Garden State GreenFest
Circa 2011 & 2012


Established in 2008, Garden State GreenFest in New Jersey' was the state's largest environmental event! For a number of years this was the official site of the Garden State GreenFest.
Content is from the site's 2011& 2012 archived pages providing a glimpse of what the Garden State GreenFest was all about.

The last posts from the Garden State GreenFest are from 2014.

About Us

From the beginning, Garden State GreenFest has been dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering children and adults, individuals and families, urbanites and small town folks to come together in their communities and workplaces to create a more sustainable planet for future generations.  Every year we work to find great speakers, presenters and performers on a variety of topics.  The result is presentations, panel discussions and hands on workshops with something for just about everyone.

Garden State Sprouts GreenFest

By Claire Sommer, Neighbor | Mar 18, 2011 |

2011 Greenfest

Take the 10-minute trip down the parkway to Kean University in Union for this weekend's Garden State GreenFest environmental event.

The three-day show kicked off Friday and continues Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Evening events include the Planet Hugger Film Festival and the Saturday afternoon Jersey Pour 2011 beer and wine tasting.

For adults, the festival offers opportunities to discuss solar and energy-saving options with dozens of exhibitors, hear local experts talk about greener lawn care and starting green businesses, see films, learn about bee-keeping, sample organic beers and chocolate, buy eco-friendly fashion, and lots more.

Kids can check out a low-maintenance pet that never needs a walk (more on that below), get their hands dirty making seed ball bombs and pick up tips on how to get composting-resistant parents on the green bandwagon.

Saturday at noon, Jeff Yeager, author of "The Cheapskate Next Door," is scheduled to talk about "how living green costs less, not more."

His Friday presentation included a humorous "trashcan autopsy," where Yeager pulled typically tossed items such as clamshell packaging, individual serving containers and paper towels out of a trashcan.

"The autopsy shows how and where families are spending and wasting money and resources," he said.

For each item, Yeager suggested cheaper alternatives to keep money from being tossed in the trash.

The festival's keynote speaker is Bill Nye, known as "Bill Nye the Science Guy" from his Emmy-award-winning television show. Nye is scheduled to speak Sunday at 1 p.m. about how New Jersey residents can reduce their energy deficit.

Now, back to that low-maintenance pet: how about some worms? To learn more, stop by self-declared vermicomposter Irene Marx's booth in the children's area to learn more about starting and maintaining a worm bin at home or as a classroom project.

"Vermi means worm in Latin. Vermiculture, or worm farming, can reduce your trash and create rich compost for the garden with little to no work," said Marx.

The green film festival starts at 4 p.m. each day and includes high-profile films, such as "Who Killed the Electric Car" and "The Story of Stuff," as well as Sundance entry "The End of the Line" about overfishing and the 20-minute "The Meatrix" about factory meat production. Films are $5 per film online or $7 at the door.

The evening session for the Jersey Pour Beer and Wine Tasting Festival is sold out, but an earlier session from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. still has tickets available. A $5 cover charge bought online or $10 at the door gets you in with a souvenir beer or wine glass to sample organic cheeses, crackers and more. Drink tickets for wine and beer samples cost for $10 for 10 inside the venue.

General admission tickets are $10 online or $15 at the show; kids under 18 free. Ample free parking is available.

The festival, sponsored by Kean, The Star-Ledger, Prudential and PNC Bank, will feature state and regional green energy and environmentally-friendly businesses alongside famed science educator Bill Nye. The weekend-long event also will include "Jersey Pour 2011," a local and organic beer and wine festival, and an environmental movie festival.

Fun-Filled, Planet-Friendly Festival

The Garden State Greenfest is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and empowering children and adults, individuals and families, urbanites and small town folks to come together in their communities and workplaces to create a more sustainable planet for future generations. This year’s Garden State Greenfest will take place on March 18-20 at Kean University.

You’ll find much to inform, inspire and entertain you at the Garden State Greenfest.

  • Presentations from exciting, knowledgeable speakers, celebrities, and activists. 
  • Fun and interactive kids’ activities and workshops including composting with worms, organic gardening, trash audits, and animal conservation. 
  • Educational workshops led by knowledgeable, passionate experts on topics like home energy audits, organic gardening, solar and geo-thermal energy, green cleaning and more. 
  • Exhibitors showcasing all things green including organic food, clothing and household products, alternative energy, green building design, fair trade products and more Whether you’re already a green activist or a budding environmentalist, join us in Union, NJ March 18-20 as we celebrate our fourth annual festival!

It's Easy Being Green at GreenFest!

  • Bring your reusable water bottle and fill up with filtered water
  • Help us divert as much waste as we can from landfill!
  • Recycling for paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, metal
  • All food waste and plates, cups, utensils, get composted in compost bins!
  • Get here with public transportation; Union Train station is right next door!


Friday, March 23, 2011: 9am - 2pm
Saturday, March 24, 2011: 9am - 5pm


Kean University, Harwood Arena
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083


Adults: $5 in advance, $7 at the door
Children 17 and under: Free
Seniors 62 and over: Free on Friday. Proof of age required.



2011 Keynote Speakers

Bill Nye
Bill Nye
Appearing Sunday
Bill Nye, scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor, is a man with a mission: to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.

Making science entertaining and accessible is something Bill has been doing most of his life. “My family is funny,” he says, “I mean funny in the sense that we make people laugh, not just funny looking.” Bill discovered that he had a talent for tutoring in high school, and while growing up in Washington, DC. He spent afternoons and summers de-mystifying math for his fellow students. When he wasn’t hitting the books, Bill was hitting the road on his bicycle. He spent hours taking it apart to “see how it worked.”


Jeff Yeager
Jeff Yeager
"The Problem Is, It Costs More to Live Green"
Appearing Friday & Saturday

If that’s what you think, then you have a pleasant – and profitable - surprise in store. Author Jeff Yeager (AKA “The Green Cheapskate”) will show you how to save big money and save the planet at the same. According to Yeager, living a green lifestyle costs much less – not more – if you approach it from a cheapskate perspective. From conducting a “trash can autopsy” to learn how you’re throwing away money, to “creatively repurposing” everything from worn out pantyhose, old telephone books, and even eggshells, the Green Cheapskate will show you practical things you can do to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year and live lighter on the planet at the same time.


Casson Trenor
Casson Trenor
From saving the whales of the Antarctic to studying the salmon of Alaska, Casson Trenor has worked to support stewardship of our marine resources across the globe. Trenor has stalked the fetid warehouses of Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, spent two months journeying by ship through the icy waters of Antarctica, berthed on leaking wrecks off the African coast, and gone octopus fishing with holy men on the Island of Yap. In thousands of conversations with fishermen around the world, he has heard one statement repeated time and time again: 

“The fish are gone.” 

These four words led Trenor to realize that the oceans are in dire need of our help. 

Trenor is the author of Sustainable Sushi: A Guide to Saving the Oceans One Bite at a Time, designed to enable consumers concerned about environmental and health issues to dine with confidence at the sushi bar.

Brenda Greenfield
Fashion Show Designer
Artist and fashion redesigner finds inspiration all around her. Growing up on a farm in Wisc. taught her the importance of our earth and keeping it green. Having her family, which also included grandparents and great grandparents as her daily influences, her artistic sense began to develop. Brenda began to sew at an early age and almost immediately started to change the designs into what she wanted them to look like, not what was expected. It was common pratice to need the little extras for a project and with the question, "What can I use?" The answer often heard was, "let's go see what we can find". That's when the real fun began. Looking in grandma's closet, mom's sewing scraps, grandpa's toolbox, or dad's fishing stuff Brenda began to see that everything could have more than one use. To her it seemed like the whole world of fashion and art supplies just became limitless. It is with this mindset and vision of artistic possibilities that Brenda finds herself developing and showing her wearable art. She is honored that many of her wearable art creations have been featured in magazines.Going green to Brenda is in part the fun and playfullness in creating art and fashion from pieces that can tell a visual story. Rethink-Reuse



Event Schedule

We are excited about this year’s Garden State GreenFest lineup of presentations, workshops, and discussion panels. In addition to terrific talks on sustainability, this year we will host a wine and beer tasting, as well as provide a green video viewing area. Each year we work hard to be an eco-friendly event with water stations to refill water bottles, compostable utensils and plates, recycled carpeting throughout, and clearly accessible bins for recycling and composting… just to name a few.

*Please note that program details are subject to change.

GECKO - Kids Activity Zone

Visit GECKO, the kids’ activity zone for fun, interactive, educational activities that help children get in touch with nature!

Garden State GreenFest, a PlanetHugger Event, is free for kids and teens 17 years and under and makes a fun and educational day out. Our mission is simple: to educate, inspire, and motivate young folks to change the world, in small ways and big: whether by reducing their environmental footprint, becoming better earth stewards, advocating for environmental issues or growing up to work in a green field.


Saturday Activities and Workshops

Upcycle activities
One person’s trash can be another persons bowl, jewelry, gift box, bird feeder and more. You’ll be amazed at what you will learn in our Upcycling Center!

Environmental prayer flags 
- Create a flag with good wishes for the earth out of old material and hang it outside for the wind to carry its message far and wide



An aside: The Garden State GreenFest was a favorite of my kids. The events aimed speciallly at teens and younger children were engaging and fun. I always though it was the perfect vehicle for to educating, inspiring, and motivate young folks to change the world, in small ways and big. When I was planning a spring vacation during the kids April school break that would take us to Maui, my youngest, now 13 years old, asked how our trip would impact the environment. Hmm, I thought to myself. Here I was busy finding a Lahaina Shores rental that would accommodate all of us comfortably, checking flights, dealing with who we could ask to take care of the pets and plants, booking a limo service to take us to the airport, make sure all our beach wear including snorkeling gear was in good shape, and checking out what adventures we might want to take while on Maui. In order to give me a breather before answering her question, I suggested she do a little research herself, since I really didn’t know. However I was planning on renting us a hybrid van while in Maui.

A couple of hours later she came back and said, “Did you know that there is a company in Maui called Pacific Biodiesel Logistics that started the largest biofuel crop project on 115 acres in Central Maui, transitioning land previously used for sugarcane production into a field of sunflowers. It’s the only biofuel farming operation in Hawaii running on 100 percent renewable fuel. “ “That’s cool.” I say. “Also, there’s a company called Rising Sun Solar which co-founded the Hawaii PV Coalition in 2003, and is partners with the Maui Electric Vehicle Initiative. Their installers are also adamant about preserving the environment, planting koa trees for each of their customers and participating in Hawaii’s Clean Energy Goal, which strives to hit the 100 percent goal mark for renewable generation by 2045.

So what’s a koa tree? SO we started looking up the plants of Maui and decide that we should visit some of the island’s many botanical gardens. An off we went with her initial question about our air travel’s impact on the environment forgotten for the moment. I really believe that her imnitial interest in the environment was spark by the Garden State GreenFest. So thanks. Now I need to figure out how best to answer my daughter's question when she finally realizes that I haven't answered her yet! Oh, my.



What are the Garden State Green Awards?

The Garden State Green Awards, also known as the "Boggies," honor individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to the environment:
• Through preservation, reclamation or conservation activities;
• Advocacy and pursuit of ‘green’ lifestyles or business practices;
• Support or development of green/sustainable energy or energy conservation. 
The awards are named after the once abundant Bog turtle, which is now among 16 indigenous animals on the NJ endangered species list.

Honorees may have brought attention to a problem, pursued solutions, or inspired action. Honorees should have demonstrated that we can indeed “Save the Planet, One Person at a Time”.

2011 Award Winners

Individual K-8 Teacher: 
Douglas Jay, 6th Grade Teacher at Mount Pleasant Middle School, Livingston NJ

Individual High School Teacher: 
Lorna Wooldridge, Home School Educator, Great Meadows NJ

Individual K-8 Student : 
Marina Uliano, 3rd grader at Middletown Village School, Middletown NJ

Individual High School Student : 
Moriah Bauman, Senior at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Summit NJ

K-8 School: Southern Boulevard School, Principal Ralph Pesapane, Chatham NJ

High School: 
Roselle Park HS Ecology Club, 
Advisors Raymond Bangs and 
Mr. Dennis Dagounis, Roselle Park NJ

Public Official: 
Mayor John E. McCormac, Woodbridge NJ

Private Citizen: 
Kenneth Glynn, Flemingtown NJ

Corporate Citizen: 
Camp Taylor, Colombia NJ

Environmental Non-Profit: 
Foodshed Alliance, Blairstown NJ

Other Non-Profit: 
Homeless Solutions, Morristown NJ



Kean University: Union, NJ
Friday, March 23, 2012: 9am - 2pm
Saturday, March 24, 2012: 9am - 5pm


Garden State GreenFest offers environmental talks, awards and fun experiments

Posted Mar 23, 2012 | By Eliot Caroom/The Star-Ledger


Noah K. Murray/The Star-LedgerKean University hosted the Garden State GreenFest last year, and is also hosting this year's event.

