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Recently, I toured my local recycling facility to see how it all works, and it inspired me to think about where all the REST of our trash goes. Around the Greater Boston area, (where space is a premium) almost all of the trash from around here is incinerated, sending the ash to a local landfill.

And guess what? I got to go on a tour of the local waste-to-energy trash incinerator in Saugus, MA.

I have to say, I wasn’t really thinking I’d learn much. I mean it’s just a fire, right? The stuff burns until there’s only ash left and it’s buried. Simple, right? Well, I found there’s a bit more to it than that. And just having the opportunity to see the process in motion made a big difference. And let me tell you, that fire is friggin hot! Even through the super-thick, tiny viewing glass (which was sort of like peering through a welding mask) it felt really hot on my face. They told me they maintain the fire at about 2200-2500 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could really feel it through the reinforced walls and everything.

Here’s a short animation from their website that explains how it all works. This makes much more sense than any long-winded descriptions I could offer. It’s a great little video, showing how the trash gets into the burning room itself, how the metals are sorted out, and how the gas is “scrubbed” afterward to meet air quality regulations.

Additionally, they have an ash landfill on site, so they don’t have to take the waste all that far. They told us that they reduce the size of the incoming trash by 90% which is nothing to sneeze at. Another upside was that the power generated (in the form of steam that runs turbines, I think) powers the whole plant, with plenty of energy leftover that they sell to the local electricity company.

Maybe one of the reasons I originally didn’t feel it was necessary to see this facility along with the recycling plant was the lack of the feel-good component. There’s nothing good that comes from this. It doesn’t get sent somewhere else so we can use it again. We’re left with a pile of super-toxic ash that needs disposed of in a landfill that (we hope) won’t contaminate the groundwater, affect local wildlife, or harm people around it.

But I’m really glad I went. Just seeing the sheer volume of garbage in person is an image that will haunt me for quite a long time.

For our waste, this is the end of the line. There’s nothing else, nowhere else for this to go. They process 1500 tons of trash per day, and that’s only off the top of the mountain waiting to be incinerated, all while a steady flow of trash trucks shows up to dump more constantly. Their little animation video shows that giant “claw thing” lowering all the way down to the floor to grab a load of garbage, but in reality, it only had to scoop from the top of the pile near the ceiling, 200 feet above the ground.

What really bugged me the most was to see so much stuff that had so much potential. Lots of recyclables, pieces of furniture that could have been reused or refurbished, so much stuff that could have gone around again, that could have served another purpose. And once it’s ash, it’s ash. There’s no more reusability, no more use that can come from it. It is a true last resort for disposal.

Ok, enough of the depressing stuff. I asked our tour guide (who also works there) for a list of his top 5 things he should never have to see coming into this facility and being fed into the incineration rooms. I was very surprised to hear they really don’t have a problem with hazardous materials, electronics, or large appliances coming through. He said those would definitely be on the lets-never-see-them list, but he didn’t feel it was necessary to list them because they weren’t really a problem.

So what were the items they see a lot of but shouldn’t have to deal with? They were all completely obvious things, but it was still staggering to see so much of those very items going through the system, just in the short time I was there.

  • Food scraps: Food scraps, because they’re over 90% water don’t burn very well and sap energy from the fire. They’re way better off being composted. It’s ridiculous to dispose of food waste any other way. (I keep meaning to write a post on how easy composting is, but sometimes I don’t even know what to say. Put food scraps in a pile outside and they’ll turn into dirt. That’s basically it.)
  • Metals and Glass: Metals and glass don’t burn. With metals, it takes a lot of energy to melt them, and I mean a lot, and it slows their system down just to send the stuff to a recycler anyway. Metal and glass both have a very high resale value and can easily be remade into other useful things. There is absolutely no reason to dispose of them through incineration.
  • Paper/cardboard and recyclable plastics: Recycling is a much better use for stuff like this because it has reuse/recycle value. Again, why burn and waste what someone else will pay money for so they can make it into something else? Yes, paper products burn well, but then they can’t be used a second time around or more.

So basically, it doesn’t make sense to burn things that don’t burn, it doesn’t make sense to burn things which can be used again and again, and it doesn’t make sense to burn food scraps that can be composted to make valuable topsoil. The longer we can keep the same things going around, the better. Duh.

