NEWS OF THE MONTH FROM THE TARRYTOWN ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 2022
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT
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Well done, August; now it’s on to September! Save space in your first October weekend to visit the Eco Fair at the Farmers Market. Planning is underway for this annual event, and you can even volunteer. Ever hear of a white roof? Don’t replace your roof without checking this out. And in your own garden, welcome Fall with asters and goldenrod, also attractive to pumpkin-spice colored monarch butterflies. Rachel’s vegan Recipe of the Month is super-simple to make and delicious — another earth-friendly meatless meal.

LOVE YOUR VILLAGE
PARTICIPATING IN TEAC IS EASY!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 monthly meeting will be held via Zoom. It’s this Thursday, September 1, at 7pm.

If any of our committee topics interest you, or if you just want to learn more about what we do, please feel free to join us!

Zoom Link: Click Here!

SAVE THE DATE FOR
TEAC’S ECO FAIR: OCTOBER 1
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The Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council (TEAC) is hosting its annual Eco Fair on October 1, 2022 at Patriots Park from 10am to 2pm, in collaboration with the TaSH Farmers Market. 

 

Come learn more about zero waste, alternative energy and solar power, food scraps recycling and composting, local sustainability initiatives, home energy savings, sustainable DIY projects, healthy lawns, Pollinator Pathways, healthy lawns, native plants, the Hudson River, local waterways, and more.   

There will be something for the whole family including kids activities, games, amazing live music (special programming for Hispanic Heritage Month), and fresh local food vendors at the TaSH farmers market!  

Participants include (but are not limited to): Federated Conservationists of Westchester (FCWC), League of Women Voters Rivertowns, Mothers Out Front, Riverkeeper, Sleepy Hollow Environmental Advisory Council, Sun Blue Energy, Sustainable Westchester, The Refillery Shop and more. If you or your organization would like to be an exhibitor, please Register Here.

The Eco Fair brings together community sustainability organizations and local businesses to educate and share ideas to enrich our Villages and enhance the environment. It is an opportunity for community members to increase awareness and engage on environmental issues. The goal is to highlight things that we can all do at home and in our own neighborhoods.

 

Date: October 1, 2022 (Rain or Shine) 

Location: Southwest corner of Patriots Park 

Use N Washington Street Entrance, Tarrytown NY 

Time: 10am – 2pm

 

Volunteers Needed! Please contact Tarrytown enviro @gmail.com for info. Community service hours will be awarded.

TEAC is committed to working with area businesses, community leaders and neighbors to create a cleaner, greener, safer place to live and work, while fighting the climate crisis and other assaults on our environment through education and outreach.

 

tarrytownenviro@gmail.com ~ https://www.facebook.com/tarrytownenviro ~ https://www.instagram.com/Teac_10591 

THANKS!
THIS MONTH IN TEAC: HIGHLIGHTS
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By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair

Despite summer vacations and our annual break from the monthly meeting, TEAC’s dedicated volunteers achieved much this past month.


Members of the TEAC Landscaping Committee install pollinator plantings in a custom planter on Broadway.

In July and August, we:

  • Tabled at the TaSH farmers market to share environmentally friendly tips and tricks with market goers

  • Met with the Village Tree Commission, Village administration office and New York DEC to discuss site plan for Trees for Tribs at the Lakes. We also scoped out a Pierson Park location at Andre Brook as a future planting site.

  • Maintained public gardens and planters throughout the village.

  • Selected plants and planted the new custom planter which was commissioned by the Village Placemaking Committee in front of the former Boltons on Broadway.

  • Met with the Tarrytown Parks foreman to help select new trees for Wilson Park and other Village parks which will be purchased and subsidized by the New York Power Authority, in effort to reduce our collective carbon footprint.  

  • Continued planning the Eco Fair scheduled for October 1st at Patriots Park. 

  • Waste Warriors volunteers helped educate shoppers about which discarded items at the TaSH can be composted or recycled. 


In addition to individual projects like these, TEAC has a number of ongoing activities in cooperation with the Village of Tarrytown, such as:

  • Attending Village Planning Board and Trustees’ meetings and commenting where needed
  • Reviewing Environmental Assessment Forms (EAFs) for proposed construction projects in the Village
  • Helping the Village to document and get recognition for its progress in carbon reduction and environmental resilience

New displays (courtesy of Hudson Compost Services) at the waste stations at the TaSH Farmers Market 

FROM THE TOP DOWN:
THE WHITE ROOF
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By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair

For a couple of months, I had been seeing small pieces of asphalt shingle in my garden and around my property. Because there is no easy access to my high flat roof, it has always been out-of-site, out-of-mind, but I was finally forced to acknowledge that the roof was long overdue for some attention. Thank goodness the pitched facades were shedding shingles, to alert me of the state of affairs up there.

After acquiring bids and reviewing proposals, I discussed the subject with my sister who mentioned that white roofs were much more energy efficient. According to the Department of Energy, white roofs can reflect between 60-90% of the sun and naturally keep the house cooler.  (Learn more HERE.)

Although it seems so obvious, I hadn’t given it much thought up to that point (articles about “greener homes”, be damned). So, I was delighted to hear that the product my contractor planned to use came in white and was readily available.

Above is my new roof with white Liberty roof membrane and Fox Hollow gray shingle. We will see if there is a notable difference in the temperature on the second floor next summer. 

It would be amazing if contractors took the time to discuss the energy saving options and benefits of available materials with potential customers, but it is up to the homeowner to do their own research and make the best viable choices.

Side note: if you have never replaced a roof and will be doing so in the near future, brace yourself. It is a huge mess!

THE FALL GARDEN:
ASTERS AND GOLDENROD
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BY MAI MAI MARGULES, TEAC MEMBER


Monarch butterflies gather on purple asters in the September garden. 

As we enter September, two native garden stars illuminate our gardens and bring much needed sustenance to pollinators as summer comes to a close. Purple aster and yellow goldenrod paired together provide a stunning visual combination that draws the eye of humans and pollinators alike.

These beautiful late season bloomers are known as Keystone Plants, with each supporting over 100 different caterpillar species and providing sustenance to a host of native bees and other pollinators.  Wildlife, whether migrating or hibernating, needs to bulk up in advance of winter and these natives provide crucial sustenance to pollinators, birds and other wildlife. In winter they serve as valuable habitat for birds and small animals that shelter in their dry stalks and forage seeds.( Wild Seed Project) Although both are deer resistant, young asters may get nibbled initially, if so just spray deer repellent the first season if browsing occurs.

The Latin name for the goldenrod genus is Solidago which means ”becoming whole”. It is an integral part of nature’s food chain. In Nature’s Best Hope , Doug Tallamy writes “ Solidago is the top rated genus in terms of hosting ecologically valuable caterpillars that feed our breeding birds and fall migrants”

Goldenrod has been used to treat wounds, diabetes, TB, act as a diuretic and as a preventative for kidney stones. Goldenrod does not trigger allergies. Ragweed, which blooms at the same time as goldenrod is the real culprit, but showy goldenrod has received the blame.

Native asters( Symphyotrichum) range in color from purple, blue, pink to white. Unlike mums, which are from Asia and provide very low value to wildlife, asters are powerhouse plants that sustain our natve butterflies, birds and bees.

There are asters and goldenrods for any site condition; here are a few.                                      

Shade

White or Blue Wood Aster are drought tolerant shade plants growing 18” to 24”  Pair these with shade tolerant blue stem or zigzag goldenrod, also under 2’ for a low maintenance planting.

Sun

New England Asters are majestic purple pollinator magnets. They will soon be blooming in the Patriots Park pollinator garden. These may reach 5’ in height but can be pruned in early summer for a more compact plant.

“Purple Dome” is a dwarf cultivar of New England aster that reaches only 2’, stays compact and can even be used in containers.

For a garden setting some “well behaved”, non spreading goldenrods are Sweet Goldenrod (S odora) 2’-3’, Stiff Goldenrod (S rigida) 1’-5’ and “Fireworks” a beautiful cascading nativar of Wrinkle Leaf Goldenrod, 3’ tall.

There are a multitude of other great selections. You can browse the following sites for an overview of varieties or go to WCC’s Native Plant Sale at Rosedale Nurseries on 9/10 -11 and  create your own sustainable fall palette. The pollinators will thank you!

Wild Seed Project 
Edge of the Woods Native Plants

GARBAGE REDUCTION:
“TRASH” AT THE TaSH______________________

BY CATHY RUHLAND, TEAC MEMBER

With an ever-increasing number of human beings on this earth that generate ever increasing amounts of trash (much of it made from crude oil, such as plastic), it is vital that we humans start looking at “trash” from a different perspective.

How can we reduce our footprint?! TEAC has been working with the organizers of the TASH (Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Farmers Market) every Saturday morning, on that very issue.

The prepared food vendors at the TASH market are strongly encouraged to use certified compostable containers for products that will be consumed at the market. There may be occasional exceptions, allowing for new vendors who are transitioning to sustainable packaging, or a fluke mistake of the wrong products being brought to the market that day. 

However, the cups, lids, straws and spoons used at the market are predominantly made of plant materials (usually corn). They cannot be recycled; they must either be composted at a commercial facility or discarded with regular trash. 

The paper containers used at the TASH are uncoated—the coating is generally made from crude oil. While those containers cannot be recycled because they have food residue on them, they may either be composted or discarded in regular trash.

Tarrytown and most of Westchester County send their collected food scraps and compostables to The Ulster County Resource Recovery Center in Kingston NY. In order for the process to be successful, it is vital that the compost received by the facility is not contaminated. That is why TEAC’s Zero Waste Committee is at The TaSH every Saturday, to share the waste reduction message. New signage has been placed at the three waste stations at the TASH to help clarify what goes where.

Please join in our effort to reduce our waste! And if you would like to become a Waste Warrior, please contact us at tarrytownenviro@gmail.com.

