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Westchester Businesses Encouraged to 'Go Green'

ELMSFORD, N.Y. - Ron Stytzer, owner and chef of Antun's of Westchester in Elmsford, knows the benefits of going "green" and operating in a more environmentally sustainable way.

The 27-year proprietor and active past president of the New York Restaurant Association Westchester/Rockland chapter, said he has seen noticeable savings by improving lighting, replacing bulbs, adjusting electricity demands and recycling used cooking oil.

"I'm interested in doing other things also," he said. "One thing is you want to do it. The other thing is can you afford to do it?"

Stytzer was a panelist at his restaurant as part of the Westchester County Green Business Challenge, a private-public partnership between the county and The Business Council of Westchester to help companies take steps to change how they function.

"The Westchester Green Business Challenge is finding innovative ways to push sustainable development to the next level," said Laurence Gottlieb, director of the county's Office for Economic Development. "Wanting to go green is a difficult task."

To date, 200 companies in Westchester have registered for the program. The county is hoping many of the other 35,000 businesses will jump on board with the launch soon because of enhancements to its Green Business Challenge website, which will provide interactive features for members to track their progress.

"It will be a much more convenient, one-stop shop for resources," said Scott Fernqvist, a special assistant to the chief information officer for the county.

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