187 articles by Amy Leibrock


Food System

Can Reducing Light Pollution Help Pollinators?

Jun 22nd, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

Planting pollinator gardens, avoiding pesticide use, and buying local honey are important actions you can take to support pollinators, but here’s another idea to add to the list: reducing light pollution.
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Food System, Eco Living

Why You Should Plant a Front Yard Veggie Garden

May 31st, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

If you’ve wanted to start growing food but don’t have much space, the answer may be right in front of you — your front yard, that is. Front yard vegetable gardens are a growing trend. Nevertheless, some people don’t even consider growing food in the front yard because they think it might look messy or lead to neighbor complaints. Those folks should think again, says Natalie Carver, horticultural director for Love and Carrots, a company that designs, installs, and maintains urban vegetable gardens for homeowners throughout the Washington D.C. metro area.
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Food System, Innovation

The Future of Burgers

May 25th, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

If you follow food trends, it seems that we’re having a reckoning with the all-American hamburger right now. Here’s a look at the changing burger landscape, just in time for Memorial Day.
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Transportation

10 Cars That Don't Care About Rising Gas Prices

May 9th, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

Gas prices are starting to rise as we head into summer, and political uncertainty isn't helping matters. There’s only one way to escape fluctuating prices at the pump for good, and that’s to switch to an alternative fuel vehicle. Here are 10 of the most fuel-efficient vehicles to consider in 2018.
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Food System

Believe it or not, it may be illegal to grow your own food

Apr 30th, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

The city and town names may change, but the stories are strikingly similar. Every year, new tales of urban gardeners who are cited for “illegally” growing food in their yards or on vacant lots bubble up. Find out how some home gardeners are fighting these charges, and what you can do if your front yard garden get cited.
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Food System, Eco Living

Seed Sharing in the Age of Climate Change

Feb 22nd, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

Sharing seeds is the age-old practice of saving seeds from your own plants and sharing them with others. At first glance, it can seem like a quaint hobby, but seed saving and sharing can actually be an act of building resilience.
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Transportation

Police to Motorists: Stop Idling Your Cars

Feb 7th, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

Letting your car idle unattended is not only bad for the environment and air quality, it could end up costing more—a fine or even your car itself.
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Food System

Super Bowl LII Aims to Score Zero for Waste

Jan 23rd, 2018 | By Amy Leibrock

No matter who wins the Feb. 4 matchup between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles in Minneapolis, this year’s Super Bowl LII will be a victory for the green sports movement. If all goes according to plan, it will be a “zero-waste” Super Bowl. Here's how they're doing it.
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Food System, Eco Living

6 Ways to Shop Smart and Waste Less

Dec 29th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

We think of food waste as something that happens at home. But really, it starts with what we put in our grocery carts. With supermarkets designed to tempt us in every aisle, it’s easy to end up overbuying. Here are some tips to help you buy just what you need.
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Eco Living

What's the Greenest Way to Ship Packages?

Dec 15th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

If you’ve found yourself buying more of your holiday gifts online every year, you’re not alone. Most Americans, 79 percent, shop online, and the volume of online holiday shopping increases every year. With so much free two-day shipping available, who can blame us? But does it make you wonder what effect all those doorstep deliveries are having on the environment?
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Food System

New Study Measures the 'Foodprint' of Food Waste

Nov 28th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

As you scrape food into the trash, do you ever stop to think about all the resources you’re throwing away along with it? The land it was grown on, the water and fertilizer that helped it grow, the energy used to harvest, store and deliver it? A new study, by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Sustainable America, considered these questions by analyzing the resource use associated with our diet, including the portion that gets wasted. Our infographic breaks down the results.
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Eco Living

Building a Better Coffee Cup

Nov 27th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

The founders of TrioCup are on a mission to design a better cup of coffee—literally. What started as a project for a student competition is may be in a coffee shop near you soon.
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Food System

What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Nov 3rd, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Parent or not, Halloween candy is inescapable this time of year. Between your kids’ haul, the leftovers from what you give out to trick or treaters and the snack bowl at work, most of us are facing more candy than we can or should eat. To deal with this candy deluge, many people let their kids eat it for a week then simply throw away the rest when the novelty wears off. We get it—we shouldn’t sacrifice our health for the sake of reducing food waste. But before you send that sack full of sugary treats to the landfill, consider these ideas.
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Transportation

8 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

Oct 31st, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

It happens, we know. You’re picking up a friend, waiting for a food order, or just trying to warm up your car on cold morning — and you leave it running for a little while. It’s easy to let those minutes tick by, but getting into the habit of turning your car off when you’ll be idle for more than 10 seconds can make a big difference for your pocketbook and the planet. We put together this infographic to illustrate the many benefits of turning off your car. Be part of the solution by taking our pledge to Turn It Off when you'll be idle for more than 10 seconds.
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Food System

Now Showing: 'Wasted! The Story of Food Waste'

Oct 13th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Today is opening day for Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. The new documentary, executive produced by Anthony Bourdain, aims to expose new audiences to the global problem of food waste and, ultimately, change our relationship to food. Learn how you can see it and who Bourdain hopes to reach.
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Transportation

Cross-Country Race Proves Trucks Can 'Run on Less'

Sep 29th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Get the results of Run on Less, a cross-country race that showed how the trucking industry could save 9.7 billion gallons of diesel fuel per year.
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Food System

Eating Out Without Wasting Food

Sep 21st, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

As kids, we were taught to clean our plates, but at today’s restaurants, that can be a monumental task. Big portions mean we end up eating more, but a hidden consequence is that we waste more, too. Our new infographic explores surprising facts behind restaurant food waste and easy tips for dining out without wasting food.
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Transportation

Papaya Waste: The Fuel of Hawaii's Future?

Sep 15th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Similar to fruit crops on the mainland, a sizable portion of the fruit grown in Hawaii never gets to the supermarket. A staggering 35% of the state’s multi-million-pound papaya harvest is culled from packinghouses due to reasons like disease and pest pressure or post-harvest damage. A researcher sees potential to produce biofuels from all that wasted papaya pulp.
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Eco Living

Find What's Fresh with the Seasonal Food Guide App

Aug 16th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

There are few things better than eating a peach at peak ripeness while it’s still warm from sitting on a farmers market table. But where I live, the local peach season is blink-and-you’ll-miss-it short — and I often miss it. With a new app and website from GRACE Communications Foundation, I’ll never miss another peach season.
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Eco Living

Car Sharing Beyond Uber and Lyft

Aug 2nd, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

A variety of app-driven companies are working to use technology to meet our personal transportation needs making it possible for more and more people to go car-free. Here’s a look at the options, including a few you might not have heard of yet.
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Transportation

“Safe” Air Isn’t Safe Enough

Jun 30th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

A new study released this week shows that levels of air pollution that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency deems safe may not be safe enough. The study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) and ozone — even below current standards established by established by the EPA — increases the risk of premature death.
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Food System

Are You Watching 'Scraps'?

Jun 15th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Cooking with food waste has officially tipped the trendy scales. The concept now has its own TV series, called Scraps, which launched in late May on the FYI network. Sponsored by Sur La Table, the half-hour show features the cookware retailer’s chef Joel Gamoran and other chefs who create menus made with often-tossed items, like herb stems, broccoli stalks and chickpea water.
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Transportation

Video: How Idling at School Affects Kids' Health

May 3rd, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

There’s an invisible threat to children's health happening at U.S. schools every day. Air monitoring typically finds elevated levels of toxins during school pick-up times as parents idle their cars waiting for their kids. We’ve created this short video to help spread the message and help more schools go idle-free. Please watch, take the pledge to stop idling, and share the #iturnitoff movement in your school community.
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Food System

Why (and How!) Your School Should Do a Student Food Waste Audit

Apr 26th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Food waste happens at all points in our food system, and school cafeterias are no exception. With 31 million school lunches being served every day, there’s a tremendous untapped opportunity to prevent student food waste and teach kids about food conservation at the same time.
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Transportation

A Smart Solution for Truck Idling

Apr 20th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Like most good innovations, Idle Smart’s automated idling management solution for trucks began with someone thinking, there’s got to be a better way. In this case, that person was a truck mechanic in Kansas, who realized a lot of the problems he was fixing were caused by the amount of idling trucks were doing while on the job. Functions like keeping cabin temperatures comfortable for drivers overnight or engines from freezing in cold weather are necessary to keeping trucks on the road, but idling engines cause wear and tear — and costs money in fuel and maintenance. Learn more about this smart solutions to truck riding...
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Food System

