Start Small but Think Big: Composting Around The Country

By Mary Beth Schaye | August 24, 2020

You may have heard the phrase “start small but think big” either here from me or from someone else. In my case, the “start small” usually refers to changing habits and reducing waste in your own household, and “think big” refers to helping to pass legislation that leads to greater impact. There has been some recent good news in that regard, so good that it has trickled into the mainstream news. I first heard about Vermont’s Food Waste Ban because my colleague’s husband saw it on Instagram. I loved that! We thought you might like to know about what’s […]

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Break Free From Plastic

By Mary Beth Schaye | July 24, 2020

Because I’m a zero waste consultant, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about waste reduction: asking myself how I can personally reduce waste and how I can help and inspire others to do the same. Actually it might be the other way around, because I think so much about waste reduction, I became a zero waste consultant. I watched a webinar last month called Regional Approaches to Fuel Local Circular Economies: Great Lakes Region. You’re going to be hearing the term circular economy more and I hope that it is something you will learn more about on […]

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Addressing Environmental Racism

By Mary Beth Schaye | June 25, 2020

These past few weeks almost everyone has had a response to the events that led to recent marches and protests decrying racism. Collective Resource Compost stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and grieves with the rest of the nation the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and so many others. We are committed to addressing systemic racism and systemic bias at Collective Resource Compost and in our work with other businesses and organizations. This is a time of reflection, for us to look inward to determine how we need to act outward. It is […]

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Building Community Around Sustainability

By Mary Beth Schaye | May 22, 2020

I could say that lately I’ve been thinking about the concept of building community and that would be true. Honestly, it’s something I think about all of the time, particularly building community around sustainability. Being able to communicate is key in building community. In fact, the words themselves share the same root. How do we build community without being able to communicate in-person? In her nonfiction book Big Magic, writer Elizabeth Gilbert encourages readers to follow their curiosity. Lately I’ve been following my curiosity by following different hashtags on Instagram. It’s slightly more fun than following people because there […]

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Soil Loves Compost

By Mary Beth Schaye | April 23, 2020

May 3rd through 9th is International Compost Awareness Week (ICAW). Celebrated annually, the week is designed to promote the benefits of composting and compost for effective resource management, soil health and plant growth. ICAW is normally a time when the benefits of composting are promoted through a variety of community activities. These are, however, anything but normal times, and our collective efforts to flatten the curve mean that we are all staying at home to keep our communities safe. That doesn’t mean, however, that we can’t promote composting to our friends, neighbors, and beyond. As we shelter in place, […]

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Go Local (Not Loco)

By Mary Beth Schaye | April 23, 2020

I’m a big fan of the dictionary, just like my dad. When I was growing up and didn’t know how to spell a word, he’d suggest that I look it up in the dictionary. I’d always protest that I couldn’t because I didn’t know how to spell it! But he was right. I could generally guess the first letter and then I’d use trial and error from there, plus I’d also discover other words. These days, I often look up words to check if I had the meaning right or if there were a nuance I’d previously missed. I’ve […]

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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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