Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers

September 3, 2020 by  
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The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual global … The post Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers appeared first on Earth 911.

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Good, Better, Best: Shopping for Natural Fibers

Earth911 Reader: Recycling Evolution, Plastic Consequences, and Packaging Progress

August 29, 2020 by  
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Earth911 Reader: Recycling Evolution, Plastic Consequences, and Packaging Progress

How to have an eco-friendly picnic

June 17, 2020 by  
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Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s picnic season. But a picnic with juice boxes and individually wrapped treats creates a lot of waste that only contributes to the growing plastic crisis. Have an eco-friendly picnic this summer instead and spend time enjoying and protecting the environment around you in real ways that you can be proud of. Eliminating waste Paper plates, paper napkins and plastic cutlery mean lots of waste for any picnic. Eliminate all of that by using cloth napkins and serving foods that don’t need extra plates. Items that can be eaten by hand don’t require forks and spoons. Sandwiches, vegetable slices, crackers, rolls, wraps — the list of great finger foods goes on and on. Related: How to replace single-use and plastic items in the kitchen Bring reusable cups and napkins on the picnic and take them with you when you leave. That means don’t bring any plastic straws or juice boxes, either.  Preparing the food Support the local community and small farmers by buying local when you’re shopping for ingredients. Go to a farmers market to get fresh, local ingredients. If possible, ride a bike over to the market and back so you aren’t adding any carbon emissions to the atmosphere when you do your shopping. Pack your food in silicone bags or glass containers instead of plastic containers to be even more green. Consider a meal that doesn’t include any beef. Environmentalists warn that beef production on a massive scale creates numerous risks to the planet, from the methane generated on cattle farms to the energy it takes to transport the beef. Opt for vegetarian and vegan options at the picnic to be as eco-friendly as possible. Related: Cool vegan recipes for a hot summer If you do end up with orange peels, wrappers and other waste at the end of the picnic, pick up all of these items instead of leaving them behind. Some food remains, like rinds and peels, can be added to the compost pile. Recycle or wash and reuse everything else that you possibly can. Grilling If you plan to grill for your picnic, plan ahead with the planet in mind. Grilling can release a lot of carbon emissions into the air; however, when done properly, grilling can be better for the environment than cooking in the kitchen. Solar cookers are a great option, but you’ll have to bring your cooker with you to the picnic and you need the weather to be in your favor for it to work. If you can’t use a solar cooker, you can use natural lump charcoal. Rather than lighter fluid, use a charcoal chimney. This is a green alternative to standard grilling. If you’re having a picnic in the park, there will be plenty of community grills available for use. Remember to take any aluminum foil and other waste with you when you leave the picnic area for proper disposal. Playing games It won’t do much good to prepare an eco-friendly meal and then play picnic games that create a lot of waste. A flying disc is a great option. Jump ropes can be folded and packed away easily, so this is another item to bring for some fun picnic activities. A simple rubber ball can be used to play kickball, dodge ball or any number of other sports. Keep eco-friendly games in mind when you’re thinking about picnic recreation. Choose activities that leave no waste behind and don’t alter the environment in any way. Keeping insects away Using bug sprays isn’t the best choice for an eco-friendly picnic. Stick to natural ways to keep bugs away, such as crushed lavender flowers or citronella to repel mosquitoes. Lavender oil is effective at keeping a number of insects away, including mosquitoes. You can also mix garlic and lemon to keep insects and even some animals away from your picnic area, although the smell that drives them away can be unpleasant for people, too. Related: 4 DIY herbal remedies that take the sting out of pesky bug bites Applying sunscreen Be sure to keep a reef-safe sunscreen on hand, and for added protection, pack a big straw hat. Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen, too, to prevent harmful sunburn. Traveling If possible, bike or walk to your picnic location to reduce emissions . If that’s not an option, carpool or ride public transit to the picnic spot to reduce the number of vehicles on the road. All those little changes really do add up to be a big help to the environment. Images via Kate Hliznitsova , Toa Heftiba , Yaroslav Verstiuk and Antonio Gabola

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Earth911 Podcast: Sustainable Home Shopping With Loop

April 20, 2020 by  
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Earth911 Podcast: Sustainable Home Shopping With Loop

