Celebrate Earth Day's 50th Anniversary Today, April 22!
Today is Earth Day - join us in celebrating its 50th anniversary! Do an activity in your backyard, read an article on a nature-focused topic, or participate in the American Museum of Natural History's "EarthFest From Home" by joining its "watch parties" on various topics throughout the day at this link: https://www.amnh.org/calendar/earthfest-2020
Thanks to all who sent us pictures while engaging in our "7 Days Pre-Earth Day" festivities. Enjoy these inspiring pictures we received from participants, from Berkeley Heights and beyond!
7 Days Pre-Earth Day - Join Us!
In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, we're inviting you to partake in 7 days of fun-filled, nature-focused activities that you can do with your kids, entire family, or alone. Tune in here, or on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SustainableBH/ to see the activity for each day!
Day #7 (April 21, 2020) - CREATE A BIRDHOUSE!
You don't need fancy materials. Let some of the designs below inspire you! Cans, cartons, and, yes, even toilet paper or paper towel rolls will work. Just decorate, cover or fill with peanut butter (or other nut butter), and add some seeds, such as sunflower seeds.
Day #6 (April 20, 2020) - HAVE A PICNIC!
No need to go far. Your backyard will do! Even if it's just sitting in a lawn chair and sipping some tea (either iced or hot, given today's weather) with sliced fruit - such as apples or pears - relaxing while taking in some fresh air will be good for your mind and your body!
Too cold out for you? Then have an indoor picnic. Take a beach towel or large sheet, place it on your family room floor, and pretend you're outdoors in the middle of summer! Get creative with your kids and prepare dishes that you'd normally make for a picnic. You won't even need sunscreen to enjoy this!
Feeling daring? Then have a late dinner picnic under the stars, and see how many constellations you can identify.
Day #5 (April 19, 2020) - TAKE A WALK OR RIDE A BIKE!
It's a beautiful day outside . . . so take advantage of it! Get some fresh air and sunshine by taking a walk or bike ride. Your shoes aren't broken, so no excuses! This is an easy activity the whole family can do!
Day #4 (April 18, 2020) - CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSET!
Sort through your things. Donate clothes at the bin behind the Berkeley Heights Rescue Squad. Put aside those gently worn shoes so that they can be donated to Sustainable Berkeley Heights during our next shoe drive. Re-using these items, rather than throwing them in the trash, is a great way to be Earth-friendly, and to help out others!
Day #3 (April 17, 2020) - GET CRAFTY!
Get creative, use items you already have at home or in your yard, and make some "Earth Day" crafts.
Day #2 (April 16, 2020) - GROW TOMATOES!
Here are some easy steps you can take, from your refrigerator to your backyard.
Day #1 (April 15, 2020) - SCAVENGER HUNT!
That's right! See what things your kids and you can find outside, and how quickly you can find them. Here are some suggestions. You can get as creative with this as you want. Make a short list, and go!
Sustainable BH is partnering with The American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network for a fundraiser!
Healthy diets and life styles help prevent Cancer. The American Cancer Society- Cancer Action Network and Sustainable Berkeley Heights are joining together for a fun fundraiser. You will get a smoothie of your choice, the recipe for the apple pear pie and a piece of pie to take home. Complete the flyer by March 22nd and please bring a friend.
Please make checks out to Marlene Sincaglia so it is easier to divide the profits.
If you have any questions, please call Marlene at 908-464-1988.
If you cannot make it that day, please consider a donation to ACS-CAN (then you can write a check to the organization)
A Delicious, Healthy, and Fun Way to Begin the New Year!
Such a great day! Chef Michael at Devour Creative Catering impressed once again, turning the ingredient of the day - tofu - into a thing of beauty. Not only did we learn how to make an easy, delicious vegan lasagna, but we also learned how a block of silken tofu is similar to cheese! As a bonus, we learned how to make garlic-infused oil. A great time with great company. Looking forward to our next class!
Always a great time cooking with Chef Michael! Making mindful, sustainable choices about what we choose to eat never tasted so good!
Our class begins! Looking forward to a dynamic demo and to trying our hand at making some yummy lasagna!
Chef Michael delivers an energized presentation, teaching us the difference between different types of sauces
Opening the key ingredient of the day - tofu!
Expertly slicing a brick of tofu while holding it in hand. Don't try this at home!!!
Intently listening to all of the helpful knowledge Chef Michael is sharing
Comparing notes, making sure to capture all of the good cooking tips Chef Michael provided.
Ever wanted to learn how to make garlic-infused oil for dipping, cooking, etc.? Well, we did!
A captivated audience "devours" every tidbit of advice and instruction Chef Michael shares
Building our lasagna! First, placing the lasagna sheets on our sauce . . .
. . . then placing all of our toppings on our lasagna sheets before we "sauce it" again . . .
. . . and making sure to use all of our sauce!
Finishing the final layer . . .
. . . including getting that top layer of sauce just right!
All set for the hand-off to Chef Michael. Into the oven it goes!
The big reveal! The delectable scent of the lasagna wafts through the air
The finishing touch - a dusting of truffle seasoning.
Voila! What a presentation!
Yes, everyone's dish turned out incredible
Good enough to eat . . . and we did!
Visually pleasing and pleasing to the palate, too!
Proudly displaying our edible art
And getting ready to . . .
. . . enjoy a sample before taking our creations home! Delicious!
Third time's a charm! Kick off the new decade by learning to prepare delicious, plant-based food at our third Vegan/Sustainable Cooking Class with Devour Creative Catering. The event will be on Sunday, January 19, from noon - 2 p.m Here's the sign-up link:
Back for a Second Helping! We Braved the Snow Squall for Our Second Vegan/Sustainable Cooking Class with Devour Creative Catering - so worth it! Dish Prepared: Award-Winning Stuffed Acorn Squash
Chef Michael Ramella and Sustainable Berkeley Heights President Kim Diamond show off the star of tonight's show: acorn squash
Chef Michael taught us some great tips on how to prepare all types of squash, no matter their shape or size
We learned all about complete protein foods and food combinations
An animated presentation from Chef Michael
The audience is captivated by the dynamic presentation Chef Michael is delivering, as well as the knowledge he's sharing
Surprise! Chef Michael prepared some spaghetti squash to show us how easy it can be to substitute this healthier option in place of pasta
Our group gets ready to apply the techniques Chef Michael has taught us
A great Sous Chef - something every excellent Master Chef needs!
Demonstrating how to properly hold your squash, with a tip for how to prevent it from rolling away
Watching intently . . .
. . . and applying the skills learned
Scariness of slicing an acorn squash - gone!!!
Proudly displaying the results of our new slicing skills
"Painting" our acorn squash to make it oven-ready
A personal demonstration for how to properly slice root vegetables
Placing our uniformly chopped veggies in a large bowl
Bonus! While our acorn squash baked, Chef Michael taught us how to prepare some quick, easy, and healthy salad dressing
Preparing the stuffing meant included using fresh, fragrant herbs, such as thyme
Sampling some of that delicious spaghetti squash from the demo . . . gone in a split second!
The stuffing included farro , quinoa, and cranberries
Offloading the cooked veggies and combining them with the rest of our stuffing mixture
There's a certain skill that goes into creating a nice dome with your stuffing
Everyone took turns creating their own "stuffing domes"
Into the oven they go for the final bake
Amazing! Our dishes were 5-Star quality, in both taste and presentation
Everyone was able to take home their masterpieces . . . after sampling them, of course
Thanks again, Chef Michael, for a lovely, delicious evening!
Vegan Cooking Class at Devour - Learn Knife and Culinary Skills While Having Fun with Friends!
Great news! Chef Michael at Devour Creative Catering is going to partner with us again and offer another "Sustainable/Vegan Cooking Class" this month (next week!) on Wed., Dec. 18, from 7 - 9 p.m. at 473 Springfield Ave., Berkeley Heights. As you can see from the pictures posted below, everyone who attended our prior co-sponsored class had a fabulous time! The dish that we'll be preparing is Devour's award-winning Stuffed Acorn Squash - the dish that won First Place in the Restaurant category of the 2018 Vegan Cook-Off. Due to physical space limitations, only the first 12 people who register will be able to reserve a spot in the class . . . so sign up soon! Below is the sign-up link on Devour's page (it appears on the drop-down menu under "More - Tastings & Special Events"). Hope to see you there:
Sustainable Berkeley Heights partnered with Devour Creative Catering for an evening of learning with friends, good food, and fun! Dish prepared: Thai Coconut Curry Vegetables with Jasmine Rice
Kicking off a great evening, with Chef Michael Ramella and President of Sustainable Berkeley Heights, Kim Diamond
Our class begins!
