Good Practices

Good Practices posts offer examples of individuals, organizations, and businesses making a difference, and tips on how you can take action now to help create a more Sustainable America!

2014 Sustainable America Gift Guide

10 eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your list

Gift tags

Looking for the perfect gifts for the sustainability-minded folks on your list? We’ve put together some ideas for just about everyone, from kids to gardeners to cooks. (If you happen to shop through this year, keep in mind that .05% of your purchases can be donated to Sustainable America if you sign up with AmazonSmile.)

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12 Ways to Make Your Next Party More Sustainable

Make memories, not waste

Pumpkins and hay bales make great natural party decorations

When my daughter celebrated her bat mitzvah this fall, we were incredibly proud of her accomplishments and poise, but also pleased with her choices to make the reception a sustainable one. Weddings, funerals and rites of passage like bar mitzvahs and confirmations can generate a tremendous amount of waste, but with a little forethought, these celebrations can be meaningful, fun and sustainable.

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Join Us for #GivingTuesday

Give to Sustainable America on Dec. 2 and get a 1% match!

#GivingTuesday 2014

December 2 is the third-annual #GivingTuesday, and we love the idea—it’s a great reminder to support the important causes you believe in. This year, when you give to Sustainable America, PayPal will match 1% of your donation!

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5 Websites That Help Home Cooks Waste Less Food

Waste less food by learning to love it more

fish tacos

We waste up to 40 percent of our food in the United States — and 25 percent of food waste happens at home. It’s an enormous problem, but wasting food is so ingrained into our way of life that change can be tough. For those of us who want to break the shop-cook-waste cycle, the good news is that with practice, wasting less food can become an effortless habit. Today, we’ve rounded up five websites that celebrate not only wasting less, but also valuing and enjoying food more in the process. In other words, yes, leftovers can be awesome.

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Have Cell Phones Led to Increased Vehicle Idling?

One more reason drivers and cell phones don't mix

Man using cell phone while idling a car

In recent years, we’ve learned about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. It makes sense that distracted driving would lead to more accidents, but do cell phones also lead drivers to absentmindedly idle when their vehicles are stopped?

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5 Climate-Friendly Actions You Can Take Today

Big changes start with individual actions


Thousands of people have convened in New York for this weekend’s People’s Climate March in advance of the UN Climate Summit. If you can’t be there, there’s no better way to support the climate change issue than by taking action in your own daily life. Here’s a quick list of things you can do every day to help curb dangerous emissions that are changing our climate.

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Join Us at the Boston Local Food Festival

On Sunday, Sept. 14, enjoy local food, free music, and learn a little something about composting

Produce at the Boston Local Food Festival

On Sunday, Sept. 14, from 11 to 5, Sustainable America will be at the Boston Local Food Festival teaching festivalgoers about food waste issues and solutions, including home composting and the Grind2Energy Technology. Stop buy and pick up a free guide to composting!

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

By educating drivers about vehicle idling, fleets can cut costs and save fuel


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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7 Ways to Take Action on Idling

Reduce your idling impact and inspire others to do the same

Anti-idling bumper sticker

Most people don’t realize how much gas they’re wasting by idling their cars. But once they learn the facts about idling, they’re usually more than willing to change their behavior. With that in mind, we’ve put together seven steps you can take to raise awareness about this important issue. Help us make turning off your engine rather than idling as commonplace as wearing your seat belt!

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The Compostable Cup Conundrum

Cups made from corn are a great idea, right? Yes and no...

Compostable PLA cups made from corn

In theory, compostable cups made from corn seem like a great idea, but in practice they’re not aways the environmental boon we’d like them to be. Find out why in the latest blog post from Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz.

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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.