FREE LED lightbulbs TODAY, 10/10, 9am-1pm @ Home Depot!

new_and_old_light_bulb_207929The Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force (CETF) and Energize Connecticut are co-sponsoring an event TODAY, Saturday, 10/10 9am-1pm at Home Depot.

Residents of Fairfield are invited to join First Selectman Michael C. Tetreau and the residential energy team from the United Illuminating Company at the Fairfield Light Bulb Exchange to learn how to make their homes more energy efficient. Residents will have the ability to trade in their old incandescent light bulbs for two high-efficiency light-emitting diodes (LED) bulbs. First Selectman Tetreau strongly encourages Fairfield residents to join the town wide initiative endorsing energy efficiency.

One LED light bulb can last up to 25 times longer and uses about 80 percent less electricity than an old-fashioned incandescent. Switching from traditional incandescent light bulbs to LEDs is a simple way to reduce energy use in your home.

Postcards have been mailed out to Fairfield residents outlining the event. To qualify for the light bulb exchange, participants must present either the mailed postcard or a driver’s license to validate their residential status. There will be a trade-in limit of two light bulbs per household. Residents who attend the light bulb exchange will also have an opportunity to greet the first selectman.

All who attend, including non-Fairfield residents, can take advantage of a $2.00 coupon available the day of the event for up to 20 additional bulbs. During the event, residents can ask any Energize Connecticut team member for further information.

 WHEN:          Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:        Home Depot, 541 Kings Highway Cutoff, Fairfield, CT 06824

CONTACT:    Jordana George, on behalf of UI/Energize Connecticut, 203.393.1101 x166,

About Energize Connecticut
Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy- saving programs can be found at or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE.

About Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force
The Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force (CETF) was formed to encourage community action in support of putting Fairfield on the path to using clean, renewable energy sources.


Cyclists to Celebrate New Fairfield Shoreline “Border to Border” Bike Route 10/25/2015

Join the party!  The Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee is celebrating the recently approved Fairfield Shoreline Bike Route, a new addition to the town’s growing bike route network. The event is a leisurely and scenic 12.8 mile round trip bike tour set for Sunday Sept. 27 starting at 2 pm at Southport Beach.

Registered participants will receive a map, turn directions and be asked to complete a short online survey to provide town officials with bike usage data to help future planning.  Survey respondents will also be enrolled in a drawing for a $50 and a $25 gift certificate from our co-sponsor Zane’s Cycles.  Register for the ride now!

We’re also delighted that Zane’s Cycles will be offering bike tour “goody bags” and complimentary water bottles (while supplies last) to registered participants.

Refreshments will be served at the end of the ride back at Southport Beach. In the event of bad weather, the tour will be rescheduled for Sunday, October 25 at 2 pm.

Approved bike helmets are required on the tour. Participating cyclists must be 15 or older.
Thanks and sea (pun intended) you at the beach.

Fairfield’s 1st Electric Vehicle Showcase on Sat, 9/12, 11am-2pm, Auxiliary Commuter Lot, 140 Mill Plain Rd across from Sportsplex@Fairfield

2015NDEWFairfield’s first Electric Vehicle Showcase, which coincides with National Drive Electric Week, will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 11 am-2 pm at the auxiliary commuter parking lot at 140 Mill Plain Road across from the Sportsplex@Fairfield.

Town residents are encouraged to participate and learn about the availability and benefits of driving electric. Local dealerships, members of the Westport Electric Club, and many local electric vehicle owners will be on hand to demonstrate their electric options. Dealerships confirmed in participating include Miller-Nissan, Porsche of Fairfield, Tesla Motors, Toyota of Westport, Curran and Prestige VW, Karl Chevrolet, and BMW of Bridgeport. Electric bicycles will also be there, courtesy of Zane’s Cycles.

In addition to lowering carbon emissions, there are financial benefits to driving electric vehicles. These benefits include fuel savings, reduced auto maintenance, federal tax credits (up to $7,500 for Battery Electric Vehicles), new state incentives (up to $3,000), and more.

EVShowcaseGroup2015Fairfield currently has ten electrical vehicle charging stations, with ten more planned. Scott Thompson, Chair of the Fairfield Clean Energy Task, said, “With the highest density of charging stations in Connecticut, the Fairfield community is helping to promote our region’s opportunities for cleaner transportation. It’s the perfect time for an event that brings prime-time electric vehicle technology to a wider audience.”

Fairfield’s first Electric Vehicle Showcase has been organized by the Fairfield Clean Energy Task Force, and the Fairfield Bike, Walk, Run and Fairfield Earth Day Committees. The event is free and open to the public.

First Selectman Tetreau said, “I want to thank our town committees for organizing this first-ever electric vehicle event to educate the public on more ways to benefit the environment and be more energy efficient. Our Town is proud to be an active participant in supporting and utilizing numerous clean energy and green initiatives.”

If anyone is interested in learning more about this event or participating, please go to the Fairfield Electric Vehicle page on National Drive Electric Weeks’ site:

Fairfield Celebrates Farmer’s Market Week

Still having Shark Week withdrawl? Help is on the way. Thanks to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack there is another great week to celebrate this summer. August 2-8th has been designated National Farmers Market Week, so forget those foraging carnivores and go locavore.

Locavore means choosing to eat sustainably by purchasing locally produced food. This has known benefits for both personal health and the environment.  Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown is a wonderful thing these days. And eating locally also means your carbon footprint is smaller, as less long distance trucking is involved from farm to your market bag.

Vilsack has marked regional food production one of the “Four Pillars of Agriculture and Rural Economic Development.” Here in CT, agriculture is a 3.5 billion dollar industry, and supporting your local farmers helps contribute to the economy of the state and your own community.

Fairfielders are living the dream, with an abundance of fresh and locally grown vegetables and fruits, seafood and meats available through local farmers markets and farm stands.

Chef Samantha of Tarry Lodge purchases squash from Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm at the Westport Farmers Market

Chef Samantha of Tarry Lodge purchases squash from Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm at the Westport Farmers Market

“I love my hard core locavores who support local farmers who put their heart and soul into growing,” says Patti Popp of Sport Hill Farm in Easton. “A farmers’ market that works well grows a community of like minded people who are there to support one another, share recopies and really appreciate the fruits of the farmer’s labor.” Popp participates in both the Westport and Black Rock markets.

Westport Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest in the area. Founded in 2006 by Paul Newman and sustainable food guru Michael Nischan, offers everything from organic produce, fresh seafood’s, sustainably grown meats, allergen free baked goods, to deliciously prepared foods that you can gobble right there. Walking through is like experiencing market day in another century. Live music and wonderful smells of cooking fill the air. Where else can you witness children picking out their favorite vegetables? You might even see a farmer leading a lamb around followed by a bevy of children.

Black Rock Farmers’ Market, now in its second season was conceived by Karen Leito and Michelle Margo while listening to a concert in St. Ann’s Field. St. Ann’s priest, Fr. Peter Lynch quickly offered the spot. Although the market was started with the idea of promoting fresh healthy food, Leito says it has also fostered a strong community. Every last Saturday of the month they feature local artisans. Grass fed beef and organic produce might be the draw, but people stay for the fun. There is live music, yoga classes and art projects for kids. Says Leito. “A lot of young families come. They tend to stay because of the atmosphere in the field. We have one vendor who makes homemade donuts and lemonade. She’s a popular attraction with the kids.”

When was the last time food was an adventure? Make it a family day out; and be sure to go hungry. There’s a lot to taste. Here are some markets local to Fairfield that offer times and days to fit everyone’s needs.

