For some people, February is a month full of dreary winter days and anguish over never-ending slush on the ground. For others, it’s excitement over the days beginning to get longer and the anticipation of spring. For yet others, it’s a month of looking forward to Valentine’s Day. This holiday is often full of loving surprises, beautiful flower bouquets, and an assortment of candies. Yet, like many other holidays, this day is also dominated by industries who sell products that are bound to end up in the trash. Valentine’s Day, however, does not need to be a drain on the environment. Read on to hear some creative DIY gift ideas and get your eco-friendly crafting juices flowing!
Cardboard Heart Cards
Instead of buying cards at a store, why not create some of your own from materials at home? Pictured below is a cardboard heart cutout design, and makes for a pretty card to give someone. This is just one of many ways to reuse household products for cards—you could also use old magazines or newspapers, among other things!Read More»
Hello! My name is Becky Kalish and I am a Communications EcoFellow at the Center for EcoTechnology. I graduated last May from Oberlin College with degrees in Environmental Studies and Viola Performance. I have loved living in Northampton and being surrounded by people both passionate about the environment as well as music and the arts! The EcoFellowship has allowed me to explore the role of marketing in an environmental setting, and work on the best ways to communicate our messages to a public audience. From attending press conference events in Rhode Island, to appearing on live television, to creating promotional graphics and flyers, every day at work is different and I never stop gaining new skills. It is exciting to continue learning how the environment connects to so many other aspects of life—hotels realizing how food waste diversion both helps the environment and results in smoother business operations, homeowners incorporating upcycled building materials into their home, and so much more.Read More»
With the holiday season comes a lot of guests, food, and gifts. Remember that celebrating does not mean needing to waste copious amounts of food and producing excess energy! Use some of our tips to ensure that your holiday celebrations positively impact the environment.
1. Use a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one.
Using a real Christmas tree has shown to be more sustainable for the environment. Artificial trees are typically made with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which is listed as a carcinogen. Additionally, it is the manufacture of a fake plastic tree, from oil, that creates most of its carbon footprint. Fake trees are also often shipped very long distances before arriving in the shop and then your home. Real Christmas trees are grown very sustainably and efficiently on Christmas tree farms, and recycling and composting your real tree after use is very easy to do. You can also leave your real tree in woods or ponds to create a wildlife habitat!
2. Use recyclable wrapping paper or alternative sustainable gift wrap options.
Before recycling wrapping paper, be sure to remove any decorations such as ribbons or bows as these cannot be recycled. Simple wrapping paper can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and needs to go in the waste. Reusable gift wrap is also an idea, such as cloth or reusable gift bags!Read More»
Watch this video to hear more about the solar hot water installation at Barrington Brewery!
Since 1995, Barrington Brewery has been serving their own Barn Brewed Beer and food made from scratch. Barrington Brewery was the first brewery on the east coast to install a solar panel that supplies solar-heated hot water for brewing and restaurant use. Solar hot water systems capture heat from sunlight and circulate the thermal energy to a hot water tank. Solar hot water reduces the usage of traditional water heating fuels, such as oil, electricity, or propane, saving consumers money on their energy bill (Mass Clean Energy Center).Read More»
Watch this video to hear more about the solar hot water installation at Homeowner’s Rehab Inc.!
This past October a solar hot water heating system was installed at the Homeowner’s Rehab Inc. Auburn Court development, a private non-profit housing corporation in Cambridge, MA that works to provide affordable housing in multi-family dwellings. They are committed to renewable energy, and took advantage of a scheduled rehab of the Cambridge property to install a new solar hot water system. The solar hot water system was designed for eight residential affordable housing units within the corporation.Read More»