Super Bowl of Recycling

Can the Super Bowl go zero waste? If they can, so can you!  Minneapolis, location of Super Bowl 52, is an incredible place to go waste-free. We have recycle containers everywhere, and we have weekly home compost pick-up.  Hennepin County and Minneapolis are committed to less landfill waste.

I think the NFL is sending an important message, “It is important to reduce our waste!” Yes, one big event is important, and we all need to educate ourselves and try to reduce our own waste. Read about the Super Bowl at zero waste.

Most communities don’t make it as easy as Minneapolis, but in tiny steps, we can all do better.  Everyday I think about how I can generate less waste, and I know for a zero waste mentality to be successful, it must be EASY!

An easy way to reduce waste is to think REUSE. Before you throw something away, buy something new, or recycle something, ask yourself, “How can I reuse this?” I purchase products in glass jars that I will reuse, and I do reuse them.  I believe in real dishes, real silverware, and cloth napkins. My reusable water bottles travel with me, something the NFL doesn’t allow at games!  I reuse my plastic produce bags over and over, and take my reusable containers to fill with bulk items weekly. Hennepin County has a good list of how to start reusing, read it here.  Remember to start easy, and you will get better, as you learn more ways to reduce and reuse.

Cloth napkins are the best!

I would start with cloth napkins as the easiest. As you get into the reuse mindset you will see many things you can do to reuse and reduce on your own. Good Luck!

You don’t need  plastic bottles!

Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.

 

 

 

 

Dear Gov. Dayton

This is a message to Minnesota Governor Dayton asking him to veto the legislation that takes away Minneapolis’s plastic bag ban.

Below is my letter to the Minneapolis http://www.startribune.com/ It was published a few months ago. It is ridiculous the Minnesota legislature is trying to take away Minneapolis’ right to ban plastic bags. Why should the plastic industry have the right to say which rules the city of Minneapolis should enact???
To the editor,
Today as I drove north out of Minneapolis on 35W, I was sad to see waste plastic bags hanging from fences and decorating plants and trees. I thought of the op-ed by the manufacturer of plastic bags telling us how wonderful his bags were. (Facts Don’t Support Columns Call for Ban on Plastic Retail Bags)
We all observe many bags with purchases leaving our stores, but only .06 percent are recycled. Plastic poses a serious threat to our wildlife that eat and become tangled in this trash. Plastic takes many years to decompose and releases toxins into our soil and water during this long process.
The Minnesota Legislature is trying to ban Minneapolis’s hope to reduce plastic bag use which goes into effect later this year. Governor Dayton should veto this silly legislation, and all Minnesotans should take personal responsibility to recycle clean plastic bags at grocery stores, and reduce their use of this harmful litter.

Health4earth

Call Governor Mark Dayton (651-201-3400) and tell him cities should have the right to ban plastic bags. VETO SF 1456!

The Arctic and Whales Collecting Our Plastic

Do we want waterways that look like this?

This shouldn’t surprise me, but I am upset to read about the plastic trash in the Arctic Ocean.   Plastic trash is now so ubiquitous that researchers have found hundreds of tons of it floating in the Arctic Ocean.  Read the whole story here.

Why shouldn’t I be surprised by this?  The “local control” advocates, in the Minnesota legislature are trying to derail Minneapolis’ plastic bag ban from happening later this year. I have just returned from a road trip to Washington, D.C. and I found only a few places to recycle along the way, most on college campuses. I could go on and on about what I see throughout the world in regards to plastic trash. A sad story about a whale collecting all this plastic . Our earth has a massive problem!

Plastic breaks into tiny pieces and wildlife eats it!

Where are the companies that manufacture and make a profit on this plastic and Styrofoam when it comes to clean-up?

Styrofoam I pulled from Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. It is breaking into small pieces and could last forever!

The oceans belong to all of us.  No one has the right to pollute and trash the ocean or the rivers or lakes.

What can you do? Have plastic-free shopping trips by bringing your own containers, and never purchase products on Styrofoam trays.  2. Encourage your community to put up and maintain recycling containers.  3. Pick up trash on your walks. 4. Recycle everything you can. 5. Always bring your reusable bags shopping.

Last, a remote Pacific island has become a reservoir for the waste of the world as it piles onto this pristine island.

Bring you own bag

 

 

 

 

Say “No” to Plastic Bags!

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.
Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at food coops, but when I visit regular grocery stores I am appalled by the number of plastic bags leaving with purchases. I know most them aren’t recycled.  My city will put fees on some plastic bags in 2017, and I can’t wait!!  It will be a fabulous education tool for many people!!

Below is from Earth911.com, and contains some information I didn’t know, how the below businesses have reduced plastic bags. Please shop retailers that protect our earth.  I haven’t shopped at all these retailers so please let me know if this information is accurate???

From Earth911.com: “Did you know that studies have shown that about 12 million metric tons of plastic debris, including plastic bags, has accumulated in our oceans around the world? Due to this pollution, more than 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic entanglement! That is a startling number – and one that doesn’t show any signs of slowing its growth.”  Read the entire article here.

These are the retailers to patronize!

  1. Adidas
  2. Ikea
  3. COSCO, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
  4. Whole Foods
  5. Local Coops Earth 911 gives a shout out to New Pioneer in Iowa City. I shopped there while traveling this summer and recommend shopping there if you are in Iowa City or traveling along Interstate 80 through Iowa.

And more on plastic pollution here.

The plastic bag fee in Britain has reduced plastic bag use by something like 80%!

If You Love The Lake!

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Minneapolis is a city of lakes. “Walking the lake” is a big deal for most of us, and the lakes are magnets for people from all over the Twin Cities metro area and state. I am impressed with this educational campaign taking place along the walking paths of the Minneapolis lakes.
image

 

 

Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.
Is this how lakes should look? We all need to do better.

It looks like a thirsty future for the world. The Pacific Standard Magazine has just publish a map of the world’s troubled waters  and some of the politics around water.  More things you can do to protect our water bodies here.

 

Minneapolis Goes for Organics!

What is organics? Organics recycling includes collecting fruits, vegetables, bones,

Food Scraps Turned Into Compost
Food Scraps Turned Into Compost

meat, breads, eggshells, non-recyclable and food-soiled paper, and more for composting. The new organics recycling program is an easy way for residents to reduce waste.  The trucks haul this waste to the compost site where it is turned and heated and it turns into valuable compost to be used for gardening.

Please come to the event below to learn about Minneapolis’s new program and how to participate in this great program!

The Tangletown and Lynnhurst Neighborhood Associations are co-hosting a celebration of Minneapolis’ new organics recycling program on Saturday March 19th from 10am-1pm at the Lynnhurst Community Center (1345 W Minnehaha Parkway). Enjoy free pizza, games, children’s activities, and demonstrations. Stop by briefly or stay to catch a workshop at 10:30am or 11:45am.

Get your questions answered, sign up to be a volunteer Compost Captain, and enter to win a door prize. The first 200 attendees can also pick up free compostable bags. More info (and RSVP) at https://www.facebook.com/events/550666345107610/ Hope to see you there!

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/solid-waste/organics/index.htm

http://www.ehow.com/facts_4926119_what-compost-used.html