September 25, 2018 | ° F

PSEG Greenfest highlights companies' green initiatives

Photo by Andrew Howard |

Bill Nye, one of the keynote speakers at PSEG's Greenfest, spoke about the dangers of global warming, among other topics.

As if getting to see Bill Nye in person was not a good enough reason to come out to PSEG's GreenFest this past weekend, those in attendance also had the opportunity to learn how to save money and the environment.

The second annual GreenFest, which ran from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this past weekend at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, featured companies both large and small, showing off ways in which their products are helping the environment.

"We're sponsoring this to give other groups and organizations an opportunity to show people the simple things they can do in their daily lives to either save energy or use energy more efficiently," said Karen Johnson, PSEG director of communications.

Exhibitors ranged from environmental organizations like Hackensack Riverkeeper, a group whose goal is to keep the Hackensack River clean, to SolarSwim, a company who promotes using solar energy for pool heating. The event gave companies the opportunity to demonstrate to patrons of the event how they are taking steps toward more environmentally friendly practices.

In addition to companies promoting their products, GreenFest featured several well-known environmentalists as keynote speakers throughout the weekend. Attendees had the opportunity to see Bill Nye, the Kratt Brothers, Darryl Hannah, Ed Begley Jr. and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins.

Nye discussed how this generation will come to be known as the "climate generation," focusing on issues such as life on Mars and the continuing trend of global warming.

"Our world is changing; we had the space generation, but now we have the climate generation," Nye said. "To be a member of the climate generation, you have to be born after the 23 of June 1988. This was the first time Dr. Jim Hansen testified in front of U.S. Congress about the dangers of climate change."

At the forefront of the event was PSEG itself. Their booth, one of the largest at the exhibit center, highlighted the efforts the company is making to start using more renewable energy.

"We're an energy company, and we think that it's very important for people to understand how we should be promoting renewable energy," Johnson said. "We believe that global warming is one of the major environmental issues of our time, and we have to start doing things to address it."

One small soap making company called Storybrook Farms, based in Glen Gardner, was there to promote the use of all-natural ingredients in their products.

"I use all food-grade oils. I try and keep it as close to natural as possible," said Zoe Bleck, Storybrook Farms' CEO and the maker of all of the company's soaps. "I also buy all my ingredients locally."

Not only was GreenFest a place for vendors to show off their products, many parents brought their kids to learn more about the environment. Comedy group The Grand Falloons put on a children's magic show called "Professor W's Earth Science Circus," which taught kids about recycling and reducing waste.

Andrew Howard

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