We're Digging These Techie Garden Tools

Mar 30th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether you’re an experienced gardener or are just getting started, technology is trying to improve on age-old techniques of growing food. We like to think Sustainable America is part of this trend with Shared Earth, a website that helps match up would-be gardeners with people who have land to share. You can use it to find a plot to garden — or someone to garden on your land. Ready to plant? Check out these tech solutions to common gardening challenges.
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Food System

How to Start a Shared Garden

Mar 17th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

Are you planning to have a garden this year? Maybe a better question is, are you able to have a garden this year? Interest in growing food has exploded in the last decade, but getting your own plot of tomatoes or cukes going may seem impossible if you lack enough outdoor space or don’t know how to garden. Learn how millions of people are solving this problem through garden sharing.
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Food System

5 Ways to Get Involved With Food Rescue

Feb 28th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

As we wrap up #LoveFoodRescue month, we want to leave you with some ideas for getting involved in food rescue in your area. As a reminder, food rescue is the act of saving wholesome food that would otherwise go to waste from places like grocery stores, restaurants, markets and dining facilities and getting it to those in need. It’s a great way to cut down on food waste and help people at the same time.
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Food System

'The Gleaners and I': a French Food Rescue Film

Feb 20th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

During a dreary 1999-2000 winter in France, filmmaker Agnès Varda explored modern-day gleaning in the documentary The Gleaners and I. The 17-year-old gem of a film, which can be streamed on Amazon or Netflix, is worth a watch for anyone interested in the interwoven threads of waste, poverty, and human ingenuity.
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Food System

Working to Solve Food Waste? Start Here

Jan 30th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

In the last few years, interest in solving the food waste issue has exploded. Research is being done, documentaries are being made, toolkits have been written, campaigns have been launched — all in an effort to reach a national goal of reducing food waste by half by 2030. Now, a public-private coalition of food waste groups has created a website to gather all of this great work in one place — furtherwithfood.org.
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Food System

Are Food Waste Bans Working?

Jan 11th, 2017 | By Amy Leibrock

In the fight against food waste, a handful of states have enacted policies that ban some generators of food waste from sending food scraps to landfills. These laws are new, so data about their effectiveness isn’t widely available yet, but a pair of reports from Vermont and Massachusetts were released recently that show these policy solutions are making headway.
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Food System

3 Great Ideas from OpenIDEO's Food Waste Challenge

Nov 29th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

There’s some great energy around solving the food waste problem lately. Case in point is OpenIDEO, which recently held a food waste challenge in partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation, ReFED, and The San Francisco Department of the Environment. The purpose was to tap into a global community of creative problem solvers to develop ideas that could dramatically reduce food waste. Here are three of our favorite ideas.
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Food System

Anthony Bourdain Is Producing a Food Waste Documentary

Nov 2nd, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

Anthony Bourdain is adding his name to a growing list of celebrity chefs working to raise awareness about the worldwide food waste problem. It was announced this week that the chef, author and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown is producing a feature-length documentary called WASTED! The Story of Food Waste, in conjunction with The Rockefeller Foundation.
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Food System

‘Farm-to-Court’ Food at the NBA’s Greenest Arena

Oct 10th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

The Sacramento Kings’ new Golden 1 Center has just set the bar very high for sustainability in sports. One aspect of its many environmental features and programs is Chef Michael Tuohy's mission to source 90 percent of the arena's food from within 150 miles.
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Transportation

Clean Cars May Cost Less Than You Think

Sep 30th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

Yes, you can afford an alt-fuel car. A new study released this week by Massachusetts Institute of Technology compares the lifecycle cost and emissions of owning 125 different vehicles on the market, and guess what? It turns out that clean cars are a great deal for both the environment and your pocketbook.
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Food System

How One Chef Is Fighting Food Waste at the Rio Olympics

Aug 8th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

As nations around the world have been preparing teams to compete in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, chef Massimo Bottura has assembled a dream team for his own kind of sport: feeding people in need from food that would go to waste. RefettoRio Gastromotiva, which opens today in Rio, is projected to recover 12 tons of food surplus from the Olympic Village in just 44 days during the Olympics and Paralympics.
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Eco Living

Mini Doc: Jack Johnson's Sustainable America

May 11th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

When musician and environmental activist Jack Johnson invited us to join him for an elementary school compost lesson (and schoolyard concert) in Hawaii, we grabbed a film crew. Watch our new mini documentary to learn more about one of the music industry's greenest musicians and how the island of Oahu deals with its food waste.
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Food System

7 Exciting Findings from ReFED’s Food Waste Report

Mar 14th, 2016 | By Amy Leibrock

A group of the country’s foremost experts and business leaders concerned with food waste convened in Stanford, Calif., on March 9 for the release of a report that could be a turning point in the movement to reduce food waste in the United States. The first of its kind, the report looks at the problem of food waste through an economic lens. It analyzes the costs and benefits of various solutions to the problem and offers up strategies for putting the solutions into action. Here are some of the most exciting findings.
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Food System

Top 5 Food Waste Trends of 2015

Dec 30th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

It seems that food waste is having a moment. When we launched I Value Food a year ago, we knew the food waste issue was starting to get more attention, but we couldn’t foresee the tremendous progress the movement would make in 12 months. Looking back, 2015 may go down in history as the year Americans finally looked eye-to-eye with the 70-billion-pound mountain of food waste and decided to dismantle it.
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Eco Living

Our Most Popular Food and Fuel Stories of 2015

Dec 22nd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

In case you missed any, here’s a roundup of our most popular blog posts of 2015. As you can see by this list, our readers are more interested than ever in learning about the food waste problem and finding ways to fix it. On the fuel side, stories about innovation and idling reduction were popular, too.
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Transportation

Charging Ahead in the Cloud

Dec 16th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

We’re charged up about Sustainable America’s latest investment. EV Connect, a 6-year-old company in El Segundo, Calif., is working to streamline the electric vehicle charging ecosystem for both drivers and property managers through a hardware-agnostic, cloud-based software system.
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Food System

CropMobster Starts a Salvaged Food Dinner Series

Dec 9th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Today, we’re bringing you a guest post by Nick “Nicky Bobby” Papadopoulos, CEO and Co-Founder of CropMobster. Nick started CropMobster on his family’s Northern California farm with the mission of igniting the power of community sharing and social media to crowdsource solutions to food waste, hunger and local food system challenges. Since 2013, CropMobster’s network has saved more than 2 million pounds of food from going to waste in the San Francisco Bay region! Recently, Nick — inspired by an article on IValueFood.com — organized an $80-a-plate dinner for 30 made from salvaged food. Here’s how he did it.
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Food System

Food Waste Scorecard: The Results Are In

Dec 4th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

In January, when we launched our food waste campaign IValueFood.com, we started quizzing visitors about their food waste habits. The quiz surveyed the lifestyle factors and shopping and eating behaviors that have been shown to lead to food waste. The good news is that awareness is growing about food waste and how to reduce it, but we still have work to do. Here are a few of the results.
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Eco Living

2015 Sustainable America Gift Guide

Nov 24th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

The holidays are a great time to show your love for family and friends — and the planet — by giving eco-friendly gifts. We've put together a fun list of gift ideas that can help lucky recipients grow and enjoy food, waste less of it, and keep safe on bike rides.
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Innovation

Voyo Is Turning Older Cars Into Fuel-Efficient Smart Cars

Nov 19th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

You’ve got a FitBit for your body. Soon, you can have something similar for your car. San Francisco startup Voyomotive has developed Voyo, a telematics system that can tap into your car’s diagnostics system and allow you do a whole host of things previously only available on tricked-out connected cars. We’re most excited about Voyo’s fuel-saving features, like a plug-and-play start/stop system, that can help drivers dramatically cut idling time and drive more efficiently.
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Food System

Sustainable America Receives Grant to Expand Food Waste Education

Nov 12th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Earlier this year, we launched I Value Food, a national campaign to help educate people about food waste and how to reduce it. Soon, we'll be kicking off a project closer to home, here in Connecticut. We were just awarded a $25,000 grant from the EPA's New England office to implement a Food: Too Good to Waste program with members of faith-based congregations in the Greater Bridgeport and Stamford areas.
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Food System

How to Keep Food Safe in Power Outages and Floods

Nov 9th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

When dealing with severe weather, the priority is keeping yourself, your family and your pets safe. If the power goes out -- and is out for a while -- it's important to keep your food from spoiling and know how to decide what to toss it if does go bad.
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Food System

Join Us and Foodstand for #NoFoodWaste November!

