There is a plan to transport massive quantities of liquified natural gas (LNG) through our communities in South Jersey via rail and/or truck. But grassroots activism could derail this multimillion-dollar fossil-fuel scheme, which involves creating a marine export facility in Greenwich Township (Gibbstown), Gloucester County. Many of us who live in the communities that will be impacted are rallying to oppose this plan. Merchantville, where Dorothy Foley - a longtime resident of Merchantville, leader of the Merchantville Green Team and a member of the Tri-county Sustainability Alliance and Camden for Clean Air - resides in this tiny community of less than a square mile tucked between Pennsauken and Cherry Hill within a one-mile radius of a likely rail and truck route for the LNG shipments. In her opinion, the planet does not need this, nor any other LNG export terminals. South Jersey communities should not bear the immediate threat to public and community safety. Read more.
At a time when climate change is making heat waves more frequent and more severe, trees are stationary superheroes: They can lower urban temperatures 10 lifesaving degrees, scientists say. “There’s no way these trees are coming down,” Shane McQuillan, who manages the city’ of Des Moines trees, recalled thinking. “The default position for us is, you don’t take out big trees to put in small trees.” Why, you ask? “Trees are, quite simply, the most effective strategy, technology, we have to guard against heat in cities,” said Brian Stone Jr., a professor of environmental planning at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Great reasons to support the efforts of Merchantville's Shade tree Commission in our parks and public spaces. In fact, Des Moines has increased its $200,000 tree planting budget to $300,000 next year and $450,000 the following, with a goal of reaching $1 million. Its forestry department, with a budget of $2 million, employs a team of 13 arborists, up from 11 a couple years ago, who prune the city’s trees, extending their lives.
Las week Merchantville's Green Team volunteers added a new pollinator habitat to our ever growing sustainability and land stewardship efforts. The Smith family prepared the new habitat, located along the Rails-to-Trails path at Chestnut and Alexander Avenues to ready it for spring growth. The Green Team works with all of the town's sustainability organizations - Incredible Edible, Garden Club, Shade Tree, 4-H, Junior Green Team - on environmental projects to maintain our Sustainable Jersey Bronze certification and achieve silver status in future years. Follow Merchantville's sustainability partners on social media.
Cafeterias and kitchens in county buildings will soon begin filling recycling containers instead of dumpsters thanks to a pilot program to lessen the environmental impact of facilities owned and operated by the county approved by the Freeholder Board. Proposals are currently being accepted to find a vendor who will collect food waste generated during meal preparation and transport it to local composting and food recycling sites. Mass production county kitchens produce thousands of pounds of food waste during preparation, however, potato skins, banana peels and other organic materials can be recycled and reused. The county is looking for a vendor to supply bins to store food waste then, collect and deliver it to sites where it can be reused as animal feed or recycled via composting or anaerobic digestion.
Recycling, for decades an almost reflexive effort by American households and businesses to reduce waste and help the environment, is collapsing in many parts of the country. Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material in an incinerator that converts waste to energy. In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper is sent to a landfill. And last month, officials in the central Florida city of Deltona faced the reality that, despite their best efforts to recycle, their curbside program was not working and suspended it. Those are just three of the hundreds of towns and cities across the country that have canceled recycling programs, limited the types of material they accepted or agreed to huge price increases.
Look at the amazing rain garden created by members of Merchantville's Green Team and Garden Club over the weekend near the multi-use path and the Station. It's not only pretty, but it works! Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers that made it happen. A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, patios or lawns. Rain gardens can also help filter out pollutants in runoff and provide food and shelter for butterflies, song birds and other wildlife.