Tag Archives: Katrina Kazda

7 Technologies That Can Slash Idling

tailpipe exhaust fumes

Photo: theenvironmentalblog.org via Flickr

We’ve been known to get more than a little irked when we notice people idling their vehicles unnecessarily, like at drive-thrus or school pick-ups. It wastes gas, it pollutes the air, it stinks and it’s just, well, unnecessary. But some drivers get a free idling pass, right? Don’t refrigerated trucks, utility vehicles, safety and emergency vehicles and long-haul trucks often need to keep their engines running to power auxiliary functions? Yes, and no. Here, we explain.

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Eat Your “Unusual” Greens!

Turnip greens

Did you know you can eat turnip greens? Photo: Glory Foods via Flickr

One of my favorite things about participating in a CSA program is learning about new foods. This year’s most pleasant surprise was sweet potato greens. Our very own farmer didn’t realize these beautiful greens were edible until this year, and boy were we happy that he shared his newfound secret!

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Staff Challenge: Go “Zero-Waste” for a Month

Zero-Waste Challenge

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 Katrina, who set the ambitious goal of achieving a zero-waste home. Here’s what happened…

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The Plastic Bag Problem

plastic bag on ground

Photo Credit: frankservayge via Compfight cc

The next time you’re asked, “Paper or plastic?” consider this: According to the Worldwatch Institute, 4 to 5 trillion plastic bags—including large trash bags, thick shopping bags and thin grocery bags—are produced globally each year, with roughly 80% of them used in North America and Western Europe.

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Thinking Beyond ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’

decomposing leaves

Photo Credit: Let Ideas Compete via Compfight cc

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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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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3 Golden Rules of Recycling

recycling bins

Photo Credit: timtak via Compfight cc

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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College Student Speaks Out About Idling

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

Clare Roth, a senior at Northwestern, made vehicle idling the topic of a speech for her speech team competitions.

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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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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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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