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food waste and freeganism


This is the first post by our newest contributor – Molly Roberts.

It’s 11:45 at night, and I’m bagging and writing off food to throw away. Last night I tossed three garbage bags full of bread products, two with fruits and vegetables, one brimming with meat, and another two with packaged sandwiches, sushi, and convenience meals. At my job – as with all other grocery stores throughout the country – employees must get rid of
food a full day before the “sell by” date. This means that each night literally tons of eatable, nutritious food goes to waste. Studies speculate that American grocers trash enough food to feed all our
country’s malnourished. As of right now, few options exist for reducing this waste as federal health regulations dictate this nightly garbage ritual. And this is why I applaud the “freegan” movement.

The freegan movement started in the mid-nineties as a means of protest against the incredible amount of packaging and food wasted at grocery stores. Freegans, who are not necessarily poor or hungry, salvage food from trash bins outside of stores to make a statement, “stick it to the man!” if you will. Many live completely off the fruits of their labor- quite literally. I’m not suggesting that we all start dumpster diving. It’s against the law and could result in physical injury.

So if taking the garbage plunge isn’t for you, I urge you to participate in donation efforts. Sometimes, the so-called spoiled groceries can be reclaimed by organizations to feed those in need. Either way, it’s important to realize what goes on behind the scenes at your local supermarket, and take it from me, it’s neither energy effective nor humanitarian.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

No Hose Needed: Waterless Car Washing

EcoTouch.gifYes, we all want to keep our hybrids, bio-diesels and fuel-efficient rides sparklin’, but taking a hose to the driveway can cost at-home washers up to 100 gallons of water. On top of that, do-it-yourselfers are likely leaking the contaminated suds into neighborhood runoff drains. Yikes.

Keep things clean and green by switching to a waterless, non-toxic cleaner like Eco Touch. A one gallon bottle of the biodegradable, petroleum-free product will save 800 gallons of water and provide up to 50 “high-quality” washes.

If tediously-clean cars aren’t your thing (hey, dirt barely shows up on silver paint anyway…) opt for the 22-ounce spray bottle ($19.99) that comes with four microfiber towels and free priority shipping.

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wednesday’s mixed bag of green news


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Vermont’s A Stone Wall Inn


One look at this eco property has me wishing for nothing more than a long weekend in Vermont. The state’s greenest inn, A Stone Wall Inn B&B is a “new century escape” that blends design and landscape to appeal to guests and the surrounding environment.

Solar heated, the buildings are constructed of mostly locally milled wood, some of it recycled. Exterior pine siding has been re-used, re-fabricated and utilized as an interior finish. Also inside is a collection of biodegradable detergents, soaps, shampoos and cleaners. Natural fiber fabrics cover beds and outside, herbs, flowers and fruits are grown for jellies and delectable breakfast foods.

During a stay, guests can explore the backwoods of Jamaica State Park, the beautiful Hamilton Falls or the Green Mountain National Forest, or simply spend a day leisurely shopping the area’s many local antique shops.

Rooms start @ $125. For more info, visit

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