Recently, I went to my mother-in-law’s house for a family celebration. As usual, I was called upon to bring a second dining table up from the basement to fit 14 of us. In the basement, as always, the surplus food and drink for the big meal was stored in a second refrigerator that she keeps down there.
In April, we returned to the Richmond International Raceway for a third time for a weekend of food waste diversion and recovery at the Toyota Owners 400, a NASCAR race. Coordinating food recovery at an event this size is a challenging task, but we learned lessons from two previous races in 2015 that have increased our efficiency — and the amount of food we were able to divert. The results demonstrate the important opportunity that large event venues have to reduce their environmental footprint and help those in the need in their communities.
When musician and environmental activist Jack Johnson invited us to join him for an elementary school compost lesson (and schoolyard concert) in Hawaii, we grabbed a film crew. Watch our new mini documentary to learn more about one of the music industry’s greenest musicians and how the island of Oahu deals with its food waste.
On Superbowl Sunday, we partnered with a local culinary competition event to help them compost their food waste. We just learned that the event diverted more than four times as much waste to compost than last year’s event — that’s 2,840 pounds of food scraps and compostable items that are being recycled into a nutrient-rich soil supplement instead of being incinerated!
The numbers are one thing to celebrate, but Chilifest has also helped us reach an important milestone as an organization. We’re now equipped with the tools and expertise to help even more events around the country compost their food waste.
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.
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:
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 Heide, who set a goal of producing a low-impact, sustainable gala for Sustainable America. Here’s how she did it…
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.
Last weekend, Sustainable America was on hand at Connecticut’s Chowdafest to help divert food waste to composting, instead of where it usually goes in the area: to an incinerator. And perhaps the biggest win of all was that both a percentage of the proceeds and a large amount of direct food donations went to the Connecticut Food Bank to help feed the hungry.
It has been an exciting year. 2013 was the first full year of operation for Sustainable America. The generous support and clear vision of Nick Tiller, our founder and chairman, provided us with a simple mandate: to improve the sustainability of America’s food and transportation fuel systems, and we’re proud of our progress so far. We’ve just released our 2013 Year-End Report that details the year’s efforts and accomplishments and shares our plans for 2014.