We love how progressive Seattle is and this straw ban is groundbreaking in the nation. Often ending up in the ocean or in the noses of that poor turtle we all saw the viral video of, compostable straws are a better alternative and will be allowed under the new ordinance. Congratulations Seattle! Read more here.
Originally published by Central Market.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but here in Texas we know this is not the time to put away the grill just yet. This recipe for light and easy Grilled Tilapia tacos works well with a variety of marinades and sauces and is a great way to break out of your burger rut. What’s more, Seafood Watch names Tilapia as one of the most sustainable fish around. Serve it on 100% plant-based Repurpose tableware to give summer an earth-friendly send-off.
Grilled Tilapia Tacos with Cucumber Salsa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for the grill
- 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 radishes, sliced
- 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup sour cream
How to Make It
1. Heat grill to high. When heated, oil the grill.
2. Season the fish with the coriander, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and grill until cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
3. Remove the fish from the grill and break into pieces.
4. In a 16-ounce Repurpose compostable bowl (it’s sustainable, too), toss the radishes and cucumber with lime juice, oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
5. Place the fish in the tortillas and top with cucumber salsa, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.
6. Serve on a sturdy and sustainable Repurpose dinner plate.
Originally published by Vitacost.
If you’re a parent, you already know that playdates help strengthen your child’s bond with classmates and neighbors. Playdates also encourage critical social skills like communication, negotiation and conflict resolution. But they’re also an opportunity to teach your little ones how to honor nature, protect the planet and develop lifelong earth-friendly habits. Here are four fun ways to green your child’s next afterschool adventure.
Serve sustainable snacks
Learning takes serious fuel, which is why kids always come home from school famished. Serve healthy snacks without processed sugars and artificial flavors that will satiate their hunger without spoiling their dinner. You can prep these snacks ahead of time and have the children assemble them themselves.
- Yogurt parfaits. Layer fruits like strawberries, blueberries and banana with granola and organic low-fat yogurt.
- Hummus and veggie sticks
- Homemade kale chips. Cut kale into 1-1/2-inch pieces, toss with olive oil and salt, and bake at 275 degrees F. for 20 minutes, turning once.
- Rice cakes with almond butter and apple slices
- Popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast flakes.
For an extra dose of sustainability, serve snacks on Repurpose tableware. Made exclusively from plants, this super sturdy line of compostable plates, bowls, cups and utensils are free of BPA and chlorine.
Go for “green” slime
DIY slime is all the rage, but most recipes call for sodium borate, a compound found in detergents that can irritate skin, eyes and lungs. Instead, help your gooey gunk makers whip up a batch using the fiber supplement psyllium.
- Add psyllium and water to a 16-oz. Repurpose microwave-safe bowl and stir well to dissolve.
- Add a few drops food coloring and stir completely.
- Place bowl in microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir the mixture halfway through cooking.
- Remove bowl and cool. Slime will still be liquid at first; it will begin to congeal as it cools.
- Repeat with different colors.
Opt for the outdoors
Kids are spending half the amount time outdoors as they did 20 years ago. Studies have shown that children who play outdoors are more physically active, creative in their play, concentrate better and show less aggression. What’s more, a new study in Canada found that kids who play outdoors are more likely to protect nature as adults. So head outside with these easy eco-activities:
- Pack a picnic with Repurpose’s compostable cups, plates and utensils and find a shady spot at the park.
- Visit a nearby hiking spot or wilderness area. Point out local birds, bugs, plants and critters and see if they can find others.
- Participate in a mini-cleanup to see who can pick up the most litter. You can talk to the kids about the impact of litter on our natural world. Just be sure to pack gloves and hand wipes.
- Stage a nature scavenger hunt. Have the kids find natural objects like wildflowers, pods, acorns, feathers and leaves.
