New Year’s Resolution – follow the 3 R’s

Don’t buy so much stuff – reduce your purchases!  Remember  all that garbage from the holidays?  Resolve to waste less and recycle more.  Resolve to have twice as much recyclables as waste every week.

Here are some tips from Rethink Recycling:

Top 10 Ways to Reduce Waste
1.  Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, traveling, or packing lunches or leftovers.
2.  Choose products that are returnable, reusable, or refillable over single-use items.
3.  Avoid individually wrapped items, snack packs, and single-serve containers. Buy large containers of items or from bulk bins whenever practical.
4.  Be aware of double-packaging – some “bulk packages” are just individually wrapped items packaged yet again and sold as a bulk item.
5.  Purchase items such as dish soap and laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
6.  Compost food scraps and yard waste.
7.  Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. The average resident in America receives over 30 pounds of junk mail per year.
8.  Shop at second-hand stores. You can find great used and unused clothes at low cost to you and the environment. Buy quality clothing that won’t wear out and can be handed down, whether to other people you know or on to a thrift store.
9.  Buy items made of recycled content, and use and reuse them as much as you can. For instance, use both sides of every page of a notebook before moving on to the next clean notebook. Use unneeded, printed on printer paper for a scratch pad.
10.  Buying in bulk rather than individual packages will save you lots of money and reduce waste! Packaging makes up 30% of the weight and 50% of trash by volume. Buy juice, snacks, and other lunch items in bulk and use those reusable containers each day.

1/8/2016 Meeting on Climate Change

CIRCA ED Jim O'Donnell CT DEEP Commissioner Rob Klee Senator Chris Murphy 20160108 Climate Change Presentation in New HavenReally interesting meeting ranging from the global to the local on Climate Change with US Senator Chris Murphy; CT Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Rob Klee; Center of Institute for Resilience & Adaptation (CIRCA) Executive Director, Jim O’Donnell, with special insights on COP21 Climate Talks in Paris by US State Dept Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Trigg Talley.  The take away is the Paris talks provide substantive goals with 180 countries signing.  What can we do in Fairfield to make positive change happen?

Annual Winter Fairfield LWV Legislator Forum this Sat, 1/9, 10am at the Fairfield Museum & History Center, 380 Beach Rd

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 6.59.37 PMFairfield’s Representatives and Senator in Hartford will discuss priorities facing the upcoming State General Assembly session at the League of Women Voters Legislative Forum, Saturday, January 9, beginning 10:00 AM, at the Fairfield Museum and History Center, 380 Beach Road.

At the annual event, Representatives Laura Devlin, Brenda Kupchick, and Cristin McCarthy-Vahey, and Senator Tony Hwang will speak to major issues facing Connecticut, their own priorities and goals for the legislative committees on which they serve, and what impact these will have for Fairfield. The audience will have the opportunity to ask questions of all members of this panel. While every issue has budget implications, other topics that may arise include campaign finance reform, transportation, and GE’s headquarters.

The Legislative Forum is open to the public without charge. Coffee and continental breakfast fare will be available at 9:30 AM, with the forum scheduled to begin at 10:00 AM. LWV Co-President Bryce Perry will serve as Moderator.

Think Holiday, Gift Locally

Having trouble wrapping your head around what looks to be the warmest holiday season on record? Here at Fairfield Earth Day, we’re trying to have a low carbon footprint holiday and thought we’d share some of our favorite gift ideas to help you and loved ones live lightly throughout the year.
NASA_HorseFlameKnow a nerdy science guy or gal? Why not give them a gift of the Universe? Membership to The Westport Astronomical Society’s Rolnick Observatory offers the Philip's The Urban Astronomy Guide: Stargazing from towns and suburbs by Robin Scagellchance to learn all about the night sky, meet and talk to top scientists and researchers, training on telescopes, special viewings of astronomical events such as comets and asteroids, star parties an amateur radio club and much more. You will also be supporting science in your local community.  Memberships start at $25 for students. Add a copy of Philip’s The Urban Astronomy Guide: Stargazing from towns and suburbs by Robin Scagell to get the excitement started.

Hudson Valley Seed LibrarySheryl Humphry’s Rainbow Chard fine art print Gourmet Green boxed seed collectionEncourage young things to grow with a gift from
The Hudson Valley Seed Library.   They offer heirloom and open pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds. The seed packets are artist designed that you can recycle into something new- art for your wall, ornaments or crafts. Additional gifts include everything from seeds to fine art to garden tools. We like the Gourmet Green boxed seed collection for $19.05 or Sheryl Humphry’s Rainbow Chard fine art print. ($65)

 

Sport Hill FarmHo! Ho! Ho! No GMO’s! A gift Certificate from Sport Hill Farm, 596 Sport Hill Rd, Easton, CT is a great gift for the foodie in your life.  “Summer in a jar” marinara/crushed tomato sauces make a wonderful gift. or they will customize a gift basket for anyone who has a hardcore locavore to please.  Note: The Farm Market will be open only from Thursday, Dec. 17 – Sunday, Dec. 20th Hours are Thursday & Friday 9-6, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 11-5.

