All posts by ewinggreenteam

Community organization focused on environmental issues

Save the Date (Feb 6) for Styrofoam Recycling in Hopewell

recycleimageDo you have Styrofoam left from all of your holiday gift packaging?  If so, we are happy to share that our neighbors in Hopewell are spon-soring a  Styrofoam collection date and residents of neigh-boring towns have been invited to participate.  We are happy to report that it is drawing near and has been scheduled for Saturday, February 6.  The items to be collected will include Styrofoam, CDs, DVDs, and wine bottle corks.

Jointly sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Green Team and the Pennington & Hopewell Township Environmental Commissions, these items will be accepted at the Hopewell Township Public Works Building at 203 Washington Crossing Pennington Road from Noon to 3 pm.

All Hopewell Valley residents and our nearby neighbors are February 6 at the Hopewell Township Public Works Building at 203 Washington Crossing Pennington Road from Noon to 3 pm. Check the Green Team website for updates at:

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle – The EGT’s Mantra for Greening the Season!

evergreenThe end of the year holiday season has arrived at last. It is a wonderful time for gathering together to celebrate the richness of life with family and friends. But somehow, these worthy celebrations have been hijacked by the retail establishment turning the end of the year into a frenzy of shopping for gifts and overconsumption. This excessive consumption can not only be stressful and financially burdensome, but also takes a significant toll on the environment.

How much of our overconsumption normally ends up in landfills? Then think about the additional amount of waste we create during the entire holiday season from the paper, cardboard and plastic wrapping and shipping products that are used in abundance, to the disposable dishes, plastic cups, bottled water, excess wasted food… The list goes on. The Ewing Green Team has collected an extensive list of suggestions for reducing, reusing and recycling to green your holiday season. We hope that there are suggestions here for everyone.

The Holiday Greeting Card

  • Send out e-cards instead of mailing them. This will save some trees, reduce the greenhouse gas emissions created while delivering them and more. It will even save $$!
  • Cut back. Send your mailed holiday greetings only to those family and friends who truly will be glad to receive them.
  • Wish someone a happy holiday by phone instead of sending them a card. It will make their day to be remembered with a personal connection!
  • Cut up and use the cards that you received last year as tags for your gifts this year!
  • Look for a higher percentage of recycled content for any cards that you do purchase.

Gift Wrap

Wrapping paper is a major and expensive source of waste. Here are a number of suggestions for greening your wrapping styles.

  • Decorate with live greens from your yard instead of bows.
  • Put gifts in reusable packaging, such as baskets, bags, or fabric wrappers. Who can’t use an extra basket?
  • Just use a ribbon for an oversized object or make it the object of a treasure hunt.
  • Be creative in your gift wrapping approach. Eschew the store bought wrapping with these suggestions from tree or check out Pinterest for their DIY eco-friendly gift wrapping suggestions.
  • Reuse gift wrap that you already have (the gift bags that are so popular in the stores are perfect for that!)
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, newspaper, brown paper grocery bags or kids’ artwork. Almost any paper you have around the house is capable of being creatively repurposed.
  • Don’t for get to save any bows and bags you already have for reuse. Save them for next holiday season to keep excess items out of the waste cycle.

Reusable Bags

  • Don’t forget to bring your own shopping bags as you shop. You can do this most of the year. It really does get easier to remember!
  • If you forget your own reusable bags, consolidate purchases into one bag rather than using several.

Be More Energy Efficient

  • If you plan on updating your holiday lighting, purchase more energy efficient LED light strands instead. These are long lasting and will decrease your energy consumption by 80-90 percent!
  • Don’t forget to put lights on timers while you’re away for both safety and energy reduction.
  • When hosting a party, lower the thermostat. The bodies in the room will quickly heat up the room.
  • Recycle your old inefficient holiday lights at Holiday LEDS.

Gift Giving

Change your gift giving focus. How many unused gifts do you have hanging around in your closet? Donate those items to local charities. Or, better yet, instead of giving unneeded gifts to someone who already has plenty, gift them with a donation to their favorite charity in their name.

