Food Waste need not go to Landfill

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In 2015, food and food waste will be banned from the garbage throughout the Metro
Vancouver region. At a Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Community Breakfast held at the Eagles Hall in North Vancouver this morning a panel of experts presented this topic and what it means for restaurants and other businesses, even for individual food consumers. The audience which was comprised of about 60 people with interests or connections to the food and waste recycling industry learned  how food businesses are
 managing food waste, and how good things can happen when it’s diverted from the
 garbage.

Todd J., Director, Catering & Conference Services; Chair, Green Committee, Four Seasons Hotel spoke about the Food Waste Management program that his business has implemented and is piloting. He addressed how all of his employees have been trained in preparation of becoming compliant with this impending ban. He explained that food waste is always on the agenda when planning catering events and described how cranberry juice and apple juice is suggested to clients asking for a Continental Breakfast instead of the traditional orange juice. The reason for that is the fact that cranberry and apple juice is available locally, does not have to travel too far to reach their kitchen and does not leave as much waste behind as oranges do. Todd talked about the unused portions of food produced by the Four Seasons Hotel and how it can be re-claimed by groups such as the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, especially their Angel Food Runners program.

Erin N., Manager, Community Angel Food Runners, Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society explained in more detail how food that is received by the Food Bank is re-distributed to those in need and mentioned that presently there is no liability when you donate food (as stated in Bill 10 of  the Food Donations Act). She talked about how food recovery lowers greenhouse gas emissions and reminded the audience that food, labour and land does not need to go to waste. Her organization works with government and donors to shift the agenda to empower people to nourish themselves by providing education and support. She advised the audience that revised donor guidelines will be in place for the 2015 disposal ban.

Stuart L., Manager, Feedstock Supply, Enterra Feed Corporation presented a brief video on how the use of larva from the black soldier fly helps to create renewable foods for animals and plants. The corporation which was founded by David Suzuki is using these larvae as nature’s nutrient renewal experts. Within three hours, food waste inside a bio-conversion unit is being consumed by larvae and ready to be transformed into omega-rich feed meal (to feed to animals designated for human consumption) and feed oils that are being used in the cosmetics industry. Their 6000 square foot demo plant is on the forefront of solving two global problems:  food waste diversion and nutrient demand.

Steve H., Founder and President, Earth Renu has a goal of achieving zero waste and related his experience of researching methods of waste disposal in European countries such as Norway and Germany. He talked about the three methods for processing food waste (composting, production of animal feed and anaerobic digestion (biogas as a renewable natural gas). Steve explained how the methane that’s produced by food waste is worse for the environment than CO2 emissions and told the audience how to treat contaminants that arise within the organic waste. He pointed out to always mix twigs and grass into your compost (to allow for nitrogen to form). He invited audience members to visit his plant on Annacis Island to see this source of urban sustainable energy production first hand.

Jaclyn M., Sustainability Consultant, RecycleSmart Solutions talked about saving money by decreasing waste and about the importance of smart recycling. She reminded folks to first check if the food can be donated and if not to recycle responsibly by using clean bins and changing the recycling management process. She advised businesses to identify a champion within their organization who will help to carry the message forward as well as being prepared for the upcoming changes. She urged audience members to make sure that they are able to divert and will put plans in place (allow within their budget) to be ready for the food and food waste ban from the garbage within the Greater Vancouver Region as of 2015. Councilor B. thanked the panel and opened the floor to questions most of them were about the logistics of implementing these new refuse regulations and compliance with managing food waste and reducing (landfill destined) garbage.  Metro Vancouver’s Sustainability Community Breakfast is going to present “A morning of Storytelling not Garbage” on Thursday, December 12 from 7:30 am to 9 am at the BCIT, downtown campus.

You can always do your part in food waste reduction by purchasing only what you need, using already recycled material whenever possible and eliminating food waste in your home with a common sense approach. Perhaps scale down your consumer drive and start to be happy with less. The environment and the planet as a whole will benefit and that means you, too. We owe it to future generations to be prudent with our resources and smart with handling our food waste.

Please note that facts in the article above are stated how I believe them to be true and I hope to have recalled everything correctly.

If you always have plenty of food to eat, please think about helping those in need. Thank you.