Nov 4th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

As we head into the holiday season, it's a great time to challenge yourself to minimize food waste — and get creative about it! Our friends at Foodstand seem to agree. This month, we're thrilled that they are choosing to use their new app to inspire food lovers to waste less and share tips.
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Food System

Imperfect Produce: Giving 'Uglies' a Chance

Oct 29th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Did you know that most grocery stores won’t buy bell peppers that can’t stand up straight? Strict produce cosmetic standards require peppers to have a perfect bell shape. “If you put it on a table and it tips over onto its side, it’s going to be rejected,” says Ben Simon. Simon is one of the founders of Imperfect Produce, a startup we’ve recently added to our portfolio of investments. The San Francisco business sources cosmetically imperfect produce from farms and sells it in affordable weekly subscription boxes. In addition to moving this food back onto our plates, they are recovering the energy, water, and other resources used to grow all of that so called “ugly’ produce.
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Food System

White House Recognizes Sustainable Agriculture Changemakers

Oct 27th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

The White House recently honored 12 agricultural leaders as Champions of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. They were recognized for leading efforts in sustainable agriculture that benefit soil, air, and water quality while helping to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions. Among them was our newest board member, Erin Fitzgerald Sexson. Sexson is senior vice president of global sustainability at Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
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Transportation

Report: More EVs and Cleaner Grid Can Lower Emissions Significantly by 2050

Oct 22nd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Some studies have found that replacing gasoline vehicles with electric vehicles is like trading one dirty fossil fuel for another if the electricity is coming from a coal-fired power plant. Other studies make a good case for driving electric even in regions dominated by coal. These studies are helpful if you’re evaluating which car to buy and drive today, but what about in the future? What impact can getting more EVs on the road have as the energy grid gets cleaner? Can EVs make a significant difference in lowering total emissions?
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Food System

'Waste Free Kitchen Handbook' Offers Advice for Home Cooks

Oct 12th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Even for the most motivated among us, cutting down on food waste at home can mean changing lifelong habits of shopping, cooking and eating. Luckily, there's a new book that can help. The Waste Free Kitchen Handbook by Dana Gunders, staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is a slim, encouraging guide to wasting less food packed with practical, attainable strategies for busy people.
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Food System

Solving the Problem of Moving Day Food Waste

Sep 29th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Growing up working for his family’s 90-year-old moving business, Adam Lowy saw lots of things get thrown out in the stress of moving day. Often, food would be part of the purge. Hating to see it go to waste, Lowy started asking customers a few years ago if they’d like to donate the food. It turned out, they did; in one month, Lowy had collected over 300 pounds of nonperishable food. Find out what happened when he took it to a New Jersey food bank.
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Food System

USDA and EPA Set Historic Goal to Cut U.S. Food Waste in Half

Sep 16th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Today is a groundbreaking day in the fight against food waste. The Obama administration announced the United States’ first-ever food waste reduction goal: Reduce food waste in America by 50 percent by 2030.
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Food System

Watch: Rob Greenfield's Campaign Against Grocery Store Food Waste

Aug 20th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

After bicycling across America last summer rescuing food from supermarket dumpsters, activist Rob Greenfield is continuing his #DonateNotDump campaign. His goal is to inspire consumers to ask grocery stores to donate edible food to people who need it instead of throwing it away. He just released a new video sharing highlights of the food he found and the news coverage he got throughout his journey.
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Food System

Watch John Oliver Take Aim at Food Waste in America

Jul 20th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

John Oliver took on the issue of food waste last night on “Last Week Tonight,” and we are so thrilled he did. The comedian spent close to 20 minutes explaining the problem and lambasting the wasteful ways of all players in our food system. Here's the video:
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Eco Living

Making Impact Investing More Accessible for Everyone

Jul 10th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether it’s called impact investing, socially responsible investing or sustainable investing, interest in making investments that support positive change is growing. Sustainable mutual funds represented $6.5 trillion at the beginning of 2014, an increase of 76 percent since 2012. Brian Kaminer wants to see this still-young investing space grow even more, so he’s designed a way to help investors of all types get involved.
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Food System

4 Surprising Findings About Food Waste

Jun 30th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

A trio of new surveys on U.S. consumer food waste has been released in the last month, which is encouraging news for those of us who are looking for ways to [help Americans waste less food](http://ivaluefood.com). Much of the current body of food waste research, while helpful, has been conducted in other counties, so it’s great to see a trend toward figuring out what’s really happening in American kitchens. Here’s a rundown of interesting findings from the reports.
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Food System

Introducing the New Shared Earth

Jun 23rd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

The interest in food gardening is growing like, well, a weed. Many people who want to garden don’t have enough space or time to devote to it. At the same time, we have enough front and back yard space in America—10 million acres--to grow 43.5 million tons of food. Why not match up people who want to garden with people with available land? Thanks to technology, now we can!
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Food System

Racing to End Food Waste

Jun 15th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether we’re eating peanuts in the cheap seats or grazing from buffets in a luxury box, eating is an integral part of cheering on our favorite teams. But game-day noshing contributes to the problem of food waste, and many sports leagues and events are taking notice. Sustainable America recently conducted a pilot program with NASCAR to speed up the food waste reduction movement.
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Transportation

Are School Buses Ready to Go Electric?

May 29th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

We often blog about how businesses with vehicle fleets can be more fuel-efficient. But what about our nation’s largest fleet: school buses. Tasked with carrying 25 million children to school every day, our collective school bus fleet is the largest form of mass transit in the United States. Making the 480,000 buses in operation more fuel-efficient would go a long way to reducing oil usage in our country.
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Food System

What Everybody Ought to Know About Starting a Farmers Market

May 22nd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Two women started a farmers market in their neighborhood last year, and it's a big hit with the community. Despite its success, this may be a make-or-break season for Black Rock Farmers Market. Find out why...
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Transportation

UPS Commits to Renewable Natural Gas

May 7th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Renewable natural gas (RNG) got a boost this week when UPS announced an agreement to supply three of its California fueling stations with the fuel. According to UPS, nearly 400 of its vehicles will begin run on RNG starting this month, making it the shipping industry’s largest user of this alternative fuel.
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Food System

Enter the #IValueFood Earth Day Instagram Contest!

Apr 21st, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

To celebrate Earth Day 2015, Sustainable America’s I Value Food campaign and CompoKeeper are teaming up to host an Instagram photo contest. We want to see all of the creative ways our food-waste savvy followers are reinvigorating those once-forgotten leftovers, repurposing dinner scraps and keeping food out of the landfill.
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Eco Living

Food Waste Tips from Real People

Apr 10th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Our staff thinks a lot about food waste at work, whether we're researching data for the I Value Food campaign, helping events go zero waste or composting our coffee grounds in the break room. But even though we're well versed on strategies to reduce food waste, we all still have to work hard each day to waste as little food as possible in our own lives. In order to find out what practices really work, we asked our staff to share the tips that have made the biggest difference in their own kitchens. Here's what they said...
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Eco Living

New Ways to Reduce Idling in Your Community

Apr 1st, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Are you ready to take action against vehicle idling? Whether you want to educate drivers in your neighborhood or launch your own idling reduction campaign, we just launched a range of resources and toolkits anyone can download and order on demand. It's your turn to turn it off and pass it on.
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Eco Living

A Milestone for Zero-Waste Events

Mar 2nd, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

On Superbowl Sunday, we partnered with a local culinary competition event to help them compost their food waste. We just learned that the event diverted more than four times as much waste to compost than last year’s event — that’s 2,840 pounds of food scraps and compostable items that are being recycled into a nutrient-rich soil supplement instead of being incinerated! The numbers are one thing to celebrate, but Chilifest has also helped us reach an important milestone as an organization. We’re now equipped with the tools and expertise to help even more events around the country compost their food waste.
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Food System

How the Fridge of the Future Will Fight Food Waste

Jan 27th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Are you ready for a smarter refrigerator? Many of the kitchen appliance ideas we saw coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month focused on convenience and novelty, but several stand-out projects promise to help your fridge help you do what it’s intended to do: keep food from spoiling until you eat it.
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Food System

Creative Ways to Use Leftovers

Jan 19th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

For all kinds of reasons — environmental, social and financial — it makes sense for us to get smarter about fully using the food that we purchase. And that means getting smarter about leftovers. Here are five tips for using those extras from I Value Food, Sustainable America's new campaign to help end food waste.
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Eco Living

