How to: Live Sustainably in Jersey City
- How the clothing industry affects our environment
- Mass manufacturing of cheap clothing results in pollution and more waste.
- The United Nations estimates that 10 percent of total global emissions come from the fashion industry.
- Reducing your clothing’s impact
- Shop second-hand (Thrift Stores)
- Shop local
Composting Food Waste
Composting is the controlled decomposition of organic material, transforming food scraps into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that helps plants thrive. Composting reduces the amount of organic waste in landfills–which in turn reduces greenhouse gases, helps improve the health of soil, and helps retain moisture for plants. For Jersey City residents, composting could not be easier. You can drop-off food waste at three convenient food waste facilities:
- Mandela Lot Community Garden – 447 MLK Jr. Drive, Fridays, 7am-10am
- Brunswick Community Garden – 174-176 Brunswick Street, Saturdays, 8am-1pm
- Riverview Farmers’ Market – Palisade Ave. between Bowers Street & Griffith Street, Sundays, 11am-2:30pm
Jersey City residents also have the option to compost themselves. The city began a Backyard Composting Pilot that offers discounted materials, free workshops, and an opportunity to divert thousands of pounds of waste from landfills. Click the link below to join the initiative and learn more about what you can do for the community. https://www.cognitoforms.com/CityOfJerseyCity1/backyardcompostingpilotregistration
For a more in-depth breakdown on how to compost click the link: http://jcmakeitgreen.org/composting/
Energy efficiency is using technology that requires less energy to perform the same function. For example, switching to LED light bulbs would be a practical way to practice energy efficiency. Energy conservation on the other hand is any practice that will result in the use of less energy. Something as simple as switching a light off when you leave a room would be energy conservation. Energy conservation requires small changes in our habits, but these energy conserving habits have a massive payoff. Some include:
- Energy Audits
An energy audit is a service that will identify where you are wasting energy, and helps you improve the overall performance of your home. The suggested improvements may include weatherization, and improving the efficiency of appliances, windows, and/or HVAC systems. Some of these recommendations may cost a little, but Energy Efficiency Rebates and Promotions for Jersey City Residents help reduce costs for improving the efficiency of your home.
- Conserve energy
Reducing your use of energy not only reduces costs, it also leads to reduced air pollution and carbon emissions. Most of the energy consumption in the home is devoted to heating and cooling, but day-to-day activities also consume energy. Here are some energy saving tips that are relatively easy to accomplish.
- Switch to LEDs
LED light bulbs are around 70-90% more efficient than traditional bulbs. You will able to save roughly $8 in energy costs every year.
- Unplug your appliances
Most American households have 20-40 appliances, electronics, and other products that draw power, even when they are not in use. This causes a “phantom” load which accounts for 5-15% of your monthly electric bill. Unplugging your appliances and electronics when they are not in use not only saves you money, it also saves electricity.
- Use Programmable thermostats
Programmable thermostats are a great solution for those who want to save energy. Just by dialing the thermostat down 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can help you save 10% a year on heating and cooling.
- Drive Less
Our personal cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all US emissions–about 24 pounds of global warming gases for every gallon of gas. In New Jersey, 30% of the total hydrocarbons and harmful emissions that contribute to smog comes from cars and light-trucks. Driving less, carpooling, public transportation, cycling, or walking are just some of the ways that you can cut down on driving emissions. If you are looking for a more drastic change, look into purchasing an electric vehicle.
- Wash clothes with cold water
Washing your clothes with cold water can help reduce your hot water usage significantly. Most of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water for your laundry. Each household that makes the switch to cold-water avoids approximately 1600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year. Plus, you can save between $50-$150 a year. Also, if you wash only when you have full loads, you can save up to 3,400 gallons of water a year. For drying, you can reduce the amount of energy used by consistently removing lint from the machine dryer. Skipping the dryer completely is also an option and will save you about $75-$100 dollars a year.
- Shower better
If you are up for a challenge, try taking shorter showers. The average person can save 1500 gallons of water by taking shorter showers. You can also try replacing your showerhead with a more efficient water sense model to conserve water.
- Adopt a catch basin: http://jcmakeitgreen.org/adopt-a-catch-basin/
- Green Infrastructure: http://jcmakeitgreen.org/green-infrastructure/
- Purchase a rain barrel: http://jcmakeitgreen.org/purchase-a-rain-barrel/
In Jersey City, residents are required to separate out recyclable materials. Why is it mandatory? Recycling cuts down on unnecessary environmental harm and provides material to manufacturers that is easier to work with; it takes 95% less energy to make a recycled can instead of a new aluminum one; 7.5 pounds of air pollutants are prevented by recycling; the zero waste industry creates 10 times more jobs than trash. There are so many benefits to recycling, so it’s important that you recycle correctly.
Jersey City residents must separate curbside recycling into two bins: one for plastic, glass, and aluminum, and one for mixed paper (newspapers & magazines, cereal boxes, paper bags, junk mail, etc). Here is a list of items that SHOULD NOT be recycled that are commonly confused:
- Plastic lids & tops that are not 1 or 2 plastics (refer to a plastic container’s resin identification code)
- Cutlery-plastic & metal
- Soiled pizza boxes
- Plastic bags
- Wire & plastic hangers
- Aluminum foil
- Coffee cups, juice boxes, and milk cartons