Berkshire Eagle: Solar Access program a ‘game-changer’ – just ask this Adams homeowner

“Noyes owes his energy-saving success to being the first person to enroll in Solar Access. The year-old state-sponsored initiative is designed to make solar energy more affordable for middle- and low-income households…”

Read the full article here

Learn more about the Solar Access program: cetonline.org/solaraccess

Eco-Friendly Cleaning

We can finally look forward to warm temperatures because spring is here! For many, the blossoming of flowers and the budding of trees renew our dedication to cleanse our homes of all the dirt, dust, and any other debris we’ve accumulated during the winter.

There are several cheap and sustainable alternatives for household cleaning, which allow us to get away from chemically driven cleaning products. Dirt and dust aren’t the only culprits for indoor air pollution, the off-gassing of chemicals in cleaning products are also to blame. Time to make the switch!

Look at what you have on hand, and what you use it for. This will help you find eco-friendly substitutes for any harsh chemicals you may have.

Baking soda effectively cleans, deodorizes, and cuts through grime.

  • For a heavy-duty toilet and shower cleaner mix ½ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water. Put the solution in a spray bottle, let it sit for several minutes, then scrub and rinse after applying the solution.

Lemon juice annihilates bacteria, mildew, and mold.

  • Tired of bleaching your cutting boards? Lemons are a great alternative to disinfecting wood or plastic cutting boards. All you need is to cut a lemon in half, scrub over the desired surface, and let it sit for ten minutes before rinsing. Talk about a non-toxic solution!
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Plastic Pollution Solutions: Home, Sweet Home

According to the EPA, over 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the early 1950’s. That’s more than the weight of the entire human population! In 2015 alone, the US produced 34.5 million tons of plastic, including packaging, durable goods, and disposable items. The rate of plastic production and consumption has grown faster than any other material on the planet. This holds especially true for single-use plastics such as straws, silverware, cups, bags, and more, which for many of us, have become an integral part of our lives. Our plastic pollution problem is the result of consumption by manufacturers, processors, and residents.

Why is plastic a problem?

A 2017 study recently uncovered that only about 9% of plastics are truly recycled. The majority – almost 80% – accumulates in landfills or scattered around the natural environment. One of the most well-known end spots for plastic is in bodies of water, including rivers, lakes, and the ocean.The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest accumulation of ocean plastics on the planet. It totals 79,000 tons of plastic – over 94% of which are microplastics, pieces smaller than a grain of rice. If we maintain our current plastic consumption, there will be more plastic in our ocean than fish by 2050

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How to Stay Green This Season!

With the holiday season comes a lot of guests, food, and gifts. Remember that celebrating does not mean needing to waste copious amounts of food and producing excess energy! Use some of our tips to ensure that your holiday celebrations positively impact the environment.

1. Use a real Christmas tree instead of a fake one.

Using a real Christmas tree has shown to be more sustainable for the environment. Artificial trees are typically made with polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which is listed as a carcinogen. Additionally, it is the manufacture of a fake plastic tree, from oil, that creates most of its carbon footprint. Fake trees are also often shipped very long distances before arriving in the shop and then your home. Real Christmas trees are grown very sustainably and efficiently on Christmas tree farms, and recycling and composting your real tree after use is very easy to do. You can also leave your real tree in woods or ponds to create a wildlife habitat!

2. Use recyclable wrapping paper or alternative sustainable gift wrap options.

Before recycling wrapping paper, be sure to remove any decorations such as ribbons or bows as these cannot be recycled. Simple wrapping paper can be recycled but foil or glitter-decorated paper cannot and needs to go in the waste. Reusable gift wrap is also an idea, such as cloth or reusable gift bags!

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Auburn Court Solar Hot Water Installation


Watch this video to hear more about the solar hot water installation at Homeowner’s Rehab Inc.!

This past October a solar hot water heating system was installed at the Homeowner’s Rehab Inc. Auburn Court development, a private non-profit housing corporation in Cambridge, MA that works to provide affordable housing in multi-family dwellings. They are committed to renewable energy, and took advantage of a scheduled rehab of the Cambridge property to install a new solar hot water system. The solar hot water system was designed for eight residential affordable housing units within the corporation.

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