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March 2023

Florida Bike Month

March in Florida is the perfect month to ride a bike! Ride one of the City's many multiuse paths. Learn more about biking in Boca Raton and check out the City's new Bike Map

Sign up for Recycle Coach

Want to step up your recycle game? Get the new Recycle Coach app. Use the calendar to help remember your collection days and get reminded when there are changes, and tools to help learn what goes where. 

New Program Starting Soon

Become a Climate Smart Floridian!

What is ClimateIFAS Extension University of Florida Climate Smart Floridians Smart Boca Raton?
Climate Smart Boca Raton is a local adaptation of the Climate Smart Floridian program.

Climate Smart Floridian is a program developed by the University of Florida IFAS Extension to increase climate literacy and reduce local greenhouse gases at the household level. The course will provide research-based information on climate change and empower participants with individual actions to take at the household level. 

The subject of global climate change can be overwhelming and this program is intended to answer the question “What can I do?”

The course will be run by the City's Sustainability Manager and may include guest speakers. In addition to getting information on personal climate change mitigation actions, participants will also learn what is happening at the City level.

Ready to join? Email [email protected] to reserve your spot!

Tentative Dates and topics:
TBD - Virtual course introduction and Q&A session
January 12 – Introduction to Climate Change
January 26 – Water and Energy
January 27th – OPTIONAL Tour of the City of Boca Raton Water Treatment Plant and Wastewater Treatment Plant. 2pm-4pm
February 9th – Renewable Energy and Green Buildings
February 23rd – Transportation
March 9th – Consumption and waste
March 14th – OPTIONAL Tour of the Solid Waste Authority Recycling and Renewable Energy Facilities. 1pm-3pm in West Palm Beach. (Travel time not included)
March 30th – Climate Smart Yards and Course Close!

Program format:
The program will include 6 in-person sessions, one asynchronous recorded session, and two optional field trips.
  • In-person sessions will be held from noon-1pm at the Downtown Library every other week.
  • Participants must attend at least 4 sessions in person to qualify for the certificate. If a session is missed, there are additional materials that may be provided.
  • Field trips are optional but highly encouraged!
  • A minimum of 10 participants are required to run the course. A maximum of 30 participants can be accommodated. Registration will be first come and first serve. Once the 25 seats have been filled, additional interested parties will be placed on a waiting list and will be notified first if a seat opens or the program runs again.

November 2022

November 15th is America Recycles Day!

On America Recycles day it is a great time to refamiliarize ourselves with the five R's. Learn more below.

Refuse - A first important step is to start refusing single use plastics. The Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards has more information on how to refuse single use plastics. 

Reduce - Avoid single use and disposable products of all kinds. Buy more durable products and maintain the items you own. Reduce what needs to be disposed.

Reuse - Once an item is used for its original purpose, look for ways to reuse or repurpose it so that it does not need to be disposed. 

Recycle - When you have an item that needs to be disposed and it can be recycled, recycle it! The best way to support recycling is to make sure you Recycle Right and avoid "wishcycling."

Rethink - Change the way you think about waste and what it means to throw something "away." What better way to do so than to go visit "Away?" The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County is hosting an open house on Saturday November 12th and offering tours of their recycling and renewable energy facilities. 

Unwrap the Waves - October 17th - November

Did you know that Americans buy over 300,000 tons of candy for Halloween? Those "fun-sized" wrappers end up in landfills or as litter. The City is partnering with Loggerhead Marinelife Center to make sure wrappers get recycled! In 2021 the Unwrap the Wave campaign recycled over 700,000 candy wrappers.

How can you participate?

From October 17th through the first week of November bring your clean candy wrappers to either Gumbo Limbo Nature Center or Sugar Sand Community Center and put them in the designated collection bins. After the campaign is over Loggerhead Marine Life Center will collect all the wrappers and send them to be recycled with Terracyle. 

Loggerhead marinelife center unwrap the waves candy wave

2022 Palm Beach County Solar Co-op!

Join the Palm Beach County solar co-op, organized by Solar United Neighbors, to learn more about going solar. Co-op members will have access to more information about putting solar panels on their home or business and group pricing should they choose to install. Joining the co-op is not an obligation to purchase.

Join the Palm Beach County solar co-op (click for info) Opens in new window

October 2022

October 14th International eWaste day!

Did you know that e-waste, or waste from old, outdated, or broken electronics, has major environmental consequences and is anticipated to continue increasing? 

  • In 2019 the United States generated 6.92 million tons of e-waste, about 46 pounds per person, and only recycled around 15% of that waste. 
  • Approximately 40% of heavy metals found in U.S. landfills can be attributed to electronics. 
  • According to the U.S. e-waste volume will increase by 39% by 2030. 
  • In the U.S. waste generation increases 25% between Thanksgiving and New Years, some of which can be attributed to disposing old electronics to make way for new gifts and end of the year sales. 

