Around this time of year 16 Beacon Street goes through some big changes. With the program year winding down, Sections and Committees are holding their end of year gatherings, final steering committee meetings and wrap up sessions. The focus turns from Section programming to public service projects (like the Summer Jobs Program) and annual events (like Haskell Cohn and Justice is Sweet). It is also about time for the BBA’s Environmental Sustainability Task Force to take a look back at what they accomplished under President’s Lisa Goodheart’s leadership. This period of reflection prompted TSL to take a look back and evaluate what the BBA accomplished (not including the Task Force’s initiatives) on the sustainability front. The easiest way to break down these efforts is by separating them into three main categories, energy, food and events.
In the past year, the BBA has:
- Weather stripped the main exit and fire doors
- Installed energy efficient lighting in its Claflin, Beacon and Foundation rooms (with the Adams room up next)
- Replaced meeting room windows facing Beacon Street with insulated glass to save heating costs
As TSL has mentioned in a past post, the BBA underwent an energy audit back in November which provided some suggestions (which the BBA has since implemented) for saving energy, principally on electric and gas. In the next year, the BBA will save 412 Therms (which equals $618) and 4,000 watts, 15,896 kilowatt hours ($2,336.68) per year. The cost for these improvements will all be paid for inside of 12 months.
There are two things you can nearly guarantee when you walk into the BBA: coffee and lunch. With over 385 brownbag lunches, 50 CLE’s and dozens of networking events and award ceremonies each program year, it’s no wonder the BBA identified food service as a principal way to help reduce its environmental impact. A while back we highlighted Keuring’s “Grounds to Grow On” program, so we won’t go into it much here sans a quick update – since the BBA started the program in January, it has returned approximately 1,925 K-cups and counting.
The BBA has also followed up with all of its catering vendors to encourage them to use reusable and recyclable food service materials. Three of the BBA’s principal vendors already have some program in place to provide reusable serving dishes (bowls, baskets trays and platters). One vendor often does not offer reusable to serving trays, so they provide recyclable serving trays and have a third party periodically pick them up.
Just a few weeks ago TSL spotlighted some of the efforts of the BBA and Seaport World Trade Center for the BBA’s Law Day Dinner, which included selecting a menu made up from produce from three local farms within a 60 mile radius, printing all program books on 100% recycled paper, and executing all marketing initiatives electronically. On another note, for all it’s CLE events, the BBA offers digital copes of all materials, and if materials exceed a certain size, they are only available in digital form.
Phew, that’s a lot to take in, but we are not done yet. TSL heard about a pretty fantastic idea – a party favor that doubles as a more sustainable option – happening at this year’s Justice is Sweet. If you haven’t been to Justice is Sweet before, you are missing out. Live music, hors d’oeuvres, wine aplenty and yes…chocolate fountains galore — all in the name of supporting legal services. Sound too good to be true? It gets better — all guests will receive a stemless wine glass (adorned with a snazzy BBA logo) at the beginning of the event as a party favor rather than having the 250 plus guest list use plastic glasses and cups.
Just do us one favor, ok? Please don’t dip the glass into the chocolate fountain, ok? If you must… at least wait till no one is looking.