Darien's 9th Annual "Going for Green" Awards Honor Local Green Businesses

On Thursday, April 21st , in preparation for Earth Day, The Darien Chamber of Commerce awarded the winners of the 9th Annual “Going for Green” Event which promotes the following community initiative…”I pledge to the community to make “Going for Green” part of my way of doing business and making lifestyle choices in Darien. As I make decisions for my business, or my life, I will consider green options to help make Darien and the Earth, a safe and hospitable home for present and future generations.” This year “Going For Green” was sponsored by First County Bank and the awards reception was held at the Darien Branch on the Post Road. Chamber members, Estias: Back Porch Café and Meatball & Company generously provided delicious appetizers for the reception.

The first awards announced were winners of the annual poster contest with the DHS Graphics Design Class, taught by Dorine Bosler. The students were given an assignment to create a poster to be used in the Darien Community promoting green choices and the “pledge”. This year, First Place went to Cheyenne de la Rivera and Second Place went to Valerie Le. Their posters can be seen in windows of retailers around town promoting “green choices” to the Darien community. All twelve of the posters are part of the “All Things Green Festival” at the Darien Library.

In addition, the Darien Chamber recognized three DCC members that have taken steps to be “environmentally friendly” that are good for the Darien community. These award winners are leaders in the community and exemplify steps that any local business or resident can take themselves to be more environmentally friendly. Susan Marks, Selectman, attended and thanked the award winners for their efforts and to congratulate the DHS Students on their winning poster designs.

2016 Re-Purposing Award of Darien goes to The Gardener’s Center & Florist. The Gardener’s Center has made changes using native plants in their outdoor landscaping. This plan was very creative in that they removed 1000 sq ft. of turf grass between the sidewalk and Post Rd. and replaced it with two species of ornamental sedge grasses—Carex pensylvanica and Carex appalachica which are native to the Eastern region of the US. The turf grass requires water, fertilizer, and soil additives while the Sedge Grasses require very little water, nutrients and maintenance! These were creatively reused from a green roof garden project in NYC! In addition, the soil from the roof garden was recycled and repurposed.

2016 Green Choice Award of Darien goes to Palmer’s Market. Palmer’s has made many changes voluntarily to be more “green”. This process has proven to not only benefit the environment but has also helped Palmer’s be more efficient and economical. From something as simple as providing reusable cups and mugs to employees and adding a water cooler, to working with Eversource to replace all the florescent lights with energy-efficient LED bulbs (10,000 light bulbs), to updating all the refrigeration of the cases and adding night shades, recycling packaging materials, and proper disposal of cooking oils, Palmer’s is committed to reducing it’s environmental footprint on the Town of Darien.

2016 Non-Profit of Darien Award goes to the DCA Thrift Shop. This shop is truly an example of recycling, reusing, and repurposing any and all things possible! For example, New toys, which cannot be sold at the DCA are stored for “Toys for Tots” each Christmas, Blankets that are unsold are sent to PAWS, Socks go to shelters, soft toys go to POST 53 to keep children company when transported in the ambulance to the hospital, and wedding dresses are stored and sold by the DCA to customers who buy and send them to Haiti (and other countries) again for girls who can't afford them. And, shoppers can always find something useful to buy that is unwanted by another. The money raised is used by the DCA for their many endeavors. At the DCA Thrift Shop nothing goes to waste!

The Mission of the Darien Chamber of Commerce is to work to improve the quality of life for the businesses and residents of Darien. The DCC is sponsored by Elite Sponsor-Darien Rowayton Bank throughout the year.