DIY Water Marbled Tile Coasters

Tiles aren’t just for backsplashes or flooring, they can be used for a fun DIY upcycle project! Using this website as inspiration, we made water marbled tile coasters using nail polish. You can use any colors of nail polish you want, but we chose neutral colors. Water marbling can also be used on other surfaces, but using salvaged tile coasters from EcoBuilding Bargains meant an affordable and fun craft. It took us several tries to get it, but the results are great!

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Kitchen Remodel Using Salvaged Cabinets

Using salvaged cabinets to remodel your kitchen can sound like an impossible task, but is actually really doable. One solution is to visit EcoBuilding Bargains, where there are always a variety of high-quality cabinets that need homes, but it can make you wonder how to integrate them into the spaces in your home. The Gaylords, who live in Easthampton, have integrated a beautiful salvaged cabinet set with the help of their contractor.

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The EcoFellow Experience: Natasha Nurjadin

If you’re like me when I was in college, you love the environment but have no idea how to convert this passion into a real career. I knew that out of college, I wanted to work somewhere meaningful and where I could develop skills, but not at the expense of a solid career track. Thus, the EcoFellowship was a perfect fit. I’ve developed skills in the realm of energy, specifically with energy efficiency and high performance building. I’ve also developed professionally, realizing that I have a really strong analytical mind and communications background that I can apply to all of the projects I work on. As my experience as an EcoFellow continues, I hope to further solidify my aspirations to become an environmental professional in the realm of energy and the built environment, trying to make energy efficiency more accessible to everyone.

My role as an EcoFellow

I’m the Building Science EcoFellow, which means I primarily work on projects relating to energy efficiency and renewable energy, including innovative new programs that CET administers. One week, I may be supporting the energy team in administering home energy assessments, learning how to talk to customers and about the different energy efficiency incentives. This has also involved being out of the office on site visits, shadowing and supporting the energy specialists in the field. On another week, I may be helping with the Solar Access program, which aims to provide renewable energy and new heating and cooling technology to low-middle income homeowners. I have shadowed and compared different kinds of buildings, from already built homes looking for upgrades, to newly constructed homes and multi-family residences.

What skills have you learned during your EcoFellowship that will help you in future professional endeavors?

Throughout the EcoFellowship, I have been developing my knowledge of building science through both working on programs and shadowing opportunities. By far the most useful skill I have learned is how to speak to customers about building science topics through translating some of the technical jargon into understandable language. This skill will definitely go a long way in my future career as I try to navigate how to make energy efficiency attractive to everyone. In addition to this skill, I’ve also learned project management, following outreach opportunities from beginning to end, as well as research and data management skills.

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EcoFellows Develop Skills at Bard College C2C Conference

The Bard College C2C program offers weekend skills-based workshops for recent graduates and current college students. Upon completion of the conference, every participant joins a C2C Fellows network, which now has over 500 members. As part of the EcoFellowship program, CET provides Fellows with the opportunity to attend conferences for professional development. Earlier this month, two of the current EcoFellows, Natasha and Becky, chose to attend the Bard College C2C Conference. Natasha and Becky discuss their personal experiences and conference takeaways below. Also, check out last year’s fellows’ blog to learn more about the program and day-to-day schedule of events. It’s a great opportunity for EcoFellows to attend this conference year after year!

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Weatherization Tips & Tricks

As the weather gets colder, you may be starting to think about how to keep your house warm. Weatherization is a process in which you protect your house from the outside elements, including snow, rain, and the cold weather! Weatherization will reduce your home’s energy consumption and save you both energy and money. Also, it’s pretty easy to do!

Why is it important to do?

One reason weatherization is important to do is because you become more comfortable in your own home. Not only will weatherization provide better comfort and fewer drafts, but it will also save you money on energy costs while making your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Many homeowners are dealing with higher energy bills year round and do not realize that proper weatherization techniques can permanently solve the problem. Weatherization also improves air quality, increases moisture control, and prevents things like ice dams, freezing pipes, and mold growth from condensation (since you are controlling moisture more).

What are the cost savings like?

Through weatherization improvements and upgrades, households can save an average of $283 or more each year according to a national evaluation of the program. According to the Department of Energy, you can also save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

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