Fall 2016 Series of Great Ideas Events Announced!

Mark your calendars for our Fall line up of Great Ideas Events! Our popular conversations feature local experts on important sustainability issues that impact the Princeton community. We are thrilled to have NRG Energy, Inc. back as our series' sponsor. As always, we are thankful for our longtime Great Ideas partners at the Princeton Public Library. 

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Attention Princeton Students Grades 3-5! Greater Mercer TMA’s 2nd Annual Safe Routes to School Bookmark Design Contest

The Greater Mercer TMA (GMTMA) is sponsoring a children’s bookmark design contest to celebrate the NJ Walk & Bike to School Month, April 2015. 

The contest coincides with the Walk and Bike to School Month and hopes to get students thinking about walking and biking to school. The winner will receive a $50 gift card and a walking /biking safety kit. Winning bookmarks will be printed and distributed to participating school libraries and promoted through the GMTMA website and other media outlets. Create an original design including the theme: “My favorite place to walk/ bike is...” and return it to GMTMA by March 20, 2015. A winning design from Mercer and Ocean will be printed & distributed to schools and local libraries in each county.

Contest Rules:

  • Each entry must be the original work of one child. No copyrighted images (characters, logos, etc.) or computer designs. Design your bookmark in the space provided on THIS entry form and return the whole form intact.
  • Must contain the phrase “My favorite place to walk/ bike is...” (Pick either walk, bike or both!)
  • Designs may be either vertical or horizontal. Any 2D art medium may be used (crayon, markers, colored pencil) No 3D materials (glitter, glued items, etc.) Designs and words must be dark enough to be reproducible.
  • Please do not put your name anywhere on the bookmark.
  • Contest ends March 20, 2015, 4:30PM.
  • Contest is open to students in grades 3-5 who live in or attend school in Mercer or Ocean County, NJ. Winner selected by GMTMA staff.
  • Questions? 609.452.1491 or tma@gmtma.org. Return form to: Greater Mercer TMA, 15 Roszel Road Suite 101 Princeton, NJ 08540. You may be able to return form to school to mail in bulk.
  • Winners will receive a $50 gift card and walking or biking safety kits. Runners up will also receive safety kits.

For more information, go to the GMTMA website.

Good luck Princeton students!


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.