LIVINGSTON, NJ — After winning first place in the “Adult Professional” category at the 12th Annual Sustainable Homes and Habitats Gingerbread Contest in December, Livingston mother and daughter Alexandra and Tamara Hon were formally commended on their accomplishment at the Livingston Township Council meeting on Monday.

Hosted by the Essex County Environmental Center in Roseland, the contest attracted 37 entries in four categories, including Individual Child, Group/Family, Adult Non-Professional and Adult Professional. Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. presented the Hons with the first-place award for persons 15 years or older who are professional chefs or working in the culinary arts.

Livingston Mayor Shawn Klein and members of the council presented the two women with citations for achieving the goals this annual contest, which is to raise awareness about nature and the environment

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“We made everything ourselves, it was all edible 100 percent,” said Tamara, who described their gingerbread house and how it tied into the “sustainable homes” theme. “We tried to incorporate as much of the sustainable habitat as we could, so we did research ahead of time and what goes into this ‘green’ architecture movement.”

Tamara explained that some of the home decorations included solar panels, compost, recycling, skylights and bicycles rather than cars. Alexandra added that they incorporated vegetables, a beehive and other “pro”-nature decorations outside the gingerbread home.

After being on display at the Essex County Environmental Center throughout the month of December, the Hons were chosen for their distinctiveness, creative use of a nature theme, use of “green” building design techniques and skill in decoration.