Creative Reuse: Entryway Organizer

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

As you know, we love reusing materials and keeping them out of the landfill. However, there are some cabinet sets that are past their prime and are ready to be turned into something new! There are countless things one could do with the various pieces of an old cabinet set. Recently, we used the drawer front of an old set and upcycled it into an entryway organizer! Depending on the size of the drawer front, this could be used for anything as large as coats or as small as your keys and handbags. Read on to learn how you can make your own hook organizer, all from reused materials.

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Meeting the Stretch Energy Code

By Aliza Heeren, Marketing and High Performance Building Fellow

This January, the Massachusetts stretch energy code updated their energy efficiency standards from the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the 2015 IECC, and the Center for EcoTechnology’s high performance building team is here to help you navigate the updates. These changes will require builders working in any of the 180 stretch code towns in Massachusetts to meet much stricter energy standards; such as reducing the envelope leakage down to 3.0 air changes per hour, and building an energy efficient home with a Home Energy (HERS) index that is 55 or less. To learn more about the specific changes in the new code, you can visit our blog or attend one of our energy code trainings. Once you have a grasp on the changes made, it’s time to start thinking about how you are going to meet the changes in your upcoming projects.

We spoke with one of our home energy raters, John Saveson, to learn more about his experience so far helping builders meet the new code. John commented, “recently I’ve had a couple of houses that are subject to the updated stretch code, and in both cases they are going to have to make some energy efficiency upgrades compared to what they thought they were going to be doing.” Building homes to comply with the new stretch energy code is going to be a stretch for any builder who is not already focusing on high efficiency. In the past two years alone, CET’s high performance building team has worked with about 65 homes that would not meet the new stretch code because their HERS index was above 55, and about 45 homes that would not meet it because they were over three air changes per hour.

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The EcoFellow Experience: Chiara Favaloro

Hello! I’m Chiara Favaloro, the current Marketing Fellow at CET. Last May I graduated from Hobart and William Smith Colleges where I studied Anthropology, Sociology, European Studies, and Dance. Which may make you question how I ended up working for an environmental non-profit. Well, I knew that I wanted to pursue marketing and communications after completing a summer internship with a PR agency in New York City. However, I still wasn’t sure which type of company, products, or services I would want to promote. When I heard about CET’s EcoFellowship program from my older sister Sonja, a former EcoFellow, I was excited about the company’s mission and all of the unique opportunities that the EcoFellowship offers. Although I do not have an academic environmental background, I have always been passionate about sustainability, so promoting the mission and sustainable actions that CET offers seemed like something I would genuinely be excited to promote. This has definitely been true, and I have really enjoyed the past six months of my EcoFellowship; here are some reasons why:

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New Uses for Your Spruces: Creative Reuse for your Christmas Tree

By Kevin Pink, Marketing and Development Specialist 

The holidays have come and gone, and with 25-30 million fresh-cut Christmas trees being purchased in the United States every year, there are soon to be a lot of spruces and firs that need to be disposed of. We’ve got some helpful hints about ways you can put your tannenbaum to good use once you’ve taken the lights and decorations off. 

Create an animal shelter.

If you don’t have your own pond, your tree makes a great shelter for land animals as well! You can also coat some branches in peanut butter or margarine to give animals a little snack along with their shelter. Squirrels, birds, rabbits and others will all appreciate a safe, warm place to ride out the winter!

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Going Green Together to Celebrate #GivingTuesday!

By Chiara Favaloro, Marketing Fellow

Next Tuesday, November 29, join the worldwide movement and give back to your community by participating in Giving Tuesday! This international celebration of giving involves over 700,000 people from 70 different countries, who come together to give what they can to influential charities and organizations.

One of the best ways to get involved is at the local level. Here at the Center for EcoTechnology, we help our community go green together! Our outreach and education team connects with over 3,000 people around western Massachusetts each year. We travel to over 25 towns, reaching from the Berkshires to Boston, helping people to save money and find even more ways to be environmentally conscious. Our mission is to make green make sense for everyone!

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