Since composting is going so well for me at home, I decided to carry that over into school. The cafeteria at school already has composting, but I do my best to avoid the cafeteria at lunchtime. It’s a madhouse. So I put a small bin in the refrigerator in the Science Department’s lunch/printing & copying center/makeshift office space (space is at a premium, so we use rooms for many purposes) for food scraps and a separate bin next to the fridge for paper towels and tissues. So far some people are using the bins, but we’re not near 100% yet. I may have to start weekly reminder e-mails. One of my colleagues has started a worm composting bin in his classroom, so we’re competing for food scraps. Not a bad problem to have!
I also put a bin in my classroom for tissues and paper towels. Right next to the tissue box and hand sanitizer. I think it’s really important to model sustainable behaviors for students. Eventually my hope is that these behaviors become routine for them.
Today I did my weekly grocery run and as usual brought a bunch of reusable produce bags. Two of them I filled with brown rice and pistachios from the bulk bins. I wrote in my 7/2 entry that I've started to buy some things in bulk, but didn't elaborate. I've been happy to find that two local groceries (I'm not going to name drop here because I don't necessarily want to advertise for anyone) carry all the grains I like in bulk (and organic!) plus lots of nuts, some raw, some roasted, and nutritional yeast (which I use a lot in "cheese" sauces and on salads for the B vitamins). As a vegan, I eat a fair amount of whole grains, probably at least a serving a day, so that packaging was adding up. Buying in bulk has been easy and I've been reusing glass jars to store the grains etc. in. So it feels like a double win. I also found some glass food storage jars at my local thrift shop, so there has been no need to go and buy new stuff. I'm feeling good about this. It's definitely an ingrained practice at this point (no pun intended).
Side note: In a couple of those other reusable produce bags I put some locally grown organic kale and local peaches. The biggest peaches ever! See picture below in my palm for scale. I love the summer for MANY reasons, but the variety of fresh, local produce is right up there near the top. Eating a plant-based diet is best for the planet of course but buying local stuff is another piece of the solution so that transportation-related pollution is reduced.
Commentary on environmental news/issues plus thoughts and stories about my journey to lower my environmental footprint and raise my voice.
-Another vegan environmentalist