Sustainably Lewis is a consortium of Lewis County officials and members of the community to facilitate effective collaboration on sustainability initiatives.
Our goal is to bring socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable solutions that create healthy, resilient, sustainable communities.
Sustainably Lewis Community Spotlight
Community Choice Aggregation
If you would like to know more, request a personal meeting with Joule or ask Joule questions; please contact Megan Krokowski and she will get you in touch with the Joule CCA associate.
Clean Energy Communities: This NYSERDA initiative supports local government leaders across the State to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. In 2017, Lewis County became the first community in the North Country region to earn Clean Energy Community designation.
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, Lewis County completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
- Deployed an alternative fuel vehicle and an electric vehicle charging station to encourage clean transportation options.
- Approved an energy benchmarking policy to track and report energy use in the County’s municipal buildings.
- Adopted the New York State Unified Solar Permit to streamline the approvals process for local solar projects.
- Completed energy code enforcement training on best practices in energy code enforcement for code compliance officers and other municipal officials.
Climate Smart Communities: Lewis County passed the Climate Smart Communities (CSC) pledge as a municipal resolution on December 2, 2020 to join the program and become a Registered Climate Smart Community. The CSC program supports local governments in New York State in leading their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to the effects of climate change, and thrive in a green economy. There are more than 100 eligible actions that can earn points towards CSC certification. These actions are organized under the 10 CSC Pledge elements:
- Build a climate-smart community
- Inventory emissions, set goals, and plan for climate action
- Decrease energy use
- Shift to clean, renewable energy
- Use climate-smart materials management
- Implement climate-smart land use
- Enhance community resilience to climate change
- Support a green innovation economy
- Inform and inspire the public
- Engage in an evolving process of climate action
Climate Smart Communities Task Force: The CSC Task Force promotes and supports climate action, mitigation, and adaptation across Lewis County government and in the community. Task Force members include community volunteers, nonprofit organizations, municipal officials, and staff from various County departments.
Climate Smart Task Force Members:
- Lauryn Tabolt, Lewis County Planning Department (Climate Smart Communities Coordinator)
- Tim Hunt, Lewis County Highway Department
- Sierra Kempney, Lewis County Public Health
- Jenna Kraeger, Naturally Lewis
- Alaina Mallette, Tug Hill Commission
- Matt O'Connor, Buildings and Grounds Supervisor
- Erin Griffin, Adirondack North Country Association
- Matthew Price, Adirondack North Country Association
- Nichelle Swisher, Lewis County Water & Conservation District
- Kim Vogt, Village of Copenhagen
Please submit your comments on the linked above Climate Vulnerability Assessment to Lauryn Tabolt at email@example.com
10 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING SUSTAINABILITY IN OUR COMMUNITY
Today, it is easier than ever to incorporate sustainability into your lifestyle. Sustainability isn’t about buying more expensive products or driving an electric car. It’s about creating awareness around how you choose to consume resources. When people collectively join to make a difference, unbelievable things can happen.
Here are some ways we can encourage sustainability in our community:
1. Community Garden
Community gardens hold a multitude of benefits. They create an inviting space for people to gather, make fresh produce available to the neighborhood and promote a deeper connection with your food sources.
Tip: Get people involved. Just because someone doesn’t want to be weeding tomatoes doesn’t mean they can’t join in! Individuals with experience in education, maintenance, or fundraising will be major assets to the garden’s success.
2. Reward System
Encourage local businesses and residents to be sustainable — then recognize their efforts. By rewarding their commitment to being green, you create a positive space to talk about sustainability.
Tip: Do some research on the many sustainable award systems out there. The Sustainable City Awards, Climate Protection Agreement Awards and the Arbor Day Foundation “Tree City USA” are great places to start.
3. Water Conservation
Engaging your community in water conservation can be a fun and dynamic process. When people talk about water conservation, they often mean taking shorter showers, bringing a reusable water bottle to work or turning off the sprinkler. However, there are tons of other ways to conserve water in your area.
Tip: Ask your employer if there are ways to reduce your company’s water footprint. Help them find cost-effective solutions while reducing consumption.
4. Waste-Free Activities
Start a conversation about how your region can better deal with waste at events such as festivals and fairs. Talk with event coordinators, service providers and facilities management about how to source more sustainably.
Tip: Make a small change and a significant impact by diversifying your waste streams at the next community event. If available in your area, look into a compost bin and recycling initiative, or ask if local farms will take food scraps.
The most significant sources of outdoor carbon monoxide pollution are vehicles. In urban areas — and some rural parts of the country — public transit and carpooling are becoming easily accessible. Be mindful of how much you drive. Look for ways to make your daily commute without using a vehicle.
Tip: Identify alternative commute options. By riding with a neighbor or taking the bus, you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
6. Energy-Efficient Buildings and Appliances
Reducing your carbon footprint doesn’t mean you need to make sacrifices or isolate yourself from society. Make energy usage a competition within your community. Whether it be through using less conventional electrical power at home or switching to a renewable source, you can highlight the benefits of saving energy and money.
Tip: Compare and contrast the higher installation costs of sustainable electricity — such as solar panels — with how much you could save on utility bills.
7. Sustainability-Focused Groups
Establishing and supporting sustainability-focused groups rallies the population around a common goal. Working with a group of people to tackle a project is a great way to affect change. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to connect with new individuals in a fun and enjoyable way!
Tip: Identify your community’s primary goals for going green. For example, the Institute for Sustainable Communities names four main facets — leadership, civic engagement and responsibility, ecological integrity and social well-being.
8. Local Businesses
The global economy makes a substantial environmental impact. By buying from local businesses, you support more jobs, reduce your carbon footprint and invest in your community.
Tip: See if there are local businesses in your area that sell products you usually buy at a box store or online. Buy necessities at local markets when possible.
An estimated 50% of U.S. produce is tossed out. Tackle food waste by composting in your backyard, or look into a local composting solution. In many locations, there are commercial compost companies that will pick up garbage and process it.
Tip: If your current living situation doesn’t allow for composting, check out compost pickup services or ask a neighbor if they know anyone who can.
10. Slow Fashion
Sustainability is all about making informed decisions on what you consume. Fast fashion involves creating cheap, mass-produced textiles with short lifespans yet major ecological impacts. It takes 20,000 liters of water to produce just one kilogram of cotton.
Tip: Support secondhand thrift stores, lead a neighborhood clothing exchange or donate items you no longer need to the local homeless shelter.
Starting a Green Conversation
The most effective sustainability strategies involve making simple adaptations in your daily life. Consider the main ways you consume resources, whether that be your grocery bill, energy bill, or gas mileage. By simplifying how you use resources, you can make an impact. When a whole community supports sustainability, great things can happen.
What sustainability efforts are you doing? Let Lauryn Tabolt (firstname.lastname@example.org) know for a chance to be featured on our website or Facebook page for your efforts!
- Municipal Solar Regulations Template
- NYS Homeowner's Guide to Solar- Leases, Loans and Power Purchase Agreements
- Climate Smart Communities Program
- Climate Change Summary in NYS
- Composting for Beginners
- A Homeowner's Guide to Composting
- EVERYTHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT HOME COMPOSTING
- Energy Audit Program - Agriculture
- Energy Audit Program-Residential
- Energy Efficient Home Tips
- Food Waste Mitigation
- Lewis County Public Transportation
- North Country Recycles
Lauryn Tabolt, Community Development Specialist