Reused Materials at Iconica Social Club

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow 

There is an exciting new addition to downtown Northampton coming soon…Iconica Social Club! This multi-purpose space will serve as a juice and coffee bar, art gallery, event space, and a cozy upstairs study area. Owners Em and Fitzpatrick Withenbury have been working on the renovation of this unique space for over two years and found lots of building supplies from EcoBuilding Bargains! Fitzpatrick and Em say they had a “determination to reuse” and loved finding used items and fixing them up for their space. They noted that old things have much more character and are typically built better. Their renovations look amazing, and this unique space is sure to be a hit!

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Take The Quiz to Find Out How Much You Know About Climate Change

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

We are always striving to support innovations to reduce our impact on climate change, but how much do we really know about the most effective way to do that? Is it by switching to an entirely renewable energy system? Reducing our meat consumption? Driving electric vehicles? Each of our every day decisions make a certain amount of impact, but a new book, “Drawdown” by Paul Hawken, shows how certain choices we make may have a much larger impact than others. And some of these top solutions may come as a surprise.

Take this New York Times quiz to see how much you really know about the best way to reduce our carbon footprint.

Or check out this chart from “Drawdown” outlining the top 15 climate solutions and their potential impact. For the full list of the top 100, visit


Speaker Forum Recap

By Lexie Vining, Outreach and Education Fellow

This past Saturday, CET held its’ first annual speaker forum entitled, “What Can YOU Do About Climate Change?”, which focused on experts from our community that are addressing locally-relevant environmental issues. Speakers discussed innovative and tangible solutions to various challenges associated with climate change through psychological, political and community-based strategies.

To begin the day, there was a tour of the Hitchcock Center, which is considered a living building. Choosing this site as the location for our speaker forum was a natural decision based on the high environmental standard that the building is held to.

Attendees tour the Hitchcock Center for the Enviornment’s new living building.

According to the International Living Future Institute, Living Buildings are:

  • Regenerative buildings that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community
  • Self sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site
  • Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them

After the tour, we had the honor of hearing from our three speakers, Ezra Markowitz, Nancy Nylen and Solomon Goldstein-Rose. Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Ezra Markowitz, talked about behavior change and encouraged the crowd to consider the barriers that they face regarding daily decisions and relate that to environmental decision making. Associate Director at the Center for EcoTechnology, Nancy Nylen shared words on the importance of renewable energy technologies from years ago to current day. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Massachusetts State Representative for Third Hampshire District spoke about the actions that we, as community members can take in order to help influence policy at a regional and statewide level.

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Father’s Day Sustainable Gifts

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

1. Every Day Sustainable Items– Make it easy for your Dad to go green by giving a gift that encourages him to be environmentally friendly every day! Reusable water bottles and mugs, decorative tote bags, reusable containers, fun dish towels, or a solar powered charger are all great options.

2. Eatable Gift– Make your Dad a gift basket with all of his favorite local and organic foods. Or bake him his favorite sweet treats!

3. Tickets to an Event– It’s the perfect season to enjoy a baseball game or outdoor music! Take your Dad to a fun event that you can both share together, rather than purchasing an item he doesn’t need.

4. A Solar Composter– Now that it’s the prime season for fresh produce, make sure your Dad has a sustainable way to dispose of all the peels and pits. EcoBuilding Bargains has Jack’s Solar Composters, which are easy to use in any yard!

5. Buy Vintage Items– Your Dad will love to have a “blast-from-the-past” item from a vintage shop, used book store, or antique store.

Speaker Forum: What Can You Do About Climate Change?

Announcing a New Speaker Forum: What Can You Do About Climate Change?

Amherst, MA – Even as Washington, D.C., steps back from dealing with climate change, the Center for EcoTechnology and its partners are moving forward to help people and businesses take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For the past 40 years, the Center for EcoTechnology, a nonprofit based in Northampton, has helped people and businesses save energy and reduce waste, resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the local environment. CET’s new speaker forum, “What Can You do about Climate Change?,” is set for this Saturday, June 10, 1-4:30pm at Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West St, Amherst, Mass. The event is free and open to the public.

The Speaker Forum will feature local environmental leaders Ezra Markowitz, Nancy Nylen, and Solomon Goldstein-Rose. These speakers will discuss innovative and tangible solutions to the various challenges associated with climate change through psychological, political and community-based strategies. This event aims to bring people together to talk about climate change and what people can do about it in their daily lives.

Join us in learning from Ezra Markowitz, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Decision-Making, as he provides insights from the behavioral sciences. He will be speaking on promoting pro-environmental behavior while maintaining choice. Markowitz states that “We can use the insights into human decision-making offered by the behavioral sciences to significantly improve the efficacy of efforts aimed at improving the everyday environmental choices we all make.” Markowitz will discuss four decades of research by psychologists and economists that reveal insights into behavioral shifts towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly choices. He will also highlight key considerations and strategies that can be used to support better environmental decision-making.

Mr. Markowitz works in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research and teaching focus on the intersection of decision-making, persuasive communication, public engagement with science and environmental sustainability. He is the author of over 20 peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters, and reports, including the 2015 Connecting on Climate guide to climate change communication (written in collaboration with colleagues at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and ecoAmerica). At UMass Amherst, Markowitz teaches courses on Environmental Decision-Making, Conservation Social Science, and Public Engagement and Communication for Scientists.

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