So how big of a problem are those things? They estimated about 40-70% of their incoming trash was either recyclable or food waste. Yeah, you read that right. 40-70% of what they process shouldn’t even be there in the first place. I’d say that’s a pretty good starting point for improving things: getting every town to offer a recycling program, and getting people to put their recyclables in the right place.

I asked if people really did recycle all of that stuff if there wouldn’t be a need for their plant anymore, and if anyone would have to worry about that. Nobody at the plant hesitated with their solid  “no.” There’s always more trash out there. They run their facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can’t keep up with the incoming trash. And they only have contracts with 14 surrounding communities. There’s more than enough to go around, and not enough time in the day to process it all.

I couldn’t help but think about the recycling facility down the road that is crying for more material to sort, sell, and recycle, all while valuable materials are burned to ash and buried in a landfill (around which a wildlife refuge was designated).

If nothing more, it’s made me think harder about what exactly I throw away. Do I really not have any other use for that? Am I sure I need to throw that away? Do I really need to buy this? Can I buy another option with less packaging? Now that I know where it all goes and saw it firsthand, I don’t want to contribute to that anymore.

Anyone have any other thoughts? Have you given any thought to reducing your trash? What changes have you made (or plan on making) to reduce your trash? How can we get more people to recycle??

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The hard part about recycling–and waste disposal in general–is that we never get any feedback. If we’re doing something that doesn’t work for the disposal system, we have almost no way of ever knowing that we’re even doing anything wrong, let alone given a chance to improve.

And I, for one, have a million questions about the details of the whys and hows.

Why ISN’T styrofoam recyclable, even though it’s labeled as #6? I really can’t just toss it in, and it will make its way to the right place? Why do the plastic bags have to be recycled at the grocery store separately rather than going in the recycle bin, even though they’re #2 plastic? Is it better to leave the lids on plastic bottles or off? Does it matter if we take the labels off things? Exactly how much peanut butter do I need to rinse out of the jar before tossing it? Should I flatten cardboard and smash bottles before tossing them?

I like to know the details, because realistically, someone–a person, a human being, an employee of the plant–has to sort it out when we don’t do something right. And I’d like to know what I can do make that person’s job just a little bit better.

My visit to the local materials recovery facility allowed me (as well as others on the tour) the opportunity to ask just those kinds of questions. And what I learned was very interesting.

Surprisingly, the machines sort the stuff pretty well. This particular plant just upgraded to some state of the art sorting equipment, which made the job of hand sorting much, much easier. What kept recurring in our conversations was that the lack of education (or plain laziness) of patrons, concerning what can be recycled, clogs the system at every turn. Their biggest problem is that the equipment can’t process what it wasn’t designed to handle. That’s why it’s so important for all of us to only put in our recycle bins what’s meant to go in the bins.

That’s mainly why they need quality control staff in the first place. And as I looked down the pit into the piles of inappropriate things they pulled out, I could see they weren’t kidding. A mangled shopping cart, crutches, a broken wheelchair, old stained pillows, and countless plastic bags, sheet plastic, styrofoam, and more were being sorted into piles for disposal outside of their facility.

Any time something that’s not meant for their system gets in, it slows down the whole process. They have to take the time to pull it out manually, and if they miss it, it could jam the machinery down the line, or affect the quality of the baled materials they’re selling, affect the resale value of those bales, and even affect the quality of the materials remade from those recovered materials, if they’re “tainted” with pieces of things that aren’t supposed to be there.

So as for some of my questions earlier, I got the opportunity to ask! And I got some good feedback.

Regarding plastic bags, they’re one of the worst things for the whole plant. Not only can the equipment not process them, but they routinely get sucked into the machinery, jamming it. It actually breaks the gears and can compromise the whole plant’s ability to process anything at all. They wreak havoc on the system at every turn. If there was only one main thing the plant workers could ask everyone to do, it would be to NOT put any plastic bags of any kind into the recycling. That includes sheet plastic, plastic wrap, bubble wrap, those air pocket things used in shipping (even though they say right on the bag they can be recycled), and any kind of plastic grocery or storage bags.

