sustainablespu

Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese


Food Waste Coming into the Limelight –Highlights from John Oliver


The issue of food waste is not just one here in Seattle—it’s a nationwide issue that starts with the way we produce food and only becomes more of a problem as food finds its way to consumers. John Oliver recently dedicated a segment of his show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to this growing problem (Warning: It’s John Oliver, so be prepared for your facts to come served with a sprinkling of obscenity and a hearty side portion of dark humor). This caught the attention of many media sites, which is great news! The more people who become aware of this problem, the more we can do to change it. Here are some of the highlights of his 17 minute segment.

The Stats

In 2012, the Natural Resources Defense Council reported “40% of the food in the United States today goes uneaten.” The USDA’s (United States Department of Agriculture) Economic Research Service 2010 data puts the national percentage at a more conservative 31%. Roughly translated, this means that a third of all the food produced in America is wasted.

Screen-Shot-2015-07-20-at-6.25.03-AM

Food Waste in a landfill in California

Continue reading

Advertisements


2 Comments

S.P.A.C.E., Summer Veggies and the Benefits of Gardening


S.P.A.C.E. stands for Seattle Pacific Agriculture for the Community and Environment, and is a club on campus that stewards over the community garden for SPU. That garden is located on 4th Ave. W. behind the Dravus Lot, and is a great place to get involved over the summer. From my experience very few people I’ve talked to on campus even know that it exists, and that’s why I’m writing about it!DSCN1009

This garden I have visited a few times, but have yet to put much work into. I have contacted the club leaders and will start watering the plants this week. Summer is a great season for plants to soak up the sun here in Seattle, and there are many fruits and veggies that thrive in the warm weather that we’ve been having with the proper care and watering. I’m going to outline a few below, and use this research to help me narrow down which ones to plant in addition to the ones already growing in our garden. Continue reading


Spring has sprung! –Some spring cleaning ideas and ways to brighten the days with Seattle showers


The first step to enjoying spring (if you aren’t already) is to prepare for all the fun you’ll be having and carve out some space to enjoy the wonderful things that come with spring. Hopefully you’re already doing a few of these!

1) Spruce up your closet – (Donate, Shuffle, or Re-purpose)

Spring cleaning is not complete without going through your wardrobe. I know it’s time to do some rearranging when I have to dig past sweaters to get to t-shirts and tank tops. It’s helpful to go through clothing when the seasons change to see what you will continue to use as is, what you want to donate, and what you might want to give a face lift.donation-pick-up

A few ways I adjust my clothes for the new season is through creating cuffs on my jeans, or roll the sleeves on a t-shirt into a tank top. That way you don’t damage the clothes, and can still use them during the colder months.

Re-purposing clothes that have lived a long life in their current state, but still have integrity is another great way to adjust to the changing seasons. If you want to get a bit crafty you can cut up some tattered pieces and create interesting patches on a pair of old jeans or a new pocket on a t-shirt for a face lift. There are many other blogs and the infamous Pinterest for ideas and tutorials, so if you want to know more there are lots of options! Continue reading


5 Tips on keeping your grocery bill green without spending too much green


1) Buy non-perishables in bulk (and bring your own container if possible). Buying canned foods, and buying dry goods such as pasta, flour, sugar, spices in bulk can save a good deal of money and help eliminate waste from smaller packaged items. Another way to apply this principle is buying fresh foods and then freezing them or dehydrating them (if you’re really fancy). Some things that I know freeze well are bread, meats, hearty vegetables like bell peppers and broccoli, and berries (although their texture will be compromised when they thaw). Freezing food is a great way to help with keeping foods longer and preventing those nightly or weekly trips to the grocery store. It can also save you money if you buy produce when it is in season or on sale.

2) Meal planning is an important part of saving money, just like budgeting. Planning what to eat during which weeks will help you decide what non-perishables to buy and stock up on, and which foods you can wait to buy until they are a bit cheaper. This meal planning should revolve around your favorite fresh produce, and when it goes on sale. Pairing non-perishable staples with fresh produce will not only help save your wallet, but is also a great way to have balanced nutrition and avoid expensive processed and packaged food. This takes a bit of time but is worth it when you are satisfied with your food budget and delicious meals. Continue reading


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


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


The Benefits of Soybeans


basket-of-soybeansYou may have noticed Soybeans or Edamame being served as an appetizer when you eat out, or perhaps you’ve discovered them through your own curiosity. Either way, these fuzzy-shelled guys are deceptively delicious. While they may look like just another vegetable (even though they’re technically a legume), soybeans are super yummy, especially with the addition of some salt on the pod. Fortunately said yumminess does not, in this case, mean that soybeans aren’t as healthy as they look. The fact is that soybeans have many health benefits, and you don’t have to feel guilty about eating them at all. Quite the contrary. See below for some reasons soybeans are both tasty and healthy: Continue reading