CARE (Creating A Responsible Environment) for the Cape & Islands 2023 Stewardship Awards were presented November 9 during the “Take Care Cape Cod Summit – The Rising Tide of Plastic Pollution: Sustainable Business Solutions,” held in Harwich.
The awards are presented annually to an organization/individual and a Youth/Youth Group that exhibit day-to-day practices that support CARE’s mission to preserve and protect the natural environment, culture and history of Cape Cod and the Islands.
This year’s award was presented to Heritage Museums and Gardens for their overall commitment to sustainability. Their commitment is to achieving a carbon neutral future by 2040 and they are well on their way to this goal. Carbon neutrality, or net-zero emissions, means that they do not emit any greenhouse gasses that they cannot absorb back up out of the atmosphere. To do so entails protecting and conserving natural climate fighting tools such as trees and shrubs, reducing and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions and developing operational processes that preserve and protect the environment. Heritage Museums and Gardens has committed to be a model of sustainability, to reduce the use of fossil fuels and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and to provide public engagement in these issues through education. The nomination was made as a result of their public education.
In addition, Heritage’s Hundred Acre School was recognized for using the natural environment as their classroom that serves to engages and inspires students with an emphasis on STEM studies. For more information on Heritage’s sustainability program visit their website
The Youth Award was presented to two students, Ben Bass and Colby Hall, from Barnstable’s Sturgis Public Charter School West School who lead their Green Club.
Their advisor said, “The care that these two students show for our local environment give me hope for the future!” and described them as some of the most dedicated and reliable members of the club. Ben and Colby’s goals for the 2023-2024 year are to continue and expand the recycling program, raise awareness on recycling, and establish a compost program for their school in order to reduce their overall waste.
Some of CARE’s previous recipients include Compost With Me, Cape Cod Beer, WHOI Sea Grant, the Cape Abilities “Green Team”, Plastic Free MV and several local high school students. “Recognizing those within our community who are truly making a difference is one of the highlights of our work”, Jill Talladay, CARE’s founder and executive director explained. “Through contributions of “time, talent and treasure” and mindful actions, this beautiful place will be preserved for future generations”.
The summit held at The 204 Cultural Arts Municipal Building in Harwich featured a panel discussion that highlighted businesses that have taken action to reduce single use plastic serviceware and a second panel that offered resources and solutions that can assist organizations wishing to make positive changes to reduce their footprint.
The summit was the first event focused on a three year NOAA grant awarded to CARE and WHOI Sea Grant to create a shift to sustainable food serviceware.
Anyone who would like to learn more or get involved may contact CARE at email@example.com.