Styrofoam is too light to be sorted properly, and it doesn’t have much any resale value, it’s just not profitable to process, and it’s difficult to remake it into much else. They said that it’s much better to try to get people to stop producing, buying, using, and disposing of styrofoam in the first place rather than trying to make it into something else. (I tend to think that about single-use disposable containers in general, but…..that’s a discussion for another time.) Additionally, paper or cardboard are much better alternatives to styrofoam in just about every instance.

Shredded paper is too small to go through the sort process–literally falling through the cracks onto the floor–and will get swept into the trash. They CAN process shredded paper, but it should be tied in a clear bag and labeled so the hand sorters can see what it is and can pull it out and place it with the paper. This can be the ONLY exception to the no plastic bags rule. Putting it in a paper bag or other type of container is fine, just make sure it’s clearly labeled that it’s shredded paper, otherwise they just have to tear it open to make sure it’s not everyday trash. (Once it’s torn open, you can guess what happens from there…scattered on the floor to be disposed of elsewhere.)

Same with lids of bottles and other tiny bits of material: the machinery just isn’t designed to sort small pieces. Lids have a much better chance of getting to where they are going if they stay attached to the bottles. And if the bottles are smashed before the lids are put on, it makes even more likely that they’ll both make it to where they’re going. I heard lots of “POP” sounds from lids blowing off plastic bottles as they were run over by bulldozers and such as they were being pushed toward the entry conveyor. I imagine that also affects the safety of the workers down there too. No one wants to get hit by a jet-propelled plastic cap. And while receiving 400-700 tons of recycling material per day, I imagine the fact that it just plain takes up less space makes a big difference too.

Here’s a shot of the floor, in case you’re mildly curious about what falls through the cracks…

Paper labels should come off so they will get sorted into the paper rather than heading off with the glass, tin, or plastic container they’re attached to. This cuts down on contamination in the final bales of material.

Now as for the giant pieces of metal, while the system can’t process it, they end up with so much of it, the facility itself carts it to scrap metal places for cash. They said they’re not really thrilled to have to pull it out manually, but it is a source of extra revenue for them. And they were really pulling a bunch of it out. The problem with that is it takes more human power to do that. And it can impact both the machinery and the finished baled products if it doesn’t get all pulled out by hand in the first stage of sorting. I can imagine they get a pretty good chunk of change from all that stuff, that bin was enormous:

The best thing to keep in mind is what I mentioned earlier, that the system can’t process what it wasn’t designed to handle. Otherwise, the sorting system works quite well. And it would work even better if we could all make sure to do the best we can to put into the system only what was supposed to be there.

So go back and take a second look at your neighborhood’s collection policy. Check with your recycling coordinator if you have specific questions, or ask them what facility handles the recycling and contact them directly. They can’t make their recycling system  better without our informed efforts.

It was a little challenging to take pictures during the tour portion, as it was important to keep moving and stay with the group, but I have a few to share. Enjoy!

The first step: onto the tipping floor.

Everything is then pushed toward the entry conveyor to start the sorting process.

After everything has been sorted, it is fed into this machine and baled. The baler was spitting out a long line of paper bales when I was there.

Forklifts arrange the bales into sections according to material.

It looked like a warehouse in there, piled high with bales. The nicest-smelling section was the one with all the laundry detergent container bales.

A close-up of an aluminum bale.

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These days, footprints are all the rage. You can calculate your eco footprint, your carbon footprint, water footprint, energy usage footprint, and even your foodprint. And I’m sure there’s many, many more.

Recently, I was made aware of a website that calculates an estimated number of how many slaves work for you based on where our goods come from, who makes them, and how many you have. Which they call, of course, the slavery footprint.

I know, what you’re thinking, “Slavery has been outlawed. I don’t benefit from slavery.” But that’s not the case. And it’s complicated.

Check out your own results here: http://slaveryfootprint.org/

The quiz leads you through lots of questions about what you own and how much of it, and the site estimates, based on all your information, how many slaves it took to manufacture those goods and materials. Mine came out at 31. I have an estimated 31 slaves (indirectly?) working for me. It hit me like a punch in the stomach.

I don’t want to participate in maintaining the institution of slavery, in any of it’s forms. Working to be greener is only part of the story. We have to care about the preservation and protection of the people as much as the planet. The site offers some great background information, as well as direct actions and ways to make changes, both large and small scale.

What’s your slavery footprint?

