HOWELL – Annual Howell Day looked a little greener this year, thanks to the Green Team.
Members decided to incorporate a Green Fair into the annual family-fun day of games, rides, face painting, food, live entertainment and fireworks in Soldier Memorial Park as part of their commitment to the Sustainable New Jersey program, which allows townships to earn points and become bronze or silver certified.
Green Team member Grace Lowry said the Green Fair was all about teaching Howell residents which activities they could incorporate into their daily lives to be greener, such as composting, buying less or organic gardening. There were seed packets available that were packaged by Girl Scout troops and a bean bag game for kids.
Sustainable New Jersey requires townships to document all points they earn by following green initiatives like hosting community events, reducing energy and protecting the environment. Lowry said Howell became bronze certified a couple years ago, but needs to earn back some of those points to get re-certified again next June.
Holding a Green Fair, for example, racks in 10 points.
Sustainable New Jersey has allowed the township to qualify for different grants, sometimes in the form of money, but also in the form of hands-on help. For the past two summers, the Green Team applied for and received student fellows who drove sustainable projects within Howell.
Last year’s fellow, a master’s degree student, took a look at energy consumption in township and school buildings, examining how the town could save more money through energy programs and pursing available grants.
This year, another fellow focused on marketing, promoting the Green Team and putting together a brochure on what Howell is doing to make the community a more sustainable place.
Here’s a few of those “Green Facts:”
- Howell saves 75 trees per year by purchasing 30 percent recycled paper.
- Switching the lights in the municipal parking garage to LED bulbs saves the town nearly $2,000 per year.
- In 2016, Howell diverted over 66,000 tons of waste from the landfill.
- Between 2012 and 2017, Howell saved 419 tons of carbon dioxide by reducing gas and electricity consumption – the same as removing 88 cars from the road or taking 44 homes off the grid.
The Green Team is in its third year and more and more people are starti
ng to come out to meetings. Lowry said she joined because she’s always been concerned about the environment and tries to do what little she can to help it.
Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the Municipal Building. Anyone is welcome to attend. At the end of the year, people can sign up for other township groups, such as the Farmers’ Advisory Committee or Shade Tree Commission.
For more information on Sustainable New Jersey, visit sustainablejersey.com.