Category Archives: ecology

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.

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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.

More plastic than fish

Plastic is a huge problem, especially for fish: in just three years, experts estimate there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.

Enter: edible packaging.

Earth-friendly packaging alternatives are on their way to your house. Look for mushroom, barley, wheat and milk based plastic substitutes.

Kids might be the first to notice: edible does not equal appetizing:>)

Shareables

Rent a castle for a night. Let your dog stay in a real home, instead of a kennel, while you travel. Borrow a neighbor’s car for the morning. These are all shareables.

Using something as needed, rather than actually owning it, offers real-time examples of thoughtful choices.

I wonder how the sharing economy will impact today’s kids, who grow up in a shareable world of Airbnb, DogVacay and RelayRides.

Real world lessons

Just a few years ago, I would have been amazed to overhear a mom give a very detailed explanation of the family composting system.

But I wasn’t surprised when that happened, recently.

Many parents have shifted their thinking. Instead of protecting their kids from realities, they are giving them a more grown-up understanding of real life issues.

This is not only happening at younger ages; this “realistic” teaching is often linked to suggestions of how to make our troubled world a better place.

And that’s all good.

Giving back

I knew that the wave of eco-friendliness had exploded into a true societal shift when an electric car charging station was installed at our community center.

One of the neatest sustainability initiatives comes from reverse delivery service. After drivers deliver food to restaurants and grocery stores, they pick up food donations that go to local food banks.

It’s not cheap being green

This fall, there’s been very little chatter about schools which upgraded environmental factors over the summer.

Schools that modernize typically move at least toward water and energy efficiency. But the cost of going green has postponed some enhancements and caused shrinkage in other projects.

When costs and benefits are analyzed, our earth often loses.