Donating your leftover catered meals

Plates of food on buffet table.

You probably know by now what food waste looks like. But do you know what it sounds like? That sound has really stuck with me after years spent working in the restaurant and catering business. A cross between a “plop” and a “slurp,” it’s the noise made by trays full of fingerling potatoes, veggie lasagna, and pounds and pounds of other perfectly good, edible food sliding into a trash can…

Your holiday gift guide to not giving a thing

For over a decade, Cornell psychology professor Thomas Gilovich has been saying—and demonstrating in studies—that experiences make people happier than stuff. In other words, people like things to do (and look forward to, and look back on) rather than things to have. One of his studies, published by Psychological Science in 2014, found that the feeling of happiness extends well before the experience itself. In an article about the study,…

Support Your Local Reuse Store

I could get lost for hours in reuse stores, especially antique shops. I’ll weave through the aisles, fascinated by the trinkets, the collectibles, the clothes, the furniture. Each piece comes with its own backstory, and I can imagine where that piece lived, and what purpose it served its owners. I love that it had a previous life somewhere else, and can now be re-purposed in another way for another person.…

Take the challenge: Spend a month without plastic

Every July, over a million people around the world take the Plastic Free July Challenge. It’s a simple step: Just stop accepting single-use plastics for one month.   Here’s why: ​The plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last forever. These plastics: Break up, not break down – becoming permanent pollution Are mostly downcycled (made into…

Post-holiday un-shopping guide

While the glow of Christmas gift-giving and receiving is still fresh, it’s time to think about what to do with old possessions that have been replaced by something shiny and new. Here’s how to keep as much as possible in use, or—at the very least—out of the landfill: Electronics Out with the old, in with the new…gizmo? Thanks to the Vermont E-Cycles program, Vermont residents and businesses may bring  old…

Keep your holiday spirit out of the landfill: 3 easy ways

We get it. You don’t need another thing to focus on in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. We’re here to show you how easy it is to cut a lot of the waste out of shopping, decorating, and throwing a party. 1. While shopping & decorating Keep reuseable shopping bags in your car—and visible!—so you don’t forget to use them. Shop for a gift to share—with you! Wrap…

Play the new recycling iPhone app created by South Burlington students

As reported in the Burlington Free Press, a team of young Vermont students called the Green Mountain Gears are in Washington, DC to present their app at the sixth annual FIRST Lego League Global Innovation Award, presented by X Prize. The app, called “Sorta Scrappy,” is available to download for free from iTunes. This quick, cute game takes you on a journey along the waste stream, as the background progresses…

2016 Changes to Disposal Law & How They Affect You

Several new policies from Act 148 (Vermont’s Universal Recycling & Composting Law) and the CSWD Ordinance are in effect as of July 1, 2016. Here’s what is changing in Chittenden County on July 1, 2016: Trash haulers must offer leaf & yard debris collection service. Leaf & yard debris is already banned from the landfill. Now haulers who offer trash collection must also offer a service to collect leaf &…

New: Hazardous Materials Management Guide for Schools

We recently published a new guide to hazardous materials management for Chittenden County schools, in collaboration with area teachers, administrators, janitors, and state policymakers. The guide is written primarily for maintenance and custodial staff, including Facilities Directors at the district level as well as those handling hazardous materials on a daily basis. How does a brochure like this come into being? Well, it doesn’t write itself—that’s for sure. After circulating…

Event review: Keep Your Event Out of The Landfill

On Tuesday, March 22, over 60 people gathered at Main Street Landing in Burlington for “Keep Your Event Out of The Landfill,” a morning of networking, noshing, and learning about new rules, issues and strategies for reducing and managing waste at special events in Chittenden County. The participants covered a range of roles in managing events, from event producers, farmers’ market organizers, venue owners, caterers, food-ware vendors, haulers, parks and…