Using Food a WIN-WIN

 

 Cook it,   Soup it,   Taco it,    Stir fry it,   Eat it,   Freeze it,   Share it 

                             Be creative

How did you manage your Thanksgiving left overs? What do you generally do  with left over food? 40% of the food  in the United States is not eaten, and ends up in our landfills causing an enormous waste of our precious resources. Wasting food is an enormous waste of water, money, time, labor, energy and transportation.  The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has an incredible education campaign to inform the public how much we are wasting.  For example the production of one egg takes 55 gallons of water!Their website is savethefood.com

So let’s get creative and “Save the Food.” One of my favorite cooking activities is to reinvent leftovers into a new lunch or dinner. Stir fry, soups, tacos, enchiladas, salads, fried rice, and many other things lend themselves to create special meals of uneaten foods.

Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA)

Have a fun holiday month, but make a creative difference by reusing, planning, seriously cutting waste, and saving food from your garbage!

The story of a strawberry here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WREXBUZBrS8

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Everything Is Connected

The Mississippi Watershed by Jon Platek This how trash can reach the ocean.

This morning while walking around the lake by my house, I was sad to see plastic bottles bobbing around in the lake. The amazing thing is that those plastic bottles from a lake in land-locked Minnesota could end up in the Gulf of Mexico. 80% of marine litter originates from land. The Minnehaha Creek drains this lake into the Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico. Plastic in a Minneapolis lake, could float the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico, these plastic bottles and bags are a dangerous threat to marine life, and they are unpleasant to water recreation.

I am sure you know most of the ways to avoid plastic, but you might learn something from this list on reducing plastic use. The excellent list below is from the NRDC https://www.nrdc.org/:

“Plastic, of course, is uniquely problematic because it’s nonbiodegradable and therefore sticks around for a lot longer (like up to 1,000 years longer) than other forms of trash. And we’re not just talking about people dumping their garbage overboard. Around 80 percent of marine litter actually originates on land—either swept in from the coastline or carried to rivers from the streets during heavy rain via storm drains and sewer overflows.

So the best thing we can do to protect our waterways is trying to keep as much plastic as possible out of the waste stream in the first place. The good news? There are many small ways you can have a big impact.

1. Wean yourself off disposable plastics.

Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then chucked: grocery bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. It only takes a few times of bringing your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to Starbucks before it becomes habit.

2. Stop buying water.

Each year, close to 20 billion plastic bottles are tossed in the trash. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag, and you’ll never be caught having to resort to a Poland Spring or Evian again. If you’re nervous about the quality of your local tap water, look for a model with a built-in filter.

3. Boycott microbeads.

Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products—facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Unfortunately, they also look just like food to some marine animals. Opt for products with natural exfoliants, like oatmeal or salt, instead.

4. Cook more.

Not only is it healthier, but making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers or doggy bags. For those times when you do order in or eat out, tell the establishment you don’t need any plastic cutlery or, for some serious extra credit, bring your own food-storage containers to restaurants for leftovers.

5. Purchase items secondhand.

New toys and electronic gadgets, especially, come with all kinds of plastic packaging—from those frustrating hard-to-crack shells to twisty ties. Search the shelves of thrift stores, neighborhood garage sales, or online postings for items that are just as good when previously used. You’ll save yourself a few bucks, too.

6. Recycle (duh).

It seems obvious, but we’re not doing a great job of it. For example, less than 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. Confused about what can and can’t go in the bin? Check out the number on the bottom of the container. Most beverage and liquid cleaner bottles will be #1 (PET), which is commonly accepted by most curbside recycling companies. Containers marked #2 (HDPE; typically slightly heavier-duty bottles for milk, juice, and laundry detergent) and #5 (PP; plastic cutlery, yogurt and margarine tubs, ketchup bottles) are also recyclable in some areas. For the specifics on your area, check out Earth911.org’s recycling directory.

7. Support a bag tax or ban.

Urge your elected officials to follow the lead of those in San Francisco, Chicago, and close to 150 other cities and counties by introducing or supporting legislation that would make plastic-bag use less desirable.

8. Buy in bulk.

Single-serving yogurts, travel-size toiletries, tiny packages of nuts—consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you tend to buy often and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time.

9. Bring your own garment bag to the dry cleaner.

Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of sheathed in plastic. (And while you’re at it, make sure you’re frequenting a dry cleaner that skips the perc, a toxic chemical found in some cleaning solvents.)

10. Put pressure on manufacturers.

Though we can make a difference through our own habits, corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. Write a letter, send a tweet, or hit them where it really hurts: Give your money to a more sustainable competitor.” NRDC

I would add one thing to the list. Never use Styrofoam! Some stores package fruits and vegetables on Styrofoam trays! Awful.

Finally, current status of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities from Friends of the Mississippi.

