Library of Things: A Consumption Reduction Movement

By Jorge Guarin, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

The Library of Things movement has a single objective; continuing and expanding the work libraries have done for hundreds of years to provide open access to resources. The concept is quite simple: established libraries or other organizations offer the community easy access to a variety of tools, equipment, and recreational items. Like a traditional library, patrons check out what they need. Items include camping gear, musical instruments, niche technology items, and specialized cookware. This open access allows the community to explore, try, and use a large number of items without the need to buy or store them. These libraries are part of a bigger movement: the sharing economy.

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NFL Tackles Waste at Super Bowl LII!

By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Specialist

This Sunday, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will square off in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Players have been training for months, preparing to give it their best effort on the NFL’s biggest stage. But away from the cameras, another competition will rage. The NFL’s Rush2Recycle program will be taking on stadium waste. Its goal? To recover at least 90% of waste generated during the big game- over

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10 Easy, Green New Year’s Resolutions!

By: Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

It’s a new year! As everyone is setting their goals for 2018, here are a few easy and green New Year’s resolutions that can help you make an impact on the environment!

 

 

 

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Stop Plastic Pollution at the Source. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Plastic PollutionBy Willow Cohn, Outreach and Education EcoFellow

We use plastics in virtually every shape and form in our daily lives. It carries our drinks, holds our shampoos, and keeps our veggies fresh. According to the to the UN Environment Programme, humans are consuming resources and producing waste at a greater scale than ever before, and per capita consumption levels are projected to increase with continued development. Data indicates that during the 20th century, global material resource use rose at about twice the rate of population. Plastic is everywhere! We love it because it is waterproof, relatively cheap, durable, and versatile. Plastic makes our lives incredibly convenient, disposable, and easy, but most people rarely think about the effects it has on the environment. Unlike other materials, it never really goes away. Plastic does break down, but in a landfill it takes up to 400 hundreds years; worse, it doesn’t ever become other materials, it just breaks into microscopic pieces of plastic that are still non-biodegradable. From there, plastic fragments most often find their way into the oceans. But it’s not just the end of a plastic’s life cycle we need to worry about. When plastic is produced, it’s made from toxic materials such as benzene and vinyl hydrochloride. These chemicals are known to cause cancer, and the manufacturing byproducts contaminate our air and soil.

So what can you do?

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CET Takes a Tour of the SMRF

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Recently, some of the EcoFellows and CET staff took a tour of the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (SMRF). We got to see the inside of the facility, where the materials are dropped off, where they’re sorted and the belts that the materials travel on. Afterwards, we were shown the gigantic bales of recyclable materials and were invited to have a discussion about the different challenges of recycling and how important outreach and education is. Find out what we learned below!

About 70 cities and towns bring their recycling materials to the SMRF and there are multiple ways that towns recycle. The two most common ways to recycle are through single-stream recycling and dual-stream recycling. Single stream refers to recycling materials (such as paper and plastic) are mixed together; dual stream recycling involves separating materials into paper products and other containers (such as plastic, metal and glass, etc). The most common method is dual stream, and the SMRF only processes dual stream.

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