  • Give the gift of an experience: from tickets to the theater or a sporting event, to music lessons, to a gift certificate for a massage. Experiences make memories and you don’t have to wrap the gift.
  • Give a gift that helps someone go green. I’ve given reusable stainless steel drinking straws and water bottles, as well as reusable bags. Additional suggestions could include energy-saving power strips (think of all of those appliances that are constantly on…)
  • If you plan to gift with an electronic purchase be sure to look for consider the energy efficiency of your choice. Look for Energy Star rated models from the EPA.
  • Give creatively of things that require little or no packaging. Give the gift of your time i.e. cooking, babysitting, or gardening…
  • Purchase locally if you can. You will use less gas and support your local economy.
  • Don’t forget to unsubscribe! How many of those catalogs that you received in the mail this year did you actually purchase from? And, you can look at their products online. Use Catalog Choice to cancel nearly all catalogs in one location.
  • Shipping – don’t forget to reuse packaging and shipping materials. And drop off extra peanuts at local shipping companies (check out our list here).

The Holiday Greens

Choosing between an artificial tree and a real tree can be a difficult decision. Here are some things to consider while decorating for the holidays.

  • Get a tree that can be planted or mulched afterward that is native to the area. Check out the Ewing Environmental Commission’s article on Christmas tree care.
  • Make your own wreaths and table centerpieces using materials from your yard or around your home.

Holiday Food

Eat more sustainably sourced food. Buy from your local farmers. Buy organic if you can. Food that hasn’t been grown or prepared using antibiotics, growth hormones, chemical fertilizers and pesticides is better for you and the environment. Consider meat that has had humane living conditions prior to slaughter. Green your meal with more vegetables. There are a number of community supported agriculture (CSA) program in our area. Consider giving a membership them.

  • So much food is prepared during the holidays and much of it is in excess of what is actually needed. Try to estimate actual head counts more accurately to eliminate excess food waste.
  • Aim for a Zero- Waste event by eschewing the disposable dishware and utensils, eliminating excess packaging by serving food in large containers instead of single-servings, providing bulk water, coffee and drinks instead of individually packaged products, serving bite-sized or finger foods to minimize plate and utensil use.
  • If you absolutely must use disposable products, make sure that they are made from recycled or compostable materials.
  • Don’t forget that you can compost your vegetative food waste all year long.


  • Encourage and participate in carpooling to and from holiday celebrations.
  • Make sure your tires are fully inflated to achieve optimal gas mileage while traveling.
  • Turn down your electric and gas water heaters to conserve energy and gas while you are away.

Happy Holidays from the Ewing Green Team!

Recycling Double Header This Saturday, October 24th

recycleimageJoin the EGT for a recycling double-header this Saturday, October 24th! Two recycling events are scheduled for the day which will help you to green your lifestyles thru recycling, the final 2015 Shred Day, and the EGT’s 2nd Annual Scarecrow Contest.

You may dispose of your sensitive documents safely and securely at Ewing’s final Shred Day of the year from 9 – 1 at the municipal building. Document shredding will be done on site. This service is for Ewing residents only and proof of residency is required.

Members of the Ewing Green Team will be on hand to assist.

Date: Saturday, October 24th
Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Location: Municipal Building

scarecrowrecycledWe will finish up the day with our 2nd Annual Scarecrow Contest. The Scarecrows will be on display at the Ewing Community Center at 999 Lower Ferry Road starting Friday, October23rd. The judging and awarding of cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 will be during Ewing’s Fall Festival of Fun which includes, a fun ‘Trunk or Treat’, make your own life-size scarecrows to decorate your yard, pumpkin painting, face painting and refreshments.

The day’s event is a joint collaboration with the Ewing Arts Commission; they organize the popular annual ‘Trunk or Treat’ and help judge the Scarecrow Contest along with Mayor Bert Steinmann.

Members of the Ewing High School Arts Club will offer the pumpkin painting and face painting.

The event is from 2:00-4:00 pm and is a wonderful opportunity for residents of Ewing to get together and celebrate the fall season.

Date: Saturday, October 24th
Time: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m..
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center [ESCC]

So join us at  Shred 3 for 2015, and the Festival of Fun/Scarecrow contest and help us to further both recycling efforts in town and the arts.

2nd Annual EGT Scarecrow Contest to Promote the Arts and Recycling

by Lisa Feldman

scarecrowrecycledThe Ewing Green Team is partnering with the Ewing Recreation Department and Arts Commission on Saturday, October 24th to expand Ewing’s annual Trunk or Treat to include pumpkin painting; the displaying, judging and awarding of the cash prizes for the our 2nd Annual Scarecrow Contest; and a special ‘fun’ fall home project – the opportunity for people to make their very own scarecrow to take home to decorate their yards, plus refreshments.

2nd Annual Ewing Green Team Scarecrow Contest

Register today to participate in our 2nd Annual Scarecrow Contest with cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25! Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, design and durability. Let’s see how creative you can be with recycled materials.

All entries must be made of at least 80% of recycled materials in order to qualify. All Ewing residents, organizations, schools, families, businesses are welcome to participate. (And it’s free!) Pre-registration is required. Go to our scarecrow contest page for details and to register. Any questions, call Lisa at 609-620-0722.

Judging will be on Saturday, October 24th at 4:00 during the Ewing Community Center’s Fall Festival of Fun. Judging will be done by our Ewing Arts Commission and own Mayor Steinmann* (schedule permitting). Completed Scarecrows must be dropped off at the Ewing Community Center no later than Friday, October 23rd, by 4:00 in order to be included in the contest. All entries must remain at the center until Nov 1st and can be picked up after that date.

Some limited supplies will be available at the Fall Festival to enable last minute registrants to participate in the Scarecrow contest. However, you must register and complete your Scarecrow by 3:30 in order to be displayed for judging at 4:00.

*There are 15 wooden frames for your scarecrows available on a first-come-first-serve basis 6’ tall x 3’ wide if needed. Please check off on registration if you are interested in frame. *

Date: Saturday, October 24th
Time: 2 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Ewing Senior and Community Center
Cost: Free
Requirements: Just bring your recycling creativity and willingness to join in the fun!

Busy Saturday for Recycling – RX Disposal in Ewing and MCIA Hazardous Waste Disposal Day

recycleimageTwo unrelated recycling events will be occurring today, the MCIA’s Hazardous Waste Disposal Day and a drug disposal day. Please be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of your recyclables or unwanted prescriptions safely. Read on for more information.

Hazardous Waste Disposal Day

The MCIA will be running its final Household Waste and Electronics Disposal Day of the year today, September 26th from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. It will be held at John T. Dempster Fire School, Lawrence Station Rd in Lawrence Twp.

Accepted for recycling are the following:

Aerosol Cans | Used Motor Oil |Propane Gas Tanks | Pesticides & Herbicides | Car Batteries | Paint Thinner | Oil Based Paint | Stains & Varnishes | Gasoline | Anti-Freeze | Driveway Sealer | Insect Repellents | Mercury | Fluorescent & CFL Bulbs | Computers | Printers | Copiers | Fax Machines | Stereos | Televisions | Microwaves

Materials Not Accepted:

NO LATEX PAINT | NO Heating Oil | NO Infectious Waste| NO Radioactive Materials NO Explosives or Munitions | NO Railroad Ties | NO Asbestos | NO Tires | NO Wood | NO Fencing | NO Air Conditioners | NO Helium or Oxygen Tanks | NO Unknowns

For Mercer County Residents Only. Only Residential Waste will be accepted, i.e. no Commercial Business waste. Proof of Residency will be required (Driver’s License). For more information call 609-278-8086 or visit WWW.MCIANJ.ORG.

National Take Back Day

drugsThe Ewing Police Department will be participating in the DEA’s biannual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of them. Just go to the Ewing Police Department at 2 Jake Garzio Drive. Enter the main door and make a left to go down the hallway to the Police Department. The Ewing Police will have an officer available between 10 and 2 to take the items. All medications are accepted, prescription and over-the-counter, as well as liquids.

All medications are accepted, prescription and over-the-counter, as well as liquids. Hypodermic needles are not accepted. The disposal is handled completely securely; all accepted medications with any labels that you leave on the containers are placed in a large cardboard box, lined with plastic. At the end of the day the contents are taken to the prosecutor’s office. The DEA will pick up and incinerate.

Guidelines for Drug Disposal

If you are unable to participate on the day the FDA’s guidelines for proper drug disposal follow:

Follow any specific disposal instructions on the drug label or patient information that accompanies the medication. Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.

If no instructions are given on the drug label and no take-back program is available in your area, take them out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter — to make the medication less appealing and unrecognizable — then put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

You should also remove any identifying information on the label to protect your identity and privacy.