And for a very interesting read on modern slavery, check out this article: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/03/world/mauritania.slaverys.last.stronghold/index.html

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A title like this implies I might have spent my day sewing something cool. Or developing/perfecting a new recipe to share on here. Or harvesting my own homegrown veggies. Actually, I spent it protesting at Occupy Boston.

I know what you’re thinking. I thought this was an environmentalist blog, not a political activist’s soapbox.

And you’re right. But I’ve been thinking about something lately. I could change everything about my life so my carbon footprint was absolutely zero. Now, that’s not really possible, but even if I could, that wouldn’t change a thing, wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket. I could get all the people around me to change, or at least to do a little better than they’re doing now. Still, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. I mean, we should all still do what we can, but, it’s really not going to make that much of an impact. We’ve got to change the policy that provides the biggest polluters with a free pass. Otherwise, we can’t even hope to make a dent in restoring our environment. And to do that, we need a government that represents us. All of us. Not just those who have the means to fund their own lobbyists. That’s why I marched yesterday.

Now, I’m not going to get all preachy here. But I do want to quickly describe my own take on the Occupy Boston movement, in my own words, based on my own experiences, and not endorsed by the Occupy Movement. I feel like there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and my perspective is that some people dismiss the movement for just being a bunch of disorganized, fringe, leftist hippies living in a tent city and whining about how they don’t have any money. And that’s not it at all.

So what is it all about?

It’s about asking for action to curb corporate greed and the usurping of the whole political system by the few (usually corporations and their big lobbies) who then use the system for their own benefit, usually to the detriment of the general population. And this all while leaving the environmental costs unaccounted for, externalizing them onto the backs of everyone. The rest of us pay for their exploitation in many ways: environmental degradation, lost benefits, decreased (or nonexistent) healthcare, reduced wages, job losses, disbanding of unions, discontinuation of pension plans, and the list goes on and on. It’s also about Citizens United and the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are people, and deserve the same rights as individuals. Corporations are made up of people, each an individual unto themselves. Counting the corporation as well is to give them more than one vote, or more influence than they should rightly have. And they already have the money to buy lots of influence to start with. We should be limiting that and not adding to it. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against corporations, just the excessive greed that exploits people and resources for extra money. And I’m against their power to almost exclusively shape the policies that allow their behavior to continue unchecked.

There’s a growing divide between the top 1% of wage earners and the bottom 99%, and right now, the top 1% has a grossly disproportionate say in our government actions and policy. We want something closer to of, by, and for all the people, not just the top 1%. The Occupy Movement is not leftist, rightist, or exclusive. It invites everyone who wants to be heard and to have a say in our government policy to speak up. It is for all of us in the 99% and invites us all to be included.

Basically, the idea is to get out and occupy the streets that are already (or should be) ours in the first place, funded by our tax dollars. Occupying a section of a park or marching through the streets is simply a statement that, “hey, this is ours too.” But bigger than that, it’s about demanding to be heard, respected, and included in the political process, all while practicing nonviolence. And it’s about sending a message to the biggest players in corporate greed (big banks and Wall Street), so naturally, the space for Occupy Boston is right in the financial district.

Sure, there are always going to be people out there who have their own pet projects they’re fighting for (legalize marijuana, forgive student loans, anarchy, disbanding of corporations altogether, closing prisons, etc.) but the majority of the people there—in my perspective and experience—were protesting corporate greed that got us into this mess. I saw someone with a sign that said “We’re not disorganized, America just has too many issues.” I think that about sums it up.

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No Impact Week is coming up again! I participated in this for the first time in January, and now that I’ve had a chance to gauge my progress forget about all the progress I’ve made and revert to old habits, it’s time to sign up again and give it another go. This time around, the folks at Yes magazine have added the option of being able to register as a group. So…..I created a group for Path to Green. This is an open invitation for anyone who’s interested in giving this a try. No judgments, just effort and action. Start yourself wherever YOU are in this process, and make progress at a pace and level that works for YOU. Every little bit counts, and it’s not about comparing what you do (or can’t do) to what others do.

It’s a week of daily challenges to try, and by the end, the idea is to have a different perspective on your life, what you need, what you appreciate more, what you can do without, and what hinders rather than enhances your life.

