Friday, October 30, 2009

Plowing Their Way to Zero Waste

Interesting article on a family in Shoreline, WA (where my parents used to live), trying to eliminate their impact on the earth and living more sustainably.

SEATTLE - A family of four has moved from the farm to an urban Puget Sound community and is now plowing its way to zero waste.

When the Peterka family moved to Shoreline, they brought part of the farm with them. They ripped up the backyard lawn and planted a large garden.

They built a fenced chicken coop in one corner, and worm and compost bins in the other. Then they made some sacrifices.

"We stopped buying groceries that came in plastic, essentially which was a big deal, not an easy task," explained Brian Peterka.

The family trimmed its plastic waste-line by adding on the bulk. They buy most of their food in bulk then store it in jars. They buy their vegetables fresh and unwrapped and grow everything else in the garden.

The Peterkas have successfully re-created the perpetual farm cycle they enjoyed in the country.

Here's how it works: The leftover food goes into the chicken coop or worms bins. The chickens return the favor by providing the next meal, the worms produce nutritious soil to put in the garden, which produces the Peterkas' meals, and leftover stems and leaves that go to a compost bin where more soil is produced.

At the end of the week, the Peterkas have about a baggie full of garbage leftover. They only put out their bin once a month for the CleanScapes garbage trucks to pick up and then its only about half full.

"This is impressive," exclaimed CleanScapes President Chris Martin who toured the Peterkas' yard today.

Martin says because his company is small, small trash producers like the Peterkas, allow him to serve more neighborhoods with fewer trucks.

Cleanscapes is even hosting a contest to see which community can reduce the most waste.

Shoreline is taking part and has found a goal to shoot for in the Peterkas' backyard.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eating Animals is Making Us Sick

Saw this article on CNN and it is pretty interesting, thought you might enjoy it.

  • Jonathan Safran Foer: Inhumane way we raise animals for slaughter poisons us all
  • Foer: Factory farming tied to global warming, swine and bird flu, other illnesses
  • He says animals loaded with antibiotics, live in gruesome conditions
  • System driven by food and pharmacetical industries; Foer asks: Why no outcry?l

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I apologize for the lack of posting lately, but I started back to school in August.


I am trying to figure out how to juggle school, work, home and all the mom stuff (with 5 kids still at home). All while getting good grades. I haven't taken any classes for about 11 years and got my AA in 1993. So this has been a little stressful, but rewarding. I feel like I am actually using my brain, now-instead of just asking-"Are you ready to order?" My current major is Health Education and Promotion. Am thinking about working in some kind of childhood obesity program. I still need to come up with a minor and am thinking about Psychology or Multi-Ethnic studies.

I am currently taking Medical Terminology, two 300 level Psychology classes (Human Sexuality-fun class-and Psychology of Health), and a Cinema History and Aesthetic class.

Haven't had a lot of free time for posting, but will try to keep tabs here and there.

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