Reducing the amount of daily waste is a priority for many Westporters. But although we want to do the right thing, we don’t always know how.
Wakeman Town Farm does.
This Monday (January 13, 7 to 8:15 p.m.), the Cross Highway sustainability center hosts an environmental awareness event. The multi-generational roundtable will offer information on how Westport schools combat waste, how we can incorporate initiatives into our own homes, and what we can do to help government effect greater changes.
State Senator Will Haskell will moderate the discussion. Participants include Stacy Jagerson Fowle and Ashley Moran, elementary school teachers who have helped lead the district’s push toward composting and zero waste; Bedford Middle School 7th grader Samantha Henske, a student leader in the fight for climate justice, and RTM member Andrew Colabella, who helped implement Westport’s plastics ban.
Monday’s event is free, but registration is required. Click here to register.
Greens Farms Elementary School offers 3 choices for waste. To find out what your family can do, head to Wakeman Town Farm on Monday night.
It was not to save the planet. “I just thought it looked cool,” she admits.
The Westporter was a successful marketing executive. She’d spent 12 years working with Diageo. Now she was a sought-after consultant.
Environmental concerns were off her radar. “I vaguely knew about climate change,” she says. “But I wasn’t paying much attention.”
She flew to California to pick up the electric car, then drove it home. At nearly every charging station along the way, she chatted with people who were interested in renewable energy.
There were, for example, 2 solar installers from Germany. They talked for 45 minutes. Dawn learned a lot.
Back home, she watched documentaries and read about climate change. She realized that the effects will not be “300 years from now. It’s happening today.”
The 2016 election galvanized her. “What Scott Pruitt is doing to the EPA, the fossil fuel money that’s going into politics — our government is moving backwards,” she says.
She joined national organizations. She went to conferences, and got trained as an advocate.
She lobbied Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, and Congressman Jim Himes. “They’re great on the environment,” she says. “But I realized there’s not a lot that’s going to happen nationally. It’s more on the local level.”
Dawn Henry and her son Charles at the Climate March in Washington, DC, in April 2017.
She took the Climate Reality Project course in Seattle. The brainchild of Al Gore, it was “amazing,” she says. Back home, she made presentations at the United Methodist Church, the Fairfield Senior Center and Fairfield University. Soon, she’ll speak at the Westport Senior Center and Bartlett Arboretum.
In honor of today’s holiday, “06880” shines a light on “On the Green.” Like many aspects of the green movement, it’s local, little-publicized — and potentially very important and impactful.
“On the Green” is a wiki — a collaborative, interactive website — where users share ideas, information and thoughts about sustainable environmentalism.
Nancy Kuhn-Clark — a Westport Public Library reference librarian — started “On the Green” in 2007. She and library director Maxine Bleiweis wanted to cover environmental issues locally, inclusive and creatively.
“We figured no one needed another boring list of books,” Nancy — a realistic librarian — says.
Find "green parenting" books on the wiki.
“On the Green” is anything but boring. Topics include organic gardening, green homes, green parenting (“green mothers,” there’s a blog for you!) and green pets (as in natural dog food).
There are links to green restaurants like Sugar & Olives, The Dressing Room and Le Farm; sections on farmers markets, green businesses, green products and green travel (who knew there is such a thing as a green RV?).
The “Green Gifts” section includes ideas like tree seedlings, eco-clothes and compact fluorescent light bulbs (“You’re so sweet — these bulbs are just what I wanted!”).
Westport-specific information includes “Westport Library Greener Than Ever,” the Green Village Initiative, and our plastic bag ban.
The wiki is a work in progress — the “Discussion” and “Video” pages are a bit thin — but there is plenty here to feast on (organically, of course).
Here's what a green RV looks like.
Nancy’s background is in English and education — not environmentalism — though in her hippie days she held build a log cabin in Nova Scotia, cooked on a wood-burning stove, and planted organic veggies long before green became the new black.
“On the Green” is mentioned on the Library’s home page, and appears in its newsletter. Mostly it’s marketed by word of mouth. It got a boost in 2008 when Wetpaint — the wiki’s software host — awarded it a Golden Paint Can as “Civic Superstar.”
Celebrate Earth Day by checking out “On the Green.” Nancy Kuhn-Clark thanks you — as does the planet.
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