How to reduce food waste at Thanksgiving dinner

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

Food waste is a year-round concern. Still, the large Thanksgiving meal presents a particular challenge when it comes to preventing it. You’re buying many more ingredients. You’re making large-scale recipes, with lots of potential leftovers. You may just be even more preoccupied with everything else going on around you.

But there are ways to reduce food waste and therefore your environmental impact, even around the holidays. Here are a few tips geared toward Thanksgiving dinner.

Rooftop solar cells can be a boon for water conservation too

Read the full story at Duke Today.

Electricity-generating rooftop solar cells not only save on planet-warming carbon emissions, they also save a significant amount of water, say a pair of Duke University researchers who have done the math.

A given household may save an average 16,200 gallons of water per year by installing rooftop solar, they found. In some states, like California, this saving can increase to 53,000 gallons, which is equivalent to 60 percent of the average household water use in the U.S.

You won’t see the savings on your home water bill, but they’re still important.

Deciding whether to install solar panels on your home? A new NIST web tool can help

Read the full story from NIST.

Whether it’s to live more sustainably, save money or both, many people think about adding solar panels to their homes. Homeowners consider a number of factors, including which type of solar panel might work best for them, when deciding whether the investment is worth it.

Now, an online software tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) can help answer homeowners’ questions. The software is called [PV]2 — Present Value of PhotoVoltaics — and it analyzes the economic and environmental impacts of rooftop solar technology. The tool can assist homeowners and even installers when evaluating rooftop solar photovoltaic systems. 

The next frontier for climate action is the great indoors

Read the full story from Vox.

Millions of Americans are still reliant on gas combustion for their furnaces, water heaters, clothes dryers, fireplaces, stoves, and ovens, not realizing the pollution they create both indoors and outdoors because of it.

“Many of us are basically running mini fossil fuel plants,” said Leah Stokes, a political scientist at the University of California Santa Barbara and senior adviser to the climate advocacy group Evergreen Action.

There are over 200 million of these “mini fossil fuel plants” throughout the country — all heaters, clothes dryers, and stoves that run on oil and gas, according to research from Rewiring America. Replacing all of these isn’t an easy thing to imagine or do. But a growing number of advocates argue it’s past time to try.

Review: Haikubox

Read the full review at Wired.

This AI-enabled device can identify the species around your home by their songs and alert you when new ones arrive.

Rooftop solar adoption rises sharply as system value to homeowners increases

Read the full story at pv magazine.

Annual rooftop solar installations more than double when each homeowner’s long-term “profit” on a system increases from zero to $1,000, a study found. Based partly on that study, a Minnesota utility must now evaluate distributed solar incentives as a means to save all customers money.

‘Smashing Pumpkins’: Not the band, but a climate-friendly way to get rid of jack-o-lanterns

Read the full story from WBEZ.

This Halloween season has come to an end. The trick-or-treaters had their fun and jack-o-lanterns across Chicagoland are getting cleared from stoops.

While throwing these past perfect pumpkins into the trash might seem like a good option, it’s not the best for our planet.

When tossed, pumpkins end up in landfills as food waste. Buried under heaps of trash, they rot and release methane — one of the most potent greenhouse gasses. Food waste makes up 37% of Cook County’s landfill material, according to the University of Illinois Extension.

But there is a very cathartic and environmentally friendly way to dispose of Halloween gourds: a pumpkin smash!

These events are exactly what they sound like — a chance for people to smash their beloved jack-o-lanterns into a compostable mess using a baseball bat or other creative methods. Once smashed, the chunks are transferred to composting sites across Illinois. Composting reduces methane creation and transforms the pumpkins into useful organic material – like nutrients for soil or mulch.

Roughly 2,079 tons of Halloween costume waste sent to landfills

Read the full story at Waste360.

As the Halloween season comes to a close, millions of costumes will begin making their way to landfills, many of which have only been worn a single time. A research report completed by Fairyland Trust and supported by Hubbub examined this Halloween costume waste system and how to potentially reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills.

Another Goodwill resale site launches as the market takes off

Read the full story at Retail Dive.

A group of Goodwill organizations, largely from the Midwest and West, on Tuesday launched an online resale marketplace dubbed GoodwillFinds. Net proceeds from purchases will go to the region where the item was sourced, according to the group’s press release.

GoodwillFinds is operating under license from Goodwill Industries International and joins another Goodwill-affiliated site, ShopGoodwill.com, which was created in 1999 by Goodwill of Orange County. ShopGoodwill didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The new effort is led by former Modcloth CEO Matthew Kaness, who was briefly at Walmart after the retail giant acquired the online apparel business, and has also held roles at Urban Outfitters and Afterpay, per GoodwillFinds’ release.

‘Grocery sharing’ app Recelery lets users resell food items to help minimize waste

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

It is typical for consumers to purchase more food items than they need and then throw them away because they either forgot about them or the food expired. It is estimated that 1.3 billion tons of food items are wasted yearly, an approximate $1 trillion loss.

Recelery, a pantry tracker app and online marketplace, aims to reduce food waste with an array of features. Users can log their recent food purchases, manage grocery lists and see “virtual pantries” from other users in their area, as well as sell unused grocery items to their neighbors. Users can also invite friends and family to share what food is in their virtual pantry.

The startup hopes its app helps consumers keep track of when food in their kitchen/pantry expires and discover what food they can buy from neighbors in between grocery trips. Plus, during high inflation, the marketplace tool will potentially give everyday consumers a way to earn money on recently purchased food that would otherwise be uneaten and in the trash.