Corn plastic, otherwise known as polylactic acid (PLA), is rapidly replacing traditional petroleum based plastics for food containers, utensils, disposable cups and more, but how do you dispose of it? It is common to find a recycle symbol printed or molded into the container, and many also promote that the item is compostable or biodegradable. So what is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of this new generation bio plastic? The answer may depend on which does less harm and very well could be the trash can.
Composting Bio Plastic
There are few facilities equipped to fully compost PLA down to carbon and water. The process to breakdown PLA cups is approximately 30–45 days in a commercial compost facility with a sustained temperature of 140 degrees for 10 days. Most people have had mixed results with backyard composters, some taking months, others even years, much related to sustained heat. › Continue reading
You may be hearing a lot about an emerging trend in food sourcing at local restaurants called Farm to Table or Farm to Fork. This takes local and usually organic food to a whole new level with a menu prepared from the restaurants own local garden or a nearby partner farm.
With Thanksgiving coming up, there is much to do to prepare for a green holiday. Make the conscious choice to reduce waste without sacrificing (you may up even saving money this year!)
There is as much involved in the preparation as the choices you make during the meal. From choosing local and organic produce to preparing your guests and family in order to reduce waste. Check out these tips to keep your Thanksgiving feast fun and eco-friendly.
Shop and Eat Local
Buying and eating locally produced food, you support your local community, reduce transportation waste and eat fresher food! Farmers markets, local grocers and natural food stores are great places to start. Organic produce and a free-range turkey reduce your exposure to pesticides, are grown under eco-friendly and humane conditions.
Decorate from the Yard
Collected pine cones, fallen leaves, branch cuttings and fall foliage from the neighborhood can act as great decoration or as colorful centerpieces. By using locally found biodegradable items instead of synthetic purchased items, you reduce production and › Continue reading
Thomas over at Tomi Otee was kind enough to send me some new organic polo shirts for my golfing. I found them to be not only comfortable, but also really like their modern cut and sturdy feel. The tee holders designed into the sleeves are a great functional focus piece and set them apart from your common polo shirt.
Tomi Otee is out to make stylish and functional golf clothing more sustainable with organic fabrics. Specially designed with a golfers quiver on the sleeves to hold your tees in a convenient and comfortable place. These polo style ‘golfer shirts’ come in long and short sleeve, and are designed for a flattering, yet comfortable fit. They fit slim but allow for a smooth, unhindered swing. › Continue reading
Fair Trade is a term you are beginning to see much more as the eco-friendly movement grows. Fair Trade Designs embodies this ideal with their great sustainable items, each with their own background story of the artisans who create them.
Vetiver Root Place Mats – Hand woven from cotton and vetiver root and tied together with vetiver tassels. Vetiver is a fragrant easily renewable and naturally aromatic root indigenous to India and Indonesia. The soothing, herbal scent covers kitchen smells and also makes great drawer liners. Because of its deep growing & tightly meshed root system, vetiver is also used by conservation and community development projects to stop erosion in deforested areas. The mats are hand made in a fair trade village cooperative in Java, Indonesia.
This product comes from Zen-Zen, a Fair Trade Federation member. That means everyone they employ, including their subcontractors, gets a fair living wage and has good working conditions › Continue reading
I am kind of a health food junkie. Walking home from work, I pass a Whole Foods, which is kind of like my version of a candy store. Fresh organic produce and delicious real food found throughout, but some days I just don’t have time to prepare my breakfast or lunch.
I’ve tried to suppress my hunger and supplement my meal (or lack of) with an energy bar or health bar, but usually this just leaves me feeling unsatisfied and hungry. Many taste like cardboard, and those that have flavor are more like a candy bar, loaded with sugar. This usually compounds my problem, leaving me more hungry due to the high carb and sugar content. I wonder what I am missing out on nutrition wise as well since it tends to just be a filler.
Lucky for me Good Greens was kind enough to send me a sampling of their real whole food, natural and organic energy bars. They come in a range of delicious flavors and all but one have a dairy-free organic chocolate coating.
What impressed me the most was the taste was amazing for so little sugar. With 14 grams or less sugar › Continue reading
A typical 3kWp (kilo Watt-peak) solar system, which produces about 2 500 kWh of electricity annually, or the equivalent of two thirds of a typical American household`s consumption, will end up around $15 000. There is no doubt that purchasing solar panels turn off a lot of homeowners because of the high upfront costs and home insurance. In the last couple of years things have changed the situation for the better – Smart and creative financing models have been put in place to make solar power more affordable for Average Joe.
According to PV Solar Report, more than three out of four Californians prefer third-party-owned solar, which also happens to be the market share as of February 2012:
The same trend can be seen across the rest of the country as well – and it keeps growing. What are the different third-party-owned financing models that are available? › Continue reading
Natural gas has been in the spotlight lately as the clean fuel of the future, but what do we know about this clean gas? We already use it in our home furnaces, water heaters, stoves, fireplaces, even some cars (CNG); but it is now becoming the energy of choice to produce our electricity. While it is a cleaner burning alternative to coal, is it our best choice? There are two parts to this question, how it is obtained, and how it is used.
Natural Gas Extraction
Natural gas is a fossil fuel derived from plant and animal matter that was heated and pressurized over time within the earth’s layers. It is a byproduct of oil drilling and for many years was just burned off with flares or re-injected back into the wells (and it still is in many countries). More recently, it has become a resource constituting it’s own development as an energy source. As a result, many oil companies are looking into developing the vast shale gas reserves found throughout the US as a new domestic energy plan competing with renewable energy.
Shale gas extraction is a bit more complicated and requires hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of the fine clay like rock to obtain sufficient amounts of the gas. Chemicals (some which are toxic and unrecoverable) are injected at high pressure into these drilled wells, fracturing and breaking up the shale rocks and thus releasing the natural gas. › Continue reading
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