Drive Green with Mass Energy’s Electric Vehicle Discount Program!

By Willow Cohn, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

Have you been considering buying an electric vehicle (EV)? Well, now is the right time! In November 2016, Mass Energy launched
Drive Green, a limited-time electric vehicle discount program aiming to make choosing an EV easier. Mass Energy designed the program to include affordable, available, practical electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars. Anyone can participate and receive a discount to purchase or lease an EV at participating dealers. Drive Green is modeled after similar successful programs in Colorado and Utah and is an extension of buyers’ groups for energy consumers that Mass Energy has operated since 1982. Mass Energy is a Boston-based nonprofit working to harness the collective power of energy consumers to speed the transition to a low-carbon future. You can learn more about their programs here.

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EcoFellows Graduate from C2C Program at Bard College

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

This past week, four of the EcoFellows participated in the Bard College C2C Fellows Network program. This is a national program for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring for leadership positions in sustainable policy, politics and business. This two-and-a-half-day conference provided a great opportunity for us to learn about potential sustainability career paths we can take as well as network with other young environmental professionals.

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CET Takes a Tour of the SMRF

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Recently, some of the EcoFellows and CET staff took a tour of the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (SMRF). We got to see the inside of the facility, where the materials are dropped off, where they’re sorted and the belts that the materials travel on. Afterwards, we were shown the gigantic bales of recyclable materials and were invited to have a discussion about the different challenges of recycling and how important outreach and education is. Find out what we learned below!

About 70 cities and towns bring their recycling materials to the SMRF and there are multiple ways that towns recycle. The two most common ways to recycle are through single-stream recycling and dual-stream recycling. Single stream refers to recycling materials (such as paper and plastic) are mixed together; dual stream recycling involves separating materials into paper products and other containers (such as plastic, metal and glass, etc). The most common method is dual stream, and the SMRF only processes dual stream.

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NESEA Pro Tour with the EcoFellows

EcoFellows in front of passive house on NESEA your

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing and High Performance Building EcoFellow

Recently 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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Saturday Outreach in the Berkshires

By Jorge Guarin, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

Over 40 years ago CET was founded in Pittsfield, MA by a group of visionary individuals. Their mission was to help the Berkshires community take practical steps to address the energy crises of the 70’s. By focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy, CET minimized the detrimental impact those events had on the Berkshires community. After four decades, CET’s engagement with the Berkshires community has not only become more widespread to meet the needs of thousands, but it has also expanded to encompass food waste, materials management, and electric vehicles. The first Saturday of October was a prime example of the strong and everlasting relationship between CET and the Berkshires community.

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