July 1, 2020
Watch our Composting Tips Community Forum
Did you know that reducing food waste has been identified by Project Drawdown as the #1 action to take to fight climate change? Composting is a powerful way to take action — whether in your backyard, or through Java's Compost curbside pick-up service.

We’re knocked out by the great composting tips shared in our recent Community Forum. Watch the recording on our Facebook page, @GreenMadisonNJ. You’ll learn about Earth Machines, tumblers, worms and pick-up service with Java’s Compost. Our presenters share photographs and really great tips.

If you have more questions, write to us and we’ll connect you to our local experts.

Computer photo by Tuur Tisseghem from Pexels
Do you know that reusable bags and cups are safe, even during COVID-19?
Last week, more than 100 scientists published a signed statement to reassure the public that reusable containers are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It says that "available evidence indicates that the virus spreads primarily from inhaling aerosolized droplets, rather than through contact with surfaces.”

Madison and the Chathams banned plastic bags at checkout on March 1. The Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (ANJEC) has been advocating to keep bans strictly enforced. They say that “There is no rational reason anyone should think using a clean reusable bag from home is less safe than a single-use plastic one from the store. With clean reusable bags there is a clear chain of custody; individuals carry, pack, and clean their own bags, whereas an untold number of people handle the bundles of single-use bags.”

Drew University professor and Madison resident Lisa Jordan is one of the experts who signed the statement, which she calls "a helpful assurance from the public health community that we can continue to use reusable items responsibly with no additional risk from Coronavirus. The misunderstanding that single-use plastics are healthful needs to change. Plastic materials introduce health harms into the air, ground and water throughout the entire product life cycle: extraction, processing, distribution and disposal."
Take our quick poll, let us know what you think
Have you noticed that ShopRite in Chatham Township has continued to uphold the March 1 plastic bag ban? And Stop & Shop isn’t?

Madison gave Stop & Shop a dispensation during the pandemic. Do you think it’s time to bring back a focus on reusable shopping bags?
Plastic pollution affects our health and NJ waters. You can help by:
  1. Talking to local merchants and informing them that single-use plastic is not safer than reusable items. You may want to share the scientists' statement
  2. Bringing your own reusable bags, cups and containers
  3. Asking the managers of shops and eateries you patronize to use only sustainable packaging and no plastic straws
  4. Emailing elected officials to let them know your thoughts
Coming soon:
Solar Power Tips Community Forum
A free Zoom webinar will feature a panel of Madison residents who use solar panels to capture energy for their homes, and experts from Green House Solar.
Stay tuned for details!
Find out what native plants are blooming in Madison

Subscribe to Joan Maccari's occasional e-newsletter to learn more about local native plants (and their invasive look-alikes).

A Madison Environmental Commission member, Joan has a master's degree in biology, has worked as a biological researcher, and is a longtime naturalist/educator. An avid gardener, Joan is especially dedicated to educating the public about the importance of native plantings and gardening for pollinators. You may have recently received one or more of the free pollinator plants she grew for distribution to local residents!

Photo by Joan Maccari
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