In the previous post, we explored some of the benefits that restaurants and cafeterias gain from working with Re-Nuble to green the planet and reduce waste. Better food, fewer costs, and more profit are just a few of the primary advantages.
But what if you’re not a restaurant owner? What if you’re just an average individual who cares about the planet but has a difficult time grasping the personal or global impact that the Re-Nuble mission can have?
- Will the planet really care if you sort your organic waste and recycle?
- Will the money saved by adopting Re-Nuble’s vision move you closer to retirement?
- Can the environmental challenges facing the world be solved from your home?
Believe it or not, the answer to all 3 is yes? But let’s take a closer look to understand why. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of reducing, reusing, and recycling at home. In Part 2, we’ll look at how you can extend these principles to the outside world.
Greening the Planet Step 1 – Reduce
Did you know that the average American throws away 200-250 pounds of organic waste annually? I don’t know what this is in strictly dollar terms, but it’s quite literally money that we throw away.
So before we can begin deriving any real benefit from recycling, it’s time to do an audit in which you assess your consumption habits. If you never eat those bananas before they turn, then just buy fewer bananas next time. The same goes with all the frequently thrown out food in your kitchen.
Look for the 20% of items that contribute 80% of the organic waste – and stop buying them or dramatically limit your consumption. It’s possible to reduce your waste almost completely if you’re really dedicated. If the Johnson and Korsts families can do it, so can you. By following their examples, you’ll instantly begin saving money.
Greening the Planet Step 2 – Reuse
There’s probably a lot of food in the fridge that you throw away because you can’t be bothered. We’re not judging. Who wants to eat a soggy apple or brown banana?
But you’d be surprised how much extra mileage you can get out of a lot of commonly discarded food.
- The fruits that are about to turn? Peel, cut, and store them in the freezer. They’re perfect for smoothies (just add fruit juice and blend).
- The veggies that are going stale? Freeze them and save them for soup (here’s an easy recipe for carrot soup – but you can substitute almost any combination of vegetables. Again, you’ll need a blender).
They say that a penny saved is a penny earned. When you reuse (i.e. save) food that would normally get tossed out, you not only “earn” money, but you also “earn” time by not having to shop as often.
Admittedly, there are some things you can’t reuse for smoothies and soups. Orange peels, spoiled food, coffee grinds, eggshells – to name a few. But we’re not finished yet. You can sometimes repurpose these things for other uses. Here’s a list of interesting home tips for everything from all-natural shoe polish to potpourri.
Greening the Planet Step 3 – Recycle
If you can’t find any immediate uses for your kitchen leftovers, it’s time to recycle your organic waste into compost. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started, but for the time being, let’s focus on the 2 biggest benefits to you:
- You will have a healthier, more robust home garden by using compost instead of industrial fertilizers (check out some of the advantages of organic over petro-fertilizer). If you grow fruits, herbs, or vegetables, they’ll be more delicious AND nutritious than any produce you could grow with synthetics or buy at the store.
- You save money since composting is free (after the initial set-up). Most store-bought fertilizer is $10 on up. Not a lot, but wouldn’t you prefer spending that $10 on something truly worthwhile (like our crowdfunding campaign)?
Obviously, composting is not for everyone. If you live in an apartment building or don’t have a backyard, you probably won’t be able to recycle your organic waste on-site. But once Re-Nuble launches with the help of our crowdfunding initiative, we hope to add residential pick-up to our collection services.
In the meantime, stay tuned for the next update in this 2-part series. We’ll look at how you can build on the steps outlined above and use your buying power and personal influence to help spread the green movement.