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Green Team




Chatham Borough, through the efforts of the Green Team under the umbrella of the Environmental Commission, received points in the Sustainable Jersey program for many green and sustainable actions in recent years including:  Energy Audits , Municipal Carbon Footprint, Natural Resources Inventory, Green Team, Green Fair, Green the Green Fair, Safe Routes to School, Ant-Idling, Mayors' Wellness Campaign, the Chatham Borough Farmers' Market, the Community Garden, the Recycling Depot, Pay-As-You-Throw garbage program, the Natural Resources Inventory, Open Space Resource Plan, the Eco Film and Discussion Series, and Save It to Spade It! backyard composting program.

Chatham Borough  leveraged over $80,000 in grants and incentives  to implement energy efficiency recommendations from BPU energy audits of our municipal facilities.  It is estimated that these energy efficiency measures will  save over $15,000 annually in energy costs.

Since 2011, we have worked with our partners to develop new and additional sustainability intiatives for Chatham Borough and achieved Silver  Certification from Sustainable Jersey in 2013.



Chatham Borough Pool Rain Garden Installation.

The rain garden was opened to the public on Saturday, May 19, 2012, during the 10 am reopening celebration for the Memorial  Park Pool.

The rain garden was made possible by a $5,000 donation from Sprout House Nursery School.  Z-Tech Construction, Scandic Builders, and Green Path LandCare also donated materials and labor to the project.

Green Path LandCare and Chatham Borough volunteers planted a variety of native plants in a beautiful kidney-shaped rain garden next to the Memorial Park Pool.

 A rain garden is a shallow depression landscaped with native plants.  When it rains, stormwater slowly soaks into the rain garden, where it will help recharge the acquifer.  Chatham Borough gets its drinking water from the Buried Valley Aquifer. The demonstration rain garden will manage an estimated 25,000 gallons of runoff annually from the pool deck and the pool house sump pump and roof.

Without the rain garden, that stormwater runoff--possibly including pollutants such as oil, grease, chemicals and bacteria--would run off into the storm sewers and, eventually, into the Passaic River which (after treatment) is the source of drinking water for many communities including Chatham Township.

Homeowners and businesses can install rain gardens on their property.  Rain gardens are usually inexpensive to install and easy to maintain.  They can be designed to manage stormwater from impervious surfaces, such as roofs and driveways, and from downspouts and sump pumps. A rain garden manual, describing how to select a site and install a rain garden, is available for free download from the New Jesery Native Plant Society website: www.npsnj.org .

If 40 people install rain gardens, it is estimated that 1,000,000 gallons of rainwater are recharged every year.

Tell us about your rain garden and we will include it in the next revision of our brochure, "The Rain Gardens of Chatham" and other outreach literature.



Click on Green Challenges, below, to take the Green Challenge. Choose your level - Green, Greener, or Greenest.  Take actions in your everyday life to live more sustainably.  It's easy, it's quick, and it's fun!   In 2012, a total of 232 Green Challenges were returned, exceeding the 215 households required by Sustainable Jersey and qualifying Chatham Borough for an addtional 10 sustainability points.  To celebrate, we put everyone's name into a hat, drew one out and that person received a free backyard composter!  See the photo below documenting the event.

To take the Green Challenge, you can click on "Green Challenges", below, to print it out, and mail it to:  Green Team, 54 Fairmount Avenue, Chatham, New Jersey, 07928.  Or, click on "Green Challenges - filllable form" below - this will work if your comuter has Adobe X Reader.  The form will come up, you can fill it out online, then save it to your computer as a PDF file.  Email the saved PDF file to:  steffenscindy@yahoo.com .  Questions?  Want a form sent to you?  Email steffenscindy@yahoo.com .

To see the environmental impact of taking actions in the Green Challenge, scroll down to the links and click on "Green Challenge Actions Environmental Impact".  Note that the Green Challenges will again be available in 2014 at various events throughout the year including the Chatham Borough Farmer's Market, all the films in the Eco Film Series and at other public events.  Green Challenges for both Chatham Borough and Chatham Township are also available at the Senior Center of the Chathams, both online and in hard copy.



Left: Kate Murphy and Len Resto draw the winner of a composter at the Chatham High School E-Carnival. Right: Town and Country Garden President Mary Keselica receives a Green Challenge backyard composter from Chatham Borough Green Initiatives Committee members Carl Cappabianca, Councilman Len Resto, Kate Murphy, and Chair Cindy Steffens.