Chicago Brewery Says “Cheers” to Reducing Food Waste

Jan 12th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

Can beer help end food waste? Two Chicago-area businesses think so. Starting January 15, Goose Island Brew Pub will be pouring a batch of “Zero Percent,” a tribute beer named for technology startup Zero Percent, a company that helps businesses donate food that would otherwise be thrown away to nonprofits.
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Food System

Introducing 'I Value Food,' a Campaign to End Food Waste

Jan 5th, 2015 | By Amy Leibrock

We love food in this country, so it’s mind-boggling to learn that 40 percent of the food we produce never gets eaten. Especially when 49 million households deal with food insecurity every year. In an effort to tackle this pressing issue, we've just launched IValueFood.com, a movement that takes a fresh look at how food gets wasted and offers tools everyone can use to make a real impact on food waste, both personally and nationally.
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Eco Living

Make Your 2014 End-of-Year Donation

Dec 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Thanks to donations from supporters like you, Sustainable America has grown from a budding idea to an exciting nonprofit organization in two short years. We have gathered more than 10,000 pledges to stop vehicle idling, helped several events eliminate food waste, invested in a great group of sustainably-minded start-ups — and much more.
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Eco Living

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014

Dec 23rd, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

In case you missed some, here’s a roundup of our most popular blog posts of the year. Based on this list, it seems that our readers are all working on ways to waste less, garden more and learn about the latest fuel-saving technologies. Keep it up! We've got lots of great content planned for 2015.
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Eco Living

2014 Sustainable America Gift Guide

Dec 12th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Looking for the perfect gifts for the sustainability-minded folks on your list? We’ve put together some ideas for just about everyone, from kids to gardeners to cooks. (If you happen to shop through amazon.com this year, keep in mind that .05% of your purchases can be donated to Sustainable America if you sign up with AmazonSmile.)
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Eco Living

12 Ways to Make Your Next Party More Sustainable

Dec 9th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

When my daughter celebrated her bat mitzvah this fall, we were incredibly proud of her accomplishments and poise, but also pleased with her choices to make the reception a sustainable one. Weddings, funerals and rites of passage like bar mitzvahs and confirmations can generate a tremendous amount of waste, but with a little forethought, these celebrations can be meaningful, fun and sustainable.
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Eco Living

Join Us for #GivingTuesday

Dec 1st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

December 2 is the third-annual #GivingTuesday, and we love the idea—it’s a great reminder to support the important causes you believe in. This year, when you give to Sustainable America, PayPal will match 1% of your donation!
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Food System

Free Aquaponics Workshop

Nov 11th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

On Dec. 3, 2014, we’re teaming up with FRESH Farm Aquaponics to host a free Introduction to Aquaponics Workshop at our office in Stamford, Conn. This two-hour class will explore how you can grow food organically, year-round, through a variety of highly productive aquaponic growing mediums.
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Transportation

Sustainable America Celebrates Launch of Stamford 2030 District

Oct 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

What if our cities could help solve pressing climate and energy issues instead of contributing to them? That’s the idea behind the 2030 Challenge for Planning, a national movement that asks the global architecture and planning community to find ways to reduce energy use, water use and transportation emissions from new and existing buildings dramatically by 2030.
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Food System

Skin to Seed: How to Eat an Entire Pumpkin

Oct 27th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Pumpkins. The plump, orange orbs are everywhere this time of year. While you’re picking out a few for Halloween decorations, it’s worth it to set aside a few for eating too. We’ve rounded up some recipes that will help you make use of everything but the stem, and we’ve found some ideas for what to do with the ones that get carved as well.
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Food System

We Came, We Gleaned, We Fed Thousands

Oct 21st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We had the privilege of participating in a tremendous event on Saturday: Feeding the 5,000: Oakland. The event saved thousands of rolls and loaves of bread and a staggering 11,200 pounds of apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, acorn squash and spaghetti squash that normally would have been destroyed because they were cosmetically imperfect and could not be sold to grocery stores. Learn more about this groundbreaking event.
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Food System

Food Waste in 9 U.S. Cities, Exposed

Oct 16th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

This week, environmental activist Rob Greenfield completed a most unconventional road trip. Not only did he travel from Wisconsin to New York City on bike, along the way he recovered food — thousands of pounds of unspoiled, perfectly edible food — that grocery stores and restaurants had thrown away. See photos of what he found in nine cities.
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Eco Living

5 Websites That Help Home Cooks Waste Less Food

Oct 8th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We waste up to 40 percent of our food in the United States — and 25 percent of food waste happens at home. It’s an enormous problem, but wasting food is so ingrained into our way of life that change can be tough. For those of us who want to break the shop-cook-waste cycle, the good news is that with practice, wasting less food can become an effortless habit. Today, we’ve rounded up five websites that celebrate not only wasting less, but also valuing and enjoying food more in the process. In other words, yes, leftovers can be awesome.
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Eco Living

Have Cell Phones Led to Increased Vehicle Idling?

Oct 6th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

In recent years, we’ve learned about the dangers of cell phone use while driving. It makes sense that distracted driving would lead to more accidents, but do cell phones also lead drivers to absentmindedly idle when their vehicles are stopped?
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Food System

Feeding the 5,000 Comes to the U.S.

Sep 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

The juxtaposition is shocking. The United States is one of the most productive agricultural nations in the world and yet millions of Americans go hungry each year. Despite the many people who work hard to solve this puzzle, the reasons behind this contrast go largely unnoticed by the general public. To help boost awareness of this issue, Sustainable America is proud to be a sponsor and participant in the first Feeding the 5,000 event in the United States, which is coming up on October 18 in Oakland, California. Find out more about this festive event...
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Eco Living

5 Climate-Friendly Actions You Can Take Today

Sep 19th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Whether it's Earth Day or not, there's no better way to support the climate change issue than by taking action in your own daily life. Here's a quick list of things you can do every day to help curb dangerous emissions that are changing our climate.
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Transportation

“Pump The Movie" Takes on America's Oil Addiction

Sep 17th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

How can we end our addiction to oil here in America? Many people—electric carmakers, advanced biofuel researchers, public transit advocates—are working to answer this question from different angles. But a new documentary boils it down to a simple equation: Give Americans a choice at the pump and watch the market do its work.
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Transportation

It’s National Drive Electric Week!

Sep 12th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If you’re in the market for a car — or just curious about what’s new in electric vehicles — you need to know about National Drive Electric Week happening September 15–21. There are 146 events scheduled throughout the week, all offering the opportunity to experience a wide range of all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars, trucks and motorcycles. Here's how to find one near you.
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Eco Living

Join Us at the Boston Local Food Festival

Sep 4th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

On Sunday, Sept. 14, from 11 to 5, Sustainable America will be at the Boston Local Food Festival teaching festivalgoers about food waste issues and solutions, including home composting and the Grind2Energy Technology. Stop buy and pick up a free guide to composting!
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Eco Living

7 Ways to Take Action on Idling

Aug 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Most people don't realize how much gas they're wasting by idling their cars. But once they learn the facts about idling, they're usually more than willing to change their behavior. With that in mind, we've put together seven steps you can take to raise awareness about this important issue. Help us make turning off your engine rather than idling as commonplace as wearing your seat belt!
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Food System

Fair Food Fund: Closing the Farm-to-Table Gap

Aug 25th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

A new crop of businesses is developing that utilizes the food local farms produce, whether they are processing it for resale or using it as ingredients to produce new products. The Fair Food Fund, a new program from Fair Food Network, is hoping to help these businesses thrive by providing financing and business support for this often overlooked sector of the burgeoning local food system. We talked to its program director, Alex Linkow, to learn more about how the Fair Food Fund works and why it's important to support the "middleman."
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Eco Living

10 Ways to Use Extra Garden Vegetables

Aug 20th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If your garden did well this year, there’s only so much tomato sauce you can make and so many zucchini breads you can freeze before you realize there’s just no way you’re going to be able to eat your garden’s bounty by yourself. Thankfully, there are many of ways to make good use of the surplus. After all, the average American wastes over 20 pounds of food each month – don’t let your overflowing garden add even more to this number!
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Eco Living

Meet the Man Who's Asked Thousands of New Yorkers to Stop Idling

Aug 18th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

*“Excuse me for bothering you… but are you aware that it’s against the law to idle your car engine in NYC for more than 3 minutes?”* Those are the words George Pakenham, a New Yorker who works in finance, has used to start thousands of discussions though car windows on the streets of Manhattan. What started as an impulsive act on his Upper East Side block in 2005 evolved into a full-blown citizen activism campaign that went all the way to City Hall and is still going strong. We caught up with George to find out more about his vigilante approach to environmental justice and "Idle Threat: Man on Emission," the award-winning documentary he made about it.
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Eco Living

This Weekend: Visit Us at Boston GreenFest!

Aug 12th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If you’re in the Boston area this weekend and you’re interested in the environment, then you won’t want to miss Boston GreenFest 2014. This free, three-day festival, which brings together greater Boston’s green community to share ideas and learn about how to build a healthy and sustainable future, is happening Aug. 15-17 at Boston City Hall Plaza. Sustainable America will be there hosting screenings of "Idle Threat: Man on Emission," educating about clean transportation and zero-waste events, and showing off innovative alt-fuel vehicles. Here's where you'll find us:
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Transportation

How Much Can You Save with an Electric Vehicle?

Aug 8th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If you know anything about electric vehicles, you probably know that they cost less to operate than gasoline-fueled cars. But the savings get harder to discern when you’re trying to figure out which car to buy. Will a used plug-in electric hybrid get better mileage than a new fuel-efficient gas-powered car? How do the electricity rates in your area affect the costs? A new tool called EV Explorer can answer those questions.
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Food System

Good Growth: Farmers Markets Still on the Rise

Aug 6th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If it seems like farmers markets have sprouted from every vacant parking lot in the last few years, you’re not imagining things. According to the latest data from the USDA, the number of farmers markets in the United States has grown by 76 percent since 2008. In honor of National Farmers Market Week, here's a look at the future of farmers markets.
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Food System

Hungry in Stamford? New CSA Available at Our Office

Jul 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We're happy to announce that our Stamford office is the newest CSA distribution point for Chubby Bunny Farm, a small family farm in Litchfield County, Conn., committed to sustainable farming practices. Members get a box of farm-fresh produce every Tuesday afternoon. Learn more about the CSA and find out how to sign up...
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Transportation

Renewable Natural Gas: Clean, Green Energy

Jul 21st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Think natural gas only comes from reserves of ancient fossils trapped deep underground? Think again. We’re actually sitting on a much-overlooked but plentiful source of natural gas here in America — and we don’t have to drill into the ground to get it. Check out our infographic to learn more.
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Eco Living

Support Sustainable America Through AmazonSmile

Jul 18th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Through its new AmazonSmile program, Amazon will donate .05% of eligible purchases to a charity of your choice, including Sustainable America, every time you shop. We’re inviting all our supporters to participate!
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Eco Living

Who, Me Waste Food?

Jul 11th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

A new survey found that while 63% of Americans are concerned about the amount of food wasted in the United States, only 1 in 3 is concerned with the amount of food wasted in their own household. In other words, "I don’t waste food, but everyone else does." Discouraging, yes — but there may be a silver lining.
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Food System

Dan Susman: 'Urban Farming Is Our Generation’s Back to the Land Movement'

Jul 8th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from our friend Dan Susman, director and producer of Growing Cities, a documentary about America’s urban farming movement. Right now, he's raising money to help get the film featured on PBS through a Kickstarter campaign that ends tomorrow, July 9. Let's help him reach his goal!
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Eco Living

Spin for Good and Help Us Win Big

Jun 26th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We’ve partnered with Spin for Good, a new nonprofit social gaming site, and they’re hosting their first ever Give a Grand Tournament from June 23–30. They’re throwing in $1,000 to start the pot, so we need you to join the tourney on our behalf, and help us win the whole pot!
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Eco Living

Collegiate Sports Are Going Green

Jun 24th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Momentum is growing in the green sports movement as folks are putting more effort into reducing waste and energy consumption at major sporting events. We are excited to see that this trend has spread to collegiate sports, as well. Last week at the Collegiate Sports Sustainability Summit a new resource was released that will make campuses and sporting events greener.
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Food System

Introducing Our Gala Performer...Tamara Tunie!

Jun 20th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

For our Inaugural Gala coming up on June 26, Sustainable America is thrilled to present an engaging vocal performance by Tamara Tunie, a multi-talented performer with experience spanning film, television, and stage. Fans of her character Melinda Warner in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit may not know that Tunie is also an accomplished singer. She's that and then some! Learn more about this talented actor, producer, director and philanthropist...
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Transportation

Clean Car News: Tesla, Fuel Cells and...Tomatoes?

Jun 13th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

It was an exciting week in alternative fuel news. Here are some automotive headlines that sparked our interest.
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Eco Living

You are invited!

Jun 11th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We’re excited to bring together our friends and supporters for our Inaugural Gala and Auction to celebrate our first two years, acknowledge the help we’ve received, and propel our growth into the future. Learn more about the June 26 event, purchase tickets, or bid on some unique auction items here....
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Transportation

Porsche 918 Spyder: A Clean, Green Supercar

Jun 5th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

A few years ago, Porsche surprised the automotive world by announcing that it would design and build its first plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) supercar. This car would be designed to exceed the performance of its other models and maximize fuel efficiency — a revolutionary move. Well, the promise of the Porsche 918 Spyder is now being realized, and the keys can be — temporarily — yours.
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Food System

Can the EU Reduce Food Waste By Dumping “Best Before” Labels?

May 29th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Confusion over food expiration date labels is leading to mountains of food being thrown out before it’s gone bad. A proposed change to the EU's “best before” label could save 15 million tons of food per year from being wasted. Will the U.S. be next?
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Eco Living

5 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Start Growing Food

May 22nd, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Has the food gardening bug hit you? If you’re not sowing seeds and tending tomatoes yet, your neighbors probably are. One in three American households is now growing food, a 17% increase from five years ago! If you want to join them but weren't blessed with green thumbs, we’ve rounded up five ways to ease into gardening.
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Transportation

Rethinking Algae: Beyond Biofuels

May 19th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

When we hear "algae," most of us think "biofuels," but Brad Bartilson, founder and CEO of Photon8, has a much broader vision of the future for this tiny organism – namely increasing the resiliency and sustainability of our food system.
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Innovation

XL Hybrids: Making Fleets More Fuel Efficient

May 16th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Imagine that you run a company with a fleet of delivery vehicles that make lots of short trips all day long through crowded city streets. Along with the costs of labor to pay for all those drivers, fuel costs are one of the biggest expenses you face. If you could shave 20 percent off your fuel bill, you would probably say, “Where do I sign?” We’ve found a company that can do just that: XL Hybrids.
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Eco Living

Sustainable America’s Inaugural Gala

May 14th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Anyone who has ever worked at a start-up organization or owned a business knows that getting started is difficult. In Sustainable America's two short years of existence, we've worked hard to overcome major hurdles in order to cement our model for making an impact on sustainability. To celebrate our first two years, acknowledge the help we’ve received, and propel our growth into the future, we’re excited to bring together our friends and supporters for an Inaugural Gala on June 26.
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Eco Living

Art for a Cause: Help us grow an innovative local food platform

May 9th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

This month, we’re holding an art auction to support Sustainable America and our implementation of the Shared Earth land-matching website. Browse and bid on more than a dozen works from cutting-edge contemporary artists.
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Food System

Sustainable America & Grind2Energy Hit the Road to Promote Composting!

May 8th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Warmer weather is a sign of lots of great summer things to come, including one of our favorites: outdoor festivals. Last year, we helped make a summer concert series in Connecticut a zero-waste success, and we’re at it again this year, this time in partnership with Grind2Energy®. Our first stop of the season was at last week’s Kentucky Derby Festival in downtown Louisville, where we demonstrated how giant turkey legs can fuel a car, heat a home and make compost.
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Transportation

5 Alt-Fuel Vehicles We Liked at the New York Auto Show (video)

May 5th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Last week, the Sustainable America staff took a field trip to the 2014 New York International Auto Show to check out the latest in alternative-fuel vehicles. From concept vehicles that defy categorization to practical, road-ready cars with ever-improving gas mileage, we were excited to see the range of innovations at work in the auto industry. Check out our video recap of what caught our eye at the show.
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Transportation

How the Trucking Industry Can Save Billions of Gallons of Fuel Per Year

May 1st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

For the 1.7 million truckers in the United States, their trucks are homes away from home. During overnights and rest breaks, they need to eat, relax, catch up with their families and get a good night's sleep. The problem? Most truckers power appliances, computers, heaters and air conditioners by idling their engines — some up to 8 hours a day, more than 300 days a year — which wastes fuel and money and pollutes the air. Check out our infographic to learn more about the truck idling issue and some of the solutions the trucking industry is starting to use to save fuel.
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Eco Living

Why Katherine Collins Takes Investment Advice from Honeybees

Apr 28th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

One of the hottest topics in design and technology is biomimicry, the practice of looking to nature to inspire innovation and solve problems. Biomimicry has been the basis of everything from Velcro to faster bullet trains to brighter LED light bulbs, and now, thanks to Katherine Collins, nature’s wisdom can be applied to finance and investing.
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Eco Living

Let the Earth Day Games Begin!

