What can I do to make a better environment?

Start at home with the three R's:

  • Reduce the amount and toxicity of trash you discard by buying durable goods, not buying packaging that is toxic, and using products that don't deplete our natural resources and do allow reuse of the product.
  • Reuse items so that you extend the usefulness of what you buy and think creatively!
  • Recycle items made of paper, cardboard, glass, steel, aluminum and plastics marked with a recycling symbol. These items can be used over again in a different form, and this means we preserve our natural resources, save manufacturing energy, generate less pollution and cut down on the amount of trash and dollars for disposal. And compost your food waste!

Here are ways to reduce water usage:

  • Install flow-reducing shower heads and aerators, and automatic shut-off hose nozzles. Water conservation devices for toilet tanks.
  • When you buy a new clothes washer, look for a front loader which uses about half the water of a top loader, and also uses less energy.
  • Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth or washing pots and pans. And studies have shown that less water is used during a cycle of a dishwasher than doing dishes by hand!
  • To reduce the amount of paper in your life, donate old books and magazines to hospitals, schools and nursing homes.

Just say "no" to:

  • Get your name removed from junk mailing lists and you will lighten your annual paper load by 41 pounds or more. Contact the Direct Marketing Association at to learn the best way to reduce the junk mail load.
  • New American Dream has partnered with an organization called 41pounds.org who promises to completely remove you from up to 95% of the junk mail lists by contacting each organization from which you receive mail and/or catalogs for a one-time fee of $41.41 Pounds will send out forms to have your name removed from mailing lists.
  • A third organization used by several Committee members with success for removing our names from mailing lists for free is Catalog Choice.

Change your lights to change the world:

  • By replacing the conventional bulbs your 5 most-used light fixtures with Energy Star qualified options, you will not only help the environment, but you will save money on your energy bills as well.
  • Use resealable glass containers for food. Glass is preferable to plastic because there will be no transfer of chemicals into the stored food. You can use your old plastic containers for nails, screws and craft items.
  • Give your old toothbrush a new life as a tool for cleaning grout.
  • Instead of putting your coffee into a paper or foam cup, keep a ceramic mug on hand for the java or tea, and use that old compact disk for a coaster.
  • You can even save the silica packets that come with new items, and put them into your boots and gloves to keep them fresh and dry.
  • And remember to take a fabric tote bag to the store with you. It's not only environmentally efficient, but it is quite fashionable as well!
  • Recycling is easy--once you get the hang of it. Look for product packaging that identifies it as being recyclable or made from recycled materials.

Here are some of the symbols to look for:

  • Glass - Aluminum - Steel - Plastics (with different numbers, depending on the plastic)
  • You can drop off recyclable metal, glass and paper in the marked bins at the Sherborn Transfer Station, located just south of the Natick/Sherborn Town line on Route 27.
  • The Sherborn Transfer station is open to all residents of the Town of Sherborn.
  • Pick up your transfer station sticker at Town Hall at 19 Washington Street.

Here are some hints for recycling:

  • Keep papers clean and dry, and do not tie them with string. Rinse all cans, bottles and jars.
  • Call 508-653-8794 for information about disposing of TV's, air conditioners, tires, car batteries, paints and computers. For easy reference, check Earth 911
  • Another way to recycle is to donate the reusable household items that you no longer need. A great place to drop off items is at the Sherborn's Swap Shop at the Transfer Station. It costs nothing to drop it or swap it, and your trash just might be another person's sought-after treasure.
  • You can give any clean, dry textiles to clothing donation boxes at the Hap Ruane Transfer Station. Anything that is not suitable for reuse as clothing will be turned into feedstock for the textile industry. It might become industrial rags or it might be shredded to become insulation. Include all clean and dry textiles except what is contaminated with biological or hazardous waste.
  • You may also want to contact the local newspapers to see if they offer reduced prices for advertising free reusable items. Online, Craig's List is also a great way to sell or give away what you don't need.
  • Check Charity America at so that your donated items can be matched with organizations that need them. Even old computers are not obsolete for people who need them. Look online for Computers for Schools, Goodwill Industries, National Christina Foundation or Share the Technology.
  • Give your old cell phone another chance. Like other electronics, cell phones contain heavy metals, and the batteries are also very toxic. Sherborn has a partnership with Charitable Recycling which takes our shipments of cell phones and refurbishes the usable ones for worthy charities. They also remove the heavy metals from the unusable phones and recycle the rest. There is a collection box the Sherborn Transfer Station/Hap Ruane Recycling Center on Route 27 (North Main Street) just south of the Natick town line.

Recycle old eyeglasses:

  • Charities distribute them for use in third world countries. Sherborn's Lion's Club collects eyeglasses at the post office and Town Hall.
  • Support recycling by buying products made from recycled materials

Show All Answers

1. What can I do to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
2. How do I donate my computer and protect myself from identity theft?
3. What can I do to make a better environment?
4. What to Do if a Mercury Thermometer Breaks?
5. How can I get one of those nifty Sherborn Recycles T-shirts?
6. Who is Hap Ruane?
7. What must I do if a fluorescent bulb breaks?
8. I need to get rid of my old TV & monitor. Is there a free way to do it?
9. How does more efficient lighting reduce pollution?
10. What do I do with leftover medicines?
11. Do I need a sticker for the Transfer Station/Recycling Center?
12. What is a Dual Stream Facility?
13. What should I do with my plastic bags?
14. Is there any special information related to Covid 19 or other contagious illnesses?