How do you have a Superbowl party at home and stay green? Most people opt for the convenience of disposables, and may not want to use their “good” dishes for a party. A trip to the dollar store or discount store can really save you money and you can buy reusable items for future gatherings. Get some ceramic dishes, drinking glasses, cloth napkins, and bamboo or stainless steel serving utensils. You could also buy some kitchen towels and washcloths in place of paper towels to clean up any spills. If any of these items were to get ruined, then it isn’t a big deal. Here are a few tips:
• Use reusable dishes, utensils, napkins, etc…
• Pick up a box of empty jam/jelly Mason jars at the grocery store and use them as drinking glasses.
• Put out pitchers of water instead of individual plastic water bottles.
• Be sure to set up stations for recycling and composting.
• Ask guests to carpool or use public transportation.
• Try to serve healthy snacks. Shop at the farmers market in the morning to serve fresh, local, organic food.
These are just a few ideas. If use must use disposable items, then please buy biodegradable/compostable items. They are becoming more and more available, so keep an eye out for them. Go team!
I’ve done some coastal & river clean ups and it never fails to find ribbon caught up in a tangled mess. When wrapping gifts, it doesn’t occur to everyone that most ribbons and bows found at your local store are made using petroleum products. They’re not sustainable nor are they recyclable or biodegradable. I use paper raffia ribbon, hemp cord, and make my own bows from old magazines.
I discovered Cream City Ribbon® which is produced from renewable, biodegradable cotton fiber, grown and processed responsibly in the USA with water based dyes and without chlorine bleaches. They also offer organic and recycled cotton by special order. They have solid colors, designs, and custom made ribbon. Cream City Ribbon® is the natural choice.
I’ve had a worm compost in a Rubbermaid container for a couple years now. It is ok, but I’ve had a lot of trouble balancing the moisture levels. I finally decided to get a stackable worm compost bin and I couldn’t be happier. I like how it separates the worm tea, and the compost in different level trays. It has a convenient hand operated spigot to dispense the worm tea. It doesn’t take up much space and it’s very compact.
“These systems are 3, 4, or 5 interlocking trays in depth and allow the worms to remain undisturbed while you harvest the vermicompost. The principle is simple: Composting worms will naturally migrate upwards toward the new bedding and food. Once they all migrate up through the holes in each tray, you harvest the remaining castings in the tray(s) below and then add the empty tray to the top of the stack.”
Learn more about worm compost bins: http://www.vermicompost.net/worm-composting-bins/
I haven’t been really enthusiastic about a product in a long time and I am super stoked about this Kitchen Scrap Collector & Freezer Compost Bin by Full Circle! I live in an apartment and I have a small kitchen compost bin that needs to be emptied every 4 days or so. I empty it in my worm compost, and it can become rather inconvenient. If I get home late from work, then the last thing I want to do is go down to the parking garage and deal with the worm compost. I would much rather deal with it on the weekends. Besides, I would like to make a hearty batch for the worms.
If you have a kitchen compost then I’m sure you know about the odor and flies that can occur. Keeping the scraps in the freezer is an excellent solution! Although, the worm compost must remain at a certain temperature, then feeding them frozen veggies would be a terrible idea. Instead, I defrosted the scraps earlier in the day, then added them to the worm bin. It is much easier to collect the scraps, then add them when you’re ready to add them. If you’re tired of compost odors and flies, then I highly recommend this freezer bin. I got mine from Greenfeet.com. Also, available at: Full Circle
|Photos from GreenFeet.com|
The majority of people just toss their old skivvies in the trash and don’t think much of it. No one wants someone else wearing their underwear! What are the alternatives?
You could use your undies as old cleaning rags for filthy messes instead of paper towels. If in good condition, charity shops will accept old underwear so, don’t be embarrassed. They will donate them to get distributed to Third World Countries. There are people in Third World Countries who can’t afford underwear and are uneducated about hygiene. They have more risks of illness and disease from not wearing underwear.
There is also a programmed called Project Underwear. They collect new and gently used underwear and distribute them to poor children in Third World Countries.
If they are natural fibers like 100% cotton, then you could cut off the elastic and put it in your “browns” compost bin.
So, next time you have a pile of old underwear, please consider using some for rags, donating, composting, or be creative in reusing. Whatever you do, please keep them out of landfills.
