Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission

Click here to edit subtitle

News Blog

Freecycling - 27 October 2013

Posted by Friends EB EC on October 8, 2013 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)
Freecycling - 27 October 2013
new location:
East Brunswick High School

Items accepted up until 1 pm
Pick up items until 3 pm

 More information on the Freecycling page

Who is Your Farmer and Why?

Posted by Friends EB EC on February 26, 2012 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Join the East Brunswick Green Libing group, and Dr. Joseph Heckman for a discusson on "Who is your farmer?"

Dr. Joseph Heckman, Ph.D. is a Professor of Soil Science at Rutgers University. Working with Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Dr. Heckman’s programs support healthy plant and animal ecosystems with the goal of establishing nutritious food systems for human health and sustainable communities.

The meeting is FREE and open to all.

Refreshments will be served.  Please bring a mug.


East Brunswick Public Library

Meeting Room 1

2 Jean Walling Civic Center  East Brunswick, NJ 08816-3529

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

Recycling - answers to questions

Posted by Friends EB EC on January 11, 2012 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We all know recycling is an important part of being environmentaly responisble. We all do it to some extent, and we all have questions about it. Lisa Ryan found answeres to most of her questionsa about recylcing and published them in the winter 2011 issue of the the HackensackRIVERKEEPER®i newsletter. Although some of the information is for Bergen country residents, most of it pertain to all of New Jersey. You can read this imformative article by clicking here.

If you have specific question about recycling in East Brusnwick / Middlesex county, please send them to

Local recylcing links:

Middlesex county recycling

East Brunswick recycling

So Many Upcoming Friends Programs - All FREE and FUN!

Posted by Friends EB EC on December 8, 2011 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission has a diverse slate of upcoming events and programs. And all of them are FREE! The next one is next Monday and is for Elementary School age kids. The program will be creating a Green Holiday Gift out of a recyled can. But space is limited so register now. We are also exploring a Winter Farmers Market for February and these are just the tip of iceberg.

If you aren't a member of the Friends what are you waiting for? Membership is FREE and provides the quickest way to know about all of our programs including those that are limited in space and available on a first come-first served basis. Joining the Friends takes about 30 seconds on the website. So...MARK YOUR CALENDARS for all of the upcoming events and join us as we explore nature and green living around our town and beyond. We are extremely excited to announce that in February Dave Wheeler, Author of the recently published book (Rutgers University Press) "Wild New Jersey" and founder of the awesome website WILD NJ ( will be giving a lecture and book signing. And then in May, Seabrooke Leckie, Author of the new Peterson Field Guide to Moths (due out in April) will be visiting us on her Book Tour and we will hold a Moth Night that evening as well!

Here is a short list of upcoming events. There is more information about all of these on the Friends website @

Dec. 12 - Option Green event - GREEN Gifts - Kids Workshop (Limited Space)

Dec. 19 - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

Jan. 5 - "Owls of NJ", Raptor Trust presentation for National Bird Day

Jan. - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

Feb. 2 - David Wheeler, Author of "Wild New Jersey" Book Signing and Tour 

February - First Annual EB Winter Farmers Market (Date TBA)

February - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

March 1 - "Vernal Pools"  Presentation by Dave Moskowitz

March\April - Annual Salamander Migration (Dates Weather Dependent)

March - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

April 5 - Community Garden Annual Meeting

April\May - Next FREECYCLING Event (Date TBA)

April - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

May 9 - Moth Night and Book Signing with Seabrooke Leckie, author of the new "Peterson Field Guide to Moths"

May 5 -Friends\EBEC Annual Birding Big Day


May 15 - Option Green Presentation: "Everything is Melting" with Dr. Oscar Schofield

May - September - Moth Nights (Dates TBA)

May - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

June - Friends of the EBEC Green Living Club Meeting - TBA

July 23-29 - National Moth Week

Publshed on the Patch, December 8, 2011


Rutgers Project - Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant

Posted by Friends EB EC on November 28, 2011 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development awardedRutgers University a $5 million grant to promote sustainable communities thatuse more public transportation, are less reliant on cars, and connect housingwith job centers. Read more

No Idling Campaign

Posted by Friends EB EC on November 23, 2011 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The purpose of the Friends' No Idling Campaign is to reduce emissions from idling vehicles Why are we asking you to turn your car engine off when you are not moving?

idiling is unhealthy

Exhaust emissions worsen asthma, bronchitis, and existing allergies. The New England Journal of Medicine reports that exposure to air pollution may cause chronic decreases in lung functions by age 18. Children breathe up to 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults, making them more susceptible

The American Heart Association has concluded that air pollution increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

idling is illegal in NJ

Idling for more than 3 minutes is PROHIBITED in New Jersey - Idling fines begin at $100 for passenger vehicles and $250 for commercial vehicles.

idilin is expensive

If you are idling, you might as well be burning dollar bills. The best way to warm a vehicle is to drive it. Emissions are still present and harmful even when you can’t see exhaust. In winter conditions, emissions from a cold engine are more than double the normal level. Fuel consumption is also higher in cold weather. Idling increases maintenance costs: it leaves fuel residues that contaminate motor oil and make spark plugs dirty.

An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour.

Only 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than turning the engine on and off.

