VSA Massachusetts – Park(ing) Day Installation in Downtown Boston!

Parkolation The Parkolation Project is an educational program of VSA Massachusetts COOL Schools that provides opportunities for high school students to solve real world problems, creatively, by designing and building innovative public spaces such as parklets or mini parks.

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Every fall we participate in Park(ing) Day - an international day where people all over the world build temporary parklet installations to encourage society to think more imaginatively and sustainably about public space.

 

 

Parkolation 12

 

 

This year our Parkolation students had a blast using recycled materials from Save That Stuff to create an ephemeral parklet with an underwater theme. Why? to help raise awareness about the impact of global climate change on sea levels around the world, in particular the vulnerability of our coastal city.  In this photo, Andre is creating a bottle that depicts the city of Boston’s skyline. He later filled the vessel up with water. What a powerful message!

 

 


The folks at Save that Stuff were so generous — not only did they help load up our car, they also donated some oyster shells from The Massachusetts Oyster Project which the students put to creative use. Can you find the a PEARL?

Parkolation 3

Parkolation 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The students engaged artfully – through designing and building this temporary space – and civically – through brave conversations with passersby about climate change, rising tides and our hope to make a positive impact by building a sustainable parklet this school year.

Parkolation 5

Wilhelmina Peragine, Teaching Artist, VSA

Boston Green Academy – Building Community with Recycled Art and Solar-Powered Lanterns

Building BGA community with recycled art and solar-powered lanterns

Boston Green Academy celebrated Summer Reading on September 5th with an event called “Making Our Mark @ BGA.” During the summer, BGA students and staff read about people from six countries who have created electricity in innovative ways using local, recycled materials to harness solar and wind energy.

Our sixth, ninth, and tenth graders also used local, recycled materials — generously donated by Extras for Creative Reuse in Lynn and Save That Stuff in Charlestown — to create a “BGA” sign for the front foyer of the Taft Building — our new home. Thanks to expert guidance from VSA teaching artists, we have a beautiful entryway!

Meanwhile, the eleventh and twelfth graders created solar-powered lanterns with our physics and engineering teacher, Erica Wilson, and BGA Board member Chris Stokes.

Here are some photos from the day. Thanks to everyone who helped out!

Lucas Hall, Library Teacher, BGA

BGA

Boston Local Food Festival – this Sunday! Sept. 14th

imageJoin the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts for the 5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival!

The festival will take place on Sunday September, 14th from 11am to 5pm on The Rose Kennedy Greenway in Downtown Boston. This is a FREE festival, a zero waste event and New England’s largest one-day farmers market and celebration of local food!

Boston Local Food Festival features:

  • 100 vendors and sponsors from across New England including local farmers, restaurants, food trucks, fishers, specialty food producers, and food and fitness-related organizations.
  • Chef and Do-It-Yourself Demos
  • A Seafood Throwdown
  • Live Local Music
  • An interactive Family Fun Zone including health and fitness activities
  • The “50 by 60” New England Food Vision launch
  • And more!

Shop, taste, discover and enjoy Boston Local Food Festival on Sunday, September 14th.

To find out more visit their website at www.bostonlocalfoodfestival.org

Social Media:@BostonLocalFood, www.facebook.com/BostonLocalFood

See you on Sunday!

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Boston University Environmentalists Visit STS

I was elbow-deep in tomato sauce when I realized that some people really don’t know how to recycle. At my feet I found banana peels and exploded bottles of vinaigrette dressing and fiberglass insulation. The mess before me opened my eyes as well as my nose to the fact we need better waste management systems – and public education.

Together with my First Year Student Outreach Program colleagues from Boston University, I have worked today at Save That Stuff, Inc. to help out at the plant and learn about different recycling systems. In a study to find out if machinery to sort single-stream recycling on site is worth the cost, we sorted through two dump-loads of this material. The numbers just aren’t adding up. Obviously non-recyclable items (ahem, food waste) were mixed in with the various papers, plastics, and scrap metals that we were looking to extract. However with a little public effort, this problem can be eliminated.

