Food Waste True or False

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Assistant

It’s the season of farmers markets and cookouts! There’s always another new recipe to try out or leftovers from yet another cookout going into the refrigerator. We’ve all been there- whether it’s a half-eaten container of strawberries that grows fuzzy, or milk left a week or so too long, food waste is a common problem. Part of the issue is a lack of education on the topic. How much do you know about food waste in America? Join us for a little food waste true & false and put your knowledge to the test!

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Greening Your Spring Cleaning

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Specialist

It’s been a long winter, but spring is finally here. For many of us, the arrival of buds on the trees and the ability to leave one’s windows open without freezing brings with it a renewed dedication to scouring our homes of all the accumulated dust, sand, and other debris they’ve acquired during the winter. Check out some of our favorite tips for cleaning house in a sustainable way!

There are several approaches to household cleaning that will allow you to make your home sparkle while limiting your impact on the environment and saving you some money.

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Why Switch to New England Green Start or New England Wind?

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

What is New England Wind & New England GreenStart?

The Center for EcoTechnology partners with Mass Energy Consumers Alliance to make it easier than ever for Massachusetts residents to switch to 100% renewable energy. Residents whose energy comes from Eversource or National Grid can sign up for Mass Energy’s New England GreenStart and New England Wind programs. Signing up means that members pay a small fee directly on their electric bills to ensure all of their energy comes from clean, renewable sources. The premium for choosing green energy is 2.4 cents/kwh for New England GreenStart or 3.8 cents/kwh for New England Wind. These contributions are completely tax deductible!

If you sign up for New England GreenStart, your energy will come from a variety of local renewable sources including wind, solar, digester gas, and low-impact hydro. If you choose New England Wind, your energy will come from 100% wind power.

 

New England Wind vs. GreenStart

 

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Home Energy Assessment Myths…BUSTED!

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

1. Myth: Home energy assessments are expensive

FALSE: They are available at NO COST to you! Trained professionals from the Center for EcoTechnology and Mass Save conduct each assessment thoroughly and skillfully.

2. Myth: Most homes don’t need weatherization 

FALSE: An average home has enough air leakage to add up to a two-foot-square hole. That is like leaving a medium sized window open for 24 hours a day!

3. Myth: Low-flow water fixtures greatly affect water pressure

FALSE: The water pressure is not significantly changed with low-flow water fixtures, yet you will greatly reduce your water consumption.

4. Myth: The savings are small

FALSE: You could save up to 30% on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades that are suggested by your home energy assessment. Your report will also include applicable rebates and incentives, which could save you 75% up to $2,000.

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Meeting the Stretch Energy Code

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

This January, the Massachusetts stretch energy code updated their energy efficiency standards from the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the 2015 IECC, and the Center for EcoTechnology’s high performance building team is here to help you navigate the updates. These changes will require builders working in any of the 180 stretch code towns in Massachusetts to meet much stricter energy standards; such as reducing the envelope leakage down to 3.0 air changes per hour, and building an energy efficient home with a Home Energy (HERS) index that is 55 or less. To learn more about the specific changes in the new code, you can visit our blog or attend one of our energy code trainings. Once you have a grasp on the changes made, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to meet the changes in your upcoming projects.

We spoke with one of our home energy raters, John Saveson, to learn more about his experience so far helping builders meet the new code. John commented, “recently I’ve had a couple of houses that are subject to the updated stretch code, and in both cases they are going to have to make some energy efficiency upgrades compared to what they thought they were going to be doing.” Building homes to comply with the new stretch energy code is going to be a stretch for any builder who is not already focusing on high efficiency. In the past two years alone, CET’s high performance building team has worked with about 65 homes that would not meet the new stretch code because their HERS index was above 55, and about 45 homes that would not meet it because they were over three air changes per hour.

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