How to host a zero-waste Thanksgiving dinner

November 19, 2018 by  
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Hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family can be an overwhelming task. When you are providing a meal for a group of people, it is tempting to opt for things like pre-cut fruits and veggies, snack portions of cheese, store-bought pie and other modern conveniences to make it easier to get through the day. However, using these items can come at a price. When you buy things that are packaged in single-use plastic, it wreaks havoc on the environment. This year, instead of just focusing on eating all of the delicious food during the celebration, focus on the preparation, and commit to a zero-waste Thanksgiving. Here is how to do it. Choose recipes and menu items wisely A zero-waste Thanksgiving always starts with your grocery list, so when you are planning your Thanksgiving dinner, go through your recipes and choose menu items that will use up whole veggies and full containers of things like broth, cream or soup. For example, if you have a recipe that uses half of an onion, find another recipe that will use the other half. If you are using recipes that have special ingredients that you don’t use often, like buttermilk or fresh herbs, have a plan to use up all of these ingredients. If you aren’t going to use them entirely for Thanksgiving, do some research on how to store the items for the long-term, like freezing, or find some post-holiday recipes where you can use the remainder of the ingredients instead of throwing them away. Shop local Opting for the local farmer’s market to purchase your ingredients instead of a supermarket will get you off to a good start for a zero-waste Thanksgiving. Food at farmer’s markets is often unpackaged, and it is usually organic , meaning you can steer clear of harmful pesticide residue. If you do not have access to a local farmer’s market, choose a grocery store that sells unpackaged produce. Avoid buying anything that is already prepared. Whether you visit the market or the grocery, don’t forget your reusable produce and shopping bags to keep every step of your Thanksgiving feast free from waste. Cook from scratch When you are deciding on a menu, make sure to plan ahead to cook everything from scratch. If you have a small kitchen or don’t feel like you are going to have the time to cook everything on the menu, don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members to each bring a dish. If you do this, get specific about what each person will bring, so you don’t end up with several green bean casseroles. Related: Make your own tasty vegetarian turkey for Thanksgiving with this recipe If you don’t have the patience or time to plan out everything ahead of time, chances are you will end up with leftovers or unused items. If this is the case, throw some cooked turkey, veggies and herbs into some extra broth or stock and freeze the mixture to use later. You can also keep your scraps while you are cooking, and use those trimmings, bones and peelings for homemade stock. Encourage smaller portions It is very easy to load up your plate during Thanksgiving dinner and have food leftover, because you can’t eat it all in one sitting. To stop food from going into the trash, set out smaller plates and serving spoons to encourage smaller portions. You could also supply storage containers (or, better yet, ask guests to bring their own!) that your guests can use to package their leftovers and take home. Be sure to use real plates, utensils, glasses and cookware, and if possible, use cloth napkins. This will greatly reduce your Thanksgiving waste and keep your garbage can from overflowing. Make your own decorations Instead of purchasing Thanksgiving decorations from a store, get crafty and make your own centerpieces and decorations. You can reuse your Halloween pumpkins and other gourds for a beautiful centerpiece, or buy new ones to use as flower vases or candle holders. You can also use tiny pumpkins in place settings. You can cook or compost the pumpkins after the holiday. Be a gracious guest If you are not hosting a Thanksgiving dinner, you can still be a mindful guest. Be prepared with your own reusable containers for leftovers, and avoid bringing dishes in disposable plastic containers or foil. Having a zero-waste Thanksgiving is all about intention. You can’t do everything all of the time, but if you have the mindset to start with one holiday, you can bring those ideas into your everyday life and start to really make a difference. Via Care2 , Mind Body Green and Sustainable America Images via Chinh Le Duc , Ja Ma , Pablo Lancaster Jones , Jess Watters , Priscilla Du Preez and Shutterstock

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How to host a zero-waste Thanksgiving dinner

1960s home remodeled with energy-efficient and non-toxic hempcrete

November 19, 2018 by  
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When homeowner Pam Bosch was looking for ways to remodel her 1960s home in Bellingham, Washington, she was determined to renovate the older home with energy efficient and non toxic materials. Through her research into various potential sustainable materials, she found that hempcrete, a hemp-based render made out of a mixture of hemp, lime and water, would be the best option. Working in collaboration with Matthew Mead from Hempitecture , the now solar-powered Highland Hemp House was reborn and constructed with an insulative hempcrete thermal envelope. When inspired to renovate her home using sustainable , eco-friendly and non-toxic materials, Bosch decided to work with hempcrete, a bioaggregate building material that is derived from the woody core of the industrial hemp stalk. When combined with hydrated lime and water, it solidifies by absorbing carbon dioxide, resulting in a concrete-like material. However, when compared to concrete, hempcrete is a more sustainable and affordable material, which is estimated to absorb about seven pounds of CO2 per cubic foot. Related: The tiny solar-powered hemp home with a green roof To begin the process of remodeling the three-story home , Mead worked with local contractors to create a new framework suited for a hempcrete wall system. Once the home was primed for its new envelope, the next step was to create the hempcrete material by mixing 12,000 pounds of hemp aggregate with 23,000 of lime binder. When mixed at a specific ratio, the material solidifies, creating a concrete-like texture. The material was then cast around the home’s frame, forming a monolithic wall. From a distance, the home’s construction process may look like any other home renovation. However, in working with hempcrete , Pam Bosch’s madeover Highland Hemp House is insulated with a material that is fireproof, breathable, resistant to mold, pests, and regulates moisture. Additionally, the new thermal envelope of the home is estimated to sequester about 15,372 pounds of CO2. + Hempitecture Images via Hempitecture

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1960s home remodeled with energy-efficient and non-toxic hempcrete

Survey Results: Read Labels for Ingredients and Recyclability Info?

September 19, 2018 by  
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Thanks to those of you who responded to last week’s … The post Survey Results: Read Labels for Ingredients and Recyclability Info? appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Survey Results: Read Labels for Ingredients and Recyclability Info?

10 Easy and Delicious Vegan Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

November 13, 2016 by  
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A busy daily schedule doesn’t have to mean sacrificing a balanced diet or flavor. With a slow cooker , you can toss in your ingredients, set the timer, and come back hours later to a hot and healthy meal. Here are 10 delicious vegan recipes that will be sure to please your palate and fill your belly.    

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10 Easy and Delicious Vegan Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

RECIPE: Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake (That’s Actually Full of Vegetables!)

November 9, 2014 by  
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Finding a knockout vegan chocolate cake recipe that’s going to appeal to all comers is one thing, but a recipe that also packs in a serve of veggies and extra protein is on a whole other level again. This incredible chocolate cake gets its moistness and some of its sweetness from roasted beetroot, and its protein content is boosted by the addition of pureed black beans into the mix and a tofu-based frosting. The recipe can be adapted to suit a gluten-free diet too. While the ingredients may be unconventional, this cake has the same moist, fluffy texture as regular mixes, so kids and suspicious adults will be none the wiser. With so much healthy goodness baked into one cake, it would be bad for you not to eat it, right? Click through for the recipe and step-by-step instructions. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baking , beetroot , black beans , cake , chocolate , chocolate cake , chocolate cake with vegetables , dessert , Inhabitots , recipe , vegan , vegan cooking , vegan recipes , vegetarian

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RECIPE: Decadent Vegan Chocolate Cake (That’s Actually Full of Vegetables!)

Finally: A 100% Natural Alternative to Sickening Tree-Shaped Air Fresheners

August 20, 2014 by  
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Any car owner knows that the inside of a vehicle can get really “aromatic” over time, especially if pets and kids are regular passengers. Fortunately, a group of young entrepreneurs has a solution to this problem: a sustainable charcoal filter they’ve named Purggo. Charcoal is used around the world to remove noxious particles from both the water and the air, and now it can be harnessed to spruce up your car as well. With a German-engineered and patent-pending design, Purggo adsorbs and eliminates odor, is fragrance- and allergen-free, and lasts more than 365 days in the car. Read the rest of Finally: A 100% Natural Alternative to Sickening Tree-Shaped Air Fresheners Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags:

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Finally: A 100% Natural Alternative to Sickening Tree-Shaped Air Fresheners

How to Build and Maintain a Community House

August 20, 2014 by  
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There’s a notable difference between a home and a community:  a home is a place you’re forced to be; a place where you might not feel like you belong because your family won’t let you use the backyard to create a compost pit. In comparison, a community is a place you want to be; a place where you feel like you belong; a place you can contribute to and grow  with. Building a community takes time, but with the right kind of people it can ultimately help you learn and grow as a person . Read the rest of How to Build and Maintain a Community House Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: activism , activist , agenda , awareness , chores , community , compost , consciousness , contribute , disagreements , Environment , goals , Green Design Events , group norms , Grow , Health , healthy , home , judgments , Living , meetings , opinions , relaxation , relief , rent , to do list

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How to Build and Maintain a Community House

Thieves Hijack Truck Carrying Radioactive “Dirty Bomb” Ingredients in Mexico

December 4, 2013 by  
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A truck carrying dangerous radioactive materials that could be used to assemble a “ dirty bomb ” was just stolen in Mexico, according to an announcement released by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) early this morning. The truck was hijacked in Tepojaco near Mexico City as it was transporting a cobalt-60 teletherapy source from a Tijuana hospital to a radioactive waste storage center. Authorities say that the materials could be “extremely dangerous” if damaged or removed from their protective shielding. Read the rest of Thieves Hijack Truck Carrying Radioactive “Dirty Bomb” Ingredients in Mexico Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: armed hijacking , cobalt 60 , colbalt-60 teletherapy source , International Atomic Energy Agency , mexico , mexico city , radioactive materials , Radioactive waste , tepojaco , tijuana , U.S. Department of Homeland Security        

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Thieves Hijack Truck Carrying Radioactive “Dirty Bomb” Ingredients in Mexico

Swedish Students Design Passive Home Powered by the Sun

December 4, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Swedish Students Design Passive Home Powered by the Sun Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , chalmers university of technology , green design in Sweden , green homes in Swedish , HALO , nergy efficiency , passive house , renewable energy , Solar Decathlon , solar panels roof , solar powered green homes , solar-powered passive homes , student accomodation , Sustainable Materials , swedish architecture , Swedish solar decathlon design        

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Swedish Students Design Passive Home Powered by the Sun

How To: Make Your Own Toothpaste from Scratch

October 31, 2013 by  
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Learning to make your own health and beauty products at home carries loads of benefits. You’ll save money, skip the hard-to-recycle packaging and be able to directly control the ingredients your family comes in contact with during their…

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How To: Make Your Own Toothpaste from Scratch

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