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Earth Day Celebration

Join us at our Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 26 from 12 -3 at the Bloomfield Library plaza.

Co sponsored by the Bloomfield library, the Open Space Committee and Greener Bloomfield.

Includes a toddler reading and planting, Reading of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,  seedball making and the first annual Earth Day Award presentation, and more.

Show your planet-love by riding your bike or walking.

Cancelled if rains.

https://www.facebook.com/events/274040916088931/

March 6 General meeting

Thursday, March 6, we will not have a program, but will start working on which Sustainable Jersey actions we want to acheive.   We will be meeting in the Civic Center (On Broad Street, just north of Liberty) at 7:30.  It is free and the public is welcome. Our meetings are on the 1st Thursday of the month.   Stay tuned for the Drinking Water meeting on April 3, and join us on April 26 for our earthday event.

Also check our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/GreenerBloomfield and our meetup page: http://www.meetup.com/GreenerBloomfield/

 

Thursday, Feb. 6 Meet & Greet

After a hiatus Greener Bloomfield is back to advocating for sustainability in our township.

We are working to increase environmental awareness and eco-friendly practices wherever we can in our township. We know that there are others out there who have been involved in the environmental arena or whose interests in Bloomfield overlap with environmental issues.

The old adage is ‘Many hands make light work.’ Let’s all work together to achieve our goals.

We want to meet you and find out how we might work together. Greener Bloomfield would like to invite you to our first Meet and Greet.

We would love to have the opportunity to tell you a little bit about our goals and want to hear yours. We will meet at the Civic Center in Bloomfield (84 Broad Street , next to the library) on Thursday, February 6th at 7 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

Note that we are meeting on the first Thursday of the month.  Tentative plans are to have another movie night in March, and in April, on Saturday, April 26, in honor of Earth Day,  we are tentatively having Toddler reading and planting day  in collaboration with the library;   Stay Tuned!

Thursday, Jan. 9, next meeting

Movie night was totally engrossing as we saw in so much detail how Ag Secretary Earl Butz’s call to “Grow Food” led us to our overproduction of commodity corn. Although the goal was to make food less expensive and reduce the percentage of the budget spent on food, things turned a corner that Butz perhaps might not have intended?  Glad to see new faces share the movie with us.

Look on https://www.facebook.com/GreenerBloomfield for more information about the film and the backstory.

Our next meeting, Jan. 9, is off-schedule because of the holidays.  Will continue to plan activities and develop sustainable NJ projects.  Please consider attending.  To stay in touch, try our meetup page, or the facebook page.

 

Movie night with Greener Bloomfield

Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013:  Movie and a chat. Come watch King Corn, a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In the film, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America’s most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm. 7:30 at the Civic Center 85 Broad Street.  Parking available in the library parking lot or on the street. Free and public welcome.

November meeting: Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013

This Thursday!  Vote on Tuesday, then mark your calendar to join us this Thursday!

We moved the meeting down the street to the Civic Center.  And we have set up our meetings so they will always be the first Thursday of the month at the Civic Center — mark your calendars and set up reminders.

We set up a committee to start working on next year’s bigger and better eco-community fair.  Our goals include mulling over which projects we can tackle to begin expanding Bloomfield(NJ)’s sustainability and get back on track with Sustainable NJ’s achievements.

Plus join us for  a Meet&Greet to network with other local sustainability groups.  Dates and details to follow.

 

Next Regular Meeting

Thursday, Oct.  17, 2013 at 7:30. In the Police Building at Franklin and Montgomery in the 2nd floor conference room. After a great Eco-community Fair at Harvest Fest, eager to continue on goals and tasks to move us forward. Free and open to the public.

Meeting: Revitalize Greener Bloomfield Aug 7

Please join us on Aug. 7 to brainstorm on how to revitalize Greener Bloomfield. We will also discuss Sustainable Jersey, to seek recertification, a project Greener Bloomfield led a few years ago to get the township certified with the first group of municipalities.

John Palomaki has given his okay with our efforts to get this going (as he mentioned in a post he is moving to Connecticut).
Here is the link for sustainable NJ if you want to see what that program does. http://www.sustainablejersey.com/

Any questions? Let me know. The meeting will be in the 2nd floor conference room at the Bloomfield Police building.

Susan Hebert

Urban Homesteading…in Bloomfield?

Raising hens is legal in Montclair — why not Bloomfield? Click on the photo to read more.

Are you interested in getting fresh eggs…right from your own back yard? Converting some of your lawn to vegetable gardens to raise more of your own food? Then you should attend the CHICKEN MEETING – to discuss and propose an ordinance to allow Bloomfield residents to keep and raise chickens (hens) in their back yards as a pilot program. Urban homesteading will also be discussed. The meeting will be held on Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Bloomfield College Library on the corner of Oakland and Liberty Streets. (Free parking in the Bloomfield College parking lot at the corner of Liberty and Austin Place).

Raising hens offers a number of benefits for local communities. Hens can be fed food scraps and garden waste while providing nitrogen-rich fertilizer through their droppings. Hens also provide natural pest control by consuming grubs and insects.

[From Facebook's "Citizens of Bloomfield, New Jersey" group and Bloomfield Patch.]

Montclair Environmental Movie Night Feb 21: Renewal

Montclair Environmental Affairs office and Community Green present another eye-opening environmental movie – Renewal– the first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. It starts at 6:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Montclair Public Library.

From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth. With great courage, these women, men and children are re-examining what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. Their stories of combating global warming and the devastation of mountaintop removal, of promoting food security, environmental justice, recycling, land preservation, and of teaching love and respect for life on Earth are the heart of RENEWAL.

Join us for the film and discussion following. This is one of a series of free Environmental Film Screenings put on by CommunityGreen.org. For more information contact Marnie Vyff at 973-335-4469 ormarnie@ecoLOGIC-design.com.

Clifton Feb 21: Protecting NJ’s Environment

Community Green is sponsoring a talk this Thursday, February 21, at 7:00 pm in Clifton on “Protecting NJ’s Environment: From Cancer Alley to the New Garden State”. Tom Belton, author of the book of the same title, will speak about key environmental issues in NJ and champion the ways common citizens have sought justice when faced with unseen health threats. Belton is a scientist with the NJDEP. He has investigated the impact of toxic chemicals on humans and wildlife. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments served. The event will take place at the Clifton Public Library, 292 Piaget Ave, Clifton. For more information please contact John Kashwick at jkashwick@optonline.net and go to the Meetup page at http://www.meetup.com/nj-green/events/98041522/.

Recycling and DPW at Feb. 28 Meeting

Join us for our February 2013 Greener Bloomfield meeting on Thursday, February 28, 7:30-9:00 p.m. at the Bloomfield Civic Center. We’ll have an open discussion with Bloomfield’s Recycling Coordinator Joe Testa and Department of Public Works and Parks Director Anthony Nesto. They will discuss the waste management and recycling programs in town, with some statistics, information on the expanded list of recyclables, and challenges they face where we might be able to help. Mr. Nesto will also discuss their green initiatives and challenges, including lawn and field maintenance, water conservation efforts, plantings, infrastructure, and even Christmas lights (can we finally go LED?). Bring your questions and suggestions!

According to the Township website, the Department of Public Works “includes maintenance of streets, sewers, shade trees, street sweeping, sanitation, recycling, potable water, and street lights”.

Greener Bloomfield Meeting Tonight!

Hello, friends! I’m happy to see a good number of people scheduled to attend tonight’s Greener Bloomfield meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Bloomfield Civic Center. It’s not too late to sign up, and it will help us figure out seating and snacks.

Our meetings are always interactive. Please come prepared to talk about at least one thing that you’ve been doing over the last couple of years to make your home, work, or community greener.

We’re also going to do some brainstorming on goals for our organization over the next year. Should we become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization? What should we focus on for Sustainable Jersey re-certification (see www.SustainableJersey.com for info if you’re not familiar)? What other issues should we pursue in town? How can we grow our membership and impact in the community? And very importantly, how can we continue to have fun while we seek our goals?

It’s going to be chilly, so bundle up, and we look forward to seeing you tonight!

P.S.: We’ll probably meet next in late February.

Greener Bloomfield is Returning!

Yes, Greener Bloomfield is coming back to life after a hiatus of almost 3 years! Our goals are the same — to bring the community together to learn about and implement actions that will help us be more sustainable in our homes, our schools, our businesses, and our township. We’ll build on the success we’ve had in the past to get Bloomfield re-certified with Sustainable Jersey. We’ll examine development going on in town and promote green building practices. And we’ll always advocate transparency, openness, and other best practices to make sure our township is thinking sustainably — so that we thrive not only environmentally, but also socially and economically. As always, we aim to be collaborative, non-partisan, and apolitical — we just want to work together to get good things done!

We’ll be meeting on Thursday, January 24, 7:00 p.m. at the Civic Center to share what people have done during our hiatus, to discuss what we want to do going forward,  and to enjoy fellowship with people who have similar ideals. We’re confirming our meeting place and time and will let you know as soon as we can! To make sure you’re on the list to be notified, sign up at http://www.meetup.com/GreenerBloomfield.

Big Issues at Planning Board Tuesday

[NOTE: At the Jan. 8 meeting, both applicants asked for their hearings to be moved to Tuesday, Jan. 15, since a full Planning Board was not able to hear the proposals. They have been moved to a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7:00 p.m. The date and time below have been edited to reflect the new meeting.]

