SUSTAINABLE NEW JERSEY
A Better Tomorrow, One Community at a Time
The Sustainable Jersey Committee, also known as the Mendham Township Green Team is a newly formed group of volunteers from the community and municipal staff organized to participate in the Sustainable Jersey program.
What is Sustainable Jersey?
SUSTAINABLE JERSEY ™ is a certification program for municipalities in New Jersey that want to go green, save money, and take steps to sustain their quality of life over the long term.
A brief history:
In 2006, the New Jersey League of Municipalities formed the Mayor’s committee for a Green future (MCGF), whose goal is to foster environmental progress in NJ at the local level. The MCGF joined forces with the NJ Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University, and with the help of the Sustainable Communities Working Group (consisting of 150 experts, leaders, non profits, business and government agencies), the group identified specific aspects of local greening and sustainable development projects for local municipalities to work towards. In early 2009, Sustainable Jersey was officially launched.
The program now boasts partnerships with numerous entities among them the NJDEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection), NJBPU (Board of Public Utilities), and the Municiple Land Use Center at The College of NJ. Funding is underwritten by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. Additional funding is provided by numerous philanthropic groups and organizations such as PSEG, NJ Natural Gas, Xerox, and Walmart.
How does Mendham Township benefit from participating in Sustainable Jersey?
Participation in Sustainable Jersey is a win/win proposition for the town. There are no fees, and participation is voluntary.
Sustainable Jersey towns and cities implement practices that lead to cost savings in things such as energy, water and garbage bills. The program helps communities improve efficiency, cut waste and stimulate their local economies. Registered towns get special priority access and notification of incentives and grants, and are eligible for the Sustainable Jersey Small Grant Program which funds $220,000 worth of sustainable projects annualy across New Jersey. Mendham Township has already earned a $1000 incentive grant from Walmart to help fund our initiative. In addition, Sustainable Jersey provides free educational opportunities and guidance through the certification process.
Sustainable Jersey has outlined an extensive list of voluntary “priority actions” to be completed, each earning our community points towards earning official certification. Up to this point, the Green Team has focused efforts on gathering information about the many initiatives already in place at Mendham Township that qualify towards certification. We are well on our way to earning the first level of certification thanks to initiatives such as our open space program, recycling, environmental policy, and community/school gardens.
Our next task is to work with the community and town committees on the next set of priority actions that we’ve recognized as obtainable goals within the next year. Some of these actions include a green fair, an energy audit for our municipal buildings, and a community paper shredding day sponsored by the library. These are just a few of a larger list of actions we plan to complete.
For more information regarding the statewide Sustainable Jersey program, along with a detailed list of priority actions as outlined by the program, please go to the Sustainable Jersey website:
Mendham Township Sustainable Jersey Committee Members
Kathy Kimber - Chair
Colin Harris - Vice Chair
Steve Mountain - Secretary