Housatonic River Cleanup — THIS SATURDAY

Looking for something to do this Saturday?  Join the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA)  for a Housatonic River cleanup!   The river cleanup sponsors include the City of Pittsfield and American Rivers.  Morning coffee, pastries, lunch, and goodie bags will be provided by the following local businesses: Alnasco, BlueQ, Panera Bread and Guido’s.  Work gloves and bags will also be provided.

WHEN: Saturday, June 11 from 9:00am – 1:00pm
WHERE: Meet at Wahconah Park, Wahconah Street, Pittsfield
INFO: Crews will be organized and dispersed north towards Pontoosuc Lake and south towards Linden Street. A few crews will use canoes to paddle and pick up trash (water level permitting). Please let BEAT/HVA know if you want to bring your own canoe or kayak. Old clothes, a hat, sunscreen, old sneakers or waterproof boots or chest waders, a water bottle (or two) and sunglasses are recommended.  A limited amount of waterproof boots are available to borrow. Registration is not required, but very helpful for planning crews and lunch. Let us know you are coming – please call HVA at 413-394-9796 or send an email toadixon@hvatoday.org

If you aren’t able to do the actual cleanup, volunteers are always needed to help with morning set up and breakdown – such as setting up coffee and snacks; picking up donations from Panera Bread the night before; registering volunteers; giving out gloves and bags as well as lunch set up and cleanup. We can even use help posting flyers and helping get the word out.


RecycleMania Results are In!

The results have been tallied and we are proud to announce that BCC has finished 1st in Massachusetts and 5th in the nation! 

In the past few years, we have worked our way up to a 75% recycling rate.  That’s huge!  3/4 of our waste is being diverted from the trash through re-use, recycling, and composting.

Looking for additional ways to reduce your waste footprint?  Here are some helpful hints and a little shameless self-promotion:

  • Bring your own coffee mug: Not only are you reducing your waste, but you are also saving money in our cafeteria.
  • Bring your own refillable water bottle:  With our new filtered water filling stations in Paterson, Field, and SBA, you can have cool filtered water at any time!
  • COMPOST COMPOST COMPOST: Composting on campus has never been easier!  Look for the green receptacles and don’t be afraid to ask a Green Team member if you’re not sure what to compost.  Paper towels, napkins, food scraps, and most of the containers in the cafeteria are compostable.
  • Sign up for the Green Team blog: Stay informed of campus greening efforts and events as well as helpful hints and information.  We won’t clog your inbox and that’s a promise!

April 25th: Green Up Day PLUS Community Shredding Event!

Please join us for the annual Campus Green Up Day on Monday, April 25th, 2016.  Our activities include, but are not limited to: trail and meadow maintenance, planting and mulching, and yard and garden cleanup.  Since Melville and Hawthorne are under construction, our work will focus on other parts of the campus.  In case of inclement weather, our rain date is Friday, April 29th.

To sign up for this day of community-building and beautification, please fill out our easy-to-use online form: https://www.berkshirecc.edu/forms/campus-greenup.php

In addition to the Green Up activities on April 25th, we will also be hosting a FREE community shredding event with Valley Green Shredding from 9a-12p.  If you have old personal records and would like to get rid of them safely and securely, come on down!

If you have any questions or an idea for a project, please contact Charlie Kaminski at ext. 2105.

Live Eagle Cam from Washington, DC

Love eagles?  Love baby birds?  Check out the 24-hour live eagle cam from Washington, DC.  In 2014, a pair of mated Bald Eagles chose the U.S. National Arboretum as their nest site.  Their nest is located high in a Tulip Poplar tree within the Azalea Collection. The site is operated by the United States Department of Agriculture.

This is the first Bald Eagle pair to nest in this location since 1947. The two eagles have been named “Mr. President” and “The First Lady.”  The first egg hatched on March 18th and the second egg hatched two days later on March 20th.

