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!
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.Read More»
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.Read More»
By Aliza Heeren, High Performance Building Fellow, and Lexie Vining, Outreach and Education Fellow
American families throw out approximately 20% of the food and beverages they buy, which equates to about $1,800 in wasted food annually. Imagine what you could do with all that extra cash! Here are some tips for how you can use various food items that are past their prime:
Tea bags are often thought of as a one time thing, but did you know you can make multiple cups of tea with one bag? Try saving your bag for a second cup later, or share a tea bag with a friend! After you’ve finished with it, here are some other useful ways tea bags can be used before they hit the compost bin:
- Open up the used tea bag and feed your plants with the tea leaves.
- Deter household pests by putting tea bags in places mice might be a problem.
As Americans, we buy about 3 billion loaves of bread per year and 25% of that ends up being wasted. That comes out to about 750 million loaves of bread wasted each year! Instead of throwing away stale bread, you can…
- Use it in recipes such as bruschetta or stuffing.
- Freeze the sliced loaf and defrost the bread as needed so that it doesn’t go stale.
- Make breadcrumbs or croutons.
- Use it to keep veggies fresh! By putting a slice of bread in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator, it will help absorb moisture and keep vegetables fresh.
By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow
1. Watch the game together- Gather a large group of friends to watch the game on one TV, in order to reduce the amount of electricity used while cheering on your favorite team.
2. Carpool to the party- Encourage your guests to carpool to your house to reduce carbon emissions and the amount of cars that have to fit in your driveway!
3. Make your own food- Buy ingredients in bulk and make your own food at home. Pre-made food is often sold in a lot of plastic packaging, especially when served as individual portions.
4. Buy beverages in bulk- Buying large bottles is often less expensive than buying individual cans and saves you the hassle of dealing with recycling all of those empty cans!
5. Don’t throw away leftovers- Distribute them among your guests to take home, donate them to those in need, or compost them.