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Green Fair Will Take Place May 16, Greener Than Ever

Betsy Uhlman

Sunday, May 12, 2013 • 7:38pm

 

MADISON, NJ - Madison’s fourth Green Fair will take place on Thursday, May 16 from 3:30-6:30 on Green Village Road, by the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. The Fair which is organized by the Madison Environmental Commission and Madison Boy Scout Troup 25 was postponed from last Thursday due to the threat of thunderstorms. The exhibitors will be there in full force as well as music from Madison High School groups, food from Rocco’s, a local vendor and Whole Foods Market, presentations and a car show of alternate-fuel vehicles. This fun event connects families and residents to the variety of sustainable products and services and projects in the area.

The hydrogen fuel cell model cars from Madison High School and TransOptions will demonstrate alternative transportation. Recycling and waste reduction will be highlighted with information on organic waste composting from Madison High School and Styrofoam recycling in town as two examples. Visitors can learn about energy efficiency from the MEC, home energy auditors and solar panel installers.

Madison and area nonprofits will showcase their green programs, including the upcoming Bike Swap and Book Swap, water conservation programs, the tree nursery at the Community Garden and more.

“The strong representation of young people at the Green Fair, led by the Boy Scouts, makes this a terrific event to see the greening of Madison’s future,” said Laura Prout, co-chair of the Green Fair. “It gets better every year.”

“The Green Fair opportunity to learn about sustainable issues and then apply them comes once a year to Madison—you can schedule an energy audit or solar panel evaluation or order a rain barrel and composter,” said Susan Niculescu, co-chair and member of the MEC. Visitors are encouraged to order a rain barrel or composter at the MEC booth, to reduce waste, save water and save money (http://www.rosenet.org/gov/environmental/pages/backyard-composting).

Municipal and Community Carbon Footprints for 2011 Released

Supporting the theme of sustainability for the Fair, the Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee is releasing the municipal and community carbon footprints for Madison for 2011. The municipal operations in Madison had direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 2,832.9 metric tons of CO2e, equivalent to the emissions of 590 passenger vehicles per year, in 2011. This amounts to 358 pounds of CO2 per Borough resident. The overall Madison emissions, including residential and commercial, were 45,527 metric tons of CO2e or 5,747 pounds of CO2 per Borough resident. The study is based on the ICLEI Protocol for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Municipal Operations.

“The carbon footprints are an important first step to reducing Madison’s impact on the environment by measuring the municipality’s and the community’s overall impact,” said Steven Eget, member of the Sustainable Madison Advisory Committee and Environmental Group Manager at Dewberry Engineers, who volunteered his time, over twenty hours of work, and expertise to the project. “This is a baseline and will be updated annually.”

Madison, like all municipalities in New Jersey, must reduce GHG emissions by 20% (to 1990 levels) by 2020. “The next part of Sustainable Madison’s work is to develop a Climate Action Plan to meet these reduction requirements,” added Eget. Sustainable Madison has completed a fleet inventory this year to identify the fuel consumption and age of the Madison borough’s vehicles and is recommending clean vehicles for future purchases. Energy efficiency upgrades to Borough buildings, such as those done under the Direct Install program, support the effort.

Electricity is responsible for 64.9% of the municipal GHG emissions; the natural gas combustion from heating buildings generated 17.8%; emergency generators (used after the August and October 2011 storms) contributed 11.3% and the vehicle fleet caused 6.1%.

Comparing Madison to neighboring Chatham Township which released its 2011 footprints, Chatham Township’s municipal footprint was lower at 1836 metric tons of CO2e or 351 pounds of CO2 per resident (based on the 2012 Census), just seven pounds less per resident. However, Chatham Township calculated its overall community carbon footprint as 67,181 metric tons of CO2e, 47% greater than Madison’s figure, and at 12,856 pounds of CO2 per capita, more than double Madison’s.

The Green Fair will offer “one-stop shopping” of the many ways in which Madisonians can reduce its community carbon footprint. The sponsors include the Borough of Madison, PSE&G, Realogy and Drew University.

 

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