Landfill Of Lettuce: Why Were These Greens Tossed Before Their Time?

Read the full story at NPR. See also Left Out: How much of the fresh produce that we grow never makes it off the farm?, a 2012 post from the Natural Resources Defense Council that summarizes the results of a small survey of farmers and packer-shippers about the reasons for crop loss.

Here’s a scenario lots of us can relate to: tossing a bag of lettuce because it sat too long in the back of the fridge.

It doesn’t take a long time for greens to turn to slime.

Bag by bag, this waste adds up. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the typical American family throws out about $1,600 worth of food each year. And what we consumers toss out is just the last step in a long chain of waste.

Food is lost on farms, during processing and trucking. Supermarkets toss out unsold food.

We were curious about this downstream waste — the part of the food supply chain that’s largely hidden from consumers.

And we wondered how the fast-growing, packaged produce and salads category — which is expected to approach $7 billion in sales by 2018 — might contribute to waste.

How to Set Up a Neighborhood Exchange Box in 4 Easy Steps

Read the full story at Shareable.

Dan Acher and his collaborators at Happy City Lab created this handy guide to setting up your own Neighborhood Exchange Box (for exchanging used goods with neighbors) which you can do in four easy steps:

How a Denver Toy Library Has Helped Kids Share for 35 Years

Read the full story in Shareable.

Tucked away in the basement of Denver’s Smiley Library Branch is the Northwest Denver Toy Library. Founded in 1980, the toy library has been serving the community entirely through donations and volunteers. Last week, I sat down with Margie Herlth, who leads the operation and has been volunteering since 1996, to learn how the toy library works.

Buy Your Way Out Of Your Carbon Footprint With A Credit Card That Saves Trees With Every Purchase

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Almost everything we buy comes with greenhouse gas emissions attached. The average American lifestyle produces 17.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is the equivalent of driving a car 41,000 miles.

Feeling guilty? If so, you might want to offset your contribution to global warming by safeguarding some trees. And now there’s a really easy way to do that: Sustain:Green, a credit card that automatically tracks your payments and buys offsets on your behalf.

For each dollar you spend, Sustain:Green buys up two pounds of carbon through an offset scheme in Mata no Peito, a Brazilian rainforest conservation project. When you sign up, you get an additional 5,000 pounds of CO2, and if you buy more than $1,250 a month, Sustain:Green will throw in a 2,500 pounds bonus.

My not-so-green millennial

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

We’ve all heard the stereotype: Millennials really care about the environment. We’ve seen studies such as the one published by Morgan Stanley, which finds millennials are three times more likely to seek employment with a company because of its stance on social and/or governmental issues and twice as likely to invest in funds that target specific social or environmental outcomes.

We know what they think but what do millennials really do?

As both the mother of a millennial and a researcher tracking self-reported sustainable behaviors over the past 10 years, I’ll tell you what the answer is: Not as much as you might think.

Don’t believe the label ‘flushable': disposable wipes clog sewers around the world

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Grownups are now using the same wipes once reserved for babies, leading to millions of dollars of sewer problems. A New York City bill takes aim at the lack of transparency – and mislabeling – some say is to blame

Bringing energy efficiency to the middle class

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Pay As You Save (PAYS) is a financing intervention that hopes to address the rural middle-income market by enabling utility customers to purchase and install cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades without upfront payment, personal loans or property liens. PAYS was one of four interventions that won the Finance for Resilience (FiRe) prize at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit 2015.