Plastic and Film Packaging

Did you know that in addition to plastic shopping bags, you can also recycle plastics bags like cereal box liners, dry cleaning bags, bread bags and paper towel wrap? Please note that we cannot put plastic bags or film in our curbside recycling containers. You have to find a store drop-off center. I have done the research for you. In the Metrowest area these are the places where you can bring your plastic bags and film: Target, Whole Foods, Lowe’s, Staples, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Shaw’s, Roche Bros. and Best Buy.

Please recycle only clean, dry plastic bags and film. Remove receipts or any other items from bags.

Almond Milk Made at Home

Almonds are one of humankind’s most beloved nuts. Compared to all other nuts, they are the most packed with nutrients and beneficial components. They are high in protein and filled with B vitamins, magnesium, copper and vitamin E. This milk is my son’s favorite. He insists I make it for him every week!

Ingredients:

2 cups of raw almonds

8 cups of filtered water

4 teaspoons vanilla essence

4 tablespoons of agave, maple syrup, honey or stevia to taste

4 pitted dates (optional)

Supplies:

Blender

Nut-Milk Bag

Large bowl

Pitcher to store your milk


Preparation
:

First, soak your almonds overnight for at least 12 hours. The next day, discard the water, rinse your almonds and place them in the blender with the water, vanilla essence, agave and pitted dates. Blend for about 3  minutes. If you have a small blender, you will need to do it in two batches. Then, add the mixture into the nut-milk bag and squeeze the milk directly into your bowl. Transfer to your pitcher and refrigerate. You can either compost the remaining almond pulp or add it to your oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins. From personal experience, my milk keeps fresh in the fridge for at least 1 week.

Community Composting Facility Opens in Framingham

I am very happy to announce that our Community Composting facility is now open! Everyone is welcome to bring their food scraps to this facility at no cost. Just follow the guidelines below.

This project is possible thanks to the partnership between Framingham Compost Crew, a project of Transition Framingham, and One Earth Collaborative, a project of Open Spirit. The goal is to keep “food scraps” out of landfills and turn it into “black gold”. Food doesn’t belong in the trash. This new soil will help maintain the newly constructed Edible Forest Garden recently built on the grounds of Open Spirit and Edwards Church.

Not throwing food scraps in the garbage is one of the most important things we can do not to contribute to the warming of our planet. The decomposition of food scraps in landfills create methane gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in our atmosphere and contributes to global warming. It is more potent than carbon dioxide and one of the most dangerous to the environment

The bins are located inside the playground, in the corner by the cemetery side,  across from The Open Spirit parking lot. The address is 39 Edwards St. Framingham, MA 01701.

Please follow these guidelines when bringing your food scraps:

Accepted:

Raw or cooked fruits and vegetables

Raw or cooked grains: rice, cookies, cake, pasta, bread, popcorn, etc.

Nuts and eggshells

Spices and dried herbs

Tea bags, coffee grounds, coffee filters

Grass clipping, dry leaves, ash, sawdust

Shredded newspapers and paper bags

Food soiled paper towels and napkins

Not Accepted:

Plastic bags

Meat and dairy products

Diseased or poisonous plants

Oil and grease

Pet waste

Composting Tip:
Put a piece of newspaper or old paper bag at the bottom of your inside compost bin. When you go to dump it outside everything will slide out much easier than without this aid.

This is Time for Action: My Action Plan for a Trump Presidency

  • Support real good quality journalism like The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Atlantic and Harper’s Magazines. Stay away from fake online news.
  • Keep social media uncluttered and interesting for everyone. Before posting ask yourself: Is it necessary? Is it true?
  • Speak up when you see someone being harassed for their sexual orientation, race or religion. Stay with them, offer your help, film if you can.
  • Educate yourself about climate change and the importance of renewable energy: solar, wind and water.
  • Join a grassroots organization in your area that aligns with your values. Are you interested in the environment? Mothers Out Front is a very active organization working on environmental issues as well as 350MA. Are you interested in animals rights? Join the Humane Society of the US. Are you interested in helping people in need? When you walk by a homeless person, don’t ignore them, talk to them, ask them their names, how they feel, what they need. Are you interested in making biking safer in your community? Join a committee in your home town. Etc.
  • Even if you don’t join an environmental movement, individual actions count towards reducing our carbon footprint and our effect on the planet climate. These are things you can start implementing today:
  • Eat less meat, especially red meat. Animal agriculture is at the heart of our environmental crisis. The meat and dairy industry currently occupies over half of the world’s land resources, uses the majority of our freshwater, and is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector. Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) is not healthy either. 99% of the meat we eat in this country come from factory farms, and 80% of antibiotics produced in this country go to the animals we raise for food.
  • Compost at home or at the Community Composting Facility at Edwards Church in Framingham.
  • Place reusable shopping bags into your car, bag and purse, so you have some handy when you’re at the store. Avoid plastic bags.
  • Bring your own mug to the coffee shop or ask for a ceramic cup.
  • Replace single use serving items like plates, cups and utensils with reusable mugs, cups, bowls, plates, and silverware.
  • Live simple, don’t shop by impulse, unplug the TV and the video games and bring back the board games.