Make cleanup clear
Post-playdate can look like the aftermath of a tornado. Involve kids in the cleanup by having them create signs for the trash, recycling and compost bins, listing the kinds of items that go in each one. Then, 30 minutes before the end of the playdate, ask them to pick up, looking for things that go in each bin. You can also ask them to think of ideas of how they could reuse any of the materials.
Whenever we need a pick-me-up, we stroll into the corner office to chat with Repurpose’s founder and CEO Lauren Gropper. With 75 LEED projects under her belt, Lauren is a powerhouse of green architecture and urban design. She was the host of Green Force on HGTV, consulted on Hyundai’s carbon neutral campaign and has Adrian Grenier on speed dial. What’s more, she’s a problem solver, whether we’re tackling plastic pollution or trying to settle on a spot for happy hour.
RP: What do you love most about your job?
LG: The sales “wins” are really fun. We often feel like we’re the little David fighting against the big Goliath. When we can knock down big new customers, it feels great. The other piece of it is that we’re able to provide a sustainable product to people that otherwise wouldn’t have the option. I love being the solution—that we’ve created an affordable solution to a real environmental problem.
RP: What’s the hardest part of being an eco-entrepreneur?
LG: Trying to change consumer behavior…not always easy.
RP: What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
LG: “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.”
RP: If you could rid the world of one vice, what would it be?
LG: Careless consumption
RP: Where do you hope the compostables industry will be in 5 years?
LG: Ubiquitous! I hope that curbside composting becomes available widely so that we can fulfill our zero waste Repurpose vision.
RP: What gives you hope?
LG: My daughter, Vivienne.
RP: What super power do you most wish you possessed?
LG: Unlimited wish granting :)
Of course you have no intention of drinking oil. Oil is for cars and lawnmowers and jetliners. It’s not a beverage. And yet, every time you sip from a plastic cup, you are drinking from a petroleum-based product.
We have PTSD from high school chemistry, so we’re going to keep this simple. Plastic was originally a plant and animal based product. The recipe included Gutta-percha, a latex derived from tree sap, shellac, which comes from the secretion of insects, animal horns and camphor. Then in 1951, chemists at the Phillips petroleum company invented polyethylene plastics and history was made. Today, polyethylene is the most widely produced plastic in the world.
So what’s wrong with plastic? Let us count the ways.
1. Plastics are made from oil. Oil is a non-renewable resource that wreaks havoc on our environment. According to the EPA, 10-25 million gallons are spilled every year, polluting the air and water, destroying fragile ecosystems and killing wildlife.
2. Plastics are also made from natural gas. And that’s not much better. Two-thirds of natural gas comes from fracking, a water-intensive process that releases harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and can contaminate drinking water.
3. Plastic pollutes the ocean. Nearly 70% of the litter in the ocean is plastic. In 2010, 4 million to 12 million metric tons of plastic entered the world’s seas—enough to cover every foot of coastline on the planet.
4. Plastic contains hormone-disrupting chemicals. BPA became the buzzword, but plastic contains a slew of other chemicals that mess with our endocrine systems. A University of Texas study found that almost all commercially available plastic products leach harmful chemicals—even if they’re labeled BPA-free.
Repurpose’s entire line of compostable cups, plates, bowls and utensils is made from plant-based materials like corn and sugar cane. Because drinking, eating, slurping or swallowing oil is gross. See for yourself:
While California's Governor Jerry Brown explores clean energy partnerships abroad, a growing network of cleantech entrepreneurs are doubling down to find sustainable solutions, with support from their state. Repurpose Co-Founder & CMO Corey Scholibo talks to Channel News Asia's Patrcie Howard about how California will be leading the way in green now that the federal government has chosen not to.
We are so happy to announce that Lulu Laviolette has joined the Repurpose team as Administrative Assistant . A Berkley grad majoring in Political Economy, Lulu has the green bug. We find out what makes this Los Angeles native, a vegan, a greenie and an activist.
RP: Where did you grow up?
LL: I grew up in the heart of LA- Mid-Wilshire.
RP: What's the best job you ever had? Why was it so great?
