The new year is a great time to resolve to be greener! The Center for EcoTechnology would like to help with that resolution, so we present to you the Go Green Resolution Raffle!
The winner of the raffle will win a gift basket valued at $75 containing:
- “Smart” power strip
- Kill A Watt power monitor
- programmable thermostat
- three compact flourescent light bulbs
Saving energy is one of the easiest steps someone can make that has an immediate and important impact on the earth. The production of electricity is often hard on our natural resources and environment. Being energy conscious and energy efficient is easy! This kit will allow you to reduce your usage right away.
To enter, just leave your Go Green resolution on our Facebook wall. We will draw the winner on Wednesday, January 8. Good luck!
Our “Go Green” Goal
Over the next three years, we will help 80,000 people take green actions to reduce their environmental impact in homes and businesses. Together with you and our partners, we will reduce our carbon emissions equal to taking 40,000 homes off the grid for one year, a huge environmental benefit to our region. These actions will lead to lifetime savings of $100,000,000.
By Julia Giordano | EcoFellow
EcoBuilding Bargains Keeps Building Materials Out of the Landfill
What comes to mind when you think of home renovation projects? If you’re like me, you probably think of loud power tools, lots of hammering, and a giant dumpster sitting in the driveway. If you’ve ever done renovations on your own home, you know how expensive that dumpster can be: hundreds of dollars plus taxes and fees, and the more dumpsters you fill, the more it costs you.
Traditional renovations involve a demolition stage that fills up those dumpsters rather quickly. However, there is a practical and affordable alternative to demolition: deconstruction. Instead of taking useable materials and smashing them with heavy machinery, deconstruction is the careful disassembly of a building by hand. While this process may take slightly longer than traditional demolition, it is possible to reclaim very high percentages of materials in a house for recycling and reuse.
A time lapse deconstruction project in Cohasset, Massachusetts.
The economic benefits of deconstruction are manifold. First, save money on trash hauling by decreasing the amount of materials that end up in your dumpster. Second, keep perfectly usable materials for your own project – some items removed from one stage of your renovation may easily be incorporated into another. Third, schedule a free pick-up of your materials by EcoBuilding Bargains, where your charitable donation is tax-deductible.
Besides the economic benefits, deconstruction is good for the environment. Most of us have no contact with where our garbage ends up, often forgetting that the final resting place for our waste is a landfill. (That magical truck that collects your garbage at the edge of your driveway doesn’t make it disappear; it just removes it from your sight.) By diverting usable materials from the trash, you can prevent waste and reduce the need for new materials to be produced.
A wide array of materials can be salvaged through deconstruction; commonly reclaimed items include doors, windows, cabinetry, plumbing and electrical fixtures, insulation, and hardwood flooring. Just because you no longer have a use for the materials in your home doesn’t mean someone else won’t!
For your next home improvement project, you have a choice: demolition and dumpsters, or deconstruction and donation. For more information on donating, visit http://www.ecobuildingbargains.org/ or call EcoBuilding Bargains at 413-788-6900.
Our wonderful EcoFellow alumna, Sarah Hebert, put together this tutorial which shows you how to make upcycled bows for gift wrapping out of old magazines and a metal fastener. They would look great on a gift wrapped in newspaper, don’t you think?
You will need a magazine, scissors, and one inch metal fasteners.
Cut a page of the magazine into seven strips.
Cut one of the strips in half.
Roll the half strip into a loop, and carefully push the fastener through to secure it.
Take one of the remaining strips and fold it in half so that the colorful side is facing out
Do the same to the other side so that it is symmetrical.
Carefully attach the loop.
Repeat twice to form the first layer of the bow.
Fold the remaining 3 strips a little looser so that they are a bit longer than those made in step 6.
Fasten the bottom of your bow.
By John Majercak | Executive Director
At the Center for EcoTechnology, we know that our impact on the earth is reduced one step at a time, at home, at work, and in the community. We know that the same steps we take to help the environment can also help our community and our economy. And we know that people need help taking those steps.
We are proud of our shared success but we can see that there is still much more to be done.
I’m pleased to announce that CET is upping the ante and striving to do even more to make Massachusetts a better place to live and work
Over the next three years, CET has committed to helping 80,000 people take green actions that will reduce their environmental impact. Together we will work to reduce our energy use by an amount equal to taking 40,000 homes off the grid for a year and reduce our carbon footprint equal to taking about 100,000 cars off the road for a year. These actions will lead to $100 million in lifetime energy and waste savings for residents and business owners.
We’re calling this work Go Green. To learn more about how you can Go Green, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our newsletter. We look forward to celebrating our shared success in 2016, which is also CET’s 40th birthday!
If you haven’t already worked with CET, here’s a place to get started. With the arrival of the cold weather, it’s never too late to get a free energy assessment for your home. We’ve helped thousands of people in this region improve their comfort in their homes and reduce their energy expenses. Call 1-866-527-7283 to schedule and tell the Mass Save representative that CET sent you!
We love learning about new food waste apps – or rather, food waste prevention apps. The apps featured here are all free, and all take a different approach to helping ordinary people reduce their food waste. The last one, 222 Million Tons, is named for the amount of food wasted globally in industrialized countries every year.
A free app that helps minimize restaurant waste by offering diners a great deal, based on the idea that open tables create wasted food in the kitchen. This app allows the user to get deals at nearby restaurants with open tables. The deals generally range from 30 to 50 percent off and must be used within 45 minutes. (Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android phones)
Users of this app can manage and organize grocery shopping lists. Users can get alerted when items are nearing expiration dates and sort shopping lists by items nearest expiration with three categories of shelf life – short, medium, and long. The app also allows users to check items off their list once purchased, link to their preferred store, and attach photos to specific list items. The basic app is free, and the paid version allows users to create multiple shopping lists. (Available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch)
This free app clues users in to safe cooking practices and provides a food storage guide that can help answer all your food storage questions, like how to best store apples and how long you can safely keep meat in the freezer. Knowing how to increase shelf life of food at home can help reduce your household’s food waste before it even reaches your plate. (Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android phones)
Users of this free app can exchange recipes and search for recipes by ingredients. The search feature allows users to plug in an ingredient, like coconut milk, that they have at home and find recipes based on their specified ingredients. Containing about 10,000 recipes from over 300 contributors, users are sure to find recipes based on ingredients they already have in their fridges or pantries. (Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android phones)
This free app gets its name from the 222 million tons of food wasted globally each year. The app pairs a user’s household size and meal preferences with shopping lists and recipes designed to use up everything that’s purchased. (Available for iPad)