Food Waste at Home – Top 5 Happy Eco News – November 1, 2021
Introduction by Grant Brown, Founder, Happy Eco News.
Thank you for reading the Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5 newsletter.
If all had gone according to plan this year, I would have been in Glasgow right now. I was invited over a year ago to speak at COP26. Not because I am so special, but because the company I was working for at the time is an expert in a specific decarbonization niche. Having worked in the industry since its beginning, I am proficient in my knowledge of this niche.
But, just like most things it seems, when you publicly announce something that is beyond your control, Murphy’s law takes over and somehow makes it not happen. Earlier this year I parted ways with the energy storage company that I was to speak on behalf of. Our parting of ways was amicable and was the right thing for me, but I sure was looking forward to being a part of the biggest environmental event of the last 10 years.
I’ve been feeling a little bummed out about missing it, but the reality is I wasn’t there to contribute directly to the COP outcomes in any meaningful way. My role was to give a presentation about decarbonizing the marine industry. This work is truly important but is only one small part of the program. I really was going to be there as a spectator on a fun junket of sorts. I would be attending black-tie parties, eating fancy food, and rubbing shoulders with (so-called) important people. Upon reflection, it was my ego more than anything else that would prompt me to burn the carbon required to fly halfway around the world during a climate crisis. It would have ended up just another checkmark or a really interesting anecdote like so many others I have had in my already privileged career.
Thankfully, I quit my job. Thankfully I caught my ongoing hypocrisy while writing this. Thankfully, today instead of flying all the way to Glasgow, I am instead here at my home near Vancouver, supporting those who are doing the real work. The ones that will toil for the next 2 weeks to ensure the 26th United Nations Conference of Parties is a success. To that end, I am doing my part, writing this, living my life, doing what I do to help the Happy Eco News audience stay informed and optimistic and maybe make some sense of it all.
I have always liked the old adage of “think global, act local“, except in this case I am staying local and acting globally – close enough for me. As usual, I hope you all will take inspiration from the Happy Eco News, and take some small form of positive action as well.
This week we have a blog post by Jean Ong, the founder of Ecolover United who tells us about ways we can reduce food waste at home and her favorite applications for doing that. We also have stories about the use of recycled cooking oil for passenger flights, the ban of oil and gas drilling in Los Angeles County, the world’s biggest carbon-sucking machine, Tesco’s loop recycling program, and a project to restore Brazilian pine forests.
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Guest post by: Jean Ong, founder of Ecolover United
Fighting climate change is as easy as eating well and as convenient as having a kitchen manager run your kitchen for FREE. Fighting global warming means winning over food waste. And for millennials, winning over food waste means eating like a gourmand WHILE saving money, and hiring a kitchen manager for FREE.
Food waste is a huge problem, it emits a huge amount of global warming greenhouse gases. If food waste were a country it would be the 3rd biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, after USA and China. So just by eating our food and not throwing it away, we’re already creating a big impact on global warming.
Winning against food waste is as convenient as using your phone. Fighting food waste? There’s an app for that…[read more].
The Happy Eco News Weekly Top 5
British Airways has operated its first passenger service directly powered by sustainable aviation fuel, a London to Glasgow flight that the airline said produced 62% less CO2 emissions than a similar journey a decade ago. The airline said the combination of the fuel – partly made from recycled cooking oil – with optimal flight paths, electrified airport vehicles and its newest plane slashed emissions. BA said it had offset the CO2 produced, making the flight carbon-neutral. While about 6.4 tons of CO2 were still produced by flight BA1476 on Tuesday, the airline said the flight was intended to demonstrate the progress made by the aviation industry in its attempts to decarbonise ahead of the Cop26 summit. The service was operated by BA’s special liveried “sustainability” plane, an Airbus A320neo, its quietest and most fuel-efficient short-haul model. The fuel was a 35% mix of sustainable fuels (SAFs) from BP – close to the maximum proportion currently permitted and higher than in similar demonstration flights. Further contributions to maximising efficiency came from the air traffic control service Nats, which ensured a direct ascent and descent with no holding time, while Heathrow used vehicles powered by green electricity to push the…[read more].
Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously Wednesday to phase out oil and gas drilling and ban new drill sites in the unincorporated areas of the nation’s most populous county. Over 1,600 active and idle oil and gas wells in the county could be shuttered after the 5-0 vote by the board of supervisors. A timetable for the phaseout will be decided after the county determines the fastest way to legally shut down the wells. Among the sites is the Inglewood Oil Field, one of the largest U.S. urban oil fields. The sprawling, 1,000-acre (405-hectare) site, owned and operated by Sentinel Peak Resources, contains over half the oil and gas wells in the county’s unincorporated areas. The field produced 2.5 million to 3.1 million barrels of oil a year over the past decade, according to the company. “The goal is to provide direction to county departments to begin addressing the variety of issues, environmental and climate impacts created by these active and inactive oil and gas wells,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, who represents the district where most of the Inglewood Oil Field is located. Mitchell, along with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, made the motion to… [read more].
Carbon capture could become essential in a bid to reduce the effects of climate change. The largest DAC plant in the world opened on Sept. 8 in Iceland, operated by the Swiss engineering startup Climeworks. The plant, known as Orca, will annually draw down a volume of emissions equivalent to about 870 cars. We have to start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to have any chance of averting the worst impacts of global warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said last month. The fossil fuel economy must be run in reverse, effectively. The simplest and lowest-cost way to do that—planting trees—requires a lot of land relative to the scale of intervention that’s needed. So a handful of companies have been tinkering with “direct air capture” (DAC)—essentially, big CO2-sucking machines. The largest DAC plant in the world will open on Sept. 8 in Iceland. Operated by the Swiss engineering startup Climeworks , the plant, known as Orca, will annually draw down a volume of emissions equivalent to about 870 cars. Orca will boost total… [read more].
As British grocery store chain Tesco continues to grow its sustainability program, it has implemented a zero-waste packaging system at 10 of its stores in England. The Tesco program offered by TerraCycle’s reusable packaging platform Loop will include 88 products. The grocer says if the program is successful with consumers, packaging could be used and reused more than 2.5 million times a year. Loop launched its service in the UK with an online offering with Tesco in the spring of 2020 with plans to eventually bring it to brick and mortar stores. Tesco, the UK’s largest grocery chain, implemented a plan to reduce plastic waste in 2019. Since then it says it has reduced a billion pieces of plastic from its UK business and will reduce another half a billion this year. The company also says it has reduced materials in its packaging by 2,000 metric tons and has launched soft plastic recycling centers in all of its large stores. “We are determined to tackle plastic waste and one of the ways we can help is by improving reuse options available to customers,” Tesco CEO Ken Murphy says. With the Loop program, consumers pay a small refundable deposit and buy… [read more].
A project in Southern Brazil aims to restore 335 hectares (827 acres) of Araucaria moist forests and plant 250,000 seedlings of native species inside Conservation Units and Permanent Preservation Areas on small farms. The Araucaria tree is the symbol of the Brazilian state of Paraná, yet only 0.8% of its natural forests remain in a good state of conservation — a mere 60,000 hectares (150,000 acres) of the original 8 million (20 million acres) that once existed here. Aside from reversing tree cuts in Paraná — the state with the highest rate of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest — the project hopes to transform natural areas into economic assets through compensation programs that pay the farmers for their environmental services for keeping the forest standing. Araucaria trees have been growing since the Jurassic period, surviving across numerous geological eras and events like the split of the Gondwana supercontinent. But today’s Araucarias are not managing to withstand the hands of humans and their chainsaws. The tree also known as the Brazilian Pine has its habitat in the Mixed Ombrophilous Forest, one of the Atlantic Forest ecosystems that once covered large swaths of southern Brazil. But more than a century of… [read more].
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