Anyone out there who wants to sign up? I’ll (try to) post my reflections every day about my own experience, and hopefully this can be an outlet for us to all share our thoughts, experiences, and commiserate cheer each other on.

No Impact Week is scheduled to start the week of September 18.

Go here to sign up: http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/register-for-the-yes-magazine-no-impact-week/

And in the box that asks if you have a private group name to enter, be sure to type in Path to Green

Some specifics on how the project works: http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/how-it-works/

More general info: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/join-yes-for-no-impact-week-september-2011

Some inspiring words from creator Colin Beavan: http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/jump-in-together-an-invitation-to-no-impact-week

Drop a line in the comments if you’ve signed up, so we can all get an idea of who we all are and how to support each other throughout the week!

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Lottery litter: a big problem

First, a little background:

Playing the lottery is an interesting thing to me.

I used to work summers at a local grocery store where I sold lottery tickets, among other duties, and I always found it interesting to watch people, especially their emotions, as they purchased and scratched off lottery tickets. Scratch-off tickets provide a clear window into a whole range of human emotions, one right after another. The numbers games also show these emotions, though in a more extended time frame, as one has to wait several hours or days for the winning numbers to be revealed. And while playing the numbers is perhaps more emotionally damaging (because one has more time to connect to the ticket itself and speculate about being the winner), scratch-off tickets show a more immediate reversal of emotion and offer more for a casual observer like me, who is just trying to figure people out.

There is so much extreme emotion associated with the lottery: complete assuredness that THIS ONE is the mega winner followed by ecstasy and speculations on how the winnings will be spent, which immediately reverses to despair upon actually scratching off the ticket. This emotional reversal very often leads to an immediate discard of the ticket itself, wherever it may fall: on the bus, sidewalk, parking lot, train, or very often right outside—or even inside—the place of purchase. It immediately becomes worthless, even disdainful, a vile thing to expel as quickly as possible. Many people fold them up, tear them in half, or even shred them before throwing them on the ground.

After watching people scratch off lottery tickets for two summers, it’s very easy to see how gambling addiction gets started. You buy a ticket, experience the thrill of being a winner and spend all the money in your mind, scratch off the ticket, and are immediately brought back to the reality that you just wasted $10. And you’re so down, you need to buy another lottery ticket to get that high back again.

And now onto the litter part:

I walk a lot: to and from the grocery store, to the bus stop, to the subway, around the city, just about everywhere. And the amount of discarded lottery tickets that end up as litter is staggering. I mean really staggering. Once I noticed it, I saw them everywhere, like at least one every few steps on the sidewalk.

And then I began collecting them. My rule was that I had to pick up every lottery ticket I saw in my path. My eventual goal was to create something artistic from them to exemplify the manipulation, extreme emotional reversals, emptiness, and falseness that result from playing the lottery.

But something else happened too. I quickly realized that there were so many lottery tickets littering public spaces that I would have more than enough for my project within a few days. I mentioned earlier that the amount of tickets strewn about my neighborhood is staggering. Here’s an example. Husband and I would take a short walk (about ¾ mile) to the grocery store, and we would collect about $400 worth of discarded tickets, without ever having to leave the sidewalk. And this was just the way there. By the time we shopped and headed home, there were fresh tickets already littering the very sidewalks we had just cleared. And this was every week. I quickly learned that with any routine trip, I would gather about $300-400 worth of tickets, though it was gradually less as I continued to collect them, as I would often end up gathering them faster than they would accumulate. I began actually logging my day’s collections in my journal: how many tickets I picked up, how many of each cost bracket, the total cost of the tickets I picked up for that day, and the cumulative total cost of tickets gathered so far.

It quickly became more tickets than I ever thought I’d pick up. I gathered them for about a month, then I just couldn’t do it anymore. I gathered more than $2000 worth of lottery tickets, all wasted money, and I just couldn’t look at them anymore. Also, I was pretty sure I had more than enough tickets to make whatever I was going to make out of them.

I quickly began to be disheartened by what I saw, day after day. Among poorer areas I walked, I found more tickets. Among places where people were less educated, I found more tickets. Among places where people were more educated, I found less tickets. Among places where people had more money, I found less tickets. Were these people rich enough to not need the lottery? Smart enough to know it’s a scam? Conscious enough to throw their tickets away rather than toss them on the sidewalk? Well-off enough to not have to walk or take public transport? Are their cars full of discarded lottery tickets? I don’t know. And while all of those things are possible, I doubt they’re more probable than my guess that people who can least afford to waste their precious money buy (and discard) the most lottery tickets.

