Commitment Statement

CapeSpace is committed to protecting the Earth’s environment, particularly the precious Cape & Islands environment that we call home. We have taken the Cape & Islands Green challenge and are proud to have achieved Level 1 Green Certification.

Below you’ll find information on the steps we’ve taken to be green, and we invite members’ input and suggestions for creating a greener CapeSpace. We encourage our members to join us in conserving water and energy here at CapeSpace and at home. If you are a Cape & Islands business owner, please join us in taking the Cape & Islands Green pledge and working toward your own Green Certification.

Please send any comments to green@capespace.com.

Cape & Islands Green Certification Level 1 Badge

How CapeSpace Goes Green

  • We formed a Green Team with staff and members to carry out the Cape & Islands Green mission. We salute Green Team Members Anna Derbeneva-Costa, Aron Wittkamper, and Merry Flynn!
  • We keep our thermostats on timers to save energy during off hours.
  • We had Cape Light Compact perform an energy audit and then implemented all recommendations.
  • We have provided smart power strips to all our private office clients.
  • We purchase liquid products (hand soap, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, dish soap) from Green Road Refill, a terrific local business that sells eco-friendly products in bulk and refills them as needed. No more tossing empty plastic soap containers in the trash!
  • We are calling junk mail vendors and telling them to stop!
  • We are working through a back inventory of plastic plates and utensils, but all new purchases will be biodegradable.
  • We provide collection bins for gently used items needed by local charities so our members have an option for their gently-used items to be reused instead of thrown away.
  • We hosted the first annual EarthTech Expo, an event produced by the Cape Cod Technology Council, featuring speakers and exhibitors focused on alternative energy technologies for home and business. We will be hosting the second one in April 2020.
  • We have filtered water available on tap for our members and guests; we purchase nothing that comes in a plastic bottle.
  • We have asked our suppliers to avoid unnecessary packaging and to always present us with environmentally-friendly product options.
  • We use only energy-efficient LED light bulbs.
  • We buy 100% of our electricity from renewable sources.
  • We periodically host Cape & Islands Green Workshops.
  • We buy local wherever possible, including using local vendors Green Road Refill and Cape Cod Coffee.
  • We have made the Skip the Straw pledge being promoted by our friends at CARE for the Cape & Islands.

Why We DON’T Recycle

Due to recent changes in both global and local policy with respect to single stream recycling, here at CapeSpace we have discontinued our recycling service.

Commercial trash from the Cape goes through a process called single stream recycling. First, the collected materials go to off-cape materials recovery facilities (MRFs) where they are sorted and then shipped in batches to overseas recycling plants, primarily in China.

Single stream recycling is prevented from happening by the presence of contaminants in recycling bins. Contaminants include many things but the most prevalent contaminants are food particles and plastic bags – regardless of whether those plastic bags are technically recyclable. So for example, a peanut butter jar is recyclable but only if you rinse all the peanut butter out of it, otherwise it is a contaminant and that contaminant may contaminate every other item in your toter.

It is for this reason that the new rule of thumb for recycling is “when in doubt throw it out” as explained in this article: Recycling’s new reality: “When in doubt, throw it out.”

So, as a commercial establishment that is open to the public, it is impossible to police every item that goes into our recycle bins. Up until now we have maintained recycling service and hoped for the best. But recently China has stopped accepting recyclable materials from the US, and we have been notified by our waste management provider, Nauset Disposal, that from now on they will not even pick up the recycling if there are contaminants present. So we can be 100% certain that none of what we put in the recycling toter will be recycled because it won’t even be picked up. You can read Nauset Disposal’s statement here: Recycle-Letter-Stickers-2019.pdf.

To offset the recycling problem, we are focusing on alternative green practices which include buying reusable, refillable, and biodegradable products wherever possible, and implementing a carry-out policy for recyclables for those that have access to viable recycling elsewhere.

We believe this is the best course of action not just for CapeSpace but for the Cape and the planet. Recycling should be our last resort. Our focus should be on reducing the amount of waste we create.

The Story of Stuff

We invite you to watch this outstanding video which chronicles how we became a throw-away society, and how we can start to think differently about it.

Interested in Taking the Challenge With Us?

Are you a local business? Will you join us in taking the Cape & Islands Green challenge? Make the pledge below! Have a comment, question, idea? Please tell us about it!

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