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Mothers Out Front Newton has a message: ‘Gas: not safe, not clean, not green.’

The Newton Free Library hosted an exhibit on gas leak prevention in March. Mothers Out Front Newton volunteer Ellie Goldberg said “it’s an important public health and public safety message that changes the narrative about gas.”Charles Moore

Volunteers with Mothers Out Front Newton installed an exhibit at the Newton Free Library for the month of March as part of the climate organization’s Triage and Transition campaign.

The Triage and Transition campaign focuses primarily on repairing gas leaks and encouraging the shift away from household gas. The exhibit, featured in the front hallway of the library, included three display cases with messages, initiatives, photos and graphics from Mothers Out Front Newton.

Ellie Goldberg, who volunteers with the Newton organization, said placing the exhibit in the library was a great way to spread the message.

“Our library is one of those treasures of community where people are very open to us,” she said.


Goldberg said the campaign endeavors to fix the most dangerous leaks without wasting money, while also appropriating funds to transition to electrification.

“We want to transition to clean, safe renewable energy and not waste time or resources on false solutions,” Goldberg said.

The display cases described the dangers of household gas use under signage – “Gas: not safe, not clean, not green.” The centerpiece of the collection was Newton’s Gas Leaks Map, a visualization of all known gas leaks in Newton, as reported by gas companies — also available online for residents to search for gas leaks in the city.

Goldberg said they plan to feature the Gas Leak Map — showing over 649 unmediated leaks in Newton — on the city’s website and in Mayor Ruthanne Fuller’s weekly newsletter.

The Newton chapter of Mothers Out Front focuses on building a sustainable tomorrow for future generations, said Team Coordinator Cynthia Callaway.

“Our vision is really to have a swift, complete, and just transition to a clean energy future for everyone,” Callaway said. “We don’t want to leave anybody behind.”

Goldberg said it’s important to build relationships with policymakers and community allies.


The city passed the Newton Climate Action Plan in 2019, which has widespread support from action groups and councils, and has prompted the discussion of numerous green practices. The plan envisions Newton reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Newton has an ambitious Climate Action Plan that we are working hard to implement,” said Ann Berwick, Newton’s co-director of sustainability.

Newton Citizens Commission on Energy, a volunteer group that has worked closely with the city’s climate plan, released a Newton Emission Inventory in October 2021, which covers greenhouse gas emissions in Newton from 2013 to 2019 and was the first survey of emissions since 2013.

The emissions inventory concludes that “continuing the current trends in energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions virtually guarantees that Newton will not meet its stated goals.”

“When the report was written, if we continued acting the way we had in the last years, we are not going to reach goals, we are not even going to come close,” said Citizens Commission on Energy Chair Halina Brown. “As a result of that report, the action has actually accelerated.”

Mothers Out Front Newton is next planning an induction cooking demonstration on Sunday, April 24, in celebration of Earth Day at City Hall. Volunteer Barbara DiVitto said she will be serving chocolate fondue cooked over a solar-powered battery.

Charles Moore can be reached at newtonreport@globe.com.