The good news is that you can recycle your e-waste

  • Electronics can be recycled at many retailers and also at Solid Waste Authority drop off Home Chemical and Recycling Center (HCRC) sites found around the county. The closest HCRC for most Boca Raton residents will be at 1901 SW 4th Ave in Delray Beach.

September 2022

September is a month to focus on zero emissions

In the month of September there are multiple days dedicated to reducing emission:

September 21: Zero Emissions Day

September 22: Car Free Day

If the City is going to reach the goal of net zero by 2050 we will need help from the community! Do your part this month by learning about some up and coming technologies to help with net zero goals (more details below) and celebrating Car Free Day by reducing your car trips this month. Need ideas? Try one of the Downtown's walking tours!

Sustainability and Tech Panel Discussion

sustainability and tech with City logos, hand holding earth plant

September 20th | 6:00-8:00pm

Boca Raton Innovation Campus

5000 T-Rex Ave, Boca Raton, FL 33431

The City of Boca Raton is committed to reducing GHG emissions in the city to net zero, but how can that be done? Join the City of Boca Raton’s Offices of Sustainability and Economic Development and Innovation for a panel discussion with some Boca Raton based businesses working on solutions for a net zero emissions world.

Panel companies:

  • Carbon Limit is decarbonizing concrete for greener cities with a green cement technology that transforms our built environment into an active and permanent solution to global CO2 pollution
  • Cloudsyte helps local governments and brands automate sustainability management, risk mitigation, and ESG compliance with minimal effort and resources
  • Greener Process Systems has developed patented technology which captures air pollution from oceangoing ships in port. Food and beverages will not be served.

Sustainable Summer 2022

Sustainable Summer

Every summer here in Boca Raton we take a deeper dive into various topics in personal sustainability. Join us this sustainable summer and keep checking back for new information and activities.  

June - Energy Conservation

Daylight HourDaylight Hour - June 22 | 12pm-1pm

Every summer on the longest day of the year the City of Boca Raton participates in Daylight Hour, a global event to encourage the use of daylight in our offices spaces. For one hour at noon, turn off electric lights and live by daylight. Daylight hour helps to raise awareness of the energy used for lighting and the benefit of using daylight when possible. Daylight hour is a great time to reflect on the sun as the main source of energy for our planet, all the ways we can use that energy sustainably, and the link between sustainability and wellness. Learn more at

July - Waste Reduction

Inspired by the Plastic Free July campaign, the City of Boca Raton uses July to highlight waste reduction. This year the City asks you to focus on waste from fashion and other consumer consumption. Buying less, keeping things longer, and buying second hand help reduce emissions and environmental impact from the extraction, manufacturing, and transport of consumer goods. 

  • Try thrift and consignment shopping for unique (and less expensive!) clothing, housewares, and more. The City is full of great second hand stores. Find the ones in the Downtown here: Shopping | Boca Raton Downtown, FL

August - Water Conservation

Did you know that 50 percent of the water we use outdoors is wasted from evaporation and inefficient sprinkler systems? Considering household in Florida use around half of their water outdoors, this represents a significant waste. One of the best ways to reduce this wasted water is to make sure we are maintaining our sprinkler systems. Take some time this month to evaluate your system. Is your rain sensor working? Do you have any broken sprinkler heads? Are any of the sprinkler heads aligned in such as way that they are spraying on pavement instead of plants? Simple fixes can help save thousands of gallons of water. 

Learn more from the EPA's WaterSense program. 

Don't forget that the City has irrigation restrictions in place to help conserve water. Learn more from the City's Utility Services

May 2022

National Bike to Work Week is May 16 - 22

During Bike to Work Week the City encourages you to try riding your bike! Riding a bike is a fun way to get exercise and a great way to explore your neighborhood. The more people who bike to work the less there will be of air pollution and traffic congestion.

Don’t live close enough to work to bike? Try out one of these options:

  • Ride your bike to or from the Yamato Tri-Rail station via the el Rio trail and take the train to work. Bikes can be taken on the train to get you to your next destination.
  • Park and meet coworkers at a central location and bike to work together. While this still requires you to drive closer to work, it does help relieve traffic congestion around your work site and provides the benefits of exercise.
  • Take a bike ride at home. If your position allows for remote work, ride around the neighborhood on your lunch. Even if you don’t work from home, take an evening or weekend ride to explore your neighborhood.

