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DAN'S PAPERS, July 10, 2009 Page 62 www.danshamptons.com

Over The Barrel... with Lenn Thompson

Sweeping Up and Getting Green On The North Fork By Phyllis Lombardi It’s tough but I have to tell you. Our North Fork needs a good cleaning. From Orient through Riverhead, there’s a job to do and now’s the time. Just listen to this. Within the past month I saw a discarded paper cup on Main Road in Peconic. And I drove behind a black pickup belching even blacker smoke. That was on Route 48 in Mattituck. Check out Riverhead. A small shop closed on Main Street and the former owner left two torn and discolored posters hanging in the shop window. I ask you. Is this any way to treat our fork? Bet you can’t find a

thrown-away paper cup on the South Fork. What could I do? I don’t have an extension cord long enough to allow me to walk Main Road, from Riverhead to Orient, vacuuming every litter bit. Besides, our highway department does a splendid job. I decided to attend a CLEANING WORKSHOP sponsored by the Group for the East End. The workshop was to be held in the

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group’s North Fork office in Southold on a Wednesday between 5:30 and 7 p.m. The time seemed peculiar, dinner time, but maybe group members were out all day cleaning the North Fork. If so, they’d be tired. Perhaps I should bring coffee and cookies to the meeting. I knew I had to bring a plastic spray bottle because of the invitation I got, I thought that strange. It would take an awfully long time or an awful lot of people to spray clean everything on the North Fork. Even so, I went to Cutchogue Hardware and bought a 32-oz. sprayer. Pretty – red and white. And made from recycled milk bottles. Good. Then guess what I discovered when I registered for the workshop? Its purpose wasn’t to spray the North Fork clean but rather to explain the use of green cleaning products. Now I see that word green all over the place. The stuff I clean with must be completely wrong. I have a white powder, a yellow liquid, a blue liquid, and even a liquid that’s pale pink. I know there’s green liquid dish detergent but I don’t have a dishwasher so I never bought it. Doesn’t matter. Folks at the Group for the East End told me green refers to a product’s effect on the environment and not the color of the product. Then the unimaginable happened. I received a phone message telling me the workshop was cancelled. I was the only one who signed up. I couldn’t believe it. North Forkers are clean. They really are. And they work hard. So why wouldn’t they go to a CLEANING WORKSHOP? I don’t want to scold North Forkers right here in Dan’s Papers. So I went to visit the Southold office. I’d get some information to pass on to North Forkers who passed up an opportunity to come clean. Wow. You should see that Southold office. It’s an old home completely restored. Windows sparkled, polished wood floors reflected the afternoon sun. Rugs looked as if they were vacuumed hourly. This Group for the East End (there’s a South Fork office, too) practices what it preaches. Clean. Kate Schertel, assistant to the president, showed me around and then introduced me to Jenn Hartnagel, environmental advocate and, on this day, a somewhat disappointed workshop leader. Jenn gave me a big armful of environmentally-safe cleaning information I’ll tell you about if you promise to attend Jenn’s next workshop. First, you have to do some shopping. Add lemons, baking soda, white distilled vinegar and olive oil to your supermarket list. If you clean with these products, said Jenn, you’ll not be using things that may cause respiratory problems, cancer, and other bad things. You can clean everything in your home. Mirrors and windows, floors and bathrooms. You name it. Except for your dog but I’m not sure about that. The group is concerned about a clean environment outside our homes, too. Jenn said not to use pesticides and herbicides because they run off into our waters. There are substitutes like get some worms to loosen up your soil and bees to pollinate your flowers. I don’t want to scare you with worms and bees. Jenn’s other suggestions may be less drastic. Call Jenn at 765-6450, ext. 211. Go to a workshop and buy a spray bottle and fill it with safe homemade stuff. Carry it and use it proudly ’cause it represents a fine idea. Cleaning up the North Fork – carefully.

Dan's Papers July 10, 2009  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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