Peter Hofman Earns Center for EcoTechnology’s Local Environmental Leadership Award




*For Immediate Release*

Contact: John Majercak, Center for EcoTechnology President, 413-586-7350 x228

Peter Hofman Earns Center for EcoTechnology’s
Local Environmental Leadership Award
Lee Resident Receives 2017 Alan Silverstein and Laura Dubester Award for Community Environmental Leadership


5/18/17 Pittsfield, MA – Peter Hofman, chair of the Town of Lee Greener Gateways Committee, of Lee, Mass., has received the 2017 Alan Silverstein and Laura Dubester Award for Community Environmental Leadership from the Center for EcoTechnology.

Hofman chairs the Lee Greener Gateways Committee, and has been an active member since he and his wife, Phyllis, moved to the Berkshires in late 2013. John Majercak, CET’s President, presented Hofman the award today at the Southern Berkshire Chamber of Commerce Networking Before Nine event in Great Barrington. The award is named after Silverstein and Dubester, who served as co-directors of CET for 22 years until they retired in 2010. Dubester joined CET in 1977 and Silverstein in 1978. They became co-directors of the organization in 1988. Silverstein passed away in 2014.

The award is given by CET to a local citizen who is working in his or her community to benefit the local environment with a focus on reducing the harmful impacts that humans can have on the environment, and the positive steps that people can take at home, work, and in their communities that help protect the environment, improve quality of life, and build community.

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The EcoFellow Experience: Recycling in Action

By Matt Brodeur, Green Business Services EcoFellow

Photos by Ben Coe, Program Support Specialist

Have you ever wondered where your recyclables go after they get picked up from the curbside or you drop them off at the transfer station? The EcoFellows and other CET staff had the opportunity to see the next step of the recycling process in action at the Springfield Materials Recycling Facility (MRF), where most of Western Massachusetts sends its recyclables. MRFs sort the contents of your recycling bins into different categories such as cardboard, #1 plastic (PET), and aluminum. Then, manufacturers purchase the recycled materials to create new products. For example, #1 plastic soda bottles can be recycled and remanufactured to create polyester clothing!

Recycling MRF

A bale of recycled paper ready to be trucked away to be made into next week’s newspapers.

The Springfield MRF, owned by MassDEP and operated by Waste Management, has been sorting and selling the recyclables of Western Mass since it started up its conveyor belts in 1990. The tour of the MRF was a window into the colossal U.S. recycling industry which generates nearly $100 billion in economic activity each year.

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Greening Your New Year’s Party

Your Guide to a Green New Year’s Party

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

Follow this guide to throw a fun and sustainable New Year’s party while also saving money and reducing waste!

  • Invitations: Be sustainable from the start by sending your guests paperless invitations! You can easily create a Facebook event or design an electronic invitation that you can email, but will looks just as fancy as a paper one.
  • Decorating: When setting up your festive space, decorate sustainably by having soy or beeswax candles, strings of LED lights hung around the room, festive flowers or plants, and an organic edible fruit basket centerpiece! You can also make your own confetti out of old magazines and newspapers to throw when the clock strikes 12.
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Greening Your Holiday Travel

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing (High Performance Building) Fellow

The holiday season is an exciting time to travel, but sometimes, we get wrapped up in the holiday cheer and forget that we can still make environmentally conscious choices. Don’t let the holidays get the better of you this year! Here are eight tips to help you green your holiday travel:

  1. Don’t travel alone

Whether you are traveling by plane or by car, the more passengers the better! If you are flying, chose airlines with higher occupancy rates to make your travel more efficient. If you are driving, try to carpool whenever possible. Either carpool with your family, or communicate with friends to see if anyone is traveling in the same direction as you. Carpooling will save you money and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions!

  1. Stay close to home

If you can, avoiding excess travel will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save you money!

  1. Take public transportation

It’s always important to take public transportation whenever possible because it is much more efficient than driving, and this still applies around the holidays! It will save you the stress of driving and parking, and can make your holiday adventures a little bit greener!

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Food Waste Initiative Creates Jobs in Massachusetts

To help businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities, the Center for EcoTechnology administers a program called  RecyclingWorksMA for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. The agency has just released a report highlighting the economic benefits in Massachusetts of food waste reduction initiatives. The following post, with a link to the report, was originally posted on the RecyclingWorksMA blog.

And continuing the theme of economic successes in the state that are linked to environmental and economic sustainability initiatives, the Mass. Clean Energy Energy just released it’s annual Clean Energy Industry Report, which describes significant growth in this sector over 2015!

Yesterday, December 22, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released a new report highlighting the positive economic benefits of reducing food waste. This report studied the effects of the Massachusetts Commercial Food Waste Ban, which prohibits businesses and institutions that generate one ton or more of food waste per week from disposing of that waste in the trash. About 1,700 facilities such as universities, supermarkets, food processors, hotels, conference centers, and restaurants are subject to the ban. This ban, which went into effect in October of 2014, was the nation’s first requiring commercial entities to divert wasted food from disposal via donation, animal feed, anaerobic digestion, or composting.

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