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Green Team Introduces 'One Pound at a Time' Initiative

The Fair Lawn Green Team, in partnership with Borough Manager Tom Metzler, will be launching a series of events and initiatives to encourage healthier and more environmentally sustainable lifestyles among borough residents.

Fair Lawn residents who resolved to drop a few pounds in 2012 can soon rally around the efforts of Borough Manager Tom Metzler, who will become the poster boy for the Green Team’s new One Pound at a Time initiative.

While the team coordinates an effort to encourage residents to lose weight this year, the manager will take up the task himself, in a weight loss challenge to drop one pound at a time for charity.

The Green Team introduced three components of its initiative earlier this year: reduce weight, reduce waste, and inflate tires.

“These are three components that we feel will make Fair Lawn a more sustainable community,” said Councilwoman Lisa Swain, who proposed the initiative.

The first two components, weight loss and waste reduction, go hand in hand, said team chair Joan Goldstein. As residents reduce their food consumption, the hope is that the burden on the borough’s garbage collection, which is billed by weight, will lighten.

“If everybody in town reduces their garbage output by a pound a week, Fair Lawn would end up saving $35,000,” Goldstein said.

The team will be producing literature to educate residents on the borough’s recycling services, composting to reduce garbage, and nutrition and weight loss, to encourage residents to take small steps in improving their health and reducing their impact on the environment.

“The whole idea is if you do things in small increments, it’s easier to do,” Goldstein said.

The team will also be launching a website where residents can get information as well as blog about their own experiences.

And Tom Metzler has volunteered to be a rallying point around the efforts. After a public weigh-in next month, residents will be able to pledge money per pound he sheds, and money will go toward home repairs for residents in Bergen County towns like Moonachie or Little Ferry that were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.

“It seemed like an opportunity to promote the Green Team program, it seemed like an opportunity to give me an incentive to lose weight, and it was an opportunity to raise money to rebuild some of the homes that were damaged by the hurricane,” Metzler said.

The weigh-in will take place at the Community Center February 20, and pledge forms will be available at the borough website by next week. A nutritionist will also be in attendance to present weight loss strategies.

The event will be the second in the team’s initiative, the first being the First Day 5K that took place on January 1. Other events planned include a workshop on composting in April, and a spring walk still in the planning stages by the Borough Council.

The team hopes that the efforts, along with new channels for information and dialogue on wellness, will foster a broader, positive community attitude toward healthy and environmentally sustainable living.

Meanwhile, the hope is for Metzler's efforts to raise enough money to partner with a Bergen County family whose home was devestated by the hurricane.

“And his clothes are going to get too big for him,” Goldstein added. “So there’ll be clothing donations.”

Edward Moxgrove January 24, 2013 at 08:46 PM
What's waste of tax payer resources! It's time we end the green team and cut the nonsense out. If Metzler wants to do something to help the Enviornment he can move to Fair Lawn instead of commuting here to make $150,000+ including his recent pay raise.
Dan January 25, 2013 at 03:43 PM
So everyone should just get more and more obese, eat more and not attempt self-improvement? Interesting logic… Are you by any chance an obese person who cannot walk? Now, it is good that someone is trying to do something to improve the health and well-being of the people in Fair Lawn. But the reality is when everyone drives their cars everywhere and barely walks, not much could be done to improve the situation. That is sad situation is most US suburbs. Fair Lawn is actually not the worst since it has NJ trains and buses… And I agree that Mr. Metzler should move to Fair Lawn and walk to work every day for at least 20 minutes one way. That would be the most valuable practical contribution that he can make to improve environment and reduce his waistline.
Julia Enerson January 25, 2013 at 09:55 PM
“If everybody in town reduces their garbage output by a pound a week, Fair Lawn would end up saving $35,000,” Goldstein said. 35K is a nice chunk of change and a small step towards something larger. Way to go, Joan!
Deleted because of harassment January 26, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Bergen County Freecycle ( BergencountyFreecycleTM@yahoogroups.com ) - a great way to donate unwanted household items, leftover lumber and paint, appliances, etc. and reduce waste, as well as save money for the inverse. We've used it frequently, both ways, to get rid of things not worth a garage sale and to pick up odds and ends not worth shopping for.

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