EcoFellows Develop Skills at Bard College C2C Conference

The Bard College C2C program offers weekend skills-based workshops for recent graduates and current college students. Upon completion of the conference, every participant joins a C2C Fellows network, which now has over 500 members. As part of the EcoFellowship program, CET provides Fellows with the opportunity to attend conferences for professional development. Earlier this month, two of the current EcoFellows, Natasha and Becky, chose to attend the Bard College C2C Conference. Natasha and Becky discuss their personal experiences and conference takeaways below. Also, check out last year’s fellows’ blog to learn more about the program and day-to-day schedule of events. It’s a great opportunity for EcoFellows to attend this conference year after year!

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Weatherization Tips & Tricks

As the weather gets colder, you may be starting to think about how to keep your house warm. Weatherization is a process in which you protect your house from the outside elements, including snow, rain, and the cold weather! Weatherization will reduce your home’s energy consumption and save you both energy and money. Also, it’s pretty easy to do!

Why is it important to do?

One reason weatherization is important to do is because you become more comfortable in your own home. Not only will weatherization provide better comfort and fewer drafts, but it will also save you money on energy costs while making your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Many homeowners are dealing with higher energy bills year round and do not realize that proper weatherization techniques can permanently solve the problem. Weatherization also improves air quality, increases moisture control, and prevents things like ice dams, freezing pipes, and mold growth from condensation (since you are controlling moisture more).

What are the cost savings like?

Through weatherization improvements and upgrades, households can save an average of $283 or more each year according to a national evaluation of the program. According to the Department of Energy, you can also save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

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Is the Zero Waste Lifestyle Possible for Me?

Mason jars, stainless steel straws, and reusable shopping bags. Most of us have heard of these items as tools to help us reduce waste in our daily lives. In fact, the Center for EcoTechnology has written a few blogs about this concept of zero waste before, highlighting ways to incorporate waste free actions into our routines and special events. These ideas are practical and helpful but in this blog, we want to take a step back and look at why they might not be possible or accessible to all demographics.

What is zero waste?

Most cohesively, zero waste is a movement to reduce the amount that individuals and communities consume and consequently throw away. A zero waste lifestyle promotes a circular economy, one that is sustainable and functional for long-term use. It encourages more complex thinking about the resources we use and utilizes concepts like reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting as potential solutions.

zero waste

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Creative Reuse Project: Door Knob Picture Holders

For our latest creative reuse project, we have transformed door knobs into vintage picture holders! This simple DIY project utilizes many items you already have around your house; we got our salvaged crystal door knobs from EcoBuilding Bargains in Springfield! A vintage photo holder is a great way to display family portraits, yearbook photos, notes, invitations, and more.

Materials:

  • Door knob
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scrap felt or fabric
  • Optional: paint, other decorative supplies

    materials

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Green Team, Green Team, Learn All About It!

It’s that time of year again: GREEN TEAM registration for the 2018-2019 school year is now open! If you are a Massachusetts student, teacher, or parent interested in school programs that foster environmental and sustainable learning for all ages, GREEN TEAM registration may be the perfect opportunity! This environmental school program can help with handling the often chaotic process of planning, organizing, and running an environmental program for your school.

What is THE GREEN TEAM?

THE GREEN TEAM is a state-wide environmental education program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and administered by the Center for EcoTechnology. THE GREEN TEAM offers interactive, engaging, and fun educational programming while at the same time providing tools for students and teachers to learn more about how to address key issues of environmental sustainability.

THE GREEN TEAM provides teachers with lesson plans and activities aligned with current Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Curriculum Frameworks including: Science and Technology/Engineering, Mathematics, and English Language Arts.

This free program is available to students in grades K-12 and teachers are able to register online.

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