Innovative food tracker uses app to help you live zero-waste

February 24, 2020 by  
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Industrial designers  Altino Alex  and  Savin Dimov  have just unveiled an innovative product geared towards helping families around the world reduce their food waste. The  Bubble Food Tracker  is an app-controlled food tracker that monitors products in your kitchen, keeping you aware of what you have in stock and your regular consumption habits, all to bring you closer to a  zero-waste lifestyle . Food waste  is one of the world’s most pressing issues. In fact, according to the  Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations , approximately one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year (around 1.3 billion tons) gets lost or wasted. And unsurprisingly, its fruits and vegetables that have the highest wastage rates of any food. Related: Supermarket happy hour reduces food waste Thankfully, ambitious and eco-conscious designers are beginning to put their thinking caps on when it comes to helping us all reduce our food waste. Industrial designers Altino Alex and Savin Dimov have just unveiled the Bubble Food Tracker, an innovative concept that makes it easier and more efficient to truly have a zero-waste kitchen. The Bubble is a smart, user-friendly and app-controlled tracker. When food items are placed in its capsule-like container, the information is sent directly to a smartphone. This way, people know, at the touch of the screen, no matter where they are, just what food products they already have in stock. The system is designed to take the guessing game out of shopping , enabling shoppers in the moment to avoid buying what they already have at home. Additionally, the Bubble regularly registers your eating habits, keeping track of which food products are consumed the most in the household and what is often left behind. This helpful tool allows families to work together to become more efficient about food shopping and to teach children about the true cost of wasteful food habits. + Altino Alex + Savin Dimov Via Yanko Design Images via Altino Alex

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Innovative food tracker uses app to help you live zero-waste

Maven Moment: The Fish Market

February 5, 2020 by  
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Maven Moment: Holiday Window Shopping

December 4, 2019 by  
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Impossible Burger is now available in grocery stores

September 23, 2019 by  
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Previously found only at high-end restaurants and fast-food chains, the famous plant-based Impossible Burger now lines grocery store shelves in Southern California. Not from the West Coast? Don’t worry. Impossible Foods will, in the next few weeks, announce when their cutting-edge meatless burger shall debut in East Coast grocery stores. By mid-2020, the Impossible Burger is expected to be available in every region nationwide. Related: Beyond & Impossible alternative meats: are they actually healthier than the real thing? The success of the retail rollout is thanks to two reasons. For one, Impossible Foods has partnered with food provider OSI Group to expand operations. But, more importantly, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally approved the company’s “secret ingredient.” According to Impossible Foods CEO, Dr. Patrick Brown, the secret to Impossible products centers around the heme protein, which is naturally found in soybean roots . This key ingredient mimics meat’s texture, even “bleeding” to simulate beef. Because the burger is plant-based, it does not taste exactly like a beef patty. Yet, it is a different type of delicious flavor, accented further with a crunchy coating. Also, with only 20 grams of protein per serving, it is a healthier choice. For now, Gelson’s Markets is the sole retail grocery chain selling the Impossible Burger with only 10 packages allowed per customer visit. Just earlier this year in May, while Impossible Foods raised $300 million in venture capital funding, its competitor, Beyond Meat , went public and has found stock valuation steadily increasing. Not to mention, when a single KFC franchise in Atlanta offered Beyond Meat’s meatless chicken on its menu a couple of months ago, it sold out almost immediately. Tyson and Smithfield are jumping in on the alternative meat trend. Similarly, Kellogg’s and Nestle are in the midst of research and development so that they, too, can partake of the meatless sector. Plus, Kroger is reportedly set to launch a line of meatless products later this year. Many environmentally -conscientious folks, determined to counteract global warming, are likewise singing the praises of alternative meat. Going meatless ultimately helps taper the methane-producing cattle population as well as scale back the amount of grazing land, which all translates into a smaller environmental footprint. Moreover, with no accompanying hormones nor antibiotics, the meatless burger patty is certain to delight health-minded enthusiasts everywhere. Via Gizmodo Image via

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Shopping Your Values: Organic

July 30, 2019 by  
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UK supermarket tests packaging-free initiative

July 22, 2019 by  
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Bringing reusable bags to stores is now second nature to many shoppers, but will they bring their own containers, too? British supermarket chain Waitrose will find out during an 11-week trial in its Oxford store called Waitrose Unpacked. Customers are encouraged to take refillable containers to restock on options such as a choice of four types of beer and wines, detergent, coffee and 28 dry products including cereals, lentils and pastas. Other unpacked concepts simply eliminate plastic — such as 160 loose vegetable and fruit products, and flowers and plants wrapped in 100% recyclable craft paper rather than plastic. Waitrose also offers a frozen pick and mix station, where customers can choose their own blends of cherries, pineapple, blueberries and other chilly fruits. Related: Sustainable toiletries packaged in soap aim to eliminate single-use plastics Waitrose launched its Unpacked initiative in response to customers requesting more sustainable ways to shop. “This test has huge potential to shape how people might shop with us in the future so it will be fascinating to see which concepts our customers have an appetite for. We know we’re not perfect and have more to do, but we believe this is an innovative way to achieve something different,” Waitrose declared in a press release. Unpacked customers will also benefit from lower prices, since shoppers often pay for excess packaging they don’t even want. The BBC reported that produce in the supermarket’s refill stations would be up to 15 percent cheaper and frozen fruit would also be less expensive. For a £5 deposit, shoppers can load their groceries into a borrowed box from Waitrose to take home. When they return the box, the supermarket refunds their money. Waitrose will continue to offer food in its regular packaging, which will provide a useful control group for the unpacked experiment. The trial ends August 18. We hope the verdict is a win for sustainability. +Waitrose Image via Waitrose

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