Free Download: Presentations from our September Meetup

If you weren’t able to make it to Sustainable South Jersey’s “Welcome Back” Meetup at the Collingswood Community Center on September 18th, let us tell you a bit about it! It was a terrific night with about 70 people attending from all around the South Jersey area. Delicious food from local and sustainably- minded Tortilla Press was available, along with our three excellent presenters who focused on a variety of environmental issues that affect us all in this region. Topics included: Harmful Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in New Jersey, Sustainable Building Practices in Action, and the Collingswood Community Habitat Project.

All this food, networking with friends and education was FREE! That’s what we do at SSJ – we are dedicated to fostering connections in our region and promoting knowledge and awareness about environmental sustainability that will lower our carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet.

If you weren’t able to join us that night (or you were, but would like to review the information that was presented), we’ve posted PDFs of the presentations /remarks from our three experts. Click the title slide of the presentation below to view each one.

Harmful Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins in New Jersey

by Fred Lubnow PhD, Director of Aquatics Programs, Princeton Hydro

Sustainable Building Practices in Action

by Katherine Ng, LEED AP, Vice President, Wu & Associates, Inc.

Collingswood Community Habitat Project

by Tim Ifill, Collingswood Green Team member, Co-Coordinator of the Collingswood Community Habitat Project

Enjoy and please follow Sustainable South Jersey on Facebook and Twitter to learn what’s happening in our community and to get the date for our next Meetup. We hope to see you there!

#FindOurGreta Contest: Nominate a Youth Climate Activist

Nomination are closed. Please vote on our Facebook page until Nov 1, 2019. 

Our new contest seeks to find, empower, and reward South Jersey youth eco-champions for  in their local communities.


Sustainable South Jersey (SSJ) wants to help encourage and acknowledge the youth of Southern New Jersey who have worked to take action against climate change. Drawing inspiration from Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who became famous this Spring for launching a student movement to compel adults to act on global warming, SSJ is pleased to announce the “Find Our Greta” contest.

The #FindOurGreta contest will run from June 26, 2019 to October 15, 2019. South Jersey’s “Greta” will receive a $300 Amazon gift card.

“In Sweden and right here in South Jersey, children can help increase their parents’ level of concern about climate change. From Trenton to Cape May, we’re excited to help foster their efforts.” said Ed Cohen, President of Sustainable South Jersey.

According to a study published on May 6, 2019 in Nature, children can help change their parents minds about climate change. Thunberg has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine. SSJ believes in empowering the youth to take action locally, as they are the ones who will be leading our future. This contest aims to find the local youth who are already taking action in their communities, just like Greta is doing in Sweden and beyond.

The contest is now closed.  All submissions have been received and the 10 finalists selected will be posted on Social Media for public voting from Oct 25 to Nov 1.  The final winner and two runners up will be announced by Nov 8!


Eliligible entries were submitted from June 26, 2019 at 7 pm EST through October 15, 2019 at midnight EST. Visitors will nominate the South Jersey youth eco-champion they feel most embodies the spirit of Greta’s efforts to drive action on climate change. Nominators will explain in 300 words or less why this young person is helping drive action or raise awareness, describe a past or upcoming summertime activity or event they’re organizing for the benefit of our planet, and submit a photo of the youth in action. Please use #FindOurGreta to spread the word on social media outlets.


The contest was open to everyone 17 years of age and under who resides or attends school in any of the following Southern New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, and Ocean.

SSJ will review all entries and choose ten finalists. From October 25 to November 1 at midnight, we will host a one-week long public vote to select the winner on our SSJ Facebook page and at the end of the designated period, the winner will be the nominee with the most “post shares”.

That individual will win a $300 Amazon gift card and the opportunity to give a keynote address at an upcoming Sustainable South Jersey Meet-Up. Second and third place each receive a $100 Amazon gift card. All finalists receive a Sustainable South Jersey tee-shirt and free admission to SSJ’s 2020 events. The winner and two runners up will be announced by November 8, 2019.

Find Our Greta Nomination Form

Rules: Nominees must be 17 years of age or under and reside in or attend school in any of the following Southern New Jersey counties: Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, and Ocean. 

Thousands Attend Our Earth Festival

When we plan the annual Earth Festival, we thoughtfully work to create an event that includes something for everyone. Our 9th festival April 28th at historic Croft Farm focused on “Reduce Plastic – Fantastic!” We also included our popular plant swap, recycle depot dropoff, a rain barrel demonstration, plastic bottle-cap creature craft for children and so many other possibilities to welcome another sustainable feature to your home, school and business.

By all accounts, given the outstanding weather, this was the best-attended Earth Festival in our nine years of planning and hosting the event. Two stages of entertainment, the Phanatic, East Cougar and West Lion, our Plastic Bag ‘monster,’ and so much more created a happy, vibrant event all day.

We have been surveying our vendors, schools and groups as well as our generous sponsors to consider how we can make our 10th festival in 2019 even more engaging for South Jersey. You are always welcome to email us with your thoughts –

Enjoy this five-minute video recapping the Earth Festival.

Now, our list of ‘thank yous’ is so very important.

Presenting sponsors:

  • Lourdes Health System – LourdesCare of Cherry Hill – also our Gold Sustaining sponsors year-round
  • Ravitz Family Markets – our Silver Sustaining sponsors year-round
  • Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling

And we cannot present our Earth Festival without the tremendous support of:

Cherry Hill Township: Recreation Director Megan Brown, her team that includes Ericha Farrington and Matt Baer

Cherry Hill School District, Barb Wilson, communications manager and Superintendent Dr. Joe Meloche – all the student volunteers and display participants, moms, dads, teachers, Zone PTA, and performers from Rosa and Carusi Middle Schools.

Cherry Hill Police Department

Cherry Hill Fire Department

Public Works

Sustainable Cherry Hill supports education, scholarship and outreach to South Jersey communities and individuals year round.Thank you!

‘Reduce Plastic – Fantastic!’ at April 28th Earth Festival

Can you imagine how much single-use plastic is used in your home? The 9th Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival April 28th – in part – is designed to impress upon the 5000 visitors from across South Jersey to consider reducing plastic consumption.

Society has become focused on convenience. It can be a heavy lift to suggest that people not buy cases of plastic water and drink bottles. Many people are convinced tap water is ‘not good’ for you. There are filter systems and options to consider without buying cases of water bottles. And we can consider that for the most part, those drink bottles are not recyclable – forever; eventually, they end up in the waste stream. Have you heard about the plastic island of waste continuing to grow in the ocean? The festival is registered as part of the world-wide Earth Day Network; the network focus is on reducing plastic waste.

Details surrounding the Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival involve education and outreach.

Scan for Festival events- save paper!

It’s hoped that sponsors, vendors, non-profit groups, government and school displays consider the problems of single-use plastic. Ultimately, it’s hoped everyone participating at the festival will think more about how they can be part of the solution.

Bringing a reusable bottle for NJ American water refills and a coffee mug for Treehouse Cafe $2 local coffee helps reduce waste at the festival.

Beyond the focus on reducing plastic waste, South Jersey’s largest eco-event marking Earth Day takes place at historic Croft Farm in Cherry Hill. It’s an all-weather event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Health and wellness is part of sustainability. The Earth Festival includes LourdesCare’s free yoga session on the Croft Farm lawn at 8:30 a.m. (bring your mat) and 10:30 a.m. chair yoga on stage (bring your chair). Lourdes, Ravitz Family Markets and other displays also include nutrition and other wellness information.

The Family Fun Bike Ride has folks checking in starting at 8 a.m., getting bike safety checks from Erlton Bike Shop, and donning helmets for the two or nine-mile ride from Croft Farm and back in time for the 9:45 opening Earth Festival ceremony. Registration for the bike ride and waiver is here.