LL: The best job I ever had has to be working for a lobster roll restaurant. It smelled so good and I got to eat the leftover lobster and crab when they were no longer legal to sell (still tasted awesome, though).
RP: If you could have any talent what would it be?
LL: I wish I could sing well. It’s a great party trick, as well as a great way to express one’s artistic side and emotions.
RP: What do you like to do when you're not working?
LL: I’m big on hiking. I moved out to the West Side of LA and am finding some amazing trails out there. Many have a mix of seaside and mountainside. On a clear day, you can get views all the way to Newport (for non- L.A. residents, that’s far).
RP: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
LL: Dog. 100%. But with apartment limitations, I am getting a cat in the fall.
RP: What's your favorite thing about working with eco friendly products?
LL: I am excited that I can say that I’m actually doing something in my daily life to help the future of the environment and public health! A lot of people don’t know what they can do to minimize their waste. Buy from Repurpose, people!
RP: What is the Number 1 thing you do to be green every day
LL: I don’t eat meat, and try not to eat animal products (cheese, eggs, etc.). Animal farming takes up so much water, land, and food resources! Cutting that out reduces my carbon footprint by a lot.
RP: Who is your environmental hero?
LL: It sounds cliche, but my environmental hero is Al Gore. Not only did he take on the role of being a major whistleblower on the imminence of climate change, but he has remained optimistic and positive about society’s ability to mitigate its most dramatic effects. He’s been able to be a leader even with big policy changes and slow movement on using renewables and eco-friendly products.
Ever notice how most people think they’re good at whistling? It’s weird, because most of us are actually just so-so whistlers. But that got us thinking. What if that same overly generous self-assessment applied to our eco-friendliness too? Maybe we think of ourselves as diehard protectors of the planet, chained to a redwood tree, when really all we do is recycle the newspaper. We had to find out, so we created this quiz.
Memorial Day is significant for a few reasons. First and foremost, it’s a day to remember the brave souls who died serving in our armed forces. It’s also the unofficial start of summer and a three-day weekend that begs for outdoor dining. Whether you’re barbecuing in the backyard, grilling by the pool, or picnicking in the park, these 6 tips will help you throw an eco-friendly al fresco feast.
1. Pick the right plate
This goes for bowls, cups and utensils, too. When eating outdoors, you need sturdy tableware that can stand up to all manner of sloppy and saucy foods without leaking or bending. Instead of plastic products, which end up clogging our landfills and polluting our oceans, choose Repurpose’s line of compostable plates, bowls, cups and utensils. They’re super strong and made from renewable plants, including corn, sugar cane and bamboo.
2. Opt for local and organic fare
Organic foods produced without toxic chemicals protects soil and wildlife and promotes biodiversity. Local foods don’t need to travel far, which means less CO2 ends up in our atmosphere, and buying them helps support small, neighborhood farms. If you’re mixing conventional and organic in your picnic basket, make sure these 12 fruits and veggies are always organic.
3. Repel bugs naturally
We love everything about eating outside—except the bugs. But don’t douse yourself with DEET. The pungent-smelling repellent can cause skin irritation and has been shown to disrupt the nervous system of mice. Look for natural soy-based repellents or ones containing lemon eucalyptus oil. Both ingredients have been shown to be as effective as DEET in warding off those biting bugs.
4. Leave behind the lighter fluid
Protect your eyebrows and the planet by ditching the lighter fluid when cooking with charcoal. Lighter fluid is made from toxic petroleum concentrates, which pollute the air and leave a residue on your food. Dust off your campfire badge and use a charcoal chimney starter instead. It costs about $20 at hardware stores and provides a simple way to fire up the grill without harsh chemicals.
5. Don’t tread on the flowers
By all means have fun and be free when you’re outside, but always be respectful of nature. Stay on paths and trails, keep your kids from frolicking in the flowers and don’t let your pups chase critters. Also, don’t feed wildlife. Our food is not their food and the animals lose their natural fear of people and cars, which can open them up to harm.
6. Take out your trash
Leave no trace is a cardinal rule of outdoor ethics. When prepping for a picnic, remember to pack your own trash bags to haul away food, garbage and recyclables. Bring them along even if you’re headed to a spot with community trashcans and recycle bins, which can fill up fast on popular weekends.
Being an environmentalist can be tricky. Do you use bucket loads of water to clean out that plastic peanut butter jar for recycling, or toss it in the trash and save the H20? It’s a win-lose situation no matter what you choose. Yet every once in a while there are those public enemy issues—like coal or aerosol cans—that are crystal clear. We see palm oil that way.
Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world. Cheap and versatile, it can be found in everything from beauty products and cleaning supplies to ice cream, packaged foods and biodiesel. And it’s destroying the planet at Mach speed. Here are four big reasons to give it up.
1. The rainforest
Indonesia and Malaysia produce 90 percent of the world’s palm oil, and they’ve cleared 3.5 million hectares of ecologically diverse rainforest to produce it.
2. Orangutans, elephants and tigers
The Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests are home to endangered species found nowhere else on Earth. And deforestation for palm oil decimates their habitat. If it continues, scientists estimate the orangutan will be extinct in 10 years.
3. Global warming
Tropical rainforests store massive amounts of carbon. When they’re burned down, that carbon is released into the atmosphere as C02, the leading cause of global warming. Indonesia currently ranks fifth in greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Human rights
Investigations have uncovered severe human rights abuses throughout the palm oil industry, including forced labor, child labor, physical abuse and debt bondage.
Giving up palm oil is easier than you might think—except when it comes to Nutella. Thankfully, this homemade version from the Splendid Table is equally delicious.
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, more or less depending upon your preference
Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 12 minutes, until they’ve browned a little and the skins are blistered a little. Wrap them in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove as much loose skin as possible. (Some skin will cling to the nuts when you’re done. It’s okay—not to mention inevitable.) Let cool completely.
Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over gently simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Let cool completely.
In a food processor, grind the hazelnuts until they form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt and continue processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible-or as smooth as you like. Add the melted chocolate, blend well, and then strain the mixture to remove any chunks of hazelnut that remain. The resulting homemade Nutella will be thin and somewhat runny and maybe even a little warm but it will thicken as it cools.
Scrape your homemade nutella into a jar or other resealable container and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
There’s no way to say this gently. We’re stripping the ocean of fish faster than they can replenish their populations, and that poses one of the greatest threats to the ocean ecosystem today. So what can we do about it? A lot, thank goodness.
Start by eating only ocean-friendly seafood. Every year, Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes their state-by-state consumer guides that spell out the most sustainable seafood choices. The guides also let you know what species are a good alternative and the ones to avoid completely. The best part? They fold up small enough to fit in your wallet so you can have them handy when you shop.
While you are at the market or out to eat, be sure to ask whether the seafood is sustainable. Knowing customers care about protecting the ocean helps businesses make their own good choices.
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad
This super simple recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit, makes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner. It also shows off a sustainable seafood choice: wild Alaskan salmon. If you’re feeling adventurous, substitute farmed Arctic Char—another ocean-friendly fish that has a similar look and flavor to salmon. With either fish, leave the skin on. It protects the delicate fish and provides a nice crispy texture.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
- 1/2 fennel bulb, plus 2 tablespoons fronds
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 1 one-pound skin-on salmon fillet, wild-caught, cut into 4 pieces
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a mandoline, finely shave fennel; transfer to a medium bowl. Add fennel fronds, orange juice, and olive oil; toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper.
Heat grapeseed oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Place salmon in skillet skin side down. Cook without moving, pressing gently on fillets with a spatula to ensure skin is in full contact with pan, until skin is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven (do not turn fish over) and roast until salmon is just opaque in center, 3-4 minutes for medium-rare (time will depend on thickness of fish and desired doneness).
