Sustainable Eating Plans

What you choose to put on your plate can have the most significant impact on your carbon footprint. At least three times a day, you make choices about how to calm your growling belly and fuel your body – these choices can have a lighter or a heavier impact on Mother Earth. In the modern agricultural system, plant-based foods are grown using synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, and fossil fuels, which degrade the soil and promote monocultures. These plants are fed to animals, often concentrated on farms where the animals live short and miserable lives. Their manure is concentrated, polluting the soil, waterways, and air.

If you are looking to change your eating habits, then here are some ways to do it without harming the environment and taking care of the other parts of the environment.

 

1. Eat more plants

Raising animals for meat and dairy requires space and vast amounts of water and feed. The livestock industry alone causes nearly 15% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. With meat consumption increasing 500% worldwide between 1992 and 2016, it is clear that we need to rebalance our diets by prioritizing veggies while moderating our intake of animal products.

2. Eat more varieties

As 75% of the world’s food supply comes from just 12 plants and five animal species. Greater diversity in our diet is essential, as the lack of variety in agriculture is bad for nature and a threat to food security.

3. Use your voice

There is no need to burn or cut down another tree. There is more than enough land to grow food to feed another 2 billion people by 2050. Help us put pressure on the government by demanding deforestation-free food.
Make a sign placard

4. Find out more about your fish

In the UK, people eat £4.5 billion worth of fish every year. Still, high demand and poor management have led to overfishing, which has dramatically reduced the number of firm favorites, such as North Sea cod and wild Atlantic salmon. When shopping, do look out for labels such as the blue MSC label or ASC, which indicate that the fish comes from a well-managed source and try lesser-known species such as pollock, saithe, and hake.

5. Reduce waste

We know that food waste is a big problem. Almost 30% of the food produced is wasted, with all the consequences for the environment. If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the US. Reduce waste in your household is simple: freeze anything you can’t eat fresh and buy individual products whenever possible, so you can choose precisely the amount you need.

6. Grow your food

It is always better to have fresh, home-grown produce straight from the garden. Not only is it healthy and delicious, but it’s also free of the carbon footprint of store-bought food.

7. Look for products with RSPO certified palm oil.

The unsustainable palm oil is responsible for large-scale deforestation, threatening wildlife such as orangutans and tigers, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and a greater risk of climate change. However, rejecting palm oil altogether may have unintended consequences, as alternatives are maybe even worse for the environment, as up to nine times more land is needed to produce some varieties. When shopping, look for products with RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil.

8. Pass on plastic

Plastic has infiltrated our nature and even our diet. Bring a reusable bag when you store, choose packaging-free fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and ask brands and retailers that continue to use plastic to find alternatives.

9. Eat what’s in season

Try to incorporate seasonal produce from your local farm or greengrocer into your diet whenever possible. This will support the local economy and help you get to know local producers and get tips on preparing seasonal produce.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 4)

In any economy, consumers are usually king. However, greenwashing is a marketing ploy that misleads consumers. As a consumer, you need to be aware of the products you are purchasing.

Below you will find some tips to help you identify and avoid greenwashing!

#1. Knowledge Is Power

People are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

– Hosea 4:6

As a consumer, it is vital that you are aware of the greenwashing techniques used by companies to sell their products. You must be familiar with the terminologies employed such as “all-natural” or “low emission,” etc.

For instance, one should be aware of the sin of irrelevance of greenwashing. For example, a product may claim to be a “CFC- Free” one and the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the law generally bans CFCs, which you should be aware of as a consumer. Know all the greenwashing techniques to stop yourself from getting fooled.

When in doubt, turn to your trusty friend Google! Nowadays, with globalisation and advances in technology, there are many blogs and online forums where green movement activists share and discuss information about companies that convey misleading information about their products.

 

#2. Ask Questions

If you are not sure that a product is genuinely made from recycled materials, don’t hesitate to ask the company questions. When you probe for more details, you will be able to identify whether the company’s claims about their products are valid or not.

 

#3. Don’t Go for Products, Go for Brands

Nowadays, it is easier to find a chocolate producer with three out of its fifty products having been certified as sustainable and eco-friendly. However, it is much more complicated to find a company where all of its products are made from recycled materials and positively impact the environment.

However, the companies that abide by the highest sustainability features when producing their products are not driven by money and profits but instead want to spread their green message to the whole world.

How can you identify such companies?

  • By the word of mouth
  • Their eco-friendly measures described on their websites

#4. Packaging

Like how appearances can be deceptive, the packaging is also one of the elements used by companies to deceive consumers. Suppose that a product is packaged with 100% recycled material, but what about the contents of the product?

Many companies use green-coloured packaging to emphasise the idea that their products are eco-friendly. Some even go as far as including natural imagery like green leaves and animals in a forest. A great example of this is the Huggies Pure and Nature diaper line packaging displaying a child surrounded by green colours. This is intended to show that the child is happy, healthy, and with nature thanks to the product.

Consumers should not be carried away by the packaging of the lovely and “all-green” product!

 

#5. Beware of Buzzwords

Companies often use buzzwords like organic, natural, green, low-impact and eco-friendly to fool customers in buying their products and these words are used without having any legal repercussions.

Here is an extract from the second article in this series, where we talked about the sin of vagueness:

Sin of vagueness is when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.”

To have a green lifestyle doesn’t only mean using products that are labelled green. As a consumer, you are also responsible for the demand and supply of a product and hence you should be able to recognise greenwashing. Please share your comments!

Simplify, Lighten and Clean up: 3 Things We Can All Do to Live Better

You don’t need a list of Eco-products, just a few common-sense ideas that are easy to put into practice. The problem with the lists of recommendations to live better, in a more sustainable way (that is, improving the environment in which we live, in a long way in time) is that some can be followed, but many others cannot, and some are frankly absurd. For example, « use the bicycle to get around » is of little use if you have to take two or three small children to school. To take another example, « take a shower instead of a bath » is something that everyone does without thinking unless they have a lot of free time, a bathtub, and a large capacity water heater. So realistic and operational recommendations come in handy, which anyone can adapt to their particular circumstances to improve their life. Digging through manuals on sustainable lifestyles, we have found these three general ideas, giving a lot of play if you squeeze them a little.

 

#1. Simplify

Smiley Face Of Yellow Dandelions And White Daisies On Green Grass.. Stock  Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 89047622.

We continually complain about the lack of time that our fast-paced lifestyle implies, but the truth is that we do not stop complicating the same. We just have to take a look at the cleaning supplies closet. We may see two dozen different products, from vacuum cleaner dust bag refills to destroyer grease remover. The action to take is to throw everything away (with due precautions) and keep only a broom, a mop, a bar of eco-friendly soap, and a vinegar bottle. We can continue eliminating a few appliances that we have not used since we bought them or give us more work than they take away (in the case of the mythical yogurt maker or the cumbersome fruit and vegetable blender). But the concept of simplification can go further. Back to the example above, the solution to taking the children to their educational destination may be to choose the one in the neighborhood to walk themselves with their friends when they are old enough. Or, for any journey, instead of using a vehicle (public or private), simply walk if the distance is not very long. Obviously, a shower is a simpler option than a bathtub bath; we all agree there. Sweeping or mopping can be easier than using a vacuum cleaner.

 

#2. Lighten

CITMA - Environmental credentials are hotter than ever

In this case, it is the backpack of energy, water, and materials, including food, that we all carry with us. It can be tremendous, in the order of several tons of oil, fifty or more cubic meters of water, and thousands of kilos of various materials, not counting a couple of buckets of different toxic substances. The problem is that the planet does not have enough space for so many people with such large backpacks, and enormous backpacks – some gigantic – are owned by wealthy citizens of rich countries.

To go lighter through life, we only have to find out our backpack’s size or its equivalent ecological footprint. You just have to fill out this survey (it takes two minutes ), and you will see your footprint in terms of planets Earth. That is, if everyone had the same footprint as you, how many planets Earth would we need? The downside is that we only have one. If your footprint exceeds unity (as is often the case), start taking steps to reduce it. Consider a series of ecological transitions, according to your personal and vital circumstance: change the car for the bike (transition in transport), meat for legumes (transition in food), etc.

 

#3. Sanitize

Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips for the Quarantine | Spring Power & Gas

It’s a word with several meanings…Here, we use it to repair and prevent damage. It is about minimizing or completely eliminating the components that your body does not recognize and to which, therefore, it does not know how to react. These are additives in food, pesticides in food, contaminants in fuels, poisons in cleaning products, and so on.

