Green Resolutions for the New Year
As you reflect on 2022 and set resolutions for the new year, please consider adopting one or more of the following local actions to help make a positive change and live more sustainability. Small, measurable goals can go a long way to making a significant impact!
Rethink your energy options. The Westfield Home Energy Savings Program offers residents an energy audit at a discounted rate of $49 to help identify opportunities to improve efficiency and comfort. Visit www.cielpower.com/westfield to learn more and schedule your audit. In addition, if your roof is a good candidate for solar panels, Westfield residents can add solar panels to their rear-facing roof or street-facing roof if they meet specified requirements.
Use native plants in place of non-natives. Native plants are critical to supporting our ecosystem, especially for birds and beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. To support wildlife, consider native plant species for your own backyard. Organizations like the Great Swamp Watershed Association (www.greatswamp.org/native-plant-sale) and Master Gardeners of Union County (www.mastergardeners-uc.org) typically hold native plant sales in early spring with convenient pickup locations.
Adopt a drain. Keeping our storm drains clear of debris and pollution can help prevent flooding and protect our local watershed. Westfield’s Adopt-a-Drain program supplements efforts of the Department of Public Works that performs regular maintenance on the over 3,000 drains throughout Town. You can adopt storm drains easily online and select ones that are nearby your home or a location you frequent. It’s easy to do with garden tools you already own and only takes a few minutes. To volunteer, visit www.westfieldnj.gov/adoptadrain.
Volunteer locally for a sustainable cause. The Westfield Green Team’s quarterly newsletter is a great way to stay apprised of local opportunities to get involved, sustainable efforts, and helpful tips on a variety of environmentally focused topics. Visit www.westfieldnj.gov/townupdates to sign up by selecting the email icon next to “Green Team,” or email firstname.lastname@example.org for volunteer inquiries.
Reuse or donate. Being mindful of and making simple swaps to minimize the amount of waste we create is key to protecting our environment. Local online groups like Facebook’s "Westfield - NJ Buy/Sell/Trade" and “Buy Nothing Westfield, NJ” or local stores like the Westfield Service League’s Thrift and Consignment shop can be great places to find used items or individuals interested in items you no longer need. Instead of buying new or throwing usable items away, consider finding second-hand or donating.
Take advantage of recycling programs at the Westfield Conservation Center. The Westfield Conservation Center is among the state's most comprehensive and includes recycling of items that can’t be picked up curbside, including food waste, #5 plastics, and Styrofoam at no charge to residents. For hours of operation and the latest program availability, visit the Town website at westfieldnj.gov/conservation.
Prioritize shopping locally. Shopping locally is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and help grow our local economy.
Try one change at a time. It's OK to build better habits incrementally to help stick with them. Or if you're ready for a New Year's overhaul, try them all! Either way, the planet will thank you.