Divide fennel salad among plates. Top with salmon skin side up.
In an ideal world, all fruits and veggies would be organic. But today most conventional farms use synthetic pesticides to control bugs and weeds, and those chemicals end up in and on our fruits and vegetables—even after washing and peeling. Not so ideal.
Scientists continue to debate the health risks of consuming pesticides, but we prefer to play it safe. So we go organic whenever it’s available and our wallets can take the hit. That means we have to make smart choices. Enter the Environmental Working Group.
Every year, the EWG ranks pesticide contamination of the most popular fruits and vegetables. The produce with the least amount of pesticides is known as the Clean Fifteen. These foods are safe to eat conventionally. The 12 with the most pesticide residue become the Dirty Dozen. These guys should always be organic.
- Sweet bell peppers
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
This is one of our go-to salads. It’s bright and flavorful and the pecans pack a protein-punch. Consider crumbling blue cheese over the top for a heartier meal.
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 ounces organic baby spinach (8 cups)
- 1/2 pound organic strawberries, cut lengthwise into thick slices (1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup pecan halves (3 1/2 ounces), toasted and cooled
1. Whisk together vinegar, a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking well. Put spinach, strawberries, and pecans in a large bowl and toss with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat.
There are people who will tell you that every day should be meatless. We get it. We’re friends with them, and they have some compelling reasons, many of which are environmental. For instance:
1. Meat production is responsible for 14 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, including the potent methane and nitrous oxide.
2. It takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. (You need just 39 gallons of water for a pound of veggies.)
3. Plant-based diets have been shown to reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
The truth is, some of us just aren’t ready to go whole hog just yet. That’s why we practice by eating meatless every Monday. Here are a few tips we’ve learned along the way to make it simple and stress-free.
Figure out what you’re going to eat—before Monday morning. Nothing will send you to the drive-thru faster than being starving and having no idea what to make. Our friends at the Kitchn have 23 recipes to get you going.
2. Eat enough
Meat gives us a huge dose of protein and fat, which makes us feel satiated and energized. Vegetarian food can do the trick, but you need to make sure you are eating enough carbohydrates from whole grains and breads, fats like nut butters, avocados and oils and protein from legumes, soy, nuts and dairy products.
3. Try new foods
Yes, mac and cheese is meatless. But why not make Mondays an adventure? Try cooking an Indian dish. (We love this Chana Masala recipe.) Go out for Vietnamese food. Sign up for a farm box from a local community farm and force yourself to cook what they give you. You may find you like rutabaga!
CRUNCHY BEAN TACOS
This is one of our all-time favorite Meatless Monday recipes. So satisfying and on the table in 30 minutes flat.
Serves: Makes 8 tacos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups or 16 ounces cooked black beans
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of salt
- 4 to 6 ounces (1 heaping cup) grated Pepper Jack cheese
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 8 corn tortillas
In a medium bowl, add beans along with red onion, cilantro, cumin, and paprika. Add a pinch of salt and lightly mash all the ingredients together. Grate the cheese and have it ready as well.
In a large, nonstick or cast-iron skillet, add the 2 tablespoons oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add one corn tortilla at a time and let each get hot in the oil for a few seconds. Then add about 1/4 cup of the bean filling to one half of the tortilla. Top with a sprinkle of grated cheese. Try not to overfill the tacos, or you might have issues flipping them without losing filling.
Using a spatula, carefully fold the other half of the tortilla over to form a shell. Press down lightly on the tortilla so it holds its shape. If some cheese spills out, don’t worry — it will get crispy and delicious.
As the first taco cooks, move it to the side and begin a second one. Depending on the size of your pan, you can cook two or three tacos at once. A griddle will hold even more.
Cook each taco until they are nicely browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. When flipping the taco to cook on the other side, use a spatula and flip the taco toward the fold so the filling doesn’t fall out. If your pan is very dry between batches, add another drizzle of oil.
