Reduce, Reuse, Recyle – Even More, Part 2!

Earlier this week, in our blog, Reduce, Reuse, Recylcle – Even More!, we talked about the free programs available to our community through Wellspring Holistic Center.  Today, we would like to share some of the resources that we have discovered and have been using.  We hope you will join us.

Since we are far from perfect, there are some foods that we have not been willing to give up that are packaged in plastic, so we have made it a priority to recycle that plastic in our plastic recycle box purchased from Terracycle.  Since purchasing our plastic recycle box, our trash can has been virtually empty. Since January we have only thrown away a couple of small plastic bags full of trash.

We also have found several local companies that will either allow us to bring our own glass containers (Pyrex makes a glass bottom and top) for purchasing beef, poultry, pork, and fish or just wrap it in paper.

           

We have always brought our own cloth and recycled bags to the grocery store. We now added a wonderful line of canvas and cloth vegetable and bulk food bags.  As a bonus, we find that they keep our vegetables fresher longer.

We still have a small chip addiction and if you have come to the office, you may have caught us with our mouths full!  Lucky for us some Subaru car dealerships have teamed up with Terracycle and created a program called, Subaru Loves the Earth.  We will be bringing our chip bags to a local dealership in Bethlehem, PA. (soon!)

Make sure to read our next blog, Part 3, on our new partnership with 1% for Nature.

Advertisements

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Even More!

 

As many of you read in our first blog, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, one of our New Year’s resolution is to reduce our consumption of products sold in plastic and recycle as much plastic as possible. Needless to say, it has been an interesting and sometimes frustrating journey.  Try an experiment yourself: look in your shopping cart before you check out and see how many things are packaged in plastic! We have found that there are some alternatives to buy in glass, cardboard, or cans, but there are other things that are only sold in plastic.  It has been hard giving up purchasing some of these items but we are holding strong on our commitment.  We have taken our own containers to some places where they will allow us to take home the food without the plastic. However, we are not perfect.  See Part 2 of our blog (out later this week) for more information and suggestions. It has been amazing as well as gratifying to see that we are making a difference, no matter how small it might be.

Some of you also may remember that as part of Wellspring’s personal commitment to the environment, we have teamed up with Terracycle to help our community recycle a little more plastic. When you enter Wellspring, you will find 4 trashcans that are labeled to identify each specific program.  Here is what we can recycle so far:

Energy Bar Wrapper Recycling Program: Clif Bar®

Program accepted waste: Foil-lined energy bar wrappers; foil-lined granola bar wrappers; foil-lined meal replacement bar wrappers; foil-lined protein bar wrappers; foil-lined diet bar wrappers; Clif Bar & Co. wrappers from Clif Bars, Luna Bars, MOJO, Builders, Crunch, Clif Kid Z-Bar, Kits Organic, Clif Kid Z-Fruit, Shot Bloks, Shot Gels, and Shot Drinks; pouches from Clif Organic Energy Food.

Note: This program recycles any brand that meets these requirements!

Tom’s of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program

Program accepted waste: Mouthwash bottles and caps, deodorant containers and caps, toothpaste tubes and caps, soap packaging, floss containers, and toothbrushes.

Note: This program recycles any brand that meets these requirements!

Gillette® Razor Recycling Program


Program accepted waste: All brands of blades and razors (systems and disposable units, and replaceable-blade cartridge units), rigid plastic packaging, and flexible plastic bag packaging.

Note: This program recycles any brand that meets these requirements!

E-Waste Recycling Program


Program accepted waste: Standard cell phones, smart phones, iPhones, select inkjet cartridges (from HP and Canon only), laptops, notebooks, netbooks, iPads and tablets.

  1. As more programs become available, Wellspring will continue to expand and offer as much free recycling as possible to our community.  If you have any questions about what you can recycle or where to drop it off, please do not hesitate to email us at wellspring@wellspringholisticcenter.com or call us at 570-421-3708.

New Year’s Resolution – Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle

Happy New Year!  Sorry for the late wishes.  We are not quite sure where January went, but as we approach February we are moving forward with our New Year’s resolution to reduce the amount of plastic waste that we produce across all areas of our lives.  We have always recycled, but in recent months Louise’s husband, Tom has been doing more research on the what is actually happening to the plastic that we put in our recycle bin and the news is not good.  

Did you know even if your local trash collector says they are recycling everything you put into your bin, that in fact, some or all of it is probably ending up in the landfill?  Really? That was our first reaction  and here is what our research produced:

In a recent interview, David Kaplan, the CEO of Maine Plastics , a post-industrial recycler, explained about the current recycling practices here in the US.  He said that plastics with numbers 3-7 are absolutely not being recycled and are going to a landfill because China is no longer taking these plastics.  This has been happening since the launching of an initiative known as ‘Green Fence’ by the Chinese government which was to help reduce their pollution.  The policy bans the import of all but the cleanest, most tidily organized bales of reusable rubbish.  The program was supposed to end in November of 2013, but as suspected by the recycling companies, it looks like Green Fence is here to stay.  Mr. Kaplan believes that the plastics #3-7 will continue to end up in landfills until the United States can economically recycle these plastics. 

