Monday, April 30, 2012

A Zero Waste Family

While most Americans dispose of about a half ton of garbage per year, the Johnson family in California has only a handful of waste every six months. Seems incredible, doesn't it? The Earth911 article about this remarkable family, stresses several basic factors in their ability to reduce waste:
1. Buying in bulk (i.e. no individually wrapped items)
2. Using reusable bags and containers at all times
3. Buying only what you really need
4. Avoiding any purchases containing or wrapped in plastic
5. Getting off catalogue and junk mail lists
Bea Johnson, the mom of the family, says that shopping is like voting. She chooses environmentally sound products and does not "vote" for ones that are disposable or overly packaged.

While she does write to manufacturers to request that they alter the packaging or other aspects of their products, Bea says that living a zero waste lfestyle is neither time consuming nor expensive.

Bea Johnson is using a mesh produce bag for her vegetables (in the photo above left). These and other produce bags are available at a discount to PSFC members until May 30.

the article for more great tips on approaching a zero waste lifestyle.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Got Drugs? Dispose of Them Safely

Saturday, April 28 is the fourth national Pharmaceutical Take-back Day. The DEA website allows you to type in your zip code and find a take-back location near you. There are locations in Brooklyn and other NYC boroughs—more will be added to the database until the day of the event.

What can you bring to these locations?

All medicines that your family and your pets use should be properly disposed of at a drug take-back program. For more details, check the DEA website.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Reusable Bags Discount for Coop Members

In honor of Earth Day, several of our vendors have agreed to give discounts to Park Slope Food Coop members who would like to buy reusable bags, some not currently carried by the Coop.
  • Ecobags will give coop members a 15% off all produce bag orders from 4/21/12 - 5/30/12. The code is for this discount is 2012PSED and must be used on a minimum order of $25.00 not including shipping. (You can get together with friends to order if you want to order a smaller amount).

  • Chicobags is offering a 25% discount—one time per person—with the code ParkSlope25. This offer expires May 30, 2012.
You must order directly through these companies' websites—not the Food Coop.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Celebrate Earth Day with Us!

Sunday, April 22
Union St., in front of the
Park Slope Food Coop
  • Chat with members of various coop committees:
    - Environmental,
    - Safe Food,
    - GMO Shelf Labeling,
    - Recycling and
    - Animal Welfare

  • See Grow NYC’s Rainwater Harvesting Exhibit

  • Learn about worm bin composting

  • Handouts, raffles & more!

Monday, April 16, 2012

People and Plastic: The Plastic Free Chef

Many people are taking action to  reduce or eliminate use of disposable plastic.  One of these is Mary Kat.

"I try to live a plastic-free life for environmental reasons and health reasons.  I have a passion for food and a passion for cooking and baking.  At the beginning, the hardest part of living plastic-free was cooking.  I thought that I would have to give up all my favorite foods and eat only cabbage and eggs for the rest of my life, but it turned out that I was  very wrong," says The Plastic Free Chef, 17-year-old Mary Kat.

From that starting point, Mary Kat proceeded to figure out how to use much less plastic in buying, storing, and preparing foods, and to write an engaging and informative blog on the subject.  She offers tips on shopping for and storing food without plastic, and also posts well-illustrated plastic-free recipes such as ones for homemade goldfish, various breakfast foods,  roasted asparagus, ricotta cheese, and many more.

She's refreshing and fun to read.  If you like to cook and eat, and want to use less plastic in the kitchen, check out her blog.

One hopes that there are many more teenagers like Mary Kat out there.  If so, our future may be in good hands.

For more on other plastic activists, see this earlier post.

Do you know of someone taking action on plastic issues in a creative, inspiring, or unusual way?  Please share with us.

Photo by suavehouse113, on flickr

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rainwater Harvesting

Why not save some of the rainwater for your garden? If you had a rainwater harvesting system you could do just that.

On April 22, Grow NYC's Lenny Librizzi will be joining members of the Environmental Committee outside the Food Coop to celebrate Earth Day. He will have a rainwater harvesting system on display and will be glad to answer any questions you may have about it.

Please join us on Sunday, April 22 between 9am and 3pm in front of the Park Slope Food Coop. In the meantime, learn more about Grow NYC's rainwater harvesting system, already in place in many community gardens all over the five boroughs as well as individual backyard gardens.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

If They Can Stop Using Plastic Bags. . .

If they can stop using plastic bags, so can we.

Nice video from ivillage with real-life solutions to getting used to managing without plastic bags. Take a few minutes to check it out and also find out what the heck plarn is.