Top 14 Ways to Reuse your Paper and Plastic Bags

By: Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

Massachusetts has often been at the forefront in sustainable development and environmentally progressive policies. As of September 2017, 55 Massachusetts cities and towns, representing 19% of the state’s population, have passed a ban on single-use plastic shopping bags. Plastic bags can take hundreds of years to decompose and since recycling plastic bags is a costly process,
less than 5% of plastic grocery bags in the U.S. end up being recycled. Since Northampton passed a plastic bag ban, your options are to bring your own reusable grocery bags or be provided with paper bags at the counter. Learn how you can reuse your old plastic bags and paper bags in creative ways that keep them out of the landfill!

 

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Meet Lorenzo Macaluso

Meet Lorenzo Macaluso

Lorenzo Macaluso

Lorenzo Macaluso, Director of Client Services

The Center for EcoTechnology may be a local non-profit, but our programs and knowledge extend across the country. Lorenzo Macaluso is a national expert in all things waste. This fall he’s going to be speaking from the east coast to the west coast about donation, policy and technical assistance, funding, composting management, and food donation. We’re grateful to have Lorenzo at CET and wanted to share more about him!

Lorenzo Macaluso is the Director of Client Services here at the Center for EcoTechnology. He has been with CET for 17 years and throughout that time he has taken on several integral roles. He provides technical assistance, training, and outreach to businesses and institutions to help improve environmental performance. He also aids CET in finding new opportunities to expand our work and increase our impact through saving energy and reducing waste.

Lorenzo developed a toolkit for restaurants and schools interested in establishing composting programs. He also helped develop and oversee the implementation of CET’s Green Business Services, which provides waste diversion and energy efficiency information, as well as technical assistance to a wide range of organizations throughout Massachusetts and New England. Outside of CET Lorenzo also serves on the MassDEP Organics Subcommittee and was part of the DEP’s Mercury Management Act work group.

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When Beauty Standards Apply to Food

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing & High Performance Building EcoFellow

Roughly 133 billion pounds of food is wasted every year in the U.S, and 6 billion of that is produce lost before harvesting or selling. This subset of food waste is attributed primarily to aesthetics, meaning the produce was too small, too large, off-colored, scarred, misshapen, etc.

6 billion pounds may not seem like very much in comparison to all of the food that is lost, but when you consider the resources – water, fertilizer, pesticides, fuel, and space – that are expended on food that is never eaten, it leaves quite the negative impact.

Aesthetic standards prioritize uniformity, targeting the consumers’ narrow view of what their produce should look like, but these images in our heads have little to do with flavor or nutritional value. We have to rethink what our food should look like and embrace their natural peculiarities.

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The Weight and Impact of EcoBuilding Bargains

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

The Center for EcoTechnology is proud to say that we have successfully been making green make sense for the past 41 years. One of the many ways in which we make an impact is by operating our EcoBuilding Bargains store (formerly the ReStore Home Improvement Center). EcoBuilding Bargains is the largest used building materials store in New England. It supports CET’s mission by keeping thousands of tons of materials out of landfills – last year alone EcoBuilding Bargains kept over 300 tons of usable building materials from being dumped into landfills!

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Get a Jump on Air Source Heat Pumps!

By Morgan O’Connor, Marketing & High Performance Building EcoFellow

In New England, heating our homes can become a lifestyle, whether it be chopping wood to stoke the fire, or incessantly monitoring the thermostat – we care about how much energy we use and know we’ve done well when we can see the change on our utility bills. That’s why Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) could be a great option for you! ASHPs are not necessarily new, they’ve been certified with EnergyStar since 1995, but as technological advancements continue to improve their efficiency, they have become the cutting edge of heating AND cooling. That’s right – they can do both!

Can you find the ASHP in this modern home? They are discrete enough to hide in plain sight! Home by Jeremy Levine Design

What are Air Source Heat Pumps?

Air Source Heat Pumps are highly efficient heating and cooling devices that run on electricity. They work by taking heat from the outside air and moving it into the home in times of cold weather, but with a flip of a switch they can remove heat from your home and channel it outside. This is different than most heating systems, which have to generate heat before it’s able to be used, as ASHPs only move heat.

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