Robin Bates-Mason would make a fine member of the Town Council. Robin grew up in Darien and has lived in New Canaan for 20 years — she knows this area well. She has two sons at New Canaan High School.
Robin organized and leads Planet New Canaan where I have observed firsthand her knowledge, caring and energy helping New Canaan to be more green, to deal with plastic bags, to pick up litter, to educate school kids and adults with speakers and films, along with many other efforts. New Canaan is recycling less of its waste and spending substantially more than nearby towns on waste disposal. The times are changing — we now have to pay to have recyclables removed rather than being paid for them. Robin organized a visit to City Carting, our waste hauler from the Transfer Station, in Stamford where they have a recycling center. We learned how we can recycle better, and we set up recycling guides at the Transfer Station. We visited in Darien the town’s Exchange Center, where residents leave clothing, furniture, sporting equipment and small appliances, and where they are picked up free-of-charge by other residents, benefitting the donor, the recipient and the town by reducing waste disposal — we’d like to do that here.
With Robin’s guidance, Planet New Canaan organized a Five Mile River cleanup and the Town-wide Clean Your Mile efforts in which hundreds of pounds of waste were cleaned up. Wasted! The Story of Food Waste with Anthony Bourdain, Bag It, a film about plastic bags told with humor and charm, Straws, a documentary about the environmental costs of single-use plastic straws, and Landscaping for Birds and Wildlife were shown at the Library, organized by Planet New Canaan. Planet New Canaan set up a program for commuters at the train station to get free coffee when they bring their own cups rather than purchasing coffee in a disposable cup, an effort to educate and change habits. Planet New Canaan has promoted the three Rs: Reduce purchases, Reuse what you have, and Recycle what you cannot use.
Robin has done the publicity for the New Canaan Beautification League, setting up a table at the Farmers Market and writing about our activities for local news outlets.
Robin’s efforts are saving New Canaan money, making New Canaan and our planet more sustainable, and making New Canaan more beautiful. Robin cares about our planet and our town, and she’s demonstrated that admirably. Robin would make a fine member of the Town Council.