The list is very long, but we can start sanitation by thinking about the activities we carry out. It is enough to simplify (see above) to eliminate all toxins in one fell swoop in cleaning. In food, when we talk about processed foods, armed with a magnifying glass, we can reject all those products packed with additives (they are those that appear with an E- followed by a number, you can consult this guide here). One or two additives may be acceptable, but many foods contain more than three or four and up to ten or twelve of these substances, which indicate very poor quality food. If we buy fresh food, seasonal and organically grown ones are preferable. In transport, the formula is simple, abandon the heat or combustion engine. In terms of DIY, use water-based paints, non-toxic varnishes, etc.

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 2)

In part 1, we were introduced to the world of greenwashing. Do you still remember what is greenwashing? If not, let me refresh it for you!

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies that convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not.

There are many aspects involved in greenwashing and today, we will learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

7 Sins of Greenwashing

Similar to the seven deadly sins, the seven sins of Greenwashing, classified by TerraChoice, are provided below:

1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-Off

The hidden trade-off sin involves a company claiming its products as environmentally-friendly and green based on a narrow set of information without taking into consideration other more critical environmental issues such as gas emissions. The product may appear sustainable while ignoring essential ecological attributes such as the use of toxic chemicals, greenhouse gas emissions and energy use. For example, even though paper might come from a sustainably-harvested forest, it is still not environmentally friendly as the air pollution caused by its manufacturing process can lead to serious health problems such as asthma and upper respiratory tract disease.

2. Sin of No Proof

As the name suggests, this refers to making environmental claims without any easily accessible evidence, such as a reliable certification on either the label or the company’s website to back up claims of eco-friendliness.

This is one of the most widespread greenwashing strategies used by companies as anyone can make baseless environmental claims without any factual evidence. For instance, toilet tissue companies claim that a certain percentage of their products are made from consumer-recycled content. However, no genuine information or factual data has been provided to support that claim.

3. Sin of Vagueness

Remember that interview with Andrew Marr, where Theresa May, the Former Prime Minister of England, had dodged questions by providing vague answers. This also refers to a similar technique used by some companies.

The sin of vagueness refers to when companies use too broad or poorly-defined terms for their products that cannot be adequately understood by the general public. For instance, the word “all-natural” is often used in the environmental claims’ of companies. However, even toxic chemical elements such as Arsenic, Mercury and Uranium are naturally occurring compounds. This means that the term all-natural does not necessarily imply a green and sustainable product.

Moreover, the term chemical-free is also not acceptable as, according to chemists’ perspectives, all objects and substances are made up of chemicals. For example, even water is a chemical. As a result, these words used do not give an accurate picture of the products.

4. Sin of Irrelevance

Another greenwashing ploy is making an environmental claim, which might be true but unimportant and unhelpful. A great and typical example is the advertisement of “CFC- Free” products where the claim might be genuine but unhelpful as the laws generally ban CFCs.

5. Sin of Lesser of Two Evils

Here, the sin is about how the claim about a specific product in a category may be genuine but the whole category itself carries numerous risks. One simple example that will make you understand the concept is the use of organic cigarettes. They may be organic, but they are still cigarettes!

And even a small kid knows the health consequences of cigarettes!

6. Sin of Fibbing

This refers to the sin of advertising and claiming something which is not valid. In simpler words, it refers to lying blatantly. For instance, a company claiming to be Energy Star Certified when it is not or when a car company lies about how its cars emit zero carbon dioxide in the air.

It is about making up false claims, inventing facts and showing fake certificates and this method is genuinely illegal. However, most of the time, the government does not usually catch these companies.

7. Sin of Worshipping False Labels

The last sin refers to when companies create false labels or certifications to lead consumers into deception. It is about misleading consumers into believing that a particular product went through a green check process and is an environmentally-friendly product.

What do you think of these seven sins of greenwashing? Now, can you easily trust advertisement claims about environmentally-friendly products? Please share your comments and don’t forget to come back for part 3!

Greenwashing – The Enemy of Sustainability (Part 1)

Sustainability is meeting our needs without endangering the available resources for future generations. It is a term which you may have heard often. However, have you ever heard of the term ‘greenwashing?’

If not, then get ready to discover and learn more about it in this ongoing series!

What Is Greenwashing?

The United Nations has always supported sustainability efforts and encouraged the worldwide implementation of its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, as per the Nielsen Global Survey, many online customers from over 60 countries agree that they would be willing to pay more for environmentally friendly goods and services. However, instead of genuinely integrating sustainable practices into their business models, some companies make the wrong use of the sustainability concept to boost their profits.

