4 Eco-Friendly Ideas for a Fantastic School Year

When the sun sets on summer and the school year looms, most kids aren’t thrilled to head back to class. However, it’s an important time to consider eco-friendly habits both in and out of the classroom. And like most things in life, it all comes down to looking at things through a new pair of eyes. These four eco-friendly ideas for a go-green year at school will give you the sight to see differently.

1. Carpool Karaoke
For work, for school, for everyday travel—carpooling is a sure-fire way to cut down on carbon emissions, help save on gas, and promote green-minded thinking.
If you’re in high school and have a license, pull together a group of friends for some carpool karaoke. That means more time together and more memories for you and your friends. And if those friends are licensed drivers, you can easily take turns picking up and dropping off on the way home or en route to school.
Same story for parents: if you drop off your child at school every morning, chat with the other parents about their schedules. Taking turns a few days a week will be good for your wallet and great for the environment!

2. Get Creative
Let’s face it: art supplies are pricey. And with all the presentations, book reports, and poster board projects your child will bring home from school this year, there’s an eco-friendly alternative. So think outside the box-shaped superstore; there are endless supplies all around you!

  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Junk mail
  • Clothespins • Paper towel rolls
  • Cardboard
  • Coffee filters
  • Milk jugs

3. Host a Solar Cookout
Solar cookouts have come a long way since the days of half-cooked hotdogs. Grilled cheese, mini pizzas, s’mores, and cheesy nachos are just a few ideas that’ll satisfy the kids when you’re showing them the power of the sun.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Empty pizza box
  • Black paper
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Tin foil
  • Ruler
  • Tape
  • Knife

Here’s what you’ll need to do:
First, you’ll want to cut a large flap into the top of your pizza box, careful not to sever the piece from the box entirely. Next, cover the flap with tin foil. And with the flap still open, use a large sheet of plastic wrap to create a window for sunlight to pass through the square cutout and into the box (be sure the wrap is tightly taped to the sides of the box). Now line the bottom of the box with black paper.

Using rolled up newspaper, tape to the inside walls of the pizza box for insulation. This will help keep heat from escaping. Now, use a ruler to prop the flap open, and angle the flap so that sunlight is reflected from the foil and into the box. Now you’re cooking!

4. Take a Field Trip
Some of our fondest memories from school are from taking interesting field trips near and far. There are dozens of places right here in Cumberland County that offer up a wealth of insight and imagination for little ones. Here are a few to consider:

And if transportation is a problem for you and your school, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority will come to you! Talk to Rita about our well-received school-based recycling and Clean Communities presentations by calling 856.825.3700, ext. 2170.

For more information on going green in Cumberland County, scroll through the rest of our blog by clicking here.

CCIA Announces New Clean Streets Program

MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY (August 8, 2017) – Always looking for innovative ways to keep Cumberland County’s 540 miles of roadways litter-free, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority (CCIA) recently initiated the Clean Streets Program. The program is administered through the CCIA’s Clean Communities teaming volunteers with CCIA staff to remove litter from the roadways throughout Cumberland County.

Clean Streets is a spin-off to the Cumberland County Housing First Program, funded through the NJ Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA). With Gateway Community Action Partnership (GCAP) as the lead agency, area partners have taken this step to provide assistance for the county’s chronically homeless population.

Participants are selected through a referral process and approved by GCAP/NJDCA. They then meet with the service team consisting of a housing engagement office, community mentor, peer support, social work case manager, health care case manager, certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor or nurse.

CCIA board member Albert Kelly contacted Cumberland County Clean Communities Coordinator Anthony Riviera regarding the Housing First Program. “Everyone needs a purpose, a reason to get up each day,” commented Kelly. “CCIA’s resources and experience fit the bill.” Working with the partners, the Clean Streets Program was not far behind.

“Litter is a constant challenge for our county and we quickly move on any chance we have to check it,” said Riviera. “NJ Clean Communities provides funding for such opportunities as this collaboration. The expertise of those involved assures us the volunteers would be a great compliment to our clean communities staff. It’s a win-win all the way around.”

As part of the Clean Streets program, volunteers receive Walmart gift cards each week they participate. Work schedules are arranged to accommodate the LAX transit schedules, a free service provided by Cumberland County. The CCIA provides the necessary gear to outfit the volunteers. Mandatory safety equipment and training is also provided.

The first two volunteers from the Bridgeton area to enter into the CCIA’s Clean Streets Program were introduced to the CCIA Clean Communities staff mid-July. Prior to the program, both men have been individually dedicated to help keep the Downtown Bridgeton appearance attractive and litter free. Byron Calakos, CCIA Clean Communities staff and crew leader, commented, “I travel the roads of Cumberland County every day and see what litter does to detract from where we live, work, raise our families. These volunteers bring a strong sense of pride and responsibility to the job. I’m happy to have them as part of our CCIA team.”

The Clean Streets crew has cleaned more than 40 miles in Bridgeton, Fairfield, Millville, Vineland, Deerfield, Maurice River Township and Commercial Township since it started three weeks ago. As a result of these efforts, 6,380 pounds of litter have been removed from the roadways. CCIA plans to continue with this very successful program and assisting GCAP and the Housing First Program. For more information on the Clean
Streets Program, contact Mr. Riviera at 856-825-3700 x2010.

In addition to its environmental related initiatives, the CCIA is responsible for the development, financing and project management of projects and programs most vital to sustaining the economic and environmental future of the County and the state of New Jersey. The CCIA works in tandem with the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders to foster greater economic growth, business development and quality of life for all Cumberland County residents.

Summer Vacation Recycling Tips

Whether you’re sunning it up in San Juan or seeking adventure in the Adirondacks this summer, some things slip your mind. Tropical drinks, sand in your hair, kids all running amuck—the last thing anyone thinks about on vacation is responsibility. And understandably! You work hard, and you play hard, too. But that doesn’t mean all you know should go right out the scenic window of your three-and-a-half-star hotel.

When you’re camping, road-tripping, or seeing the sights this summer, respectfully recycle with the following tips:

1. Road trips—you love them or hate them. And if you love them, chances are you’ve brought along a good soundtrack, lots of snacks, and a cooler filled with soda. Bring a long a few trash bags to stow your empty cans, bottles, wrappers, and rubbish in. Keep your car clean and your conscious, too!

2. No Vacancy for litter. If you’re overnight at a hotel, ask the clerk at check-in about the best way to recycle items from your room. And waiting for the maid in the morning is probably not the best way! It’s never acceptable to trash an item that can be recycled; take action where you stay.

3. Reuse, reduce. It’s hard to take the kids into the pharmacy or dollar store in the summer time without coming out with brightly-colored shovels, pails, and sand molds. But instead of buying MORE plastic, look around your home for interestingly-shaped objects or buckets. A serving spoon is much more durable than a flimsy plastic shovel!

4. Prepping for the trip. It can be exciting to pick up last-minute items before going on holiday this summer. Hair care items, new perfume, after shave, and sunblock too. But think about your options—what is most responsible and cost-effective: buying one of every travel-size product on the shelf, or purchasing reusable bottles to fill with mouthwash, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc? Make the best decision for you and the environment.

For more tips on how to GO GREEN in summer ’17, scroll through the rest of our blog, or contact the Cumberland County Improvement Authority at 856.825.3700.

Summer Crafts and Activities for Kids Using Recycled Materials

Now that school is out and summer is in, there’s a whole lot of extra time on your kids’ hands. And whether you’re a parent, camp counsellor, childcare worker, or Sunday school teacher, we think these crafts made from recycled materials will both encourage creativity and show the beauty of reinvention.
Check out the list below as compiled by KinderArt.com:


What You’ll Need:
• Glue
• Pencil
• Paintbrush
• Carboard or cardstock
• Dry beans in different sizes and colors (kidney, black beans, peas, lentils, etc.)