I have seen Eco-Products compostable cups and containers at several restaurants. I generally bring my own reusable products, but most people don’t. That’s why I like it when businesses offer a more eco-friendly option.
Eco-Products have been around for 20 years. That is awesome! Nearly all of their products are made with renewable resources, reclaimed materials, or recycled content materials instead of oil. They make a cup “Made from 100% Compostable Corn,” that looks and feels like plastic. It’s just as strong and durable, and it can be composted after use. That is just one example of their products.
If you own a food service business and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, then please consider switching to Eco-Products. It would be great for you, your customers, and the planet!
Are you tired of lugging around those heavy, plastic, wasteful laundry detergent bottles? I know I am. There are a few alternatives available when it comes to eco-friendly laundry soap. I want to experiment with them all.
I finally had the opportunity to try the new Seventh Generation Natural 4X Laundry detergent. The compostable bottle is available in many natural food stores around the country. The new bottle uses 66% less plastic than a typical 100 oz laundry form and is completely recyclable! The inside is a small plastic bag filled with detergent. When it is gone, then the bottle breaks apart and can be recycled or composted. The detergent itself works well, and I’m happy with the results. I also like the idea of less waste.
Ditto hangers are a simple solution to ordinary hangers. They are non-toxic, made from recycled paper, and are 100% recyclable & compostable. They seem to be a very sturdy cardboard like material, but feel very strong like particleboard. They would be fun in a store with a customized logo on them. They take up a lot less space than wood hangers and come in different sizes. These are great if they are the only hangers you use. If you mix them with other hangers, then they hang differently. Let’s keep hangers out of the landfills by using these ecological hangers by Ditto.
Are you interested in composting, but aren’t sure where to begin? Composting is natures way of recycling. I watched some “how to” videos online and they helped, but I wanted someone to show me in person. The Griffith Park Composting Facility offers FREE workshops on the 4th Saturday of every month. They sell bins and explain the difference between each one. The large composts are nice, but you need to have your own yard to put it in. Since I’m in an apartment, I went ahead and got the worm compost, which is a 10 gallon Rubbermaid container for $5. There are a few holes drilled in it for ventilation. The facility only has the bins and some free compost, but no worms. They give you a list of worm suppliers in the area. I thought this was strange and they were all so expensive. They average around $23 lb. This seemed pretty pricey for worms. They have to be special red worms that can survive in 90ºF temperature. I called one of the suppliers who sells worms out of his home. Before I went, I was imagining a creepy guy in a weird house with worms in his garage or something. This wasn’t the case at all. It was a very nice, older gentlemen who had some large compost bins on the side of his really nice, 2-story house. He just sells them because he enjoys composting. I got 1 lb. of worms and I placed the bin in my carport under the storage cabinet. Now that I’ve had the bin for over a year now, I feel that the worms have paid for themselves and the $23 I was so worried about didn’t matter anymore. It is a very educational process and I’m glad I am able to experience it.
The compost facility only deals with outdoor composting. I decided to get a small kitchen compost to keep my scraps in for a few days before putting them in the worm bin. I found one online and I haven’t had any problems with odor or leakage. I would only keep it indoors for about 3 days. If there is fruit, such as banana peels, you may have to take it out sooner. Otherwise, fruit flies will be in the kitchen. That’s not fun at all!
To learn more about composting, please visit the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation website:
Today, I had the pleasure of volunteering in the garden at Thomas Starr King Middle School. It is a beautiful garden full of veggies. The students are a wonderful group and we had a lot of fun. They painted environmental signs, harvested salads for the homeless, and cooked a delicious meal of garbanzo beans, bok choy, carrots, cilantro, chives, garlic and herbs wrapped in a whole grain tortilla. Also, they turned the compost and tended to the garden. If you ever have a Tuesday off from work, then I recommend volunteering here. It is a great experience.
Here is more info about the garden:
Students from Thomas Starr King Middle School in Los Angeles, visit Farm King as part of various classes as well as part of an after school enrichment program. Every Tuesday, volunteers work in the garden with students, who participate in all aspects of garden life from planting to harvesting to cooking and eating. In addition, students use the garden as an outdoor classroom to study science, nutrition, art and other disciplines.
Check out the Farm King blog: