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Our Most Popular Food and Fuel Stories of 2015

How to make KCups less wasteful

Photo via Li Tsin Soonon Flickr

In case you missed any, here’s a roundup of our most popular blog posts of 2015. As you can see by this list, our readers are more interested than ever in learning about the food waste problem and finding ways to fix it. On the fuel side, stories about innovation and idling reduction were popular, too.

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How Fertilizer Made from Food Waste Can Help Drought-Stricken Farms

This California strawberry field is fertilized with H2H.

This California strawberry field is fertilized with H2H.

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.

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‘I Want to Compost, but…’

compost bucket

Photo Credit: mystuart via Compfight cc

A recent study found that 67% of Americans would be willing to compost food waste if it was more convenient to do so. Since convenience means different things to different people, we thought we’d address a few common questions and issues that serve as barriers to composting at home. Hopefully some of these answers will help you find a solution that works for you.

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EcoScraps: Sowing Success from Wasted Food

EcoScraps organic gardening products are sold at major garden retailers throughout the country

EcoScraps organic gardening products are sold at major garden centers like Home Depot, Target, Walmart and Lowe’s.

If you’ve been keeping up with Sustainable America, you know that we’re on a mission to divert food waste from landfills and repurpose it into sustainable, value-added products like compost. We’re happy to report that we’ve closed our first compost-related investment in an exciting young company that does just that: EcoScraps. The Utah-based business collects fruit and vegetable scraps from grocery stores and wholesale produce providers and turns it into nutrient-rich, organic garden products like compost, potting mix and natural fertilizer. The EcoScraps line is sold in some of the same stores that supply the scraps, creating a tidy, full-circle process.

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Sustainable America & Grind2Energy Hit the Road to Promote Composting!

Warmer weather is a sign of lots of great summer things to come, including one of our favorites: outdoor festivals. Last year, we helped make a summer concert series in Connecticut a zero-waste success, and we’re at it again this year, this time in partnership with Grind2Energy®. Our first stop of the season was at last week’s Kentucky Derby Festival in downtown Louisville, where we demonstrated how giant turkey legs can fuel a car, heat a home and make compost.

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Peanuts and Cracker Jacks and…Compost?

The Seattle Mariners recycled or composted over 90% of all waste generated at Safeco Field in 2013. Image: BioCycle.net

Composting may not be the first thing that comes to you mind when you think about eating at a ball game, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is working to change that. This week, the environmental group has published the Guide to Composting at Sports Venues, a free resource for stadiums that want to reduce and manage their food waste more effectively.

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5 Ways to Green Your K-Cup

Rack of Keurig K-Cups

Photo Credit: Chun's Pictures via Compfight cc

While the convenience and variety afforded by single-serve coffee systems is celebrated by many, the appliance’s darker side—the mountains of unrecyclable waste—is equally abhorred by those concerned about the impacts of on-demand coffee. Fortunately, more sustainable alternatives have been popping up on the market that allow you to keep using your single-serve system (and enjoying that hot cup of coffee when you want it) while reducing plastic waste and capturing the used coffee grounds for compost.

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Waste-to-Value: The Next Big Thing?

food waste to value

Photo Credit: szczel via Compfight cc

“Waste-to-value” is a great buzzword and even better concept. It cuts right to the core of what we really need in society today – practical means of taking the waste we generate and repurposing it, profitably if possible, into things we need.

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6 Ways to Green Your Super Bowl

Growlers of beer

This year’s Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey is already being celebrated as the greenest Super Bowl in the league’s history. Beyond the lucky few that will watch the event live and see these initiatives underway in person, the vast majority of Super Bowl viewers (over 100 million worldwide!) will watch and celebrate at home. Wondering what you can do to make this your greenest Super Bowl ever? Here are six easy tips for greening your Super Bowl at home.

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Bowls Full of ‘Chowda’ with Zero Waste

fish chowder

Photo Credit: nate steiner via Compfight cc

Sustainable America is headquartered in New England, which means we love our chowder. So when we had the chance to help make the 6th-annual Chowdafest a zero-waste event, we jumped at the opportunity.

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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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