 

Acoustic RefugeAcoustic_Refuge_micThose sounds emanating from your garage just might have something… Encourage that rock star or diva of yours by giving them a day in a real recording studio. Acoustic Refuge in Easton can accommodate a band or individual. They also provide backup and give lessons in guitar, base and drums. For more information contact them for rates & fees.

 

xbobble-presse-le-sangria_1Ever think about what happens to those millions of paper coffee cups every morning? For those of us who would like to stop waste before it happens here’s a gift bound to please a caffeinatied co-xclassic-large-sky-blue_2worker or college student. Presse by Bobble is a 2-piece stainless steel coffee press that you take with you. Keeps your coffee warm for three hours. Very Eurochic. And stuff some stockings with the Bobble water filter bottle, which will help keep some of the estimated 200 billion per year consumed plastic water bottles out of circulation (where they end up you cannot imagine).

 

Nissan LeafIf you’re thinking of a big-ticket item for a special someone, why not try an Electronic Vehicle (EV) the ideal gift that keeps on giving. One of our sources swears by his Nissan Leaf, and says that the 2015 models are being given away for practically nothing, with leases in the $199 per month range… These cars are a no brainer for college students, if they remember to charge them… Shop it locally at Miller Nissan 930 Kings Highway East, Fairfield.

 

electra-townie-balloon-3iGive the gift of fitness and the added bonus of clean air with a bike from Zanes, Brick Walk, 1215 Post Rd, Fairfield. Or perhaps a nice alternative to our exponentially increasing local traffic? The Trek 2015 Electra Townie Go is an electric bike-perfect for Mom’s errands or trips to the beach.  One four-hour charge will take you thirty miles. And remember, when you run out of battery, you can always peddle.

 

Yoga4EverybodyAaah. The gift of inner peace – so often elusive. Yoga for Everybody, , 27 Unquowa Rd., Fairfield, has an introductory special rate offer of $30 for 30 days where you can try out their classes- every day. They also have classes like Yoga for Middle School Girls, or treat the whole family with Winter Break Family Yoga. It’ll get the kids away from the screen for a while.

 

MittensFairfield's Women's Exchange_SouthportIt was the first of the three R’s, (and we don’t mean ReGifting) which made us think about gently used items with lots of pizazz – they can make unusual gifts. We looked first at The Fairfield Women’s Exchange, 332 Pequot Ave. Southport, where we found mittens crafted out of old sweaters from Goodwill by a local artisan. Their selection of children’s clothing is charming, and the back room houses an interesting array of antiques, such as a huge tin and copper lantern, a charming oversized cup and saucer with a hunting scene, and beautiful glassware. This shop, run by volunteers, is about community and giving back. One hundred percent of purchase price of non-consigned items will support local charities.

 

GoodwillGoodwill_handbagsSpeaking of Goodwill, 1700 Post Road East, Westport, you will have ours if you help slow down the seemingly endless cycle of manufacturing, buying and throwing away. My kids have been touting the benefits (to the environment and their pocketbooks) of secondhand shopping for years. At the Westport Goodwill store you can find anything from Trek bicycles to old turntables (very trending now) and LPs. Wouldn’t your cousin love a designer handbag? How about a Mad Men era outfit of cashmere sweater and pencil skirt? There are household items from vintage china to Christmas themed cookie jars.

 

Community Sailing of Fairfield
Yar! Got a restless pirate in your house? Give a Community Sailing Membership from Fairfield Parks & Recreation.  A household membership provides access to 18’ daysailers, and two and one man kayaks. And you Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 8.22.17 AMsail out of beautiful Pequot Yacht Club in Southport Harbor. Anyone in your household who passes the qualifications can
reserve for two hours each week during the season. Prices start at $250 for a kayak membership. There is also a 10% discount for seniors. Lessons are available as well.

CT Audubon SocietyEncourage a budding naturalist with an Ambassador Bird sponsorship at the CT Audubon, 2325 Burr St, Fairfield. Choose from an owl, hawk or falcon. You can visit your bird throughout the year and learn cardinal-socks-265x454about these magnificent creatures. Another gift that keeps on Millie-the-Barn-Owl-265x353giving is a membership to the CT Audubon Society. Membership offers access to sanctuaries throughout the state, plus discounts on eco-travel, educational programs and social events. Why not tuck that gift membership into a pair of bird themed socks from their Nature Store at 2325 Burr St., Fairfield. They’ll love it!

 

Elements_MassageGive the gift that they will cherish after Holiday stress time is over. Elements Massage, 2173 Black Rock Turnpike, Fairfield, has highest rated massage in the industry and provides a Wellness program to ensure you are stress-free the whole year.

 

tree-01And our personal favorite: a giving tree. (But aren’t they all?) Know another nature lover? Surprise them by honoring them with the gift of a Commemorative Tree planted in their name. The town of Fairfield will work with you to choose an appropriate tree and plant in spring. You and the recipient can watch it grow together. To arrange for a tree, contact Jeffrey Minder, Tree Warden at 203-256-3178.

 

12/15/2015 is Kristen Graves Day!

Kristen GravesKristen Graves, Fairfield resident and Connecticut State Troubadour has been a very special friend to Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration.  We are so thrilled to share with you the news that Tuesday, December 15, 2015 has been officially proclaimed “Kristen Graves Day!”

“Therefore, I, Dannel P. Malloy, Governor of the State of Connecticut, in recognition of her many contributions to this State, do hereby proclaim December 15, 2015 to be State Troubadour, Kristen Graves Day, in the State of Connecticut, and encourage all citizens to spend this day in recognition of the arts, compassion, and social justice.”

As Kristen said, “Let the day of art, compassion and social justice begin with us!”

 

Nations Approve Landmark Climate Accord in Paris

OK folks, time to get into action.  If getting your family to agree on something is difficult and the waters getting muddied, how do think an accord of the entire world is going to end up.  Not in a perfect solution that everyone will agree upon but one that we can do our own small part to act on.  What works for you won’t necessarily work for others, but doing your part, trying just one new thing to help will definitely make a big difference when added to everyone’s efforts.  One person really can make a difference.

“In the United States, every Republican candidate running for president in 2016 has publicly questioned or denied the science of climate change..”

We are proud and happy to celebrate our Fairfield representatives, regardless of political party, among our Environmental Champions and politicians that support our efforts to promote a healthy environment, see the CT League of Conservation Voters 2015 Scorecard.

“Today, we celebrate…Tomorrow, we have to act. This is what the world expects of us.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/13/world/europe/climate-change-accord-paris.html?smid=pl-share&_r=2

What You Can Do About Climate Change

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/12/03/upshot/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change.html

  1. You’re better off eating vegetables from Argentina than red meat from a local farm.  Replacing 30% of your household’s calories from red meat and dairy with a combination of chicken, fish and eggs will save more carbon than a household that ate entirely local food for a full year.
  1. Take the bus.  If you drive to work alone every day, your commuting alone eats up more than your entire carbon budget for the year.
  1. Eat everything in your refrigerator.  Up to 40 percent of American food is wasted.
  1. Flying is bad, but driving can be worse.  A cross-country road trip creates more carbon emissions than a plane seat.
  1. Cats and dogs are not a problem.  A dog will help you get in the habit of taking walks.
  1. Replace your gas guzzler if you want, but don’t buy a second car.  Keeping to the speed limit and driving defensively can improve your mileage by more than 30%, keeping your tires inflated and having your engine tuned up can give you up to a increase your mileage by 7%.
  1. Buy less stuff, waste less stuff.  It’s better not to consume the raw materials in the first place, so you may want to think carefully about whether you’re really going to use something before you buy it.

Light for Paris Vigil – Wed, 12/9, 5:30-6:15pm St. Paul’s Church, 661 Old Post Rd, Fairfield

In the face of recent tragedies, we must come together to affirm the fundamental goodness of life and the sanctity of our existence.  Our common humanity and our ethnic, religious and cultural diversity are great gifts.  Our religions all teach us to be sources of light and hope in the face of the darkness of despair.  In times like these, we are called to pray, remember, and to act. We aim to come together as one human family, standing up for each other and for our common home.    (With appreciation to OurVoices.net, bringing faith to the climate talks)                     

Vigil for ParisWho: Anyone concerned about the need for a global climate agreement

What: Vigil to support the UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, France

Where: In front of St. Paul’s Church, 661 Old Post Road, Fairfield

When:  Wednesday, December 9th, 2015 from 5:30-6:15 pm

Why: World leaders are meeting in Paris for the UN Conference on Climate Change, aiming to reach strong, global agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These leaders need to know that we’re holding them in our thoughts, meditations, and prayers and are encouraging shared action for climate justice.

     We invite you to join us for a prayer vigil of support.     Light refreshments served.

Sponsored by the Fairfield County Interfaith Alliance on Climate Change: Congregation Beth El (Fairfield), The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Fairfield), Franciscan Action Network, Inter-religious Eco-Justice Network, Congregation B’nai Israel, The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Stamford, Interfaith Council of Southwestern Connecticut and concerned individuals and clergy.

For additional information, please contact Reverend Stephanie Johnson, sjohnson@stpaulsfairfield.org.

“So powerful is the light of unity, that it can illuminate the whole earth.” – Baha’i Faith

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” – Psalm 119:105