SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Green Team is looking for students in fifth through 12th grade to come up with ideas on how to make the borough a more sustainable community. 

According to the Institute for a Sustainable Community (, a sustainable community is one that is ‘economically, environmentally, and socially healthy and resilient’ and, earlier this month, the Green Team announced a contest geared a making the South Plainfield community more aware of the concept of sustainability.  

“Since sustainability deals with the quality of life in South Plainfield not only now about for future generations, we want today’s children to understand issues they will be dealing with as adults,” said Alice Tempel, environmental specialist for the borough and current recording secretary for the South Plainfield Green Team, adding that promoting this message is so important as 'the planet's human population continues to grow.'  

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“Our environmental, social and economic resources are under increasing pressure. Sustainability gives us a comprehensive context for the individual challenges we face,” added Tempel. “Educating the community in these concepts will help people to make better choices and develop new ways of meeting our challenges.

For the contest, students are being asked to answer the question ‘How Can South Plainfield Become a More Sustainable Community.’ Students in fifth and sixth grade must submit an essay between 500-750 words while those in seventh through 12th must create a short video. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, Oct. 31. 

Essays will be judged on content, grammar, and spelling with prizes of $75, $50, and $25 awarded to the top three writers. Video entries cannot exceed three minutes and will be judged on content and creativity with prizes of $100, $75, and $50 awarded for the top three entries. Additionally, all winners will be recognized at an upcoming South Plainfield Borough Council Meeting. 

Information on sustainability is available at http://www.sustainablejersey.comas well as through the South Plainfield Green Team’s website (visit www.southplainfieldnj.comand click on the ‘SP Green Team’ link on the left hand side). Age-appropriate information for children, said Tempel, is also available through the Green Team’s page by clicking on the ECO Camp link. 

“We hope parents will be aware of the contest and possibly help their children with their research so even more people will be thinking about how to make South Plainfield a more sustainable community,” said Tempel, adding, “Some of these children may grow up to be leaders in this field.”

All South Plainfield Green Team Sustainable Community Contest entries must be emailed to by the Oct. 31 deadline. For additional information or questions about the contest, contact Alice Tempel at (908) 226-7621.