What You’ll Need to Do:

1. Sketch a rough design on the cardboard or cardstock of your choosing. For this project, it is best to keep it simple.
2. Using the paintbrush, spread glue on a portion of your design. Please note, too much glue will make flimsy cardboard curl.
3. Press beans of different color, size, and shape into the portion with glue to bring your design to life!



What You’ll Need:
• Toilet paper or paper towel roll
• Paint
• Paintbrush
• Small paper plate
• String or yarn
• Glue
• Scissors
• Hole Punch

What You’ll Need to Do:
1. Paint the paper plate and toilet paper roll with a color or design, and embellish as desired.
2. Allow the roll and paper plate to dry, and punch three holes at the bottom of the roll, forming a triangle at the edge.
3. On the other end, punch two holes directly across from another.
4. Glue the roll down at the center of the plate with the two holes facing down.
5. Loop your yarn or string through each of the three holes at the top, fill with birdseed, and suspend!



What You’ll Need:
• Clothespins
• Buttons, google eyes, glitter, embellishments
• Hot glue gun
• Magnet strips
• Poster board
• Pencil
• Paint/Markers
• Scissors

What You’ll Need to Do:
1. Trace the first letter of your name on the poster board about 3 inches in height, and use your materials to embellish the letter to your desire.
2. Carefully cut out the letter from the poster board, careful not to leave any rough edges.
3. On the backside of your clothespin, adhere the magnetic strip using a hot glue gun, and let dry.
4. On the front side of your clothespin, glue on your cut-out letter, careful not to let hot glue run down the back.
5. Hang up on your fridge, and voila!

For more on summer recycling, contact the Cumberland County Improvement Authority at 856.825.3700.

Cumberland County Improvement Authority Hosts NJCCC Safety Training

MILLVILLE, NEW JERSEY. (June 26, 2017) – Participants in the NJ Clean Communities Certification Program (NJCCCP) attended the last phase of their curriculum in Cumberland County on Friday, June 23, 2017 at Wheaton Arts in Millville. NJCCCP is a training program developed by NJ Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) and administered by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education to provide Clean Communities coordinators with the skills they need to effectively manage Clean Communities programs.

The day began with a presentation by Karla Rossini of Citizens United Maurice River and an introduction to the Maurice River. The history of the region as well as its future was provided by Ms. Rossini to the group attending from various Southern New Jersey municipalities.

Anthony Riviera, County Coordinator for Recycling and Clean Communities, gave the safety training demonstration prior to the actual cleanup on the Maurice River Nature Trail. The safety kit given to Cumberland County volunteers was described and Cumberland County clean community programs, such as Adopt-a-Road, were highlighted.

Clean-up of the Maurice River Nature Trail began at Sharp Street Park, ending at Waltman Park. Many of the sites and foliage pointed out in the CU Maurice River presentation were discovered along the way.

Refreshments were provided by Millville eatery, BJ Roasters. The following received certificates from Sandy Huber, NJCCC Executive Director: Robert Anderson and Christine Stackhouse of Wildwood, Rachel Barton of Burlington County, Stephen Camp and William Macomber of Avalon, Deborah DeShields and Nathan Dunn of Fairfield Township, Carol Evans and Brad Griffin of Little Egg Harbor, Rebecca Gibula of Stone Harbor, Gary Sloan of North Wildwood, Linda Thomas of Lower Township, Raymond Sloan of Manchester Township, and entertainer Bill Kerwood of Magical Results.

A tour of Wheaton Arts museum, craftsmen and exhibits completed the day’s activities, highlighting the culture and history of Cumberland County.

In addition to its environmental related initiatives, the Cumberland County Improvement Authority is responsible for the development, financing and project management of projects and programs most vital to sustaining the economic and environmental future of the County and the state of New Jersey. The Authority works in tandem with the Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders to foster greater economic growth, business development and quality of life for all Cumberland County residents.

Contact: Anthony J. Riviera III
Cumberland County Improvement Authority 2 North High Street
Millville, NJ 08302
Phone: (856) 825-3700 x 2010
Fax: (856) 825-8121