I’m so jazzed about all of the things we have going on and I don’t think it’s the coffee talking.

Restaurant Raffle 2021

Inspired by the Village of Winnetka’s Take Out Challenge we created our own Restaurant Raffle to support the restaurants and other food-related businesses that have made sustainability a priority by continuing to use our composting service through the COVID crisis. We hope that you will peruse the list, give them your business and enter the raffle!

Environmental Justice Discussion Group

We’ve officially launched our Environmental Justice Discussion Group. We introduced the idea in our blogpost Addressing Environmental Racism in July, and mentioned it again in our blogpost Hope For The Future in January. Please let us know if you’d be interested in learning and growing together.

Drop-off Programs

We’ve also been busy creating drop-off programs at some of our retail composting sites. The first to launch was Village Farmstand in the 4th ward in Evanston. They are hosting one of our Neighbor Totes. You can reserve your spot online and while you’re there, add some of their farm-fresh produce to your cart. They were recently featured on ABC7’s program Hungry Hound.

We’re happy to be adding this option for those unable to utilize our container-swap options. We’ll let you know about the other drop-off locations as they begin their programs.


We’re watching a television series that is set in the NYC theater scene and the concept of muse keeps coming up. Of course I had to look up the word to see if I had the definition right: a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. I think that anyone, artist or not, can have a muse, so I started thinking about who or what my muse was. It should not be surprising that my muse is our beautiful planet or nature.

1000 Hours Outside

At first glance, it might seem that this challenge, for lack of a better word, is just for kids. I beg to differ. When kids grow up, they become adults and I don’t think a lot of our needs change. As described on their website:

The entire purpose of 1000 Hours Outside is to attempt to match nature time with screen time. If kids can consume media through screens 1200 hours a year on average then the time is there and at least some of it can and should be shifted towards a more productive and healthy outcome!

I was first introduced to this concept through seeing one of their trackers, a term they use for the coloring book type pages you can download for free from their website to track your hours spent outside. There are several designs to choose from including some designed by 8-year-old Reed who loves being outside and loves art.

Bringing the Outdoors Inside

I’m sure that you’ve heard of the concept of bringing the outdoors inside. This article, 7 Ways to Bring the Outdoors Inside on the Childhood by Nature website, helped me to understand why it feels so good to do that and gives me more ideas of how to accomplish that. We recently moved around the furniture to take better advantage of the views outside and light coming in the window in two rooms and it has dramatically improved our sense of well-being and happiness. No purchases required!

I was really happy to find the website Childhood by Nature. I had looked at several articles that had interior design focuses before I got to this one. When I poked around a little further on the website, I found this headline: “Time to see Nature as part of your extended family.” I couldn’t agree more.

Author Details
Zero Waste Consultant | Collective Resource, Inc.

Mary Beth strongly believes that, “It’s always better to be doing something rather than nothing.” If you’re thinking of composting at home, she can help you work out what your particular “something” can be.

She’s confident a solution can be tailored to fit anyone’s needs and ambitions. “Anyone who eats can be a CRI customer, whether you are an individual or a large organization. I want you to understand the advantages of composting, and I can show you how CRI can make it easy.” Mary Beth has successfully designed waste diversion strategies for individuals, schools, houses of worship and other communities. She’s received the governor’s Environmental Hero award for her work at her daughter’s school. Whether you’re starting with a backyard bin, a kitchen bucket, a worm farm, or large-scale commercial collection, Mary Beth can be your good-natured guide.