Mayor Booker's Earth Day Letter
Dear Newark residents, businesses, visitors and friends:
It has been 39 years since Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 -- the results of a grassroots effort to bring national attention to and awareness of the condition of our planet's environment. Some 20 million people observed Earth Day on April 22, 1970, and in those four decades, Earth Day has become a worldwide event, and environmentalism has become an international issue. Climate change, global warming, recycling and energy-efficiency have become familiar terms and core concepts for everyone -- from large nations to small families. We have all learned the importance of acting locally to save a global environment in order to provide our future generations with clean air and good water.
In Newark, Earth Day is every day. Our administration's mission is to transform Newark into America's leading city in safety, prosperity and the nurturing of family life. A clean and safe environment is central to our success. We have rehabilitated parks, supported green construction and developed green jobs. We are rehabilitating our historic Passaic Riverfront, cleaning this waterway to restore its natural beauty and turn it into park space. We have motivated and mobilized residents of all ages to participate in energy efficiency, neighborhood clean-ups and other activities to improve the environment.
Earth Day is an opportunity to celebrate all we are doing to enhance where we live, work and play while we protect the planet.
Together, we are doing so much:
- More than 9,000 Newarkers have switched to energy efficient light bulbs
- With partners like the NJ Tree Foundation and the Greater Newark Conservancy, hundreds of trees have been adopted and are being planted in neighborhoods throughout our City.
- Thousands of residents continue to show their commitment to stewardship, their pride in place, by coming out for neighborhood clean up and beautification events.
Yet these steps, as important as they are, are only the beginning, just as Earth Day, important as it is, stands as only one day on our calendar. Earth Day serves to remind us of what we have yet to accomplish and how much we can achieve when we unite as a people and a City.
Today is also a time to think about how we can do more. We all have a green job to do. Together, we can address climate change globally by healing our environment locally. There are simple things each of us can do to conserve resources, save money and contribute to a greener, more sustainable Newark.
What else can we do?
- Our homes pollute more than our cars - by making our homes more energy efficient, we can save money and help save the planet.
- Many households in Newark qualify for free weatherization and others can tap into state programs to conduct an energy audit and find ways to save on utility bills. Call (973) 733-4311 for information.
- It is also possible to choose clean power from renewable energy sources such as wind and hydropower. Look for information in your utility bill.
- When you drive, you can cut costs on gas and reduce emissions by keeping tires inflated, your car tuned up and by not idling.
- We can also contribute to healthy air by reducing car trips and taking mass transit.
Please stay posted for all-City email messages with “green tips” about actions you can take both at home and in your workplace, to make for a greener world. I hope you will join in celebrating Earth Day every day, making use of these tips, and ensuring that Earth Day and environmentalism are a part of your daily life. We need your help in making Newark the greenest city in the Garden State!
Cory A. Booker