Sustainable Blog

High-Rise Urban Farming

Take a stroll through Brooklyn Grange, the leading rooftop farming and intensive green roofing business in the U.S.

Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm

Farming may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of New York City, but some of its residents have solved the challenge of restricted space by utilizing the city’s most underused space: rooftops. A recent visit to Brooklyn Grange demonstrated how creative farmers today can produce local food no matter where they live.

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How Fertilizer Made from Food Waste Can Help Drought-Stricken Farms

Our latest investment, California Safe Soils, has an innovative process for turning food waste into soil-enhancing liquid fertilizer

This California strawberry field is fertilized with H2H.

The U.S. industrial farming system has largely left natural fertilizers behind in favor of chemical-based fertilizers in the search for more efficiency and higher yields. But there’s a downside to increased productivity – chemicals strip the soil of its nutrients and damage the natural biome. Farmers have known for millennia that manure, compost and other organic matter benefit the soil. But solid organics are heavy and difficult to spread over the millions of acres of farmland that need it.

We’ve recently invested in a company with an exciting product that gets around both of these problems. Read more about California Safe Soil’s new Harvest-to-Harvest liquid fertilizer made from food waste.

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Watch: Rob Greenfield’s Campaign Against Grocery Store Food Waste

Activist wants shoppers to tell grocery stores to #DonateNotDump

Rob Greenfield's #DonateNotDump campaign

After bicycling across America last summer rescuing food from supermarket dumpsters, activist Rob Greenfield is continuing his #DonateNotDump campaign. His goal is to inspire consumers to ask grocery stores to donate edible food to people who need it instead of throwing it away. He just released a new video sharing highlights of the food he found and the news coverage he got throughout his journey.

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Building a Better Gas Tank

Our latest investment, Infinite Composites Technologies, is a company poised to revolutionize fuel storage and efficiency

Infinite Composites Technologies high-pressure fuel tank

Introducing our latest investment: Infinite Composites Technologies. This Tulsa-based company has an innovative design to make higher capacity, lighter tanks for alternative fuels, helping to increase efficiency and solve range anxiety.

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Campus Food Waste Crusaders

College students across the nation are working on the front lines of food waste and feeding people in need

Food Recovery Network student volunteers

The amount of food waste generated on college campuses might not cross every student’s mind as they rush through the cafeteria before class. But if they did they homework, they would learn that 22 million pounds of edible food is thrown away at college campuses each year. Two inspiring organizations are working to change that.

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Watch John Oliver Take Aim at Food Waste in America

Late-night comic John Oliver reports on the U.S. food waste issue

John Oliver on Food Waste

John Oliver took on the issue of food waste last night on “Last Week Tonight,” and we are so thrilled he did. The comedian spent close to 20 minutes explaining the problem and lambasting the wasteful ways of all players in our food system. Here’s the video:

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Making Impact Investing More Accessible for Everyone

Invest With Values: The investor's gateway to positive change

Seedling

Whether it’s called impact investing, socially responsible investing or sustainable investing, interest in making investments that support positive change is growing. Sustainable mutual funds represented $6.5 trillion at the beginning of 2014, an increase of 76 percent since 2012. Brian Kaminer wants to see this still-young investing space grow even more, so he’s designed a way to help investors of all types get involved.

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4 Surprising Findings About Food Waste

New surveys delve into U.S. consumer attitudes about wasting food

Packages of bulk chicken

A trio of new surveys on U.S. consumer food waste has been released in the last month, which is encouraging news for those of us who are looking for ways to help Americans waste less food. Much of the current body of food waste research, while helpful, has been conducted in other counties, so it’s great to see a trend toward figuring out what’s really happening in American kitchens. Here’s a rundown of interesting findings from the reports.

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Introducing the New Shared Earth

No Yard? No Problem. We can help you find a place to garden

Shared Earth, connects people who have land with people who want to garden or farm

The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres–to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!

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Racing to End Food Waste

A raceway joins the food waste reduction movement

Food waste reduction efforts at NASCAR, April 2015

Whether we’re eating peanuts in the cheap seats or grazing from buffets in a luxury box, eating is an integral part of cheering on our favorite teams. But game-day noshing contributes to the problem of food waste, and many sports leagues and events are taking notice. Sustainable America recently conducted a pilot program with NASCAR to speed up the food waste reduction movement.

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Are School Buses Ready to Go Electric?

New technology can make our nation's most important fleet leaner and greener

school buses

We often blog about how businesses with vehicle fleets can be more fuel-efficient. But what about our nation’s largest fleet: school buses. Tasked with carrying 25 million children to school every day, our collective school bus fleet is the largest form of mass transit in the United States. Making the 480,000 buses in operation more fuel-efficient would go a long way to reducing oil usage in our country.

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What Everybody Ought to Know About Starting a Farmers Market

The trials and triumphs of starting a farmers market

Starting a farmers market

Two women started a farmers market in their neighborhood last year, and it’s a big hit with the community. Despite its success, this may be a make-or-break season for Black Rock Farmers Market. Find out why…

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UPS Commits to Renewable Natural Gas

Close to 400 delivery vehicles will run on RNG

A UPS worker refuels a truck that runs on natural gas

Renewable natural gas (RNG) got a boost this week when UPS announced an agreement to supply three of its California fueling stations with the fuel. According to UPS, nearly 400 of its vehicles will begin run on RNG starting this month, making it the shipping industry’s largest user of this alternative fuel.

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How Electric Vehicles Can Work for You

Are concerns about electric vehicles roadblocks or red herrings?

Sustainable America's Public EV Charging Station

As a Washington, DC, native, I thought I understood traffic well, but I didn’t truly know how bad it could be until I moved to Connecticut. I drive a Ford C-Max Energi to work, and this 16-mile drive can easily take an hour door-to-door, and that’s all highway miles.

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Enter the #IValueFood Earth Day Instagram Contest!

Win a CompoKeeper Kitchen Compost Bin!

I Value Food Earth Day Instagram Contest

To celebrate Earth Day 2015, Sustainable America’s I Value Food campaign and CompoKeeper are teaming up to host an Instagram photo contest. We want to see all of the creative ways our food-waste savvy followers are reinvigorating those once-forgotten leftovers, repurposing dinner scraps and keeping food out of the landfill.

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.