Sunday, January 04, 2015

Cape and Islands - Happy New Year 2015

Cape and Islands has said good-bye to 2014 and has embraced the New Year 2015. And of course, what is New Year's with out a list of resolutions? So, in addition to the usual slew of good intentions (lose weight, get in shape, eat healthy and drink more water, stay in touch with old friends, attend cultural events, clean the house, etc...) quickly discarded without a plan by the end of January, here's our environmental and personal goals for 2015...
  • Recycle, Recycle, Recycle! Disposing of glass and plastic bottles, aluminum, cardboard, paper, and tin cans in the trash is prohibited; recycling is the law in Massachusetts! Become familiar with the rules and regulations concerning recyclables at the local transfer station (ie. the town dump) or from the household waste disposal service (garbage man). Most now offer single stream recycling. A special note for Barnstable residents who use the transfer station for the purpose of recycling only: effective in 2015, a "Recycle Only" sticker must be affixed to the vehicle's front windshield. Better yet, buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste. Might want to think twice before buying that Keurig coffee maker or yet another 24 pack of Poland Springs water...
  • Donate to those less fortunate! Simplify, de-clutter and organize the house at the same time. Recycle & Freecycle! Time to part with all those unused kitchen gadgets and Tupperware containers. The kids are grown - get rid of the toy box, the VCR tapes and video games and reclaim the family room. Really clean out those closets too - who needs more than shorts, tees and flip flops on Cape Cod? When in doubt, donate! Can always support the local business and buy more later...
  • Dispose of hazardous products safely! Plan ahead for local Hazardous Waste Recycling Events. It is important to the environment that all homeowners to know how to identify and safely dispose of hazardous products. The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension offers simple instructions on how to conduct a Household Hazardous Products Audit.
  • Save energy! Turn off the lights and unplug those unnecessary appliances. Double hitter - see final bullet about turning off the TV! Switch over to LED bulbs. Shower with a friend! Recycle that 2nd refrigerator with Mass Save - get some cash up front and save on future electric bills! Walk, take public transportation or carpool when possible to save energy and reduce that carbon footprint.
  • Plant a garden! Help the environment, eat healthier and expand one's circle of friends too. Sharing an abundant tomato, zucchini or cucumber crop is a good way to make new friends (who may want to attend cultural activities). For tips to get started, Sustainable CAPE shares ideas on "creating a decidedly more delicious, healthy and sustainable world."
  • Clean the air! Stop breathing second hand smoke! Encourage loved ones, friends and relatives to finally Quit Smoking!
  • Be kind to myself! Get a massage regularly. Get healthier, while having fun. (Making a fool of myself) with exercise like Zumba! YMCA Cape Cod and several of the local dance schools offer regular Zumba classes, but for the most fun (& humiliation) participate in a charity Zumbathon! Enlist a team and start a walking challenge with co-workers! It's always easier to be motivated when logging and reporting those steps.
  • Support local business! Help Cape Cod's economy by staying away from the chains - buy, eat and drink local! For help selecting a restaurant see our Cape Cod Dining favorites. For a local brew, try Cape Cod Beer and Cape Cod Winery. Eat more locally made ice-cream. Tune into and support local radio - NPR's WCAI, WOMR/WFMR community radio and WMVY.
  • Purchase tickets in advance! Make a commitment in advance to attend cultural events instead of being disappointed when events are sold out the day before. Missed the Christmas Spectacular again this year? The music continues, as Cape Cod Symphony still has 5 concerts remaining in the 2014-15 schedule. See the calendar of events at for lots of low cost and free performances by local musicians. Several local theater groups perform year-round. The Cape Cod Melody Tent and the Cape Playhouse will soon be announcing their summer lineups. Make plans with friends and buy tickets early.
  • Turn off the TV! Instead, visit the local library and check out a good book. Visit local museums! - Cape Cod Museum of Natural History offers exhibits, nature trails, lectures, bird watching, weekly walks (Wednesdays with Connie Boyce) and other events. Sign up for a class at Cape Cod Community College. The Cultural Center of Cape Cod offers concerts, classes & workshops, art exhibits and more! Anyone for Ballroom Dance lessons?

Happy New Year! from All of Us at

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