Our host, Chef Michael, provides some tips on how to change our cooking and eating habits to be more plant-based, in order to improve our health and help the planet.
Intently watching the presentation!
Chef Michael delivers an engaging talk on why veganism helps to promote sustainability.
Demonstrating why Mise en Place is so helpful for organizing and arranging ingredients
Watching intently as our host teaches us some impressive and helpful knife skills
We paired off into 2-person teams. Look at us go! We applied the new knife skills that we learned to chop some vegetables . . . the correct way!
Sustainable Berkeley Heights Vice President Jeanne Kingsley juliennes her vegetables
Prepping away . . . .
. . and having a great time during the prep session!
We had all shapes and sizes of seasonal vegetables that we included in our dish.
Everyone used the proper hand placement Michael recommended when cutting vegetables.
It always helps to slice and dice with a smile!
Observing the master. We learned how to properly prepare certain vegetables that have "multiple parts" so that they don't fall apart when being sliced.
Next step, move to the stove! Chef Michael demonstrates when, exactly, to add certain ingredients during the cooking process.
The dish is looking good . . . and smelling amazing!
Watching the cooking demo intently
Lots of cooks in the kitchen! Everyone had a hand in cooking their dish over an open flame.
Enjoying time together while the food simmers
Ta-da!!! Beautiful! Looks good enough to eat (which we did)!
Everyone's dish turned out perfectly.
Great friends, great fun, and great food made the evening so enjoyable! All had a great time, while creating their culinary masterpieces.
The final product - to die for! So yummy! It was hard to stop eating our creations so that we actually had some to take home. Thanks again, Devour!
Litter Clean Up by Town Hall and Columbia Middle School, Featuring DBC and Cub Scout Pack 368
Together with the Downtown Beautification Committee (DBC) and members of the Bear den of Pack 368, we picked up litter in the woods near Hamilton Avenue and along Plainfield Avenue, all the way to Memorial Park. Sustainable Berkeley Heights Vice President and Township Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley spoke about the new Municipal Complex, while Christin Babic of the DBC delivered a presentation on pedestrian safety, the history of Columbia Middle School and Memorial Park, and community service/volunteerism. Den leaders spoke about the Pledge of Allegiance as well. Township Councilman Manny Couto joined us to lend a hand and show support.
Only two more days until Berkeley Heights Vegan Fest! The weather is supposed to be beautiful, so make plans to attend one, two, or all three events!
At the Berkeley Heights 5K on Sept. 15, not only did we collect 70 pairs of shoes weighing a total of 93.8 pounds from going into a landfill, but we also debuted our reusable bags that each come in a set of 3 . . . and had great success! Thanks to all who helped to support us in each of these efforts.
Missed our last shoe drive? Then come to our table at the Berkeley Heights 5K this Sunday, Sept. 15 at Memorial Park, between 8:30-10:30 a.m. (before and after the race). Drop off old sneakers, shoes, sandals and boots! Help us in our quest to reduce and reuse!
WHEN: SUNDAY - Sept. 15th
TIME: 8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Memorial Park, corner of Park Ave. and Plainfield Ave., Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
ITEMS TO BRING: Your old shoes, sandals, sneakers, and boots
132 Pairs of Shoes Not Landfill-Bound
Ever wonder what 133 pairs of shoes look like? We found out as a result of our August 24 shoe drive. These sneakers, sandals, boots, and other footwear totaled 160.6 pounds. Instead of taking up space in a landfill, these shoes will find their way to those in need. Thanks to friends and neighbors who donated!
Thanks, Girl Scout Troop 40822 and everyone else who came out for our Locust Avenue clean up! It's a constant effort to keep this litter-magnet-of-a-street litter-free. We hope that by raising awareness for how un-cool it is to litter, people will put litter in its place, rather than throw it on the ground.
Send off Your Old Sneakers, Sandals, and Shoes - Then Help Us Say Goodbye to Summer Litter on Locust Avenue!
Your closet does not need to be home to your old sneakers, worn sandals, or other old shoes any longer! Bring all of these things to our shoe drive. We'll be collecting these items on the corner of Locust Avenue and Russo Place, immediately before the litter clean-up.
As you've probably seen, the area on Locust Avenue between Timber Drive and Russo Place is a litter magnet - particularly during the summer! Help us to recycle the bottles, cans, and cardboard items while ridding the street and area near the sidewalk of other trash. Sustainable Berkeley Heights, the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission, Val's Valiants, and the Downtown Beautification Committee invite you to help us clean up . . . and help members of Girl Scout Troop 40822 to earn their Silver Awards. Bags and reinforced gloves will be provided at no charge. Please bring your own filled water canister and wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as poison ivy and other similar plants are now in bloom.
WHERE: Drop off shoes/ Meet up on Locust Avenue, at the corner of Russo Place and Locust Avenue, across the street from The Wharton School and the construction site of the new YMCA building.
WHEN: Saturday, August 24
TIME: Shoe Collection/Drive - 2 - 3 p.m.; Litter Clean-Up - 3 - 4 p.m.
ITEMS TO BRING: For the shoe drive, bring your sneakers from last sports season, sandals you wore out this summer, and shoes that no longer fit. For the litter clean-up, just show up!
Well Done! Over 1,000 Cigarette Butts are No Longer on Springfield Avenue!
Come with Us to Clean Up Our Downtown . . . And Bring Your Old Shoes!
Help kick off summer by helping to clean up our downtown! Sustainable Berkeley Heights, Val's Valiants, the BHEC, and the Downtown Beautification Committee invite you to join us in a litter clean up. Bags and reinforced gloves will be provided at no charge. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as the ground could be muddy and as most plants - incuding poison ivy, etc. - are now in bloom.
WHERE: Meet in the parking lot outside of Dunkin' Donuts.
WHEN: Sunday, June 30
TIME: 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
ITEMS TO BRING: Just show up. Strollers, younger brothers and sisters, and dogs on leashes welcome! Val's Valiants will also be collecting old shoes!
Watchung Way Clean Up - Join Us!
WHEN: SUNDAY - APRIL 7TH
TIME: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Meet on Watchung Way, at the bottom of the Runnells long driveway
ITEMS TO BRING: NONE. JUST YOU!
WHAT TO WEAR: JEANS, LONG SLEEVES, BOOTS OR OTHER STURDY FOOTWEAR.
This clean up is in conjunction with Val's Valiants, the Berkeley Heights Environmental Commission, and the Berkeley Heights Downtown Beautification Committee-BHWalks. Gloves and bags will be provided.
Let's Clean Up Snyder Avenue
WHEN: SUNDAY - MARCH 24TH
TIME: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Meet in parking lot at Snyder Avenue Park
ITEMS TO BRING: NONE. JUST YOU!
This clean up is in conjunction with Downtown Beautificaiton Committee-BHWalks, Environmental Commission and Val's Valiants.
March 17th - A Successful day! We did a lot of work today. Fabulous turnout for our FIRST Sustainable BH Event. Thank you to the members fo the Environmental Commission and the Town Council for participating in the event. Big shout out to Betty Ann Kelly from Union County for bringing the truck with equipment, bags and gloves! Here are some pictures:
ADOPT-A-PARK LITTER CLEAN UP
PASSAIC RIVER PARK
What color do you associate with St. Patrick's Day? Green of course! The Berkeley Heights Innovation and Sustainability Alliance invites you to celebrate being "green" on March 17 this year by participating in an Adopt-A-Park litter cleanup of the parkland that's part of the Berkeley Heights section of Union County Passaic River Park, Berkeley Heights. The clean up will occur just beyond the end of Summit Avenue, beginning at the area behind the Berkeley Heights Sewage Authority. In addition to picking up litter, we will also pick up and move fallen sticks to create wildlife brush piles. Just bring yourself . . . and perhaps some family members (kids included) and friends! Bags and reinforced gloves will be provided at no charge. Come on out and lend a hand to help keep Berkeley Heights green!
WHEN: SUNDAY - MARCH 17TH
TIME: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Meet in parking lot at the end of Summit Avenue, in the area behind the BH Sewage Authority.
ITEMS TO BRING: NONE. JUST YOU!