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Junior Green Team

The Rumson Junior Green Team was formed in 2020 to create an avenue for high school aged kids and young adults to work with the Rumson Environmental Commission as well as the Mayor and Borough Council of Rumson to help our community become more sustainable.

Junior Green Team Members

From left to right: Jack Theodore, Avery Albanese, Charlotte Stant, Michael Benedetto (President), Cassidy Cashion, Erin Kenney

New Junior Green Team Members

From left to right: Ella Saric, Lilly LeRoy, Caroline Finn, Charlie Patton, Person Meek, Michael Chen, Reed Hall, Quinn Lumsden

The Junior Green Team has a unique perspective on how sustainable practices affect our community and how younger people in particular can be a part of a transition to sustainable practices. A perfect example is the multifaceted anti-idling project. The Team conducted detailed research on the effects of idling in our community, identified where idling is most likely to occur and worked with the Environmental Commission to create an Action Plan to address the issue. The team created a written report with a detailed map of where idling occurs most frequently, requested signs for those locations, proposed the reprinting of educational bookmarks to hand out at the more busy locations and collaborated with the Environmental Commission to propose a No Idling Resolution that would codify the state mandate in our municipal code. Please email with any questions about the Rumson Junior Green Team.

SPOTLIGHT: Scarlett Butters
Scarlett is 17 and a senior at Trinity Hall. She was born and raised in Rumson, NJ. She has recently become an avid environmental advocate. She hopes to pursue studies in the environmental field in her future. Growing up with two brothers and a sister, she loves being active and spending time with family. She also has two adorable dogs, Paddington and Kensington, loves playing soccer, and enjoys spending time at the Jersey shore. 

JENNIFER CROW: In 2020, as a member of the Rumson Junior Green Team, you started working on a social media initiative: Conscious Campaign.  Can you explain the Conscious Campaign and why you felt it was important?

SCARLETT BUTTERS: The conscious campaign was a social media initiative that I felt would be extremely helpful for the community to understand how many things that can be affected from simple changes in our everyday lives. There is never anyone or anything too small to make a difference and through the Conscious Campaign, it was a way to make everyone aware of the small things that anyone and everyone can do to make a small difference on the environment. 

JC: What message are you hoping the Conscious Campaign sends to followers?

SB: I hope that the Conscious Campaign sends across the message that there is no action too small to help make a difference on the environment. It was meant to help encourage the understanding that small changes in simple tasks that we all do everyday, with the help of everyone, can make all the more difference. 

JC: Through your research, which posting of your Conscious Campaign did you find most interesting or surprising?

SB: I found the post about food waste the most interesting because it was amazing to see how much food Americans waste per month and even per year. One of the statistics that the post showed was that 40% of all food produced is not eaten. That is almost half! It allows us to be conscious of this and try and eat more leftovers or instead of ordering out, cooking food you forgot you had or trying to make something new. It definitely made me more aware of my food waste. 

JC: What can community members do to be more environmentally conscious?

SB: Community members can first of all become more knowledgeable about what exactly is causing all of this environmental destruction and how we, as humans, play a big part in it. Maybe read an article or two on climate change or pollution and research small things that can be done on an individual level that contributes to eliminating the problem. I always think that knowing how the Earth will be affected after all is said and done is a good motivational factor to help community members to be more conscious of the small things that they can change that lead to the end goal; a healthy and sustainable planet. 

JC: Is there anything else you would like to share regarding your Conscious Campaign?

SB: One thing that I would stress would be that any change in one’s daily life has a positive effect on the environment so any and all changes that one can make is helpful. The more the better of course but any change makes a difference. 

JC: What message would you give other students your age about caring about the environment or getting involved?

SB: One message that I would give to other students my age about caring about the environment is that I never realized how much of an impact we all have on the Earth in the future. There is no second Earth and with that thought in mind, we have to care for and preserve it so that it is protected and healthy by the time we are old enough to appreciate it. To do something small within your everyday life such as participate in the Conscious Campaign or volunteer at a beach sweep makes all the more difference when we all do it together. 

Link to the archive of SPOTLIGHT interviews.

The Rumson Junior Green Team celebrated Earth Day 2022 by launching a tennis ball recycling pilot program at the Victory Park tennis courts. The program was conceived by Junior Green Team member, Reed Hall, who is a life-long tennis player. “Unlike soccer balls or basketballs that can easily be pumped back up and reused, tennis balls are usually thrown away after a couple of uses,” explains Hall “and a tennis ball takes 400 years to decompose”. Through his efforts, the program expanded from Rumson's Recreation Department to include two high schools (RFH and Ranney), as well as tennis professionals at Spring Lake Recreation Department and Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club. By summer’s end, Hall had collected nearly 2,000 tennis balls which will be recycled into new sports courts, horse footing, or re-pressurized and provided to underprivileged tennis programs.

Each decision you make throughout your day has an impact on our environment. By choosing products that use less packaging, less harmful chemicals or less negative production techniques; you can do your part to protect our natural resources and keep our ecosystem in balance. The Rumson Junior Green Team has created a list of Sustainable Brands to help facilitate that process. This list is ever evolving so please send any information on sustainable brands you might know about to or and we will research products and add to our list. Happy Shopping!

  1. List of Sustainable Brands
  2. Anti-Idling Resolution
    1. Junior Green Team Idling Report 2020-Final
    2. 2020 No Idling Letter to Council
    3. 2020 Adopted Idle Free Resolution
    4. 2020 Proposed NO IDLING signs Map
  3. Created Educational Games
    1. Four Bingo Games — Download: SpringSummerFallWinter
    2. Scavenger Hunt — Download here!
  4. Created Social Media “Environmental Consciousness Campaign Insta: rumsonenvironment”

No-Idling Poster
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