GO NATIVE:
PLANTS AND ADVICE TO CREATE YOUR NATIVE GARDEN
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Encounter at a Park Bench:
INTERVIEW WITH A PHANTOM LITTERER
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By: DEAN GALLEA, TEAC CO-CHAIR

This is a fictitious interview with a fictitious individual, but the issues and attitudes are real.

Walking by the River, I spied a young man walking his dog and sipping a Slurpee in a plastic cup. The dog did its “duty”, so the man pulled out a plastic bag, scooped up the poop, and deposited it the nearby trash bin. He then walked further, sat on the bench at the corner for a while, finished his drink, and stood up to go.
Me: “Hold on,” I said. “You forgot your cup!”
He: No, I finished it.
Me: What about the empty cup?
He: You want it?
Me: No, but are you going to just leave it?
He: Yeah, why? I don’t want it.
Me: You shouldn’t just leave it.
He: Why not?
Me: It’s littering. And plastic litter is especially harmful to the environment.
He: It’s not in “the environment”, it’s on a bench. Don’t you have anything better to do?
Me: Not at this moment. These things are important to me.
He: Good for you, buddy. Why should I care?
Me: Because trash tends to get into waterways like our Hudson. Nobody is going to clean up after you.
He: Really? Don’t the village workers pick up stuff on the Riverwalk?
Me: No, they just empty the trash and recycling bins. It’ would probably be picked up by a concerned citizen or someone who wants to use the bench without sitting on someone else’s discarded cup.
TEAC clean-up projects, and conscientious residents to collect scattered trash.
He: So, what’s wrong if my cup gets in the River? Doesn’t it just float out to the ocean?
Me: That’s the problem, plastic trash does get into the oceans, and then it breaks into tiny toxic pieces called “microplastics” that are eaten by fish and birds, even working its way into our own food.
He: Yuck. I guess it’s not good for the fish and birds either.
Me: Yes, microplastics kill a lot of them.
He: So, what can I do?
Me: Lots of things… First, you can start using your own reusable cups and containers. Most places will let you bring your own refillable cups for drinks instead of using their plastic ones. You can also buy products that use less plastic in their packaging. And, if you have a container you don’t want to keep for a second use, be sure to put it into a recycling bin.
He: OK, I guess I’ll think about this next time. Maybe my friends need to know these things too. I’ll tell them.
Me: I thank you for listening and taking action
for our environment!

VEGAN RECIPE of the MONTH:
VEGAN CALABACITAS
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By: RACHEL TIEGER, TEAC CO-CHAIR

Whenever I’m looking for dinner inspiration, I review my coffers and Google those ingredients followed by “recipe” …and then tailor as needed. Today I had zucchini, corn, chard and jalapeños from the farmers market and fresh herbs and tomatoes from the garden

This recipe was submitted by Toni Okamoto in Plantbasedonabudget.com and is a Mexican-inspired Zucchini dish brimming with vibrant summer garden veggies like fresh zucchini, tomatoes, sweet corn and jalapeño. Sautéed with a trio of aromatic spices, Mexican oregano, cumin, and black pepper, it is delightfully savory and mildly spicy!

PREP TIME – 10 mins

COOK TIME – 10 mins

TOTAL TIME – 20 mins

4 servings

CALORIES 145 kcal

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

  • ½ of a medium yellow onion or large shallot diced

  • 1 jalapeño pepper diced or sliced (optional)

  • 3 garlic cloves minced (may omit if there are garlic sensitivities in the household – still delish)

  • 3 small zucchinis sliced and halved

  • 2 small or 1 large fresh summer tomatoes diced

  • 1 large ear of corn (or 2 small ears) cut off the cob

  • ½-1 teaspoon of salt

  • 1/2 tsp dry or 1-2 tsp fresh minced oregano

  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cumin

  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper

  • Handful of chopped cilantro (may sub basil or favorite fresh herbs)

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, add in the onion and pepper and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onion becomes tender and translucent.

Add in the garlic (if using), zucchini, tomatoes, and corn and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Optional: you may use a cast iron grill pan or outdoor rill to slightly blacken the veggies to add extra flavor.

Stir in the salt, oregano, cumin, and black pepper. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Squeeze some lime wedges,  sprinkle with Tajin or dot with hot sauce for some extra zest.

May be served as a side dish, main course, as a filling for tacos or burritos, in lettuce wraps or over a bed a sauteed swiss chard braised in white wine.

The TaSH is excited to launch an exciting roster of cultural and educational programming for Hispanic Heritage Month this year. Stay tuned for their full line-up of events. Hispanic Heritage month is sponsored by The Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Plus, did you know The David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center opens in October? Learn more!
 

 

LAST CALL FOR A FREE RIDE!
Take a BUS!

 

 

Did you know: Switching from plastic bags to reusable bags is only 1 percent as effective as giving up meat for one year! Source: Journal of Environmental Resource Letters

“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 © 2022 Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council, All rights reserved.

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