Tune in to The Green Hour Tonight: Creating Sustainable Towns

Be sure to tune in to The Green Hour radio show this evening at 6:00 pm. Guests include our friend and neighbor Tahirih Smith from Sustainable Lawrence and Randy Solomon from Sustainable Jersey.

Listen in to hear the guests discuss the questions posed by hosts Gery Juleff, Kathleen Biggins and John Gattus0...

"How do we make our towns and communities truly sustainable? What does that mean, what are the benefits and what are the challenges? How can you support your local sustainable town organization or create one? Where is the sustainable town movement going?

For more details, check out The Green Hour website. If you miss the show you can still listen at 3 and 6 pm every day for the rest of the week on www.panjradio.com.

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Speakers Announced for Our Next Great Ideas Breakfast: How Is Our Planet Changing?

The speakers are announced for our next Great Ideas Breakfast. Experts from our community will answer the question,  "How Is Our Planet Changing?" Come hear our speakers discuss the issue from an economic, scientific and practical viewpoint. Speakers to include: Randall Solomon, Co-Director Sustainable Jersey

Tackling Climate Change at a State-wide Level & Leveraging the Power of Communities.

Randall Solomon has 20 years of experience working in government, academia, and the non-profit sector. He is one of the principals that founded and directs the Sustainable Jersey Certification program. Randy holds a B.S. in Biology from Rutgers University and a M.S. in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

Ning Lin, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Princeton University

Assessing the Risks of Change So We can be Prepared and Resilient.

Professor Lin is an Assistant Professor or Civil and Environmental Engineering at Princeton University. She is interested in Natural Hazards and Risk Assessment, Stochastic Modeling, Wind Engineering, Coastal Engineering, Climate Change Impact and Adaptation, and Built Environment and Sustainability.  Specifically, her current research integrates science, engineering, and policy to study tropical cyclones and associated weather extremes (e.g., strong winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surge), how they change with climate, and how their impact on society can be mitigated.

Jim Waltman, Executive Director, Stony Brook-Millstone Water Association

The Implications of More Rain and the Local Water Cycle

Jim has served as Executive Director of the Watershed Association since April 2005. He regularly speaks at community events and municipal meetings throughout central New Jersey, serving as a go-to resource for government officials and community leaders on how to best protect clean water and the environment throughout the region. Jim has a biology degree from Princeton University and a Master of Environmental Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Tineke Thio, Climate Change Meet-Up Founder

What Can We Expect in Princeton

Tineke is a climate communicator working to raise awareness about climate change and about solutions leading to climate resilience. She holds Ph.D. in physics from MIT. She writes a blog on fuel efficient cars, and is available for climate presentations tailored to the audience.

Scott Morgan, Farm Manager, Blue Moon Acres

Climate Change from a Local Farm's Perspective and What It Means to Our Agriculture

Scott Morgan is responsible for maintaining tractor and farm equipment; coordinating crop, harvest, and planting schedules; overseeing organic certification and food safety programs; and implementing pest and disease management programs.

The breakfast will take place at 8:30 am on Thursday, March 26th at the Princeton Public Library Community Room. Come enjoy a free breakfast catered by Terra Momo Bread Company. As always, the event is free and open to the public as well as a zero waste event.

After the breakfast, be sure to stick around for two films that focus on energy and waste are being shown as part of the Princeton Public Library's Environmental Film Festival:

Switch - Every energy resource — fossil, nuclear and renewable — is undergoing profound changes. This sweeping transition is the subject of “Switch” and travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen, with a focus on the practical realities and balanced understanding about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency.

Racing To Zero - By substituting the word “resource” for the word “garbage,” a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge, presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste.  The film examines how the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020, and tracks San Francisco’s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring race to zero.


Mark Your Calendar for the 8th Annual Living Local Expo

The date is set for the 8th Annual Living Local Expo where you and your family can meet your neighbors and catch up on everything green and local. Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 28th 11:00 am to 4:00 pm to stop by the NJ National Guard Armory at Eggerts Crossing in Lawrenceville. The Living Local Expo brings a wide variety of resources to educate and inspire residents to live a more healthy and sustainable life. Last year, over 1,500 participants were on hand to hear from the array of local businesses and other organizations that make Mercer County a standout sustainability focused community. 

This free event is organized by a volunteer committee from the Mercer County Sustainability Coalition, an alliance of the Green Teams and sustainability organizations in Ewing, Hopewell, and Lawrence townships, the municipality of Princeton, the City of Trenton and the Mercer County Office of Economic and Sustainable Development. 

Vendors can still reserve a spot and join other builders, architects, designers, local farms and food makers, transportation, schools and local organizations to promote the use of energy efficient products and sustainable local services. Last year, over 1,500 participants were on hand to hear vendors highlight their services and products through hands-on demonstrations or engaging conversations. For more information about reserving a spot, contact Tahirih Smith at tahirih.smith@gmail.com or send a check for a rental space of $50.00 along with the Vendor Registration form by March 9th, payable to: “Sustainable Lawrence”, PO Box 5612, Trenton, NJ 08638.  You may also pay via PayPal. For more information go to the website: www.sustainablelawrence.org.  PO Box 5612, Trenton, NJ 08638  [609] 895-1629.

Speaking or presenting opportunities are also available. If interested, please contact Joann Held at joannheld@comcast.net to inquire about getting on the speaker lineup.

Did you know? You can charge your electric car in town

For those not already aware, the Chambers Street Garage has hosted a battery-charging station for electric cars, or EVs, since fall 2012. Developed by the Melville, NY–based company Leviton and sold at its website (www.leviton.com), the Fleet 2 unit charger delivers 240 volts at 30Amps (ranging approximately from 38-90 miles to the gallon, depending on the vehicle). Conveniently, the charging station is compatible with all leading EVs—thanks in part to the standard “handle,” or charging nozzle, which fits all EV ports, and is approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE J1772).

So how long does a full charge take? While the time differs for each EV, the overall range is convenient and manageable. Here is a timetable for charging most leading vehicles: Nissan Leaf (7.2 hrs); Chevy Volt (3.15 hours); Ford Focus (3.48 hrs); Toyota Prius Hybrid Plug-in (1.5 hrs); Honda Fit (3 hrs); Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid (less than one hour); Ford Fusion, Energi, and S-MAX Energi (2.5 hrs); and Toyota RAV 4, which takes a Tesla battery (7.3 hrs). As for the Tesla, the Leviton station charges the vehicle with the addition of a special adapter supplied by Tesla.

What does a charge cost? At Chambers Street, the Leviton charger offers $1.50 minimum/first hour and $12.00 maximum.  To pay for a charge, you must purchase a ChargePoint card, available at www.chargepoint.com (the website also lists the locations of the over 18,000 charging spots across the country). Two cards, costing $4.95 are mailed to customers which are associated with the user’s credit card, and a $25 monthly deduction is drawn down for the first few months. Once the charging usage is gauged, the automatic withdrawal is increased or decreased accordingly.

According to the garage manager, the station is used 4-5 times a week, a definite increase since its installation two years ago.  Park-In Garage Systems, the owner of the Chambers Street Garage, is considering the addition of a few more charging stations.



Contributed by Ned Higgins, local editor and writer.