Tag Archives: Pippa Bell Ader

Unsung Heroes #161

Alert — and ecologically conscious — “06880” reader Pippa Bell Ader writes:

The Sustainable Westport Zero Food Waste Challenge — with a goal of decreasing residential food waste by 25% or more — is off to a good start.

Each week the transfer station collects half a ton of food waste. It’s brought to an industrial composting facility, and made into compost.

Every Saturday since the initiative began in July, a group of committed volunteers has handed out food scrap recycling flyers and answered questions at the transfer station.

They were there at 7 a.m. in the heat of the summer. They did not leave until well after noon, after the gates closed. They did it all with smiles (behind their masks).

Greens Farms Elementary School 5th grade teacher Stacey Fowle hands out a flyer.

Now, in the fall, the volunteers keep giving up part of their weekend, because they know they make a difference. And they know it, because residents thank them for the work they do to make Westport a sustainable community.

Since many transfer station regulars have received the flyer, Zero Food Waste Challenge volunteer hours have been decreased. They now start at 8 a.m.

The lines — which sometimes stretched to the Post Road this summer — are rare, now that all transfer station parking spots are open.

Stacey Williams teams up with a transfer station employee.

So the Zero Food Waste educational focus will move to other locations and events, as opportunities become available. The team was scheduled to attend over 30 events and meetings this summer. COVID canceled them all.

Congratulations to all Zero Food Waste Challenge volunteers: Pippa Bell Ader, Emma Alcyone, Aileen Brill, John Ferencz, Matt Ferencz, Stacey Fowle, Laurie Goldberg, Matthew Longhitano, Julie McDonald, Dylan Michaels, Ashley Moran, Leslie Paparo, Henry Potter, Jessie Schwartz, Dawn Sullivan, Stacey Williams and Trevor Williams. You are our very helpful (and green) Unsung Heroes of the Week!

(For more information about the Zero Food Waste Challenge, click here. For a starter kit ($25; free if income-eligible) go to Earthplace (10 Woodside Lane) weekdays between noon and 4 p.m. To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

Matthew Ferencz assembles starter kits at Earthplace.

Septic Systems, In The COVID Age

Pippa Bell Ader was a member of Westport’s Septic Education Task Force. She says: “In this current situation, many residents may be unaware of the damage certain items can do to septic systems. The last thing anyone needs is a septic failure, especially when we are spending more time at home.

“If you have a septic system, don’t toss paper towels, Kleenex, coffee grounds or non-degradable products such as cat litter, grease or personal hygiene products down the drain or toilet.”

To learn more about the care and maintenance of your septic system, click here for a brochure.

Or — more pleasurably — check out the mockumentary below: “Pump It Up, Baby!” It was written by Westporter Helen Martin Block, and “stars” plenty of local people.

It’s worth watching even if you don’t have a septic system. What else would you today?


GVI Expands Beyond Its Roots

Remember the Green Village Initiative?

Ten years ago Dan Levinson, Monique Bosch and a group of passionate Westporters founded the organization. They restored the Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainability Center, established edible gardens in schools, and launched a film and lecture series throughout Fairfield County.

Today WTF is thriving. The schools gardens in Bridgeport used lesson plans created by Sacred Heart University that tie into the curriculum.

GVI got its start at Wakeman Town Farm.

And 10 years later, GVI is now Bridgeport-based. Its mission is more focused: to grow food, knowledge, leadership and community through urban gardening and farming, creating a more just food system.

GVI believes that economic development is fostered when a community has the ability to grow, sell and purchase the food it chooses to, conveniently.

With 3 full-time employees, paid interns and summer Bridgeport student employees, GVI grows, sells and donates over 5,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce each year. More than 200 families grow their own food at community gardens, and 0ver 500 students seed, maintain and harvest their school gardens.

A new Urban Farmer Training Program — launched with the University of Connecticut — helps gardeners grow food. The group — including Westporter Cornelia Olsen — is now a vendor at Bridgeport farmers’ markets.

Other Westporters have worked hard to make this happen too. Every year hundreds rebuild and clean gardens, and farm with the GVI team.

Volunteers include Staples High School interns, Staples Service League of Boys (SLOBS) student and parents, and Builders Beyond Borders.

Westporters and Bridgeporters work together with GVI.

In addition, Westport League of Women voters members join GVI board member Pippa Bell Ader and her friends, coordinating annual Bridgeport elementary school trips to Reservoir Community Farm.

Those volunteers and supporters were honored the other day, at a party at Patagonia in Westport. Local law firms Cohen and Wolf and Berchem Moses were key sponsors.

Next up: a “Harvest Bits & Booze” fundraiser November 13 (6 to 9 p.m., Read’s Art Space, 1042 Broad Street, Bridgeport).

Trattoria ‘A Vucchella caters, with meat and vegetables from Connecticut farms. All proceeds go to GVI’s programs. Click here for tickets and more information.

A lot has blossomed over the past 10 years. Congratulations to GVI, as it celebrates a decade of growth!

The Day After: Part 1

Scenes from the day after the inauguration of President Trump:

Molly Dubson

Molly Dubson. a Westport 4th grader, prepared a sign for her 1st political rally. She plans to report on it for her journalism class. She thinks many of President Trump’s comments on race and gender would get him kicked out of school.


Westporters Ella and Zoe Alpert, Katie Simons and Layla Bloomingdale in Baltimore, on their way to Washington Friday night for the women’s march. This morning, Lilly Bloomingdale reported, the line at the train station there was around the building. “Great vibe, everyone positive” she said.

Siobhan Crise took this photo at 1:38 a.m., waiting in the Saugatuck train station parking lot for a bus to DC. Saugatuck parking lot#1. Waiting for bus to DC. "Friendly Westport police officer keeping an eye on the gathering. Spirits high," she said.

Siobhan Crise took this photo at 1:38 a.m., waiting in the Saugatuck train station parking lot for a bus to DC. Saugatuck parking lot#1. “Friendly Westport police officer keeping an eye on the gathering. Spirits high,” she said.

Westport photographer Irene Penny writes:

Westport photographer Irene Penny writes: “In the spirit of equality for all, I teamed up with local French Hollywood actress Stephanie Szostak (‘Iron Man 3,’ ‘Devil Wears Prada,’ ‘Satisfaction’ TV series) to make some art.”

Amy Leonard, Ann Pawlick, Jenny Robson, Diane Connolly, Faith Taylor and Joan Richardson at the Westport train station, en route to the New York march.

Amy Leonard, Ann Pawlick, Jenny Robson, Diane Connolly, Faith Taylor and Joan Richardson at the Westport train station, en route to the New York march.

Diane Yormark and Pippa Bell Ader were march marshals in DC.

Diane Yormark and Pippa Bell Ader are march marshals in DC.

And While You’re At It, Shovel Those Hydrants!

Alert “06880” reader Pippa  Bell Ader says:

Fire hydrant shoveled outI shoveled out my fire hydrant.

I called the Fire Department. They appreciate any help in clearing hydrants of snow, or even just making a path to the hydrants. They don’t have the manpower to get to all of them.

But don’t throw the snow back onto the street!

Now is a perfect time to do this, with no cars on the road.