COVID-19: What Collective Resource is doing to protect everyone’s health

By Erlene Howard | March 23, 2020

Compost collection will continue, but we have taken steps to make sure the risk to the health of everyone will be minimal. We ask that you do a couple of things, too. We hope you are well and that you find comfort in knowing that, though much has changed, the regular rhythm of compost swaps will continue as usual. Collective Resource will provide service during the Illinois Stay at Home Order, with strict social distancing and additional hygiene considerations. Our work falls into the category of Essential Infrastructure in the Governor’s Executive Order in Response to COVID-19. Closed Businesses, […]

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Earth Day, Every Day

By Mary Beth Schaye | March 22, 2020

We have historically been very busy leading up to Earth Day. For obvious reasons, this year is different. “Every day is Earth Day at Collective Resource Compost!” is a joke I often make at this time of year.  Imagine it being said in a really perky voice. We have historically been very busy leading up to April and Earth Day both with requests to speak and requests to help facilitate zero waste events. For obvious reasons, this year is different. Everything has been canceled or postponed. Earth Day is having a big birthday: 50 years old on Wednesday, April […]

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Faith Communities Leading The Way

By Mary Beth Schaye | February 27, 2020

I’ve been thinking about faith communities a lot lately. This is the first year that we have been participating in Faith in Place’s Indoor Winter Farmers Markets. Faith in Place is a great organization that supports the environmental efforts of faith communities in Illinois. Their stated mission is “to empower Illinois people of all faiths to be leaders in caring for the Earth, providing resources to educate, connect, and advocate for healthier communities.” This year their farmers’ markets are popping up in 17 different churches or synagogues in Chicago and Chicagoland. We have a long and collegial relationship with […]

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Show Us Your Love! (Of The Planet)

By Mary Beth Schaye | January 22, 2020

How do you show your love? How do you like to be shown love? Have you taken this love language quiz? The five love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical touch. Food is love. Have you ever heard that phrase?  A lot of different cultures communicate their love with food. There is a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I know that it’s the way to my heart too. Valentine’s Day celebrations often involve going out for a special meal. No surprise there. I think the […]

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Keeping Your Compost Bin Contaminant Free

By Mary Beth Schaye | December 21, 2019

Contamination is the word used in the waste hauling industry for when the wrong items are put into the different waste streams. Maybe you’ve heard the term “wishful recycling”, for when people toss things they are not sure about into the recycling bin and hope for the best. We want to educate you on this topic so that you are not participating in “wishful composting.” I was at a luncheon the other day collecting the food scraps and other compostable items. Everyone there had been served a sandwich in a compostable bag, but the bags were labeled with a […]

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Holiday Gifting: Think Green

By Mary Beth Schaye | November 25, 2019

It’s that gift-giving time of year, which can pose a problem for those trying to lower their carbon footprint by owning and buying less. It can take courage to be the one who breaks the mold, but it’s one more way to live your values. Our Collective Resource Compost team members offered us their suggestions for greener gift giving. Founder/Owner Erlene Howard likes to give experiences rather than things. Most recently she has been giving theater tickets. If the show is pricey, like Hamilton (Hurry! The show closes January 5), you can buy tickets for one performance. Alternatively, consider […]

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Buy Less, Waste Less

By Mary Beth Schaye | October 24, 2019
buy less food, waste less food

Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry. — Pope Francis Today’s sexy topic is Food Waste. I know that many of our customers are relieved that instead of throwing wasted food in the garbage, they are able to compost it through us. That’s okay, particularly if you are a new customer. But that is Zero Waste 101 and after a few months, we encourage you to graduate to Zero Waste 102 and begin wasting less. We’d like you to begin to learn from what you are putting in your bucket. […]

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Better Living Through Trees

By Mary Beth Schaye | September 25, 2019

I’ve been thinking about trees a lot lately. Have you seen this video with Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and writer/climate activist George Monbiot? I encourage you to watch all 3 minutes and 39 seconds and show it to as many people as possible. The gist is that planting trees is, forgive the pun, low-hanging fruit as a solution to drawing carbon out of the atmosphere. I personally get a little frustrated when I think about planting trees, because I do not have property on which to plant one. Because of that, I’ve dug a little deeper (whoops, […]

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First, we learn, then we teach

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 16, 2019
Composting ideas

Or a boost of inspiration to share your love for our planet by making more eco-friendly choices and composting. The fall season holds such promise. As it starts to cool down outside, we’re energized. Maybe your kids are going back to school, maybe you are. It’s said that we are all teachers and all students. What are you inspired to learn more about this fall? In Judaism, the holiday of Rosh Hashanah takes place in the fall and is the beginning of the Jewish New Year. In some ways, it feels more like the New Year than the official […]

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More is more: I didn’t know you could compost that!

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 18, 2019
Camping and composting

Now that you are using our service, we want you to be aware and take full advantage of the width and breadth of the items that can be commercially composted. If you look closely at this list on our website, you’ll undoubtedly find an item or two that surprises you. Our Zero Waste Event Coordinator Grace Hahn appreciates that she can compost to-go containers for some of the restaurants near her apartment. Though she does not have much time to cook at home, it feels good to her that, even with her on-the-go lifestyle, she can make strides toward […]

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