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Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bags

Green your lunch!  Last summer, our blogger Liz wrote about how to make your school/work lunch produce less waste.  One excellent way?  Ditch the Ziplocs!  They're plastic, difficult to recycle because of the "zipper" component, and kinda expensive, too.  

Lucky for us, The Lucky Butterfly, maker of reusable snack and sandwich bags,  is offering FREE SHIPPING to Keen for Green readers!  Just use the coupon code "Keenforgreen" when checking out.  They even make custom ones in case you don't find a size/fabric that you like.... read more

Pepsi unveils plant-based bottle

This week, Pepsi revealed a new plastic bottle, made entirely out of plant-based materials.

Says the AP:  "The bottle is made from switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and other materials. Ultimately, Pepsi plans to also use orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other leftovers from its food business."


PepsiCo is going to test the bottle next year starting with a few hundred thousand bottles to make see if they can produce the new bottles on a large scale.  If they can, all PepsiCo bottles will be made from this plant-based plastic.  They have said that these bottles cost as much to produce as a traditional plastic bottle.... read more

A Greener College Cafeteria

With colleges going green all around the world, it makes pefect sense for college cafeterias to go green.  From the food they sell to the waste and clean-up, there are plenty of opportunities to make college cafeterias more sustainable. 

Many colleges have stopped using trays to save energy and water.  Some have strong composting programs.  Lots of colleges are offering locally grown food!  

Here are some examples of some college cafeterias making substainial efforts at going green:... read more

Del Monte is Bananas -- B-A-N-A-N-A-S

I seriously thought this was a joke when it popped up on my Facebook feed:  Mother Nature Network posted that Del Monte planned to introduce individually wrapped bananas.  That's right -- bananas wrapped in plastic.

They're trying to spin it as eco-friendly because the plastic wrap supposedly keeps the bananas fresher for a long period of time.  Says Del Monte's Managing Director in the UK:   "Del Monte’s new CRT packaging is designed to provide significant carbon footprint savings by reducing the frequency of deliveries and the amount of waste going to landfill. The packaging is also recyclable."  

Even what they're naming it reeks of greenwashing, by sneaking the word natural into it --  "Natural Energy Snack on the Go."  

How does it work?  The bananas wrapped in this plastic when green and something Del Monte dubs as "Controlled Ripening Technology" in the bag will make the banana last for six extra days.  ... read more

Do you need to preheat your oven?

preheating your oven

It was a lazy Saturday night, and we were just going to heat up a frozen pizza for dinner.  A lot of times with things like a pizza, a homemade casserole, lasagna, etc, I stick the food directly in the oven while it's heating up.  My husband noticed me do the with the frozen pizza and he was horrified.  "But, you didn't preheat the oven!  You always need to preheat the oven!"  

I usually do this due to impatience (I figure the food can start cooking as the oven is preheating) but it got me wondering about the energy consumption factor.  And, is preheating the oven really necessary?

And so, I did a little Googling to see what I could find.... read more

Sun Chips introduces a quieter, compostable bag

Last fall, Frito-Lay discontinued most compostable Sun Chips bags after sales declines and people complained that they were too noisy.   These should be available in stores right now. 

PepsiCo Inc. (which owns Frito-Lay) worked hard last year to find a biodegradable but quietier solution to their bags.  

Unfortunately, will only be on Sun Chips plain flavored chips.  This is the only Sun Chips variety that never switched back to plastic bags.  But perhaps if these do well, Frito-Lay might consider switching the other bags over as well.... read more

Costco's New Seafood Policy -- Thanks, Costco!

Last summer, we discussed Greenpeace's campaign urging Costco to stop selling unsustainable fish.  Today?  Victory!  

Costco is one of the largest seafood retailers in the country, so this is a really big deal.  They will no longer be selling 12 red list species which includes orange roughy and Atlantic halibut.  Additionally, they agreed to better their aquaculture practices and work on creating a more sustainable tuna industry.  Thank you, Costco!  ... read more

Taza Chocolate - Green Company Profile

chocolateWith Valentine's Day coming up, what better time to do a company profile on Taza Chocolate, an organic chocolate company?

Why it's Keen:

One reason:  try their chocolate!!!  Its deliciousness will speak for itself.  It's stone ground organic, Direct Trade, pareve, and gluten/dairy/soy-free.  They not only have chocolate bars, but they also have baking chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, and more!

Why it's Green:

Aside from the fact that it's organic, Taza is truly committed to sustainability.   They work hard to make their factory energy efficient, they're big on recycling, they offer carbon-neutral delivery, and for local customers in Boston and surrounding areas they deliver using MetroPedalPower, which are human-powered "trucks."... read more

Green Profile: Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World

I recently had the pleasure of talking to Joe Lamp'l, gardener, green media personality extraordinare, and host and executive producer of Growing a Greener World on PBS.  

About Joe Lamp'l

Joe initially got into horticulture as a child, after breaking the branch off a shrub, sticking it into the ground, and seeing a mere few weeks later that it had taken root.  

Joe how he has been interested in sustainability for his whole life, but "there was an a-ha moment."  That moment was when he was using synthetic fertilizer in a hopper.  He hit a root and the fertilizer spilled, and he knew that using more than the recommended about of fertilizer is bad, so he tried to remove some of it.   The following day, there was a huge dead spot on the grass where the fertilizer had spilled.  "That was a huge graphic demonstration to me of what was in that stuff," he said, "It really got me going."... read more

A Greener Cup of Joe

While doing some holiday shopping last week, I noticed a mall kiosk selling those K-Cup coffee makers.  I first encountered the Keurig coffee makers at work about five years ago.  I don't drink coffee, but I never liked the tea it brewed.  It was never the right strength.  Aside from that, it dawned on me how wasteful those machines are.  The cups are not recyclable, so by the end of the workday, a lot of waste would accumulate.  

Even though I don't agree with the use of these machines, I can sort of understand why an office would want to have them.   But now I am seeing them appear in homes, where I really don't understand the point.   With the kiosk at the mall, they were obviously targeting holiday shoppers who would likely buy these coffee makers for friends and relatives.  What an ungreen way to make coffee!  The Carbon Diet website breaks down just how wasteful these machines are.   Yuck.

Now it's time to think about how to green your coffee.  ... read more

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