Place the cooked tacos in a warm oven while you finish the rest. If the tacos are very greasy, blot them with a paper towel before moving them to the oven.
Top tacos with hot sauce, salsa, avocados, and sour cream and serve on Repurpose plates.
Happy Earth Day! We’re honoring our planet this year with some good old-fashioned culinary activism. Every week in April, we’re focusing on a different environmental challenge facing the world today. Then, we provide a simple, healthy recipe that helps combat the problem. That’s right, you can eat your way to a better world!
Here’s the lineup:
Week 1: 12 Foods You Must Eat Organic
Recipe: Strawberry and Spinach Salad
Week 2: Save the Ocean. Eat Sustainable Seafood
Recipe: Pan-Roasted Salmon with Fennel Salad
Week 3: Four Reasons to Ditch Palm Oil
Recipe: Homemade Nutella
Week 4: Making Meatless Mondays Work
Recipe: Crunchy Black Bean Tacos
So put on a green apron (it’s Earth Day after all) and get cooking! Remember, you can double your do-gooding by serving these dishes on compostable Repurpose tableware.
We couldn’t be more excited to announce Brittany Abbott has joined our Repurpose team as a Sales Account Manager. We knew Brittany had sales chops. She has worked for years selling eco-friendly products at major retailers like Whole Foods. But there was a lot we didn’t know about Brittany until we sat her down for a Q&A. For instance, the St. Louis native plays guitar, geeks out on Radiolab, and may finally be able explain string theory to us. Bonus!
RP: If you could have any talent what would it be?
BA: A talent for theoretical sciences and experimental sciences. I am easily romanced by things like string theory and ghost particles. I've listened to every episode of Radiolab and many times wished I had a mind like Albert Einstein or Oliver Sacks.
RP: What's the best job you’ve ever had?
BA: Art Camp Counselor. There’s nothing better than seeing children take pride in something they create out of their own self-expression.
RP: What's your favorite thing about selling eco-friendly products?
BA: I am energized by conversations about humans’ impact on our environment. I am grateful to have a career that lets me engage with people about issues that ultimately impact the wellbeing of everything on earth.
RP: What changes have you seen in eco-friendly market since you began?
BA: More accessibility and choice of products that aim to be gentler to our environment. Seeing organic and compostable products at stores I have shopped at with my family when I was a child is proof to me that we as consumers have a lot of power in the market.
RP: What's your secret sales weapon?
BA: My ears and what sits between them.
RP: What do you like to do when you're not working?
BA: Play guitar. Music has always been important to me, but I put off learning to play an instrument until recently. If I could practice guitar all day, I would.
RP: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
BA:(whispers) dog. I love all animals ;)
At Repurpose, we consider ourselves competitive upcyclers. Some of us are old school coffee-cans-as-pencil-holders types, while others are angling to have their DIY designs on Pinterest’s most popular list. Whatever the scope, upcycling is in our DNA.
So it’ll come as no surprise that our super sturdy plates and bowls are actually built from waste materials. Hold on, it’s not as icky as it sounds. We start with something called bagasse, the fibrous residue that remains after all of the juice has been extracted from sugarcane stalks. In the past, sugar cane farmers used to burn this byproduct in their fields, which caused pollution. Today, high heat and high pressure transforms the bagasse into a strong and biodegradable paper-like material, which can be molded into different shapes—like take-out containers, plates and bowls.
We’re overachievers at Repurpose, so we also add recycled wood scraps to our bagasse to make our plates and bowls incredibly durable and help them hold up to hot and cold foods without losing any of their strength. You can even toss them in the microwave and freezer!
Now all you need is some food to put on them. Here are five tasty upcycled eats you can make from your own food scraps:
1. Carrot soup with carrot top pesto (courtesy of cravingsinamsterdam.com)
2. Crispy potato peels (via theKitchn.com)
3. Baked broccoli stem chips (thanks to keepitsimplefoods.com)
4. Fennel-frond roasted fish (from eatwell.com)
5. Apple peel (and core) jelly (via howtohaveitall.net)
For us, supermarkets hold the promise of future meals with family and friends, and we are always honored when Repurpose compostable tableware is part of those feasts. That’s just one reason we were delighted last November to have our full line of products on the shelves at all 92 Wegmans markets throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic states.