On Tuesday, January 15, 7:00 p.m. in the Bloomfield Municipal Building Council Chambers, the Planning Board will be considering at least two projects of interest to Greener Bloomfield friends. We hope you’ll attend to comment on these projects.

In one, Bloomfield College is proposing an attractive new bookstore run by Barnes and Noble. Rumor has it that they will be seeking LEED Silver certification! We’re also hoping that the bookstore will be welcoming to the public with a retail front end — especially as there are no other bookstores in Bloomfield! We hope you’ll encourage them in their sustainable development and providing a compelling retail destination for our residents and neighbors.

The second issue is more troublesome, where the developer of the Lion’s Gate property. Many have concerns that the residential development will cause more overcrowding at schools that are already using trailers. In addition, the developer appears to ask that the Planning Board grant them the right to modify their plans without any additional notice or approval, which could be a terrible precedent. The group Save Bloomfield Now posts the following:

Please attend the Bloomfield Planning Board meeting on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 7:30 PM to protect our rights to oversee development in our town!

The attorney for the developer of the former Scientific Glass property on Lion Gate Drive (off Broad St) will be appearing before the board seeking a blank check to allow unfettered latitude to make any changes they want to the approved development of 104 townhouses without having to come back to the Planning Board for approval of those changes.

In their own words (from the public notice that was hand-delivered to residents in a 200 foot radius):

“The applicant also requests that the Board grant any additional approvals, permits, interpretations, waivers or exceptions reflected in the materials filed (as same may be amended or revised from time to time without further notice) or determined to be necessary during the review and processing of this application.”

Save Bloomfield Now is concerned that the Planning Board may be pressured into giving in to this demand by the developer, and we ask residents to attend the meeting to show their support for our Planning Board and the important role they play in guiding development in our town within the boundaries of the law.

Show (and tell) the Planning Board that we want them to decide what is right for our town, not the developer!

(Did you know? Our Planning Board is comprised of Bloomfield residents who volunteer countless hours to fulfill this vital function of local government.)

Bloomfield Water Warning

(From our friends at Baristanet)
Bloomfield Township last week sent notices to some residents warning that the level of trihalomethanes (chemical contaminants that are by-products of chlorination) in their drinking water exceeds federal standards.

The flyer, slipped under the door of some apartment dwellers, and mailed to other residents, states: “This is not an emergency…You do not need to boil your water or take other corrective actions. If a situation arises where the water is no longer safe to drink, you will be notified within 24 hours.” However, it does not state how residents will be alerted.

Particularly concerning to some residents is the warning in the flyer: “People who drink water containing trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL (maximum contaminant level) over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.”

See more details, with a statement by Township Engineer Paul Lasek, on Baristanet.

Blasts from the Past

Check out the posts below to see what Greener Bloomfield has done in the past!

Mini-Earth Day 4/24 at Brookdale ShopRite

Bring your electronic to recycle at the Brookdale ShopRite this Saturday, April 24, 9:00am – 1:00 pm, as the Bloomfield Recycling Committee introduces a new monthly electronics drop-off for the North End. The Recycling Committee, Open Space Trust Fund, and Greener Bloomfield will be exhibiting as well to celebrate Earth Day, informing people of their projects and ways you can help preserve the environment. Greener Bloomfield will have information about the rebates available for recycling old refrigerators, buying new Energy Star appliances, and making other energy upgrades to homes and businesses. Continue reading Mini-Earth Day 4/24 at Brookdale ShopRite

All About Solar at Next Meeting 4/29

Find out about affordable solar electricity for your home or business as the President and Co-Founder of Geoscape Solar, Jeff Chavkin, visits our next Greener Bloomfield meeting April 29, 7:00 pm, Bloomfield Civic Center. Jeff will explain how solar power works, the ins and outs of buy vs. lease, and the financial and environmental payback for generating your own power from renewable sources. Please RSVP at www.Meetup.com/GreenerBloomfield.

Geoscape claims to be the only company in NJ offering leases for solar, where for no money down, you can get solar panels on your roof and pay at least 25% less than you pay now for electricity (claims from their website). It’s also a good time to buy solar panels, with a rebate from NJ, federal tax credits of 30%, and the Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) you earn by generating electricity.

If you’re interested in generating electricity from the sun at your house, or at your business or church, then this is a great place to get it. If you already have solar electricity, or even solar thermal, please come to share your experiences. We met Jeff at the Earth Day 2010 celebration at the Essex County Environmental Center on April 16. [Disclaimer: Greener Bloomfield does not in any way endorse or recommend Geoscape Solar; we are simply providing information from one of many possible solar providers in NJ.]

Organic Vegetable Garden Tour April 24

Pat Kenschaft, the noted local organic gardener, has put together tours of 3 organic vegetable gardens (including hers, of course) here in suburban Essex County on Saturday morning, April 24. Continue reading Organic Vegetable Garden Tour April 24