NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL
 

NOVEMBER 2021
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
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This month, leave those leaves in place (isn’t that why they’re called “leaves”?). Recycle those pumpkins, keep the meat out of your meals, and wise-up your home with an energy-smart project. Fall’s winding down but the TaSH keeps going, the perfect place to find your veggies. Oh! and join our online meeting Thursday evening, November 7 at 7:00! Details are below.

 

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR NEW MAYOR AND TRUSTEES
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TEAC serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Trustees of Tarrytown and we look forward to working with the new elected officials. Congrats and welcome!

 

 

 

 

LOVE YOUR VILLAGE
PARTICIPATING IN TEAC IS EASY… JUST COME TO A MEETING!

The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) relies on volunteers to keep things moving. We’re a fun and engaging group of like-minded citizens working to make Tarrytown’s air, land, lakes and river healthier and cleaner.

Our next meeting will be held via Zoom at 7pm, Thursday, November 4.

This month, we’ll hear from some of our committees: Lakes, Landscaping, Energy and Conservation, and Zero Waste.

If any of these committee topics interest you, please feel free to join us!

Zoom Link: CLICK HERE

 

 

 

TIPS TO STOP THE CYCLE:
SPOTLIGHT ON FOOD WASTE 
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By Annie Kravet

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, what better time is there to talk about food waste?

Food waste is a big problem; most food waste ends up in landfills, where it emits methane gas. In Westchester County our waste is burned in a waste to energy plant otherwise known as an incinerator. Along with the beneficial “energy” which is produced, there are also byproducts like toxic ash, combustion gases, air pollutants, wastewater, wastewater treatment sludge, and heat.

One step you can take to stop this cycle is to compost your food scraps. You can simply collect your food scraps in your kitchen and dispose of them in the bins near parking lot F on the other side of the train tracks.

An alternative is to sign up for Hudson Compost Services and they will pick your food scraps up weekly.

Another step you can take is to reduce the amount of food that goes bad before you eat it!

Here are some “best practice” tips to help keep food out of the waste cycle:

1. Store food properly

Learning how to store food properly is a game changer. Did you know that clean, dry berries can last twice as long when stored in a glass jar with a lid? (Just make sure they are dry before storing them.) Herbs can be stored by wrapping them in a damp kitchen towel before placing them in the fridge. If your greens wilt after a day or two, try storing them in a damp kitchen towel and then closing them in a large tupperware container. Here’s a more extensive article on how to keep your produce fresh.

2. Keep leftovers visible

Store your leftovers near the front of the refrigerator so you remember to eat them before cooking a whole new meal. I have found it also helps to keep leftovers in clear glass jars or containers so I don’t forget what I have. Using a post-it to label your leftover with a date also helps reduce the chances of leaving them for too long.

I decided to stop buying celery for a while because I always thought we would eat it, but more often than not it went bad and it ended up in the compost.

If you find you keep throwing away the same food at the end of the week, consider taking a break from buying it for a while or buying in smaller quantities. You can also make a soup, stew, sauce, dressing or smoothie with soft wilting veggies or fruits, as a last ditch effort to utilize them, depending on how far gone they are.

PS – Compost Your Halloween Pumpkins!

Remember to compost your pumpkins! Now that Halloween is over, your Jack-o-Lanterns and other decorative gourds might not be looking good for much longer. Don’t let them end up in the incinerator/waste to energy plant!

 

 

 

GATHERING FOR THE CAUSE:
NYSACC CONFERENCE A SUCCESS!
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By Dean Gallea

The NY State Association of Conservation Commissions (NYSACC) held its 50th Annual Conference on the Environment from Thursday to Saturday, October 21-23, 2021.

The Conference is an annual event, bringing together hundreds of mostly volunteer members of Conservation Advisory Councils (like TEAC) across New York state to participate in workshops and panels on a plethora of environmental topics, led by State and local officials, experts, academics and others. This year, it was a “virtual” event, hosted on a fun, old-school 2-D computer game-like platform called GatherTown. Here’s an example of one discussion area:

NYSACC’s President, Simon Skolnick, recruited a group of about 15 stalwart members of various local CACs – including several of us from Tarrytown, as well as Croton, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Bedford, Mt. Vernon, Pound Ridge and other county municipalities — to serve as the Conference planning committee. It was a ten-month-long effort, but we were all very happy with the successful result!