How I Ended My Paper Towel Addiction

587ddd40c8320c76b6d4b39ec6c960bbWhen I started composting and reducing disposables, I noticed that one of the most prevalent items in our trash, were paper towels. I even switched to using paper towels made with 100% recycled content and bleached without chlorine, but still I was not feeling great about using so much paper. It took me a long time to start looking for alternatives because, I have to admit it, paper towels are very convenient. How did my mother and grandmother manage to cook three meals a day from scratch and raise 2 kids at the same time without paper towels? I have no idea.

So, one day when I was shopping at Trader Joe’s, I saw these reusable cloths that come in fancy colors. I was skeptical but decided to give them a try. After two months of using them, I am happy to tell you that my life hasn’t become more complicated, my kitchen is still sparkling clean and I am saving money. I haven’t replaced all my paper towel needs because I have a cat that makes messes so I still use my paper for that. But for most other things, these reusable towels do a great job. I even cleaned the interior of my cars with these towels and tossed them in the laundry machine afterwards.

I found my solution at Trader Joe’s but I am sure most stores carry paper towel alternatives. Let me know what you find and like.

If In Doubt, Throw It Out: Recycle Right

Last week, The Happy Bee organized a tour at the Recycling Facility in Framingham, MA with Stephen Sarnosky, Recycling Coordinator. Here are 3 important things to remember. This applies to all communities in the Metrowest Area:

  1. Do not place plastic bags of any kind in your recycling bin. They do not belong there. They jam the machines at the recycling facilities and they will end in the landfill. If you want to recycle plastic bags, you need to bring them back to the stores to be recycled. Most grocery stores have recycling containers for plastic bags.
  2. If In Doubt, Trow It Out. Please recycle right. Only put in your recycling bin what you know for sure your town will take. Just because something is made of metal, doesn’t necessarily mean it belongs in the curbside recycling bin. The same applies to plastic.
  3. Flatten all cardboard before placing it in your recycle bin. This is important to save space and energy.

Know what your town accepts in your curbside recycling bin. Click on this green link to view the RECYCLING & WASTE DISPOSAL GUIDELINES for the Town of Framingham. This applies to all communities in the Metrowest Area.

Plastic-Filled Oceans

More than 250 million tons of plastic is produced around the world each year. About seven million tons of it ends up in the world’s oceans, according to some estimates. In the Pacific Ocean, scientists have found alarming amounts of trash, mostly plastics. They have named the area The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Scientists have collected up to 750,000 bits of microplastic in a single square kilometer of this area, that’s about 1.9 million bits per square mile. Even the Arctic Ocean that has long been considered to be the most remote and secluded region of our planet is polluted with plastic.

Most of this debris comes from plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic water bottles, and Styrofoam cups. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade like wood or cardboard. Animals are dying because they are eating plastic and because they get tangled up in the trash. Disgustingly, we are also consuming our own waste when we consume fish, since scientists have found plastics in fish’s stomachs.

This has to stop. We as individuals can make easy changes. One important action is to stop accepting plastic bags at retail stores, especially at grocery stores. Bring your own shopping bags to your grocery store. If you forget them, you can ask them to put your groceries in cardboard boxes. All grocery stores have plenty of those lying around. Fill up your car with re-usable bags. Carry one or two bags in your handbag or pocket. Try to purchase as little plastic as you possibly can, recycle all the plastic you bring home properly, avoid disposable products. Participate in beach clean up days. Spread the news, educate your children and please do care!