Apr 22nd, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

In recognition of Earth Day, Sustainable America is launching a month-long staff sustainability challenge. Each staff member is taking on a challenge, from home composting to eating less meat, which they will tackle over the next month, documenting challenges faced, obstacles overcome, and joys found.
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Transportation

Notes from the Road: ECO:nomics

Apr 16th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Earlier this month, I attended The Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference where top business and environmental leaders, policy makers and entrepreneurs met to discuss the intersection of business and the environment. This wasn’t a sudden embrace of the green movement by the preeminent business newspaper in the U.S. — it was a very realistic look at both the opportunities and threats that these companies face from environmental issues. Here’s a peek at what these leaders are thinking about food and fuel issues.
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Eco Living

Spring into Better Gas Mileage

Apr 13th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Finally, spring. Daffodils! Budding trees! Short sleeves! Rising gas prices! Wait, what was that last one? In case you hadn’t noticed, the average price of gas jumped from $3.49 to $3.62 in the last month, and prices are expected to hover around $3.57 a gallon throughout the summer, just one penny below last year’s average.
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Transportation

Nick Tiller Calls for Gas Conservation on CNBC

Apr 11th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Part of our mission is to educate the public about food and fuel issues, and our founder, Nick Tiller, had a great opportunity to do just that recently. He was a guest on CNBC's mid-day show Fast Money: Halftime Report, where he explained how his background as a financial analyst and portfolio manager in the energy and food sectors led him to start a nonprofit organization.
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Food System

The 'Omega Garden' Takes Hydroponics for a Spin

Apr 8th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

This month, Sustainable America will welcome the arrival of its new Omega Garden, an innovative rotary hydroponic system, which will serve as one of three indoor, urban agriculture demonstration units showcased in our new Stamford office. Its innovative design gets up to 3.5 times more in harvest per plant, without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Now that’s impressive.
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Food System

"We Survived for 6 Months on Discarded Food"

Mar 31st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

What happens when two filmmakers challenge themselves to survive for six months only on discarded food? You get Just Eat It, a new documentary that explores the food waste issue from the farm all the way to a Vancouver fridge. Here, the filmmakers share some of the shocking things they learned and how they salvaged $200,000 worth of food.
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Food System

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks and...Compost?

Mar 26th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Composting may not be the first thing that comes to you mind when you think about eating at a ball game, but the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is working to change that. This week, the environmental group has published the Guide to Composting at Sports Venues, a free resource for stadiums that want to reduce and manage their food waste more effectively.
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Food System

Compost Parks: A New Vision for Food Waste

Mar 21st, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

A big problem like food waste in America is going to take big ideas to tackle, and that’s why we like the visionary new plan for dealing with New York City’s organic waste floated by a young architecture firm earlier this month. Present Architecture proposed building a network of Green Loops on the waterways surrounding the city that would have a dual purpose: compost organic waste and provide new park space.
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Eco Living

FC Gives — And Beyond

Mar 17th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

The Big Day has finally come…and gone! After about a month of promotion, promise and preparation, Fairfield County Giving Day is over. The results were impressive, and we are very grateful for the support we received.
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Food System

How to Eat Local in Winter (Infographic)

Mar 5th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

In many parts of the country, locally available fresh produce is strictly limited by the seasons. But despite the dearth of fresh produce in winter, you can still round out your diet with locally sourced foods like the 10 listed in our infographic below. You might have to do a little research to find them all in your area, but your effort will be deliciously rewarded.
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Eco Living

Success Means Wasting Less

Feb 27th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

As we head into an exciting fundraising campaign this Friday — Fairfield County Giving Day — we wanted to share more about the specific projects your generous donations help fund.
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Innovation

A Better Way to Check Tire Pressure

Feb 26th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

How often do you check your car’s tire pressure? Do you even know how often you should check your tire pressure? It's not a difficult task, but it’s not convenient, either. You have to find your gauge, keep track of four tiny caps, get your hands dirty, wrestle with an air hose. Is it all worth it? Well, yes. And a new product called RightPSI will make the task much easier.
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Innovation

First Look: Our New Headquarters

Feb 19th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

When it came time to design permanent office space for Sustainable America in Stamford, Conn., our dream was for it to be more than just a collection of desks and conference rooms. We wanted to showcase the innovations that will help us build more sustainable food and fuel systems. Here's a first look at our plans: compost bins, growing walls, EVs and more!
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Eco Living

Save the Date: March 7, a Day of Giving

Feb 7th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

If you’d like to help Sustainable America efforts to make our nation's food and fuel systems more sustainable, mark your calendar for March 7. Your donation will help us compete for bonus funds on Fairfield County Giving Day.
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Food System

Chowdafest Diverts Food Waste, Feeds Hungry

Feb 6th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Last weekend, Sustainable America was on hand at Connecticut's Chowdafest to help divert food waste to composting, instead of where it usually goes in the area: to an incinerator. And perhaps the biggest win of all was that both a percentage of the proceeds and a large amount of direct food donations went to the Connecticut Food Bank to help feed the hungry.
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Food System

Sign the Petition: Help End Food Waste

Feb 5th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Food Shift, a nonprofit organization that works to find sustainable solutions to reduce food waste, has started a petition that we’re enthusiastically supporting. It’s an appeal to the EPA to approve and fund “Food: Too Good to Waste,” a comprehensive toolkit designed to help communities across the country reduce the amount of food they lose and waste. You're invited to learn more and show your support.
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Eco Living

10 Things to Do With Stale Bread

Feb 3rd, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

When's the last time you used a whole loaf of bread, down to the last crumb, before it went stale or moldy? Before you trash those lonely slices, check out our infographic for some fantastic ways to use stale bread.
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Eco Living

Seattle Vs. Denver: Who Wins the Sustainable Super Bowl?

Jan 30th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos fans may not see eye to eye about who they want to win Sunday's Super Bowl XLVIII, but supporters of these two football teams do share one thing in common: They live in eco-minded cities. So we thought we'd pit Denver against Seattle in our own EcoSmackdown to see who really comes out on top on food and fuel sustainability issues.
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Food System

Bowls Full of 'Chowda' with Zero Waste

Jan 27th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Sustainable America is headquartered in New England, which means we love our chowder. So when we had the chance to help make the 6th-annual Chowdafest a zero-waste event, we jumped at the opportunity.
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Food System

Super Bowl Will Put Food Waste to Use

Jan 24th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

For some people, the Super Bowl is as much about food as it is about football. Fans stock up on chips, dips, chicken wings, and sandwiches measured by the foot. But what happens to the leftovers after the fourth quarter? MetLife Stadium, the arena for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, has put some real work into addressing the food waste issue this game day.
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Transportation

Flying or Driving? Which Is More Efficient?

