Beacon Hill Civic Association Community Corner: What is Zero Waste?

By Janine Jay, BHCA Streets and Sidewalks Green Initiative

Zero Waste is a movement where you aim to send nothing to a landfill. To do it, you reduce what you need, reuse as much as you can, send little to be recycled, and compost what you cannot. As the old New England proverb goes “Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without”! The ultimate goal of Zero Waste is to move to a circular economy, just like the natural world around us. Though it can seem daunting – waste is really just bad design.

So why do we need to do this? The average American sends 4.4 pounds of trash to the landfill every day. And besides the amount of trash, landfills are toxic- they’re responsible for 20% of the US methane emissions and they tend to have hazardous materials in them (batteries, cleaners, and electronics) that leach into the soil and can run off into the ocean and ground water. And this not your fault! We live in a disposable society where often times there aren’t any other options other than to generate trash. But it’s time to challenge that notion and create a world where we can make better choices.

So how do I get started? There are so many ways to start, you can’t really go wrong! You can replace a disposable item with reusable item such as replacing paper napkins with cloth napkins. Or you can do a trash audit to see what you tend to throw away and find a solution for a reusable or compostable option for that. Now this isn’t to say that you should throw out all your disposable items and buy all the replacements right away, it’s important to use up what you have, and then when you need to buy some more, opt for the reusable option instead! There are so many resources online with ideas of how to replace different items. And to be honest it is a really fun game. Once you start replacing items around your home, you become on the hunt for something else to replace. The sustainability bug really does get you!

Upcoming Meetings and Events*

Events Committee, Tuesday, June 29th, 6pm at 74 Joy Street

Young Friends Social, Wednesday, June 30th, 6:30- 8:30 at the Esplanade Dock

Meet & Greet, Monday, July 5th, 6pm at Alibi

* Email us at [email protected] or call the office (617-227-1922) for joining instructions or additional information.


Summer Evening at Otis House, Wednesday, July 28th, 6pm

BHCA Fall HillFest returns on Sunday, September 12th, 12-4pm

Join a BHCA Committee!

The Beacon Hill Civic Association has various committees that focus on a targeted range of issues and initiatives aligning with the BHCA’s mission of Community Building, Civic Engagement, and Historic Preservation. Committee chairs are board members who volunteer their time and share their expertise to implement plans that relate to the goals of the organization for the good of our neighborhood. The BHCA encourages interested neighbors to become members of the BHCA and to join any of our Committees that match your interests.

Become a member!

If you have yet to become a member of the BHCA, we invite you to join. For 99 years, we have worked to preserve this special neighborhood. By joining our membership, you strengthen our numbers and add credibility to our purpose as advocates for Beacon Hill. Most importantly, you join a community of residents, businesses, and volunteers who work together to keep our neighborhood vibrant. Visit or call the office at 617-227-1922 to become a member and get involved today!

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