“Bringing people together to build a Sustainable South Plainfield” In 2009, the Borough of South Plainfield passed a resolution to register in the Sustainable Jersey Municipal Government Certification Program. This provides a framework and incentives for municipalities working to become sustainable communities -- communities that embody a good quality of life while minimizing impact on environment and other resources, now and for future generations. The next step was taken by the South Plainfield Environmental Commission in January, 2011. The commission amended its by-laws to form a Green Team as mandated by the certification program. Eight members were chosen: four from the Environmental Commission (Dorothy Miele, Robyn Rusnack, Christopher Cioffi, Jonathan Walezak), Dr. Alice Tempel (South Plainfield Environmental Specialist), Robert Capparelli (head of the Department of Public Works), Glenn Cullen (Chief Financial Officer), and Christine Buteas, (Environmental Commission Council Liaison). The final step was taken by the governing body of South Plainfield when it approved a resolution on February 22, 2011, formally establishing the Green Team “to identify, prioritize, select and enable sustainability initiatives that will benefit the residents and business people of South Plainfield by raising community awareness; engaging citizen volunteerism; maintaining fiscal responsibility; and attaining Sustainable Jersey certification.” A sustainable community seeks to optimize quality of life for its residents by ensuring that its environmental, economic and social objectives are balanced and mutually supportive. It strives to save tax dollars, assure clean land, air and water, and improve working and living environments as steps to building a sustainable community that will thrive well into the next century. Municipalities which attain Sustainable Jersey certification gain access to grants and program funding. The Green Team will seek citizen participation as it moves forward with initiatives and programs designed to identify and implement best practices in the ways of natural resource protection, waste reduction, energy efficiency and in many other areas Sustainable Jersey is a partnership between the New Jersey League of Municipalities, Mayors’ Committee for a Green Future, New Jersey Sustainable State Institute at Rutgers University, Municipal Land Use Center at The College of New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Rutgers Center for Green Building, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and a coalitional of NJ nonprofits, state agencies, and experts in various fields. The Green Team meets at 7:30 pm the second Wednesday of the month in the conference room at Borough Hall, 2480 Plainfield Avenue. The public is invited to attend. SSP strives to continuously tap South Plainfield and the Borough'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. SSP 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 Plainfield. But grassroots cannot do it alone. Large scale change requires leadership by governments and corporations. An educated and empowered populace can put pressure on these entities from the ground up.