Sustainable America Blog

Author Archives: Katrina Kazda

With EVs Taking Off, What’s the Future for Other Alt Fuels?

Tesla Model 3

The much anticipated and affordable Tesla Model 3 is expected to help push electric vehicle ownership into the mainstream.

Electric vehicles are increasingly dominating the alternative fuel market for passenger vehicles in the U.S. With this boom in electric vehicle sales, we wondered how other alternative fuel vehicle options fairing. Is there still a place for hybrid, natural gas and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the passenger vehicle market?

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At Juliet, Zero Waste Is Baked Into the Menu

Crepes with Fennel on plate with menu from Juliet

Crepes with Fennel were part of a salvaged meal at Juliet in Somerville, Mass.

A few weeks ago, 20 diners were treated to a family-style meal at Juliet, one of the country’s hottest new restaurants. On the menu at the small Somerville, Mass., eatery were 10 beautifully crafted dishes — with a twist. Nearly all of the ingredients were foods that would have probably gone to waste if not for the care and skillful attention of the owners, chef Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri.

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How to Feed 350 Food Waste Experts

A rescued-food breakfast at the Save Food for People Conference

A rescued-food breakfast at the Save Food for People Conference

In late June, nearly 350 entrepreneurs, practitioners, policymakers, and activists from across the country gathered at Harvard Law School for the Reduce and Recover: Save Food for People Conference to further dialogue on reaching a national food waste reduction goal.

True to its name, the conference wanted to turn the conversation into action by “eating what we preach,” and see what it would take to prepare some of the conference meals with food that would otherwise go to waste.

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Teen Activist Pushes Town to Go Idle-Free

Alex Scaperotta is a teen environmental activist in Wilton, CT, on a mission to convince drivers to stop idling

For more than half of his life, 17-year-old Alex Scaperotta has been fighting to end unnecessary vehicle idling in his hometown of Wilton, Conn. As a third grader, Scaperotta became interested in climate change. Wanting to make a difference, he … Continue reading

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7 Technologies That Can Slash Idling

tailpipe exhaust fumes

Photo: theenvironmentalblog.org via Flickr

We’ve been known to get more than a little irked when we notice people idling their vehicles unnecessarily, like at drive-thrus or school pick-ups. It wastes gas, it pollutes the air, it stinks and it’s just, well, unnecessary. But some drivers get a free idling pass, right? Don’t refrigerated trucks, utility vehicles, safety and emergency vehicles and long-haul trucks often need to keep their engines running to power auxiliary functions? Yes, and no. Here, we explain.

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Eat Your “Unusual” Greens!

Turnip greens

Did you know you can eat turnip greens? Photo: Glory Foods via Flickr

One of my favorite things about participating in a CSA program is learning about new foods. This year’s most pleasant surprise was sweet potato greens. Our very own farmer didn’t realize these beautiful greens were edible until this year, and boy were we happy that he shared his newfound secret!

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How a Uniform Company Saved $25K by Helping the Environment

We’re proud to announce that Crown Uniform and Linen is the first member of Sustainable America’s Idle-Free Fleet program. This family-owned uniform company rolled out an idling-reduction pilot program with just 20 trucks this spring and is already on track to save more than $25,000 a year. Here’s how they did it…

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Staff Challenge: Go “Zero-Waste” for a Month

Zero-Waste Challenge

For Earth Day this year, we Sustainable America staff members challenged ourselves to work on ways to be greener in our everyday lives. Today we hear from Katrina, who set the ambitious goal of achieving a zero-waste home. Here’s what happened…

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The Plastic Bag Problem

plastic bag on ground

Photo Credit: frankservayge via Compfight cc

The next time you’re asked, “Paper or plastic?” consider this: According to the Worldwatch Institute, 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags—including large trash bags, thick shopping bags and thin grocery bags—are produced globally each year, with roughly 80% of them used in North America and Western Europe.

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Thinking Beyond ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

decomposing leaves

Photo Credit: Let Ideas Compete via Compfight cc

As the field of environmental sustainability matures, so does its core concepts, goals and operating principals. For example, “reduce, reuse, recycle” has served as a guiding principles of sustainability work over the last several decades. While the three Rs remain an important theme, the conversation is beginning to shift. The very concept of “waste” is being called into question.

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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.


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