Greenwashing, also known as green marketing, is based on the term ‘whitewashing’. It refers to a type of marketing strategy employed by companies which convey false and misleading information by claiming that their products are environmentally friendly when they are not. Green values and green marketing are used to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s overall production is highly sustainable. It is about companies spending more money trying to persuade consumers that their practices are environmentally friendly than actually making them so. These companies aim to have a more positive impact on consumers and build a better image of their organisation in consumers’ eyes.

A classic case of greenwashing is the Volkswagen ‘Clean Diesel’ engine scandal. The car manufacturing corporation admitted to having cheated with the emission tests to make their cars appear more sustainable than they actually were.

Origins of Greenwashing

The origins of greenwashing can be traced back to 1986, where the hotel industry placed notices in each room asking the guests to reuse their towels to save the environment. At that time, Jay Westervelt, an American environmentalist, noted that there was a considerable amount of wastage in the hotel despite this environmentally friendly act and no real efforts were being done to reduce it and promote sustainability. In the end, hoteliers benefited from the increase in profit due to a reduction in laundry costs.

Around that same period, Chevron, an oil industry company in the United States, ran a campaign called ‘People Do’ where its employees were protecting bears, butterflies and other animals. The series of television and print ads had the sole purpose of convincing people that they have environmentally ethical business practices. The commercials were so persuasive that they even won the 1990 Effie advertising award. However, Chevron was sued by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as it violated the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act by dumping oil in wildlife refuges.

How Greenwashing Works?

To increase the demand for their products, companies make false claims about how their goods are produced from recycled materials, free from chemicals, more natural and biodegradable. Sometimes their claims may be partly accurate, but the companies will tend to exaggerate to convince people to buy from them.

For instance, Tyson Foods, an American food multinational corporation was accused due to their false claims of using antibiotic-free chickens while McDonald’s paper straws were found to be non-recyclable due to the recycling structure in England. Additionally, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) in Germany was subjected to much criticism as rather than being a scientific research organisation as suggested by its name, it is a lobby organisation which spreads fake news on climate change on its website.

Moreover, a rise in demand will lead to an increase in price which will most likely benefit suppliers and hence products are renamed, rebranded and repackaged. They are used to trick consumers into believing that they are sustainable products. For example, words such as ‘go green’, ‘eco-friendly’ are used as marketing ploys. For instance, L’Oreal mislabelled some of its hair products by marketing them as ‘vegan-friendly’ despite having done product testing on animals. As a result, greenwashing is a weapon used by companies to increase their net profit.

Furthermore, the media such as TV commercials and press releases are widely used by both individuals and companies to greenwash their products and services. How can we forget when the former US President Donald Trump claimed to be “the number one environmental President since Teddy Roosevelt” during his speech in Florida?

What do you think now that you have learn about greenwashing? Have you encountered companies who have used such a strategy? Please share your opinions and don’t forget to come for part 2 of this ongoing series to learn about the seven sins of greenwashing!

What Role Does A Land Management Consultant Play in Sustainable Development?

We are constantly being told about various land conservation and sustainable development drives being carried, and famous land management consultants being called in to give their opinion. Have you ever wondered what exactly IS a Land Management Consultant, and what precise role they play? Since I was curious, I decided to dig deeper, and met with the folks over at Land Management Systems in Ringwood to see how they could enlighten me.

The first question I had was – what is a Land Management Consultant? While the job title seems pretty self-explanatory, it involves a lot more than just looking at a plot of land and deciding what you can and can’t do with it. Whether it’s a piece of land being considered for protection or a long-held parcel in need of a management plan, a Land Management Consultant needs to develop a thorough understanding of flora and fauna to offer detailed recommendations for maximizing its potential in a sustainable way.

It’s a career path that suits those who shudder at the idea of spending time in an office. If you prefer fields to filing, you meet one of the criteria for a career in land management.

What Does the Job Involve?

The main focus is to help landowners, farmers and construction contractors maintain and manage their plots of land in the most environmentally friendly manner. You’re likely to be working with a wide range of clients on any given day too. One moment, you could be devising a plan to help Famer McDonald get the most out of his land, the next, you’re working with the local council and using your expert knowledge of environmental and sustainability issues to help preserve the wildlife in national parks and conservation areas, whilst making them accessible for all kinds of people. You could also use the same knowledge to review development plans and help a construction firm obtain their environmental impact assessment report. Like we said, this is not a career path for those who don’t like getting their hands dirty.

What do I Need to Work in Land Management?

If you want to work in this area, it is highly important that you have a passion for the environment. That’s not to say that you should have been implementing land management schemes in your local area since the age of eight, but when applying for these roles you need to demonstrate the fact that this career path genuinely means something to you.

This is where work experience, volunteer work and internships come into play. This will give you a great insight into the industry, help you build up the key skills that you need and show that you care about the environment too.

Some people choose to specialise in one area of land management. For instance, some people might focus their efforts on agricultural land use. Other people decide to focus on the management of forests and woodland areas.

The other important thing you need to make a successful career out of Land Management is people skills. It’s all well and good being passionate about the environment, and you could be a real analytical prodigy, but if you can’t communicate effectively, you won’t get very far. Experience matters a great deal too. Experience helps each consultant understand the job and helps build a network of professionals who may play a role in the management work. A good consultant will know the right loggers, the best seed and plant distributors, and the most reliable labour sources for each job.

I’m sure we can infer that a Land Management Consultant plays a bigger role in conservation and sustainability than a lot of us give them credit for. How about you? Do you feel like Land Management might be something you are interested in? Leave a comment below and share your views!

Disposable: What Is Best for the Environment?

The greenest choice you can make is undoubtedly to stop using disposables. It’s better to avoid using disposable plates, glasses, and cutlery and limit them to those occasions when you can’t do otherwise.
For instance, using durable plates, glasses instead of disposable ones and washing them in the eco mode to minimize water and energy consumption is a wiser option.

But when disposable is inevitable, what is the best choice for the environment? Giving a specific answer is not easy because the data concerning the environmental impact such as water consumption, soil, ecotoxicity, climate change, etc., different items have can be conflicting. However, one of the most eco-friendly solutions is to choose compostable tableware that can be found in the following materials:

Bamboo – Bamboo is a fast-growing material, only 3-5 years old, compared to other conifers that might take 10-20 years. Nonetheless, bamboo plates and cutlery are quite fragile, leading to more waste than other types. If you’re opting for this material, select organic bamboo tableware from sustainable crops and reuse it as much as possible.

Premium Photo | Disposable tableware made of bamboo wood and paper.

Wood- It is biodegradable and compostable. Go for those made of recycled wood. Wooden disposable cutlery can be used several times, so avoid throwing them away after the first use.

Finnish Kuksa - Bushcraft Canada

Potato – Yes! Dishes and bowls can be made from potato paste obtained from industrial potato processing waste. They cannot be reused, but they are biodegradable and become compostable within a few weeks. They can then be used for composting at home as well.

Pulp Tek Round White Sugarcane / Bagasse Extra Large Plate - 11 3/4" x 11  3/4" x 1" - 100 count box - Walmart.com - Walmart.com

Palm leaves – These are obtained by processing and drying palm leaves and are easily compostable. Mixed plant fibers are usually a mixture of bamboo and processing waste of other plant fibers. Look for them with organic certification.

Flat Lay Photos, 168,000+ High Quality Free Stock Photos

Compared to other options such as paper, plastic, cellulose, and others, it is impossible to rank all materials involved according to their environmental impact. Still, we’ve classified them based on their contribution to climate change.

Polyethylene (PE) laminated carton – This is a carton board suitable for food contact, bonded to a thin layer of polyethylene by lamination.

Polypropylene (PP) – It is centrifuged (a technique used to separate particles based on their size, shape, density, etc.) after cleaning, dried, and stabilized with additives before being extruded into pellets.

Polystyrene (PS) – polymer obtained by polymerization of styrene, an aromatic hydrocarbon.

Polylactic acid (PLA) – polymer obtained from plants such as corn, wheat or beets, sugar cane, and rich in natural sugar (dextrose).

Cellulose pulp – Cellulose pulp is obtained from wood by various methods, starting from the trunk or processing waste. The three main pulp production chains are the sulfate cycle (about 80%), the sulfite cycle, and the semi-chemical cycle.

Pulp contributes the least to climate change but is better than PP, PS, and PLA in water and soil consumption. In contrast, the pulp is better than polylactic acid (PLA) because of its ecotoxicity in the marine environment.

