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!

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

Alaska

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

Crown_Infographic_header

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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10 Ways to Use Extra Garden Vegetables

Got a bumper crop of veggies on your hands? Here's how to make sure none of it goes to waste.

Big tomato garden harvest

If your garden did well this year, there’s only so much tomato sauce you can make and so many zucchini breads you can freeze before you realize there’s just no way you’re going to be able to eat your garden’s bounty by yourself. Thankfully, there are many of ways to make good use of the surplus. After all, the average American wastes over 20 pounds of food each month – don’t let your overflowing garden add even more to this number!

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Meet the Man Who’s Asked Thousands of New Yorkers to Stop Idling

George Pakenham's vigilante approach to environmental justice

George Pakenham, producer of Idle Threat: Man on Emission

“Excuse me for bothering you… but are you aware that it’s against the law to idle your car engine in NYC for more than 3 minutes?”

Those are the words George Pakenham, a New Yorker who works in finance, has used to start thousands of discussions though car windows on the streets of Manhattan. What started as an impulsive act on his Upper East Side block in 2005 evolved into a full-blown citizen activism campaign that went all the way to City Hall and is still going strong. We caught up with George to find out more about his vigilante approach to environmental justice and “Idle Threat: Man on Emission,” the award-winning documentary he made about it.

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This Weekend: Visit Us at Boston GreenFest!

Free film screenings, entertainment, hands-on learning and more

Boston Greenfest 2014

If you’re in the Boston area this weekend and you’re interested in the environment, then you won’t want to miss Boston GreenFest 2014. This free, three-day festival, which brings together greater Boston’s green community to share ideas and learn about how to build a healthy and sustainable future, is happening Aug. 15-17 at Boston City Hall Plaza. Sustainable America will be there hosting screenings of “Idle Threat: Man on Emission,” educating about clean transportation and zero-waste events, and showing off innovative alt-fuel vehicles. Here’s where you’ll find us:

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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.