April 28, 2021- Submitted by the Cleaner Greener Hingham Committee
Though the official Earth “Day” may have passed, that doesn’t mean you can’t look for additional ways to help lessen your personal impact on our ever-warming planet. Even making a few small changes in your life, can go a long way. Over time, our habits have changed. Remember how European it used to feel when you saw someone bringing their own bags to do their shopping? Now it is mainstream to bring reusable bags to carry items home. Changes in these habits can really add up over time. Have you considered any of the below ideas to try with your family? If so, please comment and let us know your thoughts or share other ideas because Earth Day is truly every day.
Even switching your meal plans one day a week can avoid the greenhouse gasses associated with raising and consuming beef.
Grow your own garden
Lots of people started vegetable gardens during the pandemic to grow their own food, causing a nationwide shortage of seeds from seed companies.
Hingham Net Zero volunteers are helping fellow Hingham residents learn ways to increase energy independence at home by installing rooftop solar, purchasing electric vehicles, and installing electric heat pump systems.
Home Composting (or composting pick up services)
The EPA estimates that approximately 1/3 of the trash we throw away annually is compostable food waste and paper such as napkins, paper towels, and tissues. In 2020, Hingham residents threw away 5,104 tons of trash, which accounts for over 1,500 tons of compostable food waste and paper at a cost of $127,000. The cost of trash disposal is 26% higher this year so if you do the math, that will be $157,500 in 2021. Diverting this food waste from the trash just makes good cents (though maybe not as good scents). If home composting is daunting to you, there are services that do local pickups and composting. Or if you are intrigued and want to try it yourself, currently the Hingham DPW is offered discounted pricing on compost bins!***
The other bonus of trying these things? All these strategies can add up to significant energy savings for our town.
What are other things you have tried with your family?
***If you would like to purchase a bin, please contact the DPW at 781-741-1430. If you are new to composting, Cleaner Greener Hingham committee member and "compost queen" Janice McPhillips will be giving a free workshop about backyard composting via Zoom on Thursday April 29th at 7pm. The Zoom link can be found on the DPW's website here - https://www.hingham-ma.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1025
These “New Age Composter” bins are made out of recycled milk bottles right here in Massachusetts by New England Plastics, so your purchase helps support a Massachusetts-based business. The bin size is adjustable and can easily hold approximately 1 cubic yard of material, more than enough to compost all the vegetable and fruit waste that a family of 4 will generate in a year, along with leaves and other yard waste.