Posts tagged ‘rain garden’

Reducing Your Food Waste

Love_Food_Hate_Waste_logoWhat if you could reduce your food waste in the kitchen and save money while doing it? When shopping for groceries we can be swayed by merely a ten cent price difference in brands, but in the kitchen we so often throw our money away unknowingly. Although you won’t get a fine for tossing your food scraps in the garbage like in Seattle, you can take steps to starve the landfill while swelling your wallet.

Studies from the USDA in 2010 reveal that 31% of the retail and consumer food supply went uneaten. That’s nearly 133 billion pounds of food waste, equating to $161 billion dollars lost! These are some large numbers to fully comprehend their magnitude, but on a smaller level, about 20 pounds of food per person per month gets wasted.

If these facts seem alarming to you, we are going to give you a few simple tips and tricks on how to reduce food waste in your kitchen and save some money too!

Plan Meals Ahead. Creating a list for weekly meals allows you to determine which ingredients you need and use up ingredients you already have. If you arrive at the grocery store with a plan, you can use your time more efficiently and be confident that the ingredients you buy will be used.

Sell-By Dates. Speaking of food going bad, sell-by dates can bring some confusion and deception. These dates are not monitored by the FDA and are merely a recommendation by the producer for when the product will be at peak quality. In most cases, if your food still looks and smells fresh you don’t need to toss it right away. Save yourself some money and waste by giving those foods a few extra days.

Reusing Food Scraps. Food scraps can be reused in countless different ways. You can use meat scraps for your next soup stock, carrot tops for a yummy pesto, or stale bread for a crunchy bread crumb crust. Use the power of the internet and turn your next pile of food scraps into a gourmet dinner!

Composting. Maybe repurposing food scraps is not the thing for you. Creating a compost can greatly decrease your food waste! Whether you have a large garden space or just a corner in your kitchen to fit a bucket, your food scraps have many other options than the landfill.

Here are some more resources to get you started in reusing your food scraps, composting at home, and reducing your overall food waste.

Image: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au

March 23, 2015 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

myfairlakes.com Offers Reduced Price Plants

Spring came yesterday, according to me, and from now on I ban all talk about “snow”, “winter” and “salt”. No more of that, please.

Instead, our office is preparing for spring. Turns out that myfairlakes.com is thinking about spring as well, and they’re offering Plant Dane!,  a cost-share program for rain garden projects. By applying, you can get plants at a reduced price ($1.80 ea). Learn more and send in your application here.

What’s cool is that the program is open to schools, non-profits, municipalities and individuals. Which means, teachers, if you need a course idea for your summer session, you can have your students design, dig and plant a rain garden all while getting outdoors and learning about Madison water issues.

How to build a rain garden brochure (PDF, 1 MB)
Answers to questions you may have about how to take care of our lakes.

Question: if all 200,000 Madisonians thought about warm weather at the same time, do you think we can induce an early summer?

March 2, 2010 at 10:28 am Leave a comment

It’s Raining Barrels in Madison.

This summer I bought two rain barrels and now my neighbors love me. On our narrow city lots, rain barrels meant a lot less water going from my roof onto their home’s foundation. Sustain Dane has their Barrel-palooza this Saturday (November 7) from 9am to 2pm on the Isthmus. Go! Buy! Conserve!

Even though I’m a pretty “green” kinda person, my time with EnAct has inspired me to take lots of different actions to make my life more sustainable. Some of them were easy, like committing to going to the Dane County Farmers’ Market every week. (I do love my fruits and veggies.) Walking more and driving less was also an easy step, because I live in Madison’s highly walkable neighborhood of Williamson-Marquette with easy access to the Willy Street Co-Op and lots of other stores and restaurants.

But buying a rain barrel was a big step. The cost isn’t huge, though we did have to budget for it. And we’re not really handy, so I was a little worried about how to install them.

Sustain Dane offered special free delivery for a few weeks, and that was enough motivation for me to commit. After some consideration, we decided on an oak rain barrel for the front of the house and a plastic rain barrel in back. As we were putting them up, the neighbor who had flooding problems came out of her house to say thanks, which made me feel really good. And my small garden appreciated the extra water as well.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out to Sustain Dane’s End of Season Barrel-palooza, this Saturday (November 7) from 9am to 2pm. It takes place out of the freight dock at their warehouse, 303 South Paterson, Madison. They’ll have scratch and dent barrels, plus Dual Flush toilet conversion kit for DIY installation- an easy project that will supercharge your water conservation efforts. It’s first-come, first-served, and they can take checks, Visa/MC, and of course cash.

For me, the next step is planning a rain garden around the base of my rain barrels!

Be green. Have fun.
Maria

November 3, 2009 at 11:23 am Leave a comment


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