Besides working to better recycling on site, Save That Stuff, Inc. is taking on a whole new concept of reuse and conservation. Oyster shells are the new wave; by collecting the discarded shells from local Bostonian restaurants, workers at Save That Stuff are able to cure them over a one-year process that allows the shells to be reintroduced into the ocean, increasing the species’ reproduction rate. These shells weigh forty pounds per five-gallon bucket; many of said buckets were spray-painted by our group throughout the day. Rather than sitting in a landfill, the shells are now used to better the environment and make for a more sustainable food source.

Working on site has been impactful in that we all now understand the work that goes into the recycling process and the importance of public education. Plainly, if people give us garbage, they will get garbage back. Waste material must be separated properly and responsibly to be of use. I know that I for one will be more careful about what goes into my recycling bin – will you?

 

By Shannon Linder, Boston University 2018

Repair Cafe & more – September 27th 10am-2pm

Free film, yard sales, tour dates, and more!

Repair Cafe

Find out MORE!

 

ALSO COMING UP – CAMBRIDGE

Do the Right Thing with Furniture & Electronics
Free Film & Discussion: Power to the Pedals 9/16
Don’t Miss the Cambridge Repair Café! 9/27
Community Yard Sale 9/14 & 9/15
See Recycling in Action – Go on a Tour!


 

Do the Right Thing with Furniture & Electronics

Furniture in Good Condition: Plan ahead and arrange a free in-home pick up with the Coalition for the Homeless. Pickup appointments available on 9/2 or 9/3. Items must be clean and usable. Email pictures of your items to donations@mahomeless.org and include your address, phone number and put “Cambridge Pickup” in the subject line. They take kitchen tables & chairs, couches & sofa chairs, ottomans, hutches, end tables, coffee tables, bed frames, dressers, bookshelves, cabinets, rugs, lamps, dishes, pots & pans, and blankets & linens. Beginning this September, the Coalition will schedule pickups in Cambridge for the last Friday and first Monday of every month, except holidays. For more, visit CambridgeMA.Gov/Furniture.

 

Electronics:

1.       Bring to local retailers that take back electronics like Best Buy, Staples, RadioShack, and Apple!

2.       Get info about your curbside options click here, or

3.       Donate unwanted electronics at a free drop-off event this Saturday, August 30, 12-4 pm, Hayward Lot at MIT. Proyecto Chispa (“Project Spark”) will collect and recycle the electronics for free and use  the proceeds to purchase new computers for needy children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Free Film & Discussion: Power to the Pedals 9/16
Tuesday, September 16 at 6pm at the Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Lecture Hall. Come watch Power to the Pedals: Culture of Change, a 30 minute documentary produced and directed by local filmmaker Bob Nesson and sponsored by Metro Pedal Power. This unique and inspiring story is about transportation, sustainability, and a passionate innovator. The film portrays the transformative vision and extraordinary efforts of Wenzday Jane of Metro Pedal Power, a woman whose mechanical skills and innovative actions are reshaping her community. Wenzday goes to the heart of the sustainability issue by offering solutions, and suggests that things don’t have to be the way they are. Raised in public housing, the discovery of the bicycle meant personal freedom and self-determination. She later developed a passion for mechanics and welding, and learned how to reshape the world around her. Now a self-taught innovator and revolutionary community leader, she heads an urban movement to replace trucks with cargo bicycles for local delivery, servicing public area recycling bins for the City of Cambridge, and agricultural distribution. She’s creating a more sustainable future by helping others discover the power of the pedal. Q&A with Bob Nesson, Wenzday Jane, and Ms. Randi Mail, Cambridge Recycling Director immediately following film.  For more, visit www.powertothepedals.org.

Don’t Miss the Cambridge Repair Café! 9/27
The Cambridge Repair Café is Saturday September 27th from 10am-2pm at the Cambridge Community Center, 5 Callender St. Free and open to the public. What to do with a chair when a leg is loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or a sweater with moth holes? Toss it? No way! You can repair it at Repair Café! Repair things together, receive expert advice, meet each other, be inspired, learn about how things work, and save money. If you know how to fix electrical appliances, musical instruments, jewelry, furniture, bikes and other household items and can volunteer your time and share your skills for 4 hours at the event, click here. thank you! This is a joint project of the Cambridge Public Works Department, Cambridge Recycling Advisory Committee, Cambridge Public Schools Office of Sustainability, Green Cambridge, Community Development Department, Cambridge Community Center, and more!

