Small Things

“Not all of us can do great things.  But we can do small things with great love.” 

Mother Teresa

‘Tis the season of love, so I thought it would be a nice time to reflect on the small things we can do to live more sustainably.  Many people get frustrated when they can’t make huge changes, like buying an electric car or going off the grid, but the little acts are important.   The little acts, performed with great love, can create a paradigm shift that opens up more opportunities for sustainable living and a cleaner, greener future.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Recycle! Now is a great time to start recycling as we are in the middle of Recycle Mania!
  • Compost!  Did you know that almost everything from the cafeteria is compostable?  The only things that can’t go into the compost bins are glass, plastic, and metal.
  • Turn off your computer monitor when you leave your office This simple act can save a lot of money and energy.
  • Go vegetarian or vegan!  Factory farming is a major contributor to climate change and produces massive amounts of pollution.  Giving up or reducing your animal product intake is a compassionate choice that’s also good for your health!  Choose veg!
  • Divest from fossil fuels!  Did you know that this week is Global Divestment Week?  If you have a retirement account or investments, you can choose where your money goes!  This small act sends a powerful message to the fossil fuel companies. 
  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE BCC GREEN TEAM BLOG!  Sign up with your email to get updates on campus green events, local volunteer opportunities, and eco-friendly tips. 

Last Week!

Well, we are in the middle of Week 8 – the last week of RecycleMania.  So, if you have any files you plan to clean out anyway, if you get them into recycling bins by Friday afternoon, they will be counted in our Week 8 total.  The Week 6 results are now posted, and BCC is holding strong at #15 in the nation, with a 58% recycling rate…  Thanks to all the support this has had – it looks like we may be able to beat the goals we set for ourselves! (Our goals were to get into the Top 25, and to get to a 55% recycling rate).

Benefits of RecycleMania

We’re still going strong – the Week 5 Results were posted yesterday, and BCC is #15 in the nation with a 58% recycling rate.

You may be wondering – how does this benefit BCC?  After all, there is no “prize” – only recognition.  But the main benefit is what our monitoring and reporting tells us about our own waste stream.  For example, over the last few years, we’ve learned that we needed fewer trash dumpsters and fewer pickups by Allied Waste.  We also increased pickups of most recyclables.  The net result is that BCC saved several thousand dollars a year.


Fourth Among Community Colleges!

Through four weeks of competition, we’re still doing great nationally – #13 with a 59% recycling rate.  In the state of Massachusetts we are ranked #2 (congratulations to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy with an 80% recycling rate!), and we are ahead of a lot of great Massachusetts schools (Harvard, Tufts, Brandeis, MIT, Amherst, Bunker Hill Community College, and Boston College, among others).  And among two-year schools in the nation, we are currently #4.  Congratulations everyone, and remember, everything that makes it to the right bin between now and March 29 helps us meet our goals.

BCC #12 in the Nation

As expected, the document shredding / recycling by the Business Office last week really gave a boost to our recycling rate.  (And yes, I did check with the RecycleMania “brass” first to make sure we could count that).  We currently have a recycling rate of 63% and have jumped to #12 nationwide!  Of course our final position will almost certainly be lower than that, since we don’t shred 5,000 pounds of documents every week (!)  But, our chances of finishing in the Top 20, with more than a 55% recycling rate, are looking good.  See official Week 3 results here:

RecycleMania Week 2

We’re still in the Top 20 nationally!  Though in Week 2 our recycling rate slipped a bit, look for a big jump in Week 3 due to a massive paper-shredding by our Business Office (thank you Mitch and Bill for sharing those numbers!).  If you have comments, suggestions, or “inspirational recycling stories” (!) please let us know.

If you want to see how BCC stacks up against other schools, here are the official Week 2 Results from RecycleMania:

First Week of RecycleMania!

The results are in for the first official week of RecycleMania – and BCC is currently #18 in the nation, out of 215 colleges and universities.  Our recycling rate is 54% (on our path to Zero Waste, our goal for this year is to reach a 55% recycling rate – every single item which gets reused, or finds its way to the right bin, will help us reach our goal).  Congratulations BCC, and keep it up!  See complete results for Week 1 here: