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New committee to promote going green in Agawam

By Katelyn Gendron

Reminder Assistant Editor

AGAWAM Going green is not just some 21st century fad for the human race. The threat of global warming on everyday human life on earth is a terrifying reality.

The threat of such catastrophic events, detrimental to the 21st century way of life and in the absence of large-scale federal or state efforts to combat the problem, a group of legislatures, town employees and residents have taken up arms to spread the word of green living.

The GO GREEN AGAWAM Committee was formed from the brainchild of Jay Berger and the Democratic Town Committee. He said that the absence of leadership from all levels of government prompted him to found this committee, which will explore numerous energy conservation efforts town-wide.

Corinne Wingard, chair of the GO GREEN AGAWAM Committee, said the mission of the organization is to "create initiatives and educational programs that encourage a culture of environmental responsibility in Agawam municipal, school, business and residential buildings."

Wingard explained that at the committee's first meeting on May 28, the members formed four subcommittees Municipal Buildings, Schools, Businesses and Homeowners to look at how specific facilities can adopt green practices. She noted that the meeting was attended by representatives from town government, the School Department and local businesses.

Wingard explained that the committee will also be working toward hosting an Energy Efficiency Month in October to jumpstart public awareness, followed by various themes each month thereafter.

Mayor Susan Dawson noted that the town has already taken steps to conserve energy, such as driving smaller town vehicles, turning off computers after the workday and choosing to run the air conditioning in Town Hall only during very hot days.

"I see going green as a positive shift for the environment and for our community," she said. "This [committee] is a way to teach the next generation as well as mine about green living."

Dawson noted that she is already exploring ways to "reward" residents who adopt green practices, such as recycling. She explained that increasing recycling in each household not only decreases the cost of trash pickup but recycling also brings in additional revenue for the town.

"Every little thing you do, if you make it a habit, can make a difference," City Councilor Jill Messick, also a member of the GO GREEN AGAWAM Committee, said. She added that residents can adopt energy-efficient practices now by using their air conditioning less, recycling all the time and not just when it's "convenient," installing energy-efficient light bulbs and turning on pool filters one hour less.

"If everybody did little things [to go green and save energy] the result would be huge," Messick said.

She explained that the GO GREEN AGAWAM Committee will aid all residents in adopting green practices, while also helping the town to save money by conserving energy within its municipal buildings.

The next meeting of the GO GREEN AGAWAM Committee will take place on June 25 at 7 p.m. at the Department of Public Works, 1000 Suffield St.

For more information about the committee contact Wingard via phone at 786-9467 or via e-mail at