Celebrate America Recycles Day with CET

America Recycles DayToday is America Recycles Day! According to the EPA the United States recycles at a rate of around 34.3%, and with your help we can raise that even more! Recycling and composting are growing industries accounting for 757,000 jobs and $36.6 billion in wages, as well as an additional $6.7 billion in tax revenue. That is roughly 1.57 jobs for every 1,000 tons of material recycled! By increasing the amount we recycle we can conserve natural resources, while strengthening our economy!

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NESEA Pro Tour with the EcoFellows

EcoFellows in front of passive house on NESEA yourRecently the EcoFellows toured two very different, yet highly efficient, building projects in Western Massachusetts. The tour was put on by our friends at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) as part of their Pro Tour Series. Both projects were the work of local contractors Kent Hicks Construction, one of them being his own home and office.

Kent lives in a former grist mill that was built in 1850. In order to convert it into a home residence and office space he completed a deep energy retrofit. A deep energy retrofit is a way of renovating a space to address all energy loads and increase efficiency.

However, what made this project exceptional was Kent’s dedication to maintaining the integrity and aesthetic of the old mill building. Throughout the project, deconstruction and repurposing of original materials was a priority. This allowed for unique design features, like wainscoting made from their original metal roofing, and a dining room table made from the mill’s machinery. The flooring downstairs is also original and shows the indentations of former mill employees’ work stations. This project is a testament to how style  and energy efficiency can work together to create a beautiful and sustainable home, without compromising historical authenticity.

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Saturday Outreach in the Berkshires

Over 40 years ago CET was founded in Pittsfield, MA by a group of visionary individuals. Their mission was to help the Berkshires community take practical steps to address the energy crises of the 70’s. By focusing on energy conservation and renewable energy, CET minimized the detrimental impact those events had on the Berkshires community. After four decades, CET’s engagement with the Berkshires community has not only become more widespread to meet the needs of thousands, but it has also expanded to encompass food waste, materials management, and electric vehicles. The first Saturday of October was a prime example of the strong and everlasting relationship between CET and the Berkshires community.

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Reuse Rockstars Winners 2017

Last week the 2017 Reuse Rockstars competition came to an end. We had 18 entries, and we were blown away by your creativity and ingenuity! These materials were once destined for the landfill, but thanks to your hard work and a shopping trip to EcoBuilding Bargains, new life has been breathed into these unique conversation pieces! Although only one winner will walk away with the $200 gift card to EcoBuilding Bargains, we would like to showcase a few of our favorites, and thank everyone for participating!

Honorable Mentions

 Service Table by CynthiaReuse Rockstar Table

This table will be the envy of every dinner party! Place it in the middle of your garden with some outdoor lighting and you have the perfect dinner venue from summer through fall! Cynthia found both the reclaimed door that is now the tabletop, and the canopy bed that is now the legs at EcoBuilding Bargains, making this a full transformation! The center is cut away to reveal an under-mounted rain gutter that functions as an ice bucket for wine and other drinks.

 

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5 Easy Ways to be More Energy Efficient

By: Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Here at CET, we make green make sense and have been helping people and businesses in the area save energy and money for over 40 years. Saving Energy is a community effort and you can be part of the solution! Join us in celebrating Energy Efficiency Day on Thursday, October 5 by taking these 5 easy steps to be more energy efficient in your life!

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