Vermicomposting for Everyone!

By Katie Costantini 

Did you know that you don’t need a yard, or even a space outside, to compost your food waste? You can compost inside your home using worms! Vermicomposting uses worms and naturally present microorganisms to transform your kitchen and yard waste into nutrient rich humus, or compost, that you can use to help plants grow.

Vermicomposting not only creates a quality product that you can use on your garden, house plants, or lawn, but it can also save you money by reducing trash hauling costs. It also has a positive impact on the environment! Keeping food and yard waste out of the trash reduces both carbon emissions associated with garbage transportation and methane emissions produced when organic waste decomposes anaerobically in a landfill.

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High Performance Building: Project Highlight

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

Photo courtesy of Valley CDC http://valleycdc.com/affordable-housing-development/

CET’s High Performance Building team works with many different builders, contractors and nonprofits to help each make their new construction projects more energy efficient through HERS ratings, plan review, diagnostic testing, and more. Recently CET’s building scientist, Mark Newey, has been working with Valley CDC on the redevelopment of the former Northampton lumber yard into a four-story, 55-unit affordable housing property.

The Valley CDC is a nonprofit organization that works to empower low and moderate income communities to improve the quality of their lives through the development of affordable housing, providing economic opportunities, and encouraging community leadership.

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Second Annual EcoBuilding BBQ!

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

EcoBuilding Bargains is hosting its annual public barbeque to celebrate spring and reusing and upcycling materials next Saturday, May 20 from 12:00-2:30pm! This free event will feature a multitude of family fun activities, such as composting and reuse workshops, along with live upcycling and composting demonstrations and crafts for kids. Participants can also enjoy free food from the Holyoke Hummus Company while listening to music provided by local DJ Kevin Legends.

Join us in learning from salvage craftsman, Palo Coleman who is returning for a second time to the EcoBuilding Barbeque for a live demonstration of the Japanese charred wood technique of coloring, finishing and preserving siding. Coleman is a talented salvage craftsman based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who specializes in turning reclaimed materials, such as trees, industrial machinery and old furniture, into useable, aesthetically pleasing items. Coleman will be joined by Joe Rosatti, an experienced local upcycler and frequent customer at EcoBuilding Bargains. Rosatti will demonstrate how to upcycle an old bureau into a new piece of furniture.

Come meet our red wiggler worms! CET’s outreach specialist, Ed Rutledge, will give vermicomposting demonstrations throughout the day. He will show how to create a simple compost bin and explain how the worms help turn food waste into productive, finished compost. This event will also have family-friendly projects at the kid crafts table. Attendees can learn how to transform tiles into coasters and decorate bricks to display in the garden.

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Ten Tips to Green Your Mother’s Day Gift

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and we have some great gift giving ideas for you to show the moms in your life how much you care about them- and the earth! Choosing sustainable gift options this Mother’s Day is easy! Here are ten ideas to get you started:

1. Sustainably grown flowers.

Most of the time when we think about organic products, we are talking about food. However, often flowers are grown with huge amounts of pesticides, which still negatively impact our environment. Try to choose local and organic flowers this Mother’s Day!

2. Make a card out of recycled materials, or send an e-card.

Giving a sustainable Mother’s Day card is one easy change anyone can make! Create a card out of recycled paper, cardboard or magazines. Even better, make an e-card and save the paper all together!

3. Make a donation to a sustainable organization in her honor.

Giving a gift to your mother’s favorite sustainable organization in her honor this Mother’s Day is a great way to support local organizations and your Mom all at once! Mothers are always working hard to ensure a successful and healthy future for everyone in their lives, and this Mother’s Day you can do the same for her and our earth!  To donate to CET this mother’s day, visit our website.

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Leyden Woods High Performance Building Case Study

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

Our High Performance Building team recently worked with The Community Builders (TCB) on the remodeling of their Leyden Woods Affordable Housing Development. For this project, CET provided 200 Home Energy Ratings and assisted throughout the construction process to ensure energy efficiency on all levels. We also provided guidance and certification services to help the project achieve ENERGY STAR for Homes Certification. Finally, CET helped TCB meet the guidelines to receive Mass Save Residential New Construction incentives that reflect the energy savings achieved in design and construction.

To learn more about this project and CET’s involvement throughout, watch our video case study:

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