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Darien Pledges To Go Green

Darien business owner Charlie Sahlia tried to make his Upper Crust Bakery and Café more environmentally friendly when he was renovating it. "We got rid of all Styrofoam products,” Sahlia said, “and use exclusively recycled paper products. Whenever we can, we use unaltered, organically grown ingredients from local farmers' markets."

Sahlia is among the town business people who have taken a pledge to help the planet as part of the Chamber of Commerce's fourth annual Darien Goes Green initiative.  The pledge requires that they declare what they have done in the last year to be more environmentally conscious.

But it's not just businesses that are committing to the green movement.  There is also:

• A contest in which high school students design a poster for Darien Goes Green, with the winning entry being displayed around town.

• Choose to Reuse in Darien partnering with the chamber to promote its drive to ban use of plastic bags in town.

• A "Green Drinks" nights, hosted with the New Canaan Green Drinks program, where people meet for food and drinks and discuss their ideas to increase sustainability.

"I think the people of Darien are really proactive and forward thinking and are really enthusiastic about sustainability," said Carol Wilder-Tamme, president of the Darien Chamber.

The green project culminates April 30 with a townwide beautification day, sponsored with the Beautification Commission , during which members from nonprofits pick up trash. Each group picks a section of town to clean up, and what they gather is hauled away by the Public Works Department .

"It's fabulous the job they all do," Wiler-Tamme said.

Sahlia and other business owners are happy to help spread the message of environmental protection. "You can't change everyone, but as long as you make them aware, it's a good thing."

What do you think about Darien Goes Green? Are you planning on participating? Start a conversation in the comments below, on Facebook and on Twitter .

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