Be grateful for the joys in your life

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First I would like to thank all the folks who have read my first blog and indicated that they liked it. I feel fortunate that all of you took the time to read my words and ticking the like button. I am still new in navigating around this blogsite and since I am naturally slow  (read: a technological dinosaur) it will take me a while to respond to other people’s blogs and “like” them and comment on what has been said/written. Eventually I will get the hang of it and learn how to move about on this new field of blogging just like riding a bicycle for the first time, clutching onto the handlebars, wobbling on the saddle and pushing the pedals so fast that your knee joints crack. You want to let out a whoop or a yipee, some primeordial sound of joy that keeps the fear of falling off your bike at bay. The wind whips through your hair, you feel the speed that you have created flow along the skin of your legs, arms and torso knocking on your brain and making you break out in a wide smile. A victorious smile that you’ll remember for a long time, maybe your whole life. The first time you create movement using a moveable object to transport you along is so exhilarating that you can’t seem to stop. You are caught in this circle of perpetual movement and you simply keep on going. Fear does not exist and will never be your companion as you push on the pedals to keep your momentum going. You barely hear your mom call out “not so fast” as the knowledge of your new independence makes you grow a bit taller in the saddle. That night before you fall asleep you can still feel the motion pumping through your body as you relive the joy of riding a bike for the first time. You promise your mom that you will only venture to where it is safe and you are grateful for having learned a new skill, for being able to get to places faster and for meeting up with your mobile friends. You all swear not to tell about the races you participate in behind the barns on the old country roads and you won’t breathe a word about the semi-dangerous postures that you practice to imitate, the ones that make you look like the acrobats in their sparkling silver suits that performed at the circus when it came to town. Like with many firsts, you become inseparable from your bike. You ride it everywhere, everyday and when the tires get a little flat, you stop, detach your shiny pump from the bike’s frame, attach the top to the little gadget on the tire and then you pull and push, pull and push and pump in the air to make your tires rideable again. On the fridge at home, your mom posts pictures that you drew depicting you riding your bike and you don’t notice how she swallows just a bit with a mixture of fear and pride because you are taking flight. You keep riding your bike with joy and you’ve learned to wave and smile at your mom when she is watching you from the kitchen window as you take off on a new adventure.

I’m grateful for the joys in my life – I show gratitude with joy.

Believe in yourself as a Writer

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Believe in yourself as a Writer

Being ready to write                      by Andrea Winterbottom

 

When writing and sculpting stories have faith in your ability and develop your passion for your chosen art.

If you’ve dabbled with the idea of becoming a (creative) writer, challenge yourself to actually write and develop a trust and faith about your chances of success. The more you practice your faith, the more you test it and put it through its paces, your belief will manifest and you will cultivate a bond to your passion that strengthens over time and practice. Loads of words of practice.

When starting out, you might tap your keyboard or nibble on the end of your pen, twist thoughts around in your head and still gaze at a blank page. Or your words and sentences pour onto the page like a waterfall, tumbling, splashing, running full stream ahead until your doubtful red pen slashes whole paragraphs. Don’t fret; there are nuggets in every writer’s haystack.

Find your method and tune in: Do you enjoy writing free-flow and go on for pages without stopping and then read, and edit? Either right afterwards or you might wait for a few days, weeks or even months.

Or do you craft your sentences one by one, like a screenplay scene by scene where you’re the producer and director of your letters, words, and sentences calling on your characters to be put into ‘Action’ at your chosen settings along the roads of your plotline?

Create a mantra for yourself that works like: “anybody can write and I’d rather be writing than doing the dishes/laundry (or: insert task of choice) because it gives me an avenue to connect with myself and learn about myself and the world around me through the word connections I create”. I write about any genre that pokes my imagination before I zero in on one that suits me best.

Like a garden, creative writing needs to be nurtured. Once you plant the seeds you will discover that your belief in your writing ability carries you from page to page; when you’re ready, you need to sit back and weed out what to keep and then water and nourish your patch.

Write what you know. Don’t write about building guitars from redwood cedar if you don’t have an interest in music, guitars or woodworking. Finding your writing niche takes practice and a certain belief that you enjoy and like to share with others.  Remember that you are the expert on your own expressions and finding that belief in yourself will help you to ward off any self-criticism and negative feedback that you might receive.

When you are being ready to write it implies that you have allocated time, have gathered all the necessary writing implements and that you are mentally ready to let your creativity flow.

Believe in yourself as a writer can mean that you find joy in the act of writing. You get a kick out of creating characters, stringing sentences together and letting your feelings flow like a mountain spring onto the pages while you don’t worry about the results but rather enjoy, relish the journey.

Don’t be upset if you share your writing with a person who does not show the same enthusiasm as you about your work. Don’t worry if you send your work out to various publishers or if you enter contests and you only receive a formatted rejection letter. Your submission simply wasn’t the right fit at the right time with the right publication. Although the slush pile at an editor’s office is higher than the stack of newspapers in your garage ready for the recycling bin, be persistent in submitting your work if you so desire.

I like to craft sentence by sentence, create little scenarios with my words. Then I edit and my sentences shrink. I write some more, chisel here and there and finally the sculpted sentence emerges.

Find out what you like best about your writing and foster that part of the craft. Perhaps you like to write short stories, articles, essays, opinion pieces or novels; whatever you fancy, keep writing and your belief will take form like the statue of Michelangelo.