How to Host a Green BBQ this Labor Day

By: Avery Cross, Green Business EcoFellow

Labor Day is this coming Monday, September 4th! Many of us honor the American labor movement and the end of the summer by getting together for a delicious BBQ, why not make it green?! A lot of people and a lot of food does not necessarily mean a lot of waste. There are many opportunities to make your get-together a green event. You can do so by minimizing your environmental impact through waste reduction and efficient energy use. Not only could you help our environment, but also save money and enjoy yummy food! So as you fire up the grill, here are some green tips on how to host a Labor Day BBQ that will reduce food waste, lower emissions, feed your friends, and save money!

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Reuse and Crafting at Hancock Shaker Village

Papermaking at the Hancock Shaker Village

The Center for EcoTechnology is thrilled to partner with Hancock Shaker Village to bring information about energy efficiency and waste reduction to their events and activities!

This past Friday we offered upcycling activities for children at the Village’s Free Fun Friday extravaganza. In one activity children repurposed tiles from our EcoBuilding Bargains reused build materials store into decorative coasters and trivets. We also offered a papermaking workshop, where kids made bookmarks out of recycled paper and pulped corn husks. About 150 children took home amazing tiles and bookmarks!

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Goodbye to the EcoFellowship Class of 2017

The Center for EcoTechnology does incredible things every day to help people and businesses save energy and reduce waste. We help businesses and institutions implement programs to divert wasted food, we work with contractors to build homes to exceptional efficiency standards. We work with farmers to help them get funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The list goes on. But a very special part of what we do is the EcoFellowship program.

Without a doubt, mentoring these five future environmental leaders is the best part of my job. When you work in the environmental field, every day is full of challenges, but also possibility. The EcoFellows come to us right out of college full of optimism and tenacity to turn that possibility into reality.

Here are some of the things they did in the past 11 months:

  • Alexandra “Lexie” Vining expanded our work in community outreach by working with our partner Mass Energy to begin a local canvassing program for New England Green Start.
  • Katie Costantini helped align our work with THE GREEN TEAM to public school curriculums.
  • Matt Brodeur executed user-testing for the RecyclingWorks MA website leading to a more powerful tool for businesses and institutions.
  • Aliza created the first video case study for our High-Performance Building work.
  • Chiara Favaloro assisted with a press conference for the Mass Farm Energy Program which brought together stakeholders from across the state.
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Father’s Day Sustainable Gifts

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

1. Every Day Sustainable Items– Make it easy for your Dad to go green by giving a gift that encourages him to be environmentally friendly every day! Reusable water bottles and mugs, decorative tote bags, reusable containers, fun dish towels, or a solar powered charger are all great options.

2. Eatable Gift– Make your Dad a gift basket with all of his favorite local and organic foods. Or bake him his favorite sweet treats!

3. Tickets to an Event– It’s the perfect season to enjoy a baseball game or outdoor music! Take your Dad to a fun event that you can both share together, rather than purchasing an item he doesn’t need.

4. A Solar Composter– Now that it’s the prime season for fresh produce, make sure your Dad has a sustainable way to dispose of all the peels and pits. EcoBuilding Bargains has Jack’s Solar Composters, which are easy to use in any yard!

5. Buy Vintage Items– Your Dad will love to have a “blast-from-the-past” item from a vintage shop, used book store, or antique store.

Second Annual EcoBuilding BBQ!

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

EcoBuilding Bargains is hosting its annual public barbeque to celebrate spring and reusing and upcycling materials next Saturday, May 20 from 12:00-2:30pm! This free event will feature a multitude of family fun activities, such as composting and reuse workshops, along with live upcycling and composting demonstrations and crafts for kids. Participants can also enjoy free food from the Holyoke Hummus Company while listening to music provided by local DJ Kevin Legends.

Join us in learning from salvage craftsman, Palo Coleman who is returning for a second time to the EcoBuilding Barbeque for a live demonstration of the Japanese charred wood technique of coloring, finishing and preserving siding. Coleman is a talented salvage craftsman based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who specializes in turning reclaimed materials, such as trees, industrial machinery and old furniture, into useable, aesthetically pleasing items. Coleman will be joined by Joe Rosatti, an experienced local upcycler and frequent customer at EcoBuilding Bargains. Rosatti will demonstrate how to upcycle an old bureau into a new piece of furniture.

Come meet our red wiggler worms! CET’s outreach specialist, Ed Rutledge, will give vermicomposting demonstrations throughout the day. He will show how to create a simple compost bin and explain how the worms help turn food waste into productive, finished compost. This event will also have family-friendly projects at the kid crafts table. Attendees can learn how to transform tiles into coasters and decorate bricks to display in the garden.

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