From the South Orange Green Team & Environmental Commission:
This past spring, the South Orange Green Team & Environmental Commission was awarded a $2,000 Sustainable Jersey capacity-building grant funded by the PSEG Foundation. Four $20,000 grants, seven $10,000 grants and twenty-five $2,000 grants were distributed to municipalities in fifteen New Jersey counties.
The grant awards will fund a range of projects including green infrastructure, park restoration, single-use plastic reduction campaigns, raingardens, environmental resource inventories, creative placemaking, green team capacity building and more. Village President, Sheena Collum, was enthusiastic saying “South Orange aspires to lead the way in sustainability initiatives and this food waste initiative will have us once again joining forces with our neighbors in Maplewood and Millburn – so three towns will benefit, not just one! According to Paul Hawken’s book, “Drawdown”, making less food waste is the third most effective action that can be taken to slow climate change. In fact, making less waste in the first place is far more effective than composting. I’m proud of our green teams for leading the way and excited for them to spread this message to the wider community. I think we can be a positive model for other communities in the state on this very important issue.”
“From climate change, to water, waste and equity issues, so many of the big sustainability concerns are reaching a crisis point. This investment in sustainability projects will have lasting benefits to New Jersey,” said Randall Solomon, executive director for Sustainable Jersey. He extended his congratulations to all of the towns that received grants. “We’re seeing exciting results from previous grant projects, and we are looking forward to similarly productive, innovative progress from the current group of awardees,” Solomon added.
The PSEG Foundation has contributed 1.9 million dollars in funding to the Sustainable Jersey grants program for municipalities and schools. “Supporting local municipalities in their efforts to build sustainability programs puts resources where they’re needed and aren’t always available, and PSEG is proud to do so” said Barb Short, president of the PSEG Foundation. “Sustainable Jersey helps bring real change and has a lasting impact to neighborhoods throughout New Jersey.”
Proposals were evaluated by an independent Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee. The Sustainable Jersey grants are intended to help municipalities make progress toward a sustainable future in general, and specifically toward Sustainable Jersey certification. Nearly 90 percent of the New Jersey population lives in a registered or certified Sustainable Jersey community. Currently 450 municipalities, or 80 percent of New Jersey municipalities, are registered with Sustainable Jersey.
The South Orange Green Team & Environmental Commission will collaborate with Maplewood and Milburn to pilot the EPA’s, “Food Too Good to Waste” (FTGTW) toolkit which provides behavior change and outreach tools designed to assist individuals and households in implementing strategies to reduce food waste in homes.
ABOUT SUSTAINABLE JERSEY
Sustainable Jersey is a non-profit that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support communities as they pursue sustainability programs. Currently, 80 percent or 450 of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities are participating in the municipal certification program and 323 school districts and 843 schools are participating in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification program. In 2019, Sustainable Jersey is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with a year-long program that will include special events to educate and engage the Sustainable Jersey community and create a vision for the future.
Sustainable Jersey’s partners include the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Sustainability Institute at The College of New Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program. Program underwriters include the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Clean Energy Program, the Surdna Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the PSEG Foundation. The Sustainable Jersey Grants Program for municipalities is funded by PSEG Foundation and the Gardinier Environmental Fund. Platinum sponsors are South Jersey Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor) and New Jersey Natural Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor). Silver Sponsors are NJM Insurance Group, Bayshore Recycling (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Elizabethtown Gas (10th Anniversary Sponsor), New Jersey American Water (10th Anniversary Sponsor), Jersey Central Power and Light (10th Anniversary Sponsor) and Northfield Bank (10th Anniversary Sponsor). The Bronze Sponsors are Covanta, Greener by Design, Good Energy, Florio, Perrucci, Steinhardt & Cappelli LLC, First Environment, Roux Associates, Republic Services and Ørsted.
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/company/sustainable-jersey