By the spring of 2012, we had received Green Challenges from 232 Chatham Borough residents.  The Green Team put all the names into a flower vase during Chatham High School E-Carnival on April 28, 2012 and chose a winner. Pictured above, left, CBGT Member Kate Murphy drew the name of Mary Keselica, President of the Town and Country Garden Club, whose volunteers maintain the beautilful planters lining Main Street. Mary was also part of our rain garden panel at our Water Conservation Event (see below) held earlier in the year where she shared information about her own backyard rain garden. Pictured above, right, Mary received the composter from Chatham Borough Green Team members Carl Cappabianca, Councilman Len Resto, Kate Murphy, and Chair Cindy Steffens.



The number of people who pledged to take each action can be seen in the link, "Green Challenge Summary Statistics", below.

Chatham Borough's Favorite Green Challenges:  Recycling; Save Energy; Stop Idling; and Use Reusable Bags

Chatham Borough residents pledged in droves to recycle just about everything they can.  Nearly 140 residents pledged to meticulously separate their recycling from their trash.  This was very important during that time to be meticulous, since comingled trash and recycling was then treated as all trash.  One of the improvements made in 2013 was the institution of "single stream" recylcing in Chatham Borough, which allows all of us to recyle even more types of plastics and other materials all in one recyling container.

Over 110 residents pledged to recycle ink cartridges, which are made largely of plastics that can take hundreds of years to decompose.  Ink can also leach out of ink cartridges and harm the environment.  Ink cartridges can be returned to Staples or Office Depot directly for recylcling.

Nearly 120 residents pledged to recycle electronics appropriately which can now be brought to the Chatham Borough Recycling Depot at Summit Avenue and Ogden Street.  Electronic equipment contains toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and bromated flame retardants that can leach into soil, water and air when incinerated or disposed of in landfills.

Regarding energy savings...122 residents pledged to turn off lights and computers when not in use; 130 pledged to adjust their thermostats; and 102 residents pledged to preferentially purchast Energy Star appliances when they are available.

The impact of these simple energy saving actions can be significant.  For example, the average consumer generates an estimated 12.4 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, 24% of which is generated by lighting.  If the 122 residents noted above turn off their lights and computers, they will collectively reduce their carbon emssions by about 36 tons annually.

Reducing the thermostat by 2 degrees in the winter can have an even greater impact...the 130 residents that pledged to reduce their thermostats by 2 degrees will collectively save 6,500 gallons of fuel, up to $19,500, and prevent 11,700 pounds of carbon emissions per year.  Conversely, by increasing the thermostat by 2 degrees in the summer, the same 130 residents will collectively save $6,500 and prevent 59,800 pounds of carbon emissions per year.

Turn the Key, Be Idle Free!--the anti-idling program of the Chathams--is also making a difference.  Over 110 residents pledged to turn off their engines when parked anywhere for over 30 seconds (except when waiting at a traffic light). Together, they will prevent 5 tons of carbon dioxide emssions per year.

Plastic bags are made from nonrenewable petroleum and natural gas, can take hundreds of years to decompose and are attributed to killing some 100,000 marine animals per year, including whales, seals, and turtles since many plastic bags end up in the ocean.  The Green Team of the Environmental Commisison encourages everyone to keep plastic bags in their cars and use them for all shopping, not just grocery shopping.  The Green Challenge resulted in 144 residents pledging to use reusable bags instead of plastic.  Together, this will keep an estimated 10,768 plastic bags out of landfills per year.

Of the more challenging activities, 15 residents pledged to install rain gardens on their property.  Rain gardens are usually inexpensive to maintain and easy to install and, for every rain gardens, 1,000,000,000 gallons of rainwater is re-charged to the aquifer.  Of the 15 residents installing rain gardens, they are collectively re-charging approximaetly 355,000 gallons of rainwater per year.

An additional 20 residents pledged to install smart irrigation fixtures.  The USEPA estimates that Americans use over 7 billion gallons of water outdoors daily, mostly for landscape irrigation, and that up to 50% of that amount is due to overwatering because of inefficient methods and technologies.  WaterSense is the EPA label for water that is analagous to Energy Star for energy.  "Smart" WaterSense controllers use computer technology to adapt the amount and frequency of watering to the plants, weather conditions and soil moisture at the site.  These drip and micro-spray controllers use 35% - 50% less water than traditional irrigation by avoiding overwatering, which will be an additional yearly water savings in Chatham Borough.



CBGT will have a table with the other Chatham Borough Boards, Commissions and Committees again this year.  We will have the ANJEC Energy game and information about all the NJCEP programs for residents and businesses.  We may have displays and information about other environmental topics as well.  Stop by, say hello, and tell us what you think about sustainability in the Borough.  What environmental films would you like to see?  What about a new green challenge for 2012-13?  Would your yard be a good place for a rain garden?  Etc.


Fishawack 2011

 CBGT and the Chatham Borough Environmental Commission shared a booth at Fishawack 2011.  CBGT had displays with information about all the NJ Clean Energy Program rebates and programs for residents and businesses.  It was the public debut of our 2011-12 Green Challenge.  We also had information about water conservation, anti-idling, the Eco Film Series, and single-stream recycling, which was relatively new to the Borough then.


 Top left: CBGT member Marc deMul at the CBGT Green Fair table.  Top right:  a large sign at the gazebo announces the Green Fair schedule.  To reduce waste, no paper schedules were available.  Bottom left: the shredding truck, sponsored by Peapack Gladstone Bank.  Bottom right:Techniart, with energy-efficient lighting fixtures from the NJCEP Energy Store, sponsored by NJBPU.

Despite the threat of rain, an estimated 600 people, more than ever before, attended the Green Fair.  The theme of the Green Fair was, "What you can do to live a greener lifestyle".

Schedule of Events:

9am - Noon: Community Paper Shredding Event, Railroad Plaza North.  A few bags of confidential/sensitive paper per resident (no businesses).  Free.  Sponsored by Peapack-Gladstone Bank.

11 am - Noon:  Rizzo's Reptile Discovery at the gazebo.  Have a WILD time with Rizzo's Reptiles as they inspire the whole family to preserve wildlife, prevent litter, and appreciate the natural world.  Sponsored by Investors Bank.


Morris Habitat for Humanity ReStore truck at Railroad Plaza North accepted new and gently used home furnishings, appliances and building materials, for sale in their ReStore.  Proceeds used to build Energy-Star certified, sustainable and affordable homes for employed members of the community living in substandard housing.

Girl Scout booths with eco games and information about pesticides, composting food waste and recyling;  Chatham High School Envrionmental Club eco-games; Techniart energy efficient lighting display and discounted lighting sales; Pascarella Bros. food available in edible or recyclable containers.  Pur 2 O had free filtered water available to anyone who brought a reusable water bottle.

Sponsors:  Peapack-Gladstone Bank, Investors Savings Bank, NJ Association of Railroad Passengers, Green Path Landcare, Morris Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Coviello Bros. Horticultural Services.

Participants: Nick Miuccio, Green With Envy Home Store, Viridian Energy, PW Solutions, LLC, Girl Scouts of the Chathams, Morris County MUA Recycling Department, TransOptions, Purple Food Cooperative, Chatham Borough Community Garden.

The annual Green Fair of the Chathams is a "greener Green Fair".  The central location makes it easy to walk or bike.  People combine trips from Lum Field and the Farmers' Market to the Green Fair.  Reycling containers and an on-site composter help minimize trash.  No electricity is used.  We follow a green communications policy: all of our communication is electronic.  The Green Fair lawn signs you see around town are reusable from year to year.

The Green Fair is put on annually by volunteers from Chatham Borough and Township and by the Chatham Borough Environmental Commission, the Chatham Township Environmental Commission, and CBGT.



Improve the health of your lawn and save money by cutting your grass and leaving the clippings on the lawn.  Grass clippings are natural fertilizer.  If you leave them on your lawn, they also block the growth of weeds.  Thatch will not be a problem.  Thatch forms from accumulated dead roots and stems, not from grass clippings.  Fertilizer does contribute to thatch creation.  A 5,000 square foot lawn produces a ton of grass clippings per year.  If you or your landscaper remove your grass clippings to a mulch area, your car emits greenhouse gases, and so do the trucks that take your clippings to a facility on the Pennsylvania border.  Grass clippings can also be mixed with soil and used as garden mulch.  See the Grass Cut It and Leave It! links below for more information.    Keep your clippings on your lawn, reduce your need for fertilizer, block the weeds, and reduce your carbon footprint!


Anti-Idle Signs

A vehicle is idling when the engine is turned on but the vehicle is not in motion.  Do you leave your vehicle running while you wait in a bank drive-through line?  Wait to pick up your children after school or sports practice?  Wait in a fast-food car line? While running errands?

Idling your vehicle for more then 3 minutes is against New Jersey law.  Idling is not permitted for the purpose of heating or cooling the vehicle.  All New Jersey Schools are No-Idling Zones.

Idling harms your engine and exhaust system and wastes gasoline. When you idle your engine, fuel combustion is incomplete, and fuel residues condense on cylinder walls, where they can contaminate oil and damage engine components. Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more gasoline than turning off and restarting your car.

For every gallon of gasoline used, the average car produces about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide (C02), the largest contributor to greehouse gas climate change.  Engine idling produces twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in a moving vehicle. Scroll down to the links at the bottom of the page and click on "Turn the Key, Be Idle Free!" for an anti-idling brochure.

