Community Conversation Initiates Discussion on Sustainability Issues in Ewing

Just over two weeks ago over 50 concerned Ewing residents, township staff and elected officials  met to have a discussion about a sustainable future for Ewing Township.   It was a gorgeous day and in fact according to one attendee ” I truthfully wanted to skip it when I saw what a beautiful day it was, but I’m so glad that I went!  I think this will be a very beneficial process for Ewing, if it is communicated to and shared with the community.”

In fall of 2013, Ewing Township obtained its first bronze-level of Sustainable Jersey certification.  Using the funds made possible from  a $10,000 Sustainable Jersey Small Grant funded by PSEG Foundation, the team is using a community visioning process to plan for the next 3 year certification.   By consulting the community on what is important to them, the Ewing Green Team plans to respond with a coordinated strategy plan that is specific to what the people of Ewing value and want.  The  Community Conversation on June 7th was the first step in the process. The Green Team will now take the input gathered from the participants and work to develop and prioritize specific goals.  Look for development of specific topics developed at the visioning to be further refined at the summer Green Team meetings.  A second visioning workshop is targeted for fall 2014. The community be invited to come together again to review the sustainability goals that were developed.

Zero Waste Report

Our first conversation was a low-waste effort.  We saw many travel mugs and personal beverage containers.  We were pleased to obtain about ½ of a bag of compostable materials which were taken to the compost bins at the Community Gardens on Whitehead Road Extension.  There was about ¼ of a bag of actual “garbage” that will end up in a landfill.  And the rest of the trash was recyclable.  We kept the badges – the plastic containers are reusable (we hope see community members again during our meetings as we brainstorm for a plan and at the Fall review) and the paper insert was recyclable.

It required a little bit more effort to plan for a low waste event, but for a gathering of our size we felt that the results justified our efforts.  From the cloth napkins to the absence of extraneous handouts and paper, to the lack of individual sized containers (e.g. sugar packets, individual creamers and tubs and jars of condiments, etc.) and even to the double sided badge with the agenda, we tried to reduce our use of unnecessary packaging, plastic and garbage in general.

The public is invited to attend the next Ewing Green Team meeting on June 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the Ewing Senior and Community Center where the members will begin to brainstorm on some of the initial themes developed from the visioning session.

Ewing Receives Bronze Level Sustainable Jersey Certification

Ewing received Bronze Level Sustainable Jersey certification at the NJ League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City on Tuesday, November 19th.  Representing the town are Mayor Bert Steinmann, and Council Members Jennifer Keyes-Maloney and Kevin Baxter as well as Green Team Members Peter J. Boughton (2013 Chair), John Hoegl, Mark Wetherbee, and Joanne Mullowney (Communications/IT Officer).

bronze award

Ewing Receives Bronze Level Sustainable Jersey Certification!

certifiedThe Ewing Green Team is delighted to announce that EWING TWP has just been awarded bronze level Sustainable Jersey certification for 2013!  The team, working in cooperation with the Ewing Environmental Commission, has worked for much of this year to document the many actions that the township has taken to make Ewing a more sustainable community.  These actions range from running a Green Fair, to performing energy audits on municipal buildings, to enhancing our community gardens, recycling and waste reduction efforts and much more.

Sustainable Jersey is a non profit organization that offers a certification program as a way to helping communities go green,  save money and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.  Their certification is a prestigious designation for the 127 municipal governments as of this writing that are already certified in New Jersey.  The process is rigorous and all actions taken by municipalities to score points toward certification must be accompanied by documentary evidence and is reviewed.  [Click here to see Ewing’s Certification Report.]

As Ewing residents we are delighted to live a in town that values  our natural resources and wants to do its part for the environment.  This is a time of great change and excitement in town.  Not only have we now become a SJ certified municipality, we are also at  the beginning of a long-awaited redevelopment project at the former GM site which will create a new town center with housing, retail, community space and transportation.   We invite other Ewing residents to join us and become part of a continued green transformation in our town.