Since Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, it continues to spark awareness of the need to conserve our natural resources. Here are some of our staff’s favorite tips on reducing, reusing, and recycling.
Reduce energy, material, and food waste with our daily purchasing decisions.
- Buy local. Reduce the mileage that your food and other items travel to reduce your carbon footprint, because local products don’t require long trips to get to market.
- Plan before you shop. Buy only what you need, whether it’s paint or groceries, to minimize waste. When possible, purchase items with the least amount of packaging, for example loose lettuce vs. lettuce prepackaged in a hard plastic case.
- Cut down on junk mail. Control the junk mail that you choose to receive by register with the Direct Marketing Association’s DMA Choice Program. There is a $4 processing fee that will cover you for 10 years.
Reuse and repurpose clothing and household items to reduce landfill.
- Join local swap groups. For example, Bedford has an active Buy Nothing Facebook group where residents share everything from children’s toys and clothes to gently used patio furniture. These groups are a fun way to save money and also to engage with your community.
- Visit local and online thrift and consignment shops. Wearovers, located at 119 Great Road, Bedford offers a nicely curated selection of quality women’s clothes. A convenient online option is Thredup, where you can sell and buy gently used clothing at reasonable prices.
- Donate usable clothing and household items. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Center, 100 Chelmsford Rd, North Billerica accepts appliances, home goods, furniture and building materials. Items can be dropped off or picked up. You can also shop at the center, with your purchase supporting Habitat for Humanity
Recycle, to change discarded materials into new products.
- Visit your town’s recycle center. Bedford’s Compost and Recycling Center accepts yard waste, textiles, metal, glass, cardboard and lithium batteries. Special collections occur periodically for items including old electronics, bulky rigid plastics, paper, propane tanks and fire extinguishers.
- Composting reduces waste, strengthens soil, and promotes healthy plant growth. Bedford residents can purchase a bin, enroll in the pilot Drop-off Program at the Compost and Recycle Center, or sign up for Black Earth’s Curbside Composting. Check with Bedford or your town’s Department of Public Works to learn about your composting options, it’s surprisingly easy to do.
If you are looking for some inspiration or just a wonderful story, read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss online. It’s an important reminder of how precious the Earth’s natural resources are.