If you’re looking for a community that values green living—conservation, environmental responsibility, and healthy lifestyles—northern Westchester is the place to be. In Lewisboro, Bedford, and Pound Ridge, we’ve got informed leadership to help us navigate the ever-changing world of preserving our environment and making decisions to live in a more sustainable way.
Lewisboro Sustainability Advisory Committee assists in areas such as energy conservation, renewable energy, alternatives to automobile transportation, green building technology, waste and material management, local food, and related “green” jobs. The SAC is also a founding member of Sustainable Westchester. Through Energize Lewisboro, residents can get a free energy audit to help save money, increase their home’s value, and reduce their carbon footprints.
The LSAC is actively looking into a Reusable Bag Initiative. Local business owners, town board members, and residents gathered in late March to begin the discussion. The proposed ordinance, presented to the Town board in May, would ban the use of plastic bags in all stores and restaurants and would require shops to charge 10 cents for a paper bag (with some exemptions). Houlihan Lawrence has donated 500 reusable shopping bags for distribution at upcoming town events to help ease the transition from disposable to reusable.
The Bedford Conservation Board provides environmental- and conservation-related information to the Town boards, commissions, agencies, and departments.
Like the LSAC, the BCB supports research into a Reusable Bag Initiative. According to Town Supervisor, Chris Burdick, “there are two basic laws being considered: one is an outright ban on single-use plastic bags (with certain exceptions) with a fee for a bag required to be charged to a customer who comes to the check-out counter without a reusable bag; the second does not impose a ban, but does require the retailer also to charge a fee for a bag for the customer who comes to the check-out counter without a reusable bag.”
In addition to town government committees, Bedford is also home to Bedford 2020, a non-profit whose mission is to lead, organize, and promote a community-wide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to create a sustainable community that conserves its natural resources. The group’s latest program is the TIOLI Shed (Take It or Leave It). This waste reduction program invites community members to donate gently used items (i.e., small furniture, garden tools, kitchen stuff, sporting goods, lamps, etc.) that they no longer need and otherwise would throw away. Neighbors are invited to come and pick something up from the shed that they might need, as well. The TIOLI shed is located in the Bedford Hills train station parking lot.
Pound Ridge is home to not only the Pound Ridge Conservation Board and the Energy Action Committee but also the Invasives Project-Pound Ridge, an initiative of the Henry Morgenthau Preserve and the Conservation Board.
The Pound Ridge Conservation Board promotes the wise, long-term, and sustainable use of natural resources while the Pound Ridge Energy Action Committee’s mission is to empower Pound Ridge residents with information and programs to reduce fossil fuel use, alleviate waste, and encourage thoughtful conversation about our carbon footprint’s impact on future generations. Last year, the PREA’s work, in partnership with Energize Lewisboro, resulted in tripling the amount of solar energy in Pound Ridge, and the committee continues to advance residential energy efficiency through Energize Pound Ridge.
The Invasives Project’s mission is to protect the natural beauty of Pound Ridge, preserve wildlife habitats, encourage the use of native plant species, and limit the spread of invasive species. A recent local initiative—a team effort by the Invasives Project, the Morgenthau Preserve, and the Pound Ridge Land Conservancy—is the G.O.A.T. project which brings goats to a property in the business district that was overrun by Japanese knotweed. The goats eat as much as 80 pounds of knotweed daily and enable to the property owners to avoid using herbicides.