Pure Michigan

Lake Superior

A few years ago when I drove into Michigan and saw “Pure Michigan” signs everywhere.  I thought it was a refreshing slogan.  Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes of Lake Superior, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan. But then tainted lead pipes in Flint Michigan were found after cost-cutting by all-levels of government, and Pure Michigan became a slogan of hypocrisy for me.

Finally, a settlement has been reached to give help to the residents of Flint Michigan.

From The National Resource Defense Council (NRDC)

“The settlement requires the State of Michigan to provide Flint — a hard-hit, largely low-income community of 100,000 people near Detroit — nearly $100 million to replace the city’s lead and galvanized steel pipes within three years.

It also mandates extensive testing of Flint’s water for lead contamination and ensures that residents have properly installed tap water faucet filters while pipes are removed throughout the city.”

Voters for Dirty Air And Water?

Do we want lakes that look like this?
Do we want lakes that look like this?

Did voters on November 8, vote for dirty water and dirty air?  I know one Trump voter who is totally against the Dakota Access Pipeline. I can’t believe that November’s vote was to trash our water and air! Please call your senators.

No matter where you live, call your senator and tell them to oppose Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA Administrator: (202) 224-3121
You can use this tool to quickly find your senator and click to call them: http://on.nrdc.org/2kkFfOL

Below is from the NRDC, Natural Resources Defense Council:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is the worst, most extreme nominee ever tapped to lead the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. We must stop him! As Oklahoma Attorney General, he has sued the EPA 18 times to fight clean air and water rules. Seventeen of these 18 he joined with fossil fuel companies in suing the EPA. Pruitt has gone to court to fight rules that would save up to 45,000 lives, and avoid hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and heart attacks every year.. More than 1 in 10 children in Oklahoma have asthma, which is one of highest rates of asthma in United States.

He routinely allies with big polluters to promote prioritize their profits over the health and safety of ordinary people. How could he possibly be qualified to protect our air and water?

Bottom line: he is unfit to serve as the nation’s top environmental steward. We only need 3 senators to swing their votes the right way to stop him! CALL RIGHT NOW.

No matter where you live, call your senator and tell them to oppose Scott Pruitt’s confirmation as EPA Administrator: (202) 224-3121
You can use this tool to quickly find your senator and click to call them: http://on.nrdc.org/2kkFfOL

And if you live in one of the following states, it is particularly important to call these senators:
Sen. Joe Donnelly (Indiana) 202-224-4814                             wp-image-1471591845jpeg.jpeg
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (North Dakota) 202-224-2043
Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) 202-224-2523
Sen. Dean Heller (Nevada) 202- 224-6244
Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona) (202) 224-4521
Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) (202) 224-3353
Sen. Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) (202) 224-4944
Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia) (202) 224-3954

 

The Ticking Clock

Is everyone afraid?

Is everyone ashamed?

Smashing Pumpkins, Doomsday song

What would cause the clock to get closer to midnight?
What would cause the clock to get closer to midnight?

Doomsday Clock Now Two and a Half Minutes to Midnight, Thanks to Trump!

 

What a strange unprecedented week full of lies, “alternative facts” and being told we should all shut up and just listen for once. A week of show and chaos. Many are engaged, protesting, shaking their heads, and knowing this is not sustainable.

Because of Mr. Trump’s words in denial of climate change and his being close to the nuclear trigger we are now closer to Doomsday that we have been since the 1950’s. Thursday the experts moved the clock 30 minutes closer to midnight. Read about it here.

“The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face that represents a countdown to possible global catastrophe. It has been maintained since 1947 by the members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board,[1] who are in turn advised by the Governing Board and the Board of Sponsors, including 18 Nobel Laureates. The closer they set the Clock to midnight, the more vulnerable the scientists believe the world is to global disaster” Wikipedia

And finally, an environmental summary of the disaster of Trump’s first week from the NRDC.

 

 

 

This is What Democracy Looks Like!

Minnesota Capitol
Minnesota Capitol

Saturday was an incredible day for democracy!  Thank you to everyone in the United States and around the world who marched or just lent their spirit of support!

 “Hey, you have to hand it to Trump, he just became President and bam, America looked pretty great today.”Jack Burditt@jackburditt    (Jan. 21, 2017 on twitter)

 

Women's March on Washington
Women’s March on Washington

From NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

 

Washington D.C.
Washington D.C.

..”We will do, Andas our founders called upon us to do, and hold our government to account. For careless words and misguided deeds that undermine our greatest strengths. For callous judgments that turn the engines of national prosperity to the profits of a wealthy few. For reckless policies that put polluter profits first and put the rest of us at risk.”
—NRDC President Rhea Suh.

 

And from Utah: https://youtu.be/ya-HyxDgh24

Let’s March Forward and Speak Out!