If the Covid crisis and now the war in Ukraine have taught us anything, it is that human nature remains divided from nature and within itself.
But around the world and in our own backyard, businesses and individuals have been trying to rectify our relationship with the environment at least by addressing climate change in practical ways, a subject we explore in April WAG. Eldercare columnist Abbe writes about how seniors in Fairfield and Westchester counties are demonstrating that climate action isn’t for millennials only. In another instance, a whole town has gotten into the act. Building on the success of Bedford 2020, the environmental group Bedford 2030 seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the town by 80% this decade and to preserve the community’s natural resources.
It’s a challenge that companies are taking up in various ways. “We need to invest in our children and future generations and for that there is no better time than right now,” says Val Morano Sagliocco, whose Morano Group of landscape businesses in Westchester and Fairfield counties and beyond has gone green with electric mowers and blowers. It’s just one of the ways that Sagliocco — a perennial WAG subject and now our cover story — is demonstrating his entrepreneurship. In recent years, his company has truly bloomed, adding hardscaping (such as patios and terraces); high-profile clients (including Richard Gere’s Bedford Post Inn — see Jeremy’s story) and new locations, with West Palm Beach, Florida, recently joining workspaces in Westchester County, Greenwich and New York City.
Nor is Sagliocco’s the only multigenerational family business engaged with environmental concerns. Dan Singer, president and CEO of Robison, explains why his home comfort company is about a lot more than oil and gas and offers numerous great tips on how you can conserve energy in your own home. (See also Cami’s and Katie’s columns.)
Meanwhile, GoGreen Dry Cleaners, with 11 stores in Westchester, Putnam and Fairfield counties as well as Florida, has not only eschewed the carcinogenic PERC (perchloroethylene, the most common solvent used for dry cleaning in the United States) for silicone, but, as Jeremy discovers, its sister business, Go Green Restoration of Norwalk, helps customers clean fire-, smoke- and water-damaged clothing, which left untreated can lead to disease.
Sailing on to global enterprises, Debbi — who recently savored a trending 33-day Caribbean odyssey with husband and frequent writing partner Bill as part of Regent Seven Seas Cruises — reports on its efforts to aid the environment, from giving every passenger a stainless-steel thermal water bottle to its new Eco-Connect tours, more than 150 programs that enable passengers to learn from businesses and community groups around the world how they are contributing to environmental conservation and renewal.
If you’ve been reading the new WAG — all about local business lifestyle — then you know we are no longer exclusively thematic. Each month we bring you thoughtful features and behind-the-scenes stories on home (in this issue, equestrian properties in Greenwich); food (Jeremy’s review of Hinoki in Greenwich); wellness (personal trainer Billy Goda and Sherri L. Sandel, DO, FACP, the recently appointed medical director of Northern Westchester Hospital/Northwell Health in Mount Kisco) and other topics that are vital to our readers.
But it’s always fascinating to me as editor to see the synergy among our stories, whether by design or happenstance. So the cover story on Val Morano Sagliocco has echoes in our interview with Fordham University dean Anthony R. Davidson and in Jeremy’s pieces on the Bedford Post Inn and Ruby & Bella’s restaurant, which as part of SaksWorks Greenwich serves as the Morano company’s Fairfield County conference and meeting hub. (Sagliocco is a founding member of SaksWork Greenwich’s board of directors.) And there are reverberations between Phil’s piece on Touro College — now Touro University in New York state, spearheaded systemwide by Alan Kalish, M.D. — and Peter’s story on Boston University health law professor George J. Annas, who will be among the featured speakers at the virtual April 28 Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Symposium by New York Medical College in Valhalla — home of Touro’s School of Dental Medicine.
Both stories remind us that while we act locally, we must also think globally as Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine are never far from us. Rajni returns to us with a fusion recipe that offers an Indian twist on a Ukrainian favorite, deruny, potato pancakes. She wanted to pay tribute to Ukraine and did it in the way she knows best, through her cooking. Her pancakes of solidarity remind us of the Robert Frost poem “The Tuft of Flowers,” about two gardeners working at separate times of the day in a grassy space, the narrator, alone and perhaps also lonely, finally taking comfort in a patch of milkweed that the early mower has left for the butterflies to sup on and for him to delight in. No longer “alone,” the narrator concludes:
“‘Men work together.’ I told him from the heart,
‘Whether they work together or apart.’”
A 2020 YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester Visionary Award winner and a 2018 Folio Women in Media Award Winner, Georgette Gouveia is the author of “Burying the Dead,” “Daimon: A Novel of Alexander the Great” and “Seamless Sky” (JMS Books), as well as “The Penalty for Holding,” a 2018 Lambda Literary Award finalist (JMS Books), and “Water Music” (Greenleaf Book Group). They’re part of her series of novels, “The Games Men Play,” also the name of the sports/culture blog she writes.
Last year, her short story “The Glass Door” was published by JMS and exhibited in “Together apART: Creating During COVID” at ArtsWestchester in White Plains. Her latest story, “After Hopper,” is also available from JMS Books. For more, visit thegamesmenplay.com.