Why New Jersey Is A Haven For The Environmentally Conscious

New Jersey Future

In New Jersey, a lot of things that are deemed harmful to the environment have become things of the past. Whether through legislation or socio-civic efforts, the state has advanced sustainable practices that make it a wonderful place to move to for people who want to start a new, more planet-conscious life elsewhere.

Here are the top reasons why New Jersey has become a safe haven for the environmentally conscious:


1. Clean Environment as a Legal Right

In 2020, New Jersey made history by being the first state to pass a far-reaching environmental justice law in the country, imposing strict requirements on permit applicants in the state. The goal of this measure is to reduce possible public health stressors in the state, declaring that “all New Jersey residents, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, color, or national origin have a right to live, work, and recreate in a clean and healthy environment.” 

Because of this piece of legislation, anyone who wants to open waste facilities or large recyclers in the state is required to prove that they will not place an undue burden on residents in terms of pollution and any other threat to public health.


2. Easy Access to Solar Power 

New Jersey has likewise been proactive in making renewable energy accessible for its residents. Through the Community Solar Energy Pilot Program, NJ residents are allowed to buy power from community solar farms in remote locations.

This is a wonderful alternative for people who would love to switch to using solar energy in their households but cannot, or are not allowed to install solar panels in their houses. This includes renters and those who live in vertical housing projects.

Making the switch to solar energy is not just good for the environment, it’s good for your finances, too. You can check just how much you stand to gain in energy savings at choosesolar.com when you subscribe to a community solar farm in New Jersey.


3. Ban on Single-Use Plastic

2020 was a huge year for NJ. Aside from the blanket environment protection law discussed earlier, the state also passed a law banning single-use plastic, single-use paper bags, and plastic foam containers.

This is a strong stance, considering that other states simply imposed a higher fee on paper bags, allowing residents to pay their way out of doing their part for the environment. When people are still given the option to use these ‘convenient’ packaging modes, a fraction of the population would definitely continue using them, to the detriment of the planet.

New Jersey’s massive prohibition on plastic and paper bags, as well as styrofoam, promises better safeguards to the environment, and a little cost to consumers.


4. High Regard for Animal Welfare

When people talk environmental justice, the images that first come to mind involve planting trees, conserving water, and lessening urban pollution. We tend to forget that animal welfare is a huge part of caring for the planet, too.

At least, New Jersey didn’t forget.

Since 2016, NJ has intensified its crackdown on the inhumane industry of puppy mills by only allowing pet stores to sell dogs and cats obtained from shelters and animal rescue organizations. With this, it’s safe to say that #AdoptDontShop is more than just a catchy tagline for the state.

More than that, New Jersey is also the first-ever state to ban the declawing of cats.


5. Efforts to Reestablish Recycling

Generally, NJ is doing great with its recycling efforts. The state recycles about 44% of the waste collected, which is above the national average. But this is just not good enough for state leaders. Lawmakers have been looking for ways to further improve this statistic, with a specific focus on reducing the volume of waste generated in the first place.

Preserving the environment is a lifelong pursuit. While there are efforts we can do individually, collective action as empowered by state legislation and incentive programs like the ones available in New Jersey stand to produce more powerful, long-lasting effects on restoring some of the earth’s natural glory.

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