April marks our sixth issue, and to all of you, we are so grateful.

This month at Northwest Bergen Lifestyle, we bring you our Eco issue in honor of Earth Day on April 22. When my staff began the process of researching what our residents are doing to sustain and protect our planet, I thought it would be a tremendous challenge; I soon learned otherwise and was pleasantly surprised with their findings.

Ridgewood resident Jeanne Johnson started Ridgewood Walks, an initiative that encourages health and safety by promoting walking to connect businesses and neighbors in Ridgewood. Throughout the year, RW hosts month-long walking tours, such as “Step Into Summer!” in June and “Walktoberfest” in October. We all know the numerous benefits of walking that contribute to a healthy body and mind. Walking also reduces emissions and offers a safer place for our children to live in.

According to Jamie Knott, owner of The Saddle River Café, the restaurant is Green-certified by the Green Restaurant Association. They’ve taken the eco-friendly concept to the next level by replacing plastic straws with paper ones, using biodegradable take-out containers, offering fully insulated paper coffee cups that don’t need sleeves and bottling all of their own water to avoid recycling plastic containers.

And how about the children of the Willard Elementary School in Ridgewood? Walk through the school and you’ll see cartons of sparkly garbage, big bags full of those pesky plastic grocery bags and plastic bottle tops overflowing from cardboard boxes. Go just outside the building and a compost machine sits ready to be filled with leftovers from healthy snacks. It’s easy to see that the students at Willard have set an amazing example for everyone to recycle in our communities and beyond.

Congratulations to Glen Rock! You have added to the list of initiatives mentioned above which now include the collection of Styrofoam and the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. The goal of the EV charging stations is to encourage as well as facilitate EV usage.

We hope the stories in this month’s issue invoke feelings of gratitude for the wonderful world we live in—and the wonderful people in our community who strive to sustain it. Not sure where to start? Read what’s inside this issue and you’ll be inspired to get on board.

As always, please keep it local because local is a phenomenal place to be. We have so much to offer right here in Northwest Bergen County, so let’s take advantage of it.

And lastly, thank you to our readers and businesses who have joined the mission to protect our planet.

Have a beautiful beginning to a wonderful spring season!

Marc Schwartz, Publisher