Americans throw away millions of dollars worth of food every year. This food ends up in dumpsters and garbage bins and eventually in landfills where it impacts the environment. It also impacts the environment when we have to keep growing more food than we actually need. Just think about all the energy used to grow crops and the taxation of the soil. Throwing food away is highly wasteful and hurtful to our planet.
There is a movement out there that wants to change all that, and the movement is called freeganism.
What Is Freeganism and How To Use It Solve Food Waste?
Freegans are people who take the food that is about to be thrown away or has been thrown away and use it. These people talk to grocery stores, restaurants and other places that dispose of large quantities of food waste on a daily basis and ask to collect that food waste instead of the business disposing it. Others go to the extreme of actually removing food that has all ready been disposed of (dumpster diving) and eating that. This may seem radical but often times it is perfectly good food that is being thrown away. It gets tossed because they have a new shipment of fruits and veggies they need room for or they toss out the bruised or slightly imperfect foods. Other times they throw out foods that have officially expired but which will be perfectly good for another few days at least.
The goal is to reduce the impact of this wasted food on the environment in two ways. First, by saving the still edible portions of food from ending up in a landfill thus reducing waste and reducing their need to buy more “new” food. Second because they aren’t adding to waste by buying packaged food and then having to dispose of the packaging. They are helping their own pocket books in these tough economic times by reducing their food bills and many freegans also donate perfectly good food to shelters in need.
You Don’t Have To Go To Extremes To Become A Freegan
Most people’s first reaction to freeganism is anything but positive, the truth is, that you don’t have to go to extremes to become a freegan. There are some safe and hygienic ways that you can join the movement without jeopardizing your families health. Here are some tips for those who are wondering how they can help to reduce food waste and help the environment.
・ Freeganism at home – The best place to begin your freegan activities is at home by finding ways to use those left overs instead of throwing them out. There are a number of great soups, stews, smoothies, and casseroles that you make from those small portions of left overs rather than tossing them in trash.
・ Speak to local restaurant owners or managers. Make an appointment with your local restaurant owners or managers. Many restaurants throw soups, vegetables, and other foods such as mashed potatoes away at the end of the night. There is nothing wrong with these foods they simply did not use them and have policies not to serve them the next day. If you bring your own containers some restaurants will allow you to take these leftovers at the end of the night at closing time.
・ The Local Grocers Or Deli-You can also talk to your local grocer or deli, from these types of places you may be able to get large ham bones to make soups from, or small ends of meat. These are things they can’t use in their products and may be willing to give to you because it also conserves on the amount of trash they may have to pay to be hauled away.
And of course freeganism doesn’t just have to be about food. It can be about finding anything useful in the garbage, giving it a second life, and keeping it out of landfills. While freeganism may not be for everyone it is a way that you can have a positive effect on the environment while saving a little extra money as well.
Have you ever tried freegnism? Would you be willing to?
My article with a real freegan on using on using Freeganism for Charity Work. This woman has donated almost $100,000 worth of food to charity organizations via this collection method.
Also the book, The Art & Science Of Dumpster Diving. It is a hilarious how-to guide.
I am not much for wearing makeup. I can count on one hand how many times I wear it in a year’s time. Mostly this is because I just don’t care for the feel of it on my face and also because the skin is a penetrable organ that can easily absorb any chemicals we put on it. Makeup is generally pretty nasty stuff, hence my reluctance to wear it. I am also so used to not wearing any that I cannot get over how “clownish” I appear to myself when I do.
My resolution for 2012 to have more fun has meant going out more though… to places that require something other than a ripped Guns N Rose tee and perhaps a smidgen of makeup. When I went to Detroit for the Ford NAIAS a few weeks ago I had to dress business casual and I opted to wear a bit of makeup. Also this past Halloween my daughter dressed as Cleopatra and wanted to wear some makeup. For both occasions I decided to use Emani Minerals Makeup, which was sent to me to review last year.
Overall, I have been pleased with Emani makeup. It took awhile to get used to seeing myself wear makeup but other family members seemed to like it. I got tons of kisses from my 6 year old son when I wore it! LOL. My daughter told me I looked like Lady Gaga which almost made me turn tail and wash it off the after my first test run but I had to remember she may not remember me ever wearing makeup before. She was the real tester though since all other kinds of makeup make her break out in a rash. The poor child looks miserable if she she dares to play in her friend’s or grandmother’s makeup. When she wore Emani Minerals on Halloween (blush and gloss) her skin did not react at all. Awesome!
Their products use certified organic ingredients from plant or flower extracts in their formulations and they combine these extracts with key ingredients such as mica, titanium dioxide and iron oxides. They are paraben free, vegan, and gluten friendly too. Compared to mainstream makeup you will find at the drug store these are much, much better. The majority of the Emani products I saw on the the Skin Deep database rated at a 1 or 2 so they rank pretty safe there.
Now I just have to get used to the site of myself wearing makeup!
Cleaning the kitchen is one of those things that I know needs to be broken down into daily tasks but an actual plan of action seems to elude me. I always seem to get the bare minimum done… aka cleaning the counters so I can prepare the day’s meals or loading/unloading the dishwasher so we have clean dishes to eat off of. But cleaning the spray off the backsplash and stove, wiping down the walls, or cleaning up stray peas underneath the kitchen table… forget it! This year I totally planned to hire someone to clean the kitchen for me 2-3 times a month but contributing to our retirement accounts before the deadline has taken precedence. It’s always something. Even though I LOVE the idea of having outside help, and I DO hire someone a couple times a year, I really struggle with forking over money for something I can do myself.
So I decided to sit down and write out a 30 day plan to see if I can tackle this once and for all. We shall see how it goes. I figure each item should only take 10-15 minutes tops and it will hopefully help me stay on top of the kitchen so it never gets so bad I decide that takeout sounds like the best option. I plan to hang this on the fridge and check things off each day after the relevant task is accomplished. I have my bottle of vinegar, castile soap, and tea tree oil at the ready. I also acquired a Neato Automatic Vacuum Cleaner that will clean of debris from my kitchen floor for me. I just have to remember to press the button at least once a day and “Cheese” as my son lovingly named him, will cleanup those stray peas for me. As a bonus he will even clean the rest of the first floor! I highly recommend a Neato if it is in the budget.
So…assuming that I can make the time to wipe down counters and do the dishes daily here are my 30 day tasks…
1. Wipe down all appliances (stove, fridge, Vita-Mix, ect. )
2. Wipe down and de-grease cabinets
3. Mop floor
4. Wipe down and de-grease the backsplash
5. Deep clean and shine sink
6. Clean the trash can inside and out
7. Clean drawers and declutter counters
8. Mop Floor
9. Wipe down all walls and baseboards
10. Clean out the fridge/freezer
11. Wipe down all appliances (stove, fridge, Vita-Mix, ect. )
12. Clean under the fridge and stove
13. Mop floor
14. Deep clean and shine sink
15. Wipe down and de-grease cabinets
16. Clean windows and sills
17. Clean out the pantry
18. Mop floor
19. Wipe down all appliances (stove, fridge, Vita-Mix, ect. )
20. Deep clean and shine sink
21. Deep clean stove
22. Wipe down interior of cabinets and pantry
23. Mop floor, wipe down and de-grease the backsplash
24. Wipe down all walls and baseboards
25. Dust light fixtures and vent covers
26. Wipe down all appliances (stove, fridge, Vita-Mix, ect. )
27. Deep clean and shine sink
28. Mop floor
29. Organize pots and pans
30. Wipe down and de-grease the backsplash
Do you have any advice or tips to offer?
Most people think of ginger as the spice that is used in baked goods or Asian soups for it’s wonderful almost woodsy flavor. But, people in other countries have not only used ginger as a spice in their food for centuries, but for its medicinal benefits as well. While some of the health benefits of ginger are well known throughout the world new benefits of this incredible spice is being discovered all of the time. Here are some of the health benefits and uses of ginger.
Ginger Tea For A Variety Of Ills
Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid and tea made with ginger is used to help with digestion problems, ease menstrual cramps, and soothe stomach upset. Drinking a cup of ginger tea before going on a car trip can help prevent or ease motion sickness. Because ginger tea aids digestion scientists now think that it may actually aid in weight loss which makes sense since ginger is what is known as warm spice and may increase metabolism which aids in weight loss.
Inflammation And Pain Relief
Ginger also contains properties that make it helpful in reducing both inflammation and pain. People suffering from arthritis who eat food seasoned with ginger and drink ginger tea report a reduction in both joint pain and inflammation. This is important because it decreases their dependence on subscription and Over the counter drugs which often have negative side effects.
Studies also suggest that ginger can help prevent kidney damage for people who diabetes. This is extremely good news because this means that diabetics may well live longer healthier lives.
Ginger Fights Cancer
In studies done at the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota it has been proven that ginger may well prevent or slow certain types of cancer. The University of Michigan study showed that when ginger powder was applied to ovarian cancer cells they induced the cells to die. While more studies need to be done this is good news for cancer researches and may help to reduce the incidents of ovarian cancer in our lifetime.
The study at the University of Minnesota was just as promising. This study showed that ginger could actually slow the growth of colon cancer. Again more studies need to be undertaken in this area, but further studies may find that the right amount ginger may well kill colon cancer cells as well. In addition, earlier studies suggest that colon cancer may have it’s start in poor digestion and since ginger aids digestion it just may help not only treat colon cancer, but prevent it as well.
Who could have guessed that that simple spice sitting in your kitchen cabinet could be so good for your health or have so many benefits. Maybe it’s time you took a new look at what ginger can do for you.
Suggested Reading: Ginger: Common Spice and Wonder Drug
When bringing home a new baby, parents want to create a warm, loving and safe home where their child can grow and flourish. One way that new parents can help ensure the safety of their precious little ones is by choosing environmentally friendly products, which are free of toxins and hazardous substances. Bringing a new baby home can be a powerful motivator to go green and natural.
Many parents decide to seek the greenest products they can find for their baby and look for organic cotton baby clothing, foods, and bathing supplies, since their baby is in such close contact with those products. And while that is an excellent starting point, parents who want to provide their baby the safest nursery possible are also choosing eco friendly baby furnishings and gear.
New trends in eco friendly baby furnishings include organic cotton bedding sets and mattresses made of natural fibers and free of toxins. Considering how many hours new babies spend sleeping, furnishing baby’s nursery with an environmentally safe crib and bedding is a logical choice. If a family bed is where baby will be sleeping then everyone benefits from sleeping on safe green sheets and blankets. When choosing the color palate for baby’s nursery, more parents are also opting for paints with low (or no) volatile organic compounds (VOCs), to avoid harmful paint fumes.
The availability of an increasing number of eco friendly baby gear items also reflects that parents are becoming more aware of the benefits of providing baby with green baby products. Whether it is organic fiber baby carriers, organic cotton shopping cart covers, or smartly designed eco friendly strollers, parents can offer their babies the benefits of having all the environmentally safe comforts of home even while traveling. If you can’t afford the often times pricier premiums on greener products it is perfectly acceptable, and planet friendly, to buy used.
Even stylish baby accessories are going green–Moms love slinging hip organic fiber baby bags over their shoulders! Eco friendly toys, such as teethers, rattles, blocks, puzzles and bath toys are being made with organic and/or natural materials and are free of harmful chemicals.
Parents who choose organic baby bedding, strollers, clothing, and other eco friendly baby gear, enjoy greater peace of mind that their baby is nestled in comforting and safe surroundings right from the very beginning.