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Last Chance: Take Sustainable Challenge

Borough residents have until July 31 to complete challenge and enter to win prizes.

There's only a few days left to complete the Morris Plains Sustainable Challenge, where residents sign a pledge to make sustainable changes in their own homes for a chance to win some prizes.

The pledge lists out several activities for residents to choose from, ranging from one to five points, that participants can do to make their homes more "green."

The contest is organized by the borough's Sustain the Plains Committee, the group working to make Morris Plains a certified sustainable community.

To officially enter the challenge, participants must select at least 10 points, and sign and return the form by Tuesday, July 31. To access the form, visit the borough's website.

Some of the options worth one point are turning off the water while brushing teeth, turning off the lights when leaving the room and reducing shower time to two minutes. Residents can pledge to wash laundry with cold water, purchase products made from recycled materials and run the dishwasher with full loads for two points. In the five-point category, residents can agree to use a mulching mower, compost kitchen and yard waste, and take part in community cleanup.

"It's a practice to get people to live in more sustainable ways," councilwoman and member of the Sustain the Plains Committee Laurie Fu said, "to think about what they're doing in their day-to-day lives that can help them be sustainable."

Signing the pledge and completing 10 points will automatically enter the participants in a raffle to win a compost bin or a wheeled recycling bin.

While these changes are happening in individual homes, it is also helping the borough as a whole become more sustainable.

The Sustain the Plains Committee has been working to obtain 150 credits in "green" events in order to become certified under the Sustainable Jersey Program. This event is worth 10 points, and Fu said she believes the borough might reach that mark with this challenge.

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