Photos by Lauren Thomas
The New Paltz ReUse and Recycling Center on Clearwater Road hosted the fourth annual Zero Waste Day last Saturday, June 13. Live music was provided by the Woodcrest Bruderhof community and Lion Zen, and a plant swap was added this year. The purpose of the event was to broaden awareness about the current movement toward zero waste. The idea of a zero waste community is to create a sustainable standard of living by promoting local purchasing, creating green jobs and diverting usable materials out of the waste stream to re-use.
New Paltz is currently working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of 13 municipalities nationally to create a Zero Waste Action Plan and EPA Road Map for other communities to follow, creating a template of sorts to serve as an example of how to lower our carbon footprint. Organizers are seeking public input to create a plan for sustainability with clearly defined goals and objectives to be developed by 2018. There will be a presentation of the New Paltz Zero Waste Action Plan as it stands now on September 18 on the SUNY New Paltz campus with the intention of getting that public input in order to achieve the 2018 goal of a finished plan. More information is available at www.newpaltzreuse.org.
Among those present at the ReUse Center last Saturday were representatives of Solarize Hudson Valley and Climate Action Coalition of New Paltz. Milton-based Take Me Home Pet Rescue and their canine companions were on hand, too, reminding visitors that in a sustainable world, there are plenty of dogs waiting to be adopted without resorting to going shopping. The Mercedes that Fossil Fuel Resistance adapted to be used with vegetable oil as fuel was on view, and composters were on hand to educate visitors about the process. Crafts were available for sale, made from recycled materials, and free plants were distributed, including red lettuce picked fresh that morning.