By Cathriona Fey
BAPA Community Outreach Liaison
As we welcome in the New Year, many people are creating resolutions. In 2020 we found ourselves cleaning more, disposing of more, clicking on and ordering more; not necessarily prioritizing the impact of these actions on the environment, but more so the importance of these actions to our day-to-day lives during a pandemic – and that’s okay!
For 2021, as you develop your personal, professional and health resolutions, BAPA is asking neighbors to make green resolutions too. Identify simple changes and commit to making them. In one year’s time, these small changes can have a big impact.
Here is a list of green resolutions you can adopt:
Minimize the Number of Delivery Boxes: When ordering multiple items online, check to see if you can select an eco-friendly delivery option that will condense items into fewer shipping packages. You may have to wait an extra day or two, but consciously choosing a green delivery option can add up to a lot less waste by the end of the year. Although cardboard can be recycled, the bubble wrap and plastic or Styrofoam package fillers are not. The more items in a package, the less fillers are needed.
Minimize Plastic Shopping Bag Use: COVID-19 has suspended the use of reusable bags at most stores. Cut back on the amount of plastic you bring home from the grocery store by requesting paper bags, asking store clerks to use fewer bags when bagging items, and using self-checkout and bag your own items more efficiently. When buying produce, skip the produce bag if possible. If you find yourself with a stockpile of plastic bags, bring them to a local store with collection containers, such as County Fair, so bags can be recycled.
Opt for Reusable Water Bottles: Drinking more water is always a top resolution, especially after the holidays. Investing in a durable insulated reusable bottle instead of opting for a plastic bottle of water or can not only help you stay on track with your goal to drink more water, but to help reduce plastic waste and water usage. Check out Running Excels to purchase a new water bottle.
Reduce Your Lawn Size: Lawncare season is just a few months away. This year, minimize the amount of grass you have to mow and decrease your use of water and chemicals by shrinking the footprint of your lawn. Can a portion of your lawn be converted to native grasses and plants? That would decrease the amount of maintenance needed and increase the amount of natural habitats for regional insect species.
Green Your Carryout Orders: If 2020 showed us anything, it’s that our community knows how to show-up for our local restaurants and order carryout when indoor dining isn’t an option. When ordering takeout this year, request that the restaurant not include utensils or napkins –– you have these at home. And if not needed, take a pass on the condiments too. Many of these items just end up in the trash. Save our restaurants money and divert this waste by opting for a green order.
Check the Beverly Free Box: Looking to get rid of items around your house? Looking to purchase something new? Check-in with the Beverly Free Box on Facebook first. Our community is fortunate to have an active Free Box Facebook group with over 3,000 members offering and searching for a wide range of items from dining room table sets to children’s books, winter coats and boots to kitchen appliances, and a whole host of other items all for free. Simply post your request or item you have to the group and arrange pick-up. Help out a neighbor while also helping the environment!
Start a Compost Bin: More time at home means more food prepared at home. Have you become a professional quarantine chef? Has your coffee pot been working overtime as you work from home? If you have food scraps and coffee grounds, you have the perfect start to a compost bin. Diverting food, leaves and even grass clippings from the trash benefits the environment and creates nutritious compost for garden beds. Not a gardener? Do not worry, posting your available compost on Beverly Free Box is sure to attract multiple green thumbs in the neighborhood willing to pick it up!