Catamount Earth Institute EcoChallenge April 2013

Tell us about your EcoChallenge! Click on the Comments. You’ll get the blog posts, starting with the most recent.  You can reply to any of the posts or scroll to the bottom of the posts to where it says LEAVE A REPLY.

 

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53 Responses to Catamount Earth Institute EcoChallenge April 2013

  1. wh0le&h0ly says:

    Vershire Reclaiming

    This past Saturday at the Vershire Library I set up a demonstration of crafts I am making or have made from reclaimed materials: baskets and livestock halters made from baling twine, shoelaces finger-woven from feed sack strings and dyed with used coffee grounds and tea leaves, and a crazy quilt made of fabric scraps discarded by a custom sewing shop and embroidered with stitch patterns reclaimed from antique quilts in the Chelsea Historical Society.

    Barbara, I enjoyed your post about all the niggling little plastic things that remain even when we get into the habit of recycling major items like cans and bottles and newspapers. It seems we never stop learning, and the recycling process changes as well so we need to keep up. We have a small Recycling Education Committee here in Vershire that has put effort into making clear what’s recyclable and what’s not. Sometimes it’s hard to tell! I’ve started using a “questionable” bag for our household where we put things that we’re going to ask about at the recycling center.

    Dawn

  2. E&P says:

    The Challenge gave us structure for thinking about food samples with essentially no waste. It is also a very simple reminder that healthy foods like fruits and vegetables come in their own “packaging” (skin) and anything that we consider waste (peelings, cores, etc) are good food for other things (chickens, worms, etc).

    • uvlocalvores says:

      Yes! E & P – I learned that lesson in doing my first Localvore Challenge – I had very little trash because my food came in its own “packaging. And now my composting worms eat much of the rest.

  3. Elizabeth Ferry says:

    I love Eve’s honesty and creativity. Go Eve!
    I think that the thing that stays with me most is a sentiment expressed by Robert Frost in a poem about how “way leads on to way.” I met my challenge of scheduling a home energy audit. And with that in the works, I’ve also bought one LED lightbulb to see how I like it (I do, and for the rest of the track lighting, I’ll get a soft, rather than bright white bulb). I’ve also consolidated frozen summer vegetables down to one freezer, meaning that I can turn one off. This will reduce our electric consumption–all to the good. Thanks, Barbara and Pat, for the challenge!

  4. uvlocalvores says:

    My Eco-Challenge was 3-pronged: 1) two weeks of saving trash, 2) 2 weeks of not using my car at least 4 times per week, and 3) one week of eating locally (100-mile diet), An interesting conflict of values was local eating vs not driving: I can walk to Lebanon Village Market, but they have very few locally-grown products. The Lebanon Co-op is several miles away, but is a great source of local foods. (I was able to walk to the Lebanon Farmers Market but that occurs only once a month in winter.) I am a firm believer in “cradle to cradle” – that we should give back to the earth that which is taken – yet I have not paid sufficient attention to all the newspapers that could so easily go back to the earth. I’ve resolved to shred my newspapers and add them to the compost pile in the community garden.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi. Eve in Tunbridge, and I ended up doing an “anti-challenge” I think – seeing how other people live! I’d done a 100 mile diet in the late winter before, and also a 10 mile diet in the summer for 2 weeks, I think coffee was my only wildcard. I was going to do the 100 mile diet again, but this ended up being a bad two weeks. So I thought to do a “clean out the freezer, no shopping” 2 weeks, which really would mostly be very local stuff anyway, and then my husband went out and bought a whole bunch of not particularly local food before we were leaving on a trip, so we had to eat that! So what did I end up doing?

    First week. I carpool with a colleague a few days a week into Hanover for work. The days I don’t, it is because our schedules — afternoon meetings, usually — don’t mesh, and it is just sooooo inconveniet, so 2 days that week, I carpooled anyway. (in addition to the 2 that worked out timewise).

    Second week – we went to Maine for a few days to visit my husband’s family, and to go on some beer tours. Bad thing: I drove to Maine. Good thing: I left my car at the hotel the whole time and planned activities around not having a car. The beer tour was in a mini-bus, and every seat was full, and then for dinner, etc., we just walked.

    The anti-challenge. I tried to get reservations to a local food place in Portland, but it didn’t work out. We ate at regular brew pubs, and I did pay the extra $1.50 for local meat on a burger. But breakfast was free at the hotel and I ate that. I do not usually eat commercial, “regular”, food. Like yoplait yogurt, and who knows what those eggs were. I don’t think they were eggs. And the make your own waffles tasted like plastic (I couldn’t make myself eat the fake syrup, but put butter and Smuckers strawberry jam on them). So maybe it was just a good reminder that what most people are eating doesn’t even taste like food. Everything was either too sweet or too salty. Those were the dominant flavors, except some chemically thing that sort of tasted like fake hazelnut. And the consistency of everything was just strange. Either rubbery or slimey. So back to mostly local, all the time, for me!

    Nice thing in Maine: One of the “breweries” was Urban Farm Fermentory (spelling?) which makes cider – very local apples, mead and kombucha (and they don’t process the alcohol out of the kombucha, they have to sell it as alcohol as it contains about 1.5%). I brought home some Maine Blueberry kombucha, although the tea wasn’t very local to Maine! And on the beer bus, we had wonderful local soft pretzels for snacks with equally wonderful locally made mustard.

    • Hi Eve,

      I really appreciated your blog. It seems that “life” gets in the way of our intentions. The rubbery or slimey food hit the nail on the head for what lots of people accept as standard fair. Ugh!!

  6. phoebeschwarz says:

    This post is from my daughter, Hannah…
    There are many benefits to helping the earth, and there are a lot of fun ways to do so. My family chose a couple of ways for us to help the earth, one of which is taking shorter showers. Most of the showers were approximately three minutes long. We also tried to go one week without buying anything. We eventually bought two candy bars at CVS pharmacy in Hanover, NH. Our family also watched the documentary Super Size Me, which filmed a man eating straight McDonald’s food for 30 days. You would not believe what fast food can do to you! The earth gives us a place to live, fresh air, trees, and almost anything else you could think of; the least we could do is keep it healthy.
    Hannah Schwarz

  7. Michael Schwarz - East Thetford says:

    My Eco-Challenge list of daily actions which have helped conserve our natural resources includes infrequent use of paper towels, a brief rigorous daily shower (2 minutes or less), flushing only when necessary, turning lights off which are not needed, not exceeding posted speed limit on the highway to conserve fuel, recycling everything possible, and composting all possible items that will break down in a reasonable amount of time.

  8. uvlocalvores says:

    Flour tortillas are a mainstay of my quick meals repertoire: quesedillas, burritos, chimichangas – could I make my own tortillas for this week of my 100-Mile Diet EcoChallenge? Cedar Circle makes whole wheat flour and they also make sunflower oil . . and they sell dried black beans – check out my Black Bean Chile Chimichangas! http://uvlocalvores.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/100-mile-diet-chili-chimichangas/

  9. Barbara Duncan says:

    Hi Folks,
    I’d abandoned my saga of waste because my chest was puffing up with the lack of waste, . . . but
    the waste is back and it’s all plastic!
    I was reminded that every day I toss syringes used to provide our diabetic cat with insulin.
    Items that I’ll put in the zero sort recycling: a milk top and the ring that holds it on
    Items that probably can also go in zero sort: the plastic wrapper for Celestial Seasoning; a tortilla bag, a Co-op bag that held raisins;
    Trash? A plastic top surrounding the top of an olive oil bottle. A chicken stock box finished up from months ago. I’d rather make the stock, but we’re not eating chickens.
    Recycling ideas?

    Meanwhile, my main Ecochallenge has been to call past sponsors of the Northwest Earth Institute discussion courses to tell them about the newest courses and try to generate some interest. I’ve contacted 20 former sponsors. Lots of fun to reconnect!

    Hope you see many of you on Earth Day, this Mon., April 22 at 6 pm at the Norwich Congregational Church for a celebratory potluck. RVSP to me!

  10. Elizabeth Ferry says:

    The hard part is done–I’ve spoken with a home energy auditor and made an appointment. The EcoChallenge helped me to set a definite time frame for doing this. And I credit the wonderful words from Linus Pauling: “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.” I look forward to learning from this audit and, going forward, how it will be an avenue for learning more about house construction, energy, and efficiency.

  11. Elizabeth Ferry says:

    On a related topic, I am looking for a store with a good selection of indoor LED bulbs. Our local (White River Valley) hardward store has some, but it is (understandably) a limited selection. Is there a place in the central Upper Valley that you would recommend?

  12. E&P says:

    We’re pretty jazzed about our upcoming sampling on Friday. Not only will we have all compostable stuff, the food is either locally grown or from local businesses. We vary what we put out for sampling throughout the day (the Market is open 7am-7:30pm) with 2 or 3 things out at any given time. Okay, here’s the list so far: Maple Pecan Sticky Buns (maple syrup from VanAlstyne Family Farm, E. Barnard), cheese with Wild Fern Bakery (Stockbridge, VT) homemade bread, roasted parsnips, honey and maple syrup sampling from a new vendor, Sustainable Farmer based in Windsor, VT, and we’re working on the details for another business based in WRJ. He uses biodegradable tasting spoons–a new product to me so we can learn from him. It’s interesting how things come in to focus when you are looking for them.

  13. uvlocalvores says:

    One thing I love about the 100-Mile Diet EcoChallenge is the nudge to try something new. Blue Ox Farm had their newly harvested parsnips at the Norwich Farmers Market this weekend and I had a supply of Killdeer carrots, and Autumn Harvest onions . . . and my own garden garlic. I made Parsnip-Carrot Soup using Emeril Lagasse’s recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/parsnip-carrot-soup-recipe/index.html Delicious! The parsnips were so sweet! I used 2% milk instead of 1/2 and 1/2 with a dab of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of chives (frozen last Fall.) What a tasty lunch!

  14. I’m partway through my challenge–retraining myself to use less water while doing the dishes. We have an on-demand hot water heater which saves us heaps on electric bills but has the drawback that you do not get hot water at the faucet until all of the cold water in the pipe that runs from the heater to the faucet has cleared out. The idea is to be creative about capturing that cold water for other purposes. In winter we fill a jug with it and use it to fill the steamer on top of the wood stove. In spring, we water seedlings with it.

    • Barbara Duncan says:

      Hi Karen,
      I love your creativity with your luke warm water. We had an on-demand hot water heater for years. I remember trying to pool activities (no pun intended). We’d go from dish washing to kids’ baths.

  15. Elizabeth Ferry says:

    While I’m waiting for the energy audit to be scheduled, I’m reading a book that I recommend highly: The Homeowner’s Handbook to Energy Efficiency, A Guide to Big and Small Improvements by John Krigger and Chris Dorsi. I got it at the Central VT Community Action Council’s hands-on “Skillshop” this winter. It’s informative, readable, and well illustrated.

  16. E&P says:

    We are E&P–Elizabeth and Patty–and we work at the South Royalton Market. Elizabeth does Education & Community Outreach; Patty is the chef. Our challenge is to produce compostable waste at the Market’s monthly 3rd Friday Member Appreciation Day (also known as MAD). It’s a something that we’ve been coordinate on for a while and the EcoChallenge is helping us to try it on a manageable scale. We realize that serving finger foods, “edible plates” (like crackers, bread, chips), and toothpicks will help us reach our goal. (What we’ll do when we want to sample out a hot liquid, we don’t know. Maybe, if it is coffee, it qualifies for the Marco Polo exception, too 🙂 Good timing for Earth Day: a new vendor, Sustainable Farmer brand, based in Windsor, VT, will be up to sample out honey and/or maple syrup.

  17. My waste reduction included trying to use less packaging when buying fish from the Co-op. Marc Morgan suggested using a (recyclable) glass jar. The fish guys said that their fish bags are #5 plastic just like the plastic containers, which I thought might have a better chance of being recycle.

    You and I can learn more about plastics and other recycling at:
    Trash Talk:
    The Changing Flow of Commercial & Institutional Waste Streams in the Upper Valley

    A symposium for gaining a deeper understanding of downstream processes, markets, and developments

    DHMC Auditorium F
    Tuesday, April 30, 9am – 1pm.
    It’s free and open to the public. You need to register with Trash Talk:
    The Changing Flow of Commercial & Institutional Waste Streams in the Upper Valley

    You need to register with john.s.leigh@hitchcock.org

    Speaking of registering, I hope you’ll come to the our EcoChallenge Earth Day celebration on Mon. April 22 at the Norwich Congregational Church from 6-8.
    If you’re blogging you’re eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from KIng Arthur Flour. More info. later in the week.
    Barbara

  18. I have researched the names of home energy auditors suggested by a trusted contractor and made initial contact. This feels like a big step. I’m thankful for the structure of the EcoChallenge to help me to get around to it.

    • Good for you Elizabeth! I think it can be this step that keeps people from weatherizing your house. My guess is that most of the Home Performance Contractors have made a financial and ethical commitment to helping people have tighter, more comfortable houses, plus they want (and need) to have the furnaces be safe with a good supply of air.I think they’re good people. When I’m not doing Catamount Earth Institute work, I’m spending the majority of volunteer time convincing Vermonters to participate in the Home Energy Challenge to weatherize their houses. It’s gratifying work- just like the EcoChallenge!

  19. Rita says:

    Well, I am trailing behind, all along my intention has been to register. I began my first week by making a big pot of vegetarian soup, each day the soup had a different side dish (could not make it all local). The soup was wonderful, and I ate it for 4 days (my goal was to eat vegetarian for at least 3 days). I continued even while away this past weekend by locating a vegetarian restaurant.
    I love the idea of water conservation; given my frequent visits to an under-resourced country my water taps at home always provoke the question, if I had no water what would I do? This shortens my use and heightens my appreciation for such a wonderful natural resource!
    Thank you Barbara, Localvores and earth stewards!
    Rita

  20. uvlocalvores says:

    Awareness after Week One of evaluating my trash: Day after day I stuff discarded newspapers in my recycle bag and, eventually, take them out to the recycle bin. One day’s paper does not raise an alarm, but having saved and photographed my recyclables this week, I realize it would save a lot of trucking, and enrich my garden, if I would shred the newspapers and add them to the community garden compost bin. I found many sites online that advise this- See http://greenliving.nationalgeographic.com/compost-newspapers-2888.html It might even be worth it to buy a paper shredder, but I will borrow one first to experiment. I expect that my composting worms might like shredded newspaper for bedding too.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi there!
    I am Wendy Judge and am posting to say that I’d like to no longer buy bottled water. I like cold… and easy-access water to drink during the day at work and have tried before to bring water in a bottle but haven’t liked the available bottles. If I have to open it each time to drink and it s warm on my desk… it’s less appealing. I did buy a new bottle which is almost like having a glass of water in front of you all day and it’s great and very helpful. One week down…!!!!

  22. I’m Elizabeth from East Barnard. My challenge is to get a home energy audit. We heat with wood, propone, and solar gain. I think that fracking is environmental suicide, so, as a first step, I want to make sure that we’re using heating energy as efficiently as possible. I like the EcoChallenge format because it gives me a timeframe to do this in. I have a list of auditors recommended by a contractor who I like to work with. I plan to do some of the ‘buttoning up’ work myself.

  23. Phoebe here…
    Sharon, I am wowed by your soup pot garbage collection. How many people in your household?

    On another note… did you all hear that terrible noise??? Well, it was me preparing for a wonderful House Concert at my home this coming Sunday and I went shopping for some of my needs at BJ’s…I think I may have just negated any positive challenges that will come from my upcoming Eat Local Week and Non-Packaged Foods by shopping today. I am preparing for aver 40 people at my home…yikes. Talk about packaging and poor planning on my part.

    • Phoebe, there are only two of us, but when the kids/grandkids come to visit (an extra 5) they are as good as we are about their consumer habits. I have trained the fish guy and my husband to buy (green) fish from the coop in the white paper which I recycle or reuse. I have suggested they not use plastic bags at the coop.

  24. Jean says:

    I plan to eat local foods for one week, with the exception of a few “wild cards.” My wild cards will be
    coffee, tea, olive oil, and some spices. I have some foods that I grew last summer in my freezer that I plan to use, and will visit the Norwich Farmer’s market on Saturday to see what foods I can get. Some early greens,
    maybe?
    Jean from Hanover

    • Hooray Jean, I’m glad you got on to the blog! Happy eating!
      Non local eating came right along with my waste creation today. I ate a blood orange this morning (from Italy!!!!- I didn’t look until I removed the label – a piece of waste). At least the label is small and fairly biodegradable. That’s better that the plastic wrap covering the gift wrap that will make my mother very happy. It will cover for her previously mentioned 2nd hand book, a birthday gift. Let’s not count the 300 miles round-trip this weekend. At least there are 2 of us and we’re in a Honda hybrid.

  25. Barbara’s message about waste reminded me how little I waste. I have a teeny, weeny garbage can under my sink. It is a soup pot. On top of that is the kitchen compost bucket. I have to empty the compost bucket every three days. I empty the soup pot garbage can every few weeks. I line it with a plastic bag but I never throw that away until it gets really gross. My friend told me to line my garbage pot with newspaper. I haven’t figured out how to do that easily. We hardly waste food. We don’t eat meat. My last lab dog ate the ends of carrots and beans but my current dog won’t so I have to compost them.
    I have always tried not to buy any packaging so that I don’t have to recycle (or throw away). Just like Pat said, aiming for zero. It can be done but it takes thoughtful purchasing.
    Sharon

    • uvlocalvores says:

      Agreed, “it takes thoughtful purchasing”. I am now keeping a selection of jars and plastic bags in my car so I can buy in bulk – a good way to avoid packaging. We can buy olive oil, tamari, flour, grains, coffee, peanut and almond butter, nuts, granola, spices, maple syrup, honey, dish and laundry detergent, etc. re-using our own containers.

  26. As I mentioned, I’m tracking my waste. I want to have no waste (and think that I have almost no waste), but here’s the stuff:
    A candy wrapper (ah, there was a butterscotch candy at the front desk when I visited a friend at Genesis).
    Two plastic strips that held library book bar codes to a book – a 2nd hand purchase for my mom’s 92nd birthday.
    One little piece of not very sticky duct tape. I needed two little pieces to hold my aging bathing cap together.
    Another 2nd hand book’s on its way. What will the next waste be?
    Barbara

  27. gbrooks2013 says:

    I’m Gary from Hanover. My EcoChallenge is to walk everywhere in Hanover that I would otherwise drive. This is not only good for the environment, but also saves me about $1 a day in parking costs.

  28. rdesilets says:

    Took the bus to work today – well, halfway at least. The half from Hanover to Centerra Parkway I ended up walking on account of watching my connecting bus pass me by as I walked to my next bus stop (oops!!). Well worth it – early morning exercise felt amazing!

  29. I didn’t realize when this actually started!
    So I walked all winter and will continue to walk or bike to work from Norwich to DHMC depending on the weather. I walked today.
    I brought my lunch, homemade yogurt from Coop milk which I ate with my bamboo utencils and will wash my dishes (nothing to trash or recycle)
    I hung my clothes up to dry (yesterday and all winter) and used cold water to wash them.
    I am carpooling to Lebanon to my music lesson later this afternoon.
    I am studying up on how to get rid of my oil heat. Solar hot water was pumping this weekend!
    That’s about it for today but most of my days are identical.

  30. rdesilets says:

    Hi all,

    First, I have to admit that I’m not as ambitious as Phoebe and family. I have a couple of simple goals that I hope I can take beyond the weeks for the eco-challenge, so I didn’t want to take on something I knew I wouldn’t stick.

    First goal: General water conservation. I find that whenever I come back from traveling to a country where water is more of a concern than it is here, I’m much more conscientious of my water use. I limit shower time, doing all shaving and lathering with the water turned off, turning it on only to rinse. I also pay more attention to the water flow when doing dishes, etc. I plan to be more aware of my water usage. This morning, I shut off the shower water to shave/lather, and besides being a little chilly, it worked out just fine.

    Second goal: Take the bus twice a week in lieu of driving. This one is a little tough because I always seem to have errands to do and the bus adds quite a bit of time onto my commute. But I plan on using that time wisely – knitting or walking a few blocks when bus transfers don’t align.

    There you have it! Small goals but ones I can (hopefully) stick with for weeks, months and years to come.

    Thank you for the motivation.

    Rebecca Desilets

    • Hi Rebecca,
      One the concerns I had in planning the EcoChallenge was that having many different challenges would be confusing. Instead, I’m finding it inspirational because of people’s choices and solutions to challenges. I’m going to add tracking my waste (and of course try to have almost none).
      Barbara Duncan

  31. uvlocalvores says:

    Phoebe, Mike, and Hannah hae sparked me to make my EcoChallenge multi-faceted:

    1. One week of the 100-Mile Localvore Diet with “wildcards” for salt/spices, leaveners, coffee/Black tea. and olive oil.
    2. Save all food/kitchen related trash, even recyclables. (I will not save the food scraps going to my composting worms or the compost pile.
    3. At least four No-Car days in each of the two weeks.

    Let the EcoChallenge begin!

  32. Our week of buying Nothing was from March 22 -29. I have to say that I bought a gallon of milk the day before we started as I knew we would not have enough for the week. I also did get some Jim Beam beforehand as well, since I did not want to run out of that either!!
    So….how did we do??
    Hannah and Mike purchased 2 candy bars and a metal shelf bracket on Sunday the 24 th and that was it.
    Not too bad, I’d say. It was fun and interesting to do. We had some odd meals, used up a bunch of stuff from the freezer(which was great) and all in all rose to the occasion.
    Our water conservation of 3 minute showers has begun…and for dish washing in the kitchen,Hannah had the idea to full up one side of our sink with hot soapy water in the morning to act as a pre-soak to washing dishes. We have no dishwasher and the pre-soak helps a lot.
    We watched the documentary “Super Size Me” together. It was an eye opening film. Hannah said that she never wants to have another chicken nugget again in her life–well, not from a fast food joint!!!
    We are going to plan our 100-mile menu this week-we are just going to do that for one week.
    Cheers
    Phoebe

  33. Pat, the Beidler whole wheat flour (and I think spelt flour) are at the Hanover Co-op. The Co-op stores also have Pete’s Greens carrots (and potatos?) so we can get some local vegetables.

    Could readers Challenge be to challenge others to join them? A little friendly competition and support helps us all as we share our planet’s resources.

  34. uvlocalvores says:

    Phoebe, Mike, and Hannah have inspired me to add a week of the 100-mile diet to my own EcoChallenge. April is not an easy time but we are so lucky to have winter farmers markets. We also have Neighboring Food Co-ops frozen green beans, broccoli, and corn at some of the coops. We have several sources of breads made from locally-grown grain. I’ve done a little research and this is what I’ve found:

    * Trukenbrod breads can be found at Upper Valley Food Co-op – wheat, spelt, rye, sunflower seeds, and flax all come from Cedar Circle Farm. Baked each Tuesday.

    * Green Mountain Flour: They have 100% local breads made with Vermont organically grown wheat and corn. The corn is from Great River Farm in Windsor. The current batch of wheat is from Ken VanHazinga in Shoreham, VT, being stored by Jim Greer at Great River Farm. Currently rye and oats are the only grains they don’t source locally (yet).” Check Green Mountain Flour’s schedule for bread varieties – I know they usually have GMF pizza shells in the bread section at the Leb Co-op.

    * Red Hen Cyrus Pringle bread – available at Hanover, Leb, WRJ co-op (on a schedule? It was at the Leb Co-op on Tuesday)

    * King Arthur “VT Grains bread” – baked on Tuesday – available at their store (and UVFCo-op?)

    If we are to bake bread ourselves I know there is Beidler whole wheat flour and spelt flour in bulk at the Lebanon Co-op. UVFC too?

    I am taking “wildcards” for salt/spices, coffee, tea, leavening agents, and olive oil.

  35. Well, we finally figured out what our EcoChallenges will be leading up to Earth Day 2013!!
    Trash–we will try to buy nothing for 1 week
    Trash and Food-we will buy non-packaged food
    Water-3 minute showers
    Food-100 mile radius–basically VT and NH
    Food-we are going to watch Super Size Me and are also going to attend the Genetic Roulette film tomorrow night at the Upper Valley Food CO-op!!
    Cheers and thanks so much for this great idea and fun way to improve ourselves and our Earth.
    Phoebe

  36. Happy Monday–This is the first time ever writing on a blog as well as taking the EcoChallenge. My family has not yet decided on our challenges but we have a long list of choices that we have been talking about recently. I think we are going to pick one thing from each category. Stay tuned for more details from our home !!!
    Phoebe Schwarz, East Thetford

  37. It’s great to be doing this EcoChallenge with Pat. I’ve decided to focus on starting the two-session Northwest Earth Institute (NWEI) discussion series on energy called “Powering a Bright Future.” We all need to confront our energy use and our energy sources. I think the NWEI readings and discussions are a highly effective way to inform and motivate people to reduce our energy use and use renewable energy sources.
    Barbara Duncan, Fairlee

  38. uvlocalvores says:

    I’m Pat from Lebanon. My EcoChallenge is to save all kitchen trash, even items that are recyclable. Recycling takes energy – I want to be able to look at the waste I am generating and whittle it down. Can I reduce? Reuse? What would it take to get to ZERO waste?

    • My waste reduction included trying to use less packaging when buying fish from the Co-op. Marc Morgan suggested using a (recyclable) glass jar. The fish guys said that their fish bags are #5 plastic just like the plastic containers, which I thought might have a better chance of being recycle.

      You and I can learn more about plastics and other recycling at:
      Trash Talk:
      The Changing Flow of Commercial & Institutional Waste Streams in the Upper Valley

      A symposium for gaining a deeper understanding of downstream processes, markets, and developments

      DHMC Auditorium F
      Tuesday, April 30, 9am – 1pm.
      It’s free and open to the public. You need to register with Trash Talk:
      The Changing Flow of Commercial & Institutional Waste Streams in the Upper Valley

      You need to register with john.s.leigh@hitchcock.org

      Speaking of registering, I hope you’ll come to the our EcoChallenge Earth Day celebration on Mon. April 22 at the Norwich Congregational Church from 6-8.
      If you’re blogging you’re eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from KIng Arthur Flour. More info. later in the week.
      Barbara

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