Community Yard Sale 9/14 & 9/15

Got stuff to give away? Want to enjoy a beautiful day? Either host or attend a yard sale with your neighbors from all across Boston, Cambridge and beyond on Saturday, September 14th, and Sunday, September 15th. Visit yardsale.greenovateboston.org.

See Recycling in Action – Go on a Tour!
Cambridge residents and City employees are invited to tour the Casella recycling facility in Charlestown on Wednesday, October 9 (afternoon) and Tuesday November 18 (morning). No children under 16. Tours last about 2 hours and involve walking on narrow catwalks and stairs, close to heavy equipment. You must be walk at a steady pace with a group. We meet at DPW and carpool, so please let us know if can drive and how many people you can take. Email recycle@cambridgema.gov to sign up and we’ll send you more info.

Boston Green Fest – August 15-17th

Boston’s Multicultural Environmental Music Festival – August 15-17th

JOIN US!

*Music * – *Dance* – *ecoART* – *Hands-on-Learning* – *Wine and Beer Garden* – *GreenTech* – *EcoFasion*

*Free Admission*

Friday-Sunday
Fri. & Sat 12pm-10pm
Sun. 12pm-5pm

Boston City Hall Plaza

Find out more HERE.

 Save That Stuff has provided re-claimed buckets to FireSeedArts for their bucket drumming workshop. We’ll also be helping lead the festival to Zero Waste!

GreenFest2014

COMPOSTING is GROWING – From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostables

 

From Cambridge to California: Developing collection infrastructure for compostables. 

The infrastructure for source-separated food waste collection and diversion in major cities is growing, and the Boston area is quickly catching up. Little do most people know, Boston and surrounding cities have been developing better infrastructure for food waste recycling, nutrient capture, and urban agriculture since the early 2000s, along side the city’s waste diversion and recycling efforts.

Save That Stuff was one of the first organic waste haulers in the state of Massachusetts, and has remained on the forefront of best practices in organics waste collection. In 2006, STS developed an organics collection route in partnership with the City of Cambridge, to help public schools responsibly divert their food scraps.  The City had concrete goals of reducing solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions. The City has since developed a range of programs to divert food scraps from the trash bin.

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The City of Cambridge runs a food scrap drop off program for residents. In 2013 the City of Cambridge and Boston piloted a successful drop off program at summer farmers’ markets. And in April 2014, Cambridge kicked off a residential curbside collection pilot with 500-800 households, and to date captures ~85% of food scraps from the trash from participating households.

In October, 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will implement the Commercial Organics Waste Ban. This law will require large generators of food and biodegradable discards to divert the material alternatives other than landfill and incineration.

These are exciting times. Much is happening in the Greater Boston Area to develop robust infrastructure for collecting and responsibly managing compostables. Processing of food scraps ranges from high-value products for local agricultural to energy production from anaerobic digestion.

Join us for a FREE Webinar to hear more on organics diversion practices from Cupertino, California to Cambridge, Massachusetts!
Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 1:00pm – 2:30pm EDT
More info HERE
Register today!

Speakers include:

Randi Mail, Recycling Director, Cambridge, MA

Cheri Donnelly, Environmental Programs Manager, Cupertino Public Works Department, Cupertino, CA

STS compost

Challenge for Sustainability – Kick Off!

This is the second year that Save That Stuff has been a participant in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. On January 24, 2014, Save That Stuff joined Boston business and building leaders at the 2014 Challenge for Sustainability Kick-Off.

Looking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency in support of the City of Boston’s aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020, Save That Stuff, Inc. is participating in A Better City’s Challenge for Sustainability. The program engages businesses to adopt best practices in sustainability and energy efficiency through a platform of benchmarking and a peer support network to reduce their carbon footprint.

