7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste

November 22, 2019 by  
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Thanksgiving is a time to indulge, but there is no … The post 7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste appeared first on Earth911.com.

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7 Ways to Plan Thanksgiving Dinner Without Waste

Cooking for Compost: Thanksgiving

November 20, 2019 by  
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For the Thanksgiving edition of our Cooking for Compost series, … The post Cooking for Compost: Thanksgiving appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Cooking for Compost: Thanksgiving

See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

November 18, 2019 by  
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In 2012, we received some dismal news about food waste … The post See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting appeared first on Earth911.com.

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See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

Fill Your Windows With Year-Round Edible Produce

October 29, 2019 by  
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There are many reasons to grow your own food. Avoiding … The post Fill Your Windows With Year-Round Edible Produce appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Fill Your Windows With Year-Round Edible Produce

We Earthlings: The CO2 Impact of Shipping Apples

October 29, 2019 by  
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Everything we eat has been transported to us, adding CO2 … The post We Earthlings: The CO2 Impact of Shipping Apples appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: The CO2 Impact of Shipping Apples

10 healthy Halloween treats to make this October

October 25, 2019 by  
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Halloween is notorious for one thing: candy. While it is expected for everyone to indulge every once in a while, most people choose to forget about their health completely when it comes to Halloween , using the holiday as an excuse to eat too many artificial sweets. We’ve rounded up a list of 10 healthier options for Halloween party treats that are good for you while still maintaining the spooky holiday spirit. Bell pepper jack-o’-lanterns The best way to trick (and treat) your kids into eating their vegetables this Halloween has to be these quirky bell pepper jack-o’-lanterns. Carefully use a small paring knife or cookie cutter to cut the classic jack-o’-lantern shape into fresh bell peppers. Get creative with different shapes for the mouth, eyes and nose. Stuff the tops with salad or fresh veggie sticks and serve with a side of homemade hummus or balsamic dressing. Save any extra bell peppers in the fridge to use in a stir fry or soup the next day. Chicken, bison or plant-based meatball eyeballs Swapping beef for ground chicken, 100 percent grass-fed bison or veggies and beans in a meatball recipe is a leaner, healthier alternative. Pop on some sliced olives to turn your meatballs into eyeballs, or stick thinly sliced bell peppers into the sides to make them look like spiders. Place your meatballs on a bed of your favorite homemade sauce with either zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or brown rice pasta. Vegan cupcakes Take your favorite vegan cupcake recipe (we suggest our Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes ) and spice it up with a little Halloween flair. Top the cupcakes with delicious Greek yogurt frosting and fresh strawberry or raspberry compote for a blood-colored statement, or mix in some all-natural food coloring. Turmeric makes a good substitution for orange food coloring and matcha for green if you want to go with a pumpkin theme. Apple monsters Cut up some green apples into slices and sandwich your favorite nut butter in between. Stick in sunflower seeds to look like pointy monster teeth and add a sliced strawberry tongue. Instead of candy googly eyes, make eyeballs out of blueberries or grapes, and stick them into the tops of the apples with toothpicks.  Pumpkin soup witch’s brew Swap a regular bowl for a hollowed-out pumpkin tureen , and add a Halloween-themed topping to go along with your pumpkin soup. Use a bat-shaped cookie cutter to create bats out of whole-grain toast for dipping, or make a spider web shape out of crème fraîche to get extra festive. To double up on the party snacks, roast the pumpkin seeds from the tureen with salt, and set them out for your guests. Mandarin orange pumpkins and banana ghosts These little mandarin orange “pumpkins” are packed with vitamin D, and the accompanying banana “ghosts” are full of potassium . But the best part about making them? It is so easy, the whole family can join in. Peel mandarin oranges and stick a small slice of celery into the top to create the pumpkin stems. Use nut butter as a glue to place dark chocolate chips as the eyes and mouth on halved bananas for a ghostly face. Veggie dog mummies Swap classic hot dogs for vegan or veggie dogs for this flaky, filling recipe. Buy a pre-made dough or make your own, and cut it into strips before wrapping it around your hot dogs for a mummified look. Place your mummies on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the dogs are hot all the way through and the dough is golden brown. Homemade ketchup or honey mustard go great for dipping. Olive spiders Olives are high in antioxidants, healthy fats and vitamin B, not to mention they are low in cholesterol and high in fiber — a recipe for good gut and heart health. Connect two olives, one large and one small, together with a toothpick. Stick dried spaghetti pasta into the sides for legs (don’t forget to save the pasta to cook later so it doesn’t go to waste !). Candy or caramel apples Make your own caramel or candy apples using organic ingredients, and choose healthier toppings such as dark chocolate, chopped almonds, chopped dates, dried fruit or coconut flakes. For a party-friendly dish, arrange apple slices on a Halloween platter and drizzle with caramel sauce in a creepy, spider-web design. Mashed cauliflower ghosts Going low-carb this Halloween? Mashed cauliflower is a super healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. Spoon your mash into a piping bag to help shape it into ghost form and decorate with cut chives, black olives, peas or sesame seeds. To make sure they hold their shape, you can opt to bake or broil them in the oven for a few minutes until the mash is firm. Images via Shutterstock

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10 healthy Halloween treats to make this October

Earth911 Podcast, Oct. 21, 2019: A More Sustainable Halloween!

October 21, 2019 by  
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A spooky Halloween doesn’t have to be a horror show … The post Earth911 Podcast, Oct. 21, 2019: A More Sustainable Halloween! appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth911 Podcast, Oct. 21, 2019: A More Sustainable Halloween!

