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!
By Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow and Morgan O’Connor, Marketing and High Performance Building EcoFellow
Meet Lorenzo Macaluso
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.Read More»
By: Shelby Kuenzli, Digital Marketing EcoFellow
Here we go again! EcoBuilding Bargains is kick-starting our Fall 2017 Reuse Rockstar Competition! Reuse Rockstar is a friendly competition held to showcase all of the creative ways EcoBuilding Bargains customers transform materials they find at the store into beautiful and innovative pieces. Last year, our customers turned a wooden beam into a light fixture, old wood into a rustic coffee table, old bowling alley lane flooring into a counter top and so much more! Check out these submissions from last year for some inspiration:
By Kevin Pink, Marketing & Development Assistant
It’s no secret that wasted food is a big issue in America. According to the USDA, 30- 40% of food produced in this country goes uneaten every year. In 2010, this amounted to 133 billion pounds of food, worth $161 billion. This wasted food doesn’t go to the American households classified as food insecure (12.3% of American households in 2016), but instead often ends up in landfills, where it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.
Colleges and universities serve thousands of meals daily, and thus have the potential to produce a significant amount of wasted food. UMass Dining Services is the largest college dining services operation in the nation, serving 45,000 meals daily or 5.5 million meals per year. UMass takes a concerted approach to reducing wasted food along the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Hierarchy.
So how is UMass addressing the Food Recovery Hierarchy? Here are a few examples!
Source Reduction: Reduce the volume of surplus food generated.Read More»
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.Read More»