SOMERVILLE, NJ - In deference to the coronavirus (COVID-10) pandemic and the need to minimize contact with one another, the borough's Environmental Commission has devised alternative plans for this year's celebration of Earth Day.

Stay home.

The combined Earth Day (April 22) and Arbor Day (April 24) celebrations on Saturday, April 25 will take on a new twist this year with an at home version.  Instead of cleaning up litter and other debris throughout the borough's greenway, parks, brooks and public areas, residents are asked as individuals or families to contribute to a cleaner community and climate at home, according to Jeffrey Lamborn, Somerville Environmental Commission

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.Instead of the usual meet and greet at the Somerville High School parking lot, residents are asked to undertake an environmentally suitable project close to home on April 25th.

Take a photo to post on the borough’s social media sites, hashtag it with #EarthDaySomervilleNJ and #EnvironmentalCommission and share it at Facebook.com/SomervilleRecreation

What can you do at home to help the environment and battle climate change?  Lanborn suggests the following:  

- Plant a tree-

- Start a vegetable garden;  

- Create a compost pile - https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home;

- Feed the butterflies - Order pollinator plants for your yard or make a feeder:  https://www.growrealfood.com/make-a-homemade-butterfly-feeder-to-attract-butterflies-to-your-garden/;

- Clean up your yard and compost the debris;

- Remove and compost leaves from the storm drains on your block;-

- Fill your home with houseplants;

- Construct and install a rain barrel - https://www.raritanbasin.org/rain-barrel

- Hang a bird feeder.

"While we cannot conduct our annual Earth Day Community clean-up, we can all do our part individually," Lamborn said. "When competing your Earth day project at home use all basic safety criteria and follow our current COVID-19 rules for groups and social distancing."

An internet search provides lots of information on “green” initiatives, good conservation practices and tree seedling and transplanting, according to Lamborn.  With tough economic times saving energy is saving money.   Residents are encouraged to walk or bike more often, conserve water, use less electricity (what can you unplug?), stop using bottled water and plastic bags, reduce your trash, and recycle more and properly.

Read the guidelines provided by Somerset County:  https://www.co.somerset.nj.us/government/public-works/recycling  to confirm your recycling practices.  

For more information about the Somerville Environmental Commission or to join the Green team http://www.somervillenj.org/content/4060/4461/4497.aspx.