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Green City: Jersey City

We, the editors at eco18.com, have decided to chronicle our travels and highlight some of the green aspects in various cities. Please feel free to submit city ideas and information for upcoming Green City features. 

Jersey City is New Jersey’s second largest city and sits directly across from Manhattan over the Hudson River. Once an undesirable neighborhood, over the years Jersey City has become a thriving community and a popular place to live for young professionals and families. There are so many reasons to love Jersey City like the delicious restaurants, historic architecture, the vibrant culture, strong sense of community, the beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline as well as the city’s embrace of all things green and eco-friendly.

Green Living

Madox Apartments located  in downtown Jersey City opened its doors in 2012 and was the first LEED-certified residential building in the city. The building features rooftop solar panels, has reduced water usage and 35% of the building’s energy comes from renewable resources. The Cast Iron Lofts are another eco-friendly, LEED Certified building that utilizes energy efficient windows and has energy star appliances in every unit. If you are just passing through Jersey City, check out the Hyatt Regency on the waterfront that makes sustainability a priority. Their efforts include conserving energy and water, recycling, using locally grown and organic food at their restaurant and as of April 2012, they also have a rooftop beehive. The beehive consists of 36,000 honeybees that make approximately 100 pounds of honey per year – enough for the Hyatt’s restaurant and lounge.

In April 2014, the TelCo will be opening up on 8 Erie Street in Jersey City, a building project from the HGTV “Kitchen Cousins” stars Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri. The new building was once Jersey City police headquarters and will now feature16 residential units, one restaurant and a market – all of which will have an eco-friendly focus. The building will have a rooftop “solar farm”, energy efficient elevators and tank-less water heaters. The Erie Street Market will feature vendors and utilize local foods and ingredients.

Sustainable Restaurants

There is no shortage of delicious places to eat in Jersey City, in fact The New York Daily News has  recently named Jersey City as the “hot new foodie destination in the NYC area”. For something a little more casual try Razza Pizza on Grove Street, a restaurant that also uses seasonal produce and locally source ingredients – everything from the bread, butter and toppings on their pizza! My new personal favorite is Sam a.m. – a local breakfast and lunch restaurant in the Paulus Hook area that opened this past summer. It’s a farm to table restaurant with a cozy environment, welcoming staff and absolutely delicious food.

Farmers Markets, Parks and Urban Gardening

Jersey City loves their farmers markets! There are seven different farmers markets that are a part of the Jersey Fresh Farmers Markets program – one for each day of the week that are set up at different locations in the city. The farmers markets start as early as mid-April and last until as late as mid-December and offer over 100 varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs that grow in New Jersey.

If you’re looking to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful Manhattan views and nature, Jersey City has over 60 parks including Liberty State Park that overlooks the Statue of Liberty and Reservoir #3 in Jersey City Heights that has a meadow, nature preserve and lake all in one. Residents can also try their hand at gardening with Jersey City’s Adopt-a-Lot Urban Gardening program. The way it works is you sign a two-year lease for $1 and you create beautiful flower and/or vegetable gardens on un-used city lots or plots of un-used park lands.

There are so many other things to do and places to see in Jersey City that haven’t made this list – let us know what your favorite is.

Lauren Verini