Greenfield Hills Farmers Market
75 Hillside Rd., Fairfield
Saturdays 11-4

Westport Farmers’ Market
50 Imperial Ave., Westport
Thursdays 10-2

Black Rock Farmers’ Market
481 Brewster St., Bridgeport
Saturdays 9-1

Bridgeport Downtown Farmers’ Market
McLevy Green- Main & Bank St. Bridgeport
Thursdays 10-2

Bridgeport East End Market
485 Stratford Ave. Bridgeport
Sundays 10-3

Bridgeport South End Fresh Market
United Congregational Church
877 Park Ave. Bridgeport
Wednesdays 3:30 – 6:30

East Side Market
752 E. Main St., Bridgeport
Wednesdays 10-2


ShopRite’s “Green Team” makes every day Earth Day

Dominick Cingari likes talking trash.

The great grandson of Salvatore Cingari, who during the Great Depression began selling produce out of an old school bus, Dominick has helped bring the business into the 21st century with sustainability in mind. He oversees the environmental impact of ten ShopRite stores, as well as creating and implementing composting and diverting programs in 2014.

“In 2014 our ten stores began either composting or diverting for animal feed,” says Cingari proudly. “454 thousand pounds of organic material- equal to 12 full tractor trailers- was kept out of landfills.”

Two of the stores physically compost. The other eight divert the organics for animal feed. Diverting means keeping it away from landfill or incinerator. “A lot of these technologies weren’t available a few years ago,” says Cingari. “We are kind of at the forefront. I don’t know any retailers that are doing this to the extent we are.”

The family business grew, from one “Grade A” market in 1943, to become part of the Wakefern/ShopRite cooperative in 1991. Seven family members across four generations work in their stores throughout Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

The Cingari family is strong on community, and this is where their recycling efforts begin. “Our first goal,” says Cingari, “is that whatever we can donate to area food banks gets donated. Our second goal is to divert or compost and number three is garbage.”

The Cingari stores also recycled 5 million pounds of corrugated cardboard in 2014. Cingari credits ShopRite/Wakefern for helping their stores to recycle. “Since the Seventies we have had our own recycling center in Elizabeth NJ which operates 16 hours a day 6 days a week. We recycle paper bags, shrink-wrap, corrugated cardboard, newspaper, whitepaper.”

“We are very lucky,” says Cingari, noting that they send everything except compost back to Shoprite. “When a truck comes to us full, it doesn’t go back empty. Its full of recycled material. That’s an advantage we have over other companies that have to use a third party.”

The Cingari’s purchase as much local produce as they can, using a special distributor that skips the ShopRite warehouse. “It comes directly from the farms to our stores.”

“We kept 380 million bags out of landfill in the last 7 years,” he says, adding that in 2014 more than 57 million bags were reused by ShopRite customers.

“The key is to make it easy. “

Cingari2Each store has people who volunteer to be on the green team. “We have little task forces out there working actively for the environment,” he says, adding that they pay their employees to get down and dirty and help in environmentally responsible programs like cleanups at beaches and rivers and parks. “Giving back is just part of the family culture.”

Cingari is excited that ShopRite will be taking part in Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration on April 25th at Fairfield Warde H.S. The green team from the Fairfield store will be there, giving out free samples, letting people know ShopRite’s programs for reducing waste and answering questions.

“We want nothing ending up in the trash.”

Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee at Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration, Sat 4/25, 10am-4pm @ Fairfield Warde H.S.

Bike-WalkMembers of the Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee will be joining us at Fairfield’s Earth Day Celebration Sat, 4/25, 10am-4pm @ Fairfield Warde High School, 755 Melville Ave.   The committee, created by town officials, is charged with implementing the Town of Fairfield’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan.  As with the Library to Library “test ride” just completed on 4/19, the Committee encourages walking and biking for transportation, which conserves energy, improves air quality, reduces traffic and the need for parking. Cycling and walking also improve health and fitness and invigorate the local economy through increased access to local businesses and greater potential for tourism. Committee members will be on hand to describe some of the key goals for 2015.