Want to save money? Try looking in your refrigerator! According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), American families throw out approximately 25 percent of the food and beverages they buy every year, which could cost a household as much as $2,275 annually! Wasting food means a waste of energy, water, and money. However, there are many ways that residents, customers, and businesses can help support the USDA and EPA goal to reduce wasted food by 50% by the year 2030:
Make Something New with Leftovers
One way to reduce wasted food is to check your pantry and refrigerator. Are there leftovers that could be repurposed? Check out the Save the Food campaign, which hosts resources to help communities and individuals address the importance of wasted food. For instance, Save the Food advises consumers on meal planning, understanding labels such as ‘best by,’ modifying storage practices, and reviving food. Also, read CET’s blog on best practices for storing and repurposing items past their prime. Reducing food ending up in your trash is a key way to saving money on grocery bills!
Get Involved with Food Rescue
Encourage local businesses to join Food Rescue programs, or volunteer as a food runner! For instance, MEANS database and Food Rescue US offer opportunities for local businesses, volunteers, and community kitchens or food pantries. Food rescue saves food that would have gone to waste, and feeds hungry people. By volunteering as a food runner you can give back to your community, and you can opt to volunteer whenever you are available.
The summer heat is here and it’s time to think about ways to cool your home while conserving energy! You can take actions now that will keep you more comfortable during these hot summer days, save you some money, and help the environment!
Cool Your Home Efficiently
• Consider using window A/C units to cool specific spaces, and closing off those rooms that you don’t need to cool. By reducing the space you want to cool, you’ll be more comfortable and you’ll save money!
• Cool your house at night by opening windows and using fans to cool off if you don’t have air conditioning. Close windows early in the morning and keep them closed all day.
• Use ceiling and portable fans to blow air on you and your family members. Remember: fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you’re not in the same room.
Summer is here, and party season is in full swing. With Independence Day just around the corner, there are preparations to be made! We have some tips to help you save some money, reduce your waste, and make your 4th of July green, as well as red, white, and blue!
- Bring reusable bags while shopping for supplies and food.
- Ask guests to RSVP so that you can get the right amount of food and drinks. This will reduce wasted food and also prevent you from spending unnecessary money.
- Choose natural or reusable decorations and reduce buying plastic items that will be thrown away.
By Willow Cohn, Community Outreach and Education Fellow
This past Saturday, we hosted our annual EcoBuilding Bargains Bash! This public event was our way of celebrating spring, reuse, and waste reduction. Activities took place in the EcoBuilding Bargains lumber yard and throughout the store! Desite the gloomy and wet weather, we had a great turnout, with over 400 guests in attendance! DJ Kevin Legends did a phenomenal job playing music for us all to enjoy, and The Holyoke Hummus Company provided a wide verity of delicious Mediterranean food. We also displayed all of our Reuse Rockstar contestants, and guests could vote on their favorite project!
By Kevin Pink, Program Specialist
What is the National Sword?
You may have heard the phrases “national sword” or “green sword” in the news lately. It is a policy in China that has banned the importation of certain types of solid waste, as well as set strict contamination limits on recyclable materials. This means that China will not accept shipments that are mixed with trash, the wrong type of recyclable, or low-quality recyclables like greasy paper goods. The policy was announced in July 2017, and the ban officially began January 1, 2018. In addition to the bans, China is reducing the number of import licenses, meaning that fewer businesses will be able to import waste.
Why does it matter?
China has been the world’s biggest importer of waste for decades. China has imported paper, plastic, and scrap metal from other nations and processed these materials for reuse in the products they produce for export. However, the implementation of National Sword has reduced the rate at which these materials are imported. This has created significant logjams in the international recycling system, resulting in recycled material piling up at materials recycling facilities (MRFs) or worse, into landfills. This is effecting recycling efforts in the United States and abroad.Read More»