Jan 20th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Today’s “most improved” award goes to the airline industry, which has outpaced gains in fuel efficiency fourfold compared to car travel over the past 40 years. A new [report](http://www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/PDF/UMTRI-2014-2_Abstract_English.pdf) from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute shows that flying has become 74% more efficient per passenger since 1970 while driving gained only 17% efficiency per passenger. In fact, the average plane trip has been more fuel efficient than the average car trip since as far back as 2000, according to their calculations.
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Transportation

9 Reasons to Get Excited About Cars in 2014

Jan 16th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

With the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a wrap and the North American International Auto Show underway now, there has been a flurry of automobile news so far this year. While there were few truly groundbreaking announcements for alternative-fuel vehicles, there is plenty of good news to report. Thanks to increased fuel economy regulations, carmakers are continuing to tweak their cars to deliver more fuel economy at all levels of the market. While many innovations are ready to hit the roads, others are still aspirational ideas for the future. Here are nine reasons we're excited about 2014's new crop of cars and trucks.
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Innovation

L.A. Port Project Aims to Reduce Wasteful Idling

Jan 13th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Freight is an essential part of the world economy, and goods are largely moved with fossil fuels. But wait times, congestion, idling, and other factors all lead to wasted fuel and air pollution. With U.S. domestic freight expected to double and international freight to triple by the year 2035, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) is spurring development of information systems to improve the efficiency of moving goods. Here's how they hope to do it...
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Eco Living

A Commitment to Transparency

Jan 9th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

We’re proud to announce that Sustainable America has earned a Gold-level Exchange Seal from GuideStar, the online listing service for nonprofit organizations. It’s a rating that is shared by only 5 percent of the more than 32,000 organizations that GuideStar lists.
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Eco Living

8 Food and Fuel Trends We Love

Jan 6th, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

'Tis the season for trend lists as everyone tries to predict the next big thing for the year ahead. We’ve culled through the lists to compile our own tally of trends that relate to the issues Sustainable America supports: sustainable food and fuel. The good news is that finding encouraging trend predictions was easy—now let's work together to make them come true!
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Eco Living

6 Eco-Friendly Snow Removal Ideas

Jan 3rd, 2014 | By Amy Leibrock

Once the first big snowstorm hits every winter, the impending task of removing the snow and ice it leaves behind is in the forefront of many minds. Forget gas-guzzling snow blowers, harmful salt, and toxic chemicals, and use these environmental options instead.
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Innovation

Vecarius: Taking the Heat...and Using It

Dec 23rd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Our global oil system is operating at near capacity—97 percent—which just isn't sustainable. Because 70% of oil consumption in the U.S. is used for ground transportation, reducing the amount of gas used by vehicles is key to heading off an impending crisis. Boston-based Vecarius, which recently won the 2013 Sustainable America/Greentown Labs Fellowship, is working to tackle this problem by turning vehicles' exhaust waste heat into energy, technology that can reduce fuel usage in vehicles by 5 to 10 percent. We talked to CEO Steven Casey to learn more about his innovative product.
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Eco Living

Help Us Build a Sustainable America

Dec 20th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

As the year comes to an end, we’re asking for help from our supporters to implement more programs for a sustainable future. Read about our mission, highlights from 2013, and be a part of our efforts.
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Eco Living

10 Ways to Feel Less Guilty About Waste This Christmas

Dec 17th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Did you know that household waste increases by more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? Don’t be dismayed. You can help the planet by making a few smart choices this year. Here are 10 ideas for greening the season.
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Eco Living

The Sustainable America 2013 Gift Guide

Dec 14th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

If you're still shopping for holiday gifts (and who isn't), we've put together a great collection of gift ideas that will help anyone on your list live the sustainable lifestyle. We've got ideas for locavores, cooks, bike commuters, and anyone who likes to save money on gas (um, that's everyone, right?)—as well as a few last-minute gifts you can whip up in your kitchen in a pinch.
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Food System

Flipping the Farm-to-Table Equation

Dec 13th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

A handful of high-end farm-to-table restaurants in cities like New York City and Orlando have found a new way to get the most out of the close ties they keep with local farmers. Vegetable peelings from the kitchen and leftover fare from diners’ plates is catching a ride back to the farm to become gourmet livestock feed. The arrangement means savings for farmers and, thanks to better-fed birds, cows and pigs, better-tasting meals on customers’ plates.
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Innovation

Vecarius Wins Sustainable America/Greentown Labs Fellowship

Dec 9th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

We’re thrilled to announce the winner of the 2013 Sustainable America/Greentown Labs Fellowship. Vecarius, a vehicle waste-heat recovery company based in Boston, was chosen from a field of nine finalists who pitched their business ideas to a room of 60 entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, and students at a networking event Thursday at Greentown Labs in Somerville, Mass.
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Innovation

Turning Truckers Into Treehuggers

Dec 5th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

As more and more Americans realize the truth about idling their cars, we can’t forget about the millions of truckers transporting products for us across the nation’s highways. You might not realize how much time those trucks spend idling to power their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems inside the cabs of the trucks in which they basically live while on the road. Regulations require them to take at least an eight to 10 hour break every day—and for much of that time, their trucks are idling or using diesel-powered auxiliary units for power.
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Eco Living

4 Ways to Give Back on #GivingTuesday

Dec 3rd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Today is the second-annual #GivingTuesday, and we love the idea—it's a great reminder to consider the causes whose work you want to support. Sustainable America, hopefully, is one of them. We have come up with a list of ways you can help support our mission to reduce U.S. oil consumption while increasing U.S. food production on #GivingTuesday.
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Eco Living

7 Ways to Save Gas This Winter

Dec 2nd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Have you ever noticed that your car gets lower gas mileage in winter? It's sad but true — most people experience a winter gas mileage drop — and the reasons are many. Find out why it happens and learn some surprisingly easy ways to can beat the winter gas-sapping blues in our latest infographic.
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Transportation

New EPA Rules: A Setback for Advanced Biofuels?

Nov 25th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Proposed reductions in biofuel mandates could stunt an emerging industry
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Eco Living

8 Ways to Waste Less Food at Thanksgiving

Nov 22nd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Of all the food-centric holidays, Thanksgiving may be the one that truly brings out our inner glutton. We celebrate with a feast that’s so expansive, the leftovers are often anticipated as much as (if not more than) the meal itself! With all that food, of course, there’s bound to be some food waste; even those coveted leftovers get relegated to the garbage can in a day or two if they’re not eaten. Thankfully (pun intended), with a little advance planning and a few Turkey Day tactics under your apron, you can serve up a delicious, satisfying, zero-waste Thanksgiving feast.
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Innovation

Finalists Announced for Sustainable America/Greentown Labs Fellowship

Nov 21st, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

The applications are in for our new fellowship program, and we’re excited by all the innovative startups that applied. We’ve narrowed the applicant pool down to nine exciting ventures engaged in trying to solve a number of problems in agriculture and transportation via sustainable solutions.
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Food System

New Meaning for “Airplane Food”

Nov 18th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

While rushing to board your next flight, you might not expect farmers’ markets and urban farms among the airport’s fast food joints, mani-pedi stations, and newsstands. At four U.S. airports, however, travelers are encountering exactly that. Check out how the local food movement has arrived at airline terminals in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
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Eco Living

5 (More) Anti-Idling Heroes

Nov 8th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Back in July, we wrote about five people and organizations that were doing a great job of spreading awareness about idling. Every week we hear about more people and projects that are working to raise awareness about idling, so it's already time to expand our list.
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Eco Living

How to Compost a Halloween Pumpkin

Oct 31st, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

It might be a stretch to think of pumpkins as food once they're carved and lit and spooky. But just as many resources went into growing your toothy jack o' lantern as did your lunch—and it will produce just as much planet-wrecking methane as it rots. If you don't want to be haunted by thoughts of your orange orbs contributing to the 40% of food we waste in this country, there are alternatives.
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Food System

Behind the Scenes at a Zero-Waste Event

Oct 28th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Earlier this month, as the official Food & Waste Education Partner for the SXSW Eco 2013 conference in Austin, Sustainable America worked to capture and compost food waste from the third-annual event. Well, the numbers are in, and the conference was successful in diverting almost all of its waste—an impressive 97%!—to recycling and composting facilities instead of landfills. Here's a look at what goes into corralling a bunch of sandwich crusts and compostable forks into the proper places so it can be recycled into compost rather than go to waste in a landfill.
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Innovation

Ag Innovations: Robotic Bug Trackers

Oct 23rd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Here's a head-scratching statistic: In 2010, crop growers in the United States lost $20 billion a year due to insect damage despite spending $4.5 billion on pesticide applications. It turns out that agricultural pest management is a surprisingly inefficient system that involves sticky traps, updating spreadsheets, and a lot of legwork. An Indiana-based startup, has come up with a way to save growers legwork, hassle, and money—and reduce the amount of pesticides sprayed on crops—by automating the insect-tracking process. We spoke with Kim Nicholson, Spensa Technologies' vice president of business development, to learn more about the product and the company.
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Innovation

Update: Deadline Extended for Cleantech Fellowship

Oct 21st, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Northeast-based cleantech startups have a little more time to enter the fellowship program Sustainable America is producing with Greentown Labs. The competition is open to start-ups engaged in sustainable solutions focused on transportation or agriculture.
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Innovation

And the Winners Are...

