Wilton may go even greener

Before Wilton signed on to a new statewide initiative that helps towns become sustainable, called Sustainable CT, a series of steps and information sharing would need to take place, according to the executive director of Wilton Go Green.

Daphne Dixon, the director of Wilton’s already green-conscious movement, was one of the Wilton representatives who attended the regional launch Jan. 9 of the independently funded grassroots and municipal effort known as Sustainable CT, which was held at the Comstock Community Center.

Sustainable CT encourages towns to choose sustainable actions, and helps them with grants. Wilton is already well on the way, with an expansive solar electricity program in the schools, for example, as well as in private homes.

After information sharing has taken place, “Wilton Go Green will be a collaborator in the process,” Dixon said in an email after the event.

The initiative was developed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, together with  the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

“At Wilton Go Green, we are committed to engaging the entire community in initiatives that advance a culture of conservation. We are supportive of programs that help Wilton Go Green educate residents, schools and businesses about best practices in building, energy, food, transportation, and waste/recycling to drive responsible stewardship of air, land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources, thereby promoting and supporting efforts by the town of Wilton and other Wilton organizations to achieve environmental sustainability,” Dixon said.

Wlton Selectman Deborah McFadden was among the representatives from Wilton attending the event. She said Debra Thompson-Van of the Wilton Energy Commission and Dixon of Wilton Go Green will do an assessment of what Wilton has already accomplished toward a Sustainable CT certification.

“2018, as the launch year, will have easier standards for certification than years in the future, so I feel we should take a close look. I am hopeful we have already met the bronze-level requirements,” McFadden told The Bulletin.

The event at the Comstock Community Center was sponsored by the Western Connecticut Council of Governments as a planners lunch. The lunch was well-attended, with more than 40 people in Room 13.

An information table at the event showed that some of the actions expected of sustainable towns include the adoption of a permitting process to promote sustainable development, the streamlining of solar energy permitting, clean and diverse transportation systems and choice, and the encouragement of smart commuting, among others.

Towns are expected to promote public transit, and encourage health and sustainable food networks.