Our Conference had five general tracks: Land & Water (1 and 2), Environmental Justice, Greening Our Energy, and Waste Not, each with its own “room” named for a local water body. Within each track, we planned four Workshops, for each of which we recruited expert speakers from NY agencies like the DEC and NYSERDA, Westchester County officials, colleges and universities such as Colgate, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence and SUNY, environmental groups like Sustainable Westchester, Groundwork, FCWC, and NRDC, and many others.

Our opening speaker was NY Assemblyman Steve Otis, and our Keynote was DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. The closing speaker was Rob Breen, from the DEC Office of Climate Change and Anam Earth Center for Sustainability and Culture, who gave an emotion-filled talk entitled “Gloom and Bloom – the Climate Change Story of Grief and Hope”.

Prior to the workshops were over 20 “Breakfast Table Topics”, hour-long expertly-facilitated discussions on a huge variety of environmental subjects, held in a virtual “Garden” area. The full schedule is on the Conference website. (Thanks go to Haven Colgate of Hastings for creating our amazing site!)

From attendee comments and the presenters’ feedback through the very active Q&A periods, we all believe the Conference was a great success! The information given, resources shared and contacts made will go far towards furthering the important work in which we are all engaged.
{Excerpted: For the FULL article, CLICK HERE}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RESPECT YOUR ROOTS:
AUTUMN AT THE TaSH
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By Rachel Tieger

 

The last day of the summer market in Patriots Park is right around the corner on Nov 20! Be sure to stock up on Fall bounties which store well like cabbage, winter squash, apples, rutabagas, beets, other root vegetables, potatoes, pumpkins, onions and garlic.

The TaSH Holiday Market (and the Village Tree Lighting) will take place on Saturday, Dec 4th from 2-5:30pm in Patriots Park and will feature many local artisans selling their handmade products as well as some of your favorite TaSH Vendors, for local one-stop shopping.

The Winter farmers market returns on Jan 8 in parking lot D at the Village Recreation Center and will be held the second and fourth Saturday of the month.

Learn more at The TaSH! or FB

 

 

 

 

PROTECTIVE SHELTER:
SHOW YOUR LEAVES AND POLLINATORS SOME LOVE!
By Mai Mai Margules

We are now in fall, and as peak leaf season approaches, it is a good time to evaluate our attitude toward leaves.

For many people leaves are a thing of beauty as long as they remain on trees, but once they fall to the ground they become public enemy #1.

This is truly unfortunate because fallen leaves along with perennial stalks, grasses and logs provide crucial winter housing for pollinators. Without protective shelter bees, butterflies and other small creatures cannot survive winter.

Just as we grow native plants to provide food for pollinators we must ensure that our wildlife has protective shelter for cold weather. Create habitat zones within your yard by leaving areas of fallen leaves, flower stalks, tall grasses, bamboo stakes and small branches and logs. Also leave some open spaces in the soil as native bees burrow underground to make their nests. These are all homes for wildlife.

With a few exceptions — such as monarch butterflies — most of our bees and butterflies do not migrate; they are here amongst us burrowing in for winter. You may not see them until spring but they are here.


Bumble bee burrowing under leaves. 

So let’s help them survive, leave areas of your property natural and beautiful. Gardens and yards are alive year round!

The XERCES Society has good info on creating winter habitat for pollinators. Above and below are some of their photos:


Leafcutter bee in stem cavity


Wooly bear (Isabella tiger moth) overwintering in log

 

 

 

 

EATS, ROOTS, LEAVES:
VEGAN RECIPES OF THE MONTH
By Cari Newton

Happy World Vegan Month!

In November, we celebrate all who are making conscientious choices to create a greener, healthier, and kinder world for all! Even small actions like participating in Meatless Mondays or only eating a vegan diet on weekdays add up to make a difference for our environment.

