Friday, March 30, 2012

Breaking News!

My friend Carlin at Brookfield Residential has been shopping for tumblers (for Brookfield's new Chappelle Community Garden) and sent me this picture she shot at costco yesterday.

Check out that price! It is sooo good to see quality and durability increase while prices decrease.

This unit holds a lot and will last many years.

So, will you run out and get one right away, or wait for a better deal next week.

Why Use Plant Based Plastics?

If you checked out our poll, you probably guessed that RSVP does not belong, and that is because it is not an alternative to plastic.

Peggy Denny, at the University of Guam, explains the difference between a few types of plant-based biodegradable materials.

"Corn-type plastics are made from processing harvested corn into starch, and this is then turned into sugar. The sugar is then converted into polylactic acid (PLA), which is then blended with different starches and shaped to create food containers and cups. Using PLA in corn-based plastics conserves energy by using about half the resources that are generally used to produce plastics. Items made of PLA can tolerate temperatures up to 120 degrees, generally cannot be microwaved, but are freezer safe. 
image from:

Similar to PLA, potato starch is a type of PSM or plant starch material. PSM is synthesized from a variety of starches and this process increases the heat-resistant properties of this product. PSM tolerates temperatures up to about 200 degrees, some types are microwavable, and it is freezer safe.

Bagasse products are made from salvaged sugarcane pulp, which is converted to a paper-like substance. Using this end product of sugarcane processing eliminates the burning of the stalks, which contributes to air pollution and greenhouse gases.
Bagasse disposables tolerate temperatures up to 200 degrees, can typically be microwaved, and are freezer safe. "

Read her full article here. Got questions about Biodegradable materials? We will try to find the answers.

(Don't ask me how I know this, but if you reuse these containers, don't pour hot soup into one, unless you want to watch it shrink like the wicked witch of the west.)

Monday, March 19, 2012

How (many) Grand is your Compost Shed?

This wonderful Compost Shed won a prestigious Chairman’s Award for Architecture in the 2010 Scottish Design Awards.

The shed will be a highlight for participants in Edinburgh’s Summer Garden Tours.

Now, compost is important to me, and our piles are like members of the family, but I don't think I would spend $50K on the shed. Having said that, I am now on the lookout for architectural waste that could be incorporated into a compost shed for the back of my garden.

Got a nice compost?

Read more about this shed and the garden tour here.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can this fun be waste-free fun?

This is not a promotional post. Opinions expressed are by the writer themself. Readers should form their own opinion.
I visited a Mexican resort, last month, for my first time.
During our stay, we went to the Xel-Ha "eco park".
Floating Bridge 
lucas berrini,

What the heck is an "eco park"?
Xel-Ha is a theme park with equal portions
  • family-fun activities,
  • food & sun, and
  • learning.
Xelha is a delicate watershed - where fresh water meets the sea. It is a sensitive ecology that is teeming with fish. And crowded with visitors. There's a big buffet. And there were drinks (alcohol and non-).

But there was also bicycling, swimming, snorkeling, and active play too.
And the park includes many signs about tree species, and mammals, and rock features, and fish species. So visitors learn while they play.

Can a theme park also reduce waste?
I was most impressed with their waste. It's one of the first theme parks to receive a Green Globe (certification by Earth Check).