Wegmans is legendary. So legendary, in fact, that Buzzfeed detailed 25 reasons it’s the best grocery chain in the world (mini-spoiler: local produce, their own organic farm and pop-culture cupcakes). Click here to find a store carrying Repurpose near you.
India has banned all disposable plastic from the capital city Delhi! That’s especially good news, as the country is responsible for 60 percent of the plastic dumped into the ocean every year.
Repurpose is so excited to announce that renowned artist Andy Byers will be designing and unveiling a sculptural art piece made from materials including Repurpose plant-based products at the 2017 Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, March 9-11.
Byers is perhaps best known for his work with Isabella Rossellini on the short film series “Green Porno,” in which Rossellini enacts the mating rituals of various insects and other animals utilizing cardboard cut-outs and foam-rubber sculptures created by Byers. Byers has also done collaborative installations for brands such as Victoria's Secret, J Crew, American Express, Ann Taylor, Target, and Gap as well as artists Sean Lennon and Aimee Mann.
“Paper has always been an important material to work with because of its temporary nature,” said Byers. “I use paper by creating form and space with it. Once the art is completed and installation has served it purpose, the moment passes, never to be experienced again. Repurpose products tap into that intention of creation and use of what the earth provides us. I am proud to be creating something for people who carry such a passionate mission behind their brand.”
Byers will be creating an original piece inspired by the Repurpose mission to make products from plants. Featuring materials that make up Repurpose products and packaging, Byers will repurpose paper into a visual display of the products growing from his interpretation of larger than life plants. The display will be available for viewing at Repurpose’s Booth 5155 only during the run of the Expo West Convention.
In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills (Source: EPA). Reduce your waste this year with our 7 eco-friendly tips for the holidays.
1. Send Electronic Greeting Cards
An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. Electronic holiday greeting cards, offered through a variety of websites, are a convenient, no-cost, waste-free alternative.
2. Use Energy-Saving Lights
Decorate your house with LED lights that use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights, and can save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season.
3. Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Each year, 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. While your tree won’t fit in the recycling bin with your newspapers and bottles, you can recycle your tree: many cities offer programs to turn your tree to mulch or wood chips. Visit the National Christmas Tree Association to find the tree-recycling program near you.
4. Stuff Your Stockings With Yummy, Natural Treats
Stocking stuffers tend to be small, plastic trinkets that end up broken, lost or in the garbage by the end of January. Instead, fill your stockings with yummy, healthy treats like dried fruit, nuts, clementines and homemade holiday cookies.
5. Reduce Your Food Waste
At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year - equating to over 100 pounds per person. Think about how many people you’re feeding and how much they’ll actually eat. If you plan on having leftovers, consider what you make with the left overs. Don’t fall for those “buy three get one free” traps, be realistic about how much you’ll need of something and compost food scraps.
6. Use Repurpose® 100% Plant-Based, Compostable Picnicware
Fossil-based plastics will not biodegrade. They are, however, photodegradable, which means that if they’re exposed to light, they will degrade into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic that are not only swallowed by marine creatures, but become embedded in the zooplankton, the very bottom of the food chain, and thereby poison our food with toxins. Repurpose® products are made from 100% plant-based resins, are toxin free and will break down in 90 days in a commercial composter. Best of all they have the same look and feel as the plates, cups, utensils and bowls you're used to - while still being eco-friendly.
7. Repurpose Repurpose!
If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet (Source: CalRecycle). Use old newspapers and magazines as gift wrap. Snazz it up by making your own bows and ribbons. Try this simple bow tutorial with a Repurpose Hot Cup and Lid box.