Sustainability is defined as the ability to continue without being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources. It is the long-term preservation of ecological balance. By now, everyone is aware of the damage humans have done to the planet. As a community, we can build on previous initiatives and further encourage work towards greater sustainability.
In the last year, Woodbridge has begun participating in Sustainable CT, an initiative to get communities on a local level to make changes so that the whole state can benefit. Its mission is “To provide municipalities with a menu of coordinated, voluntary actions, to continually become more sustainable; to provide resources and tools to assist municipalities in implementing sustainability actions and advancing their programs for the benefit of all residents; and to certify and recognize municipalities for their ongoing sustainability achievements.”
In September 2017, Woodbridge First Selectman Beth Heller named an Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee and tasked it with reviewing and advising the Board of Selectmen on initiatives such as energy use in municipal buildings; ways to boost recycling efforts; food and food waste; transportation and more. The committee’s charge also includes education and outreach to the public regarding these topics.
One of the recent projects spearheaded by the Sustainability Committee was a Compost Initiative Pilot at Beecher Road School that included all the students from Kindergarten – 6th grade. Over 2 days, during the many lunch waves, students were taught how to separate their waste into food scraps, trash and recycling. Parent volunteers along with Interns from Amity High School’s Service Learning Program assisted in the teaching and separation effort and helped to weigh the waste throughout the day.
The results were eye-opening. Food waste comprised 1/3-1/2 of the weight of all waste from the cafeteria. In terms of weight, the students discarded 48lbs of food one day and 105lbs of food the next. These are the weights of many of the students at Beecher Road School! It was a great learning experience for everyone. Decreasing food waste in our trash would significantly decrease the amount and weight of overall waste! This could save money and landfill space. Parent volunteers hope to continue it in the future by reducing food waste and hopefully diverting some of it to compost.
In collaboration with Beecher Road School, the Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee and the Woodbridge Town Library, parent volunteers have planned an exciting Composting Workshop on October 6, 2018 at 3pm featuring local expert Domingo Medina of New Haven’s Peels on Wheels. Mr. Medina will be giving an hour-long workshop/hands on discussion on how to start easy composting at home and lower your food waste. Everyone can register through the Woodbridge Town Library. People should bring their families and any questions they might have about composting.
Join the action as these groups take on sustainability efforts throughout the community. Keep an eye out for our future announcements and efforts at the Amity Middle School of Bethany and Amity Regional High School as well as additional events and learning opportunities planned by the Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee. If you would like to get involved, please contact Sheila McCreven at Town Hall (203) 389-3404 or firstname.lastname@example.org.