The mission of Sustainable Ridgewood is to educate, connect, and inspire active citizenship among Ridgewood residents on issues related to sustainability.
  • Educate — increase local knowledge and interest in issues related to sustainability.
  • Connect — connect community members to local groups, initiatives, events, ideas, and opportunities.
  • Inspire Active Citizenship — through education, connection, and a shared sense of community pride with the end objective of improving the sustainability of our community.

A Message from Sustainable Ridgewood

“We believe that small intentional steps at the local level are an important part of mitigating Global Climate Change. Everyone needs to do their bit. There will be no vaccine for climate change.”
— Sustainable Ridgewood

This website arose from a wish to transition my family to a more sustainable way of life; a desire to reduce waste, to save energy, and to do what I can, in my own life, to contribute to the global environmental challenges we are facing. To preserve the future of our children and our planet, I believe we need to come together as a community to make these changes. 
Sustainable Ridgewood is a place to find practical information, support, community, local knowledge-sharing, and a whole bunch of resources to get you started.   
The impetus for Sustainable Ridgewood came from recognizing information on sustainability to be fragmented and broad. With many of us leading busy lives, sifting through all the information out there is time-consuming and low on the priority list. We hope to change this.   
This website aims to be a hub of local information and general guides to sustainability around the home, and in the community. All content has been generously provided by generous members of our community here in Ridgewood and Glen Rock. Occasionally, I have hired a professional writer with an environmental science background.   I have also added my voice to discuss and share knowledge from my own sustainable journey with my family over the past few years.   
To tackle the broader science of climate change and its manifestations, we have partnered with Concern USA, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (Columbia University), and the Ridgewood Library.    
Joanna Hanrahan, Founder


1. Who is the Sustainable Ridgewood Group?
The Sustainable Ridgewood Group is a trifecta of sustainability resources (sustainableridgewood.org, Sustainable Ridgewood Facebook group, and the Sustainable Zoom Series in partnership with Ridgewood Library.
2. Is the Sustainable Ridgewood Group affiliated with Green Ridgewood or the Ridgewood Green Team?
Sustainable Ridgewood is an independent organization devoted to promoting sustainability primarily working with residents and our schools.  
Green Ridgewood is the official environmental advisory committee appointed by the Ridgewood Village Council. Its Green Team subcommittee is responsible for maintaining the Village’s certification in the state supported Sustainable Jersey program.
While run separately, the two groups support each other working towards the shared goal of sustainability. 
 3. How can I get involved?
These are four easy ways that you can get involved in our mission to make Ridgewood more sustainable:
i. Get involved in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Certification Program
a. Yourself, or by encouraging our local schools to sign-up
b. To learn more, you can email Christine Amundsen, the Energy expert for Ridgewood Public Schools.
ii. Attend a Ridgewood Green Team Meeting
a. Normally held the first Thursday of every month at 7pm in the Garden Room at the Village Hall – virtual for the time being. Check out their meeting dates, minutes and other regular updates here greenridgewoodnj.org
b. Contact Bob Upton to join the monthly meeting or become part of the team.
iii. Attend a Shade Tree Commission meeting
a. Every second Tuesday of every month in the Garden Room in the Village Hall at 7:30pm – virtual for the time being
b. Contact Carolyn Jacoby to participate or ask any questions regarding planting and sustainable tree growth in Ridgewood.  
c. Other ways to help with this topic? Carolyn suggests donating to the Arbor Day Foundation and planting a tree in your backyard – it’s beautiful, rewarding, and a carbon sink
iv. Other ways of giving, if your tight for time:
a. Supporting the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory run by Columbia’s Earth Institute
b. Supporting Concern USA  (humanitarian organization involved with poverty and developing countries, and their increased vulnerability to the negative impacts of climate change)
4. How can I educate myself further on issues related to sustainability?
Well, it begins here! You can find a sustainability road-map, for personal and lifestyle choices, on this website’s how-to-guides. You can find a compilation of recommended resources—both local and general—here as well.
You can also join our affiliate Facebook group Sustainable Ridgewood where you can participate in public discussions by community members on issues related to sustainability. This is a place for sharing resources, ideas, asking questions, and having a healthy debate.
Finally, we invite you to take a listen to the “Think Global, Act Local” episode of the Ridgewood Public Library Sustainable Zoom Series. They conclude:
  • Sharing in best practices and coordinating techniques can help build sustainable networks of resilience
  • By bringing about a greater awareness to ourselves and each other, we can foster a culture of sustainability
  • The more we make ourselves as individuals, an active part of sustainable community development, the more sustainable our communities will become.

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