Smart people have been following the advice from health officials to limit trips outside the home to slow the spread of COVID-19, which means bigger grocery trips. This sounds innocuous until you realize that since this is a time a lot of people are regularly cooking at home they don’t know how to manage their filled fridges. Produce goes bad faster than expected and people might by stuff with good intentions only to forget about it.
How do we deal with this increase of potential food waste? Make a list.
Keeping your fridge stocked without much of its contents ending up in your compost bin (note: this is also a great time to get a compost bin if you don’t already have one) isn’t hard, but it does take a modicum of effort. To that end, I made up a very basic, fly-by-night system to organize yourself, your groceries, and your cooking. You can basically modify it however works for you! The idea is just to keep track of what you buy and when it will go bad using lists, and keeping that information in plain sight on your refrigerator.
The system is extremely low-tech, and it’s based on a series of lists: picking out a few exciting things you want to try cooking before you go to the grocery store, putting ingredients for those meals on your grocery list, writing down when all the food items you’ve purchased will start to go bad, and then making a cooking schedule to accommodate all those (approximate — we’re all guessing) expiration dates. I suggest putting these lists in plain sight, like on your fridge, to keep your meal plan front-of-mind.
There are so many small things we can do throughout our day that can make the world a better place. Sometimes it may seem like there are so many we can’t focus on which activity to accomplish. Luck for us there is a website that lists 50 small ways to make a large impact – just choose one and go for it!
Some of the suggestions are common sense, so it should be easy to incorporate into your everyday, just look at #25:
25. BATCH ERRANDS
Feel like you spend your whole week trying to catch up with the errands? Take a few moments once a week to make a list of all the errands that need to get done, and see if you can batch them into one trip. Not only will you be saving gasoline, but you might find yourself with much better time-management skills.
See all 50.
Here is one person’s take on predictions for green buildings in 2011, and I like it. The list is pretty focused on the USA but has relevance throughout the world, check it out to see what types of new and proposed buildings to expect this year.
9. District Scale: Living Blocks
Resource allotment and direct collaboration with the private and public stakeholders will continue to provide opportunities for district scale “living blocks.” Taking a page from our European counterparts, block-scale solutions have enjoyed a large amount of attention in 2010. 2011 should represent the year when these practices get put into action in cities like Portland and Denver. The Living City Block and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado are working to advance a model that we be implemented throughout the U.S.
10. Mainstream Green
Green building will learn to move away from an elite culture and adopt the language and practices which will deliver a more accessible industry. The mainstreaming of green building is a tough practice given that you are dealing with topics connected to professions like architecture and engineering where acronyms and obscure scientific terms grow like weeds. As it becomes more and more important to provide relevant products and services to the mainstream user, the industry must consider how it names and markets products and services. A bioswale landscape feature does not naturally engage the community it is located in until the public starts to think of it as a beautiful “rain garden” in the neighborhood. Positioning our technology, products, and services in a way that engages the people, business communities and municipalities that they serve will decide who stays in a market that is quickly filling up with competition.
Read the complete list here.
Green roofs are a great thing to have on nearly any building. Environmental Graffiti has compiled a list of eight incredible green roofs.
Green roofs have been around for centuries in Northern Scandanavia, but they’ve really only become a popular trend in the last few decades. Recognized now for their ability to reduce the urban heat island effect while also reducing heat loss and energy consumption in winter months – among many other benefits – green roofs are really taking off, all around the world. And these aren’t just your average pieces of sod plopped on top of a building, either. These roofs are meant to be seen, designed by the artistically inclined in newfound attempts to express and flex their creativity.
Nobody is perfect and everybody can improve their life, the hard part is doing it. Lucky for us Select Courses has a list of 100 talks for self-improvement on topics like how to better respect the environment to relationships and society.
These days, it’s hard to get motivated enough for anything. The economy is down, your savings–if you had any to start with–have probably dwindled, and it’s still easy to get depressed about the housing market, the environment, foreign policy, and even the possibility of sending your kids to college. But that’s exactly why we need inspiration and mood boosters at any cost. Luckily for you, these are free.