Food Waste True or False

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Assistant

It’s the season of farmers markets and cookouts! There’s always another new recipe to try out or leftovers from yet another cookout going into the refrigerator. We’ve all been there- whether it’s a half-eaten container of strawberries that grows fuzzy, or milk left a week or so too long, food waste is a common problem. Part of the issue is a lack of education on the topic. How much do you know about food waste in America? Join us for a little food waste true & false and put your knowledge to the test!

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Unpacking Food Waste

By Matt Brodeur, Green Business Fellow

Some quantity of spoiled and damaged foods are an unfortunate but inevitable part of supermarket and food manufacturing operations. Being able to keep these food products out of landfills has been a challenge given that many foods are sealed in packaging. However, BioCycle details how one Massachusetts company, E.L. Harvey & Sons Inc., invested in mechanical separation technology to remove packaging from food. E.L. Harvey received a grant through MassDEP’s Recycling Business Development Grant (RBDG) program which enabled them to purchase and install the separator.

Depackaging Food Waste

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How to Plan a Zero Waste Event

By Lexie Vining, Outreach and Education Fellow 

At CET, we are proud of the work we do to help people and businesses reduce their waste. When planning our recent 2nd Annual EcoBuilding BBQ, we made sure that it was a zero waste event from start to finish! The theme was to connect with community members to celebrate spring, going green and re-use. We had a variety of ongoing events such as vermicomposting, crafts and upcycling demonstrations. It was all conveniently located at EcoBuilding Bargains, which is the largest used building materials store in New England. Listed below are the steps we took to create a zero waste event! If you are interested in reducing waste at your events, please consider the suggestions below!

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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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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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