Wilton Go Green plans 2014 festival, will promote CD recycling

At its inaugural meeting of the year on Jan. 8 at Trackside Teen Center, Wilton Go Green presented two big initiatives for this year’s environmental agenda: residential efficiency and recycling CDs and DVDs.

“The goal of the residential efficiency initiative is to help homeowners make their homes more energy-efficient,” said Karen Stanley, president of Wilton Go Green.

Ms. Stanley said the initiative, sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power, involves working with homeowners to get a Home Efficiency Solutions (HES) assessment.

HES assessments, also known as energy audits, can pinpoint where a home is losing energy, determine the efficiency of heating and cooling systems and identify improvements that can preserve energy and save homeowners money.

“I think that Connecticut’s biggest issue is lowering the cost of energy because we have very high energy costs,” said state Rep. Gail Lavielle, who serves on Wilton Go Green’s advisory board and was a speaker at the meeting. “Lowering the cost of energy is always an issue.”

Wilton Go Green’s residential efficiency initiative encourages Wilton homeowners to get their homes audited by one of three vendors: HE-Energy Solutions, Next Step Living, or New England Smart Energy.

“The town of Wilton identified these three vendors to do the assessment work, and there will be many opportunities for people to sign up around town,” said Ms. Stanley.

Wilton Go Green will pass out energy brochures that explain why people should get the energy assessment, what they can expect and what the advantages are of getting the assessment done.

For each energy assessment completed in Wilton, the vendors will donate $25 to the Norwalk River Valley Trail. Ms. Stanley said Wilton Go Green is expecting to raise around $1,000.

“People always think this kind of thing is going to cut into their lives and that they’ll have to make a lot of sacrifices, when in fact, if they do it right, it can make it easier,” said Ms. Lavielle.

Unwanted CDs

Wilton Go Green’s second initiative, recycling, will focus on CDs and DVDs.

“People will be able to drop off their CDs and DVDs with the covers and cases,” said Ms. Stanley, adding that collection sites are to be determined.

Once people drop off their disks, Wilton Go Green will ship the recyclables to the CD Recycling Center of America in New Hampshire.

“It’s the only place in the country that recycles CDs and DVDs,” said Ms. Stanley. “CDs that are thrown out instead of being recycled remain in the same state, but the CD Recycling Center shreds and recycles the CDs.”

In addition to the two initiatives, Wilton Go Green announced the continuation of the Green Speakers series at Wilton Library and the 2014 Go Green Festival.

“The biggest thing Wilton Go Green does is the Go Green Festival,” said Ms. Lavielle. “The first festival was a smashing success. Wilton Go Green has done a really great job at putting these events together.”

This year’s festival — its fourth — will be on Sunday, May 4, on the Wilton Town Green.

“It’s a major effort each year, as well as the primary source of money used to help fund other initiatives,” said Ms. Stanley. “We have had turnouts ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 people at previous festivals.”

Ms. Stanley said there will be vendors, organic food, nonprofit groups, plants for sale, new energy-efficient cars on display, and activities for kids at this year’s Go Green Festival.

“It’s a good way to show families a way to make the planet a better place for their children and grandchildren,” said Ms. Stanley.

Wilton Go Green has six newly elected officers to take on this year’s busy agenda: President Karen Stanley, who was previously vice president; Vice President Jana Bertkau, Secretary Dana Jips, Treasurer Jerry Price-Goodwin, and board members Peg Koellmer and the Rev. Arnold Thomas of Wilton Congregational Church.

“Our vision is to have Wilton be the most environmentally sustainable town in Connecticut,” said Ms. Stanley. “I think it’s a reasonable vision to have.”