Idling exposes people inside and outside the vehicle to harmful emissions. Exposure to vehicle exhaust increases the risk of death from heart and lung disease and lung cancer.  Exposure to vehicle exhaust also increases asthma risk.  Children and senior citizens are especially vulnerable to air pollution.

Why not pledge to turn off your vehicle any time you are stopped for more than 10 seconds (exc ept in traffic)?

If your business is interested in purchasing and posting an anti-idling sign like the ones in the photos, please contact us, at 973-701-0963.


Borough Council recently passed a resolution establishing a Green Grounds and Maintenance Policy that applies to all Borough properties.  The policy encompases four areas: efficient landscape design, minimize water consumption, integrated pest management, and recycled and composted materials.  This policy will promote healthy, environmentally sound public lands, in turn promoting a truly sustainable community for Borough residents.  Some highlights of the policy include: using only native, low maintenance plants; using recycled and composted mulch to reduce water evaporation; zero irrigation; install automatic flush and sink sensors in Borogh buildings wherever possible; minimize use of pesticides and fertlizer. The entire policy can be viewed by clicking on the link for Green Grounds and Maintenance Policy, below.



Borough Council recently passed a resolution adopting an Integrated Pest Management Plan (IPM) for municipal properties.  The plan can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page, below.  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a sustainable approach to managing weeds and pests, using all appropriate management practices to minimize health and environmental risks.  Non-chemical controls and monitoring are used first, and pesticides are used only as a last resort.  Synthethic pesticides have been linked to health problems, including asthma, cancer, liver and kidney damage, and Parkinson's disease.  Pesticides can also run off lawns and into storm sewers, then into streams and rivers, including the Passaic River, which is the source of drinking water for many towns.

The Borough Council resolution adopting IPM designated certain municipal areas - Memorial Park, Sheppard Kollock Park, Stanley Park - as pesticide-free zones.  There are ladybug pesticide-free-zone signs posted at those locations.  The resolution also suggested that Chatham Borough residents consider using IPM on their own lawns.   The IPM brochure , available by clicking on the link at the bottom of the pagebelow, includes many tips for using IPM on home lawns.  Here are some quick tips by season:

Spring : Diagnose soil problems.  Read your weeds .  Weeds thrive in soil that is compacted, not pH balanced, over or under watered.  Compacted soil is hard (a screwdriver does not easily stick into compacted soil.)  Aeration resolves compaction and allows air, water, fertilizer to enter soil. Soil testing available from Rutgers Cooperative Extension Morris County, 973-285-8300, www.njaes.rutgers.edu/garden .  Good soil pH is 6.5-7.0, which prevents weeds.

Spring and Summer: Cut grass high, with a sharp blade, and leave the clippings on the grass .  A dull blade makes grass susceptible to disease.  Leave grass 3-3.5 inches high to shade out weeds and create deep, drought-resistant weeds.  Grass clippings retain moisture and are natural fertiizer.   Choose deer-resistant native plants Water only when needed - when grass holds footprints after people walk on it - and then only about 1 inch of water weekly, early in the morning, to prevent evaporation.   Lawns that go dormant during drought green up again after rain.   Drought, excessive water, and poor drainage foster weeds.

Fall: Seed generously .  Thick grass crowds out weeds. Grass varieties differ in resistance to pests and disease, so overseeding with a variety of grass types can be helpful.  Best time to aerate compacted soil.  Spread 1/4 inch compost on lawn.  Fertilizer sparingly if needed .  Too much nitrogen, or quick-release synthetic fertilizer, can weaken grass, alter pH, promote disease, insects, thatch accumulation.  EPA estimates only 35% of fertilizers reach the grass plant; the other 65% is volatized in the air or seeps into groundwater .   Lime if pH lower than 6.5 . First and last mowings of the season should leave grass 2" high to reduce risk of fungus.

Additional IPM Resources:

Fact sheets about lawn care, IPM, weed management, plant diseases, composting, similar topics: www.ifplantscouldtalk.rutgers.edu/factsheets/?category=6 . A trailer for the film, "A Chemical Reaction", which has been shown at the Eco Film and Discussion Series of the Chathams, can be viewed.

www.beyondpesticides.org   has a variety of information, including:  fact sheets about health risks of pesticides to everyone, to children, and to pets; suggestions for lawn care without pesticides, suggestions for fall lawn care; suggestions for choosing fertilizers; information about what the weeds growing in a yard indicate about its soil condition.  Pesticide-Free-Zone ladybug signs can be purchased on this website. Further information is available at www.organiclandcare.org .

