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Nature without an effort surpasses art. -Latin Proverb


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The Coffee Obsession (Part One)-


It’s no surprise that Seattle is known for coffee. As home of the original Starbucks and a geographic location that can often have dreary weather it makes sense that most Seattleites carry around a hot caffeinated beverage, especially during the winter months. How much damage has this obsession or need done to the environment though?

I was pleasantly surprised to realize though that the paper cups our liquid energy comes in are recyclable, and so are their cozy little jackets that prevent burned hands and their lids. This is not a recent development for Seattle, yet it seems that people often don’t know that empty clean paper cups are recyclable. All it takes is a rinse to keep that cappuccino cup from the garbage. These cups are recyclable in Seattle unlike other places, and as a transplant like many other Seattleites, I didn’t realize it before.

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Late to New Year’s Resolutions -3 habit changes you might not have considered


As the month of January is over and February is now fully upon us, where are you at with your New Year’s Resolutions?

Personally I didn’t make any hard and fast resolutions, but a new year is always a good time for a mental check on habits they may not be healthy or that could use some improving. Most people try to eat better, change financial habits, exercise, or quit something they consider a vice. If you’re like me and didn’t make any resolutions (or maybe you did but they aren’t working out), now is a good time to try again. Here are three ways to make a change that isn’t just good for you, but exercises one form of sustainability or another.

Recycle, Compost, or Donate: I know that I just blogged about the composting ordinance in Seattle, but even if you don’t live here it’s something to try. Continue reading


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Composting Compulsion – Seattle’s Ordinance to go greener


Two years and six months ago Seattle’s plastic bag ban went into effect, creating a push for paper and reusable bags. At the beginning of this month an ordinance passed to prevent food waste from entering the landfill and encouraging citizens to compost. For me, this is a no brainer, but that is because I grew up in a small town, and became accustomed to recycling and composting (we even had our own pile in our backyard). This however has not been the case for my roommates. There are six of us in our house and not all are native composters, especially since we come from different states with different laws and access for composting. At first, getting our house to compost was challenging, as I believe it is probably the same for people who are adjusting to the ordinance. In the end though, I have celebrated the little victories and appreciated the cooler weather that keeps the bugs away from our food waste bin.

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Tech Tragedies


Have you ever wondered what happens to your old cell phone when you upgrade to a new one, and the store says they can recycle it for you? I definitely have, especially since my two best friends and I have all upgraded to smart phones within the past six months from our old flip and slider phones.  I did some searching to better understand how the complex materials that make up electronics are separated and sorted.Pile of Waste - Electronic Waste Documentation (China: 2007)

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/e-waste-toxic-not-in-our-backyard210208/ Continue reading


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Tis the Season to be Resourceful- Reducing Holiday Waste


As the season of giving and wrapping gifts is upon us, here are some ways to prevent waste in the midst of the chaos. If you want to avoid wrapping all together, you can give experiences like going ice skating or making time to spend a day baking cookies. Making homemade gifts can also be really fun and give your wallet some relief. Decided to go with boxes and bows? Look at these tips below.

1) Wrap gifts with recyclable or reused materials: Using newspaper, fabric scraps, and parts of the gift itself (like a towel or tie) to wrap a gift can not only show off your creativity, but also help reduce how much of your hard work gets tossed in the trash. If you want to go for a greener feel, using pine needles or holly (and other compostable flora) are other ways to brighten up your packages without subjecting to the plastic coated paper and polyester bows. 2) Pack with precision: Finding packaging that is the right size for your gift reduces filler needed for the inside of the package. If you still find yourself needing to add a little cushion to your gifts, using paper, or paper based stuffers instead of plastic or Styrofoam will help the people you are giving gifts to dispose of their packaging easily, because it will all be recyclable.

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Taking a Bike?


That’s right, now in Seattle you don’t have to take a hike (unless of course you want to). Instead you can take a bike with the new  Seattle bike share program, operated by the non-profit Pronto Cycle Share. This program launched in October and was such a hit that it is expanding. Deciding where more of the solar powered bike share stations will go is up to the general public. That includes you, so vote here!

The bike share program encourages Continue reading

Some Food for Thought on Thanksgiving Feasts

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Recently in a health class, my class was shown the documentary Forks Over Knives, which advocates a whole food, plant-based diet. It really prompted me to think about food choices, from a health perspective and an environmental one as well. They mention the amount of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions created in production of food in America, and the statistics had me feeling conflicted about the foods that I love to eat. According to a recent research article from February of this year, food production causes about one fifth of the global greenhouse gas emissions. This article also outlines which foods create more impacts on multiple factors including GHG, land use, irrigated water needs, and reactive nitrogen.

With Thanksgiving this past weekend and Christmas around the corner, Continue reading

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