November 20, 2018
For Further information:
Lorenzo Macaluso, CET, 413-218-1543
ANNOUNCEMENT EVENT TODAY:
- Buxton Hollow Farm, North Smithfield, RI
- 10:30 a.m.
- Photo Op: compost operation tour
State, Local Officials Gather to Discuss the Issue of Wasted Food in Rhode Island
The Center for EcoTechnology has received federal funding to help address the critical issue
For many people in Rhode Island, Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and enjoyable eating. It’s also a time when many people and businesses donate to food rescue organizations, food pantries and soup kitchens, to ensure that the state’s hungriest people get warm, nutritious meals.
Meanwhile, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 40% of food in the USA goes uneaten. This wasted food is valued at approximately $165 billion annually and when disposed of in a landfill, is a significant contributor to greenhouse gases. Diversion from disposal of food waste in the State, be it by reduction of such waste in the first place, by donation to feed people or animals, or by composting and anaerobic digestion, is a priority.
New Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the Center for EcoTechnology (CET) will address this issue by providing technical assistance to help businesses and institutions reduce wasted food.
The funding was announced today by Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin at Buxton Hollow Farm in North Smithfield. The announcement also highlighted the farm’s impressive compost operation, run by The Compost Plant.
With the Federal funds it has received, CET expects to provide technical assistance to many businesses across the state to successfully and cost effectively implement strategies to address their wasted food. These efforts will also help businesses like the Compost Plant, grow and succeed.
“The amount of food that is wasted every year is staggering,” said Congressman Langevin, who has convened a Rhode Island Food Advisory Committee to better understand the agriculture and dining landscape in the state. “That’s why I’m thrilled that the Center for EcoTechnology has secured federal funding to help businesses across Rhode Island address this problem through efficient and cost-effective strategies. Food is a precious resource, and we cannot afford to waste it.”Read More»
Press Release: State, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Solar Access Clean Energy System for Amherst Homeowner
Emily Gaylord, Center for EcoTechnology
413.687.2132 (cell) | 413.586.7350 ext. 236
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Clean Energy System for Amherst Homeowner
Solar, renewable heating system funded by state program for low-to moderate income residents
Amherst, Mass., October 15, 2018 – State officials from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center today joined representatives from the Center for EcoTechnology and UMass Five Credit Union to celebrate the recent completion of a solar and renewable heating system for a homeowner in Amherst. Paulina Alenkina, a homeowner in Amherst, flipped the switch on her home’s new renewable-powered heating system as part of Solar Access, a state-supported program for homeowners installing solar panels with heat pump technology. The program is funded through the state’s Affordable Clean Residential Energy Program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as part of the Baker administration’s $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy initiative.
Solar Access is a time-limited pilot program for middle-income homeowners in Massachusetts. There are many programs that offer financial help to pay for a portion of the cost of solar or a cold climate air source heat pump. This program, available to only 100 homeowners, combines solar electric and air source heat pump incentives with a state-sponsored loan to fully finance both technologies. CET, a local non-profit, has partnered with SunBug Solar and Girard Heating and Air Conditioning to bring affordable, renewable energy to those who may not readily be able to purchase this technology. Participants in the program enroll in a UMassFive Credit Union loan and pay less than they spend now on energy costs. To participate, a family of four would need to fall in the income range of $68,289.01 – $91,052.00. Participants can call CET with income-related questions. Alenkina, a CET employee, was one of the first homeowners to sign up. Five more projects will come online this month.
“Participating was a no-brainer,” said homeowner Paulina Alenkina. “My family and I are saving on my energy bills and getting clean energy all at the same time.”
Solar Access is truly a community effort, and is supported by the MassCEC and the DOER.Read More»
Mason jars, stainless steel straws, and reusable shopping bags. Most of us have heard of these items as tools to help us reduce waste in our daily lives. In fact, the Center for EcoTechnology has written a few blogs about this concept of zero waste before, highlighting ways to incorporate waste free actions into our routines and special events. These ideas are practical and helpful but in this blog, we want to take a step back and look at why they might not be possible or accessible to all demographics.
What is zero waste?
Most cohesively, zero waste is a movement to reduce the amount that individuals and communities consume and consequently throw away. A zero waste lifestyle promotes a circular economy, one that is sustainable and functional for long-term use. It encourages more complex thinking about the resources we use and utilizes concepts like reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting as potential solutions.
We were recently featured in an article in BioCycle magazine about our efforts to tackle the issue of food waste.
“The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC), with support from the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), conducted an analysis of existing and proposed organic waste bans, studying the policies themselves as well as the experiences of states and localities in implementing and enforcing these policies.”
Read the full article
published by BioCycle Magazine.
“If we can help someone’s life be better or their business perform better at the same time we’re helping the environment, it just makes so much sense…so we’re always pushing harder to make more of it happen.”
-President of CET, John Majercak