Take action and stop idling! Sign the pledge and tell your family, friends, neighbors and school bus drivers to stop idling.

To sing the pledge click here

The Black Walnut - Native, Delicious and a Challenge to Open

Posted by Friends EB EC on November 13, 2011 at 12:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Our delicious native Black walnuts are ready to be collected from woods and field edges around town. The trees are pretty easy to find since they tend to lose their leaves before all of the green tennis ball-sized nuts fall off. The nuts stand out quite distinctively on the leafless trees once you know what to look for. Since the trees are often large, and the nuts commonly too high to reach, now is the easiest time to gather them as many have fallen to the ground. Simply find a Black walnut tree and look on the ground around it, there should be plenty of nuts that have been dropped by the wind.

But finding and collecting them is the easy part. The delicious nut meat is shrouded in a soft outer husk that encapsulates a typical walnut looking shell, the kind that is familiar to anyone that has ever used a nutcracker to open an English walnut. But forget about the nutcracker for Black walnuts, the shell is ridiculously hard. The nut shell is so strong that it is actually used as an industrial abrasive to "sand" blast metal and stone, see  

There are all kinds of anecdotal ways that people profess is the best method to open a Black walnut, from running them over with the car, to a sledge hammer and an anvil. I've tried the car technique and it does work (at least to remove the outer husk), but a hammer will do the trick too. In any case, the first step is to remove the soft outer husk. A few good whacks with a hammer will usually make it easy to remove. But, like everything else about the Black walnut, even the soft outer husk offers a challenge. The husk smells very citrusy to me, but I know other people that find it unpleasant. Once the nuts have been exposed to the cold temperatures or laid on the ground for awhile, they also turn black. The black husk color does not mean the nut meat inside is bad. But the black husks have compounds in them that will indelibly stain fingers or anything else they come in contact with. The husk can also be made into dye and ink. I found a website that explains how to do it and it looks like a really cool project to try for anyone so inclined. They just turn this color after they have matured. Check it out here.

Once the soft outer husk is removed, the inner nut shell can be cracked with a good smack from a hammer. I typically wrap the nuts in newspaper and then hit them through it. Since they are very hard and round, if they aren't confined a hit that isn't perfect sends them shooting across the floor. Once they are cracked open the nut meat can be pried out of the shell just like an English walnut with a little metal pick. The meat is white and delicious, a bit more earthy and maybe a bit more oily than an English walnut, but much more rewarding after the challenge of finding them and cracking them open. Not to mention at nearly $15 a pound in the supermarket, the effort will save big bucks.

Published on the EB Patch


What's a Frugal Locavore to Do

Posted by Friends EB EC on November 5, 2011 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The recent "Option Green" presentation, "Welcome to your Foodshed", was intresting and thougt provoking. The presentation and discussion, led by Nirit Yadin, was about what we eat and the food system we get most of our food from.  Thank you to everyone who attended and joined the conversation. Here are tips and suggestions that were presented at the talk:

Eating local means paying attention, time and money to your food rather than eating on the run and on the cheap. The result: healthier you, healthier soil, healthier environment, community and economy. Here are a few tips for time-crunched and penny-pinching people like most of us:  

Prioritize! Usually the time and funds that can be re-allocated to locally produced food are currently invested  in your TV and the internet.

Pay more, eat less . Better food—whether measured by taste or nutritional quality (which often correspond)— costs more, usually because it has been grown with more care and less intensively. However, high quality + high prices might help you control the urge to eat too much…and this is what we all want, isn’t it?

Read More

Green Book Club

Posted by Friends EB EC on August 10, 2011 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Introducing the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission's Green Book Club. We will be reading and discussing mainly nonfiction books with a “green” focus. Topics will include sustainability, nature, conservation and other subjects. Reading choices will include examples of individuals or towns employing environmental stewardship. Discussions may lead to ideas on how to implement changes in our own life to become more environmentally responsible. Our goal is to work as a group to encourage constructive thinking leading to environmental inspiration and solutions in our own town. Let's work together to make this happen while we enjoy reading good books and have stimulating discussions at our Book Club meetings.

Please join us for our first meeting, September 6th, 2011 from 7:00-9:00. We will be meeting in meeting room 3 at the East Brunswick Public Library. The first book chosen for discussion is:

Eating Fossil Fuels: Oil, Food and the Coming Crisis in Agriulture by Dale Allen

Remember the option to borrow books at EBPL via Interlibrary Loan.

A reviewer from stated:

"Eating Fossil Fuels," by Dale Allen Pfeiffer, is a fascinatingreview of the upcoming crisis in production of food for our population. Hestarts with a quick discussion of land degradation and water degradation, andthen goes into the data behind the use of fossil fuels in modern agriculture.With the approaching decline in global oil production, our ability to producefood will be severely compromised.

For anyone who reads much about "peak oil" or modern agriculturalpolicy, this will come as no surprise. Pfeiffer's book shines, though, in hisdiscussions of the examples of South Korea and Cuba. It is fascinating toconsider the different paths taken by each of these countries during theirpolitically-imposed sudden drop in oil availability.

Pfeiffer goes finishes with a discussion of sustainable agriculture and someideas for what a concerned activist might do.

On the whole, I learned much from the short, well-written book about animportant topic.