Posts filed under ‘Waste’

The 28-Day Plastic Purge Challenge

plastic-purge-challenge
The aim of our 28-Day Plastic Purge is not to completely banish plastic, but to help you ID the most toxic and uneccesary sources like vinyl and single-use plastics, respectively.
Read The 28-Day Plastic Purge Challenge at Rodale Wellness.
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October 11, 2017 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Use Plants to Clean up Toxic Waste

In the last couple of centuries, humans have done a strange thing: We’ve dug the biggest pits, the deepest holes, and the longest tunnels the world has ever seen, all to find the most insidious and subtle poisons known to our mammalian bodies, remove them from deep inside rocks where they had lain sequestered for eons, and concentrate them in the places where most of us live. We’re starting to think this maybe wasn’t a good idea.

I say “we,” of course, but this isn’t a guilt trip; most of this was before your time, and you didn’t vote for it anyway. You and I use small amounts of heavy metals and fossil fuels in our own lives – driving, flying, heating, buying plastic products, just looking at this on a computer – but it’s very difficult to avoid doing so and still living in the modern world.

The consequence of so many people doing so many of these things, though, is that any urban area – and many rural ones – will have splotches on the map with large quantities of toxic materials in the ground. If you live where a gasoline station used to be, or a factory, a garbage dump, or any number of other things, you might have things in your soil you don’t want in your stroganof.

Read Use Plants to Clean up Toxic Waste by Brian Kaller at Resilience.org

October 2, 2017 at 10:27 am Leave a comment

Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars

Water bath pot over pilot light method. Photo © Liesl Clark

I’m amazed at how hard it is to find yogurt in glass. Supermarket yogurt is all in plastic containers and if you’re trying to keep your family plastic-free, yogurt would have to be taken off your list. Unless you make your own.

The simple process of making yogurt in a pot, bowl or jars in the sun or by a fire should’ve stuck with me, but somehow I became complacent thinking I needed a yogurt maker to make the good stuff. Not so.

Today, I make yogurt in bulk — large quart mason jars of it so I can share starter with friends or barter it for other fresh produce or home-made goodies. I don’t need any electricity to make it so I call it off-the-grid yogurt, reminiscent of my teen days in France.

Read the full article: Make Your Own Off-the-Grid Yogurt in Large Jars by Leisel Clark at Trashbackwards.

July 10, 2017 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

The Easiest Way To Compost

Compost

So you’re ready to take the plunge and start composting. You’ve made the space, and put aside time to figure it out: this is the year. Two deep breaths. Now, how do you do it? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
Here’s What You Need

1. Carbon-rich “brown” materials, such as fall leaves, straw, dead flowers from your garden, and shredded newspaper.

2. Nitrogen-rich “green” materials, such as grass clippings, plant-based kitchen waste (vegetable peelings and fruit rinds, but no meat scraps), or barnyard animal manure (even though its color is usually brown, manure is full of nitrogen like the other “green” stuff). Do not use manure from carnivores, such as cats or dogs.

3. A shovelful or two of garden soil.

4. A site that’s at least 3 feet long by 3 feet wide.

Read The Easiest Way To Compost at Rodale’s Organic Life.

 

June 5, 2017 at 11:09 am Leave a comment

Combating textile waste

clothingwasteOne of the biggest misconceptions that consumers have is that we should only donate clothes that are gently used. Ninety per cent of all people in Ontario donate at least some of their clothes, but whenever we have a pile of unwanted clothing we sort it based on what we imagine to be valuable and donate only the “good” stuff. The rest goes into the waste bin. Fifteen per cent of all unwanted garments are collected while the vast majority, 85 per cent, ends up in our landfills, taking up valuable space, releasing methane and toxic leachate and contributing to climate change.

While every municipality with populations over 5,000 must operate a blue box recycling program, textiles are on the supplementary list. Yet used clothes are often more valuable than many of the other item categories collected by municipalities. So why are textiles forgotten on our municipal waste diversion list? The good news is that all textiles can be reused or recycled in some way, with pioneering R&D efforts underway to ensure this happens.

Read Combating textile waste by Sabine Weber at Corporate Knights.

May 31, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale

By gosh, there’s nothing better than a good sale. And I’m not talking about shopping. Selling off your stuff can be surprisingly fun, liberating, and profitable. It’s hard work, though. To ensure good profits, your best bet is to organize a multi-family or neighborhood sale. Bigger sales bring more customers; a well-run, well-publicized event can net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

So how do you do it? Well, you’ll need more than a newspaper ad. Get organized, plan ahead, and use social media to make your sale stand out.

1. Start early and in person.
A month or two before the sale date, start calling your neighbors and friends. Hold a planning meeting, potluck-style. Topics of conversation: location, date, theme, and price points. Make an action plan and let every household choose a manageable task.

2. Create a web presence.
This step makes all the difference, but it doesn’t need to be complicated! The easiest method is to create a Facebook event. It’s quick to set up, and you can invite most of your friends and neighbors.

3. Catalogue the goods.
Create an online photo album (e.g. on Flickr). Use a shared login so your co-sellers can upload photos. Ask everyone to post their interesting or valuable items, along with information about any antiques or collectibles. If possible, set up a separate album for each participating household.

Read all 8 tips at How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale by Jessica Reeder at Shareable.

April 24, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

‘First in Canada’ supermarket donation plan aids food banks and tackles waste

Supermarkets in Quebec will now be able to donate their unsold produce, meat and baked goods to local food banks in a program – described as the first of its kind in Canada – that also aims to keep millions of kilograms of fresh food out of landfills.

The Supermarket Recovery Program launched in 2013 as a two-year pilot project. Developed by the Montreal-based food bank Moisson Montréal, the goal was to tackle the twin issues of rising food bank usage in the province and the staggering amount of edible food being regularly sent to landfills.

Provincial officials said the pilot – which last year saw 177 supermarkets donate more than 2.5m kg of food that would have otherwise been discarded – would now begin expanding across the province.

“Hats off to this brilliant initiative which – besides being good for the environment – offers a unique and lasting solution to the problems of waste and food precariousness,” said Lucie Charlebois, the province’s minister of public health.

Read ‘First in Canada’ supermarket donation plan aids food banks and tackles waste by Ashifa Kassam at The Guardian.

March 22, 2017 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

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