Sustainable Cherry Hill (SCH) is an all volunteer 501c3 non-profit community outreach and educational organization that fosters the global sustainability movement at a local level.Â Creating resources that facilitate this shift in lifestyle, while connecting people in the community for and around our mission, lays a foundation for making the necessary change to a sustainable way of life- one less geared to environmentally damaging and socially inequitable consumption patterns, and one that works in harmony with the planet, its resources and their limits.
“Bringing people together to build a sustainable South Jersey.”
SCH strives to continuously tap Cherry Hill and the surrounding region’s greatest resource- its people- in order to shift to a sustainable way of life. We do this through hosting educational events, networking opportunities, supporting community based task forces and acting as a general clearing house of information on sustainability news and events. We provide a structure for people at all levels to work together to pursue their passions and use their unique skills and networks in the service of a more sustainable community.
SCH is essentially a community group in that our approach to sustainability recognizes that everyone making small changes results in big differences collectively. As such, it is critical that we establish and nurture relationships with all area stakeholders, including government, schools, businesses, faith groups, other community groups and individuals from all over South Jersey. But grassroots cannot do it alone. Â Large scale change requires leadership by governments and corporations. Â An educated and empowered populace can put pressure on these entities from the ground up.
Â Tapped:Â an unflinching examination of the
Tuesday June 23, 2015 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Burlington County Library
Â Tuesday June 30, 2015 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Cherry Hill Public Library
August 15th & 16th, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Camden County Environmental Center
Spend two art-filled days with mixed media artist Lynne Perrella and create an evocative Icon portrait using â€śthrow-awaysâ€ť like corrugated cardboard, string, paint, buttons, wire and more . . . and make a lasting visual statement about the joys of re-purposing.
Low-tech materials + No-fail collage techniques = Lavish, layered icon portraitÂ
Getting harmful chemicals out of our bodies is a constant daily challenge. Itâ€™s not as simple as weâ€™d like, and itâ€™s not as easy as weâ€™d hope. But itâ€™s too important to ignore.
Summer Book Club
July 16, 2015, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
31 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Please join us in welcoming a new voice to the Sustainable Cherry Hill blog,Â The Armchair Environmentalist by Barbara Prince. BarbaraÂ is a passionate advocate for her community and the global environment. She is an observer and commentator on the human condition, as well as a dedicated public servant in her role as the Recycling and Clean Communities Coordinator for Haddon Township.
Microbeads: A Macro Problem
Whatâ€™s in your wash? Did you know that you might be washing your face or brushing your teeth with plastic? Microbeads are currently all the rage in the personal care industry and can be found in cosmetics, toothpaste, and soap. Your average facial scrub can contain as many as 300,000 micro plastics. How micro are they? Most micro plastic are less than 1 millimeter wide and easily pass through our water treatment plants. As such, micro plastics are increasingly entering our waterways where they are being ingested by even the smallest of the worldâ€™s sea creatures -even coral!
How has this happened and why is it a problem?
Corporations have switched from traditional, biodegradable materials in our products, such as nut shells and salt crystals, to plastic because it is cheaper. SURPRISE, RIGHT? You havenâ€™t noticed, and your facial wash has pretty pictures of leaves? Plastic in our oceans is a problem on many levels. First, plastic contributes to pollution; this is self-evident. Nobody wants to go on vacation and look at garbage; you can do that at home. Two, plastic doesnâ€™t biodegrade, and it will be there on your vacation with you for the rest of your life â€“ and your childrenâ€™s and theirs and theirs. Three, plastic pollution is responsible for the untimely expiration of many of the worldâ€™s creatures that make their homes in our streams, lakes, and oceans. (I took it easy on you on that one.) Fourth, science has found that plastic absorbs toxins; therefore, these tiny plastics become highly concentrated with pesticides, phthalates, and heavy metals. Fish that ingest these plastics are being consumed by humans.
Poly wants a cosmetic and what can you do?
This is an easy one for us busy folks. To do your part to help solve this issue is simple. You donâ€™t have to find out who your Congressman is or sign up for an e-newsletter from those depressing environmentalists. All you have to do is check the label of any product that proudly advertises MICROBEAD! If the label has MICROBEAD then you may safely assume that the company is probably using plastic. You want to dig deeper, because you really love your product? Look for POLY on label. Any ingredient that has the word poly on list, minus polyethylene glycol, contains plastic. Congratulations, you have already done half of the work- you now know.
Perspiring minds want to know.
Want to know more?Â For an incomplete list of micro plastic products: Beat the micro bead
Here’s the second in our Gardening Task Force blog series:Â How Our Organic Garden GrowsÂ by Cory Stoetzer. Cory and Mark Stoetzer are sharing the thrills and challenges of growing an organic vegetable garden.
