July is plastic-free month, a global movement which started in 2011 intended to make individuals more conscious of their trash creation by focusing on the reduction of single-use plastic. NJ’s recent plastic bag ban is a great place to start. Whether it’s at home, at work, or within your community, there are numerous other ways to reduce your plastic use and live more sustainably. Following a Zero Waste lifestyle, recycling, composting, shopping locally, or shopping secondhand are all ways in which you can practice this. Read on to learn about what businesses in Essex County can help you be more sustainable.
Composting is an excellent way to honor plastic-free month. Composting reduces greenhouse gas, creates soil, and minimizes landfill waste. You can compost in your own backyard (it’s especially great for a garden) or send your food scraps out to businesses such as Java Compost or Green Bucket Compost.
Green Bucket Compost provides services to Maplewood and Millburn residents. If you are looking to have a sustainable B’nai Mitzvah, Sweet 16, quinceañera, wedding, or any other event, Green Bucket Compost has different options for food scrap collection, including an at-home pickup program.
As of May 2022, Java’s Compost has kept over 1.2 million pounds of food scraps from meeting landfills and incinerators. Java’s Compost is currently available for households and businesses in Bloomfield, East Orange, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Maplewood, Madison, Millburn, Montclair, Morristown, Orange, Millburn, South Orange, Verona, and West Orange. If you don’t live in any of these communities, don’t worry — Java’s Compost has drop off locations in Newark and Glen Ridge.
Freecycle is a grassroots movement of over 5,000 communities engaging in free item exchanges. You can join by signing up and joining whichever group location pages you desire. There are Essex County, Clifton, and Wayne groups. You can offer items or ask for items within the groups. Available items range, but have included bed frames, sewing kits, and bicycles.
The fashion industry contributes to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global wastewater. By 2030, it is estimated that humans will be discarding more than 134 million tonnes of textiles annually. Fast fashion, overconsumption, and overproduction are several factors leading to textile waste. These textiles can either be recycled or reused by another person through resale, thrift, and consignment shops. However, many items will never be recycled properly due to the variety of materials and nonrenewable resources used to create it. By shopping second-hand, you can help prevent these textiles from reaching landfills and contribute less to fast fashion. These shops are not just limited to clothing, but may include furniture, containers, electronics, cooking supplies, and books.
List of Thrift, Sale, + Consignment Shops in Essex County
^ Maplewood Mercantile (Photo credit: @maplewoodmercantile)
- B. Savvy Consignment & Accessory Boutique | 176 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland
- Connie’s Vintage Trunk | 220 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
- DoubleTake Luxury Consignment | 800 Morris Turnpike Suite 105, Short Hills
- First Presbyterian Church of Verona | 10 Fairview Avenue, Verona
- Hana Mission Thrift Store | 180 Washington Avenue, Belleville
- Heavenly Finds Thrift Shop | 94 East Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston
- Jerry’s Antiques + Estates Sales | 229 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
- Little Treasure Thrift Shop | 2 Maple Avenue, Montclair
- Luxury Love Consignment | 574 Pompton Avenue, Cedar Grove
- Maplewood Mercantile | 145 Dunnell Road, Maplewood
- Montclair Antique Center | 34 Church Stree,t Montclair
- One Savvy Design Consignment Boutique | 629B Valley Road, Upper Montclair
- Once Upon a Child | 137 US-46, Fairfield
- Plato’s Closet | 137 US-46, Fairfield
- Rosemarie’s Rescue Ranch Resale Shop | 528 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
- Save + Rave Consignment Shop | 615 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
- The OpShop at Saint Peter’s Church | 271 Roseland Avenue, Essex Falls
- The Variety Thrift Shop | 12 South Essex Avenue, Orange
- Toni’s Community Closet | 73 South Fullerton Avenue, Montclair
- Valley Vintage | 168 South Valley Road, West Orange
- Vintage Alley | 730 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
- West Village Clothing | 410 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood
- Willing Hearts | 492 Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell
Too Good To Go
More than one-third of all food is wasted, but Too Good to Go is trying to combat that. It partners with businesses to provide consumers a way to acquire food that would otherwise be thrown out. You can download the free app to discover which local businesses are offering discounted produce, baked goods, and meals.
List of Essex County Businesses on Too Good to Go
^ Elephant Plate
- Blue Hippo Coffee Co | 662 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
- DA Guyanese Flavor Restaurant | 1006 Bergen Street, Newark
- Dry Goods Refillery | 193 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair
- GreenGrocer Food Hub | 27 Carteret Street, Bloomfield
- Le French Dad Boulangerie | 10 Church Street, Montclair
- Millburn Deli | 328 Millburn Avenue, Millburn
- Millburn Deli | 256 Park Street, Montclair
- Pamcake Sweets + Treats
- Pag’s Restaurant | 227 Franklin Avenue, Nutley
- The Able Baker | 187 Maplewood Avenue, Maplewood
- Sweet Portugal Bakery | 27 Fleming Avenue, Newark
- The Elephant Plate | 10 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair
- The Elephant Plate | 346 Millburn Avenue, Millburn
- The Greek Place | 55 East Mount Pleasant Avenue, Livingston
- Yellow Rose Vegan Bakery & Cafe | 410 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood
Zero Waste Stores
Zero waste is a concept aimed at waste prevention. It encourages people to rethink their waste production and is not just about recycling, but about reusing and reducing. The ultimate goal is for no trash to end up in landfills, incinerators, or the ocean. Zero waste looks different for everyone based on their affordability and lifestyle needs. Some can live a nearly waste-free life while others only do so in the kitchen. Zero waste stores provide consumers with an assortment of sustainable products. Their entire inventory is curated with reusable and almost entirely plastic-free print such as bamboo toothbrushes, cloth diapers, and stainless steel containers. Zero waste stores may also have an assortment of loose dry goods such as pasta, lentils, and coffee beans. Customers can bring reusable containers made of glass and even plastic to fill with these dry goods. They may also sell locally grown produce, dairy products, and meat.
List of Zero Waste Stores in Essex County
^ Dry Goods Refillery
- Dry Goods Refillery | 193 Bellevue Avenue, Montclair
- Good Bottle Refill | 179 Glenridge Avenue, Montclair
- Good Bottle Refill | 1875 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood