Town of North Salem to host Climate Fair to encourage greener living

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Image courtesy of North Salem Climate Smart Community Leadership Committee

The North Salem Climate Smart Community Leadership Committee will host a Climate Fair on Sunday, September 18 to educate residents about climate change and inspire them to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. The Fair will take place at the finish line of the North Salem Open Land Foundation’s second annual “Race for Open Space.”

“We launched our committee last year right around the same time as the inaugural Race for Open Space,” said Katherine Daniels, North Salem Town Council member and head of the Climate Smart Community Leadership Committee. “Our mission–to reduce the town’s overall greenhouse gas emissions–works hand-in-hand with what North Salem Open Land Foundation does. Without them we wouldn’t have the open space that’s so important to our overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

Since its formation one year ago, the Climate Smart Community Leadership Committee, which is composed of over 25 town residents, has conducted a greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory and written a Climate Action Plan for the town, initiatives that several Westchester towns have also recently undertaken. The plan is intended to serve as a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and helping residents to adapt to climate change.

Photo by Pixabay

Daniels said she hopes the fair will help raise awareness among town residents about the work the committee has done and inspire a desire to get involved in greenhouse gas reduction.

“We’ll be providing all the information to residents about how they can both save money and reduce emissions,” Daniels said, referencing steps residents can take such as replacing old heat boilers with electric heat exchange pumps and signing up for Westchester County’s renewable energy programs.

Daniels is eager for residents and business owners to understand their options when it comes to the county’s renewable energy sources. Sustainable Westchester’s Community Solar program, for example, allows utility customers to draw power from local solar farms. Westchester Power’s Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) Program offers bulk fixed rate renewable energy to municipalities; residents are automatically opted in but can choose to opt out if they would like. “There was a glitch in contractual issues recently, but all of that has been ironed out and we’d like to bring everybody who opted out back into the program,” Daniels said.

September’s Climate Fair is expected to be the first of many community educational events dedicated to promoting energy efficiency measures, informing residents about greenhouse gas emissions, and encouraging residents to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Janine Kourakos, chief of staff to North Salem Town Supervisor Warren Lucas, said, “we do feel that town residents are open to taking steps to address climate change, especially here in North Salem where so many residents choose to live here because it is a place of such natural beauty with considerable open space. Even folks who may not be totally on board with the idea of negative climate impacts can support efforts to improve efficiency and reduce energy consumption because that tends to reduce energy costs as well.”

The North Salem Climate Fair will be held at the finish line of the NS Open Land Foundation's Race for Open Space at Baxter Preserve on Sunday September 18, 2022 from 9:00am-11:30am.

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