Three Reasons Montclair, New Jersey is a Green City

Three Reasons Montclair, New Jersey is a Green City

Earth Day 2017 will soon be upon us. It’s a time to stop and think about your planet and how what you do every day impacts it. If you’ve been meaning to go green, now is as good a time as ever.

Need some inspiration? Look no further than Montclair, New Jersey. Although it’s a smaller city, it’s very populated, with about 38,000 people calling it home as of 2010. With its proximity (about 20 miles away) to New York, it’s no wonder Montclair is such a beloved place to live. While it has many thriving parks and a booming cultural scene, this city is also known for its ecofriendliness.

Here are three reasons Montclair is one of the greenest cities in the state of New Jersey.

1. They Have an Environmental Commission

Formed in 2001 based on a mandatory state ordinance, the Montclair Environmental Commission or MEC is a small group of less than 10 members. These members will work with the local Planning Board and Township Council to push for green initiatives in their city.

Just some of the areas the MEC has tackled include landscaping and soil use, plant life protection, land use at parks, renewable energy, stormwater management, and solid waste management.

Just one year after forming, the MEC published its Sustainable Montclair Planning Guide. This government document is instructional in nature and can be amended or added to as needed.

2. They Have a Great Recycling Program

Going green has only become trendy in recent years. Many popular cities and towns have recycling programs that are just a few years old. Not Montclair. They started theirs 40+ years ago.

In fact, this city is so ahead of the curve that in 2016, Montclair Township worked with app developer Remynder to create its very own recycling app.

Free for residents, they could go through Google Play or the Apple App Store to download this handy app. It would remind residents about what they can and can’t recycle. It would also tell them when the trash collectors will be coming by their street.

3. Their Ecofriendly Work Is Award-Winning

Montclair is so forward-thinking and green that they’ve been awarded for their hard work in the community many times. Back in 2003, the Association of NJ Environmental Commissions chose the MEC as the recipient of the Annual Environmental Achievement Awards.

Several years after that, Montclair Township received a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for $75,000. With that money, the city could further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, lower the price of utilities, and cut their energy usage rates even more.

The College of New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Center linked up with the NJ Board of Utilities’ Office of Clean Energy to create the NJ Sustainable Energy Efficiency Demonstration or NJ SEED. Together with Highland Park and Cherry Hill, Montclair was part of a shortlist to receive grant money.

The grant, called the Climate Showcase Communities, was worth $10 million and split with cities and towns across the country. Of the 450 applicants, very few received any money; just 25 municipalities total, including Montclair Township.

Do you already live in Montclair? Are you planning to move there? If so, do your part for the environment by eating at Pure Pita. Founded in 1993, Pure Pita serves healthy, fresh, green Mediterranean food.

Their menu has a little something for everybody, from homemade pita chips to Mexican corn on the cob, fish tacos, and falafel bombs. They also serve spread and dips, including hummus and babaganoush, as well as wraps, burgers, paninis, quinoa and rice bowls, and salads. There are even vegetarian options.

Want to end your meal on a sweet note? Choose from brownies (with a peanut butter variety available), baked apple crisp, low-fat rice pudding, and scrumptious banana pudding.

Next time you’re in the Montclair area, celebrate this green city by eating at Pure Pita.