Go Green News

Living Building Challenge – R.W. Kern Center

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing and High Performance Building EcoFellow


Living Building Challenge Group Picture

Recently, some of our staff toured a local Living Building on Hampshire College’s campus. The Living Building Challenge is seen as one of the most rigorous design standards in green building. Before certification, a project must prove itself to align with the seven “petals” that make up a Living Building – Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity, and Beauty. A project that meets all of these standards is seen to be not just in line with its environment, but improving it.

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EcoFellows Graduate from C2C Program at Bard College

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

This past week, four of the EcoFellows participated in the Bard College C2C Fellows Network program. This is a national program for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring for leadership positions in sustainable policy, politics and business. This two-and-a-half-day conference provided a great opportunity for us to learn about potential sustainability career paths we can take as well as network with other young environmental professionals.

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Stop Plastic Pollution at the Source. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Plastic PollutionBy Willow Cohn, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

We use plastics in virtually every shape and form in our daily lives. It carries our drinks, holds our shampoos, and keeps our veggies fresh. According to the to the UN Environment Programme, humans are consuming resources and producing waste at a greater scale than ever before, and per capita consumption levels are projected to increase with continued development. Data indicates that during the 20th century, global material resource use rose at about twice the rate of population. Plastic is everywhere! We love it because it is waterproof, relatively cheap, durable, and versatile. Plastic makes our lives incredibly convenient, disposable, and easy, but most people rarely think about the effects it has on the environment. Unlike other materials, it never really goes away. Plastic does break down, but in a landfill it takes up to 400 hundreds years; worse, it doesn’t ever become other materials, it just breaks into microscopic pieces of plastic that are still non-biodegradable. From there, plastic fragments most often find their way into the oceans. But it’s not just the end of a plastic’s life cycle we need to worry about. When plastic is produced, it’s made from toxic materials such as benzene and vinyl hydrochloride. These chemicals are known to cause cancer, and the manufacturing byproducts contaminate our air and soil.

So what can you do?

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CET Takes a Tour of the SMRF

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Recently, some of the EcoFellows and CET staff took a tour of the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (SMRF). We got to see the inside of the facility, where the materials are dropped off, where they’re sorted and the belts that the materials travel on. Afterwards, we were shown the gigantic bales of recyclable materials and were invited to have a discussion about the different challenges of recycling and how important outreach and education is. Find out what we learned below!

About 70 cities and towns bring their recycling materials to the SMRF and there are multiple ways that towns recycle. The two most common ways to recycle are through single-stream recycling and dual-stream recycling. Single stream refers to recycling materials (such as paper and plastic) are mixed together; dual stream recycling involves separating materials into paper products and other containers (such as plastic, metal and glass, etc). The most common method is dual stream, and the SMRF only processes dual stream.

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Celebrate #GivingTuesday with CET

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing & High Performance Building Fellow

Tomorrow, November 28, join the worldwide movement and give back to your community by participating in Giving Tuesday! This international celebration of giving has already raised $177,000,000 across 98 different countries, and the day has not even arrived yet! Tomorrow as people come together to give what they can to influential charities and organizations, we hope that you keep in mind the Center for EcoTechnology, and the work we do in your communities.

One of the best ways to get involved is at the local level. Here at the Center for EcoTechnology, we help our community make green make sense! Last year our outreach and education team connected with over 3,400 people around western Massachusetts. We traveled to 119 events, reaching from the Berkshires to Boston, helping people to save money and find even more ways to be environmentally conscious. We love the work that we do, but as a non-profit we need help doing it.

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