Category Archives: ecology

Sip ‘n straws

Since moving to the Florida Gulf Coast, I’ve become more aware of the anti-straw movement. Eco-friendly innovations include bamboo, chewable and reusable straws made of silicone.

Although some communities have banned single-use plastic straws, I still don’t see “the last straw” shift in school cafeterias.

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Food waste reality

Years ago, schools led the way for kids to grow up with the 3 eco R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle.)

At this point, I don’t see schools taking similar leadership with reducing food waste. After glancing at food left on school cafeteria lunch trays, we have a long way to go before “zero waste” becomes a reality.

Zero waste shift?

Although major brands are starting to launch reusable packaging, companies that service school cafeterias have a long way to go.

The zero -waste movement could get a head start by simply starting with something as simple as the apple juice containers served at school breakfasts.  What a difference if the juice was served in reusable, empty containers that would be collected, cleaned and returned !

A start for sustainability

I was pleased to see our seven-year old grandson carefully go through a rack of clothes at a resale store. His focus is targeted: Nike. Often, he’s successful.

At the other end of the thrifting continuum, his mom (our daughter) regularly donates clothes, toys and household goods to this resale shop.

Although sustainability is a mega-trend, the thrifting aspect is rarely highlighted. And yet making sure the recycling wheel goes round is an easy way families can practice sustainability at home.

Eco-innovation

Living in southwest Florida, I’m very aware of the issues related to ocean plastic.

One Asian city recently launched an initiative to reduce the use of plastic: purchase bus tickets with recycled plastic bottles. Passengers could exchange five plastic bottles or ten cups for a two-hour bus pass.

I think the same approach could be applied to holiday wrapping paper!

Zero-waste school lunches?

I expected the Starbucks move to replace plastic straws with “adult sippy cups” and sustainable straws to carry over into school cafeterias, but I haven’t seen that this fall.

Years ago, elementary grade students were huge drivers in the eco-move to “reduce, re-use, recycle.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if students at all levels of education begin to embrace the zero waste movement.

Wearing waste?

Back to school shopping offers a new clothes option this fall.

H&M is allowing plastic water bottles to be upcycled into polyester. Bottle waste is sorted, washed and shredded into fashionable flakes.

Interesting twist on being eco-friendly.