So unfortunately not all plastic that is put into a bin is getting recycled and only 9% of all plastic even makes it into a recycling bin.  So what happens to the other 91%?  Some of it ends up in a landfill but a fair amount ends up in our oceans.  Around 8 million metric tons go into the oceans each year, according to the first rigorous global estimate published in Science today.  That’s equivalent to 16 shopping bags full of plastic for every meter of coastline (excluding Antarctica).  By 2025 we will be putting enough plastic in the ocean (on our most conservative estimates) to cover 5% of the earth’s entire surface in cling film each year.  Those are some scary statistics.  But what really made us rethink our plastic addiction was the report from The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics, which analyzed the flow of materials around the world and predicted that, given the projected growth in plastic production, by 2050 oceans could contain more plastics than fish.

In the year 2050, our children and nieces and nephews will be close to our ages.  We want them to be able to enjoy nature as much as we do today.  Therefore, we are making a change.  At home and at the office we are going to reduce the amount of plastic that we use and at the same time we are going to recycle as much plastic material as we can in order to decrease the amount of garbage that we produce.  It is not easy. Once you stop and pay attention to the amount of plastic that is around, the task seems daunting.  We believe we have to start somewhere! We cannot let this make us complacent, nor paralyzed.

In our next blog we will tell you how we are doing it! Please come back and pass this along to your friends and family.

We are all in this together.

Sign up for our blog 

Find us on Facebook

Email us to get on our mailing list!

 

Zucchini Time!

 

zucchiniIt is that time of year again!  Zucchini are everywhere.  If you have a garden, you may be inundated with these beautiful green vegetables.  If you know a gardener, you may be the recipient of one or more of these beauties.  I can remember one summer when we were kids that our garden supplied us with more zucchini then we knew what to do with.  We literally had wagon loads! We gave a lot of them away but even so my mom had to make some very creative recipes to try and use up our supply before they went bad.  Zucchini soup, zucchini casserole, zucchini pizza … and the list goes on and on!  Needless to say, I am sure we were not the first family to be so sick of zucchini by September that we never wanted to see another one again…well at least until the next year.  There are a million ways to use a zucchini but the recipes below are made especially for that zucchini that was hiding underneath the leaves and is now the size of a small baby.  These are not the ones to use in a recipe that requires a tender vegetable.  These are better served peeled, de-seeded, grated and then baked into all kinds of fun recipes. I will often grate and measure the exact amount required for my favorite zucchini bread recipe, bag it and freeze it to use mid winter.  I am sure that everyone has their favorite zucchini recipe.  Here are just a few of mine.  Enjoy!

Paleo Friendly Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup shredded, unpeeled zucchini

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray or grease 2 mini loaf pans or muffin tins.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Place the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, then beat on medium for 1-2 minutes until frothy and fully combined. Add the zucchini and beat again just enough to incorporate.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients with the mixer running, until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated.
  5. Spoon the batter into 2 mini loaf pans. You can also use this batter to make muffins.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the middle is set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, moisture squeezed out
  • Optional add-in: ¼ chopped walnuts, ¼ cup chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease two mini loaf pans or one large loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Stir in the nuts or chips if using.
  3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Whisk in the maple syrup and oil, then stir in the squeezed zucchini.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until thoroughly combined.
  5. Transfer batter to the prepared pan(s). Bake for 28-30 minutes for the mini loaf or 35-40 for the large loaf.
  6. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 whole eggs (preferably medium in size)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1-2 tablespoon coconut oil for frying

Instructions:

  1. In a bowl, place the shredded zucchini and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. Stir gently and let set for 10 minutes to allow zucchini to sweat. After the 10 minutes, transfer the zucchini to a flour sack towel, cheesecloth or nut milk bag. Squeeze as much liquid out as possible so you don’t have soggy fritters.
  2. While the zucchini is “sweating,” in another bowl combine the eggs, oregano, basil, additional sea salt, black pepper, almond and coconut flours.
  3. Combine the squeezed shredded zucchini with the egg mixture and stir to combine. If the zucchini still holds a lot of moisture or eggs were on the larger side, you may need to add additional flour to achieve that pancake-like consistency.
  4. Place a medium/large skillet on the stove over medium heat. Add coconut oil to the skillet. When the skillet is very hot, drop 1/4 cup portions of the zucchini mixture onto the pan. Press down gently so they’re about 1/2-inch thick.
  5. Cook on each side for 3-5 minutes. Flip carefully so they don’t fall apart. When done, transfer to a wire rack or plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until zucchini mixture is gone, adding more coconut oil to the pan between each batch. Coconut oil spray will also work well between batches.
  6. Serve with apple sauce or sour cream, or eat them plain. Enjoy!