Speaker Forum: What Can You Do About Climate Change?

Announcing a New Speaker Forum: What Can You Do About Climate Change?

Amherst, MA – Even as Washington, D.C., steps back from dealing with climate change, the Center for EcoTechnology and its partners are moving forward to help people and businesses take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For the past 40 years, the Center for EcoTechnology, a nonprofit based in Northampton, has helped people and businesses save energy and reduce waste, resulting in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the local environment. CET’s new speaker forum, “What Can You do about Climate Change?,” is set for this Saturday, June 10, 1-4:30pm at Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West St, Amherst, Mass. The event is free and open to the public.

The Speaker Forum will feature local environmental leaders Ezra Markowitz, Nancy Nylen, and Solomon Goldstein-Rose. These speakers will discuss innovative and tangible solutions to the various challenges associated with climate change through psychological, political and community-based strategies. This event aims to bring people together to talk about climate change and what people can do about it in their daily lives.

Join us in learning from Ezra Markowitz, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Decision-Making, as he provides insights from the behavioral sciences. He will be speaking on promoting pro-environmental behavior while maintaining choice. Markowitz states that “We can use the insights into human decision-making offered by the behavioral sciences to significantly improve the efficacy of efforts aimed at improving the everyday environmental choices we all make.” Markowitz will discuss four decades of research by psychologists and economists that reveal insights into behavioral shifts towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly choices. He will also highlight key considerations and strategies that can be used to support better environmental decision-making.

Mr. Markowitz works in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research and teaching focus on the intersection of decision-making, persuasive communication, public engagement with science and environmental sustainability. He is the author of over 20 peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters, and reports, including the 2015 Connecting on Climate guide to climate change communication (written in collaboration with colleagues at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and ecoAmerica). At UMass Amherst, Markowitz teaches courses on Environmental Decision-Making, Conservation Social Science, and Public Engagement and Communication for Scientists.

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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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Press Release: New Federal Funding to Help MFEP

Primary Contact: Lorenzo Macaluso

413.218.1543 | Lorenzo.macaluso@cetonline.org

Secondary Contact: Emily Susan Gaylord, Marketing Manager
413.687.2132 (cell) | emily.gaylord@cetonline.org


New federal funding to help Mass. farms save energy and reduce operating costs
USDA funds support existing state and public utility funding through the Mass. Farm Energy Program


Farms and rural small businesses in Massachusetts seeking to reduce energy costs or install clean energy technologies have long relied on the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources’ (MDAR) Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP) for funding and technical assistance.

Now, new funding from the United States Department of Agriculture will support the work of the MFEP. The USDA has awarded a $33,000 Rural Business Development Grant to the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), a non-profit based in Northampton, Mass., who partners with MDAR to manage the MFEP. The grant will be used  to provide timely information, funding request assistance, and technical assistance to rural farms that wish to improve their energy efficiency and reduce operating costs.

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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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Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Awards Energy Efficiency Grants

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing (High Performance Homes) Fellow

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) awarded 28 grants to help farmers install renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through both the Agricultural Energy Grant and the Special Projects Grant. The Massachusetts Farm Energy Program (MFEP), which is administered by the Center for EcoTechnology, played a large role in assisting many of those farmers to complete their applications.

According to a Massachusetts state press release, “the AG-Energy and ENER-SP Grant Programs will fund a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, including: photovoltaic systems for a number of farm operations, a tidal upweller power system, solar pole lighting with batteries, and a zero-net energy greenhouse project.”


Ferrindino Farm worked with MFEP, who covered 75% of their audit costs. They were ultimately awarded $20,000 from the MDAR grant to upgrade their maple sugaring equipment.

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