Unilever ambitiously pledges to cut use of new plastics in half by 2025

October 8, 2019 by  
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To better align with green initiatives worldwide, the British-Dutch conglomerate Unilever recently pledged to invest in a more circular economy for plastics via a two-part plan. First, by the year 2025, Unilever will halve the bulk of its non-recycled plastic packaging waste. Secondly, the company will accelerate its recycling endeavors by focusing more on collecting and processing waste plastic rather than selling single-use virgin plastics. Unilever shared on its website that it pledges to “make the blue planet blue again” and especially commits to “making sustainable living commonplace.” To do so, the company will follow a three-pronged approach: 1) investing and partnering to better the waste management infrastructure, 2) purchasing and utilizing recycled plastics, rather than virgin plastics, in its packaging and 3) participating in extended responsibility programs that directly pay for the collection of all Unilever packaging. Related: Unilever’s energy-efficient office is one of the greenest in Europe Currently, Unilever uses about 700,000 tons of plastic packaging annually. To curb its association with the growing plastic pollution crisis, the company will cut its plastic use by 100,000 tons. Unilever vows to replace single-use plastic packaging with recycled materials in a shift toward reusable, refillable and even compostable alternatives. Unilever will also annually collect and recycle more than 600,000 tons of plastic. “Our plastic is our responsibility, and so we are committed to collecting back more than we sell, as part of our drive toward a circular economy,” said Alan Jope, Unilever CEO. “This is a daunting but exciting task, which will help drive global demand for recycled plastic.” Unilever is a portfolio powerhouse, owning many popular brands in both the food and cosmetics industries. It is the parent company that manufactures and distributes Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Breyers ice cream, Klondike bars, Hellmann’s mayonnaise, Knorr spices and Lipton ice tea.  Among its many cosmetics lines, Unilever owns Brut aftershave, Dove soap, Noxzema, Pond’s, Q-tips, Suave shampoo and conditioner and Vaseline. Despite its behemoth range of products that rely on plastic packaging, Unilever has been operating under the “Less, Better, No” plastic framework, planning to eliminate unnecessary packaging by innovating with the refill, reuse and recycled plastic sector as it moves away from virgin plastics. “Over the last five years, Unilever has collaborated with many partners to collect plastic packaging, including the United Nations Development Programme, to help segregate, collect and recycle packaging across India,” reads a company press release. “In addition, it has helped to establish almost 3,000 waste banks in Indonesia, offering more than 400,000 people the opportunity to recycle their waste. In Brazil, Unilever has a long-running partnership with retailer Grupo Pão de Açúcar to help collect waste through drop-off stations.” + Unilever Image via Shutterstock

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Unilever ambitiously pledges to cut use of new plastics in half by 2025

We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides

October 1, 2019 by  
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American agriculture is heavily dependent on chemical fertilizers. According to … The post We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides appeared first on Earth911.com.

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We Earthlings: 1.1 Billion Lbs. of Pesticides

One plastic teabag can release billions of microplastics into your cup

September 30, 2019 by  
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The next time you are craving tea , choose the paper teabag or loose-leaf tea in a reusable infuser — just steer clear of the plastic teabag. Why? A recent McGill University study found that just one plastic teabag can leach billions of microplastic particles into your beverage. Professor Nathalie Tufenkji, of the McGill University Chemical Engineering Department, was surprised to find that premium teabags, made of plastic , were offered at her local Canadian coffee shop. For research purposes, she then asked graduate student Laura Hernandez to purchase several plastic teabags from a number of different brands. Next, the research duo collaboratively ran tests and analyses in the laboratory to discover the amount of microplastics being released after steeping the teabag. Related: Have your plastic and eat it, too — average American ingests 50,000 microplastic particles a year Results alarmingly showed that as many as 11.6 billion microplastic particles and 3.1 billion nano-sized particles were contaminating the tea. Nano-sized particles are small enough to enter the human bloodstream and human cells. These numbers were considerably above-average — in fact, thousands of times higher — relative to other food products and beverages. Tufenkji said, “you’re literally adding plastic” into your cup each time you steep a plastic teabag. Microplastics are everywhere, contaminating the oceans and the marine organisms that live there, and often making their way into our food chain. A joint study — published earlier this year by the University of Newcastle in Australia and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and available for viewing here — announced that humans are ingesting about 5 grams of plastic per week, which is about the size of a credit card. Consuming tea brewed from plastic teabags could very well increase that collective annual amount. Currently, the two types of plastics linked to adverse effects on the human body are Bisphenol A ( BPA ) and Phthalates. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued warnings on BPA exposure creating negative effects like metabolic disease, birth complications and other health problems. Phthalates, meanwhile, are known to disrupt the body’s natural endocrine functions. Even more worrisome, regarding ingestion of microplastics, is that microplastics act as “toxic rafts” that pick up other environmental pollutants around them. In other words, microplastics attract environmental pollutants, concentrate them and carry them. Ingesting these microplastic “toxic rafts” rife with concentrated pollutants therefore increases the risks to your health. Unfortunately, there is no study yet that examines the actual danger that the plastic teabags, made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and nylon, pose to humans. Instead, more research is required to understand the long-term impact that various microplastics can have on human health . “There’s really no research,” Tufenkji said. “But this really points to the need to do those studies. Think of people who drink one or two or three cups of tea a day, every day.” Tufenkji moreover emphasized that these plastic teabags are just another example of single-use plastics that are fomenting more environmentally destructive trouble than they are worth. It is up to consumers to fight for alternative packaging and to urge government policymakers to regulate plastic production and plastic use. Decreasing plastic packaging will not only improve the environment, but it could also safeguard one’s health as well. + Environmental Science & Technology Via EcoWatch Image via Conger Design

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One plastic teabag can release billions of microplastics into your cup

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