Oct 14th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

The results are in from the Village Capital VentureWell startup accelerator program that took place in Louisville this summer. Two innovative ventures were selected by their peers to receive $50,000 to continue growing their young companies.
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Eco Living

Top Tweets From SXSW Eco

Oct 11th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

We just got back from the 2013 SXSW Eco conference, the third-annual Austin, Texas, meeting of movers and shakers in the environmental movement. We helped wrangle the event's food waste to the compost heap instead of the landfill as SXSW Eco's official Food & Waste Education Partner, and our own Jeremy Kranowitz and Gray Peckham took part in a panel discussion about Program-Related Investments. We also gathered lots of fodder for upcoming articles. In the meantime, here are crowdsourced highlights from the conference via Twitter.
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Innovation

Food and Fuel Event Calendar

Oct 3rd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Part of our work here at Sustainable America is helping to spread the word and foster conversations about food and fuel issues. Here's a quick update about some of the great events Sustainable America is going to be a part of this fall.
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Eco Living

5 Anti-Idling Videos We Love

Sep 30th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

You've seen our anti-idling video, right? It's part of our I Turn It Off campaign to end unnecessary idling. Well, It turns out that we're not the only ones working to end unnecessary idling. Local governments, school districts and air quality agencies all over the country (and Canada) have take up the cause — and some of them have made their own videos. Some are slick, others homemade and campy, but they all share a common message: Stop idling! Here are some of our favorites.
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Transportation

Test Drive an EV This Weekend

Sep 27th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

If you're tired of ballooning gas costs, you're curious about those nifty new electric car-charging stations installed at your grocery store or office — or you live in one of these 10 states, it might be time to get serious about plug-in electric vehicles. This weekend you can do just that at National Plug In Day, a series of free events happening in more than 90 cities around the country.
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Eco Living

Making a Green Fest Even Greener

Sep 9th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Sustainable America is helping the Live Green Connecticut! event compost all food waste this weekend
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Innovation

Start-Ups: Apply for Fellowship & Co-working Space at Greentown Labs

Sep 5th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Today, we’re excited to announce that Sustainable America is partnering with Greentown Labs, a Massachusetts-based cleantech business incubator, to offer a year-long fellowship program for start-ups engaged in sustainable solutions focused on transportation or agriculture.
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Eco Living

Let's Save 300,000 Gallons of Gas a Year

Aug 19th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Since we launched our [Turn It Off anti-idling campaign](http://iturnitoff.com), thousands of people have pledged to stop unnecessary idling. Many people who signed the pledge have asked for ways to spread the word about idling in their local communities. We thought that was a great idea, so we just launched an anti-idling toolkit with free downloadable posters, flyers, and infographics, ready for printing and sharing.
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Innovation

Ag and Energy Startups Compete in Louisville

Aug 5th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Sustainable America is proud to be a partnering with Village Capital and VentureWell as a sponsor of the 2013 Louisville Agriculture and Cleantech Accelerator program, a sustainable energy and agriculture business competition in Louisville, Kentucky. This competition is seeking the next generation of enterprises focused on technology-driven solutions to the country’s most pressing agriculture and energy issues. Here’s an update on this exciting program.
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Transportation

Infographic: Top 10 States to Drive Electric

Jul 26th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Determining how much money you can save by switching from a gas-powered vehicle to electric became a lot easier in June when the Department of Energy released it's new eGallon calculator. Find out which states' EV drivers save the most, and how you can lower your costs even further.
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Innovation

Sustainable America Partners With SXSW Eco 2013

Jul 22nd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

We're proud to announce that Sustainable America has been chosen as the official Food & Waste Education Partner for the SXSW Eco 2013 conference. Along with exhibiting at the conference, which runs October 7-9, we will help SXSW Eco implement a composting program in order to help achieve a zero-waste event.
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Food System

Is Your State Locavore-Friendly?

Jun 27th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

The second-annual Locavore Index, which ranks states in terms of access to locally produced food, was released recently by Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group. The rankings compare the number of farmers markets, CSAs and food hubs on a per capita basis. Like last year, Vermont came out on top by a landslide, which shows that it is possible for a state to build a thriving local food system. Also, like last year, we used the data to make an infographic. How does your state stack up?
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Eco Living

The Truth About Idling [infographic]

Jun 11th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

As part of our Turn It Off anti-idling campaign, we created this handy, shareable infographic that explains the facts about idling and why it is a crucial economic, health, and environmental issue. A small change to your daily driving habits can make a big change. Take a look, then take the pledge to stop idling and spread the word.
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Transportation

The Falling Costs of Electric Vehicles

May 27th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

What if you could drive an electric vehicle for virtually nothing? In some states, this is actually possible, as a recent Wall Street Journal article reports. Several car companies are offering discount leases this year, the federal government offers a $7,500 tax credit, and several states offer additional credits and incentives. Learn how Georgia resident Bronson Beisel, fared on a lease for a new Nissan Leaf, and what other companies are offering.
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Eco Living

10 Reasons to Turn Off an Idling Car

May 24th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

It happens, we know. You're picking up a friend, waiting for your fast food order or just trying to warm up your car on cold morning — and you leave it running for a little while. It's easy to let those minutes tick by, but getting into the habit of turning your car off when you'll be idle for more than 10 seconds can make a big difference. Here's why...
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Eco Living

Kids Draw a Sustainable America

May 20th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Sustainable America made a stop in Wilton, Connecticut, a few weeks ago to take part in the Wilton Go Green Festival, where we asked kids to draw their vision of a sustainable America and let the adults experience the Tesla S.
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Innovation

Vote for Us on SXSW Eco

May 13th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

We're ready to spread the word about sustainability at the SXSW Eco conference happening this October in Austin, but we need your help. Please vote for our presentation proposals. All you have to do is register as a SXSW PanelPicker (it's quick and painless), search for "Sustainable America" and give us a thumbs up for each one.
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Transportation

Sustainable America Rallies With EV Owners

May 6th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Last weekend, Sustainable America took its Tesla Model S to the streets to participate in the Westport Electric Car Club Road Rally in Westport, Connecticut. Owners of more than 20 different electric cars, including a Tesla Roadster, Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Fisker Karma, and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, competed to see who could cover the course in the least amount of miles. Here are some pictures from the event.
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Transportation

Major U.S. Railway May Ditch Diesel

Apr 8th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

In yet another sign that natural gas is gaining steam as a transportation fuel, one of America's biggest railroads, BNSF Railway Co., is undertaking a pilot program that will test the feasibility of using natural gas to fuel its locomotives.
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Eco Living

How to Grow an Avocado Plant

Apr 2nd, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Grow your own avocados with this helpful infographic
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Eco Living

A Surprising Food Waste Solution

Mar 25th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

When it comes to disposing of kitchen food waste, nothing beats good, old-fashioned composting. But if you haven't made the leap yet, there may another way to prevent your food scraps from ending up in landfills. In fact, you may already be using it.
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Transportation

How Much Corn Should We Put in Our Fuel Tanks? [video]

Mar 18th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Want to know more about Sustainable America's mission and work? Watch Executive Director Jeremy Kranowitz explain how the rising demand for oil and food is dangerously intertwined and what we plan to do about it.
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Food System

The Hidden Costs of Drought

Mar 8th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Shipping on the Mississippi River has returned to normal levels after a threatened shutdown due to the drought, but the scare exposed one more way our food supply is vulnerable to extreme weather events.
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Food System

Chicago Puts Urban Gardens on the Map

Feb 8th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Mapping urban agriculture efforts in major cities isn't a new idea—various projects in cities like [San Francisco](https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=214070758174767497093.0004b75dc4d1b5ba7b51f&msa=0), [New York](http://gardenmaps.org/) and [New Orleans](http://www.noffn.org/2013/01/growing-sites-markets-other-sites-in-nola/) plot out where their community gardens, urban farms and school gardens are located. But a new project in Chicago has dug deeper than the others by attempting to account for every backyard vegetable garden in the city.
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Transportation

7 Ways The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 Benefits Alternative Fuels

Jan 21st, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 included several incentives that benefit the alternative fuels industry through the end of 2013. The credits will help lower the price of alternative fuels and make them more competitive with fossil fuels, as well as help start-ups grow their businesses.
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Transportation

Indianapolis to Be First City to Shift Entire Fleet to Alternative Fuels

Jan 18th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced plans to convert all the city's vehicles to alternative fuel sources by 2025, making it the first major U.S. city to aim for a total conversion to non-oil-based fuels.
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Food System

The Drought of 2012 Continues

Jan 14th, 2013 | By Amy Leibrock

While the big weather news this fall focused on Hurricane Sandy, the drought of 2012 continues to affect more than 60 percent of the United States and is forecast to continue through at least March 2013, affecting food production, food prices, and shipping prices.
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