On Monday, June 10, 2019 the annual school presentation to the Hawthorne Environmental Commission concerning student participation in environmental education activities was held in the Hawthorne High School (HHS) auditorium at 7:30 PM.  This event provided teachers with an opportunity to showcase any activities they have done with their students relating to preservation of the environment. In addition, local Hawthorne businesses and residents received special recognition for their environmental leadership and commitment to protecting and preserving our community.  

A PowerPoint presentation was presented by the Environmental Commission celebrating the April 6, 2019 Cel-Earth-Bration and Community Shredding Day.

Students representing the two elementary schools, Lincoln Middle School, and Hawthorne High School discussed environmental programs and projects that raised money to protect endangered animals and other environmental worth causes. Many topics were discussed, including the 3rd grade Meadowlands Environmental Center field trip experience, and experiences at the 27th Annual Cel-Earth-Bration, and Dancin’ with the Honeybees assembly program.  Josh Kobuskie, Student of the STEM Tank Team, discussed their ecoCarton- the easily recyclable, quickly decomposable, and upcycleable way to package juice products from the Hawthorne High School.  The STEM Tank Team won 1st place in the competition sponsored by the Diversity Alliance for Science.  Lastly, students displayed art work on Arbor Day in the HHS Library Media Center titled “The Function, Utility and Beauty of Trees.”

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Robin Garmise, owner of Holistic Nutrition for Life, was recognized for educating our residents on achieving wellness through sustainable changes for a healthier you.  Since 2016, Robin has participated at our Annual Green Fair at the Farmers’ Market. In addition, Robin conducted a Green Lecture in 2018 titled “The Skinny on Chemicals & Weight Gain.”

Stephanie Tonnesen Hornback was recognized for demonstrating the importance to  recycle and reuse of materials into earth friendly products, Reimagined Designs.  Stephanie has participated at Cel-Earth-Bration and Green Fair at the Farmers’ Market to sell the earth friendly products and educate our residents of the importance of recycle and reuse.  “My work with Reimagined Designs is my “for love of” job.  It allows me to share my passion for sustainability and creativity.  My purpose is to inspire.  I want others to see how easy it can be to look at items in their households and think about what their future use could be.  Seeing the spark that is lit when I talk to kids, teachers, parents, grandparents, etc. about how fun and easy these projects are and the value of upcycling, I feel like I’m leaving my handprint on climate action.”  In addition, Stephanie is a Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Communications Management Consultant.  

Holly Cowen Lisa DeVos, and Liana Romano was recognized for educating and promoting Birds of Hawthorne.  Holly, Lisa, and Liana led the Bird Walks in Goffle Brook Park and conducted the Birding 101 Green Lecture.  In addition, Holly and Lisa have been instrumental in communicating and publicizing our Environmental Events and educating our public on bird and nature on Hawthorne’s Environmental Commission/Green Team Facebook page.  Lastly, Lisa created our Hawthorne Environmental Commission/Green Team Brochure on “Who we are, What we do, and Volunteer Request.”

The 2019 Green Businesses of Hawthorne was awarded to MVS USA and 1086-1096 Goffle LLC owned by Deborah Deffaa. MVS USA is a global mobile satellite services business focused on expansion of communications around the world.  Deborah has reduced their carbon footprint by requiring all their clients to adhere to electronic billing, eliminated paper billing, offer company recycling programs, installed bamboo flooring and LED lighting.

Deborah had a bigger vision and wanted her headquarters in town to not only benefit MVS but also tenants and employees. She had secured a second mortgage after buying both buildings, 1086 and 1086-1096 Goffle Road, to install solar on their roofs.  The tenants Pantheon Kitchen & Bath, Pantheon Construction, and John P. Fischer Tile. Deborah offered the first year, 2018, all of these tenants with free electricity. Now they, tenants, benefit from a 20% reduction then what they would be paying if using fossil fuel derived energy in 2019.  Utilizing solar not only for MVS but all her tenants ensures they are happier and will make the property an even more appealing for others to follow.

“We applaud our customers who are using portable solar panels in increasing numbers. As a believer in corporate responsibility, we have to lead by example and I am proud to say that MVS has put words into action and gone completely SOLAR. We weathered sub freezing temperatures on the coldest day of the year in NA and our New Jersey HQ remains warm and working sustained exclusively by our SOLAR energy system!” said Deborah Deffaa.

In 2017, Deborah installed four dual port Chargepoint charging stations. They can allow up to eight vehicles to charge simultaneously. She provides a free half hour for any vehicle visiting and feels the chargers would draw in more clientele and repeat business for her tenants. They act as their own destination and have been well received by her tenants, employees and a variety of people with electric vehicles.  Deborah is always looking for more ways to reduce her businesses carbon footprint. She is exploring adding in bike racks and look at LEED Certification as well.

The Hawthorne Environmental Commission reminds you that creating environmental awareness is crucial to the future of our planet.  Please do your part to support our great community today!