Celebrate America Recycles Day with CET

America Recycles DayToday is America Recycles Day! According to the EPA the United States recycles at a rate of around 34.3%, and with your help we can raise that even more! Recycling and composting are growing industries accounting for 757,000 jobs and $36.6 billion in wages, as well as an additional $6.7 billion in tax revenue. That is roughly 1.57 jobs for every 1,000 tons of material recycled! By increasing the amount we recycle we can conserve natural resources, while strengthening our economy!

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NESEA Pro Tour with the EcoFellows

EcoFellows in front of passive house on NESEA yourRecently the EcoFellows toured two very different, yet highly efficient, building projects in Western Massachusetts. The tour was put on by our friends at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) as part of their Pro Tour Series. Both projects were the work of local contractors Kent Hicks Construction, one of them being his own home and office.

Kent lives in a former grist mill that was built in 1850. In order to convert it into a home residence and office space he completed a deep energy retrofit. A deep energy retrofit is a way of renovating a space to address all energy loads and increase efficiency.

However, what made this project exceptional was Kent’s dedication to maintaining the integrity and aesthetic of the old mill building. Throughout the project, deconstruction and repurposing of original materials was a priority. This allowed for unique design features, like wainscoting made from their original metal roofing, and a dining room table made from the mill’s machinery. The flooring downstairs is also original and shows the indentations of former mill employees’ work stations. This project is a testament to how style  and energy efficiency can work together to create a beautiful and sustainable home, without compromising historical authenticity.

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Reuse Rockstars Winners 2017

Last week the 2017 Reuse Rockstars competition came to an end. We had 18 entries, and we were blown away by your creativity and ingenuity! These materials were once destined for the landfill, but thanks to your hard work and a shopping trip to EcoBuilding Bargains, new life has been breathed into these unique conversation pieces! Although only one winner will walk away with the $200 gift card to EcoBuilding Bargains, we would like to showcase a few of our favorites, and thank everyone for participating!

Honorable Mentions

 Service Table by CynthiaReuse Rockstar Table

This table will be the envy of every dinner party! Place it in the middle of your garden with some outdoor lighting and you have the perfect dinner venue from summer through fall! Cynthia found both the reclaimed door that is now the tabletop, and the canopy bed that is now the legs at EcoBuilding Bargains, making this a full transformation! The center is cut away to reveal an under-mounted rain gutter that functions as an ice bucket for wine and other drinks.

 

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How to Green Your Office

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Green Office

We’ve written many articles on how you can make your home greener, but what about your office? In 2016 in the U.S., people spent roughly 7.99 hours a day at work. During the course of our lifetime, assuming an average lifespan of 78 and working between the ages of 18-65, we spend between 15-35% of our lives at work! So why not make that space green and sustainable as well? Small changes made by individuals can make a huge difference and inspire others to do the same. Here are some of our favorite tips to help you green your office!

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The Monster in our Closet: Fast Fashion & Textile Waste on the Rise

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing & High Performance Building Fellow

Warehouse full, floor to ceiling with old clothing

In 1980 the EPA found the U.S. to have generated roughly 5 billion pounds of textile waste in the public waste stream. That amount has since spiked to 32.44 billion pounds in 2014. This is post-consumer textile waste, which includes products such as clothing, footwear, fashion accessories, towels, bedding, and drapery that have already been purchased. 95% of all textiles have the potential to be reused or recycled, but currently they are recycled at a rate of only 15%. This disproportionate rate is thought to be caused by lack of awareness among individuals, as this is only municipal solid waste, meaning what people are throwing away in their public waste stream, not waste generated by businesses, including the fashion industry. So this problem largely lies with us – the individual.

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