 IPM is required for all public and private schools.  School IPM law: https://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/pcp/pcp-ipm.htm   and www.pestmanagement.rutgers.edu/school/njact-2/ .  Federal data on pesticides in U.S. waterways and groundwater: www.water.usgs.gov/nawqa/ . US EPA Greehscaping tips: www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/greenscapes/owners.htm


Chatham Borough Council recently adopted a Green Buildings Policy.  The Policy can be viewed by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page. This policy says that Chatham Borough will consider opportunities to incorporate green building measures into the design, construction, operation and maintenance of municipal buildings and facilities.  The U.S. Building Council estimates that buildings account for 39% of CO2 emissions, 65% of waste output, 12% of potable water use, and 71% of electricity consumption in the U.S.  Green building practices involve designing, constructing, and operating buildings to reduce their impacts through energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, sustainably produced materials, indoor air qualiry, and other measures.  Energy upgrades implemented as a result of the energy efficiency audits conducted on Chatham Borough municipal buildings have increased energy efficiency and water conservation in Chatham Borough municipal buildings.  The Green Buildings Policy also states that Chatham Borough will purchase US EPA Energy Star rated products in every instance they are available, consistent with all applicable local, state and federal procurement regulations.



Water Conservation Event 2011

Left : the rain garden panel: Town and Country Garden President Mary Keselica; Great Swamp Watershed Association Director of Education and Outreach Hazel England; Eagle Scout candidate Anthony Lofredo; Stanley Church GreenFaith Committee member William Presnell.                                                                     Right : the water conservation event included a rain barrel demonstration

NJ Americorps Watershed Ambassador Stephanie Queirolo started the water conservation event with a PowerPoint presentation on Saving Water Indoors.  The average American household uses 500 gallons of water every day . She brought faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads and described where to buy them and how to install them. She talked about WaterSense, the US EPA certification for water-efficient products that is analagous to the Energy Star certification for energy-efficient products.  She also described how to detect toilet leaks, which can silently waste gallons of water per day.  Scroll down to the links below to view her presentation.

Pat Collington, Vice Chair of the Chatham Township Environmental Commission (CTEC) brought a rain barrel and demonstrated how to install and use it.  A rain barrel can be attached to a downspout to collect rainwater for reuse in a garden, lawn, or birdbath.  Instead of running off into the storm drains, the rainwater is captured for reuse.  Use a screen to keep out mosquitoes.  Rainwater is better for plants than tap water, because it does not contain chlorine or other chemicals.  Rain barrels also provide a source of lawn and garden water during droughts.  Rain barrels are available at many hardware stores.  Some people like to decorate them.

Two short videos about sustainable stormwater management were shown: "Rain Gardens"; and "Reduce Runoff: Slow It Down, Spread it Out, Soak It In".

The rain garden panel followed.  Hazel England talked about rain garden site selection and invited everyone to the March 10 workshop, which included a tour of the demonstration rain garden at the Great Swamp Watershed Association.  Mary Keselica described her thriving backyard rain garden.  Eagle Scout candidate Anthony Lofredo described his experience with the Stanley Church rain garden, including site selection, site preparation, plant selection, and installation, and showed photos of the entire process.


Here are some tips for saving water from NJ Water Savers  ( www.njwatersavers.rutgers.edu ). A water conservation brochure with these tips is included in the links below.  Saving WATER saves MONEY $$$.

Suggestions for Saving Water Outdoors

  • Use drought-tolerant native plants (see Native Plant Society of NJ, www.npsnj.org )
  • Place plants with similar watering needs together; if you need to water the plants with higher needs, it will only be part of your garden
  • Don't overwater - only water established lawns when very dry, and then early in the morning, to avoid evaporation; one inch of water
  • Water deeply for a deeper and healthier root system
  • Water flowers with rain collected from your roof with a rain barrel connected to your downspout
  • Use dehumidifier and air conditioner condensation to water your plants
  • Don't water the driveway or sidewalk
  • Puddles forming on the landscape or street are a sign of overwatering
  • Choose drought-tolerant grass varieties, such as tall fescues
  • Mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation
  • Avoid recreational toys that require a constant stream of water
  • If you have a pool, remember to purchase a water-saving filter, and cover the pool when not in use, to reduce evaporation
  • Wash the car with a bucket or use a commercial car wash that recycles water
  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks, steps, rather than hosing them off

