Kendal on Hudson: A Refreshing Approach to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

On the banks of the Hudson River, the residents of Kendal on Hudson see daily the beauty of nature’s bounty. Constantly reminded of the gift that is the natural environment, they take their responsibility seriously to make meaningful changes for a more sustainable future.

A Revived Approach

Small yet meaningful features around campus highlight the collective effort of residents and employees to reduce, reuse and recycle. Kendal on Hudson’s facilities department installed hands-free water faucets, smart thermostats, and occupancy sensors; adopted battery-operated landscaping tools; and set up rain barrels to catch rainwater. All members of the community are encouraged to participate in efforts such as separating recyclable materials and limiting single-use plastics. These seemingly small steps, over time, will greatly impact the environment.

“In everything we do, we aim to limit as much as possible any negative impacts on the environment,” said Bob Michael, Director of Facilities at Kendal on Hudson. “It makes sense from an operational standpoint, but what’s more is that the community feels a great responsibility and joy when it comes to doing something positive for Mother Earth.”

At Kendal on Hudson, community members remain nimble in their approach to sustainability initiatives. They understand the care that must be provided to the environment and are ready to meet the challenge by evolving their actions to best serve the planet. This year, the resident-led Environmental Stewardship Committee introduced exciting programs to inject new energy into the work to achieve these goals.

New Initiatives to Re-Energize

Residents organized an effort to collect food scraps and other organic matter to ultimately be composted by the village of Sleepy Hollow, where Kendal on Hudson is located. After a visit to the composting demonstration site at the Westchester County Recycling Center in Valhalla, New York, resident Anne White was inspired. With help from fellow residents on logistics, she made arrangements to launch a small composting program on campus that would contribute to an existing composting program of the village of Sleepy Hollow.

The small group test was a success and residents felt energized by this new program that could support the larger goal of reducing waste. The committee aims to roll out the organic collection program to the residents at large in 2024.

In today’s world, and being so close to the fashion mecca of New York City, a seemingly endless supply of new fashion options pop up in stores. Clothing that is no longer wanted is often turned to waste. To help solve this, residents regularly donate clothing to organizations that responsibly recycle or donate these goods, ensuring that clothing can find a second life. This year, Kendal on Hudson made the switch to collecting on demand to accommodate all who seek to reduce their waste, no matter the season.

Understanding that more good can be done with the support of partners, individual community members from Kendal on Hudson joined SSAFE (Senior Stewards Acting for the Environment), a 501c (3) organization founded by residents of Kendal Affiliates. The group works within their communities to make a positive impact on environmental matters.

Sustainability Efforts on the Horizon

The community at Kendal on Hudson truly lives out its commitment to the earth, and to that end, it has plans on how it may continue to evolve practices to support a sustainable planet. In fact, the community has already retained an outside consultant to bolster sustainability practices, beginning in 2025. Future plans also include the potential installation of a summer boiler that would reduce the amount of fuel used, conducting a feasibility study on the installation of solar panels, and more. Residents and employees feel pride in knowing that future generations will benefit in some way from the environmental activism being done today.