The Sustainability Advisory Board is thriving. Its members – all volunteers – are engaged and enthusiastic. Chair Beth Sauerhaft is the Director of Global Environmental Sustainability for Pepsico. Other members have expertise in the fields of environmental law and solar energy. This year the SAB plans to address the following five key areas: plastic bag use, reduction of residential household energy, vehicular idling, recycling, and landscaping methods.
The use of non biodegradable plastic bags has become a national issue. “Towns around the country have banned the use of bags in retail,” Sauerhaft noted. The SAB is examining the amount of time needed by retail establishments in order to prepare for such a ban and what type of assistance may be provided by the town.
In an effort to decrease the amount of energy used in residential dwellings, the SAB is continuing its effort to promote Energize New York’s program by elucidating the value of home energy assessments. Heather Flournoy, Community Outreach Director for Energize New York has worked with the SAB on events at the library and the farmers’ market and is particularly impressed by its members. “They’re all very knowledgable,” she said.
A law prohibiting idling already exists in Westchester County. Sauerhaft related that the SAB is focusing on “raising the profile of it in town.”
The SAB is also advocating a reduction in the amount of garbage discarded by households by promoting recycling. Recycling is also a source of revenue for the town which sells much of the materials.
In an effort to change some of the methods used in residential landscaping, the SAB is encouraging gardeners to use leaves as mulch instead of bagging them for removal by the town.