Tips for Saving Water Indoors

  • Turn off the water while brushing teeth (can save 10,980 gallons of water, $75 annually, for a family of four)
  • Cut shower time to 5 minutes (can save 76,650 gallons of water, $498 annually, for a family of four)
  • Water Sense products are certified, after third-party testing, to meet US EPA standards for water efficiency and performance.  Water Sense-labeled products are available nationally and include: toilets; bathroom sink faucets; and showerheads. ( www.epa.gov/watersense/ )
  • Replace a toilet with a Water-Sense low-flow model (can save 10,986 gallons of water and $70 per year for a family of four)
  • Update to a low-flow faucet or attach an inexpensive aerator (can save 15,622 gallons of water, and $100, annually, for a family of four)
  • Wash only full loads of laundry (can save 10,534 gallons of water, and $68, annually, for a family of four)
  • When replacing a clothes washer, choose high-efficieny model (can save 14,585 gallons of water, and $94, annually, for a family of four)
  • Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin, not under running water
  • Defrost food in refrigerator overnight or in a microwave, not under running water
  • Fix a constantly running toilet and save up to $480 per year
  • When replacing a dishwasher, choose a high-efficiency model (can save 1,314 gallons of water, and $8, annually, for a family of four)
  • Wash dishes only when dishwasher is full (can save 2,920 gallons of water, $19, per year for a family of four)

Fix Those Leaks!

According to the US EPA, leaks can waste 10,000 gallons of water per year in a home, which is enough to fill a backyard swimming pool and can add 10% to your utility bill.  ( www.epa.gov/watersense/tools-and-resources ).  According to the NJ Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, 10% of homes have leaks wasting 90 or more gallons per day.  The total amount of water leaked from US homes could exceed 1 trillion galllons annually - as much water as is annually consumed in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, combined.    So it's worth taking the time to repair dripping faucets, toilet valves, and showerheads.  Fixture replacements do not usually require a major investment and can often be done by do-it-yourselfers.

Click on the links below for brochures about rain gardens and rain barrels from the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Program.  Additional information is available at water.rutgers.edu .


CBGT partnered with the Great Swamp Watershed Association to present a rain garden workshop on the grounds of the Great Swamp Watershed Association, 568 Tempe Wicke Road, Morristown.  GSWA Director of Education and Outreach Hazel England gave a Power Point presentation about the benefits of rain gardens.  She discussed site selection and described the site preparation and installation process.  She then led a tour of the demonstration rain garden at GSWA and talked about the plants.  Participants brought questions how and where to install rain gardens on their property.


Eco Film Series 2011

Thursday, October 6, 2011, 7:30 pm: Carbon Nation

From the filmaker: "A climate-change solutions movie that doesn't even care whether you believe in climate change. Carbon Nation is...optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, non-partisan...shows tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national and energy security, and promotes health and a clean environment.  As New York Times writer Thomas Friedman says in the film, "It's the most patriotic thing you can be, do think, or feel today.  Green is the new red, white and blue."

The cast includes: Richard Branson (CEO, Virgin Group), Thomas Friedman ( New York Times ), Former CIA Director James Woolsey, Van Jones (Founder, Green for All), Col. Dan Nolan, U.S. Army (ret.), Bernie Karl (Geothermal pioneer from Alaska), Dennis Hayes (Earth Day Founder).

"Save big bucks, help the planet."  Bloomberg.

View the trailer at: www.carbonnationmovie.com .

DIscussion after the film will include information about New Jeresy Clean Energy programs and rebates for businesses and residents.

Thursday, November 3, 2011, 7:30 pm: Are You Ready for the Next Industrial Revolution?

Come see how businesses are transforming themselves to work with nature and enhance profitability.  Architect Bill McDonough and Chemist Michael Braungart highlight companies that work with nature and reinvent technical enterprises to be safe and sustainable:  Nike, Ford Motor Company, Oberlin College, Herman Miller Furniture, and Design Tex.

"There are very few visionaries who are practical - Bill McDonough is one of the most profound environmental thinkers in the world."  William Clay Ford, Jr., Chair, Ford Motor Company.

Thursday, December 1, 2011, 7:30 pm:  Bag It!  Is Your Life Too Plastic?

Audience Favorite, Princeton Environmental Film Festival 2011.

Follow "everyman" Jeb Barrier as he tried to make sense of our use of plastic bags.  The average American uses about 500 plastic bags per year, for about twelve minutes each.  This single-use mentality has led to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas.  Come see how plastic bags impact landfills, oceans, rivers, and human health.

View the trailer: www.bagitmovie.com .

Thursday, January 5, 2012, 7:30 pm: Houston, We Have A Problem!

"Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Cheap Energy."  Houston oil professionals talk about the oil industry, in the midst of skyrocketing world energy demand and global warming.

From the Huffington Post : This film "does...present many sides of the complex energy debate...in a ...respectful manner.  Ultimately the film...looks toward renewable energy...As a third generation wildcatter says, 'We know as good as anybody else that oil is not going to be around forever....We need wildcatters to come out today....in biofuels, in renewable energy...."

View the trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFoAOuSp3Vc .

Discussion after the film to include information about New Jersey Clean Energy programs and rebates for businesses and residents.

