Last Minute, Sustainable Valentine Gift Ideas!

There are so many ways to reduce waste on Valentine’s Day, especially when it comes to gifts. Although it may not be traditional, it doesn’t mean the gift or experience will be worth any less! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, so if you haven’t figured out what to gift your loved one(s), here are some last minute sustainable and thoughtful gift ideas.

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The EcoFellowship Experience: Olivia Horwitz

The last semester of college was a very nerve-wracking, yet exciting time for me. I was overwhelmed with what I would do after college and how I was going to make it as a young professional in the environmental field. I was studying Environmental and Urban Studies with a focus in food systems and agriculture at Bard College. I knew I wanted to go into the environmental field, but I had no idea what I wanted to focus on. Prior to the EcoFellowship, I worked on farms, greenhouses, and waste reduction initiatives on campus, yet I was fearful I didn’t have enough work experience or wasn’t qualified enough to work in a professional environment. I originally thought I would go into food waste prevention. However, during my time here at CET I have been able to explore different sectors in the environmental field, causing me to shift my focus from food waste to building material waste. CET has a retail store, EcoBuilding Bargains, which is the biggest reuse store in Western New England, and being able to work at the store combines my passion for the environment and sustainable building practices while also including my strong interest in interior design.

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Get Organized in 2019: Upcycled Shutters

As the new year begins, we’re all thinking about how to refresh our spaces and get more organized. A great way to get inspiration is by visiting our store, EcoBuilding Bargains, where there is a large amount of inventory moving in and out every day. Using salvaged or reused items, such as those from EcoBuilding Bargains, can be a unique and environmentally friendly way to decorate your home.

We found these beautiful shutters and re-purposed them into holders that can be placed near the entryways of your home for important items, such as keys or mail. We also made a kid-friendly chore board, using different icons to represent tasks and check marks that can be used to indicate whether the task has been completed. Check out the instructions below!

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6 Impactful and Practical, Green New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy 2019! Now is the perfect time to think about resolutions that you can make to have a more environmentally-friendly year. Whether it’s eating red meat only once a week instead of three times a week, using biodegradable cleaning products, or using a reusable water bottle instead of a plastic one, there are efforts that can really make a difference. No matter how small your “green” actions may seem, actively thinking about your choices is what matters. You have to start somewhere, so start small and ease your way into adopting these resolutions. Good luck!

1. Bring a reusable bag and water bottle with you

  • Reusable bags are a great alternative to plastic bags. They are relatively cheap, last a long time, and help preserve the planet. It takes up to 100-400 years for plastic to break down at the landfill and even when plastic does breakdown, it breaks down into microscopic pieces of plastic that are still non-biodegradable.
  • According to the EPA, each week, Americans buy enough plastic water bottles to circle the earth 5 times! If you use a reusable water bottle, it saves you money in the long run and is an easy switch to help you and the environment.

2. Eliminate phantom energy

  • Phantom energy, also known as vampire energy, is the energy used by electronic devices that continue to draw power even though they are “off.”
  • Energy vampires can add up to nearly 10% of a household’s monthly electric bill. By using smart power strips you can save money and energy!

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Thank You For Your #GivingTuesday Contributions!

#GivingTuesday has come and gone, and by all accounts it was a success across the board. Thank you very much for your support! Your contribution helps us to continue our outreach and education work in communities across Massachusetts. It also supports the EcoFellowship, which helps us train the next generation of environmental leaders. It all helps us continue to make green make sense. Thank you again!

If you did not get a chance to donate and would like to please click here!

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