The holidays are a great time to show your love for family and friends — and the planet — by giving eco-friendly gifts. We’ve put together a fun list of gift ideas that can help lucky recipients grow and enjoy food, waste less of it, and keep safe on bike rides.
You’ve got a FitBit for your body. Soon, you can have something similar for your car. San Francisco startup Voyomotive has developed Voyo, a telematics system that can tap into your car’s diagnostics system and allow you do a whole host of things previously only available on tricked-out connected cars. We’re most excited about Voyo’s fuel-saving features, like a plug-and-play start/stop system, that can help drivers dramatically cut idling time and drive more efficiently.
Earlier this year, we launched I Value Food, a national campaign to help educate people about food waste and how to reduce it. Soon, we’ll be kicking off a project closer to home, here in Connecticut. We were just awarded a $25,000 grant from the EPA’s New England office to implement a Food: Too Good to Waste program with members of faith-based congregations in the Greater Bridgeport and Stamford areas.
When dealing with severe weather, the priority is keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe. If the power goes out — and is out for a while — it’s important to keep your food from spoiling and know how to decide what to toss it if does go bad.
As we head into the holiday season, it’s a great time to challenge yourself to minimize food waste — and get creative about it! Our friends at Foodstand seem to agree. This month, we’re thrilled that they are choosing to use their new app to inspire food lovers to waste less and share tips.
Did you know that most grocery stores won’t buy bell peppers that can’t stand up straight? Strict produce cosmetic standards require peppers to have a perfect bell shape. “If you put it on a table and it tips over onto its side, it’s going to be rejected,” says Ben Simon.
Simon is one of the founders of Imperfect Produce, a startup we’ve recently added to our portfolio of investments. The San Francisco business sources cosmetically imperfect produce from farms and sells it in affordable weekly subscription boxes. In addition to moving this food back onto our plates, they are recovering the energy, water, and other resources used to grow all of that so called “ugly’ produce.
The White House recently honored 12 agricultural leaders as Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. They were recognized for leading efforts in sustainable agriculture that benefit soil, air, and water quality while helping to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions. Among them was our newest board member, Erin Fitzgerald Sexson. Sexson is senior vice president of global sustainability at Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
Some studies have found that replacing gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles is like trading one dirty fossil fuel for another if the electricity is coming from a coal-fired power plant. Other studies make a good case for driving electric even in regions dominated by coal.
These studies are helpful if you’re evaluating which car to buy and drive today, but what about in the future? What impact can getting more EVs on the road have as the energy grid gets cleaner? Can EVs make a significant difference in lowering total emissions?
Even for the most motivated among us, cutting down on food waste at home can mean changing lifelong habits of shopping, cooking and eating. Luckily, there’s a new book that can help. The Waste Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders, staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a slim, encouraging guide to wasting less food packed with practical, attainable strategies for busy people.
One of my favorite parts of my internship with Sustainable America this summer was that I was encouraged to explore new ideas I was interested in. While I was researching the green roofing trend, I stumbled upon a rooftop farm in New York City called Brooklyn Grange and signed up for a tour. Learning about the farm inspired me to visit some restaurants that are growing their own food in the city. Here are a few interesting eateries I found.
Growing up working for his family’s 90-year-old moving business, Adam Lowy saw lots of things get thrown out in the stress of moving day. Often, food would be part of the purge. Hating to see it go to waste, Lowy started asking customers a few years ago if they’d like to donate the food. It turned out, they did; in one month, Lowy had collected over 300 pounds of nonperishable food. Find out what happened when he took it to a New Jersey food bank.
Today is a groundbreaking day in the fight against food waste. The Obama administration announced the United States’ first-ever food waste reduction goal: Reduce food waste in America by 50 percent by 2030.
The electric vehicle is one of the most promising sustainable methods of personal transportation. But what about the batteries used to power EVs? Once they can no longer power a car, it is important that EV batteries are not simply thrown into landfills, but rather recycled or better yet, repurposed.
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.
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.