Read our monthly columns from The Westfield Leader, where we explore different topics about local sustainability events and green living advice. 

Gardening’s Latest Trend That’s Here to Stay: Native Plants

It has become common knowledge that home gardeners should use native plants to support their local ecosystem. Native plants have adapted over thousands of years to growing in a particular region and have co-evolved to form specialized relationships with native wildlife. These plants provide food for plant-eating insects, which in turn become food for native predatory insects, birds, and mammals.........


Is this the year you go electric?

It’s fair to say that electric cars have developed a serious following. Whether you’ve been considering one for their “cool” factor or the opportunity they present to cut back on your carbon emissions, this year, you may be able to electrify your car with help from the U.S. government.

Many Americans now qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for buying a new electric vehicle (EV), depending on the make and model. The credit, part of changes enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, is designed to spur EV sales and reduce greenhouse emissions. There are some restrictions, however, including income limits.........


10 Ideas for Giving Sustainably This Year

Holiday gift giving can be both stressful and incredibly wasteful. According to, Americans toss out about 25% more trash during the holidays than any other time of year. Think wrapping paper, returns, plastic toys that quickly become forgotten or discarded, food waste, decorations... the list goes on. So, why not go low waste and a little greener this holiday season, which can also help save you money and support local businesses.........


Transforming Food Waste this Holiday Season

A big part of the holiday season involves gatherings of family and friends and, of course, food. Unfortunately, much of the food purchased between Thanksgiving and New Year’s goes to waste. According to The United States Department of Agriculture, Americans waste around 30-40% of our food supply on average, but that amount increases by 25% during the holidays. Not only does food waste come at major economic and social costs, but when it is left to decompose in landfills or is incinerated, it leads to the release of large amounts of greenhouse gases like.............


Seven Tips for Leaf Management and Fall Lawn Care 

Every fall, your garden offers you a resource to improve your soil and plant health that is free of charge. Allowing leaves to decompose under the plants where they originate closes the natural nutrient-cycle and reduces the amount of additional fertilizer that may be needed to create the best possible growing conditions in your yard. In addition to enriching the soil, leaving the leaves in your yard helps keep them out of storm drains, which can reduce the risk of flooding, improve water quality, and benefit wildlife. Leaving the leaves also creates overwintering sites for pollinators by providing shelter and food so that they can complete their life cycles. .............


The Importance of Clean Storm Drains for our Environment

As we experience more severe storms, keeping our storm drains clear of debris and pollution is more important than ever for both us and our local watershed.

Storm drains provide a useful service by functioning as a drainage system. When it rains, they direct excess water away to help keep our yards, roads, and other areas from flooding. However, natural debris, such as leaves, branches, twigs, grass clippings, sand, sediment, as well as trash and pet waste, can get trapped on top of or enter storm drains.

For much of Westfield, our storm drains empty into the Rahway River Watershed, which encompasses 83 square miles, including parts of three New Jersey counties........


We Can All Reduce Single-Use Plastics        


Have you heard of Plastic Free July? Originated by the Plastic Free Foundation, Plastic Free July is “a global movement that empowers millions of people to choose a future with cleaner communities and oceans through refusing single-use plastics.”

The State of New Jersey and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection took steps towards single-use plastics reduction in 2020 through the passing of the “Get Past Plastic Law," which enacted a ban on single-use plastic bags and polystyrene foam food containers, and required single-use plastic straws to be give only upon request from all New Jersey food service businesses. All parts of this law have been in effect since May 4, 2022. 

Plastic Free July is a great opportunity to continue this mission by finding other single-use.......


To Spray or Not to Spray for Mosquitoes?

A More Environmentally-Friendly Approach to Mosquito Control

The buzz, the bite, the itch – it would be so nice to enjoy our yards without the nuisance of mosquitoes!

The U.S. has around 200 mosquito species, and all require water to complete their life cycles. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water, where the larvae hatch and feed until they emerge as adults. Only female mosquitoes bite mammals for the necessary nutrients to produce eggs.

Try the following tips to help combat these pesky critters, while limiting harm to other beneficial bugs and wildlife.

Tip, toss, and cover

Mosquitoes must have a water source to lay their eggs: a bird bath, flowerpot saucer or forgotten bucket that fill.......


Rain gardens: The benefits of a multi-functional gardens


Did you know rainwater can collect pollutants from surfaces, like your downspouts, driveway, and lawn, and carry them into local streams and rivers?

 A rain garden is a natural solution that helps mitigate pollution and pooling of water by providing specific ecological benefits: 

  • Detention: safely collects and temporarily holds stormwater runoff to delay the peak discharge
  • Filtration: filters and consumes pollutants protecting our groundwater
  • Infiltration: allows rain to seep into the ground rather than flow to the storm drain
  • Habitat: supports the local pollinators and other wildlife

How does it do all that? 

A rain garden is a shallow 6-8” deep basin planted with native plants that are adapted to our locale and specific weather patterns. It captures and detains rainwa....... 


One resident’s trash, another’s treasure - declutter and save at Westfield’s Free Market


The Westfield Green Team is organizing its fourth Free Market event on April 30, 2022 from 8am - 2:30pm. The goal of the Free Market event is to keep used but perfectly good items out of landfills and incinerators by promoting reuse. Westfield residents can donate their unwanted, gently-used items or browse donated items to take home for free, even if they didn’t donate. The event is like a giant yard sale, except everything is free. At last year’s event, the Green Team collected approximately four tons of household goods. Anything that is not taken will be collected by GreenDrop, an organization that accepts donations to assist the American Red Cross and other charitable programs, for distribution to deserving families or for recycling.

Why are we so passionate about this event?

The United States dumps hundreds of millions of tons of trash into landfills each year, and the volume of our waste continues to increase. Landfills are reaching maximum capacity, creating.......


Live Greener By Recycling At The Conservation Center!


Welcome to the newly established Westfield Green Corner, where you'll find information on local sustainability and climate news, green tips and tricks to use in your everyday life, as well as eco-friendly opportunities and events to enjoy in our town. We wanted to start off this column with making sure you were aware of all of the recycling opportunities available at the Conservation Center (1300 Lamberts Mill Road) for Westfield residents beyond what you can recycle curbside every other week.

Recycling can help us all live more sustainably, and we are lucky to live in a town that offers a wide variety of recycling programs. In fact, the Westfield Conservation Center has been named "the best run Conservation Center in the county with the most recycling opportunities (both free and paid) for residents." by JoAnn Gemenden.......