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Upcycling Food Waste Takes Us Back to the Future


SOWING SUSTAINABILITY: Tulsans take part in a free lesson on starting plants from seed at Groggs Green Barn, which offers an array of classes on sustainable living. 


Courtesy Grogg’s Green Barn


A nut about recycling from an early age, I distinctly remember the final scene in the movie, “Back to the Future,” where Doc comes back to warn our dear couple of future events, all the while stuffing items from the garbage can into the fuel section of his time traveling DeLorean. What was once a laughable scene is today a near-reality.

Compost is now successfully fueling semi-trailer trucks. UK newspaper The Times reports that British supermarket chain, Waitrose, comparable to our Whole Foods, now utilizes 10 delivery trucks powered by the biomethane captured from food waste. “As of today, there is sufficient biomethane, or renewable gas, from food waste to fuel thousands of trucks – I would say somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 trucks,” says Waitrose partner, CNG Fuels CEO Phillip Fjeld.

According to the report, the trucks can travel up to 500 miles on one tank of the food-based gas. The cost is about 40 percent less than diesel and emits nearly 70 percent less carbon dioxide.

Sustainability Springs to Action
While some are turning compost into fuel, I focus on just the compost. For our lifestyle, vermi-posting works best. We purchased worms from Grogg’s Green Barn to get us started and maintain a thriving, wiggly community that provide us with great soil for starting our spring and fall seeds.

Learn how to create your own compost, capture rainwater, raise chickens or garden. Grogg’s Green Barn offers an array of classes, many of which come with free starter kits for first come, first served.

Another great resource is our Tulsa Master Gardeners. They have a phone hotline to answer your questions, and their spring plant sale is underway online. You can purchase and pick up your bounty at the Tulsa Fairgrounds April 13 from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Splash in to Tulsa’s urban nature and help clean up Dirty Butter and the Osage Trail running through north Tulsa. TYPros Sustainability Team invites you to mark your calendar for May 6 from 9 a.m until 1 p.m. Food will be provided. For more information, check TYPros Sustainability Facebook page or information from project partner, the City of Tulsa.

Eco Miss America
I recently read in a YWCA report on the beauty industry, that seven billion dollars is spent on cosmetics each year in the United States. Currently, cosmetics and accessories are FDA regulated but none require FDA approval.

So, I see it as a step in the right direction that the Miss America organization announced they will begin partnering with Eco Tools.

As their name implies, this is a brand of cosmetic tools such as brushes that are made with non-toxic, cruelty-free, recyclable materials. “We are so pleased to welcome EcoTools into the Miss America family,” said Josh Randle, MAO’s COO, “and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with them and Miss America 2017, Savvy Shields, to promote our mutual mission of empowering young women everywhere to look and live beautifully.”

On a side-note, Shields is a fellow University of Arkansas alum. Go Hogs!

What’s Your Spring Focus?
From large-scale changes to the unexpected ones to our own personal choices, it’s pretty incredible to realize that there are people across the globe invested in improving what Sustainable Tulsa calls the triple bottom line of people, profit and planet.

Has a person or business impressed you with an eco-action, lately? Brag on them! Send in your story to bethturner@me.com or send me a tweet @TrashTalkTulsa.

Updated 03-01-2017

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