On Wednesday, June 27, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein was joined by Department of the Environment Coordinator Amanda LaValle, Ulster County Legislator Manna Jo Greene, members of the Ulster County Climate Smart Committee, and the Office of Economic Development to help launch the Green Business Challenge (GBC), a Building Ulster County Together initiative. The event launched the GBC, which has a goal of getting 100 Ulster businesses, organizations and municipalities to partner with local experts and GBC Ambassadors to increase the installation and usage of renewable energy sources, such as solar panels, which can both save money and significantly reduce carbon emissions. Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville has been a trailblazer in this effort and was honored, along with several other local businesses, with an award for achieving status as a “Green Business Challenge Leader.” Other leaders included Bread Alone Bakery, Mohonk Mountain House, Ryan & Ryan Insurance Brokers, Evolving Media, and SUNY New Paltz. Frost Valley’s Chief Operations Officer, Tom Holsapple, accepted the award on behalf of the organization and also gave an inspiring presentation about Frost Valley’s sustainability practices and upcoming initiatives.
In regards to its forward-thinking sustainability efforts, Frost Valley, which estimates serving over a million meals a year, has been composting 100% of its food waste for over 20 years. In the last year, Frost Valley has significantly revitalized its recycling program to make it even easier for guests to dispose of their waste properly. LED lights and low-flow faucets have been installed across the property, and several buildings rely on solar power. Furthermore, Frost Valley also serves it’s guests and staff its own produce, including vegetables and eggs, on its 550-acre farm. Currently, Frost Valley is preparing to install an extensive solar array that will allow for 40% of the organization’s electricity to come from solar.
“The Green Business Challenge is an amazing opportunity for businesses, organizations and our community to work together to help impact climate change at the local level,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “Businesses should not have to choose between the environment and finances because increased green energy use can address both at the same time. The more that individuals, businesses and organizations increase their use of renewable energy, the more effective they can be in helping to make our environment cleaner and safer for this generation and the next. I am proud of the tremendous work by the Department of the Environment, Legislator Manna Jo Greene and the Climate Smart Committee, and Office of Economic Development in helping to reach out to our community so we can truly build our future together.”