Although planting seeds in my laundry room Â is an important step in the preparation for our garden, the hardest part lies outdoors â€“ preparing the actual garden beds. Though a bit dirty and labor intensive, it is necessary for healthy and hearty crops. Most people think springtime is the true beginning of the gardening season. Truth be told, the actual preparation begins in the fall prior.
Late in the season, Mark gathers some of the best of our tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, and squash. He slices them open harvests the wet seeds and dries them in our laundry room in preparation for next season. By doing this, he is able to secure the seeds from some of our best growers-assuring we have an opportunity to have the same tasty bounty next year. This also saves money on purchasing organic seeds, as we do this over the internet and it can be costly. You can also share these seeds in neighborhood seed swaps. Read the rest of this post »
These days, we could all use a little inspiration. Welcome to the third in our new SCH Agent for ChangeÂ series. Every month we will feature an interview with everyday people creating big changes in their little corner of the world. The goal of these stories is to spark a passion, help you set a goal, or move past some frustration as you work to be anÂ Agent for ChangeÂ in your own system.
This month we feature Haddon Township resident Gwenne Baile, who champions for an ordinance allowing hens to be raised in suburban backyards. Gwenne is an active member of our SCH Garden Task Force, Haddon Township community garden, GMO Free NJ and Camden County Chickens.
SCH: What is a typical day as an “Agent for Change” like for you?
Gwenne:Â I spend a great deal of time on my computer doing research as to what is going on in other towns and areas around the county with backyard chickens and legalization of them. I am in almost daily contact with other â€śChicken Legalization Leadersâ€ť and we have a private Facebook page where we share information, and articles and most important, support each other. I get emails from people who know about my passion for legalizing chickens and ask questions or tell me what issues they are having in their community.
SCH:Â How did you get involved with the Backyard Hen movement?
Gwenne: It came out of my strong interest in the local food movement, the farm to table movement and food justice. I want to know what is in my food. As a board member of GMO Free NJ, I try to avoid genetically-engineered food as much as humanly possible. The chickens came about through that. I believe in residents having property rights and that includes, within reason, what they choose to do with their yards. I have a vegetable garden (and a bed at the community garden, as well) and an herb garden. Having three backyard chickens completes that. I would know my hens were only eating organic food, both scraps and feed as well as foraging for insects in a pesticide-free yard. I adore animals and my hens would be my pets. I am a firm believer in Permaculture and backyard chickens are also a part of that. Besides, I always was attracted to how pretty hens are and how they almost sound like purring kittens. Read the rest of this post »
Five Cherry Hill schools were among the 31 New Jersey schools and four school districts that were selected to receive a Sustainable Jersey for Schools Small Grant funded by the PSEG Foundation, announced on Friday, June 19th. This first cycle of grants will support initiatives including the planning of a green school building, achieving a no-foam cafeteria zone, implementing a district-wide green cleaning program, promotion of water hydration stations, development of school teaching gardens, sustainability education initiatives and more.
Currently, 81 districts and 220 schools have registered to work toward Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification. â€śThis is a win for schools across New Jersey. These grants, funded by the PSEG Foundation, will help support districts and schools as they participate in the first year of the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program,â€ť said Donna Drewes, who co-directs Sustainable Jersey. â€śGrant funding will build capacity and support schools as they embark on sustainability projects.â€ť Read the rest of this post »
Tuesday evening June 16th, South Jersey residents came from nearby and as far as Blackwood, Washington Township and Salem, NJ to attend #WasteNot, a community event focusing on eating sustainably without wasting a single bite of food. Part networking, part educational, #WasteNot, sponsored by the Courier Post and The Farm & Fisherman Tavern+Market, initiated an important conversation on how we can prepare meals using parts of the food we consider unusable. Like broccoli stems, celery leaves, carrot peels, even rotten tomatoes.
Farm & Fisherman chef- partner Todd Fuller prepared a mouthwatering sampling of â€śScrap Appsâ€ť including Broccoli Stem Pesto on stale bread crostini, Vegetable Peeling Gazpacho, and Root to Leaf Beet. There was no discernible staleness in the crostini bread. The pesto topping, robust and fresh. As was the gazpacho, made from cucumber, carrot, celery pea pods and jalapeno. These simple farm to fork appetizers, beautiful in appearance and delectable to the palate, demonstrated how easy it is to create masterful dishes using every scrap of food in your kitchen.
In his brief informal talk with the guests, Chef Todd provided useful tips on how to reduce food waste. Shop smart, shop fresh, shop often but buy less, and donâ€™t get too fancy. Tammy Paolino, Engagement Editor of the Courier-Post and The Daily Journal (pictured above between Lori Braunstein and Norma Roth), decided to coordinate this event because she finds herself buying food that often goes to waste in her own home. Like many of us, she wants to change that behavior. #WasteNot showed us all how to eat better, eat yummy with less. View pictures HERE. Â View video HERE.
By Norma Roth, C0-Chair Green Health Task Force