11 Tips for Running a Successful Food Waste Reduction Campaign

Read the full post at Shareable.

An estimated 40 percent of food in the U.S. is wasted by either being thrown away or left to rot. Considering that 49 million Americans live in food insecure households, this is a sobering statistic. Food waste also exacts an incredible toll on the environment. Food waste in landfills creates methane, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases; it leads to the wasteful use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers; and it causes unnecessary energy and transportation impacts.

The Food: Too Good to Waste Challenge, designed by the Environmental Protection Agency with input from the West Coast Climate & Materials Management Forum, aims to bring awareness to families about household food waste, show them where, and how much, they are wasting, help them reduce their waste, and collect data for local officials on the household food waste habits in their community.

The challenge includes a toolkit, which is free and openly available and full of practical tools to help cut down food waste. The toolkit includes detailed instructions and tools for tracking your food waste, doing smarter shopping, eating food before it goes bad and more.

In a recent West Coast Climate & Materials Management Forum webinar, representatives from the Food: Too Good to Waste (FTGTW) team, as well as three cities that implemented the toolkit, provided an overview of the toolkit, shared their experience of using it, and made suggestions for running a successful food waste reduction challenge. Here are steps to take to implement the challenge in your community.

Groundwater Foundation launches 30 by 30 water tracking app

Did you know the average American uses 100 gallons of water every day?  Learn how to reduce your water usage by 30 gallons a day with 30 by 30!

30 by 30 is a fun, free water-tracking app for Android and Apple devices from The Groundwater Foundation.  Track your direct water usage, learn how to use less water, and see your monthly water usage.  30 by 30 makes tracking your daily water usage simple; the app calculates how much water you use, simply choose an activity!  Log your water use every day and receive fun, easy tips on how you can do even better at conserving water and share your achievements on Facebook and Twitter!

This Company Sends Imperfect Fruits and Vegetables to Your Home (if you live in Oakland or Berkeley)

Read the full story at Mental Floss. Ariel Schwartz reviews the service at Tech Insider.

A new startup called Imperfect wants to change the public’s attitude towards crooked fruit. Created by entrepreneurs Ben Simon and Ben Chesler, the service sends fresh produce right to your door. All the fruit and veggies are ripe, delicious, and inexpensive—the only catch is that they look a little weird. A buyer can get 10-14 pounds of produce for only $12.

The American Lawn Is Now The Largest Single ‘Crop’ In The U.S.

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

Americans’ lawns now cover an area three times larger than any irrigated crop in the U.S.

According to a new study from NASA scientists in collaboration with researchers in the Mountain West, there is now an estimated total of 163,812 square kilometers, or more than 63,000 square miles, of lawn in America — about the size of Texas.

The 5 Plastics That Nobody Should Be Using

Read the full post at MindBodyGreen.

Tom Szaky and Albe Zakes, the eco-entrepreneurs behind global recycling company TerraCycle, have a pretty unique take on trash. Their new book, Make Garbage Great, explores the history of human waste and presents some creative ideas to make less of it in the future. Here’s what they have to say about plastic.

Human beings manufacture nearly 200 billion pounds of plastic every year. To really grasp that figure, consider these facts: there are also about 200 billion stars in the Milky Way and approximately the same number of galaxies in the entire universe.

We are endangering the long-term well-being of the planet because of a desire for short-term wealth and material objects. As a consumer, the power to purchase is directly in your hands. Here are five plastic products everyone should be avoiding.

Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

There are many non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area that accept donations all year. My ISTC colleague Joy Scrogum compiled a list several months ago and I’ve added to it. If there are any I missed, let me know in the comments.

Updated August 19, 2015 to the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company’s donation policies. Continue reading Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

Minnesota library loans gently used prom dresses

Read the full case study at Programming Librarian.