By Todd Isherwood LEED AP, Co-Chair of Greening Greenbuild 2017

Have you ever wondered where your trash ends up? I live in Downtown Boston, and twice-weekly a garbage truck comes through my North End neighborhood and picks up my trash. It magically disappears, but where does it go? Do you know where your trash goes? If you did know, would it change your behavior for how you handle your waste and recycling? What are the impacts on the environment – both inside and outside our cities?

Greenbuild’s Greening Committee wants to know the answers to these questions. Each year, Greenbuild challenges itself to walk the talk of sustainability. This year’s attendance goal of 30,000 means a lot of trash at our convention center in Boston, Massachusetts. How much trash will you put on the pile at Greenbuild 2017? USGBC plans to find out while also engaging student volunteers to provide program information, or “talking trash,” at each waste and recycling station on the convention trade show floor.

So, what kind of trash talk will be happening? In the months leading up to and at Greenbuild, our committee will be talking about WasteWise, a program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. WasteWise helps organizations reduce their impact on global climate change through waste reduction. WasteWise also gives you a guide to tracking waste in EnergyStar Portfolio Manager. The WasteWise program will be the foundation for “talking trash” points at Greenbuild 2017.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is targeting a 30% reduction of trash by 2020 and 80% reduction by 2050 from a 2008 baseline. As of 2015, Massachusetts saw a 16% reduction. Like many other states across the U.S., Massachusetts is challenged with what do with its trash. The Commonwealth sends its waste to municipal landfills, incineration stations, and other states via waste-by-rail. On the bright side, recycling has been a tremendous success in the Commonwealth.  Another great initiative is “waste to energy” programs. Expect to learn more about the Commonwealth’s waste and recycling programs from Greenbuild 2017’s “talking trash” initiative.

The City of Boston will play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s waste reduction goals. Greenovate is “Mayor Walsh’s initiative to get all Bostonians involved in eliminating pollution…” My first involvement with Greenovate was acting as the energy efficiency and renewable energy manager for the City of Boston. Waste diversion strategies live within Greenovate’s Climate Action Plan. The City of Boston’s waste and recycling programs will be “talking trash” points at Greenbuild 2017.

What is Greenbuild 2017’s plan for waste diversion and how can you participate? USGBC has a goal of moving Greenbuild towards a Zero Waste Event. In 2015, Greenbuild had an 84% waste diversion rate. This reached 90% in LA last year. How can we eliminate the last 10%? The Greening Committee believes the answers are education, innovation, and the will to do good for future generations. We’ll provide the education, you provide the innovation, and we will collaborate towards a waste-free future.

Go ahead, talk some trash on @USGBCMA @USGBC @ToddIsherwood

 

Here’s five.

Greenbuild Volunteers get to:

1. Network with green building leaders and professionals.

2. Connect with students across the nation.

3. Attend sessions featuring renowned speakers with a passion for sustainability.

4. See the latest and greatest  products and services in the Expo Hall.

5. Explore Boston and have FUN!

Join your peers at Greenbuild (the largest green building conference in the world) in Boston this November 8-9, 2017. In fact, you can volunteer at Greenbuild to receive a FREE 3-day pass, in addition other benefits!

Requirements

  • USGBC Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age and a full time student OR a young professional age 25 and under. When you check into the volunteer room, a fall 2017 schedule or a photo ID will be necessary depending on which qualification the volunteer is participating under. Full time student is 12 credits undergraduate, and nine credit graduate.
  • You must volunteer a minimum of eight hours

 

Help us spread the word.

 

Share this sign up link with your campus or organization. We’ll keep you updated on events and opportunities and let you know when Greenbuild Volunteer registration opens this summer.

 

Super Volunteer Snapshot

 

Our Super Volunteers are getting out there on your campuses and engaging students like you to get involved with Greenbuild and the USGBC MA Chapter.

Muddy River Symposium

This month, Andrew Brieter-Wu and his team from Wentworth Institute of Technology presented several posters at the 11th Annual Muddy River Symposium. Andrew shared his experience as a Student Volunteer at last year’s Greenbuild in Los Angeles. 

This could be you! 

Energy Mixer: Smart Homes

Last Friday, we had an Energy Mixer event at Northeastern University (NU) organized by the Emerging Professionals committee, and hosted by the NU-Energy Systems Society (NU-ESS). 

On the fun filled Friday evening, we discussed a variety of newly available gadgets and Smart Home technologies and how these devices innovate our ever-changing lifestyle and offer a wide range of convenience and utility.

 

 

 

Join Us!

There are many ways to stay involved between now and Greenbuild.

Emerging Professionals

Come to the Emerging Professionals Committee monthly meeting and connect with other green building professionals new to the industry. 

April 24th at 50 Milk St. Learn More Here.

Annual Charles River Cleanup

Join EPMA for the 2017 Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. Over 3,000 Boston area volunteers will come together to pick up litter, remove invasive species, and assist with park maintenance along the Charles River. 

April 29th. Learn more here.

 

We are seeking 700 volunteers…

 

Don’t want to wait until November? Come to our next Greenbuild Volunteer Committee meeting to find out how you can become a Super Volunteer and help spread the word to your campus and peers.

Date:       Tuesday, May 9th

Time:       6:00pm

Location:  50 Milk Street | Floor 16, “Edison” conference room | Boston, MA 02109

Register Here

 

We are pretty excited for Greenbuild, we hope you are too!