The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger

September 13, 2017 by  
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The Free Store, a non-profit organization and grocery store based in Wellington, New Zealand, is serving food for free and aiding in the fight against food waste . Originally started as a two-week-long art project by artist Kim Paton in 2010, the store has now grown into a more permanent institution, stocking its shelves with surplus food from bakeries and supermarkets. In redistributing free food that would otherwise have gone to waste, the Free Store has proven to be a valuable community space. “There are no conditions on who can come to The Free Store,” said co-founder and director Benjamin Johnson. “There are no criteria. Anybody can come for whatever reason and take whatever they want.” Food waste is a major social problem in New Zealand , as it is in much of the industrialized world. Kiwis, or residents of New Zealand, dispose of approximately $625 million worth of food (120,000 tons) each year. Globally, it is estimated that total food waste weighs up to 1.3 billion tons. Meanwhile, people still go hungry. “We saw the potential in an untapped food supply. You had food that was perfectly good to eat, and then you had people that were hungry . We could facilitate a connection between the two,” said Johnson. Related: Britain’s first zero-waste store is packaging-free and only sells ethical goods The Free Store is made possible through support from volunteers , donors, and around 65 suppliers, located around Wellington city center eager to put their surplus food to good use. According to Johnson, the Free Store distributes between 800 to 1,500 food items each weeknight between 6 PM and 7 PM, averaging about 250,000 food items; that amounts to $1 million worth of food saved per year. Since its establishment, the Free Store has spread to four locations throughout New Zealand, adapting their model and funding structure to fit each area. “All you need is a space to operate from, surplus food, people who need the food and will come and take it, volunteers, and a committed group of people who can actually do it,” said Johnson. “There has to be local ownership. In every area where there’s a Free Store, there needs to be a deeply rooted community of people.” + The Free Store Via EcoWatch Images via The Free Store

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The free grocery store fighting food waste and hunger

NYC community gardens may wither under Trump’s proposed budget cuts

April 3, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts could mean the kiss of death for New York City’s community gardens . More than 500 of the communal spaces across all five boroughs depend on a program called GreenThumb , which is administered by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation . Initiated in the wake of the 1970s fiscal crisis, which resulted in the widespread abandonment of both private and public land, GreenThumb has turned hundreds of derelict lots into tillage. Most of its funding comes from federal Community Development Block Grants—the same ones the budget blueprint seeks to eliminate. Should the budget pass, GreenThumb risks losing $1 million a year out of a $2.4 million budget, according to WNYC . Related: Detroit nonprofit seeks crowdfunding for new East Side community garden “It would be devastating to GreenThumb, it would mean laying off a dozen workers or more, and it would be less money for supplies, for bulbs, for tools,” said New York City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee. Levine, WNYC adds, is working on securing more money for community gardens, as well as the restoration of jobs for 150 Parks department gardeners and maintenance workers. Via WNYC Photos by Unsplash

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NYC community gardens may wither under Trump’s proposed budget cuts

Leave a Book on a Bench: Be Part of the Book Swap

October 3, 2011 by  
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Photo: B. Alter At a time when libraries are being closed down and the very future of the book is being questioned, let’s give a cheer for the book swap. Organized by the UK newspaper, the Guardian , think of it as a generous act of recycling. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Leave a Book on a Bench: Be Part of the Book Swap

What if the Coal Industry Made an Energy Drink? (Video)

October 3, 2011 by  
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While there’s really no shortage of information out there showing just how dirty, destructive, and dangerous energy derived from burning coal can be , sometimes the most effective way of getting that point across is with good ol’ fashioned satire. The folks over at the Renewable Energy Accountability Project (REAP) have put together a hilariously spot on mock-advertisement for a coal-based energy drink. Unfortunately, the similarities between this fictional beverage and the

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What if the Coal Industry Made an Energy Drink? (Video)

Celebrating Kindness on the Subway

August 4, 2011 by  
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Photo: B. Alter The artist Michael Landy is out to improve the civility on subways. For the past few months he has been encouraging commuters to commit ” Acts of Kindness” by submitting short stories of kindness that they have seen or experienced on the Central line of the London subway system. Some of the resulting stories and comments have now been posted on the walls of the subway platforms and they are quite touching. Kind of renews one’s faith in human nature. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Celebrating Kindness on the Subway

Celebrities Tell Facebook to Ditch Coal (Video)

February 25, 2011 by  
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Awhile back, Greenpeace launched a campaign against Facebook telling the company to “unfriend” coal as a power source for its data center slated to go up in Oregon. The activist group wants Facebook to publicly commit to 100% renewable energy for the thousands of servers that will keep hundreds of millions of people connected and playing Farmville. And now, the company is getting celebrities on its side, starting with this video message..

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Celebrities Tell Facebook to Ditch Coal (Video)

Dead Baby Dolphin Death Toll Rises to 60 Along Gulf Coast

February 25, 2011 by  
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photo: Sheilapic76 / Creative Commons Updating the story from three days ago on dead baby dolphins washing up at 10 times the normal rate on Gulf Coast beaches: And then there were 60. Initial reports said that 17 dead baby dolphins had been discovered in Alabama and Mississippi

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Dead Baby Dolphin Death Toll Rises to 60 Along Gulf Coast

The Week in Animal News: Self-Doubting Monkeys, Suicidal Whales, and More (Slideshow)

February 25, 2011 by  
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Photo: rubber bullets /Creative Commons Just like humans, monkeys can gauge how difficult a situation is. In a ground-breaking study, Macaques trained to play video games choose to skip by difficult levels when given the option. We also have the unsolved mystery of suicidal whales; a lonely Wolverine, perhaps the only one of his species in California after a long trek; a sea turtle hospital; color-changing owls; deceptively adorable invasive species; and more in The Week in Animal News.

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The Week in Animal News: Self-Doubting Monkeys, Suicidal Whales, and More (Slideshow)

Winners of the Brit Insurance Design Awards, 2010

March 9, 2010 by  
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Image from minkyu.co.uk . Last week we wrote an idiosyncratic view of the candidates for the Brit Insurance Designs of the Year awards

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Winners of the Brit Insurance Design Awards, 2010

Design Proposal for the Newark Visitor Center Competition

February 26, 2010 by  
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Last year, New Jersey held a competition to design a visitor center for their largest city, Newark. Over two hundred entries were submitted for the contest, which required the use of innovative sustainable features

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Design Proposal for the Newark Visitor Center Competition

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