Posts filed under ‘Waste’

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

Bulk Barn has embraced the Zero Waste movement

Bulk Barn jars

In one fell swoop, Bulk Barn has revolutionized grocery shopping in Canada. The largest bulk food retailer in the country has just announced that it will accept reusable containers in all stores, starting February 24, 2017. This is a monumental victory for the Zero Waste movement in Canada, since Bulk Barn has 260 locations across the nation, many of which are in small communities without access to other zero waste-friendly stores.

Read Bulk Barn has embraced the Zero Waste movement by Katherine Martinko at Treehugger.com

January 30, 2017 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

10 tips for planning a green holiday party

store-greeneryThe holidays can be associated with excess. Each year, Canadians increase their waste by 45 percent between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That is almost half a million tonnes of holiday waste going into the landfills each year. With a few simple actions, we can reduce our holiday footprint and enjoy the season more by knowing we are celebrating sustainably.

Whether it is for a small intimate gathering at your home or a large soiree with your workplace, there are many simple ways that your holiday event can be greener than ever. Here are ten tips for planning your green holiday party:

  1. Decorate with nature

Keeping things simple can have great visual impact when it comes to holiday décor: evergreen boughs, cedar wreaths, pinecone centerpieces, or birch bark and dogwood urns are all examples of beautiful décor that can be used to accent your event space, all winter long. The great news is that all of these decorations biodegrade at the end of the season.

Read 10 tips for planning a green holiday party by Karen Halley at GreenUP.

December 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Food Storage Directory

This directory is filled with specific info about your favorite foods. You’ll learn how to store them, freeze them, and keep them at their best longer. You’ll also find helpful tips about safety and ways to revive food. As you read, please keep a few things in mind. First up, the time frames are only estimates (If you can’t use a food in that time frame, you can probably freeze it). Second, the best way to store food depends on how quickly you’ll use it. Finally, always trust your judgment. Knowing how long food lasts is an imperfect science, though we’ve pulled information from the best resources. Of course, buying less food more frequently is the best way to keep your food fresh and nutritious.

Read the Food Storage Directory at savethefood.com

December 5, 2016 at 11:48 am Leave a comment

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