UNION — Want to steep yourself in the latest on co-ops, composting and climate change?

Head over to the annual Garden State GreenFest, which will mark its fifth year today when doors open at 9 a.m. at Kean University in Union. The two-day event offers a mix of environmental talks, events and awards.

Some big name environmental draws will be in town, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., saluted by Time magazine as a "Hero for the Planet" for his roles as chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and president of Waterkeeper Alliance. Kennedy’s credentials don’t stop there, though: a lesser-known fact is that he is a licensed master falconer.

Scientist Bob Pflugfelder will show off fun and possibly explosive experiments that he’s previously showcased on television shows including "Jimmy Kimmel Live," the "Doctor Oz Show" and "Live with Regis & Kelly."

Attendees will get actionable information as well: Leslie Reichert, author of the book "The Joy of Green Cleaning," will share green housekeeping tips to make homes safer.

Also on the program is Christy Morgan, known as "The Blissful Chef," who specializes in cooking that steers clear of processed food and harnesses the power of veggies. Don’t worry: she’ll be giving out samples.

Tickets can be bought in advance or can be purchased at the door for $10 a day.

GreenFest sponsors include Public Service Electric & Gas, The Star-Ledger, PlanetHonda and Kean University.




10 to 11 p.m.

• Insects: Dan Smith Kateri Environmental Center (Main Stage)

• School Field Trip: The 4 R's Penny Jones, Association of NJ Recyclers (Breakroom D-169)

• The Joy of Green Cleaning: Leslie Reichert, Author "The Joy of Green Cleaning" (Breakdown D-170)

11 a.m. to noon

• One Earth So Green and Round:
Lydia & Kathy (Main Stage)

• School Field Trip Program: What You Can Do More or Less Marc Rogoff - DEP (Breakroom D-191)

• Always and Forever: The beautiful truth about natural burials and green funerals
Robert Prout, Prout Funeral Home (Breakroom D-169)

• Sustainable Jersey: How Towns Can Save Money and Energy and Implement Sustainable Jersey Energy Actions (Breakroom 170)

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Garden State Green Awards Luncheon
(D'Angola Gym)

Noon to 12:30 p.m.

• School Field Trip Program:
The Science of Green Cleaning Leslie Reichert, Author "The Joy of Green Cleaning" (Breakroom D-191)

Noon to 1 p.m.

• School Field Trip:
What the Freak is Fracking? Food & Water Watch (Breakroom D-169)

I Pledge Allegiance to Home Sweet Home:
Penny Jones Association of NJ Recyclers (Breakroom D-170)

12:30 to 1 p.m.

• School Field Trip Program:
The Science of Green Cleaning Leslie Reichert, Author "The Joy of Green Cleaning" (Breakroom D-169)

12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

• Powered by the Sun Awards
(Main Stage)

1 to 2 p.m.

• School Field Trip Program: What You Can Do More or LessMarc Rogoff - DEP (D-191)

• School Field Trip: Have a Career in the Green Economy Dr. Nick Smith-Sebasto (D-169)

• Sustainable Jersey: Your School as a Learning Opportunity for Energy Conservation


10 to 11 a.m.

• How You Can be a Part of Healthier Communities: Renee Koubliadis The Citizens Campaign (Breakroom D-191)

• Energy 101: Gray Russell Environmental Coordinator, Township of Montclair (Breakroom D-169)

What the Freak is Fracking?
Food & Water Watch (D'Angola Gym)

10 to 10:30 a.m.

Student Led Sustainability Summit

10:30 to 11 a.m. 

Student Led Sustainability Summit

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

I Pledge Allegiance to Home Sweet Home:
Penny Jones Association of NJ Recyclers (Breakroom D-170)

11 a.m. to noon

• Leslie Reichert:
Author "The Joy of Green Cleaning" (Main Stage)

• Your Future in the Green Economy: Prof. Nick Smith-Sebasto, Kean University (Breakroom D-169)

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Investing In Your Values:

Eric Packer Professional Asset Management Group (Breakroom D-191)

• Indoor Air Quality Health & Wellness in Buildings:

Chris Murphy Smart Little House (Breakroom D-170)

11:30 a.m. to noon

• Student Led Sustainability Summit (K-127)

Noon to 1 p.m.

• Lydia & Kathy: One Earth So Green and Round (Main Stage)

• Always and Forever: The beautiful truth about natural burials and green funerals
Robert Prout, Prout Funeral Home (Breakroom D-169)

• The Facts About Genetically Modified Food: Food & Water Watch

Noon to 12:30 p.m.

Student Led Sustainability Summit

1 to 2 p.m.

• Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
(Main Stage)

2 to 2:30 p.m.

• Partner With Your Backyard Eco-System:
Dr. Jim Conroy & Basia Alexander Tree Whisperer (Breakroom D-169)

2 to 3 p.m.

• The Importance of Green Body Care:
Dr. Vinay Desai, Desai Soap
(Breakroom D-191)

2:30 to 3:30 p.m.

• Science Bob: The Fizz, Pop, Boom Side of Green Science (Main Stage)

• Green Home Energy Tips: Gray Russell Environmental Coordinator, Township of Montclair (Breakroom D-170)

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

• The Realities of Climate Change: Harriet Shugarman The Climate Project (Main Stage)

• Blissful Bites: How Eating Vegan Can be Delicious and Good for You Christy Murphy, Author Blissful Bites (Breakroom D-169)




2012 Keynote Speakers


Robert F. Kennedy Jr

Visionary Environmental Business Leader Advocate




Science Bob Pflugfelder

As seen on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Live with Kelly


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group's achievement helped spawn more than 130 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.


Green science isn’t all organic produce and wind turbines.  Science Bob Pflugfelder is a science teacher that has recently shared his love of science on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Live with Regis & Kelly, and The Doctor Oz Show.  He’ll show us how green science can be fun, and even explosive with experiments that you can try at home, and some you should definitely not!

Mr. Kennedy serves as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Earlier in his career he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City. He has worked on several political campaigns including the presidential campaigns of Edward M. Kennedy in 1980, Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.


He has worked on environmental issues across the Americas and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress.


Leslie Reichert

Author of “The Joy of Green Cleaning”


Among Mr. Kennedy's published books are the New York Times’ bestseller Crimes Against Nature (2004), St. Francis of Assisi: A Life of Joy (2005), The Riverkeepers (1997), and Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr: A Biography (1977). His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside Magazine, The Village Voice, and many other publications. His award winning articles have been included in anthologies of America’s Best Crime Writing, Best Political Writing and Best Science Writing.


Leslie Reichert, "The Cleaning Coach", is a nationally-recognized green homekeeping expert dedicated to educating people on keeping their homes, schools and work areas "green". Leslie's mission is to teach and encourage others in the "art" of green homekeeping. Leslie is a green consultant whose wit, insight and humor has raised the "green" awareness in all of us. Leslie writes for a number of websites such as "The Daily Green" and is also featured as the green expert for in Boston.

Mr. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and received his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation he attended Pace University School of Law, where he was awarded a Masters Degree in Environmental Law.

He is a licensed master falconer, and as often as possible he pursues a life-long enthusiasm for white-water paddling. He has organized and led several expeditions in Canada and Latin America, including first descents on three little known rivers in Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela.


Leslie's warm and energetic workshops and trainings serve to improve awareness with simple steps that make a home safer for everyone. Her speaking skills put a room in an enthusiastic and open frame of mind about "thinking green". Clients such as National Grid and Mass Maritime Academy along with many women's groups have used her material to remove toxins in the home and the work place. Leslie is also a TV personality, appearing on Green House Project, and author of the book "The Joy of Green Cleaning" which is available internationally at






Directions to Harwood Arena, Kean Uinversity:

1000 Morris Avenue • Union, NJ 07083 • 908-737-KEAN (5326)

BY Train FROM Union Station

Located at 900 Green Lane in Union, N.J., the station is directly across the street from Kean’s main campus. Union Station is on NJ Transit’s Raritan Valley line, which runs northeast to Newark Penn Station, and southwest to High Bridge in Hunterdon County.

For a Raritan Valley line train schedule


Elizabeth Station is located on West Grand Avenue, one block west of Broad Street in Elizabeth, N.J., which is just two miles from campus by bus or taxi. The NJ Transit Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast line trains stop there. The Northeast Corridor line runs northeast to Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station, and southwest to Trenton. The North Jersey Coast line runs northeast to Newark’s Penn Station and New York City and southeast to Bay Head in Ocean County.

BY Bus

NJ Transit #52 and #26 between Elizabeth and Springfield pass the Campus on Morris Avenue. NJ Transit #113 between Plainfield and Port Authority Bus Terminal, New York, stops at Salem Road and Morris Avenue.

For further information about fares and schedules for buses and trains, visit