An age-old tradition in Wellesley, Scouting for Food will continue to support the local community as the Wellesley Food Pantry’s largest food drive this year on November 7. But the annual program will also take a new step in supporting the Wellesley community’s livelihood this year; to reduce wasted plastic, Scouts will no longer distribute plastic bags to houses a week prior to the drive.
In prior years, Scouts distributed plastic bags with fliers to every house in town one week prior to the drive; beginning this October, they will instead encourage residents to put out their donations in paper or reusable bags. As an alternative to the plastic bags of previous years, Scouts will distribute door-hangers with information about the drive.
This change will prevent many plastic bags from ending up in the trash or as litter, where they do not biodegrade but photodegrade, breaking apart into tiny plastic pieces that leach chemicals into waterways and soil. Additionally, the abandonment of plastic bags will save the town from spending tax dollars on picking up plastic litter.
Rula Salameh, who runs the drive, is glad for this opportunity to merge sustainability and community service. “The decision to use the door hangers was made due to the desire to go Green.” she said. “I also hope residents continue the effort to go green and use reusable or paper bags when they leave their donations on Nov. 7th. ”
Taking on sustainability improvements also coincides neatly with substantial components of the Boy and Girl Scouts’ missions. The Girl Scout Law asks girls to “do [their] best to…use resources wisely,” and the Boy Scouts adhere to an entire mantra of ethics referred to as the Outdoor Code.
“I think Scouting for Food’s decision to do away with plastic bags is a great one, simply because the less resources [that] are used, the less waste produced,” said Sarah Ditelberg, President of Venture Crew 42, a co-ed Scout unit in town. “Also, a Scout is supposed to be many things – one of them is thrifty. This decision is just that. By getting rid of plastic bags, Scouting for Food is not being as wasteful.
Residents who choose to donate to Scouting for Food this year can feel satisfied not only in their support of those in need, but also in their support of moving towards the more frequent use of more sustainable materials in town. For more information on Scouting for Food, visit www.wellesleyfoodpantry.org.
(Matthew Hornung and Olivia Gieger)