Getting to know us at Sustainable Saratoga

Welcome to our getting to know the Sustainable Saratoga Board of Directors series to help you get to know us better! Each week, we will add a new Board member tidbit to this page. Check back and learn more about the passionate people who are behind our efforts to bring more sustainability to Saratoga Springs.

This week we are featuring “Try it Out Tuesday” from Margie Shepard.

Margie Shepherd portrait

Margie Shepherd

What is one thing you wish everyone would try to do to be more sustainable?

“I wish people would multiply their own behavior by millions and be aware of the consequences of that behavior over time.” – Margie Shepard, Co-Chair, Zero Waste Committee

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Read on to learn about Marian Walsh. Marian is the Treasurer of Sustainable Saratoga.

Marian Walsh Portrait

Marian Walsh

How did you get interested in issues of sustainability?

I have always been interested in reducing waste, finding alternative energy sources, and trying to reserve the planet for my descendants.

What are your experiences or skills related to Sustainable Saratoga’s mission?

Organic vegetable and flower gardening, maintaining a perennial garden with NY native plants to support butterflies, bees, and other good (and, sometimes not so good) insects; composting and doing what I can to reduce waste, reuse and recycle in my house and garden

What are some changes you have made to live more sustainably?

This year I have greatly reduced my use of plastic food bags by storing food in reusable plastic containers and jelly jars with lids; using reusable beeswax food covers and reusable silicone food covers instead of saran wrap; and I continue to return all returnable bottles and recycle everything that I can. We have always been very careful with our use of electricity, but are no way near going off the grid.

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Read on to learn about Margie Shepard. Margie is Co-Chair of the Zero Waste Committee.

Margie Shepard portrait

Margie Shepard

What are your experiences or skills related to Sustainable Saratoga’s mission?

I am retired from a career I loved, teaching young children as well as college students studying Early Childhood Education. Working with preschool children had an unexpected benefit for me: I finally learned to love science. It had to be presented in a hands-on manner, apparently, and in simple language!

How did you get interested in issues of sustainability?

I believe our behavior teaches us about ourselves: I bought a Prius the first year it was available in our country, without any way of knowing if it was a decent car. It was an impulsive act, which taught me how important climate change is to me. Luckily the Prius is a more-than-decent car.

How did you first get involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

Sustainable Saratoga was a large group of enthusiastic people when I became involved. I don’t think it had a name; it was amorphous and groping to define its mission. I was part of a committee dealing with garbage…so that has been a long-time interest of mine.

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Read on to learn about Louise Golub. Louise is a member of the Zero Waste and Climate & Energy Committees.

Louise Golub photo

Louise Golub

How did you first get involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

The bring your own bag initiative (later Zero Waste committee) and the Climate and Energy committee were my first volunteer activities with Sustainable Saratoga.

How did you get interested in issues of sustainability?

Sustainability just made sense to me as a nature-lover. Chairing a committee of the League of Women Voters of Norwalk, CT I raised the awareness among members and the community in reduction, reuse and recycling. The city began with volunteer recycling of newspapers. That made people more aware of all sorts of waste reduction.

What are your experiences or skills related to Sustainable Saratoga’s mission?

As an accountant I counted many things. Counting tree roots and cut-outs in the sidewalk came naturally. Management skills helped me set up the schedule for tree-watering with my friend. Living a life of treading gently on Earth sets me up for all the things we do.

What is one thing you wish everyone would try to do to be more sustainable?

“The one important change I would like to see is less consumption of animals. With industrial agriculture adding to pollution, I wish more people would eat less animal products and eat cleaner foods. Good for the Earth and the people.” – Louise Golub

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Read on to learn about Dianna Goodwin. Dianna is new to the board this year.

How did you first get involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

My friend Lin Whittle was on the board and got me interested. My gateway experience was tree planting.

How did you get interested in issues of sustainability?

I majored in conservation as an undergraduate, joined my first food coop in 1976. I have recycled, composted, worked on an organic farm or two, eaten lower on the food chain etc for at least 45 years. I am interested in nature, have been since my teens or earlier. I first felt bad about development when I read a Golden Book about a squirrel in danger of losing its home to a bulldozer when I was four or five.

What are your experiences or skills related to Sustainable Saratoga’s mission?

Besides being a lawyer and a life long environmentalist, I have a masters in entomology and a PhD in biology. I know how to compost! My husband and I homesteaded, more or less, for ten years in Argyle, NY before moving to Saratoga to get our kids into better schools and to stop driving so much. I was one of the founding members of the student farm at UC Davis, have a bunch of experience in agriculture.

What is one thing you wish everyone would try to do to be more sustainable?

“I wish everyone would stop driving in order to be more sustainable.” – Dianna Goodwin

If everyone in the U.S. stopped driving for a day, theoretically we would prevent approximately 3.5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

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Read on to learn about Colin Klepetar. Colin chairs our Housing and Urban Planning Committee.

Colin Klepetar Portrait

Colin Klepetar

How did you first get involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

I planted trees with Tree Toga several years ago.

How long have you been involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

Three years

How long have you lived in the Saratoga Springs area?

All my life…born in Saratoga Hospital nearly 40 years ago

When you are not saving the planet, what are your other hobbies?

I love spending time with my family, canoeing, x-country skiing, biking and just being outside.

What is one thing you wish everyone would try to do to be more sustainable?

“I wish people would support more locally produced products and locally owned stores versus large corporations. Most of the time the prices are comparable and by doing so, we are supporting our neighbors, local farmers and community members who keep more of the money in our local economy.” – Colin Klepetar, Chair, Housing & Urban Planning Committee


Read on to learn more about Amy Durland. Amy heads up our Governance Committee. 

Amy Durland Portrait

Amy Durland

How long have you been involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

6 years

What are your experiences or skills related to Sustainable Saratoga’s mission?

Having served on the City’s land boards for 12 years, I understand the importance of zoning standards and policy directives in shaping the sustainability profile of the City.

What are some changes you have made to live more sustainably?

I am a recycling fanatic and I don’t eat beef.


You can also learn more about Art Holmberg, the Chair of our Board of Directors.

Art Holmberg

How did you first get involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

Treetoga in 2015. We followed Sustainable Saratoga when we first moved into the area, but got involved directly in 2015.

How did you get interested in issues of sustainability?

I have always been interested in the environment. We have composted, recycled, and reduced our carbon emissions for years. We live the talk as we have solar panels on our home, an EV vehicle, and compost pile in the backyard.

How long have you been involved with Sustainable Saratoga?

I have been volunteering and joined the board in May 2016. I believe strongly in the mission. All citizens can learn more about reducing our carbon footprint and saving the environment for our grandchildren.

What is one thing you wish everyone would try to do to be more sustainable?

“I wish everyone would try to use less plastic bags and plastic products in general in order to be more sustainable.” – Art Holmberg, Chair

It takes between 100-500 years for a plastic bag to disintegrate (depending on the type of plastic).

September 8th, 2018|Archive, Hot Topics, News|