Every time you choose a plant-based meal, know you are contributing to the greater good.  

If you want to make the biggest environmental impact, fully give up animal products. If you are just starting out and you feel like you can use a little extra help figuring it all out, find yourself an experienced vegan that is willing to be your “mentor” to help answer any questions you may have. Their experience can provide the best product, recipe, and restaurant recommendations.

Also, there are many online and social media resources for information, recipes, support groups, and even fun social groups where you can learn about the best restaurants and vegan products that are available in your area.  As always, your local library is a great place to try out new vegan cookbooks. The Warner Library in Tarrytown has a nice selection to choose from.

Autumn has us all in the mood for warm and cozy comfort food. Don’t let the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday feast sway you from your plant-based meal efforts. A Google search will provide you with vegan recipes for all kinds of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Just add the word “vegan” next to the dish you want to make. (e.g. “Vegan Green Bean Casserole” or “Vegan Mashed Potatoes”) Often you can read reviews for the recipes so it’s not such a risk to try something new.

Here are a few of my Fall favorites that are perfect for Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Real Food Daily’s Golden Gravy – This is so delicious; I want to put it on everything!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Butternut Squash with Cranberries and pecans – A gorgeous dish that will impress!

Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip – This recipe is so amazing and looks beautiful on the table. Don’t let the annoying ads on this website deter you from scrolling to the bottom for the recipe. I promise, it’s worth it!  Just swap out the cream cheese for a vegan cream cheese to make it vegan. (Tofutti brand “Better than Cream Cheese” is my fave)


Cranberry Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip. Photo: sparrowsandlily.com

 

 

 

 

NOTES FROM THE TARRYTOWN TREE COMMISSION: 

PIN OAKS AND THE MAIN STREET TREESCAPE 

By Martin Hauser, Co-Chair, Tree Commission

The Tree Commission has received a number of inquiries about the Pin Oaks that have been taken down on North Broadway.

Unfortunately, these tall and beautiful trees were afflicted with an insect called the Oak Gall Wasp. A spectator may have observed browning branches and noticed that the sidewalk was always littered with fallen twigs and small branches.

We tried for many years to save them, using every means known to arboriculture. The Tree Commission includes two certified arborists whose experience and expertise always guide us in such matters. In the end, the trees couldn’t be rescued, and we reluctantly made the decision to take them down.

Our policy is to replace every tree that is removed. In some cases this may not always happen immediately, but it will almost always happen. In the case of the Broadway Pin Oaks, we were able to replant immediately on the east side of Broadway. The trees on the west side were on private property which is under discussion for redevelopment, so we were not able to replace the trees at this time.

The Tree Commission received a grant from the New York State Urban Forestry Commission to plant three Redbud Trees as a backdrop to the Veterans Memorial in Patriots Park. These will be planted as part of the Veterans Day observances on Thursday, November 11th, this year. The Eastern Redbud tree (Cersis canadensis) is one of the most popular of our native trees. The brilliant magenta blossoms are a familiar sight in the spring and the heart-shaped leaves turn a bright yellow in autumn. In its winter array, the gray bark is decorated with maroon buds. We are very pleased that we were able to provide these trees as a tribute to those who served their country so bravely.

A continuing concern of the Tree Commission is the treescape on our beautiful Main Street. We are committed to creating and maintaining the greenest and leafiest Main Street we possibly can, not only for the health and enjoyment of our Tarrytown residents, but also for the many tourists, especially at this time of year.

This is not always an easy task; we take into account buried utilities, the needs of restaurateurs, and issues of accessibility, among other things. Since the summer, the Tree Commission and the Department of Public Works have done extensive surveys of the area between Broadway and Windle Park.

As of today, two new trees will be planted south of Washington Street, and a new project is under discussion for the front of the Fire House. Two locations on South Washington near Main Street are also being planned. Visit Tarrytown Village Tree Commission 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

“I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

– Thomas Edison, in conversation with Henry Ford and Harvy Firestone, 1931

 

 

 

Copyright © 2021 Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council, All rights reserved.

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