HealthLink Rides the T to Debut Renewable Energy Posters   

Press Release 

REVERE, MA, August 28, 2007 – Four new public awareness posters – declaring "emPOWER the PLANET!" – were installed yesterday on two-thirds of MBTA Blue Line cars by North Shore environmental group HealthLink.
HealthLink members, local teenagers, and invited dignitaries met at Wonderland station in Revere at 9:00 this morning to ride the T and view the posters, which will be on display for one month. Local artists Daniel Adams and Marie Law, who created the posters, joined the group. Also along for the ride was Salem filmmaker Don McConnell, who filmed rider reaction to the innovative posters. 

"The subway-riding public already does its part to reduce dependence on fossil fuel used for transportation," said HealthLink’s Jane Bright. " We felt they’d appreciate the message that renewable energy is here now and is viable and they’d help us spread the word!"

HealthLink hopes the posters will send the message far and wide that positive change for a clean environment is possible. Using modern graphics that mix language and pictures, the bright green and black posters express the message that renewable energy is here now and is highly preferable to fossil fuels.

"Our goal is to see more renewable energy installed in our local municipalities," said HealthLink member Lee Mondale. "We are still very much involved in negotiations with the state and plant owner to require a cleaner-running Salem Harbor Power Station, but the other side of the coin is to supplant dirty energy with clean."

HealthLink co-founder Lynn Nadeau added, "For 10 years, we have spoken through HealthLink for clean, safe, sustainable energy. The public is on board with us now. People concerned about the air and other natural resources can translate their concern into the promotion of solar, wind, geothermal and ocean energy in Essex County municipalities."

According to poster designers Adams and Law, the slogan, "emPOWER the PLANET!" carries with it the idea that "renewable energy takes advantage of earth as its own power plant. Use of renewable energy transforms the earth into a power planet."

"You've got to see them to get them," added Gail McCormick of Lynn, a long time HealthLink activist concerned about global warming. "These posters cleverly indicate the viability and cost effectiveness of renewable energy.  They also point out the problems with fossil fuels such as dependence on foreign oil, damage to human health, and increased global warming caused by CO2 emissions from coal power plants."

"One of the posters sends the message that renewable energy is forever." points out Martha Dansdill, Executive Director of HealthLink. "We also incorporated a revamped subway map pointing out that renewable energy is everywhere, even along the Blue Line."

HealthLink was founded in 1996 to tighten regulations on air emissions caused by the burning of coal and oil at the Salem Harbor Power Station.  The local grassroots group has worked in coalition with other health and environmental groups to achieve landmark regulations for the plant.  Awareness of the problems of using coal as a fuel in its wresting from the earth, transporting, burning and waste disposal has led the group to work toward establishment of renewable energy generating systems.  The group’s volunteers also work to reduce poisons in the environment. 

Environmental group turns to billboards to get message out

By Tom Dalton, Staff writer

The Salem News

Published: 07/12/2007

SWAMPSCOTT - The North Shore environmental group HealthLink is taking to the skies in its fight for clean air.

Beginning Monday, the nonprofit's campaign to promote renewable energy will appear on billboards at three locations - Wyoma Square in Lynn, Route 1 in Salisbury and Route 1A north in Revere.

In September, the same billboards will go up at the intersection of Cabot and Rantoul streets in Beverly and on Route 1 south in Topsfield to greet visitors to the Topsfield Fair.

The billboards, the group says, are a call to action.

"A lot of people have no idea that renewable energy is real, it exists now, it's viable and it's economical," Jane Bright of HealthLink said. "There are things people, communities and companies can do right now to really harness renewable energy. This is not science fiction. This is now."

The billboards, which show a wind turbine, solar panels and water power, direct viewers to HealthLink's Web page, which lists ongoing initiatives in the region, ways private citizens can get involved and a list of North Shore communities that have formed renewable energy committees.

"We hope to go beyond a consciousness of the need for clean, sustainable, renewable energy and help people to be proactive and make it happen in their own communities," said Lynn Nadeau, one of the founders of the 10-year-old environmental organization.

"We want people to change their lives as individuals," she said. "But, more than that, it's what they do as public citizens ... that's going to make a real difference."

Starting Aug. 27, HealthLink will begin a similar advertising blitz on Blue Line subway cars. The promotion will run for a month.

The $15,000 billboard and MBTA advertising campaign is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, a quasi-public agency that provides financial and technical assistance for renewable energy projects.

The MTC is helping Salem explore a wind turbine project.

Founded a decade ago by friends of a Marblehead woman who died of breast cancer, HealthLink has grown into a large grass-roots organization with an office in Swampscott and a part-time executive director. It is best known for its effort to clean up Salem Harbor Station, a coal- and oil-fired power plant. This is the group's first advertising campaign.