Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative (BZWI) was created in 2019 with a goal of helping the communities in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, reduce their waste for the betterment of our area and our world. BZWI is a program of a larger non-profit called Berkshire Environmental Action Team, or BEAT for short, which is a top-rated 501(c)3 non-profit. BZWI's mission compliments BEAT's mission, which is to protect the natural world that sustains us all.
Since its inception, BZWI has worked in a variety of capacities and with a variety of groups to progress towards our goal of reducing our community's waste. This work involves connecting with local community members at a grassroots level, as well as leaders that need assistance with making decisions about waste management. Check out our Projects page for more information on past and current initiatives that we have been working on, and sign up for our newsletter to keep up-to-date on all that is going on with us and our local communities!
Everyone has the ability to reduce their household waste. We're here to help.
Our mission at Berkshire Zero-Waste Initiative is to grow and support a zero-waste culture in the Berkshires by working with our community to encourage meaningful waste reduction practices in addition to increasing recycling and composting efforts.
We emphasize that we need to work with our community to achieve this goal. Without assisting our individual community members, working with larger groups, and our community leaders, we would not be able to achieve an authentic and long-lasting result of waste reduction in the Berkshires.
We also emphasize meaningful waste reduction practices before recycling and composting. Waste reduction practices include many of the R's, such as rethinking and repurposing. For example, if a municipality has unlimited trash pick-up that it is costing the municipality a significant amount of funds, rethinking how to limit the trash pick-up should take priority prior to relying on recycling to reduce this cost.
And finally, composting and recycling are simple ways to divert waste from the landfill. Check out our resource pages on these topics to learn how best to recycle and compost in your area.
Our logo represents a few of the concepts that make up the basis of zero-waste: circularity and nature. Returning to nature is important to zero-waste because it promotes following nature's example.
In nature, trees shed their leaves in the fall, which turns into fertilizer for the following season. This natural form of recycling, or breaking down materials into a new usable form, supports the life cycle of the trees without compromising the health of the forest. We should mimic this and other examples that nature provides when we make decisions about the things that we consume. For example, if we wear clothing made of natural materials, once it has reached the end of its life, it can be turned into a new material or it can be composted and turned into soil.
Circularity represents this concept in a simpler sense. Circularity takes a material, or idea, and follows a path where it can be redesigned and reused until eventually, it turns back into its original form. For more information on circularity and mimicking nature, check out our resources page.