They looked great and we received a lot of compliments.

Kind regards,

Cindy Heath

UN World Environment Day 

June 5, 2023

Focus is on Plastics!

Kirstie Pecci, Executive Director of Just Zero

Presentation to the NH Network Plastics Working Group on February 5, 2023. 

What zero waste policies make sense for NH?

This event hosted by our friends at Sustainable Lebanon.

Topic: Ten Towns Ten Actions Campaign

Time:  December 13, 2022  7:00-8:00 PM  Eastern Time

Register at

Join Sustainable Lebanon for a panel discussion with representatives of the New Hampshire Network Plastics Working Group Ten Towns Ten Actions campaign.

Kristine Baber from Dover, Ann Podlipny from Chester, and Mary Armstrong from Harrisville, all Ten Towns, Ten Actions Leaders in their communities, will share their plastic pollution reduction activities and discuss how you can become involved in the Ten Towns Ten Actions campaign.

The New Hampshire Network Plastics Working Group Ten Towns Ten Actions campaign is a group of volunteers from around New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine, who work in their communities and collectively help reduce plastic waste and pollution.

Mary Armstrong lives in Harrisville, an old Mill town in the Monadnock Region of Southwest NH. She leads the Plastic Rethinkers team there, as part of the Ten Towns Initiative.  Although relatively new to community activism, she is not new to organizing people and building enthusiasm. She leads an open-water swimming group (Harrisville Mermaids) and began a hiking group for non-summer days. Her career has included being a Business Analyst, Internal Auditor and Programmer. She now works as a Dance-Movement Therapist and Music Entertainer at local Retirement Homes.

Kristine Baber lives in Dover, the largest city on the Seacoast with a population of about 33,000. She co-leads the Dover Plastic Reduction Group which has been working for four years to provide education about the problems with plastic and encourage reusables and other alternatives to plastic. The group's activities include initiatives such as a white paper on The Problem with Plastics, public educational programs, regular Green Tips on alternatives to plastic, advocating for municipal Proclamations and Resolutions to reduce plastic, testifying in Concord, and a restaurant project. Kristine is a retired UNH professor, a Ten Towns participant since its inception, a political activist, and a Community Partners board member. 

Ann Podlipny lives in Chester, a town east of Manchester of 5,000 residents. She believes 'think globally, act locally' is a positive way to mitigate climate change and build community. She organizes trash pick up days, teaches about plastic reuse and recycling at the local school, educates about waste reduction at the library and at town events, works with the Scouts, American Legion, seniors and other local organizations. She is a newer member of the Ten Towns with a background in teaching and social work. Now retired she is active in refugee farming, writing, social justice groups and flute playing.

Register at

An event to help us — individuals, small groups, towns & cities — take the LOCAL actions that when enough of us do them, will have GLOBAL impacts.

How we did it - Templates you can use - Why citizen actions matter

Taking action on Plastics: Proclamations, resolutions, warrant articles, surveys, community conversations, collaborations – they can all begin with us, citizen activists!!   

Presentations from members of NH Network’s Plastics Working Group:

Taking powerful action on Climate:  A citizen's petitioned warrant article for your town!!

What 37 NH communities have done, and how you can help yours do it too.  Congress is listening!

Select Board-Sponsored Warrant Articles:  A citizen's petitioned warrant article for your town!!

What NH North Country communities have done to get Solar Projects deployed, and how you can help yours do it too. 

Let's Talk Trash

The Harrisville Ten Towns Team is taking part in a Harrisville Community Conversation

Tuesday, November 15th at 7 pm at the Granite Mill in Harrisville

Marylou DiPietro has done a great job organizing the event with the assistance of the Harrisville Planning Board (Lisa Anderson and Ned Hulbert)

There will be 4 speakers from the Harrisville Ten Towns Team:

Jean Robins and Mary Armstrong will speak on NexTrex and the Ten Towns Initiative, respectfully. Connie White and Penny King will report from the Recycling Center Committee.

Let's Talk Trash

Hopkinton Waste Reduction Committee

Thursday, October 20th at 7 pm

Featured Bonnie Christie, one of the Ten Towns Team Leaders who is also chair of the Hopkinton Waste Reduction Committee.

Plastic Free July - 

Take the Challenge! 

The NH Network Plastics Working Group and the Ten Towns Leaders are working together on this global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

Many ideas and actions for Plastic Free July can be found in our toolkit: Start here!

Did you know? In the US, Senators announced a resolution to mark July 2022 as ‘Plastic Pollution Action Month’ and California introduced laws to reduce plastic, increase recycling and shift the economic burden of waste disposal to plastic producers and packagers.

Let's Rethink Plastic Panel Recording - from the Harrisville Ten Towns Team

Let’s Rethink Plastic Panel: 

Ask the Experts

July 12, 2022

Joshua Arroyo-Torres Plastic Impacts and Environmental Justice

Joshua Arroyo-Torres moved from Puerto Rico to New Hampshire to attend Antioch University New England, where he recently graduated with a M.S. degree in Environmental Studies, Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability and a certificate in Conservation Psychology. Arroyo is passionate about environmental justice, sustainability, and waste reduction, especially of single-use plastics. His research is focused on exploring attitudinal and behavioral readiness to phase-out single-use plastics in New Hampshire. Currently, Arroyo is Manager of the Institute for International Conservation, and a Fellow for the UNH Sustainability Institute working with the Town of Concord MA. He also volunteers for the New Hampshire Chapters of the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club.

Christina Dubin Local Policy Issues

Christina holds a Master of Public Policy from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy. As secretary and campaigns coordinator for the Surfrider Foundation’s New Hampshire chapter, she focuses on advocacy for local, state, and federal policies to reduce single-use plastic waste. Another focus for Christina is supporting the diversion of food from the municipal waste stream, which she is tackling through her volunteerism with Portsmouth WRAD (waste reduction and diversion). Christina joined the Ten Towns • Ten Actions campaign nearly a year ago and is currently the Portsmouth Regional Resource Leader. For the past nine months, she has worked as an intern for the UNH Sustainability Institute to help engage university stakeholders in sustainability.

Albert Diemand Reducing Landfill Waste with Compost and Plastic Use Alternatives 

Albert is the Co-founder & owner of Elm City Compost Initiative. He was first introduced to next level waste management when discovering composting toilets in Idaho while volunteering with AmeriCorps NCCC. Now a graduate of the Maine School of Compost as well as a Vermont Master Composter, Albert aims to bring a more sustainable form of waste management to the region.

Moderator: Mary Armstrong - Harrisville Ten Towns Team Leader

Polystyrene Collection

Sustainable Lebanon partnered with the Lebanon Rotary Club to offer a polystyrene (sometimes incorrectly called styrofoam) collection day on Saturday, April 16, 2022.

Watch this photo carousel to see how a group of dedicated folks kept a trailer-load of polystyrene out of the our landfills. 

The foam will be densified and reused.

Unwrap the Future: 

Explore Ways Our Actions Will Reduce Plastic in Our Lives 

Cindy Heath will share inspiration, team building skills, and collaborations leading to the Plastic Work Group and the Ten Towns • Ten Actions Toolkit. 

Cindy cofounded the Living a Sustainable Lifestyle: Tea and Talk Gatherings.

Activists in town and community sustainability efforts will learn from Cindy and each other. You will take home ten successful and inspiring models for how to bring change and reduce plastic in your life.

In case you missed it, here are the slides: Faith group presentation (PDF)

 February 2022 NH Network Event 

In case you missed it, click the button below for the recording.

Unwrap the Future: Practical Advice to Reduce Plastic Pollution in our Communities

A Panel Discussion to Launch the 

Ten Towns ● Ten Actions Toolkit

Moderator: Dr. Bob McLellan, NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action

Portsmouth High School Environmental Change Organization

“Harnessing the Power of Youth Influence for Environmental Change” 

Christina Dubin, “Rethinking Plastic: Policies & Actions”

NH Surfrider Rise Above Plastics Coordinator, Sustainability Planner, UNH Carsey School

Patsy Beffa-Negrini, PhD, RDN, Introducing the Ten Towns Ten Actions Toolkit NH Network Plastics Work Group, Nelson Community Choice Aggregation Committee

Susanne Moser, PhD, “A Practical Guide to Effecting Change & Messages of Hope” is a geographer (Ph.D. 1997, Clark University) who works in the US and internationally as an independent scholar and consultant from a base in western Massachusetts, the unceded ancestral homeland of the Nipmuc and Pocumtuc. Her work focuses on adaptation to climate change, science-policy interactions, climate change communication, and psycho-social resilience in the face of the traumatic and transformative challenges associated with climate change. She has served on scientific advisory boards for Future Earth, the International Science Council, the US National Research Council and contributed to IPCC and US national climate assessments.

Description: Globally, more than 380 million tons of plastic waste annually harm our health, pollute our environment, and hurt our economy. This panel discussion will highlight practical solutions individuals and communities are taking to address plastic pollution in NH, and launch the Ten Towns Ten Actions Toolkit. Our website contains a menu of actions, and contact information for technical support from our Ten Towns group of leaders. Learn how students in Portsmouth helped pass a ban on single use plastic, and how we can build momentum at a local level to demonstrate New Hampshire can break free from plastic.

Commit to taking action in your town!

Visit to learn more and join the campaign.

Hungry for More on Plastics? Suggested reading: The New Coal: Plastics (; How Bad Are Plastics Really? (

On Oct 31, 2021

The NH Network Plastics Working Group invited Dr. Vanessa Druskat to one of our early meetings to share her insights into the 'Emotional Intelligence of Teams'.