Despite the safety reasons for flushing drugs, some people are questioning the practice because of concerns about trace levels of drug residues found in surface water, such as rivers and lakes, and in some community drinking water supplies. However, the main way drug residues enter water systems is by people taking medications and then naturally passing them through their bodies. That said, the FDA does not want to add drug residues into water systems unnecessarily. The agency reviewed its drug labels to identify products with disposal directions recommending flushing or disposal down the sink. This continuously revised listing can be found at FDA’s Web page on Disposal of Unused Medicines.

National Take Back Day Information

Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Location: Ewing Police Department, 2 Jake Garzio Drive

Styrofoam Collection in Hopewell on Sat, Sept 19

recycleimageOur neighbors in Hopewell are sponsoring a Styrofoam collection date and residents of neighboring towns have been invited to participate.  We are happy to report that it is drawing near and has been scheduled for Saturday, September 19.  The items to be collected will include Styrofoam, CDs, DVDs, and wine bottle corks.

Jointly sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Green Team and the Pennington & Hopewell Township Environmental Commissions, these items will be accepted at the NEW Pennington Borough Public Works Building on North Main Street from Noon to 3pm.  Styrofoam packing material, especially blocks, sheets and coolers, will be taken to RayBob Packaging in Bristol, PA. Styrofoam egg cartons will also be collected for delivery to an Dolco Packaging, an egg carton manufacturer in Somerville.

There are important exceptions at this collection. Spongy sheets of packing material can NOT be accepted. (They are a slightly different material and can’t be used by our recycler.)  RayBob puts our material directly into a shredder and then sells the bits of styrofoam to companies that make toys, dog beds, etc.  So, it is important that items be very clean – no staples, tape, stickers, and nothing that has contained food.

Packing peanuts will also NOT be accepted this time; instead, residents are encouraged to return packing penults to their favorite shipping store where they can be reused immediately.

Old CDs and DVDs tapes will be delivered to Back Thru the Future in Franklin, NJ.   Free CDs that come in the mail, outdated software, and DVDs with corrupted files can really pile up! This is a chance to get rid of those disks and still keep them out of the landfill.  Plastic jewel cases will also be accepted if they are empty and have no paper inserts. Please note that we can no longer accept VHS and Audio Tapes.

Does it feel “wrong” to throw out a wine bottle cork? September 19 is your chance to recycle them instead.  They should be made of real cork – not synthetic – since they will be sent to Yemm & Hart, a cork tile manufacturer in Fredericktown, MO.

All Hopewell Valley residents and our nearby neighbors are welcome to participate.  Materials should be delivered on September 19 to the New Pennington Borough Public Works Building on North Main Street. Check the Green Team website for updates at:

Submitted by Joann Held of the Hopewell Valley Green Team

EGT Produces New Ewing Recycling Map

Chick on map for full sized PDF – 2 pages

Want to do your bit to help out the environment?  Recycling is something that everyone can do.  However, sometimes you just don’t know what can be recycled and where.  The EGT has tried to answer those questions with a new recycling map that focuses on Ewing Township.   Find out where the all the clothing donation bins are in town, where you can recycle plastic bags, drop off wire hangers and much more.  The Ewing Public Works Department is also a great resource for recycling and the map also highlights items that are accepted there.  Check out it out!  We hope that you will find it useful.

Jack Stephan Way Brush Drop Off Site Temporarily Closed

Township Announcement

As per a Ewing Township announcement,  the Jack Stephan Way brush drop off facility will be temporarily closed from May 28th until June 6th.  This temporary closing is required to allow staff to mulch the accumulated brush. During this time your brush should be placed in biodegradable bags and placed at the curb. These bags will be picked up the day after your regular garbage collection.

This wonderful service is obviously well used and is certainly appreciated by users. The EGT hopes that more township residents will become aware of the option to drop their brush off themselves.  All will appreciate the cleaner streets and reduced garbage costs resulting.

EGT Launches New Recycling Info Depot

The Ewing Green Team encourages Ewing residents to do their part in reducing their contributions to the landfills by recycling. We believe that the transformation of our throw-away life style to a more environmentally friendly one is essential to meet the challenges for future generations. This site was created with the idea of making it easier to accomplish by identifying and then creating this online resource of recycling options for our residents.

We believe that recycling plays an important part in conserving our natural resources. The purpose of this site is to:

  • Encourage greater participation in recycling practices by:
    • Identifying recycling opportunities and facilities for our residents
    • Identifying reusing opportunities and facilities for our residents
  • Work to create new recycling opportunities.
  • Provide educational recycling programs for the community.