Building without toxins
Nov30

Building without toxins

For Going Green Signs of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment’s commitment to sustainability are evident all around its South Amherst site: the large solar array on its roof, the rain barrels at the bottom of downspouts, the station for refilling water bottles in a hallway, the composting toilets in the restrooms. But many of the green measures the center took in constructing its new home, which opened in 2016, are not immediately...

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Insulating window treatments
Nov30

Insulating window treatments

Dear Jim: I should replace my old windows for winter, but I cannot afford more debt now. Is installing insulating window shades or curtains a viable alternative and which types are best? — Carol D. Dear Carol: Old windows can account for a substantial amount of heat loss from a house. This is because a single pane of glass has an insulating value of only about R-1, whereas an insulated wall may be R-17. The window will lose 17 times...

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Cider-makers forage for old flavor
Nov30

Cider-makers forage for old flavor

Associated Press ROCHESTER, Vt. — With a vigorous shake of a tree limb, small wild apples rain down onto a plastic tarp at an old farmstead in Vermont. David Dolginow, co-founder of Shacksbury Cider, and a colleague then collect the yellow-skinned fruit in milk crates. In their quest for the best apples to make hard cider, they’ve hunted for heritage wild apples on mountain roadsides, in the thickets of old pastures, and in backyards...

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Ashfield man invents a better burner
Nov30

Ashfield man invents a better burner

Recorder Staff ASHFIELD — After 14 years of research, Thomas Leue has created and patented a unique oil burner that runs on unfiltered, used cooking oil and has about 98 percent less climate impact than burners using conventional heating oil, he says. And now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has notified Leue that the food-waste oil used to power the Yellow Heat oil burner could also generate green credits for every gallon of...

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Vintage typewriters gain fans amid ‘digital burnout’
Nov30

Vintage typewriters gain fans amid ‘digital burnout’

Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Typewriter enthusiasts gather at an Albuquerque restaurant to experiment with vintage Smith Coronas. Fans in Boston kneel in a city square and type stories about their lives during a pro-immigration demonstration. A documentary on typewriters featuring Tom Hanks and musician John Mayer is set for release this summer. In the age of smartphones, social media and hacking fears, vintage typewriters...

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Locally made tortillas a hit in the valley
May10

Locally made tortillas a hit in the valley

For Going Green Open the plastic bag and you immediately smell the corn in these Mi Tierra tortillas, said Jorge Sosa proudly. That was far from what it was like when Sosa arrived in western Massachusetts from Mexico in 1992 and opened his first bag of store-bought tortillas. “You couldn’t smell the corn,” he recalls. “I didn’t know at the time, but it was the preservatives, the chemicals, all the things that they put into the...

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