Do you want some concrete steps you can take to go green and live a more sustainable lifestyle?

The Chatham Borough Green Challenge is for you!

Residents can take the Green Challenge at the Green level, the Greener level, or the Greenest level.

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At the Green level, residents pledge to do five actions from a list of 19 challenges.   These challenges include: cutting grass and leaving it on the lawn, using reusable shopping bags, running the dishwasher and clothes washer only when full,  installing LED or CFL lightbulbs, and turning off the engine when idling in a vehicle for more than 30 seconds.

At the Greener level, residents pledge to do at least 8 green actions plus two greener, more committed actions, such as: installing a rain barrel or rain garden, walking or biking instead of driving at least twice a week, planting a tree each year, or stopping use of bottled water. 

At the Greenest level, residents pledge to do at least 15 green and greener actions, and to also drive a hybrid or electric car or install solar panels on their house or business.

Cindy Steffens, Chair of the Chatham Borough Green Initiatives Committee, said, “By taking actions in our everyday lives, we can reduce our carbon footprint, conserve water,  and make Chatham Borough more sustainable today and for our children and our grandchildren. “

Councilman Len Resto, liaison to the Green Initiatives Committee, stated, “People can take the Green Challenge pledge at any level that is comfortable for them – green, greener, or greenest.   If we all do something individually, we can make a big difference together, as a community.”

If at least 2.5% of Chatham Borough residents, or 225 people, take the Green Challenge, Chatham Borough will earn 10 points towards silver certification by Sustainable Jersey.   When 225 people have taken the pledge, all pledge forms will be put in a hat, a form will be drawn, and the lucky winner will receive a free backyard composter.

The Green Challenges will be available online, on the Green Initiatives Committee page of the new Chatham Borough website:  www.chathamborough.org, click on boards and commissions, click on committees, click on Green Initiatives Committee.    

The pledge form will also be available at various public events, including:  the Fourth Annual Green Fair of the Chathams, on Saturday, September 24, from 10 am to 2 pm, at Reasoner Park and Railroad Plaza North; some weeks at the Chatham Borough Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 8 am – 1 pm, at the Railroad Station; at the Eco and Discussion Series film, “Are You Ready for the Next Industrial Revolution?”, Thursday, November 3, 2011, at the Library of the Chathams.

Residents can receive a pledge form at any time by contacting the Green Initiatives Committee at chathamgreeninitiatives@gmail.comor steffenscindy@yahoo.com.

The Chatham Borough Green Initiatives Committee will report progress periodically:  numbers of pledges received, as well as the environmental and sustainability impact of the actions taken in the pledges received.