Here are just a few of the #SCHEarthFest events April 28th: Click HERE for event-day map/schedule)

  • Croft Farm parking can get tight: Bike valet parking is free!
  • Free bare-root tree seedlings are available while supply lasts.
  • Recycling Depot Dropoff:
    • gently worn shoes,
    • wire hangers
    • rechargeable batteries
    • plastic bags and bottle caps – which are not recyclable
    • gently-used books
  • Kiddie craft with your plastic bottle caps
  • Moon-bounce and more for kids
  • Thought-provoking school displays
  • Two-stages of entertainment
  • NEW – Sustainable Sips: two Flying Fish brews for purchase by visitors with ID
  • Lunch-time visit from the Phillie Phanatic + East Cougar and West Lion
  • Healthy food choices for purchase
  • Perennial plant-swap and gardening advice
  • Arts and crafts; bottle-cap creature craft for kiddies
  • Rain barrel and other demonstrations to reduce your carbon footprint

Generous sponsors include:

Presenting sponsors- Lourdes Health System, Ravitz Family Markets, Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating, Cooling (Hutchinson provides volunteer t-shirts)

Leadership sponsors: M Rosenblatt Roofing, Holman Enterprises

Evergreen sponsor: Sustainable Camden County

Leaf Sponsors: Wegman’s, NJ American Water, Renewal by Andersen, Kitchen Magic

In-Kind sponsors: My Gym, The Farmhouse

The 9th Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival is produced in partnership with the non-profit Sustainable Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill Township, and Cherry Hill School District.

‘Love Your Earth’ at the April 29th Earth Festival

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NewEF2015Celebrate – learn – grow – as 5000 visitors and participants “Love Your Earth” at the 8th Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival Saturday, April 29 at historic Croft Farm in Cherry Hill. Be part of South Jersey’s largest eco-event marking Earth Day at this all-weather event.

Free bike parking
Free bike parking

Consider biking to our free festival – since free parking can be a challenge at this well-attended event from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. A free bike parking area is available so you, friends and family can safely stow your bicycle and helmet at this volunteer-staffed area across from the Croft Farm house.

Start the day with the Family Fun Bike Ride sponsored by Cherry Tree Corporate Center and supported by Erlton Bike Shop; this is an enjoyable two or nine-mile ride from Croft Farm to the adjacent Cherry Hill Barclay Farm neighborhood.  Bike ride registration is required and participants (aged 8 or older) must wear a helmet. Bike ride check-in is at 8 a.m. and the ride is completed in time for the official start of the Earth Festival at Croft Farm.

Opening festival ceremony 9:45 a.m.
Opening festival ceremony 9:45 a.m.

Festival visitors enjoy the 9:45 opening event that also kicks off two stages of live entertainment throughout the day. Performances by Rosa Middle School’s talented students and Cherry Hill Township, area officials and Sustainable Cherry Hill leaders, welcome all our visitors.

Across three farmstead acres there will be more than 100 displays that focus in part on this year’s festival theme, “Love Your Earth.” Exhibitors including all 19 Cherry Hill Schools, are showing how communities can help counter climate change in ways large and small.

In addition, the festival includes a recycling depot for gently worn shoes, hangers, batteries, plastic

Three acres of displays, education & food
Three acres of displays, education & food

bags and more; healthy food choices for purchase; plant-swap; arts and crafts; and demonstrations on ways to reduce your carbon footprint and – “Love Your Earth.”

Be a sponsor or Earth-friendly vendor at the festival and stay updated about all Earth Festival activities at our Earth Festival page, on Facebook and Twitter (@SCHEarthFest).

The 8th Sustainable Cherry Hill Earth Festival is produced in partnership with the non-profit Sustainable Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill Township, and Cherry Hill School District.

Sustaining and Presenting Sponsors include: LourdesCare of Cherry Hill and Ravitz Family Markets; Hutchinson Plumbing, Heating, Cooling is our presenting sponsor.