Zeroing In On Zero

By Mary Beth Schaye | January 31, 2022

I’ve been thinking about zero lately. That may sound like a mindfulness exercise, that I’m trying to clear my mind of all its unhelpful thoughts. If you know me mostly through this blog and my work with Collective Resource Compost, you are aware that I think and talk about zero waste all of the time. What I’ve been thinking about lately is more insidious, waste that you can’t really see, that has a negative environmental impact.  Inbox Zero Sporadically on Facebook, I’ve seen friends posting screenshots of their email in-boxes with the message “No unread mail” or something similar […]

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Restaurant Raffle 2022: Win While Helping Local Businesses

By Collective Resource | January 24, 2022
Restaurant raffle

We loved creating this restaurant raffle to support our community so much last year that we’ve decided to do it again! Who’s ready for a post-holiday game that just happens to help our composting community? Winters are historically slower times for restaurants and cafes. This winter is likely to be even harder Win a restaurant gift card We’re sponsoring a restaurant raffle for you to win a gift card from any of the food-related businesses listed below. You get to choose which one. First Prize: $75 gift card, Second Prize: $50 gift card, Third Prize: $25 gift card. Raffle […]

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COP26: The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference

By Mary Beth Schaye | December 22, 2021

I was asked to summarize what the results of COP26 were. Let me begin by explaining what it was: A two-week summit of world leaders, climate activists, scientists, educators, indigenous leaders, and youth from around the world, on the topic of climate change. Given that, you’d think that the C stood for climate but really COP stands for Conference of the Parties, in this case, the parties being 197 nations that in 1992 agreed to a new environmental pact: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The 26th annual meeting took place the first two weeks of November […]

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We Were The Lucky Ones

By Mary Beth Schaye | November 30, 2021

It’s unusual that I would be writing about the loss of companion animals for two consecutive months but Collective Resource Compost’s working cat Lucky has punched the clock for his final shift and deserves his own blogpost. I’m going to back up and tell you how we came to have a working cat at our garage, before I tell you what he meant to both our employees who work there, as well as the employees of neighboring businesses. In the fall of 2017, our former garage manager, Tomas Minotas, had the idea to get a couple of cats to […]

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Letting Go

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 29, 2021

These blogposts always relate to some area of sustainability, not just composting. I debated whether or not I should write about my dog dying. Honestly, it happened so recently that it’s all I can think about and I think writing about it could be therapeutic. Here is another thing that has been surprisingly therapeutic: mindfully rehoming all of her food, treats and supplements. I have to back up and tell you this story. We used to have a lovely cleaning person named Chrystyna. She had a dog named Fluffy. Actually, she had a series of dogs named Fluffy, which […]

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8,000 Tons & Counting!

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 25, 2021

We’re delighted to announce that we have reached another diversion milestone: 8000 tons! It’s a little hard to imagine that amount of food scraps, isn’t it? In the first six months that Erlene was hauling buckets of food scraps in her Toyota Camry, she averaged about 77 pounds a week. This week our crew hauled 50,000 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. It’s about 3/10ths as heavy as the Statue of Liberty, and equivalent in weight to 70 blue whales, […]

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Events, Events, Zero Waste Events!

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 1, 2021

Events have been the theme of the late summer and fall for us here at Collective Resource Compost. In August, we helped to manage the waste streams for the Village of Skokie at their annual Backlot Bash. In September, we helped out at Emerge, the event formerly known as Winnetka Music Fest and at the Taste of Evanston, a lovely fundraiser put on by Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club. Each of these events had food vendors and I made this joke that we should create an award for the greenest food vendor, like the awards they have at art fairs. […]

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Route Density, Climate Change and Asking for Help

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 26, 2021

Collective Resource did okay through the first wave of this pandemic. The government loans helped. Our residential customer list actually grew as more people were working and schooling at home. But now, we could use some help. With our focus on education and advocacy, we are falling a little short on marketing and sales and there are few opportunities for us to be out in public talking about our service. Have you heard about the Rule of Seven in marketing? That customers need to hear your message seven times before they’ll buy? If that is really true, it’s remarkable […]

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To Drive or Not To Drive

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 28, 2021

I’m reading a book called Divorce Your Car. I didn’t seek it out or find it in a free library. I found it on my boyfriend’s bookshelf. The idea of driving less appeals to both of us. I skipped over the first half of the book that describes how we became so dependent on automobiles. I was more interested in reading stories about how people had downsized their driving. There are separate chapters on walking, biking and transit riding. All of it is very interesting to me. The book has me thinking about the 15-minute city, a residential urban […]

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About Our Blog, Greener Living Inspirations

By Mary Beth Schaye | June 28, 2021

We started this blog back in December of 2018 with some helpful tips on how to wrap your holiday gifts in a more ecologically minded way. At first it was just content added to the reminder emails. After a few months, we realized that a lot of people didn’t open and read their reminder emails. For many, just seeing the subject line is reminder enough. Then we decided that perhaps the information should live on our website, so we began linking the reminder email to our website. After months of sending them this way, we still had many customers […]

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