Disposable plastic waste accounts for 49% of pollution problems, but eliminating plastic is not enough to improve it. It is essential to correct bad habits and dispose of plastic waste properly so that it can be recycled and reused to the maximum extent possible without ending up in the sea, where it would become dangerous for the marine ecosystem and the food chain to which we belong.

When disposal is unavoidable in some cases, such as events involving large numbers of people or when it is impossible to wash the dishes, try to at least minimize consumption through these good practices:

Choose food and products that do not require containers or cutlery and can be easily eaten with hands.
Ensure that each guest can easily recognize his glass and perhaps the plate and write a symbol or initials on it. In this way, they won’t be using more than one and lead to more waste.

Reuse plates, glasses, and cutlery whenever possible; even « disposable » items can be washed and reused several times, especially those made of bamboo and wood.

Differentiate between the various types of plates, cutlery, and glasses after use, remove food debris, and dispose of them as directed.

What are your thoughts about disposables? Share it with us in the comments below!

Sustainable Food – At What Cost?

Mention a local, sustainable food program to most chefs and foodservice operators, and you might see a glazed look in their eyes. Or worse, they will start shaking, stuttering, and breaking into cold sweats, mumbling something like « it costs too much » while looking for a way out of the conversation. By converting conventional food programs into more sustainable models, I have not only experienced these anxiety symptoms myself, but I have also found a tonic to cure them.

Definition

Sustainable food promotes environmental, economic, social, and nutritional well-being. However, in terms of the exact models of a sustainable food program, whether in a school system, hospital, restaurant, or university, no two models are alike, nor should they be. Locality, fiscal and physical limitations, staff size, and skill level are just some of the factors that make this type of program challenging to replicate. However, when it comes to dollars and cents, each institution shares the same common denominators: food, work, and other expenses. These realities will ultimately be affected – up or down – and that can ensure the success of a program.

The Real Cost of Food

The difference between purchasing sustainably produced food and conventional food is likely to be more generous. And it should be! For too long, we have paid a hidden cost for « cheap food, » and this cost is beginning to manifest itself in countless environmental, health, and trade tragedies. Small and medium-sized farmers and producers deserve a fair price for their efforts, and we must give it to them. The good news is that there is a way to reduce the impact on our bottom line and support these artisans simultaneously.

Many wonder how much more it will cost. Let’s be clear: food costs typically account for one-third of our total expenses. Therefore, any shift to buying more sustainable food will only impact a portion of our total budget. This, coupled with the fact that it is unlikely that we will replace each ingredient with a sustainable equivalent, means that changes in food costs will represent no more than a percentage of your total operating costs.

The food service industry has created its monster. For years, we have responded to customer dissatisfaction with quantity rather than quality. We add more options. We increase the size of the menu, the size of the food court, and everything – including portions! Well, guess what? Customers are often still unhappy. What’s needed is more emphasis on fewer choices. And the results you can expect? Less waste, more attention to detail, more resources for a better quality product.

Labor costs

Like food, the labor costs and staff levels required to produce sustainable food will fluctuate with the program’s scale. Fresh, whole foods require more « manual labor » than processed foods. However, many do not stop to realize that with some strategic menu planning, you can save labor. If staff levels were designed to produce a menu loaded with many options, reducing those choices and focusing on the quality rather than the number of ingredients will help balance the workload.

But be aware of staff skill levels. For too long, many « cooks » have become complacent in their art. Those who had culinary skills, to begin with, may have forgotten or misplaced them with the advent of highly processed foods. In recent decades, there has been an influx of less-skilled labor into the foodservice sector – it doesn’t take much talent to open cans and tins and work in a line kitchen. It’s essential to teach staff how to handle all these new and marvelous foods properly. What is the point of investing in better food if the customer is served food that is poorly prepared and poorly presented? The investment in restructuring and staff training cannot be neglected; otherwise, the result will waste time and money.

Other costs

Other costs, such as infrastructure, equipment, marketing, and advisory resources, need to be considered part of a more sustainable food program. But like food and labor costs, they should not be overlooked either. Systematically reviewing the entire food chain, from purchasing to service, will reveal opportunities and limitations and ultimately create a menu that uses ingredients that will fit your business model.

