Township Of Morris
Environmental Commission
December 2021
A Sustainable Holiday Season, Part Two

Last month we suggested three ways to prepare for the holidays while being mindful of our impact on the environmental. Now we offer three tips for making the post-holiday clean-up more sustainable for our environment.
Recycling Your Christmas Tree: The easiest and most environmental thing you can do with a Christmas Tree? Create a brush pile in your yard! A brush pile often consists of leaves, logs, and twigs, so an old Christmas tree can make a great base. It directly benefits the wildlife in your backyard during winter months because brush piles and dead trees offer food and needed protection from the weather.

Alternatively, the township will collect Christmas trees every Monday in January. Please remove all tinsel, lights and decorations from Christmas trees prior to collection. Place trees on your curb, not in the street.
Recycle Wrapping Paper, Greeting Cards, and Gift Bags with Care: Paper items with coatings, glitter, foil, bows, etc. are generally not recyclable and can even jam up expensive machinery. As a rule, if you can scrunch it up and it stays in a tight ball, it is paper-based and can be recycled. Residents can simply place paper-based wrapping paper loosely into the designated blue automated recycling cart for curbside "Single Stream" recycling pick-up. Click here for additional information about Holiday Paper Recycling.
Save Energy on Holiday Decorations: Many homes keep Christmas lights and other decorations up for a few weeks past the holidays. You can save energy by lighting big spaces with LED projectors. You'll save on all those energy-using lights and avoid any potential ladder mishaps as well.

Daylight sensing timers make sure holiday lights are only on when they should be, so none of that holiday spirit goes to waste. Fans for constantly running inflatables are also running up that electric bill. So please use inflatables sparingly.
Save Our Waterways By Using Less Salt this Winter
Salt used for winter safety eventually makes its way into our water, polluting the water and threatening some aquatic species. Minimize your use of salt and sweep up leftover salt after every storm before it's becomes pollution in our streams, lakes, and even groundwater.

You can also purchase environmentally-friendly deicers, such as calcium magnesium acetate. It’s more expensive than rock salt, but is a much safer choice to protect local waterways and plant communities. It can be used cost-effectively on places like sidewalks or driveways. Learn more.
Meet Us at Grow It Green's Winter Farmers' Market
The Environmental Commission will have a booth at Grow It Green's Winter Farmers' Market this year. 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.
Tips for Saving Energy at Home
  • LEDs are up to 75% more efficient than conventional bulbs, lighting your home for less.

  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label whenever you shop for new appliances and electronic devices.

  • Ask about ENERGY STAR when you upgrade home systems, such as HVAC and water heating.

  • Putting a lid on your pots and pans while cooking does make your food cook faster, saving energy.

  • Match the size of the pot or pan to the size of the burner. A 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner can waste 40% of the energy used.

  • Wait until you have a full load before running the dishwasher.
Why Leave the Leaves? Ask a Red-banded Hairstreak!
In her blog The Natural Web Mary Anne Borge writes a simply amazing photo-essay about her encounter with a Red-banded Hairstreak in the woods. Please read Why Leave the Leaves? Ask a Red-banded Hairstreak! to better understand why leaf litter is critical to insect pollinators.

In fact, the vast majority of butterflies and moths overwinter in the landscape as an egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, or adult. In all but the warmest climates, they use leaf litter for winter cover. Simply put, when we treat leaves like trash—we’re tossing out the beautiful moths and butterflies that we work so very hard to attract.
Image courtesy of the Madison Environmental Commission
How You Can Help: