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!

Let the Earth Day Games Begin!

For Earth Day 2014, we're kicking off a staff challenge to make sustainable changes in our everyday lives

Sustainable America's Earth Day Challenge

In recognition of Earth Day, Sustainable America is launching a month-long staff sustainability challenge. Each staff member is taking on a challenge, from home composting to eating less meat, which they will tackle over the next month, documenting challenges faced, obstacles overcome, and joys found.

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Cooking for One With Zero Waste

Tips for making delicious, healthy and unique meals for one without throwing half of it in the garbage.

leftovers in plastic containers

For us singletons living alone out there, and hey, there are a lot of us — 27% of U.S. households to be exact — cooking for one can result in a lot of wasted food. Food packaging sized for bigger households, recipes designed to feed families, and confusing expiration dates all make it difficult to create properly portioned meals for one without wasting food and money. But with a few smart strategies, it’s possible to stop throwing cash down the garbage disposal without resorting to eating frozen Lean Cuisines every night.

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Spring into Better Gas Mileage

Boost your MPGs with easy spring car maintenance tips

spring car maintenance

Finally, spring. Daffodils! Budding trees! Short sleeves! Rising gas prices! Wait, what was that last one?

In case you hadn’t noticed, the average price of gas jumped from $3.49 to $3.62 in the last month, and prices are expected to hover around $3.57 a gallon throughout the summer, just one penny below last year’s average.

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Thinking Beyond ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

With guidance from nature, we can build a world without waste

decomposing leaves

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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3 Steps to Recycling More at Work

Tips for creating a zero-waste workplace

3 Steps to Recycling More at Work

Part of our work at Sustainable America includes helping events move toward zero waste. Now that we have moved into our new headquarters, we are working to bring this effort home. Not surprisingly, workplace recycling requires care and planning much like at events. The process is ongoing, but we would like to share what we’ve experience so far and a few solutions that we’ve found helpful.

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FC Gives — And Beyond

Thanks to our supporters for helping us reach our goal!


The Big Day has finally come…and gone! After about a month of promotion, promise and preparation, Fairfield County Giving Day is over. The results were impressive, and we are very grateful for the support we received.

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3 Golden Rules of Recycling

Which numbers can I recycle? Cap or no cap? What about plastic bags? It’s no wonder we’re confused.

recycling bins

Recycling programs have been in place for decades, so you’d think we’d all be pros by now. But many of us still hesitate at the recycling bin as we try to figure out what can and cannot be recycled. Which numbers can I recycle? Cap or no cap? What about plastic bags? And as communities begin to add organics collection programs, there’s bound to be an extra layer of confusion around the compost bin. These three simple rules—plus some insight into what happens to your recyclables once they’re dumped in the truck—will set you on the path to being a zero-waste champion!

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Success Means Wasting Less

Your donations mean a lot — here's how we put them to work

Our Future is a Sustainable America

As we head into an exciting fundraising campaign this Friday — Fairfield County Giving Day — we wanted to share more about the specific projects your generous donations help fund.

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Keeping Up With the Joneses

Is neighborly competition the key to saving the environment?

Sustainable America's Ford C-Max Energi

Peer pressure can be a powerful thing. It’s not so great in middle school when it can lead to group bullying or encourage youth to take unnecessary risks. But when it comes to making small behavior changes, it turns out that we are more likely to take a step when we can look to our peers for support—or a little friendly competition.

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College Student Speaks Out About Idling

Clare Roth wants to put an end to unnecessary idling

Clare Roth, a senior at Northwestern University, made idling the topic of her prepared speech

In January, Sustainable America received an unexpected call. It was from Clare Roth, a Northwestern University senior journalism student who had learned of our “I Turn It Off” pledge campaign to end unnecessary vehicle idling. A member of her school’s speech team, Roth had chosen vehicle idling as the topic for the prepared speech she would be competing with throughout the season—and she wanted to see if we could send her materials to hand out at the events.

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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.