Township Of Morris
Environmental Commission
Newsletter
February 2022
Bee on Butterfly Weed
Native Pollinator Plant Sale Begins April 1

Do you want to landscape with native plants that support pollinators, but you don't know where to begin? Or maybe you've already started a pollinator garden, but you need new varieties that bloom at different times of the season.

Running April 1-22, The Great Swamp Watershed Association (GSWA) Native Plant Sale provides a full selection of attractively priced native perennials, as well as guidance for planting pollinator gardens that will thrive with minimal care.

To get started, peruse the four plant kits and 28 individual species add-ons in the catalog. Then explore the curated information in the Native Landscaping Resources section to start getting ready for spring. You can also enjoy three GSWA Plant Sale recorded and pending webinars.
This second annual plant sale is directly supported by the Morris Township Environmental Commission.

We are one many municipalities and non-profit organizations that help publicize and staff the sale, including hosting 15 local pickup sites.

More than 14,000 plants were sold in 2021, and we plan to sell 21,000 this year.

"Our joint goal is to foster broad adoption of native plant gardens across our area to create necessary habitat for the pollinator insects and bird communities that are foundation elements of our local ecosystem– pooling our private yards to create what the popular lecturer and entomologist Doug Tallamy describes as a Homegrown National Park".
The Countdown Begins: No More Single Use Plastic Bags Starting May 4, 2022
Beginning in May, plastic bags will no longer be available through grocery, retail, and restaurants throughout the state of New Jersey. Morris Township’s municipal ban of single-use plastic bags began on July 1, 2020.

Most of your questions about this new state law can be found in this comprehensive Q&A from the NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection.

There are many common exemptions, such as if a bag is used solely to contain:
  • uncooked meat, fish, or poultry.
  • loose items such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, grains, baked goods, candy, greeting cards, flowers, bulk food, or small hardware items.
  • live animals, such as fish or insects sold in a pet store.
  • food sliced or prepared to order, including soup or hot food
  • laundry, dry cleaning, or garments
  • prescription drugs
  • newspapers

Please get into the habit of bringing reusable grocery bags to the store today. Hint: Always keep a few bags in the trunk or backseat of your vehicle(s) and you'll never forget them at home.
Critical Environmental Laws Enacted in Trenton
The “Save the Bees” bill (A2070/S1016) helps eliminate unnecessary uses of neonicotinoid insecticides (“neonics”), which are decimating bee colonies throughout the state. Neonics spread quickly through the ecosystem and have major unintended impacts. Emerging evidence links neonic exposure to elevated risk of neurological damage and malformations of the developing human heart and brain.

The "Recycled Content" bill establishes post-consumer recycled content requirements for rigid plastic containers, glass containers, paper and plastic carryout bags, and plastic trash bags; prohibits sale of polystyrene loose fill packaging. The main objective of the plastic content recycling bill is to reduce the production of virgin plastic, increase the use of recycled content, enhance the recycled plastics market, and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of packaging.
Meet Us at Grow It Green's Winter Farmers' Market
The Environmental Commission has a booth on alternate weeks at the Grow It Green's Winter Farmers' Market. The dates are 2/27, 3/13, and 3/27.

Meet members of the commission, learn what we are doing, and let us know which environmental issues concern you most.

The market is open on Sundays, from 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM, at the Convent Train Station, Convent Rd., Morris Township. It runs until March 27, 2022. Learn more.
Reducing Everyday Energy Waste at Home
Wasting energy can be a hard habit to break, but small changes can add up over time.

Take some time to think about whether you have any of these easy-to-fix energy-wasting habits:

  • Lighting Empty Rooms
  • Not Adjusting Your Thermostat
  • Forgetting to Change Your Furnace Filter
  • Running Half Loads of Laundry
  • Taking Long Showers
  • Falling Asleep Watching TV
  • Charging Devices for Hours
Photo of the Month: Winter Food for Birds

Seed Head
Photo Credit:: Charlie Schachter, Associate Member
The bloom head of this Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower) plant may look dead to us, but it can be a feast to native birds. Blue jays, cardinals, and goldfinches (our state bird) enjoy eating the seeds from these spent flowers. So don't prune off the dead flowers and enjoy the show when birds feed. When you do prune in spring, leave about 36 inches of the dead stalk for insects that may be hibernating inside.
How You Can Help:

Affiliations & Partnerships