Learn more about biking and walking in Boca Raton at

Project Shade Tree. May 7 City Hall  |  9-11am (or while supplies last)

Join the Beautification Committee, Recreation Services, the Office of Sustainability, and Community Greening for the City's annual Project Shade Tree! Project Shade Tree | Boca Raton, FL ( 

This year's project shade tree will be a free tree give away of native and fruiting trees including:

April 2022 - Earth Month

Invest in Our Planet with the City of Boca Raton

Boca Earth MonthThe 2022 theme of Earth Day this year is "Invest in Our Planet." The City is investing in our planet through embedding sustainability and resiliency throughout the City's operations. 

Most recently, the City Council decided to sign the City on to the Cities Race to Zero, a pledge signed by more than 1,000 cities globally to commit to limiting global warming to 1.5°C by reaching global net zero carbon emissions before 2050. This commitment, in tandem with the the Sustainability Action Plan, will continue the City's work to invest not only in the planet, but in the future and well being of Boca Raton. 

Earth Month (and beyond) Events

April 7 | 6:30 - 8pm - Ecowatch Lecture Series at the Downtown Boca Library Join Gumbo Limbo Nature Center at the Library for Sea Turtle Telemetry: Patterns of Tagged Sea Turtle Movements and Habitat Use in the Southeastern US. 

April 9 | 11am - 4pm - WLRN's EcoFest 2022 at Mizner Park Amphitheater Be sure to stop by to some of our City departments at the event. 

April 10 | 11:30am - Make & Take at the Children's Science Explorium  Drop-in for constructing your very own Solitary Bee Hotels for our native non-swarming bee friends! $5 per project. No registration required. 

April 11 | 7:30pm - Eyes to the Skies at the Children's Science Explorium  Stop by to see up closed the wonder in the sky with the Explorium's computerized 8-inch Celestron CPC Deluxe Telescopes.  

April 16 | 10am - 4pm - Seed Library Launch and Gardening Showcase Learn more about the Boca Raton Library's new seed library and hear from gardening experts. Speakers and exhibitors from 10am - 4pm at the Downtown Library. 

April 21 | 6:30 - 8pm - Ecowatch Lecture Series at the Downtown Boca Library Join Gumbo Limbo Nature Center at the Library for Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind: Tracking Neonate Sea Turtles on the High Seas.

April 23 | 8am - 11am - Great American Cleanup Join Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and millions across America for the nation's largest beach and waterway cleanup. Sign up for either a beach or mangrove clean up. Community service hours awarded, groups welcome. Registration is required, space is limited

April 23 | 11am and 2pm shows - The Pout Pout Fish at the Willow Theatre in Sugar Sand Park Turn the poutiest of frowns upside down in this musical featuring whimsical puppets and live performers in a sweeping oceanic adventure. Rated G ages 3+, Pre-K to 2. 

April 29 - May 2 - City Nature Challenge  Join citizen scientists in over 400 cities across the world in an annual effort to document urban nature. All you need in a smartphone and a free iNaturalist account. Learn more at

April 30 | 9am - 11am - Bioblitz at Pondhawk Natural Area  For this year's City Nature Challenge, the City is asking for help documenting the plants and animals at Pondhawk Natural Area. Join the City and Palm Beach County Natural Areas to learn more about Citizen Science, how to use the iNaturalist app, tour the City's newest butterfly garden, and get to know the nature in the City. 

May 7 - Project Shade Tree Join the City of Boca Raton, the Boca Raton Beautification Committee, and Community Greening for a FREE tree give away of fruiting and native trees. Stay tuned for more details on location and tree varieties.

March 2022

Rethink Recycling - Recycling is alive and well in Palm Beach County! 

Did you know?

  • The dual stream (blue and yellow bin) system reduces recycling contamination and improves recycling efficiency.
  • Recycling saves the City money by reducing money spent on disposing waste and makes the City money through SWA's revenue share program. 
  • Trash that cannot be recycled is sent to SWA's waste to energy plant and turned into electricity.

To make sure you are Recycling Right, go to and review what you can put in each of your bins. 

Recycling on the beach!

The best way to keep our beaches free of litter is to reduce the amount of disposable items you use. The second best way is to take home everything you brought with you, including empty food containers. If you have waste you must leave at our beachfront parks, remember to recycle your cans and bottles in the blue 4ocean recycling bins. These bins are cans and bottles only and are found at the main entrances to beach at all three of the City's beachfront parks. 

February 2022

The Great Backyard Bird Count February 18-21, 2022

Do you want to be part of a global citizen science effort? The Great Backyard Birdcount helps scientists get a snapshot of bird populations, where they are, and how they migrate. By pulling in the power of the number of amateur birders across the world, scientists can collect more data and understand bird populations much better that they would be able to do alone. This is particularly important as climate change leads to shifts and changes in our environment which may impact bird migrations. In 2021 over 6,000 birds were identified in 190 countries.

The good news is that you do not have to be a bird expert to participate. There are multiple digital platforms that you can use to make observations including Merlin Bird ID which provides guidance to help you identify your bird. There are also options to add your observations from your computer if smartphone apps are not your thing. Don’t forget you can also check out field guides to birds at the Boca Raton Public Libraries.

Here in Boca Raton the weather in late February is perfect for exploring the outdoors and observing birds. In addition to any sighting in your backyard and around your neighborhood, try out some of the green spaces and natural areas around the City to make and observation.

  • Walk along the beach and observe shorebirds. Don’t forget to check out the boardwalks and trails through Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Red Reef Park, and Spanish River Park.
  • Miles of nature trails await you at Blazing Star Preserve, Yamato Scrub Natural Area, Pondhawk Natural Area, Serenoa Glade preserve, and Sugar Sand Park.
  • Don’t underestimate what you might find along the paths at many of the City’s other parks, such as the paths around Spanish River Athletic Complex, the fitness trails at Lake Wyman and Hillsboro el Rio, shady neighborhood parks like Golden Fig or George Snow, and of course the many miles along the El Rio Trail.

For more information and how to participate, go to

January 2022

Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through environmental service.

Monday January 17th City offices, schools, and many businesses will be closed in order to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his leadership in the American Civil Rights Movement. This day is often used as a day of service to community. This January, look for opportunities for environmental service around Boca Raton. Pick up trash in your neighborhood or at the beach. Plant a native tree or install some native pollinator plants in your garden. Learn more about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and the modern environmental movement at

Join the City for a dune restoration work day!

Calling 10-12 hardy volunteers to assist with restoring dune habitat at Red Reef Park on Saturday January 29th, from 8:30 am - noon. In an effort to maintain a natural dune ecosystem which stabilizes the sand and supports native plant species, including endangered sea oats, beach jacquemontia, and beach peanut, the invasive exotics must be removed and replaced with the plants that were there first. 

The Institute for Regional Conservation is working with The City’s Office of Sustainability and Gumbo Limbo, removing invasive Hawaiian scaevola from the dune, replacing it with native plantings. There will be two work groups, each with an experienced crew leader to guide and direct the work. Volunteers will need hats, work gloves, sunscreen, and water in a refillable bottle.

  • Group 1 – Scaevola removal (5-6 people) - Volunteers will use loppers and clippers to cut back and remove Scaevola shrubs.
  • Group 2 – Native planting (5-6 people) - Volunteers will dig and prepare holes, then plant, and water native plants and grasses.


December 2021

Holiday Trees: Real or Fake?

'Tis the season for the annual debate: real tree or fake tree? While in the grand scheme of the environmental impact of the holidays what type of tree you use may be a small contributor, there are a few ways to make your choice a little more sustainable.

GOOD: If you prefer a fake tree, make sure to buy a high quality and classic tree you can use for many years. Each year it is reused, the less the environmental impact of the choice.

BETTER: If you prefer a real tree, make sure it is recycled! The City of Boca Raton collects holiday trees every year and turns them into fragrant mulch to be used in City parks. Drop off begins December 26th at Countess de Hornle Park. Learn more on the City's website.

BEST: The most sustainable choice would be to forget the traditional tree and decorate a potted native tree that you can plant in your yard after the New Year. 

November 2021

America Recycles Day

The City of Boca Raton advocates waste reduction before recycling, but recycling is a necessary component of our waste management system.

This America Recycles Day:

  1. Make sure you are Recycling Right! Review what can go in the yellow and blue bins and remember, when in doubt, throw it out!
  2. Review your trash and recycle bins and think about how you can reduce the waste found there. Check out the Single Use Plastic Reduction page for tips.
  3. Don't forget that the City no longer allows polystyrene foam ("Styrofoam") at pavillions or events and does not allow balloons or confetti at any of our outdoor facilities. Follow the City's Pinterest page for ideas.

October 2021

Have a Scarily Sustainable Halloween!

Unwrap the wave: Did you know that Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween? Have you ever given much thought to where all that chocolate comes from or what happens to the wrappers?

 This year the City is partnering with Loggerhead Marine Life Center on their Unwrap the Waves campaign. In 2019 Unwrap the Wave collected 272,595 candy wrappers and fully recycles them into school supplies through TerraCycle.

 How can you participate? 

  • Collect your (clean) candy wrappers and bring them to drop off sites around the City. 
  • Collection sites will be Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and Sugar Sand Park Community Center.
  • Collection will be open from late October 18th to November 7th.

 Before you unwrap: What’s inside the wrapper matters to the sustainability of your candy, too. Unfortunately, the chocolate industry can contribute both to child labor and to deforestation. Luckily there are certifications and company pledges that can help us make better choices as consumers. 

September 2021

Zero Emissions Day

The newest Climate Report from the IPCC stated that human contribution to climate change in the form of greenhouse gas emissions is “unequivocal.” On September 21st we observe zero emissions day, or ZeDay, to give the planet one day off from climate warming emissions.

 While eliminating emissions completely may not be possible for you on this day, here are some things that you can do to observe ZeDay:

  1. Learn more about the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Boca Raton and the impacts of climate change by exploring the City’s greenhouse gas inventory and the regional climate change vulnerability assessment
  2. Learn more about electric vehicles by watching the City’s virtual ride and drive webinar and finding all of the City’s free and publicly accessible electric vehicle chargers
  3. Consider installing solar electricity on your home or business. Go to the City’s Go Solar page to learn more. 
  4. Consider biking or taking public transportation instead of your car for one trip today. Go to the sustainable transportation page to learn more. 
  5. Plant a tree! Learn more about the City’s tree canopy and read the new tree canopy assessment.

2021 Sustainable SummerAugust 2021

National Water Quality Month

August is National Water Quality Month! In Boca Raton we are surrounded by water, from the Ocean and Intracoastal to our canals and lakes water quality is a part of our quality of life. The City works hard to maintain water quality but there is a lot that individuals can do to help. Check out the list below to learn 8 things that YOU can do to protect water quality in Boca Raton.

8 things you can do in Boca Raton to protect your water (adopted from

  1. Wash your car at a car wash. While washing your car at home can save money, the water in car washes drain to the sewer where the water is treated in the City’s wastewater treatment plant and reused for irrigation through the City’s IRIS program. Water that runs off your driveway into the storm drains does not get treated before running into canals and other waterways.
  2. Pick up after your pet. Waste from our domestic pets can add nitrogen to the water increasing eutrophication and decreasing available oxygen. Why does pet waste have this impact more than wildlife waste? The short answer is diet.
  3. Keep yard waste from the storm drains. Did you know that in Boca Raton it is illegal to blow grass and other landscape clippings into storm drains and water bodies? The nutrients from this organic matter and any fertilizer they may carry can add excess nutrients to our waterways and facilitate harmful algal growth. Mulch or bag grass clippings instead and rake up and compost leaves.
  4. Follow the Florida Friendly Fertilizer rules. Do you know the best way to fertilize your lawn? Most people use more fertilizer than they need resulting in unnecessary costs and nutrient rich runoff. Don’t use fertilizer with phosphorus, use just as much as you need, and avoid fertilizing when there is rain in the forecast. Learn more on the City’s Florida Friendly Fertilizer page.
  5. Reduce runoff from your roof and driveway. The first inch of rain from your roof or driveway is the most toxic, carrying with it the most oils, dirt, and other pollutants. Reduce the amount of this runoff that enters storm drains and waterways. Planting trees, installing rain barrels, using pervious pavement, planting rain gardens, and maintaining your swale all help to reduce or capture stormwater runoff.
  6. Take oils, chemicals, and paints to an appropriate collection center. The Solid Waste Authority has Household Hazardous Waste drive through collection sites that are easy and convenient ways to dispose of chemicals, oils, and paints (as well as electronics, batteries, lightbulbs, and other things that shouldn’t go into the bin). These substances should never be poured down a storm drain, sink, or toilet.   
  7. Do not dispose of medicine down a drain or toilet. Many of the compounds that are found in pharmaceuticals are not filtered by wastewater treatment methods and can become pollutants in the water ways. At the same time, it can be dangerous to dispose of medicines in the trash where they could be accessible by children or others. There are multiple pill drop-off boxes around the county courtesy of the Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition. Learn more and find locations from
  8. Be careful about the ingredients of soaps, cleaning products, and cosmetics. Antibacterial soaps, many harsh cleaning products, and even sunscreens can be damaging to aquatic life. Use these products in moderation or replace them with versions that contain gentler chemicals.

Learn more about stormwater pollution from the City’s Stormwater Management division.

2021 Sustainable SummerJuly 2021

Beach Cleanup - July 17, 8am-10am - Spanish River Beach Park

Join the City of Boca Raton’s Office of Sustainability in an effort to remove harmful plastics and other trash from our beaches. This Beach Cleanup is part of a Sustainable Summer in Boca Raton, and supports Plastic Free July in Boca Raton by keeping plastics out the mouths of sea turtles, birds, and other animals that call these ecosystems home!    

  • Free admission for this event (with reservation) to Spanish River Beach Park - 3001 N. State Road A-1-A, Boca Raton, FL 33431
  • All minors MUST be accompanied by an adult.
  • Adults must sign a liability waiver for themselves; a parent/guardian must sign a minor liability waiver for children under 18.
  • Groups are encouraged to bring their own cleaning supplies such as grabbers, gloves and buckets.
  • Register via email: [email protected](include number of participants, names and ages.)

Sustainable Summer - Plastic Reduction Pledge

On World Oceans Day in June the City Council of Boca Raton took a big step in protecting oceans, marine life, human health, and the coastal economy by passing Ordinance 5580: Waste Reduction.  

Be a part of the solution!

Take the City's Plastic Reduction Pledge.

Read more about the ordinance and the rules on polystyrene foam and balloons and confetti on the City's website. On the website you will also find information and resources about single use plastic reduction

And don't forget, July is "Plastic Free July"! Sign up at

If you are signing the pledge on behalf of a restaurant, don't forget to become a Coastal Connection Restaurant.

2021 Sustainable SummerJune 2021

Sustainable Summer - Energy Efficiency

On Friday, June 18, 2021 the City of Boca Raton is encouraging you to observe Daylight Hour. Daylight Hour takes places annually on the Friday closest to the summer solstice (the day with the most hours of sunlight)  and strives to raise awareness of energy efficiency and daylighting – using daylight instead of artificial light.

From Noon to 1pm flip off your light switch and work or recreate by daylight. Spend some time thinking about the other ways you can save energy and improve the environment this summer.

Energy Efficiency Resources:

April 2021

Earth Month!

Join the City of Boca Raton as we celebrate the 51st Earth Day this April.

Visit the Earth Month 2021 page to learn more about how to participate in the City Nature Challenge and Project Shade Tree! Learn about EV's from a racecar driver and sea level rise from a local author!

February 2021

Black History Month

February is recognized as Black History Month in the United States. This February, take some time to get to know some of the black men and women who have shaped American environmental history and the scientists and activists currently working to change the world.

These resources are a great place to start:

December 2020

Holiday Trees: Real or Fake?

'Tis the season for the annual debate: real tree or fake tree? While in the grand scheme of the environmental impact of the holidays what type of tree you use may be a small contributor, there are a few ways to make your choice a little more sustainable.

GOOD: If you prefer a fake tree, make sure to buy a high quality and classic tree you can use for many years. Each year it is reused, the less the environmental impact of the choice.

BETTER: If you prefer a real tree, make sure it is recycled! The City of Boca Raton collects holiday trees every year and turns them into fragrant mulch to be used in City parks. Drop off begins December 26th at Countess de Hornle Park. Learn more on the City's website.

BEST: The most sustainable choice would be to forget the traditional tree and decorate a potted native tree that you can plant in your yard after the New Year. If you would like a free tree, the City has a limited number of Bald Cypress, Dahoon Holly, and Live Oaks to deliver to your door! For more information, go to the City's Tree Give Aways page.

For more sustainable holiday tips, follow Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for their #sustainablesunday series.

November 2020

America Recycles Day

We've all heard the phrase "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle." Did you know that those three words were listed in order of importance.

FIRST. . . Reduce the waste you are producing. Avoid disposable products and unnecessary consumption.

SECOND. . . Reuse, repair, and repurpose any item that you can so that it does not become waste.

THIRD. . . If after reducing and reusing there is something to be disposed, if it can be recycled it should be recycled. 

This America Recycles Day challenge yourself to not just Reduce, Reuse and Recycle but to actively REFUSE single use plastics. Learn more about #Refuse from Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards

Visit the Videos and Webinars page on the City's Sustainability page to learn more about how to move "beyond the bag" and to virtually tour the Solid Waste Authority's recycling and renewable energy facilities and to hear from the Municipal Services Director on the challenges with solid waste collection during COVID-19.

Finally, visit the City's sanitation pages to learn how to Recycle Right in Boca Raton.

October 2020

Celebrate Energy Efficiency Day by Planting a Tree!

October 7th is Energy Efficiency Day and, in Boca Raton, October is Tree Month! Did you know that trees can actually save you energy?

Trees, when planted in the right place, can shade your home and prevent it from heating up which will save you on your cooling related costs. Not only that, but trees actually help lower ambient temperatures which reduces not just cooling costs but encourages more time outdoors. Learn more about this and other benefits at

September 2020

In September, park your car and go emission free!

In the month of September there are three days focusing on reducing or eliminating emissions, particularly from cars!

All three of these days recognize the contribution emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use, particularly energy use for transportation, plays in climate change. What can we do to take action?

  • Over the weekend, look for things to do around town that don’t require a car. Ride a bike on any of Boca Raton’s multi-use trails or check out Downtown Boca’s self-guided walking tours.
  • Have you been working from home during the pandemic? Telework has many benefits, including reducing emissions related to work commutes. If possible for your job, try keeping the telework habit at least a day or two a week (and scroll down to learn how to conserve energy while working at home).
  • If you can’t leave your car behind, challenge yourself to be extra mindful of people on bikes or people walking while you are driving around town. Remind yourself of the rules of the road to do your part to keep yourself and everyone else safe.