Thursday, April 5, 2012, 7:30 pm:  No Impact Man

Author Colin Beavan began the No Impact Project in November 2006.  A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, he vowed to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year.  No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption...no problem.  That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two-year-old daughter are dragged into the fray.

Thursday, May 5, 2012, 7:30 pm: Tapped

Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, a public good, or a commodity to be bought and sold?  Stephanie Soechtig's feature examines the business of bottled water.

From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities it affects.

Thursday, October 4, 2012, 7:30 pm: Food, Inc.

From the filmaker: "You'll never think about dinner the same way...  Food, Inc. is a 2009 documentary directed by Emmy Award-winning filmaker Robert Kenner.  The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that the meat and vegetables produced by agribusinesses have many hidden costs and are unhealthy and environmentally harmful.  The documentary generated extensive controversy in that it was heavily criticized by large American corporations engaged in industrial food production."

Additional films may be shown later in 2012.  Check back here for updates.


A Complete Street accomodates all users - pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users and vehicles, senior citizens, and people with disabilities - as well as motor vehicles.  Chatham Borough received a grant in 2011 from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) to write a Complete Streets Policy and Plan for Chatham Borough.  The funds were used to hire a professional planner to facilitate the process as a Complete Streets Project Team developed the Complete Streets Policy and Plan.

The goal of Complete Streets is to create, over time, a network of complete streets and intersections providing all users connections to key trip generators, such as residences, jobs, schools, recreational and public facilities, retail and public transit.  Traffic safety will improve.  More people will walk and bike more often, reaping health benefits, decreasing carbon emissions, and enhancing their sense of community.

The Chatham Borough Complete Streets Policy Plan and Appendix includes a checklist of Complete Streets measures that will be considered in every streets project, new or retrofit.  Some examples of Complete Streets measures are:  crosswalk improvements; median refuges; bicycle accomodations and parking; curb ramps; and traffic calming measures.  Complete Streets measures will not be included if they compromise the safety or timing of a project or if they are dispoportionately expensive.

The Chatham Borough Planning Board adopted the Complete Streets Policy Plan and Appendix as part of the Chatham Borough Master Plan on  March 21, 2012. Borough Council passed a resolution of support on April 9, 2012.

The Complete Streets Policy Plan and Appendix can be viewed on the Chatham Borough website, www.chathamborough.org , under the Plans section.


Farmers' Market 2011

 CBGT had displays at the 2011 Chatham Borough Farmers' Market on on August 27, October 22, and on closing day, November 19, when Project Porchlight and CTEC joined us (see below).  The Farmers' Market is a wonderful place to relax, shop for wholesome food, and meet your friends and neighbors.  CBGT thought it would be a good place to talk to people about sustainability.  We had displays on all the NJCEP  energy efficiency programs for residents and businesses, tips for indoor and outdoor water conservation, Green Challenges, information about anti-idling, integrated pest management, cutting grass and leaving it on the lawn, the Eco Film series, and Complete Streets. 


NOVEMBER 19, 2011, 8 AM - 1 PM

Project Porchlight 2011

 Project Porchlight distributed complimentary CFL bulbs to the public at the Chatham Borough Farmers' Market on November 19, 2011.  It was a cold and windy November day, but that didn't stop Project Porchlight, CBGT, CTEC, or the many shoppers who visited our tables

CBGT had brochures and information about all the NJ Clean Energy Programs for businesses and residents.

Project Porchlight is an award-winning energy-efficiency initiative of One Change, a not-for-profit organization sponsored by New Jersey's Clean Energy Program and the Board of Public Utilities.

  NJ CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAMS FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES All programs are subject to change at any time.  Please check with www.njcleanenergy.com and/or call 866-NJSMART, before applying.

To receive email updates about the New Jersey Clean Energy Programs, go to www.njcleanenergy.com , scroll down andto the right, and click on the e-newsletter sign-up block

Residential and Business Programs

CleanPower Choice Program -  Customers can sign up online to obtain their energy from clean and renewable sources, such as solar, wind, or small hydro power, that are generated in NJ and the mid-Atlantic.  A modest additional monthly fee applies.  There is nothing to install.

NJCEP Online LIghting Store offers signficantly discounted CFL and LED light bulbs, as well as a variety of discounted interior, exterior and plug-in fixtures, from outdoor lights to floor and table lamps, to wall and ceiling fixtures.  Save money on the bulbs and fixtures and also on the energy cost of using them.  Free shipping on orders of $25 or more.

Residential Programs

Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program - Free pick-up and a $50 rebate for your old, operational refrigerator/freezer between 10 and 30 cubic feet in size.  Call 877-270-3520. Newer refrigerators use on average 1,000 kWh less annually than models manufactured before 1990 and can save $150 in annual energy costs.  Incentives processed withing 90-120 days.  Program valid through 12/31/11.

