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!Read More»
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.Read More»
Press Release: State, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Solar Access Clean Energy System for Amherst Homeowner
Emily Gaylord, Center for EcoTechnology
413.687.2132 (cell) | 413.586.7350 ext. 236
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State, Local Officials Cut Ribbon on Clean Energy System for Amherst Homeowner
Solar, renewable heating system funded by state program for low-to moderate income residents
Amherst, Mass., October 15, 2018 – State officials from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center today joined representatives from the Center for EcoTechnology and UMass Five Credit Union to celebrate the recent completion of a solar and renewable heating system for a homeowner in Amherst. Paulina Alenkina, a homeowner in Amherst, flipped the switch on her home’s new renewable-powered heating system as part of Solar Access, a state-supported program for homeowners installing solar panels with heat pump technology. The program is funded through the state’s Affordable Clean Residential Energy Program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as part of the Baker administration’s $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy initiative.
Solar Access is a time-limited pilot program for middle-income homeowners in Massachusetts. There are many programs that offer financial help to pay for a portion of the cost of solar or a cold climate air source heat pump. This program, available to only 100 homeowners, combines solar electric and air source heat pump incentives with a state-sponsored loan to fully finance both technologies. CET, a local non-profit, has partnered with SunBug Solar and Girard Heating and Air Conditioning to bring affordable, renewable energy to those who may not readily be able to purchase this technology. Participants in the program enroll in a UMassFive Credit Union loan and pay less than they spend now on energy costs. To participate, a family of four would need to fall in the income range of $68,289.01 – $91,052.00. Participants can call CET with income-related questions. Alenkina, a CET employee, was one of the first homeowners to sign up. Five more projects will come online this month.
“Participating was a no-brainer,” said homeowner Paulina Alenkina. “My family and I are saving on my energy bills and getting clean energy all at the same time.”
Solar Access is truly a community effort, and is supported by the MassCEC and the DOER.Read More»
Massachusetts residents have long been known to recycle – in fact, a 2015 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) report shows that nearly 95% of MA residents say they recycle on a regular basis! In the spirit of the new school year and starting fresh, we have some tips and tools on how to recycle even better and smarter in your home, business, or community.
What’s the deal with contamination?
You may have heard through the grapevine that there is a problem with contamination in our recycling industry. Contamination occurs when incorrect items are put in the recycling bin or sorted wrong. Down the line, this can lead to machinery malfunctions, increases in recycling costs, and unsafe work environments for the 13,000 MA employees working in the industry. This video shows the process of where your recyclables go after placed in your bin. When recyclables are contaminated, entire truckloads can be thrown away. The challenges of contamination have led to the implementation of China’s National Sword Policy. Some common contaminants include plastic bags and films, food waste, Styrofoam, and hazardous waste.Read More»
Thinking about switching to solar power but have some concerns? It is easy to become overwhelmed with ideas and opinions, especially today with the rate at which information is produced and spread, but it’s important to take the time to seek out the truth. There are a lot of misconceptions about residential solar power, so let’s bust the myths and clear the clouds that surround your potential solar dreams!Read More»