ABC-Challenge

Recently launching its fifth year, Save That Stuff, Inc. joins more than 100 of Boston’s leading businesses and building owners including Boston Properties, Equity Office, John Hancock, Nixon Peabody, Nutter McClennan & Fish, Putnam Investments, and the Sheraton Boston Hotel to reduce energy use and increase our overall sustainability.

“Boston’s business leaders are committed to making Boston a sustainability leader,” said Rick Dimino, President & CEO of A Better City. “They know that energy efficiency improvements have a direct impact on their bottom line, make Boston more competitive, attract environmental and energy conscious tenants, and appeal to a young, skilled workforce that places a high priority on sustainability.”

Over the last three years, participants in the Challenge for Sustainability have realized an aggregated 4% reduction in kWh, totaling more than 14 million kWh in 2012 – enough to power 1,300 homes for a year! Let’s see what we can achieve together at Save That Stuff in 2014!

Challenge for Sust

Recycling With Art In Mind

Here at Save That Stuff, Inc. we have been discussing starting up an artist in residence program.

As a locally-owned recycling and waste management company, we care to take an active role in finding imaginative ways of processing the materials Boston’s commercial sector disposes as “waste.” And many of the companies we work with also want to see something more happen to their discards than waste-to-energy or landfilling.

We have been inspired by artist in residence programs at other recycling centers around the nation. Both RAIR in Philadelphia, and Recology in San Francisco, engage artists to take a creative and critical approach to reusing materials that end up at local recycling centers.

Over the past 10 years, Save That Stuff has grown to take in a diverse range of materials for recycling and repurposing. Over the years, we’ve partnered with groups like Extras For Creative Reuse in an effort to extend the life of reusable materials that come to our facility.

A next step for us is to be a resource for an artistic community in the Greater Boston Area. We’d like to see some of the hard to recycle items we have serve artists with raw materials for creative works.

A few weeks ago, Save That Stuff hosted a tour for a group of students led by Jane D. Marsching, associate professor at the MassArt Studio Foundation. The students were enthusiastic about the range of materials that come through Save That Stuff.

MassArt

MassArt students hold onto their recently-acquired treasures, accompanied by professor Jane D. Marsching and Save That Stuff president and founder Erik Levy.

Students discover a box of materials in Save That Stuff’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM): MassArt

Erik: “Everyone take as many as you want. You can come back.”
Student 1: “This is a Mecca right here.”
Student 2: “Yes!”

We do not yet have the resources to offer space on-site for an actual residency program. We hope to start with small partnerships, where Save That Stuff will provide the materials to artists or other community organizations to create sculptures, public installations, and more! We’re excited to see how a program will evolve.

Will it Break Down in a Landfill? Compost and Zero Waste in Boston

Hello all!

This is Matt Messer, Save That Stuff’s Account Manager. I’m a research junkie and I’ve had a question that’s been bothering me. My research and my findings are something I feel you may be interested in.

If compost can break down on its own, why shouldn’t we just send it to a landfill via our trash?

A friend of mine, working for Harvest Power, recently answered this question.

First off, let’s make sure we know the key terms. Aerobic digestion involves a breakdown in the presence of oxygen and anaerobic digestion simply means without oxygen.

When our organic waste goes into landfills (via our trash bins), it sits under piles of trash indefinitely. This effectively creates a vacuum and the organic waste breaks down without oxygen. When food breaks down like this (anaerobically) , it creates methane, a greenhouse gas that is 23x more environmentally damaging than CO2!

Big picture fact: America throws away more than 30 million tons of food waste per year. That food waste is responsible for 34% of ALL methane emissions in the US.

 

 

  

When your organic waste is hauled by Save That Stuff to one of our partner farms like Brick Ends Farm in Hamilton, it is broken down aerobically into compost. This way, the food does not rot and methane is not released.

In a future blog post, I’ll delve into the second reason composting makes you or your business an environmental superstar. As always, this information is new to me and I value your comments. Please let me know if I’ve missed something or misstated and I’ll make the appropriate corrections!

 

Recycle on,
Matt
Matt Messer, Account Manager
LEED Green Associate

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