(4/11/2016 - new page in progress)

 

A Photographer Collected Four Years Worth Of Trash To Show Just How Wasteful Humans Can Be

by Priscilla Frank on The Huffington Post --  In 2011, self-taught photographer Antoine Repessé stopped throwing things away. Along with 200 friends and colleagues, he accumulated around 70 cubic meters (or 18,000 liquid gallons) of recyclable waste. After he filled his flat in France to the brim with toilet rolls, newspapers, water bottles, cans and boxes — he organized a photo shoot.  read the full article on the Huffington Post

 

Restaurants Go Zero Food Waste in Food Recovery Challenge

by Rob Guillemin, originally posted 5/10/16 on EPA blog --  When I go to my local self-serve lunch spot, I eat everything I put on my tray, picking the perfect combination of hot entrée items and salad bar treats without an ounce to spare. In fact, I can be pretty smug about my “zero food waste” lunch (a modern version of the Clean Plate Club) until I remember that all the food prep was done for me in the back kitchen.  That’s where piles of carrot and potato peals and other food scraps, along with mounds of uneaten or unused food, typically head to the landfill.

Fortunately, Café de Boston, a buffet and prepared foods eatery in downtown Boston, is one of the few but growing number of restaurants that has shown a real commitment to eliminating food waste. In May, this restaurant joined EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge along with over 800 businesses and organizations, including grocery stores, schools, hotels, hospitals, cafeterias, local governments and food manufactures. (photo:  EPA New England Regional Administrator Curt Spalding at Café)

By keeping better track of food inventories and setting food waste prevention goals, participating organizations in 2014 diverted nearly 606,000 tons of wasted food, which included over 88,500 tons donated to people in need.

These waste diversion efforts are a big deal, especially since food is the single largest waste material going to disposal each year. Food waste tipped the scale at 35 million tons in 2012.  It now accounts for 21 percent of the American waste stream, overtaking either discarded plastic or paper.

Once in the landfill, moist organic matter quickly decomposes, releasing methane (CH4), a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more efficient at trapping heat than carbon dioxide (CO2). The US EPA has identified landfills as the single largest source of methane, contributing approximately 34% of all man-made methane released to the atmosphere in the US.

Because food production accounts for 10% of total energy use, 50% of land use, and 80% of freshwater consumption in the United States, every wasted bite also squanders these resources. With this lifecycle perspective in mind, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that global food waste (including its production, transportation, and decomposition) is the 3rd largest emitter of greenhouse gases based on 2007 levels data.  This means that 3.3 billion tons of CO2 equivalent is generated needlessly.

So, the next time you eat out, don’t be shy about asking your favorite restaurant to reduce food waste by joining EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge. The Café de Boston did and now it is on track to divert over 30 tons of food waste from the landfill this year.  If the one million restaurants in America followed their lead, we could truly dine, food waste free, and take a huge, collective bite out of our greenhouse gas emissions.

more info on the Food Recovery Challenge: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/food-recovery-challenge-frc

Rob Guillemin is an environmental specialist at EPA’s New England office, where he tries to eat what he takes.

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excerpt from http://www.wehatetowaste.com/reuse-versus-recycling-eaves/

"I Began Wondering, “Why Aren’t We Talking About Reusing More?”

When compared to reusing, recycling just falls short. Sure, recycling keeps stuff out of the landfills and it captures resources to be put back into the manufacturing process. But what about all of the resources used for picking the recycling up, for processing it, and turning it into something new? It seemed like a waste."

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Recycling Basics From TerraCycle: Items You Can and Can't Recycle -http://nationswell.com/can-recycle-5-things-shouldnt-recycle/

 

a DOWNSIDE of recycling - implied permission to continue to consume at the current rate, rather then change to less environmentally impactful forms of behavior.

 

INSTEAD OF PLASTIC:  http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/life-hacks-to-help-you-cut-plastic-out-of-the-picture/

 

http://torontotoollibrary.com/5-ways-to-de-clutter-that-will-actually-change-the-world/

Recycle Old Electronics Responsibly

Toxic chemicals in electronics, such as lead, cadium and mercury, can leach into the land over time or can be released into the atmosphere, impacting nearby communities and the environment.

Don’t put your old electronic products or batteries in the trash (even if it’s legal in your state). The toxics inside these products don’t belong in the landfill.

Electronics Take Back Coalition   
• Canada - Recycle My Electronics
• United States - E-cycling central

Of course, the greenest option is to keep your device going as long as possible. If you decide to upgrade, please give some thought to passing your old one along for someone else to use.   (from A Guide to Responsible Digital Reading, New Society Publishers)

 

archived webinars online here: http://nrcrecycles.org/learn-3/archived-webinars/. (look for Ag Plastics, april 26, 2016)