San Francisco’s recycling center gets a upgrade in time for the holidays

Recology logoSan Francisco is known for many things, the Golden Gate Bridge among them. But its San Francisco’s recycling efforts that have brought this amazing city into the national spotlight.

In 2002, the City by the Bay passed legislation that set a goal of  diverting 75 percent of its waste from landfills by 2010 and achieving “zero waste” by 2020. And so began its composting and food waste collection program.

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The Growing Trend of Zero Food Waste and U.S. companies

Food waste

We’ve become a throwaway society. Leftovers from a dinner out get tossed into the trash. Bruised or past due supermarket produce winds up in dumpsters and ultimately in our landfills.

There’s a growing movement to give “organics” a second life. The Zero Waste movement has taken on food waste and businesses and organizations are embracing this sustainability trend.

Here are some sobering facts about food waste:

  • Approximately 40 percent of our food supply is wasted. That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person per month – the equivalent of $115 billion per year!
  • Organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, the largest source of methane emissions.

Food waste is a large and growing problem. To learn more about the zero waste movement and some of the innovative companies that have embraced it, click here.

SFO’s latest art exhibit – art made from garbage

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Travelers pass by this artwork of Eric Otto, using recycled spray and house paint on found objects.

Employee-owned,Francisco-based Recology – the largest organics compost facility operator by volume in the United States – announced today the launch of a web page featuring San Francisco Airport’s (SFO) Museum’s exhibition of work from the Recology Artist in Residence Program at the United Terminal. The Art of Recology highlights this innovative art program that was founded to challenge the way we think about waste, consumption, and art.

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Black Zogoflex – West Paw Design’s greenest toys yet

WestPaw Design logoHaving a new dog in the house means my collection of chew toys is growing. But as a responsible pet “Mom”, I wondered just how healthy or safe they were.

There are currently no standards concerning the levels or types of chemicals in pet toys.  Because pets chew, lick and carry their toys around, they’re exposed to higher levels of hazardous chemicals including phthalates, BPA (Bisphenol A), lead and arsenic.  There aren’t many studies regarding the interaction or impact of these on animals. But given the toxicity of these chemicals in humans, finding pet toys without these is important. Continue reading

Darden – a green leader in the restaurant industry

News reports tout Walmart’s apparent focus on sustainability. In the food service industry, however, Darden Restaurants Inc. is taking giant strides to be in the forefront of sustainability. And they’re leaving companies like Walmart in the dust.

Darden is the parent company of popular restaurants Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse, as well as The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Eddie V’s, Bahama Breeze and Yard House restaurants. Five years ago, spurred on by requests from many of its over 185,000 employees, Darden Restaurants launched widespread sustainability efforts.

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North Carolina plant soon to convert human waste for energy

It may seem odd or even bizarre for some, but a North Carolina wastewater treatment plant will soon begin converting human waste to energy.

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Will the UN define “zero waste”?

As consumers demand more of companies in their green practices, more companies are scrambling to embrace sustainability. One of the biggest ways to do this is by being able to boast that they’ve produced zero waste, or at least are making great strides towards achieving that goal.

The environmental group Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) have created a zero-waste resolution proposal which they hope will lead to a universally recognized definition of zero waste.

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