Westport celebrated Green Day over the weekend. It’s purpose: To get Westporters thinking and doing GREEN, ie inspiring people to make more sustainable choices. It’s important to me to feel like I am part of the community so I decided to attend a few events on the schedule.

swangorhamisland

 

I met the Beautification Committee in Parker Harding plaza and helped pick up garbage in the parking lot. You would have been astounded by how many cigarette butts and Starbucks (single –use) plastic swizzle sticks we found on the ground. I don’t smoke or generally go to Starbucks, but I was inspired to double up my efforts on reducing single-use plastic items: bags (brought my own to Stew Leonard’s on Sunday!), water bottles (I have an Igloo cooler in the van so bring your own bottle to fill up if you rent a bike!), and STRAWS (I ordered 2 drinks over the weekend & forgot to say, “no straw, please”.) Please learn more about how a simple choice, eliminating plastic straws, can make a huge impact on our planet. I encourage you to “like” The Last Plastic Straw.

 

I went for a tour of the Wastewater Treatment plant. draintosoundWe have a UV-system, meaning we use light rather than chemicals like chlorine to disinfect our wastewater. One of the biggest challenges…nitrogen from over-fertilized lawns upsetting the chemical balance. Currently, my house is grass-impaired. It literally burned away last year so we need to get some professional help. However, we are going to address ways to limit the amount of sun and reduce the runoff in our yard in that area. If you have a yard maintenance company using fertilizer, please consider using an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. Remember, every choice you make, ends up in the Long Island Sound.

 

tulip treeI headed up to the Lillian Wadsworth Arboretum (at the base of Earthplace) to help Bruce Lindsey, Tree Warden, build trails. I’ll be including some of Westport’s significant trees on my routes. Currently, there is only a tulip tree in Eno Marsh Preserve on the Saugatuck Shores route. Stay tuned for more tree points-of-interest.

 

My last stop was Wakeman Town Farm.  Firstly, we found a trail from the Staples parking lot to the farm. It is basically a birding wonderland. We saw birds of every shape & color. Most spectacularly we saw a blue heron, evidently a daily visitor. I only caught a picture of goldfinches. We attended 2 of the scheduled events: a Butterfly Garden talk and Sheep Shearing.Now you may have notice that there is a Monarch Butterfly on my logo. It is a nod to Santa Cruz… one of the migration stops for the Monarchs. Did you know that it’s possible to become a registered butterfly way station? Currently, there are TWO registered butterfly way stations in Westport. Guess who’s inspired? ME! Let the gardening begin.

 

Green Day is a reminder that we are all connected, and that our choices matter. It’s incumbent upon all of us to find our gifts and share them with the world so that we inspire something in someone else. It doesn’t have to be BIG to have an impact.

 

The next time you have a chance to step (or ride) outside your routine, connect with other people, share ideas, and spend the day outside (and off your phone), take it! You might think that you can’t possible fit it into your schedule. You might think it will drain you of  energy. Here’s the truth…when you give of yourself in a meaningful way, and connect with other people, the gift is yours…the good feelings return to you multiplied.

 

The goal of Westport Bike Rentals is to connect people and places in a fun and leisurely way. Green Day 2016 did my work for me…it connected me to people, places and ideas in fun, creative ways. Thanks, Green Day 2016.