Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP)

The Next STEP Newsletter: Accolades

The Next STEP newsletter provides empowering information about how to avoid everyday toxics and choose healthier alternatives. It's your friendly guide to less-toxic, earth-healthy living!

Produced by citizen volunteers, this newsletter implements the Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP), an innovative City program to reduce toxic use and exposure in Sebastopol, thus creating a healthier and safer town for everyone.

This newsletter is sent bi-monthly to all City residents in their water bills. It's also available online; see Recent Issues and Online Topic Index.

You can sign up to receive email alerts when new issues are posted. See our Email List Signup page. Read more about our project below and on our About STEP page. I hope you find this information interesting and useful!

You can see our 2013 reader survey and a brief history of the project at

Accolades for The Next STEP newsletter, Compiled July 2010

"I am writing to express my deep appreciation for Patricia Dines' outstanding and unique work in writing, editing, and providing the graphics for the widely-successful STEP newsletter. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I believe the use of toxics in Sebastopol has declined significantly as a result of it.

"[In this and other projects], Patricia has provided valuable contributions of her talent to Sebastopol and Sonoma County."
Dave Brennan, Sebastopol City Manager

"This Certificate is in appreciation of your dedication and service in your efforts to help establish The Sebastopol Toxics Education Program (STEP) and Newsletter, which is an innovative and one-of-a-kind City-wide toxics reduction program in Sebastopol.... We greatly appreciate your commitment and dedication to the betterment of our community."
Sarah Glade Gurney, Sebastopol Mayor, on behalf of the City Council and Sebastopol citizens

"Thank you for the article on accidentally poisoning our pets and wildlife. This happened to my cat, who ate some of our plant chemicals. He survived, but lesson learned -- no chemicals!" 
Kathleen Shaffer, Sebastopol City Council

"Patricia - You are doing a wonderful job with the [STEP] newsletter. I can't even begin to tell you how many things I have learned and use in my daily life. I take your newsletters to work and hang them up in the workroom to share with people. Keep up your hard work. Sebastopol is a better place to live thanks to people like you. Best wishes for a beautiful New Year."
Chris Nelson, Sebastopol Realtor

"Thank you so much for The Next STEP newsletter. It is always useful and enlightening. It reminds me of why I wanted to live here, all the forward looking folks like you."
Chris Boyd

"When I first moved here and got [TNS] in my water bill I thought, 'The City's letting us know about stuff like this? How cool. I moved to the right place.' "
Elizabeth S.

"I live most of the principles in The Next STEP but I love the reminders and am proud to live in a city where these concerns are at the forefront of our minds. Thank you for your good work."
Edie Otis

"I enjoy reading The Next STEP very much. Thank You! The newsletter gives me a proud and SAFE feeling of living in a community who cares about this issue. Good work!"
Sandi Maurer

"Thank you heartily [for] your excellent two-page newsletter!  I've learned so much from it that I would not have thought to research by myself. It's also a striking example of good citizenship at work!"
Glenna Elliott

"The Next STEP is wonderful! Both graphics and text are very well done, and the message, of course, is much needed. Wouldn't it be marvelous to get every city in the U.S. to include it with one of their bills? You have really accomplished something.... Carry on your good work!"
Lynn Lawson, Author Staying Well in a Toxic World

"I've worked with Patricia very closely in creating The Next STEP newsletter for the last two years. She is an excellent researcher, a dedicated worker, and an exceptional writer. She can distill a tremendous amount of information down to the core ideas, and make the final result look easy."
Jim Gleaves, STEP Editorial Committee

Typical comments in our annual reader survey

"I love The Next STEP newsletter! It's given me so many ideas and is so friendly not preachy."

"After reading [your first newsletter], I decided to dispose of my worst garden pesticides and buy safe ones. Thank you for tactfully raising my awareness."

"My thanks to all involved in the production of this informative and innovative newsletter -- and to the City of Sebastopol for distributing it with our local billing. What a great place Sebastopol is to live!"

"Honestly, I cannot think of a more wonderful and welcome newsletter for folks opening their utility bill to enjoy! Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and compassion. The graphics are excellent as well!"

"Thanks for your informative newsletter. I appreciate what you offer our community in the way of nontoxic cleansers, herbal remedies, etc. I used your advice for tea tree oil and water to clean mold, applied it to my shower and it worked very well... so much better than those smelly, toxic cleansers! I look forward to reading the new issue."

"What a wonderful issue! They all are and getting better. Thank you so much for writing and distributing this newsletter."

"I read your newsletter each time. It has lots of useful information that I didn't know, and puts the thinking in the right direction."

"TNS is a great educational tool &endash; I learn something with each edition."

"Thank you for your service to the community."

"Please keep publishing the newsletter -- it's great!"

"I save all the newsletters."

"Keep up the good work."

"Thank you! I think The Next STEP is Great. Makes me happy to be in Sebastopol."

"A great service to the community."

"Keep up the good work!"

"[The articles] are not only practically helpful but also very inspiring."

"I think your newsletter is excellent and very important. Thank you all!"

"Thank you, this is fabulous info to have on hand."

"TNS is a constant reminder to do the right thing!"

"You have great ideas and present them well."

"Very good material! Thank you!"

"Keep up the good work. I look forward to your newsletter."

"Thank you for educating us."

"Thanks for your hard work!"

"Keep it up &endash; great stuff,"and "I love it all!!"

"I greatly appreciate the info."

"Your newsletter is very informative."

"You are doing a good job."

"A great service to the City of Sebastopol."

"Thank you."

"The STEP newsletter is great!"

"TNS has helped my awareness."

"I very much appreciate your efforts."

"You're doing great!"

"Keep up the good work!"

"Keep it coming!"

"Wow ... beautiful newsletter!"

"Many thanks for all the good valuable work you do!"

"Great job! I really appreciate the efforts put into the newsletter."

"I love [TNS]! Thank you so much!"

"Thank you for making this info available on a large scale."

"Keep up the good work!!!"

"[TNS is] Informative and helpful. Thanks!"

"[TNS is] awesome!"... "I love it!"... "Keep it coming!"

"Great Articles! Thank you so much!"

"Thanks for this wonderful newsletter."

"I like the variety of topics, many of which are new to me."

"Thank you for the great newsletter."

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Page last updated 10/09/13