Founder Joel “Ned” Nisson Visits the Center for EcoTechnology

Joel “Ned” Nisson founded what is now the Center for EcoTechnology in 1976. Today he visited our offices to see where his vision has come in the past four decades.

Fellows Lexie Vining and Matt Brodeur share their thoughts:

“This week we were fortunate to meet with Joel “Ned” Nisson and his wife Julie to reflect on the past 40 years since CET was established. Joel founded the “Center for Ecological Technology” because he envisioned an opportunity to incorporate science and technology into the still nascent environmental movement. It was a humbling experience to meet the person whose vision paved the way for an enduring organization that has made such a sizable impact over four decades.

CET has changed and grown a lot since Joel developed it in 1976, yet our core values of basing our work on science and offering practical solutions remain the same.”

-Matt & Lexie

You can learn more about the history of the Center for EcoTechnology by clicking here. 

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From left to right: Casey Simpson, Aliza Heeren, Matt Brodeur, Chiara Favaloro,
John Majercak, Joel Nisson, Julie Nisson, Nancy Nylen, Lexie Vining, Katie Costantini

Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste in Connecticut

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November 18, 2016

For Further Information:

Lorenzo Macaluso, CET, 413-218-1543

Dennis Schain, DEEP, 860-424-3110

 

Federal Funds for Diversion of Food Waste

Will Help Reduce Volume of Trash

Increase food donations is one of focuses – especially at holiday time

For many people in Connecticut, Thanksgiving is a time of family gatherings and enjoyable eating. It’s also a time when donations flood in from food rescue organizations to food pantries and soup kitchens, to ensure that the state’s hungriest people get warm, nutritious meals.

While Thanksgiving may put the spotlight on food insecurity, nearly half a million people in Connecticut, (according to the Connecticut Food Bank) including more than 140,000 children, do not have consistent access to adequate amounts of food year-around.

Meanwhile, nearly 520,000 tons of food waste is generated in Connecticut each year, some of which could be donated to feed people. Diversion from disposal of food waste in the State, be it by reduction of such waste in the first place, by donation to feed people or animals, or by composting and anaerobic digestion, is a priority noted in the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection’s (DEEP’s) recently adopted Comprehensive Materials Management Strategy (CMMS).

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Flat Rock Farm

By Megan Denardo, Program Specialist

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      Highland cattle bull drinking from an energy efficient waterer at Flat Rock Farm in Chesterfield. Photo by Ben Coe.

The beautiful Highland cattle that roam through the Berkshire terrain of Flat Rock Farm spend their lives in a humane and natural habitat. Just last month, Flat Rock Farm in Chesterfield, worked with Eversource and the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) to upgrade the outdoor watering system for their cattle. Both MFEP and Eversource helped fund the installation of an energy efficient waterer (pictured above), which ensures clean drinking water for the cattle throughout the winter and saves 5,164 kWh of electricity and over $800 per year!

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CET and Commercial Building Diagnostic Testing

By Peggy MacLeod, Sales Representative
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CET’s Green Building department has played a significant part in the evolution of green building for the last 25 years.  As experts in energy efficiency and building performance, the department has promoted green building, educated the residential building community, and verified the performance of homes all over the region seeking energy code compliance ore certification by ENERGY STAR, LEED for Homes, or Passive House.

After performing thousands of diagnostic tests to establish levels of energy efficiency in homes, more recently CET’s Home Energy Raters have applied their diagnostic skills to commercial building renovations and new buildings targeting green designations or compliance to the building energy code.

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Celebrating 40 Years: Farm Energy

By Kevin Pink, Customer Service & Marketing Assistant

It’s getting to be that time of year; across New England, farmer’s markets are in full swing and abundant harvests of cucumbers, tomatoes, and all manner of other summer crops are making their way from farms to our tables along with milk, cheese, and meat. With harvest festivals just around the corner, it’s a good time to think about the farms that produce thcowe foods that keep us nourished.

At the Center for EcoTechnology, we’ve been working with farms for decades. Farms have a lot of the same energy needs as other businesses we work with, and in many cases, they have additional needs. In the 1990s, we began working with farmers to implement food waste composting on farms and augment it to accept commercially-generated food scraps, offering farms an additional option for revenue. We later expanded our work with farms to include helping to increase the energy efficiency of their facilities and processes.

Beginning in 2002, CET managed the Energy and Small Farm Sustainability Project, funded by a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant from the USDA and matching funds from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and the United States Department of Energy. This project researched, implemented, and showcased energy efficiency measures and renewable energy projects for farms in Western Massachusetts, offering free technical assistance and recommendations for next steps. CET staff also helped farmers research and secure grant funding, financing, and utility and tax incentives to install energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems.

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