The Town’s Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) announced today that results from its first-ever “Green Survey” are in and findings show that residents are taking action for a “greener” lifestyle and, along with the Town, are eager to do more.
Other key findings show that Fairfield residents highly value living in a place where community sustainability and environmental preservation are important priorities – and they are actively putting those values into practice in their own households.
The online survey was conducted by the SFTF from June to August this year; 343 Fairfield households responded. The survey examined how residents view preservation of Fairfield’s environmental well-being as well as the support they need to become more engaged in “living green.”
First Selectman Mike Tetreau said, “Preserving Fairfield’s environmental and community health is a long-standing Town commitment. It is gratifying to see how strongly that commitment is shared and valued among our residents. We believe that safeguarding our Town’s environment, now and into the future, can get a significant boost from many proactive steps that residents are encouraged to take every day at home and elsewhere. We intend to keep delivering to residents the guidance and information they need to play a critical, supportive role in keeping Fairfield a healthful, sustainable community.”
Community Sustainability, Environmental Preservation Deemed Important Priorities:
About three quarters -- 72% -- of survey respondents said that community sustainability and environmental preservation are very important to them personally and 74% strongly agreed that it’s important for them to live in a community focused on those issues.
Residents believe their personal concern is mirrored town-wide. Nearly nine of 10 (89%) agree that “people I know in Fairfield generally care about community sustainability and environmental preservation” and 88% agree that Fairfield’s town leaders care about those issues. Nearly two thirds (65%) strongly agree that “it’s important for me to reduce my ‘carbon footprint.’”
SFTF Chair Scott Thompson stated, “Many residents are translating their concern about sustainability and the environment into concerted action, taking relatively simple steps at home that, over time, can make a real difference when it comes to community-wide environmental benefit.”
Among the top steps that residents have taken to green their lifestyles are recycling more (95%), reducing their household’s energy usage (81%), carrying their own bags to the supermarket (81%), buying an energy-efficient appliance (81%), and reducing use of harmful household chemicals (68%). Nearly half of survey respondents (47%) have investigated installing a home solar energy system through the “Solarize Fairfield” campaign, which introduces residents to the benefits of solar power.
“As much as residents are doing, there is always more that we can do,” Mr. Thompson said. “In particular, our survey indicates that many of us might be more closely examining the environmental consequences of our transportation habits. That’s a positive sign since, for many people, their car’s gasoline use can be the greatest single contributor to their own, personal carbon footprint.”
Growing Focus on Gasoline Consumption, Local Food Sources:
About four in 10 (42%) residents say they have so far reduced their gasoline consumption via public transportation or a more fuel-efficient vehicle. However, 66% say it is likely (38% very likely) that they will do so over the next 12 months.
Residents seem to be increasingly interested in the benefits of locally grown or organic produce as well: Though 64% say they already have taken the lifestyle step of buying more such produce, 86% say they are likely (57% very likely) to do so over the next 12 months.
Regardless of what they are already doing, nearly nine of 10 (89%) of residents agree (57% strongly) that they are interested in learning more about how to help support community sustainability and environmental preservation in Fairfield. And nine of 10 (91%) agree (67% strongly) that the Town of Fairfield should provide residents with more information on those topics as well as how to maintain an environmentally-conscious lifestyle.
Responding to that interest, the SFTF is overseeing the ongoing development and management of a Town Sustainability Plan which describes how residents can help support the Town’s continuing efforts on that front. The current version of the plan is viewable at https://www.fairfieldct.org/sustainabilityplan. Residents are invited to attend an upcoming public forum on the Sustainability Plan, to be held Saturday, November 10, 10 am, at Pequot Library, 720 Pequot Ave., Southport.
The SFTF also is posting useful articles on household and community sustainability on the Town Website. The latest article provides suggestions on tapping locally grown food sources for a more healthful, tasty diet.
For more information, please contact Jim Marren/Sustainable Fairfield Task Force/203-257-1701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.