Reproduction of article published March 14, 2022 by Tap Into East Brunswick, Written by Maureen Berzok
Inspired by the upcycling initiatives of local Dawoodi Bohras, the New Jersey Legislature introduced a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Sterley Stanley and Assemblyman James Kennedy that will establish April 16th as the annual Upcycling Day in the state’s calendar. The bill passed unanimously in the New Jersey Assembly Environment Committee this week. It now heads to the floor for a vote by the NJ State Assembly.
Our more than 200 families, spread across the state, worship at Zainee Masjid, or mosque, located on Dunham’s Corner Road in East Brunswick, which was inaugurated in August 2004.
For the last two years, the New Jersey community of Dawoodi Bohras have been undertaking a range of sustainability initiatives as part of Project Rise, the faith’s global program to raise the living standards of vulnerable members of society while working to enhance the natural environment.
The philosophy of Project Rise is that global development challenges, ranging from hunger and poverty to climate crisis and education, cannot be addressed in isolation. Collective and collaborative efforts are required to ensure improved socio-economic conditions for children and families the world over.
In July 2021, New Jersey’s State Legislature passed a joint legislative resolution that recognized the efforts of the Dawoodi Bohra community in undertaking environmental and sustainability initiatives that benefit both their neighbors and the community at large. The resolution was sponsored by LD 18 Assemblymen Sterley Stanley and Robert Karabinchak and State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan Jr and presented at a ceremony attended by Assemblyman Stanley, Mayor Brad Cohen, Councilman Dinesh Behal, and East Brunswick Economic Development Officer Robert Zuckerman.
Assemblyman Stanley commented “It has been exciting to witness the progress of this initiative and its growth over time. I am looking forward to increasing awareness of upcycling and its benefits to the environment with this legislation.”
Members of the New Jersey Dawoodi Bohras attended the state legislature meeting to show their support for the new bill. The Bohras’ ongoing efforts to lead sustainable lives and enhance the natural environment include:
- Volunteering to clear local parks and waterways of plastic trash as part of their global Turning the Tide initiative.
- Teaching children to reuse, recycle and upcycle, such as turning used laundry soap containers into planters for herbs and flowers.
- Eliminating the purchase of single-use plastics, which carry a huge environmental burden in landfills and oceans.
Link to the text of the bill: