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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The Monster in our Closet: Fast Fashion & Textile Waste on the Rise

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

Warehouse full, floor to ceiling with old clothing

In 1980 the EPA found the U.S. to have generated roughly 5 billion pounds of textile waste in the public waste stream. That amount has since spiked to 32.44 billion pounds in 2014. This is post-consumer textile waste, which includes products such as clothing, footwear, fashion accessories, towels, bedding, and drapery that have already been purchased. 95% of all textiles have the potential to be reused or recycled, but currently they are recycled at a rate of only 15%. This disproportionate rate is thought to be caused by lack of awareness among individuals, as this is only municipal solid waste, meaning what people are throwing away in their public waste stream, not waste generated by businesses, including the fashion industry. So this problem largely lies with us – the individual.

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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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