Click here to watch the LIVE eagle cam!

© 2016 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG.

Can You Compost It?

BCC has now entered the 2nd week of RecycleMania! 

We would like to offer some helpful tips on reducing trash and making a HUGE impact through small actions.  This week’s theme is compost!  Here’s an easy guide to help you when you aren’t sure what to put in the compost versus the trash:

compost infographic

Let’s Get Ready To RECYCLE!!!!!

RM_logo_2016Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of year again: RECYCLEMANIA!!! 

For those of you new to campus or BCC’s green initiatives, Recyclemania is an annual contest at colleges and universities across the country.  This friendly competition helps to promote waste reduction activities and monitors our progress as we move toward our zero waste goal at BCC.  Over the course of 8 weeks, we will be tracking our trash, recycling, and compost.

Last year, BCC performed exceptionally well, finishing up with a 70.6% recycling rate.  We ranked 8th out of 232 institutions and placed 1st in the state. That’s very impressive!  Let’s aim higher in 2016!

Ready to reduce and recycle?  Follow these easy guidelines!   Have a question?  Contact a Green Team member; we are happy to help!


Welcome Back!

Welcome back to campus, BCC!  The Green Team hopes you had a terrific winter break!  We are excited to share some updates with you and the college community.


  • The cafe now has compostable hot beverage lids!  Thanks to Kevin Kennedy for his dedication to reducing our waste stream!  Check out his display in the cafeteria that highlights all of the compostable utensils and containers.  In the meantime, here are some photos as a friendly reminder of what can go into the green compost bins across campus:

index 3indexindex 2

  • The Green Team will be partnering with MassPIRG, League of Women Voters of Williamstown, and the Service-Learning department to host two voter registration drives.  Stop by to register to vote, ask us some questions, or just say hi!  If you are a Massachusetts resident with an RMV-issued ID, you can now register online!  It only takes a few minutes!  Remember, YOUR VOTE = YOUR VOICE
    • Tuesday, February 2nd, from 11am to 1pm, Cafeteria
    • Tuesday, February 9th, from 11am to 1pm, Cafeteria
  • Subscribe to our blog for regular updates, information, and tips on greening your office and life

Bring Us Your Bulbs! (Light Bulbs, That Is!)

Thanks to a collaboration with MassSave, the BCC Green Team will be hosting a FREE LED light bulb exchange this week.  Our goal is to help people to save money and energy while reducing consumption and carbon emissions.

We will be accepting old bulbs from students, faculty, and staff in exchange for a shiny new LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulb.  They have a 20+ year lifetime!  As there are limited supplies, we are asking participants to initially limit themselves to one exchange.  If there are LED bulbs remaining toward the end of the program, the Green Team will open it up for “seconds.”  These bulbs can be used at work, at school, or at home!

Exchange Dates and Locations:

Tuesday, November 17: 11am-1pm in BCC cafeteria

Wednesday, November 18: 11am-1pm in BCC cafeteria; 4pm-6pm in F208

Thursday, November 19: 11am-1pm in BCC cafeteria; 4pm-6pm in F208

If you cannot make it to one of these exchanges, please contact Charlie Kaminski (ext. 2105) to make other arrangements.  Please click here for additional information on MassSave and the bulb exchange.

Berkshire Natural History Conference — THIS SUNDAY (11/8)

With great excitement and anticipation, BCC is excited to announce the inaugural Berkshire Natural History Conference!  This conference will feature local and regional naturalists, acclaimed authors, special exhibits, a book sale, and a raffle.  Admission includes brunch and access to all presentations.

What: Berkshire Natural History Conference

When: Sunday, November 8th from 9am-4pm

Cost: $20 general admission/$10 student admission (Preregistration required)

Where: The Berkshire School, Sheffield

Sponsors: Berkshire Community College, The Berkshire School, Green Berkshires, MCLA, Orion Magazine, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, and the Hoffman Bird Club.