EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – In Eastchester, when the subject is the environment, the conversation will almost always include Peter McCartt. The volunteer chair of the Eastchester Environmental Committee (EEC) has left his mark on green initiatives from recycling to park cleanups to encouraging people to choose bicycles over cars.
On April 20, the Volunteer Center of United Way will honor McCartt along with seven other volunteers at the 32nd annual Volunteer Spirit Awards celebration and benefit. The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday at the Hilton Rye Town with CBS-2 Journalist Lou Young as master of ceremonies.
According to the Volunteer Center of the United Way's press release, McCartt, who is also chair of the Southern Westchester Energy Action Consortium (SWEAC) "created two respected environmental organizations, and he continues to cultivate and motivate similar efforts throughout the county to preserve and protect our environment through sound policy and dedicated volunteerism."
"I'm very humbled by it," McCartt said. "I've been working with a lot of people, aggregating the resources and people" to accomplish his goals.
As chair of the EEC, McCartt said he advises Eastchester and its citizens on ways to become more environmentally friendly, "all the ways to be green."
"A lot of it is public outreach and education," McCartt said. "We teach people what they should be doing and the difference that it makes."
According to its website, SWEAC is a collaboration of municipally appointed citizen committees addressing energy and other sustainability concerns in Southern Westchester with participation from elected officials and environmental committees from Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Tarrytown, Tuckahoe, White Plains and Yonkers. Its mission is "to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save money for our municipal governments, residents and businesses, increase energy efficiency in our communities, promote renewable energy generation, foster vibrant local economies and align our efforts with county, state and federal sustainability initiatives."
"We applaud the invaluable contributions of all volunteers who affect change in our neighborhoods," said Alisa H. Kesten, executive director of the Volunteer Center of United Way in a press release. "The Volunteer Spirit Awards celebrate the ways the young and young at heart use professional skills, talents and enthusiasm to give back 365 days a year."