At the Sustainable Warwick January meeting, reports detailed activity on multiple fronts. From the Climate and Energy Committee, Bill Makofske reported that a couple of members of the Sustainable Warwick Climate and Energy Committee presented sustainability information to the Village of Warwick Master Plan Committee three weeks ago. They provided three recommendations:
-Incorporate the 2020 Stretch Code as the Village’s building code;
-Provide planning for more active and passive solar use on single and multi-family housing, businesses and public sites;
-Plan for replacing fossil fuel heating and water heating with advanced heat pump technology at a variety of scales.
Their arguments included that Orange and Rockland is planning to decrease its gas sales in the very near future. New York City has already moved in this direction by banning new natural gas hookups. Diminished availability of natural gas is expected in the near future. Meanwhile, the stretch code makes it easier and cheaper to add heat pumps to new construction by reducing energy costs by 10-12%, with a payback in single homes of less than six years.
We also pointed out that geothermal heat pumps have considerable advantages in cost and efficiency when scaled up for multiple homes, communities, and larger buildings. As the grid becomes more renewable in accordance with NYS law, heat pumps will be both pollution and greenhouse gas free. Bill Makofske confirmed that all three proposals may be included in the Master Village Plan.
Hike report. Julia Calderon reported approximately ten people participated in the Sustainable Warwick Annual Hike on December 19th. Soňa Mason led the hike and made sure everyone learned about which plants were native and which were invasive. It was an enjoyable event, but when the pandemic allows, we all look forward to sitting down for a potluck dinner.
Book Club: Christina Thomas shared the good news that the library wants the Sustainable Warwick Book Club to be one of their public book clubs, which means they will be the formal host of the book club and will advertise meetings through their newsletter and other channels. Last month’s book was “The New Climate Wars,” by Michael Mann. The next meeting will be on February 8, 3:00 p.m. via Zoom to discuss, “Finding the Mother Tree,” by Suzanne Simard.
Pollinators Pathway: The webinar schedule was discussed for Monday, January 25, 7:30 p.m., in which Soňa Mason and Pam Golben describe how to grow native plants from seeds. Peter Hall posted a recording of the webinar. They have also made free native plant seeds available at Albert Wisner Public Library. This is one of the first events of the Pollinator Pathway Project that several members have been working on. Email growlocalGWL@gmail.com to join the Pollinator Pathway Project.
Green Screen. The members of the Green Screen Committee will interview candidates in the Village of Warwick mayoral and trustee races. Contact Bill Greene if you would like to participate.
Other Sustainability News
Michael Helme told the meeting about a new app for cell phones called RecycleCoach that is now live in Orange County. This app can be downloaded wherever you get your apps, and it has very helpful information about what, where and how to recycle things. Don’t use cell phone apps? Check out recyclecoach.com.
Elizabeth Knight confirmed that there will be a Too Good To Toss event this summer — not in the spring.
The Riverkeeper event for cleaning tributaries of the Hudson River will be held on May 7 this year. Christina Thomas is looking for a co-manager to help out.
Upcoming ZOOM Events
Refrigerants: Solutions for the Super GHGs Lurking All Around Us
This webinar is at 7 p.m, Thursday, January 27. Register in advance.
Climate Resilience Plan
This is a public meeting held by Orange County on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. R.S.V.P. to attend this meeting.
For information, contact Michael Helme at Helme3e@yahoo.com