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Published May 22nd, 2024
Lafayette City Council gives out eight green awards
Lafayette City Council members with award recipients Photo provided

On April 22, the Lafayette City Council awarded eight Green Awards (Environmental Awards of Excellence) at their City Council meeting.
1) Chuck Silva - This Lafayette resident designed and installed a home gray water system after a recent remodel of his home. All the water from his washer, four bathroom vanities, bar sink, and showers is filtered, collected, stored, pumped, and distributed via a drip irrigation system to his backyard landscape. Gray water is the primary source of landscape irrigation, while the normal water supply is used as auxiliary. As he refines his model, he plans to share and replicate his efforts with others, during their major remodels and new construction.
2) Assistance League Diablo Valley Thrift Shop -- Established in 1978, this Lafayette business has been reusing and recycling thousands of items throughout the year, keeping them out of the landfill while giving them new life, and inspiring others to do the same. In 2023, 92,000 items were sold. Packaging materials are reused.; wire clothes hangers are donated to local dry cleaning businesses. Donations not chosen for sale are repurposed, or sometimes donated to other organizations. Their youth auxiliary Assisteens is a group of 60 young people ages 12-18 who volunteer in the thrift shop. Since 1991, Assistance League Thrift Shop has published a Thrift Shop Trail Guide, helping customers find other thrift stores in the area.
3) Mighty Market -- This Lafayette business is a refill apothecary and sustainable goods brick and mortar store, which helps to reduce single use container waste. They offer refills of home care and body products at affordable prices. Since 2020, Mighty Market has helped to divert 174,080 single use containers from the landfill. They provide quality ingredients, sustainable products, and continue social outreach on green initiatives.
4) Mary Laska -- A former Lafayette student at Acalanes, Mary championed environmental stewardship by implementing school-wide programs for garbage classification. She held highly-attended informative seminars at both Acalanes and the Lafayette public library, educating students and the community on actions they could take to reduce their environmental impacts, and even directed and premiered a 32-minute climate change film featuring many of her classmates, entitled, "Be the Change." Her outreach has centered around topics such as carpooling and water conservation, refrigerants and e-waste, trash sorting and hazardous waste, and food waste and diet.
5) Buy Nothing Project -- A Lafayette community organization started by Nancy Hu in 2018, who currently runs it with co-admin Christina Goddard. In 2022, a second Buy Nothing Lafayette, CA 2.0 was started and is managed by co-admins Jen Bhadra, Alphonsine Viry, and Carly Anne. The Buy Nothing Project, started in 2013 in Washington, is centered around fostering community connections through Asks, Gifts, and Expressions of Gratitude. Everything is free, as no monetary transactions are involved. Neighbors have been able to reduce their waste by reusing, borrowing, repurposing, and thoughtfully regifting their household items. Some members who have moved away have shared that they have started Buy Nothing groups in their new communities where Buy Nothing did not previously exist.
6) Elizabeth Dietsch -- This Lafayette resident championed the zero waste annual family picnic for the Springhill Valley Homeowners Association, hosting 264 homeowners and 1000+ residents in October 2023. Elizabeth encouraged attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles, provided Boy Scout reusable dishes and serving plates, reusable utensils, and set up multiple recycle and compost receptacles throughout the site. Because of Elizabeth's advocacy, all subsequent events will be Green.
7) Contra Costa Fruit Rescue -- A community organization run by Lafayette resident Pat Schultz, Contra Costa Fruit Rescue (formerly Urban Farmers) harvests fruit that would otherwise go to waste and upcycles it to those who can use and consume it, such as White Pony Express. Having started harvesting in January 2023, they have collected in total 60,000+ lbs of fruit, and diverted 7,355 lbs of fruit out of the waste stream in Lafayette, mostly coming from 42 Lafayette owners and the Lafayette Reservoir. Besides reducing food waste, they have participated in community outreach events to educate area residents and businesses on food waste, food insecurity, and food justice issues. They partner with community organizations such as Sustainable Lafayette, Lafayette Community Garden, Sustainable Contra Costa, and RecycleSmart to promote their free program, so that they can further reduce waste and feed more people.

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