Learn to live a more sustainable life

| 15 Feb 2012 | 11:33

    WEST MILFORD — Did you ever think about the impact you have on your community? Your neighbors? Even strangers? The West Milford Democratic Club is sponsoring a non-partisan event on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. at Momento II Restaurant, called “Sustainable Living in West Milford.” All members of the West Milford community are invited to attend this free program which will feature four leaders of sustainability-minded organizations. They will include how you can have a profound impact on the community and the environment. They will also discuss their missions, accomplishments, future goals and answer questions. The Time Bank Tim Dalton, director of the West Milford Time Bank, will speak about this program that originated in 2011. Their motto is “Where unanswered needs meet untapped resources.” The Time Bank allows participants to exchange their time, knowledge, skills and talents with each other. Attendees will learn how they can engage with and benefit from the West Milford Time Bank and they may learn to appreciate what they have to offer their neighbors in the community. Dalton is a member of Sustainable West Milford and the Passaic County Energy and Sustainability Committee, is a recently appointed member of the West Milford Environmental Commission and is a past member of the West Milford Energy Committee. Certifiably sustainable As the chairperson of the West Milford Environmental Commission’s Sustainability Subcommittee, Renee Allessio will discuss how she and her committee have recently attained the bronze level of certification from Sustainable Jersey for the township. The certification recognizes the township’s past efforts in implementing sustainable programs and practices and enables the subcommittee to apply for grants from Sustainable Jersey, other non-profit agencies and corporate-sponsored grant programs. Attendees will learn what grants have been sought for West Milford, details about ongoing sustainability projects, discussion of possible future projects, provide input on new ideas that may be useful to the township and learn how to get involved. Allessio is a board member of Sustainable West Milford, is the Passaic County Right to Know coordinator, is a founding member of Franciscans Response to Fracking out of St. Mary's in Pompton Lakes and is an avid composter. Sharing the harvest Since founding Ample Harvest in 2009, Gary Oppenheimer has introduced AmpleHarvest.org to over 4,700 food pantries across the nation, enabling more than 40 million Americans who grow food in home gardens to easily share their excess harvest with those in need. Oppenheimer has been recognized as a “CNN Hero” and Ample Harvest, whose goal is “No food left behind,” has been recognized by Google, the USDA, the National Gardening Association and numerous other organizations. Oppenheimer will discuss the meteoric rise of Ample Harvest, its 2012 goals and projects as well as his recent visit to the White House. Attendees will also learn about the national press coverage that has cast a favorable light on West Milford, including PBS’ filming of “Growing a Greener World” in West Milford. Most importantly, attendees can learn what they can do to make a difference in reducing hunger. Oppenheimer is a New Jersey Master Gardener, the founder of West Milford’s Community Garden program, a member of the Environmental Commission and enjoys tending to his roost of chickens at home in his spare time. A sustainable community The fourth speaker will be David Watson-Hallowell, the founder and president of Sustainable West Milford. Watson-Hallowell’s presentation will explore what "living more sustainably" really means and how Sustainable West Milford encourages those lifestyle changes. The conversation will center on the "three-legged stool of sustainability" - the criteria for sustainable changes and for Sustainable West Milford programs - all must benefit the economy, the environment, and the society. Watson-Hallowell has been a resident of West Milford for 15 years and has served on the township Tourism Commission, Environmental Commission, as a trail maintainer for the NY/NJ Trail Conference, and as a member of the FOLPI grants committee. He is the co-founder of Sustainable West Milford, a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to enabling community members to lead the changes needed to become a sustainable community. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. For information or questions about the evening, contact Chris Garcia at 201-787-6674 or e-mail him at cgarcia@nerllc.com Sustainable Living in West Milford Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 7:30 p.m. Momento II Restaurant 374 Morsetown Road, West Milford 201-787-6674 cgarcia@nerllc.com