Go Green News
Five new EcoFellows have recently joined our team here at the Center for EcoTechnology! From touring Smith College and learning about their campus wide green efforts, to visiting the EcoBuilding Bargains store, to viewing CET on the live television show Mass Appeal, these past few weeks have been a whirlwind of learning, engagement, and fun. We are so excited for all the opportunities and projects to come, and want to introduce you to each of the EcoFellows so that you can learn a bit more about each of us!
Want to save money? Try looking in your refrigerator! According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy every year, which could cost a household as much as $2,275 annually! Wasting food means a waste of energy, water, and money. However, there are many ways that residents, customers, and businesses can help support the USDA and EPA goal to reduce wasted food by 50% by the year 2030:
Make Something New with Leftovers
One way to reduce wasted food is to check your pantry and refrigerator. Are there leftovers that could be repurposed? Check out the Save the Food campaign, which hosts resources to help communities and individuals address the importance of wasted food. For instance, Save the Food advises consumers on meal planning, understanding labels such as ‘best by,’ modifying storage practices, and reviving food. Also, read CET’s blog on best practices for storing and repurposing items past their prime. Reducing food ending up in your trash is a key way to saving money on grocery bills!
Get Involved with Food Rescue
Encourage local businesses to join Food Rescue programs, or volunteer as a food runner! For instance, MEANS database and Food Rescue US offer opportunities for local businesses, volunteers, and community kitchens or food pantries. Food rescue saves food that would have gone to waste, and feeds hungry people. By volunteering as a food runner you can give back to your community, and you can opt to volunteer whenever you are available.
The summer heat is here and it’s time to think about ways to cool your home while conserving energy! You can take actions now that will keep you more comfortable during these hot summer days, save you some money, and help the environment!
Cool Your Home Efficiently
• Consider using window A/C units to cool specific spaces, and closing off those rooms that you don’t need to cool. By reducing the space you want to cool, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll save money!
• Cool your house at night by opening windows and using fans to cool off if you don’t have air conditioning. Close windows early in the morning and keep them closed all day.
• Use ceiling and portable fans to blow air on you and your family members. Remember: fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you’re not in the same room.
Summer is here, and party season is in full swing. With Independence Day just around the corner, there are preparations to be made! We have some tips to help you save some money, reduce your waste, and make your 4th of July green, as well as red, white, and blue!
- Bring reusable bags while shopping for supplies and food.
- Ask guests to RSVP so that you can get the right amount of food and drinks. This will reduce wasted food and also prevent you from spending unnecessary money.
- Choose natural or reusable decorations and reduce buying plastic items that will be thrown away.
The EcoFellowship Program has proven to be tremendously effective in building understanding and promoting action at the grassroots level. Each year CET recruits and trains recent college graduates from across the country, preparing them to take on today and tomorrow’s most pressing environmental challenges.
This time of year is always bittersweet. While we are so encouraged by the profound impact of these five individuals, it is always hard to say goodbye. Here are just some of the things they did in the past 11 months:
- Avery Cross updated the food waste estimation guide published on the RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts website. This is a valuable tool used across the country.
- Willow Cohn managed the EcoBuilding Bargains Bash – making it our most successful yet! Willow unfortunately had to miss the graduation as she’s already begun her next chapter as a Sustainability Analyst at Bell’s Brewery in Michigan.
- Jorge Guarin began developing an educational series for businesses on a variety of topics, collaborating with 1Berkshire, the official Berkshire County Regional Economic Development Organization and Regional Tourism Council.
- Shelby Kuenzli created multiple videos about CET’s impact for Earth Month, expanding the way we communicate about our valuable work.
- Morgan O’Connor worked on developing powerful tools for Solar Access, a new program for middle-income homeowners.