League of Women Voters to Help Raise Funds for Hommocks Ice Rink Project

April 16, 2013 by  
Filed under Solar Energy Tips


In the early stages of the environmental movement, it became fashionable to say you were working to improve your “carbon footprint,” a phrase that became synonymous with attempts to cut back on individual use of dwindling planetary resources, such as biking to work or installing low flow showerheads.

Nowadays, the once-nascent environmental cause has gone more mainstream.  Many green initiatives, such as utilizing reusable bags or LED bulbs, have become more routine than extraordinary. Three communities in the Sound Shore—Larchmont, the City of Rye and the Village of Mamaroneck—became the first in Westchester County to have passed laws banning plastic bags, and the Town of Mamaroneck may soon follow in their footsteps.

In this same vein, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck League of Women Voters (LWV) has declared 2013 the time for a community-wide conservation civics initiative, “which is intended to use civic engagement as a road to a more sustainable community; one that will help ease the fiscal and environmental climate challenges we currently face.”

The initiative came about, in part, to help fund the Town of Mamaroneck’s Hommocks Ice Rink Project, a $1.8 million, three-phase project that will help increase the environmental efficiency of the town’s largest energy user. Town officials have said aging equipment at the rink is more of a drain on town resources due to its inefficiencies. The project aims to cut down on overall energy consumption over time and will include replacement of dehumidification, fresh air ventilation and fire alarm systems as well as the lighting over the rink surface, repair of an emissivity (insulated) ceiling and electrical upgrades.

“The effect of our community-wide participation to conserve, save and donate will be to free up tax dollars and other town revenue which would have funded the cost of the Hommocks Ice Rink energy upgrade, so those other funds can be applied toward recurring town budget obligations, such as rainy day reserves, maintenance and repairs and services,” said a release from the LWV.

This Sunday, April 21, the LWV will hold the first ever Sustainability Fair, Community Yard Sale and Silent Auction at Memorial Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  (rain date April 28). Those interested in selling items at the yard sale, can rent a space for $25 (check and form, available here, must be received by April 18). Local retailer Stephanie’s Kloset will be selling items at the fair as well.  Rental fees will be donated to the Ice Rink Trust Fund. The LWV is seeking donations of unused gift items for the silent auction.

“The idea is to generate funds from unused items that are collecting dust in one location but could be put to good use when they find a new home,” said LWV President Elisabeth Radow.

Additionally, the fair will include participants who will provide tips on becoming more energy efficient including Solar City, Community Environmental Center, Green Mountain Energy, Sheldrake Environmental Center and Climate Mama.

And, on May 17, the LWV will hold a “Trashion Show” at Hommocks Middle School, which, as Radow explains, is “22 middle school and high school students modeling outfits they have created out of ‘trash’-recycled material (Trash + Fashion = Trashion).” The show will be judged by State Senator George Latimer, Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson and Mamaroneck Schools Superintendent Robert Shaps; tickets will be $1 for students and $5 for adults and all proceeds will benefit the ice rink fund.

“Every person makes a difference here at the local level,” said Radow.

Here are a list of conservation tips from the LWV:

1. Calculate your waste footprint.

2. Perform your own home energy audit.

3. Arrange for a Professional Energy Audit; NYSERDA, for example. nyserda.ny.gov; cecenter.org

4. Temperature: Detect air leaks. Caulk and weather strip. Properly ventilate. Insulate. Inspect and clean heating and cooling equipment. Turn the thermostat down in winter. Use ceiling fans.

5. Lighting/Electricity: Review electrical bills for trends and spikes. Switch to sunlight and energy-efficient light bulbs (compact fluorescent and light emitting diode (LED)). Purchase Energy Star appliances, especially the refrigerator, air conditioner and washer/dryer. Clean coils and adjust temperature on appliances per company directions. Use a power strip for all plug-in equipment and turn it off at the end of the day.

6. Laundry: Reduce the number of loads per week. Wash with cold or warm water. Use concentrated liquid soap. Line dry (at least until clothes are mostly dry).

7. Limit hot water use, generally. Use the dishwasher and laundry only with a full load. Purchase an energy-efficient water heater and keep the temperature down. Install low-flow showerheads.

8. Food Consumption: Limit meat and dairy and increase or replace with vegetables, fruit and grain. Avoid purchasing perishable food in bulk if it will spoil before you can eat it. Serve smaller portions; eat leftovers. Grow food without pesticides. Stop poison run-off into the Long Island Sound.

9. Lawn Care: Use a rake instead of a leaf blower. Trade a gasoline powered mower for a cordless electric mower. For a workout, use a manual mower. Use the grass on-site as mulch.

10. Transportation: Drive less; carpool; consolidate shopping trips; ride a bicycle; take public transportation; and walk more. To maintain your car’s efficiency, keep the tires properly inflated; drive at the speed limit (55 mph is optimal). For tax credit, purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle.

11. Reduce your water footprint and save energy: Nat Geo water calculator.

12. In general, reduce what you consume, recycle and reuse. Buy products with minimal packaging. Bring your own reusable bag. Recycle, paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans.

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