Make Your 4th of July Red, White, Blue, and GREEN!

Summer is here, and party season is in full swing. With Independence Day just around the corner, there are preparations to be made! We have some tips to help you save some money, reduce your waste, and make your 4th of July green, as well as red, white, and blue!

fireworks

Planning

  • Bring reusable bags while shopping for supplies and food.
  • Ask guests to RSVP so that you can get the right amount of food and drinks. This will reduce wasted food and also prevent you from spending unnecessary money.
  • Choose natural or reusable decorations and reduce buying plastic items that will be thrown away.

Food and Drinks

  • Buy local food! Food from major supermarkets often travels over 1000 miles to reach your table. However, buying local, seasonal food supports local farmers and reduces your carbon footprint.
  • Buy drinks in large containers rather than individual ones. You can purchase drinks in two-liter bottles or gallon jugs to reduce waste.
  • Serve food and drinks in reusable or recyclable products, rather than single-use ones, to reduce waste.

berries

During the Party

  • Grill with the hood down to increase energy efficiency and evenly distribute heat.
  • Use an ice bucket rather than a refrigerator to keep drinks cold. This will prevent guests from constantly opening and closing a refrigerator which wastes money and energy.
  • Have clear signage and bins for recycling, trash, and compost so that guests are not confused where everything goes when they need to dispose of things.

After the Party

  • Use a dishwasher for large amounts of dirty dishes rather than hand-washing each one. This is a more efficient way to clean dishes and not waste water and energy.
  • Save some leftovers for you and your friends to enjoy during the following days. Saving food in re-usable containers, instead of getting rid of it, will reduce wasted food.
  • Clean with reusable cloths instead of paper towels. These can be washed and reused, which reduces unnecessary waste!

EcoBuilding Bargains’ Spring 2018 Reuse Rockstar!

By: Shelby Kuenzli, Marketing EcoFellow

The spring 2018 Reuse Rockstar competition put on by EcoBuilding Bargains, our building materials reuse store, has come to a close. Reuse Rockstar is a friendly, bi-annual competition that highlights customers who have upcycled, transformed or repurposed items from EcoBuilding Bargains into creative and functioning pieces. This year, we decided to let the public decide who should win! We hosted a live voting for the winner at our annual EcoBuilding Bargains Bash event and the winner is……local craftsman and owner of Piedmont Woodcraft, Matthew Johnson!

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Spring 2018 Reuse Rockstar Competition Winners

By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow

The Spring 2018 Reuse Rockstar Competition has come to a close. Thank you to all who submitted entries and voted on the winner! This competition highlights some of the ingenious projects our customers make with materials from EcoBuilding Bargains. There were many creative entries, totaling 17 unique projects, all of which you can see here. The community voted for the project they liked best at our EcoBuilding Bargains Bash last Saturday. Thank you to everyone who participated! All the projects were amazing and we can’t wait to see what you come up with for our fall competition! Here are the top projects for Spring 2018:

Honorable Mentions

Colleen Adams – Bathroom Remodel

Colleen and her husband wanted to turn an unfinished space in their cottage into a second bathroom. They used materials from various reuse stores, including EcoBuilding Bargains! The two painted two raised panel doors, used for storage cubbies, and the biscuit-colored sink, nickel stand, and matching toilet helped complete the look!

 

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EcoBuilding Bargains Bash Recap

By Willow Cohn, Community Outreach and Education Fellow

This past Saturday, we hosted our annual EcoBuilding Bargains Bash! This public event was our way of celebrating spring, reuse, and waste reduction. Activities took place in the EcoBuilding Bargains lumber yard and throughout the store! Desite the gloomy and wet weather, we had a great turnout, with over 400 guests in attendance! DJ Kevin Legends did a phenomenal job playing music for us all to enjoy, and The Holyoke Hummus Company provided a wide verity of delicious Mediterranean food. We also displayed all of our Reuse Rockstar contestants, and guests could vote on their favorite project!

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What is the National Sword?

By Kevin Pink, Program Specialist

What is the National Sword?

You may have heard the phrases “national sword” or “green sword” in the news lately. It is a policy in China that has banned the importation of certain types of solid waste, as well as set strict contamination limits on recyclable materials. This means that China will not accept shipments that are mixed with trash, the wrong type of recyclable, or low-quality recyclables like greasy paper goods. The policy was announced in July 2017, and the ban officially began January 1, 2018. In addition to the bans, China is reducing the number of import licenses, meaning that fewer businesses will be able to import waste.

Why does it matter?

China has been the world’s biggest importer of waste for decades. China has imported paper, plastic, and scrap metal from other nations and processed these materials for reuse in the products they produce for export. However, the implementation of National Sword has reduced the rate at which these materials are imported. This has created significant logjams in the international recycling system, resulting in recycled material piling up at materials recycling facilities (MRFs) or worse, into landfills. This is effecting recycling efforts in the United States and abroad.

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