Top 14 Ways to Reuse your Paper and Plastic Bags

By: Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Massachusetts has often been at the forefront in sustainable development and environmentally progressive policies. As of September 2017, 55 Massachusetts cities and towns, representing 19% of the state’s population, have passed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to decompose and since recycling plastic bags is a costly process,
less than 5% of plastic grocery bags in the U.S. end up being recycled. Since Northampton passed a plastic bag ban, your options are to bring your own reusable grocery bags or be provided with paper bags at the counter. Learn how you can reuse your old plastic bags and paper bags in creative ways that keep them out of the landfill!

 

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GoGreen Mailbag: LED Lighting

From time to time, we receive several inquiries about the same topic. We’ll try to address those topics in a brief, practical way in this ongoing series we call the Go Green Mailbag. This time, we discuss LED lighting.

What are LED bulbs, and how do they work?

LED stands for Light-Emitting Diode. A diode is a semiconductor with two terminals. When electrons move from one side of the diode to the other, they release energy, in the form of light. The color of tled1he light emitted is based on the chemicals that have been applied to the diode, so LEDs can be made in a variety of colors, including warm colors like the light emitted by traditional incandescent bulbs.

For more on the science behind how LEDs work, check out this article from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

How are LED bulbs different from incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs?

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GoGreen Mailbag: Solar Electricity

From time to time, we receive several inquiries about the same topic. We’ll try to address those topics in a brief, practical way in this ongoing series we call the Go Green Mailbag. This time, we discuss solar electricity.

Q: How does solar electricity work? What are the benefits of using solar electricity? How can I get my own solar power system?

How does solar electricity work?

The sun has always been an important source of heat and light for us. Now we also have technology to convert the sun’s light into electricity using solar cells called photovoltaic (PV) cells – photon meaning light and voltaic referring to electricity. PV cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as silicon, to generate direct current (DC) electricity. PV cells can be packaged into solar panels and installed on a rooftop or pole or a ground-mounted system to provide power for our homes and businesses. Since most of our homes and businesses are connected to the electric grid and use alternating current (AC), an inverter is generally required to convert DC to AC electricity to run our lights, appliances and other electrical devices. For more detail about how solar PV works, check out:

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Go Green Mailbag: Carbon Monoxide and Combustion Safety

From time to time, we receive several inquiries about the same topic. We’ll try to address those topics in a brief, practical way in this ongoing series we call the Go Green Mailbag. This time, we discuss carbon monoxide and combustion safety.

Winter is here, and with it the heating season. If you burn a fuel to heat your home, it is very important to know if your heating system is working correctly- if not, it could be releasing a harmful gas called carbon monoxide (CO). Fortunately, there are some tests to determine whether there is a problem with your heating system, and some ways to resolve those problems to keep you safe –and warm- all winter long. For help with this complicated subject, we turned to CET’s Building Science Specialist Mark Newey.

What is carbon monoxide, and how does my heating system produce it?COsign

Carbon monoxide (often abbreviated “CO”) can be produced in your home if you burn natural gas, propane, oil orother fuels to heat your home. The typical product of burning natural gas (which is made up of carbon and hydrogen) in the oxygen-rich air is carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O). However, if you do not have enough oxygen in the system, CO can be formed. If the CO is properly vented through a flue, it poses no danger to people in your home. However, if it is improperly-vented or otherwise escapes into the living spaces of your home, you could be in real danger.

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Go Green Mailbag: Radon

By Kevin Pink, Customer Service and Marketing Assistant

From time to time, we receive several inquiries about the same topic. We’ll try to address those topics in a brief, practical way in this ongoing series we call the Go Green Mailbag. This week, we discuss Radon.

radon

Q: What is radon, why should I be concerned about it, and what can I do if my house has too much?

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