Berkeley Heights Green Community Challenge Pledge
Thank you for taking our survey and pledging to make Berkeley Heights a more sustainable place to live. This is just one of the many actions the Environmental Commission and the Green Team are taking to help Berkeley Heights reach Sustainable Jersey Silver Certification. Local government alone cannot solve all of our sustainability issues, we need residents to take action as well! You can read more about Sustainable Jersey here: www.sustainablejersey.com.

Many of you already make efforts to reduce waste, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and protect the environment. If you do, filling out this survey will help us document your actions. Your address and email address will not be shared, they will just be used to ensure that you live in Berkeley Heights and to keep you updated with progress of the pledge. We need approximately 241 residents (2.5% of the population above the age of 18) to fill out the survey, so please spread the word to your neighbors and friends in town! We're counting on you!

Email address *
First and Last Name *
Your answer
Address (Please note you must be a Berkeley Heights resident) *
Please enter your address, including street, city, and zip. This information will not be shared.
Your answer
1) I pledge to use a refillable water bottle instead of purchasing plastic disposable water bottles. *
Switching to a refillable water bottle can drastically reduce the amount of plastic you put into the recycling system while saving you money. Although recycling is great, it requires energy itself and many bottles end up in our rivers and streams. A one-time investment in a refillable water bottle can go a long way. For example: If you drink just one water bottle per day, that's 365 bottles per year. With an average price for a 24-pack at $5.00, 15 packs per year results in $75 in savings, at least! Multiply that by a family of 4 and you're saving approximately $300 per year.
2) I pledge to use reusable bags instead of plastic bags for shopping. *
Plastic bags are the second highest form of pollution, after cigarette butts. Bags end up in landfills, oceans, parks and beaches for up to 1,000 years and are not biodegradable. Reusable bags can be purchased at most grocery stores and are an affordable way to eliminate the need to use plastic.
3) I pledge to change the light bulbs in my home to energy efficient models. *
Switching to energy-efficient bulbs is an easy way to save on your energy bill. Look for brands that have the Energy Star, including halogen incandescent, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Traditional incandescent bulbs give off more energy as heat, costing you more in the long run.
4) I pledge to reduce my meat intake. *
The livestock production sector is responsible for 37% of methane and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions, both of which are potent greenhouse gases that contribute to increasing temperatures. We know this one is tough, so when you do choose to eat meat, keep in mind that local, organic farms use as much as one-third less fossil fuels than their industrial counterparts. For more info: http://www.sustainabletable.org/982/agriculture-energy-climate-change
5) I pledge to compost my food at home. *
Composting reduces the amount of trash you put into landfills and turns your food scraps into usable soil. There are many resources out there on how to compost at home, but here is one to get you started: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home
6) I pledge to shop locally whenever possible. *
In addition to reducing your CO2 emissions, you will be supporting local business and boosting the town economy. Plus, you'll save money on gas! When you do need to drive out of town for something, try to complete all of your errands or shopping in one trip at stores that are close to each other, to your kids’ school, etc. Plan ahead and plan efficiently!
7) I pledge to reduce my shower time to 5 minutes (or less). *
The average shower lasts 8 minutes and uses about 18 gallons of water. If you reduce your shower time by one minute, that could save over 500 gallons of water per year! Using this calculator will show you how much you could save by cutting down the time of your showers, and a shower timer can help you keep track. Water and energy calculator: http://www.paystolivegreen.com/shower-water-and-energy-use-calculator/
8) When feasible to walk/bike somewhere, I will choose walking/biking instead of driving. *
You can get some extra exercise for the day and won’t waste gas driving such a short distance.
9) I pledge to recycle. *
Recycling gives the products we use new life and reduces the amount of product going into landfills (which give off greenhouse gas in the form of methane). See the township website on what to recycle and when: http://www.berkeleyheightstwpnj.gov/recycling/index.html.
10) I pledge to reduce, reuse, and think twice before buying new products. *
What’s even better than recycling? Reducing and reusing items. Reducing and reusing creates less clutter in your home and saves you money! This can be done by: buying used products, buying products that use less packaging, choosing reusable items instead of disposable ones (like the silverware you use for lunch at work), and borrowing, renting, or sharing items as often as possible. For more info: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/reducing-and-reusing-basics
11) I pledge to carpool whenever possible. *
Do your kids go to the same school as the neighbors’ kids? Do you know other people going to the same party as you? Set up a carpool to reduce the number of cars going to the same place. Again, saving you money on gas and reducing carbon emissions.
12) I pledge to turn my car off when waiting for more than 10 seconds. *
Idling causes pollution and if done for more than 10 seconds actually consumes more fuel than restarting your vehicle. Protect the quality of our air and maximize your savings on gas by not idling! Also note that it is against NJ law to idle for more than 3 minutes. For more info: https://www.edf.org/climate/reports/idling
13) Add your own! If there is an environmentally friendly action that you do or would like to pledge to do that is not included in this list, please feel free to describe it below!
Your answer
If filling out paper version of the pledge, please return to the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission, 29 Park Ave, BH 07922.
Your answer
A copy of your responses will be emailed to the address you provided.
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