$50 Clothes Washer Rebate on EPA ENERGY STAR clothes washers with Modified Energy Factor of 2.2 or higher purchased in 2011 and installed in NJ.  Model must be listed on NJClean Energy.com/clotheswashers.  Proof of purchase, manufacturer, ENERGY STAR model number, serial number, store name and location, purchase date and price, must be submitted on application. See brochure in links, below.

Home Performance with ENERGY STAR - Select one of the certified contractors to conduct a home energy audit.  After the assessment, you will receive a report listing recommended energy efficiency measures and identifying available financial incentives.  Receive up to $5,000 in incentives and 0% financing.

WARMAdvantage - Domestic hot water heaters purchased after 2/15/11 with Energy Factor of 82 or higher eligible for $300 rebate.  Electric solar domestic water heater with eligible equipment list and electric backup, eligible for $1,200 rebate. Call 866-NJSMART.  Furnaces, ENERGY STAR qualified, AFUE 95% or higher, with minimum 2% fan efficiency (gas), or minimum 85% AFUE with 2% fan efficiency, $300 incentive, with electronic commulated motor, $400 incentive.  Boilers with AFUE 85% or higher, ENERGY STAR qualified, $300 rebate.  Rebates also available for high-efficiency heat pumps and water heaters.  Application forms at www.CleanEnergy.com

CoolAdvantage - Up to $500 in rebates for qualifying high-efficiency air conditioners.

Home Energy Analysis - An online tool to help understand energy use and take steps to save energy and money.  Linked to NJCEP incentives and ENERGY STAR rebates.  Recommendations customized to age of home, existing appliances.

Business Programs

Energy Benchmarking - Free online energy benchmarking is available for commercial, industrial, institutional, hospitality, multifamily, hospital and educational buildings.  Energy benchmarking assesses building energy efficiency by tracking energy use and comparing it to similar buildings to help locate opportunities for energy efficient upgrades.

NJ SmartStart Buildings financial incentives to install energy efficiency measures (high-efficiency lighting, lighting controls, heating and cooling, water heating, motors, etc.) in renovation, construction, addition, remodeling, and equipment replacement projects.  Preapproval is required for energy efficiency incentives before equipment is purchased or installed.

Pay for Performance- Commercial, industrial and multifamily buildings with peak demand exceeding 100 kW are eligible.  Energy experts develop a whole-building energy efficiency plan.  Approved plans are eligible for low-interest financing for 80% of the project cost (up to $2.5 million) from the Energy Efficiency Revolving Loan Fund of the NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA).  Qualifiying projects may also be eligible for a Combined Heat and Power incentive through co-generation with recovery and productive use of waste heat.

Direct Install - This program pays approximately 70% (up to $75,000 per project) of the cost of installing energy efficiency measures on existing NJ buildings with a peak load of 100KW or less.  Preapproval is required.  Participating contractors (only) performs Energy Assessments to identify eligible alternatives, and then install the efficiency measures. Replace lighting, heating and cooling but pay only 30% of the upgrade cost.

SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates) Registration Program - Solar project owners must register their projects before construction to establish eligibility to receive SRECs.  After constrution and completed paperwork, the project receives a Certification Number to earn SRECs.  Every time the system generates 1,000 KWh of electricity, an SREC is placed in the customer's electronic account.  SRECs can be sold on the SREC tracking system, generating revenue for 15 years.  SREC prices fluctuate based on supply and demand.  Moat SREC purchasers are electricity suppliers, which pay a Solar Alternative Compliance payment if they don't meet the NJ Solar RPS, which they can meeting by purchasing SRECs.  Residents who install solar projects at their homes are also eligible for this program.

Local Government Energy Audit - nonprofit organizations exempt from federal tax under 501(c)(3) of the IRS code are eligible for the same program that has benefited the Chatham Borough municipal government.  Free energy audits are available from a prequalified list of auditors.  These audits identify potential energy-efficiency measures.   Most recommended upgrades are eligible for incentives through the Direct Install, Smart Start, or Pay for Performance programs.


2012 CHS E-Carnival

 CBGT member Kate Murphy and Chatham Borough Councilman had all the latest NJCEP brochures available and on display at E-Carnival. The Energy Game from the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) was also on the table.  This game asks players to roll the dice, then look at the room in the house whose number corresponds to the number on the dice, and talk about ways to save energy in that room.

The brown flower vase on the table held all the names of the 232 Chatham Borough residents who took the Green Challenge.  The drawing for the winning name took place at E-Carnival.




Click the links below for more programs and information.