Sustainable Lunches

By Mary Beth Schaye | September 15, 2022

It’s back-to-school time and even if no one in your household is actually going back to school, it always feels like a reboot time of year. Our friends at Seven Generations Ahead have created this flyer to give you ideas about ways to up your lunch game from disposable to reusable. They suggest that you “Turn a Wasteful Lunch into a Zero Waste Lunch”. Share it with your school administrators or PTAs if you haven’t already received something like it in your child’s backpack or virtual backpack. Budget versus Investment You may already have some containers you could reuse […]

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PFAS Contamination Prevention

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 25, 2022

Thank you to our customer Sasha (whose official title is Sasha Adkins, PhD, MPH, Advanced Lecturer in Environmental Health at the School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago) for educating us on the PFAS problem and alerting us to this news article from Massachusetts that prompted us to take more action on this problem. PFAS are highly toxic fluorinated chemicals and are present in many household items. They have been referred to as forever chemicals in that they never break down and never go away.  This article from the Environmental Working Group does a great job of explaining the PFAS […]

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Could Subtracting Add?

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 12, 2022

Scarcity A number of years ago I read this book called Scarcity, written by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. Interestingly, I’m finding three different cover designs with three different subtitles: The New Science of Having Less and How It Defines Your Life, Why Having Too Little Means So Much and The True Cost of Not Having Enough. It instantly became one of my top five favorite non-fiction books. I’m always interested in why we do what we do. I observe contradictory behaviors in myself and others and want to know why. The concept presented in the book is pretty […]

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9000 Tons of Resources Recovered!

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 13, 2022

We’re delighted to announce that we have reached another diversion milestone: 9,000 tons! That’s a whole lot of carrot tops, pizza boxes, eggshells, chicken bones, Chinet plates, etcetera, etcetera. In the first six months that founder/owner Erlene was hauling buckets of food scraps in her Toyota Camry, she averaged about 77 pounds a week. Our crew is routinely averaging 30+ tons a week! That’s over 60,000 pounds. Because tons are kind of hard to visualize, we used this nifty calculator to try to help you understand how very much that is. 9,000 tons is about 1/3 as heavy as […]

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Block Parties and Reclaiming the Street

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 1, 2022
Girl eating watermelon

Block parties are so fun. I have nothing but happy associations with them. When I was growing up in a cul-de-sac in the northwest Chicago suburb of Buffalo Grove, we had really memorable 4th of July block parties. And the block that I raised my daughters on in Evanston was another great place. I knew all of my neighbors but block parties were a nice way to gather some of the less social ones. There is something old-fashioned about them. They don’t have to create a lot of waste. No one is traveling all that far, so do you […]

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Composting Just Got Easier for Park Ridge

By Mary Beth Schaye | June 22, 2022
Park Ridge sign

On May 1st, 2022, Collective Resource Compost entered into a franchise agreement with the City of Park Ridge to make composting more accessible. This agreement lowers the cost of our service as reflected in these prices: Weekly Basic Bucket service is $27 and biweekly service (every other week) is $20.50 per month. You can save with annual or quarterly payments. You may have noticed that we’ve added the option of a more frequent weekly swapout. You could use our 5-gallon buckets to divert the food scraps from your individual household or compost communally with friends, relatives or neighbors using […]

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Soil, Not Dirt

By Mary Beth Schaye | May 31, 2022

I have a friend, Julia, who is a landscape designer and when COVID struck, everyone had to pivot including me. In-person events were canceled indefinitely, so when she graciously asked if I wanted to work with her, helping to create and maintain gardens using native plants, I accepted. One of the many things she’s taught me is that the organic matter that covers our planet is soil, not dirt. I’ve been doing my best to teach everyone else. Soil: the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture […]

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Examining Our Consumption

By Mary Beth Schaye | April 28, 2022

To be clear, I’m talking about this definition of consumption: the using up of a resource, not this definition: a wasting disease, especially pulmonary tuberculosis. Although maybe we industrialized countries do have a wasting disease that we have not yet labeled as such. I’m writing this directly following our Environmental Justice Discussion Group discussion of the documentary The Sacrifice Zone: Life in an Industrial Wasteland. The Ironbound district of Newark, New Jersey, is one of the most toxic neighborhoods in the country. Maria Lopez-Nuñez, a Honduran-American resident there, is waging a war for environmental justice. She is part of […]

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Biking in Chicagoland

By Collective Resource | March 26, 2022
biking in chicago

I feel compelled to write about biking this month, maybe because the snow has melted and spring is in the air. I think we all know that driving less, and biking and walking more is better for all of us. Did you know that there are organizations working on making it safer for us to do that? The Active Transportation Alliance (or Active Trans for short) is a coalition of people who are working to make walking, biking, and public transit safe and equitable options for getting around Chicagoland. Perhaps you haven’t heard of them but you may have […]

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Think Outside the Banana Peel

By Mary Beth Schaye | March 6, 2022

Every so often we feel like we need to give a pep talk. This one is about getting the most out of our service. We want you to divert all of your compostable material! We think we’re communicating all of the different possibilities but consider this an open invitation to ask customer service if you’re unsure. We’re incorporating the items that customer service is often asked about. It makes us so sad to swap out a nearly empty container. So sad. It might seem that this blog post is trying to encourage you to produce more waste. We actually […]

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