And don’t go it alone! Would a neurosurgeon start his practice without training? Would you hire a chef who has no experience in the kitchen? So why would you try a sustainable food program without using the best resources? Look for well-connected organizations in agriculture. Use the many « Farm-to-Chef » and « Farm-to-School » programs that exist across the state and country. Hire a resource to help you get it right. One thing I hear most often when I travel around the restaurant world is, « Oh, we know how to do this ourselves. » We don’t need any help ». If that’s the case, why are there so few genuinely sustainable food programs?

In the end, a sustainable food program may cost a little more, but it will also provide peripheral savings. I have seen kitchens eliminate disposable dishes, set up composting programs, then save on waste removal and procurement costs.

On the one hand, engaging in the process of prioritizing sustainability is not an easy undertaking. On the other hand, any conventional restoration program that is fortunate enough to be led by people who have the courage and willingness to invest in knowledgeable resources, training, and dedicated effort will reap the abundant benefits of this new food movement. So wipe that sweaty front, stop mumbling about costs and seize this opportunity. Such a modest investment will ultimately pay off for everyone.

9 Tips for a Waste-Free Party

Your birthday or someone very special is coming, and you’re going to throw a party? Yay! But have you thought about how to minimize waste in the organization of the event? You can plan a super party without garbage and debris! Check out the tips here!

1) Forget the Balloons!

Use colored ribbons that can be reused over the years. They are beautiful and give a lot of life to the environment. A decoration made with handmade or reusable items gives a special touch to the party.

ribbons decoration ceiling - Google Search | Wedding table decorations  pink, Ceiling design, Ceiling decor

2) Do Not Exaggerate the Feast

Calculate the number of people coming and the amount of food needed. When in doubt, it is better to estimate a little down than a pile-up because the leftovers are often lost in the end and result in waste. Don’t forget that many children start eating a dish, but don’t finish it. The good idea is to make small amounts of varied dishes. Finally, if you have to buy ingredients in supermarkets, choose ingredients with recyclable packaging and preferably with the I-recycling seal.

3) Choose Reusable Cups, Plates, and Cutlery

Ask family and friends to lend you some extras if necessary. This way, you save money and don’t generate a pile of garbage at the party’s end. When it comes to napkins, fabric napkins are always the best option! A small and seemingly insignificant object, like a napkin, can have a considerable impact on the environment. For instance, if 50% of the American population used one paper napkin three times a day per meal, over one year only, 164,250,000 (yes billion) napkins would be used!

4) Reuse Candles From Previous Parties

The candles on a cake are the center of attention for a few seconds. After they are lit, they still have a lot of life left in them. Reuse them on other occasions!

5) Make Confetti From Leaves

Did you know that confetti is a super polluter? Confetti is often made of paper, but it is also regularly made of plastic. This plastic can end up in the environment after being discarded. A sustainable and festive alternative is to make confetti from leaves yourself. Collect a pile of sturdy leaves and start (with the children) with a punch. Don’t forget the Christmas lights. This ensures a festive and welcoming atmosphere, even if it’s not Christmas.

6) Ask Guests to Reduce the Packaging and the Cards They Buy

The amount of waste the guests produce is surprising. To wrap a gift, only a sheet and a bow, preferably cellophane (since it is recyclable), are enough.

7) Avoid Outdoor Parties

Yes, there won’t be any waste for you, but the amount of waste generated by an out-of-home party is massive. If for some reason you want to do it anyway, a picnic in a park is better. It’s a fun option, and with good planning, it can also be waste-free!

8)Buy or Make Games That Can Be Reused

Reuse toys, milk cartons, boxes, and other things to make games and treasure hunts. The kids will love it! Moreover, you can save them from being used in a new game next year!

9) Don’t Waste Time and Money on Souvenir Bags

Most « souvenirs » are plastic garbage that ends up in a landfill, such as candy, lollipops, and chocolates. Instead, give your guests a piece of cake to take home with them. If you want something more elaborate, give seed and a vase for your guests to plant at home. It will be much more original!

With these tips, you can keep festive waste to a minimum and have more fun!

10 Weirdest But Greenest Inventions of All Time

The misuse of technologies has generated innumerable challenges for the sustainability and conservation of the environment. Paradoxically, the current industrial and commercial development has put the balance of the Earth at risk. That’s one of the problems that worry all parents. Possibly on more than one occasion, you have wondered what kind of future awaits the children in your family environment. Is that so?

The environmental challenges that we face are not minor and must be taken seriously. That is why quick and effective solutions are urgently needed. Thousands of scientists worldwide are working on inventing new materials and objects to allow consumers to choose an ecological and sustainable alternative.

If they can become famous, several of these inventions would represent a breakthrough in preserving our environment! It will only be necessary to overcome some obstacles such as people’s consumption habits, affordable prices, and, most importantly, safe in their use, manipulation, and results.

#1. Cigarettes With Seeds

Given the number of people who smoke globally, it occurred to someone that cigarette residues could stop being a nuisance (ash and smoke pollute and cigarette butts take about 15 years to degrade) and become something productive. Thus arose the idea of ​​cigarettes with seeds, which are equipped with biodegradable filters; After its decomposition, wildflowers will sprout from its remains that will help purify the air—an excellent way to give the bad habit of smoking an ecological twist.

#2. Energy-Saving Lamps

Light bulbs are one of the most effective creations that strive for sustainability in all aspects of the invention. Not only are they made with less polluting materials than their incandescent predecessors, but they also save up to 75% energy, last 10-12 times longer, and almost all of their components are recyclable. The next step was the LEDs that do not contain the minimum amount of mercury that the low consumption ones had and are as or more effective than these.

#3. Solar Cell Phones

As weird as it may sound, solar cell phones are a real thing. Their batteries can be charged by exposing them to the sun! Smartphones are « energy-eating » items, since being for daily use and having specific charging capacities, it is necessary to connect them regularly to chargers to keep them running. Thanks to the Fraunhofer Institute’s invention, with just 2 hours of sunning our batteries, we would have a charge for the rest of the day. The only drawback is that users tend to charge their phones at night, but it will convince them to change their habits.

#4. Newspaper WoodFrom Tree to Paper to Wood

In the Netherlands, Mieke Meijer from the company Vij5 has created this new material called Kranthout (which means newspaper-wood in Dutch). Although it looks like wood, it is basically a by-product of recycling paper. Thanks to their perfect rolling and agglomeration, they have managed to make old newspapers and sawdust, chips and shavings, look (it even has veins) and are used as if they were wood, so much so that this material has great hardness, can be sanded and even paint.

#5. Photovoltaic Backpack

That’s one genuinely eco-friendly invention developed by the VoltaicSystems. It is made of a material that is the product of the recycling of various types of bottles, so it is ecological, waterproof, strong and lightweight at the same time. On the outside, it has a series of photovoltaic panels that charge internal storage batteries, to which 11 different types of connectors are attached. Not only can the camera, the camcorder, the tablets or the mobile be carried inside but we can load them as we go hiking, go to work or simply leave the backpack in the sun.

#6. From Bag to Oil

In Japan, the Blest Corporation has invented a device capable of converting plastic bags into the oil. With an approximate cost of about 9,000 euros for each machine, for every two kilos of bags (approximately) and consuming just 1 KW, it can distill one liter of oil, ideal to be used as fuel. Although the idea is to have it produced at an industrial level, if the domestic ones were to be put on the market, they would be the best solution for several of the pollution sources.

#7. Coffee Ink

3D printers are a true marvel that seemed like science fiction until a couple of years ago, but they have not solved everything. Billions of documents need to be printed every minute worldwide, and inks and toners are toxic and polluting. An ingenious designer from Korea came up with recycling coffee waste and turning it into ink, with the consequent ecological savings that this represents.

#8. Bamboo Computers

Plastic is a dangerous component (due to the long times it requires its complete destruction), but it is necessary for now. In contrast, bamboo is a very fast-growing tree that can be used to make thin, biodegradable sheets that could replace plastic. In fact, in China, there are already recyclable laptops, PCs, and Tablets, made with this material.

#9. Recyclable USB memory

All the components of this ecological, sustainable, useful, and supportive product are recycled and recyclable; its storage capacity reaches 8 Gb. For each sold, its creators contribute a percentage, which is allocated to the planting of trees in different parts of the world.

#10. GreeneratorGreen Generator

Although this invention is still in its « infancy, » if it can be produced on a large scale, it would be a domestic solution for consumption, saving a lot of money and pollution. The idea is that the Greenerator generates the energy necessary to operate all the elements that require it (lights, refrigerator, TV, PC, washing machine, etc.) using only the sun and wind as a source. Its creator, Jonathan Globerson, estimates that if his invention works as he believes, it should only be consumed from external sources, 6% of what is needed per household today.