How to Green a Burrito or Fresh-Mex Restaurant: Top 10 Sustainable Strategies

Want to green your Fresh-Mex or burrito place?  There are some sustainable strategies unique to both restaurants in general and those which serve cuisine like burritos, tacos, and nachos.  Here are the top 10: Organi-fy your staples. Beans and rice are a staple on most Mexican/Fresh-Mex menus, and represent the grand majority of the calories you’ll be delivering. The great news is that this is an easy thing to get organic without breaking the bank. At our local food co-op,…

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Urban Metabolism and Re-Nuble

In the three years since I founded my own company, I have learned that linkages are borne out of the unlikeliest of places. Five years ago, I was sitting with my colleague, Ranjith Annepu, discussing an idea Karl Marx first introduced – urban metabolism. Urban metabolism studies cities as if they were organisms, which exchange materials and energy from their surroundings to sustain life. This concept, was inspiring to both Ranjith and I because a majority of the human population…

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Green Business Idea: Composting Food Scraps & Yard Waste

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to organic waste such as food scraps and yard trimmings, at least if you are an enterprising composter. Taking a reliable waste stream, such as food waste from restaurants, grocery stores, and homes, and turning it into a valuable soil-building amendment is the basis of this green business idea, which Stephen Hanley, of our sister site Sustainablog gives us an introduction to:…

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Tackling the Global E-Waste Problem (Infographic)

Originally published on CustomMade. Last year, the world produced nearly 54 million tons of electrical and electronic products, but only a fraction of it was reused, refurbished, or recycled. With a relatively short lifecycle, e-waste now litters dumpsites all over the world, exposing humans and the environment to toxic materials. Some eco-conscious offices use industrial desks made mostly from recycled materials, while a number of homeowners have turned to reclaimed barnwood to create sustainable desks and entertainment centers. However, despite…

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From Food Scraps to Fuel: Fueling a Fleet with CNG Made from Waste

There’s no denying that some renewable energy technologies are more visually appealing than others, especially the highly visible ones that look decidedly more ‘space-age’, such as solar power and wind power, but it’s going to take a variety of approaches, including not-so-sexy technologies such as converting waste to energy, to create a true clean energy future. One of the more common waste products in the developed world these days is food waste (which is a sad truth in a world…

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Green Roofs Can Help Reduce Stormwater Runoff by 30%

Green roofs, which incorporate living plants and soil into a building’s environment by using the roof of a structure as a growing space, is a great example of a sustainable building element that can efficiently serve more than one function in the environment, and can have benefits far beyond its own small footprint. By cooling the roof of a structure, green roofs can lower a building’s climate control load, both for cooling and heating, and when solar panels are installed…

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Startup helps restaurants and groceries turn food waste into fertilizer

Food waste is a huge issue these days, not just in the home, but also in the food service and grocery industries, with an estimated 40% or more of the food in the U.S. ending up as waste each year – totaling millions of tons of organic matter. And with food production consuming as much as 80% of our freshwater, 50% of our land, and 10% of our energy, that food waste ends up also being water and energy waste…

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Cleaning Water With Music CDs

Researchers in Taiwan have come up with an interesting way to make use of the incredible quantities of compact discs which are thrown away every year — use them to break down sewage and clean wastewater. The research team behind the new idea will be presenting their wastewater treatment device (which utilizes CDs) at the Optical Society’s (OSA) Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2013, October 6-10 in Orlando, Florida. “Optical disks are cheap, readily available, and very commonly used,” states…

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