July 2020

Plastic Free July 2020 join the challengeEvery year in July the City encourages you to take part in Plastic Free July, an international movement to reduce plastic waste and litter! Go to to sign up for the challenge and get weekly tips on plastic use reduction. Head over to the Plastic Free July page on the City’s website to learn more!

June 2020

Daylight Hour – Lights OFF, savings ON!  

Monday, June 22, whether working from your office or home, commit to turning off your lights for one hour from 12-1pm! #daylighthour 

On the longest day of the year, take part in something fun to remind yourself about energy conservation and the power of the sun. To participate is simple, simply turn off your lights! Make it fun by being creative! 

Last year participants:

  • observed the hour by taking lunch outside;
  • held meetings in a sunlit office; and
  • sat in the dark lit only by their computer screens!

This year with many of us working from home the sky is the limit. Will you take over the empty office with the window? Find the best sunny spot at home? Will your kids and pets help out? Send a photo to [email protected]!  

To participate globally, post photos to social media with the tag #daylighthour and check out this year’s award categories!  

Learn below about saving energy at home and visit the Go Solar page to learn even more about how to use the power of the sun in Boca Raton. 

Conserve Energy While Working at Home

Over the past few months many of us have done a lot more working from home. While there are a lot of economic, health, and environmental benefits to working from home, so much so that Project Drawdown lists Telepresence as one of the top 100 actions to solve climate change. While telecommuting may reduce electricity used in commercial buildings and traffic congestion related to commutes, one place where it may not be saving us is in our home electric bills. Here are some tips to saving money and energy while working from home.

  • Make your utility work for you. Florida Power and Light offers tools such as an online energy survey, rebate programs, and even opportunities to be involved in solar programs.
  • Keep your cool. Especially as we start to enter the hotter months of summer, a big part of our energy bills will be on cooling. Without the daily break of heading in to the office, A/C units in homes around the City are working double time. Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed (Visit for tips) and that your A/C unit is running efficiently (learn how at Next, try raising your house temperature a few degrees. Every degree warmer saves up to 5% on energy bills. Stay cool in occupied rooms by running fans and keep heat generating activities, like cooking in the oven, to a minimum. Use your outdoor grill and dust off your slow or pressure cookers instead.
  • Use power strips. By plugging your whole work station in to one power strip you can unplug when you are ready to unplug! Turning off the power strip ensures you are not using standby energy or inadvertently keeping accessories such as printers, speakers, or even lamps on when you don’t need them. ( has more information.)
  • Make your computer more energy efficient. Check your computer settings and make sure all the "eco" settings are selected to maximize the life of your battery and use less energy. ( can help)
  • Practice device minimalism. Perhaps you are used to working on multiple monitors or devices. Take stock of what you really need and reduce the number of power using devices you need for your work.
  • Let in the sun. Whenever possible work in spaces with daylight and turn off the lights! Join the City on June 19th to celebrate Daylight Hour by making sure your lights are off from 12-1!

February 2020

How to reduce the impact of plastic bags:

  1. REDUCE your use. Invest in a few reusable bags and reuse them frequently. Cloth bags have their own environmental impact, so try to avoid accumulating too many freebies. The more plastic bags a reusable bag displaces, the better it is for the environment.
  2. REUSE plastic bags. Inevitably, some plastic bags will make it into your home. Give those bags as many additional lives as possible by using them to displace other plastic bags and containers, for example, as trash liners or storage bags.
  3. RECYCLE your bags. If you have more bags than you can reuse, bring them to a recycle bin located at a local retailer but DO NOT put them in your blue or yellow bin.

Once you’ve cleaned up your own plastic bag habits, reach out to some of local businesses that you frequent and request they clean up theirs. Let them know you’d like to see efforts to reduce or eliminate plastic bags! 

What is the City doing?

On January 13th, 2020 the City Council passed a RESOLUTION  strongly encouraging the Florida Legislature to address the environmental impact of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene materials by developing meaningful regulations limiting the use of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene materials and/or by eliminating the State preemption of regulations regarding the use, restriction and prohibition of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene materials. 

Save the Date for April 4th - Springfest! The City’s spring festival also serves as our kick off to Earth Month. Come see how the City is working to green our events.

STAY TUNED for more announcements and actions from the City regarding single use plastic. 

Wondering why we need to reduce single use plastics? One good reason, plastic waste impacts our oceans and wildlife! (YES, even if we recycle and YES, even though most of the ocean plastic comes from overseas - where many of our products are manufactured and disposed). How can you learn more?

  • Watch WLRN’s documentary Troubled Waters, a Turtle’s Tale at to see how the ocean is being impacted and what Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and similar organizations are doing about it. 
  • Follow Gumbo Limbo Nature Center on social media and tune in for their #wakeupwednesday posts detailing a problem and one thing you can do about it!
  • Learn more about what is being done around the world. National Geographic keeps a running list of actions on plastic pollution to help keep you up to date.

December 2019

Low Waste Holidays!

The holiday season is a great time to connect with family and friends and take park in many festive activities hosted by the City and others! It is also a time where the boxes, packaging, single use party supplies pile up! Follow some simple tips to keeping it under control this year.

  • Replacing your old twinkle lights with LED to save energy? Recycle your old lights at one of SWA’s drop off locations.
  • Buy fewer gifts and give experiences instead! Support local businesses and organizations by giving gift cards or memberships or buy tickets to upcoming events. Visit for ideas!
  • Throw a low waste party! Find some tips at and Going Zero Waste.
  • Get creative with your gift wrap! Use newspaper or paper bags and paint to create unique recycled paper! Get more ideas from

November 2019

November 15th is America Recycles Day!

RECYCLE RIGHT! November 15th is America Recycles Day! Making the right choice between the trash bin and the recycle bins is the most important factor in a successful recycling program. Are you recycling right? Find out at

Here are some tips on how to RECYCLE RIGHT!

  • Plastic bags CAN NOT go in you blue or yellow bins! Make sure your recyclables are loose in the bin and take your bags to collection bins at your grocery store (or better yet, switch to reusable bags!)
  • Plastic bottle caps CAN be recycled. Just put them back on the bottle and throw them in the blue bin! (Or better yet, skip plastic bottles and use reusable instead!)
  • Paper can only be recycled if it is clean and dry. This is why paper plates, paper towels, and pizza boxes cannot be recycled! Well, not all of the pizza box, anyway. If there is no cheese or other food on the lid, separate it from the greasy bottom half. Throw the bottom in the trash and the lid in the recycling!
  • The #1 enemy of recycling is contamination which is often caused by WISHcycling, or throwing something in the bin because we hope it can be recycled. Remember to follow the Recycle Right guidelines and follow the mantra “when in doubt – throw it out!”

Do you want to recycle at your business or commercial property?

The Solid Waste Authority can help your business set up its recycling program! Adding recycling could even lower your waste bill!

Learn more at or email [email protected]

October 2019

October 2 is Energy Efficiency Day!

Fall is here just in time for us to finally get a little break on our air conditioning bills! Save money on energy all year round by increasing your home’s efficiency. Did you know that FPL offers free home energy surveys? Or you can conduct a DIY home energy audit. Find lots of way to save on your energy bill through simple switches on the Department of Energy’s Energy Saver site.

October is walk/bike to school month

Walk and Bike to School

It is October and the weather is finally starting to cool off! Why not enjoy the fall weather while walking or biking with your kids to school? Organize with some other families in your neighborhood to ride or walk together and take the opportunity to get some activity in your kids’ day and teach them about bicycle and pedestrian safety! Go to for ideas!

September 2019

Tree Give Away

The City hosted their first ever FREE tree give away on September 28th with their partner Community Greening. The event was a huge success, the trees went fast! The City of Boca Raton was able to add 100 trees to our urban canopy and provide residents with trees that will provide them benefits for years to come! Did you get a tree? Make sure you are following Sustainable Tree Maintenance guidelines for where to plant and how to maintain it. Missed out on a tree? Watch for the Beautification Committee’s Project Shade Tree this spring.

International Coastal Cleanup

The International Coastal Cleanup took place on September 21st and over 600 pounds of trash were collected from Boca Raton’s beaches. Check out the Ocean Conservancy’s top ten items collected graphic. Many of these items are disposable plastic with easy disposal solutions and reusable alternatives! Plastic bottle caps can be placed back on the bottle for recycling, or better yet, drink from reusable bottles! Skip the straw and bring your snacks in reusable packaging. Remember to think about what you are bringing to the beach and the impact it might have if left behind.

Don’t forget to Recycle Right!

The number one easiest thing you can do to reduce your environmental impact is to reduce waste!

Go plastic free or zero waste. There are lots of fun and informative blogs out there such as Going Zero Waste and Trash is for Tossers. Remember, to make a difference we don’t need a few people eliminating waste completely, we need everyone reducing waste a little! 

Anything that must be disposed of should be recycled when possible. Remember, reducing contamination is essential to ensuring the sustainability of recycling systems. Find out what can and cannot go in your blue and yellow bins and what to do with everything else from the Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County.