What Is Sustainable Jersey?
Our Journey To Sustainablity
Help Us Become Certified

Welcome to The Sustainable South Plainfield Website.

“Bringing people together to build a Sustainable South Plainfield”

In 2009, the Borough of South Plainfield passed a resolution to register in the  Sustainable Jersey Municipal Government Certification Program. This provides a framework and incentives for municipalities working to become sustainable communities -- communities that embody a good quality of life while minimizing impact on environment and other resources, now and for future generations.

The next step was taken by the South Plainfield Environmental Commission in January, 2011. The commission amended its by-laws to form a Green Team as mandated by the certification program. Eight members were chosen: four from the Environmental Commission (Dorothy Miele, Robyn Rusnack, Christopher Cioffi, Jonathan Walezak), Dr. Alice Tempel (South Plainfield Environmental Specialist), Robert Capparelli (head of the Department of Public Works), Glenn Cullen (Chief Financial Officer), and Christine Buteas, (Environmental Commission Council Liaison).

The final step was taken by the governing body of South Plainfield when it approved a resolution on February 22, 2011, formally establishing the Green Team “to identify, prioritize, select and enable sustainability initiatives that will benefit the residents and business people of South Plainfield by raising community awareness; engaging citizen volunteerism; maintaining fiscal responsibility; and attaining SustainableJersey certification.”

A sustainable community seeks to optimize quality of life for its residents by ensuring that its environmental, economic and social objectives are balanced and mutually supportive. It strives to save tax dollars, assure clean land, air and water, and improve working and living environments as steps to building a sustainable community that will thrive well into the next
century. Municipalities which attain SustainableJersey certification gain access to grants and program funding.

The Green Team will seek citizen participation as it moves forward with initiatives and programs designed to identify and implement best practices in the ways of natural resource protection, waste reduction, energy efficiency and in many other areas.

Sustainable Jersey is a partnership between the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future, New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University, Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Rutgers Center for Green Building, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and a coalitional of NJ nonprofits, state agencies, and experts in various fields.

The Green Team meets at 7:30 pm the second Wednesday of the month in the conference room at Borough Hall, 2480 Plainfield Avenue. The public is invited to attend.

SSP strives to continuously tap South Plainfield and the Borough's greatest resource - its people - in order to shift to a sustainable way of life. We do this through hosting educational events, networking opportunities, supporting community based task forces and acting as a general clearing house of information on sustainability news and events. We provide a structure for people at all levels to work together to pursue their passions and use their unique skills and networks in the service of a more sustainable community.

SSP is essentially a community group in that our approach to sustainability recognizes that everyone making small changes results in big differences collectively. As such, it is critical that we establish and nurture relationships with all area stakeholders, including government, schools, businesses, faith groups, other community groups and individuals from all over South Plainfield. But grassroots cannot do it alone.  Large scale change requires leadership by governments and corporations.  An educated and empowered populace can put pressure on these entities from the ground up.

Community News & Events

The Municipal Governing Body of South Plainfield passed a resolution in April, in support of the existing State Law, to discourage parked motorists from idling for more than three minutes. The Borough's Sustainable Jersey Green Team took the lead to identify the areas where idling is most common. Those locations include drive-through windows, gas stations, strip malls, distribution centers and business, and school parking lots. The Green Team's strategy to reduce idling is through a public education campaign that engages the community-at-large. The team has searched to find allies and champions who will pledge to support and promote the anti-idling laws. One of the first to step up is the Board of Education.

The Green Team met with Board of Education member, Debbie Boyle, in July to discuss effective ways to inform parents and others who provide transportation for students of the significant pollution hazards of idling. The fruitful results of that meeting will be evident in the coming weeks.

For starters, Ms. Boyle addressed the seventh graders at the Middle School orientation in August, asking the student body to step up and help the PTO's anti-idling campaign. Shortly thereafter the Interim Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Frank Cocchiola, signed an anti-idling pledge for the Jackson Avenue Administration Building, as did all the principals at their school locations. Anti-idling proclamations are now visible at school building entrances and on the Board of Education website. Representatives of the High School National Honor Society and all the other parent/teacher organizations are being asked to consider taking on the anti-idling campaign at their schools.

The greatest concern from idling is pollution. For every gallon of gasoline a car uses, it emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. Idling vehicles also emit other chemicals that can trigger asthma attacks. Studies have linked many of chemicals to increased risk of cancer, heart and lung disease, asthma and allergies. By reducing emissions, drivers can lessen damage to the environment and population.

For more information, contact the Green Team at spnaturetrails@verizon.net or the South Plainfield Environmental Commission at atempel@southplainfieldnj.com.

Civic particiaption is essential at all age levels, from students to seniors. Your opinion on what you would like listed on the map is essential. In addition, residents can join the Green Mapping Committee and help collect data and decide what listings make the final version of the published map.

A printed survey will be available at the Environmental Commission/Green Team booth at the Labor Day Picnic. Jonathan Walezak, dual member of the Environmental Commission and Green Team, is leading the CAM effort and will be available at the Labor Day booth to hand out surveys or answer questions. Residents can also find the survey at the Environmental Specialist's office in Borough Hall, the Observer office, the Public Library and eventually on line.

If you can't visit the booth on Labor Day and would like more information or would like to join the Green Mapping Committee, please contact Jonathan Walezak at jwalezak@gmail.com or the Environmental Commission at spnaturetrails@verizon.net..

Community Solar Website
Meet Our Green Team
Actions We Can Take Towards Certification
What Does Certification Mean To The Borough?
Clear the Drains




Borough of South Plainfield
2480 Plainfield Avenue    South Plainfield NJ 07080

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