Participate in a Green Team or Hub
Interested in participating in your town's green team or networking with passionate people through one of our regional sustainability hubs? Learn more about connecting with green teams and Sustainable Jersey Regional Hubs below.
Connect with a Green Team
Do you have a passion for sustainability and your community? Green teams are an integral part of the Sustainable Jersey program, leveraging the skills and expertise of team members to develop plans, implement programs, and assist with educational opportunities that support the creation of a sustainable community. If you are interested in learning more about your town's green team, contact the primary contact, found on the Participating Communities map. Use the List View feature of the map to identify the town and click View Profile to view the primary contact information.
Green Team Spotlights
What do green teams do? Here are a few examples!
Sustainable Oakland Promotes "Buy Fresh, Buy Local"
Local farm and food businesses in New Jersey are responding in innovative ways to feed the community during this unprecedented pandemic. To support their effort, the Sustainable Oakland Green Team lost no time in developing and launching a successful Buy Fresh Buy Local promotion. In May 2020, a comprehensive list of farms, CSAs, farmers markets, local honey providers and local restaurants that buy local produce, was compiled. The initial Oakland Borough Buy Fresh Buy Local list included curbside pickup and delivery options for local farms to provide fresh produce to residents during the COVID-19 lockdown. The list met an urgent community need by providing fresh produce options during a time in when selections were limited at commercial grocery stores due to shortages and because customers were reluctant to shop in person.
Sustainable Collingswood Partners on Town Programs
Collingswood Borough established its green team in 2009 with the primary purpose to have the group run a green festival. Ten years later, Collingswood Borough is a green leader in many areas and held its hugely successful Green Festival, which hosted thousands of visitors and offered local organic food, affordable rain barrels, backyard composters and neighborhood artisans making art from recycled materials, in April 2019. Thanks to the dedicated members of Sustainable Collingswood, the Borough achieved Sustainable Jersey certification at the silver-level in 2019. Sustainable Collingswood members write articles for local publications and maintain their own webpage, Facebook page and blog. The green team coordinates and partners on a variety of town programs such as the Collingswood Bike Share, Wildlife Habitat Gardens Project, Collingswood Tree City USA and two community gardens.
Greener To-Go Take Out Packaging Campaign
The Millburn Green Team, in collaboration with the South Orange and Maplewood green teams, implemented an educational campaign and two Greener To-Go weekends to help residents reduce plastic and Styrofoam consumption by putting more sustainable take-out options into the hands of local restaurants. Working together, the three Essex County towns maximized outreach to residents for their volunteer-led efforts. The program helped raise awareness of the plastic and Styrofoam waste problem and aided all three towns, with a combined population of 62,000, in reducing plastic pollution.
Middletown Township Improves Recycling through Education
Middletown Township, in coordination with their contracted waste hauler, conducted a waste audit using a 200-pound sample. Through this audit they discovered that the Township's contamination rate for the recyclables was 14.1 percent, with over 70 percent of the contamination caused by plastic bags. To improve their recycling Middletown Township began working on Sustainable Jersey’s Recycling and Waste Reduction Education and Compliance action, which is a priority action toward the town’s Sustainable Jersey certification application. The Township has surpassed standard educational practices by implementing a recycling educational campaign to help residents understand what can and cannot be recycled and how to do so property while complying with the requirements of the Township’s single-stream recycling system.
Participate in a Regional Hub
Sustainable Jersey is committed to helping green teams build capacity through training, resource sharing and networking. In keeping municipal and school green teams connected to issue experts, sustainability leaders, and each other, communities gain the opportunity to learn what has been successful elsewhere in the state and partner on projects with neighboring towns and schools in order to boost limited resources. As many sustainability issues and standards are dynamic, these hubs serve as a critical source of idea sharing and information gathering.
Regional Hubs have formed across New Jersey and are comprised of municipal and school green team and environmental commission members, municipal and county representatives, business/community/nonprofit leaders, and sustainability-minded individuals.
Active Sustainable Jersey Regional Hubs
- Atlantic-Cape May Counties Hub
- Sustainable Bergen County Hub
- Sustainability Essex Alliance
- Hunterdon Sustainability Team
- Mercer County Sustainability Coalition
- Monmouth County Hub
- Morris County Hub
- Ocean County Sustainability Hub
- Somerset Green Leadership Hub
- Tri-County Sustainability (Camden, Burlington, Gloucester)
- Union County Hub
For more information, contact Lauren Skowronski at 609-771-3129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits to Hub Participants
While each hub is structured differently and focuses on topics specific to the needs of its region's green teams, the opportunities that are provided to participate are the same:
- Peer mentoring
- Regular hub events which bring expert speakers, training on issues, updates on Sustainable Jersey municipal and school program actions, and opportunities to socialize and network with other sustainability-minded people in your region
- Project collaboration which helps build green team capacity and have a greater impact
- Online communication platform to foster sharing and collaboration between events
- Technical assistance and administration support by Sustainable Jersey and Sustainable Jersey for Schools staff and partners
Bergen County Hub Launches Creative Bergen
The Sustainable Bergen County Hub has been busy during the COVID-19 lockdown. Meeting weekly by Zoom, the group formed a new creative arts team called Creative Bergen. The group of green team members, artists, business leaders and community members is partnering to advance support for the arts. Creative Bergen’s mission is to implement creative programs in conjunction with municipal governments; to develop strategies to improve the quality of life in Bergen County; and to support mutual sustainability goals. A creative team is in place and the compilation of the creative assets inventory is underway. A 2021 Arts Crawl event is in the planning phase and will be the public launch of the initiative.
Mercer County Sustainability Coalition Creates Direct Install Testimonial Videos
The Mercer County Sustainability Coalition (MCSC) created fourteen compelling testimonial videos featuring Mercer County business owners and non-profit leaders who have benefited from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™ (NJCEP) “Direct Install” program. MCSC is an alliance of green teams and sustainability organizations from eight municipalities in Mercer County enhances the reach of the coalition’s communications and optimizes resources. Working with Tri-State Lighting, the NJCEP-designated Direct Install contractor for Mercer County, the MCSC green teams have been busy promoting the program and its benefits. To watch the videos, visit the MCSC YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/MCSC_DI.
Tri-CSA Sustainability Starts Mentoring Program
The Tri-County Sustainability Alliance (Tri-CSA) has jumpstarted a program to mentor towns in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties that have not achieved Sustainable Jersey certification or have lapsed in their certification. True to their slogan, “great people implement great ideas,” David Steinberg, a member of the Tri-CSA, developed the Tri-CSA Resource Guide that includes a list of what volunteer mentors need to know, common challenges and the local resources available to support sustainability programs. Using the guide, four mentor volunteers from green teams worked with seven muncipalities. The pilot was a success as three muncipalities (Maple Shade Township, Auduobon Borough and Gloucester City) were bronze certified in November 2019. Now with 10 volunteers, whose towns are certified, the group is targeting 22 more towns in their efforts to promote sustainability.
Ocean County Sustainability Hub Improves Communications
With a front-row seat to the harmful effects caused by extreme weather events and plastic pollution on New Jersey beaches, thirteen coastal towns have come together to form the Ocean County Sustainability Hub: Barnegat, Beach Haven, Brick, Island Heights, Lacey, Long Beach, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Park, Stafford, Toms River, Tuckerton and Waretown. The Ocean County Sustainability Hub has improved communication between municipalities and organizations in order to give green teams the tools and steps to implement programs and projects to help Ocean County achieve sustainability.