This lead me to not only feel that making my artistic statement about the lottery is super important, but also to feel very angry that the lottery sort of targets poorer, less-educated people.

I made a sculpture, “False Hope” as my statement. A statement that while playing the lottery feels exciting, welcoming, and thrilling, it only leads to emptiness. And upon closer examination, the lottery structure is unsound deceptive and exploitive, the thrill turns to despair, the foundation is weak, and the price tag is immense.

"False Hope" tower front, with windows and entrance door

"False Hope" price tag. Sculpture uses $500 worth of tickets. Cost: $500. Value $0.

Welcoming, bright entrance door...

Empty and dull inside, with cold "tile" ticket floor

But I’m still angry. I’m thinking about continuing to gather tickets and mailing my weekly findings to the Massachusetts Department of Whoever-does-the-lottery (State Lottery Commission?) to build awareness of this massive litter problem.

And in the mean time, I’m trying to come to terms with what in my mind now equates to a tax on being poor and less educated. It’s billed as helping local communities, but at who’s expense?

Anyone else now noticing discarded lottery tickets everywhere?

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It’s been a mission of mine to compile tested, effective recipes for general household products. There’s lots of good ones all over the internet, but it can sometimes be quite a task to find them, gather the ingredients, test them out, and tweak them to your liking. And even then, sometimes the recipes aren’t good, are too complicated, just don’t work out, or aren’t worth all the work. My goal seems like convenience. I do the research, I do the testing, and I share the pros and cons of the recipes so that we all might benefit. But there’s another reason I do this. It’s kind of a long story, and it’s the reason I got started with all this in the first place.

It all started with the food pantry/food stamp system. My mother is the head volunteer for a local food pantry that gives distributions to qualifying families to bridge the gap between when their food stamp funds run out and when the next month’s funds begin. It’s more complicated than that (is anything ever simple?) but that’s the essence in a nutshell, at least for the food pantry my mom works at. It’s a pretty good program when paired with the food stamp program, but any state-funded food stamp program is for just that: food. The funds are only applicable to food items. That means qualifying families who participate in the program, while they receive funds for purchasing food, can’t buy any non-food items with these funds. And realistically, they don’t often (or ever) have extra money for items like toothpaste, laundry soap, cleaners, deodorant, shampoo, diapers, wipes, and other non-food items. Food pantries sometimes provide these things, but with increasing cuts, it’s become even harder just to meet the needs for only food. And all that other stuff is expensive.

So when I started playing around with making household products, my main goal was to primarily use edible ingredients. That way, someone participating in a food stamp program would be able to have easy access to things like deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, or toothpaste and not have to choose between these items or go without them. And with easier access to the ingredients, recipes and products, the level of personal hygiene expected for job interviews or attending work is more attainable for low-income people and families.

So in short, I compiled and tested these recipes for the benefit of food pantry organizations and the people they provide for. But it’s not only for them. I use them all myself, I believe they are at least as good as or better than commercial products, they certainly contain less chemicals, and are all-around better for everyone involved. I use them to save money, to impact the environment less, and so that I’m exposed to less chemicals. But I also share them as an empowerment tool.

I realize that the people who need to access these materials the most are the least likely to have a computer or internet access. That means just posting them here is missing the people I’m most hoping will benefit.

With these things in mind, I’m asking for some help from my readers. If you’ve used any of these recipes, if you enjoy even one of them, share them with your local food pantry. Even if you don’t have a relationship with them, even if you’ve nervous about where to take them, how they will react, or if they’re interested. Mail them in. Send an email. Drop off an anonymous packet. Just print them off and do it. You have no idea the kind of impact it will have.

To make it even easier, I have a handy word document where I’ve already cut and pasted the recipes all into easy to print recipe-sized cards, four to a page. I’d be happy to send it to you to distribute, if it would make the difference between doing it and not doing it. Just drop me a line in the comments. And if you’re interested, share your experiences in the comments. What food pantry did you take recipes to? How did they react? Do they already have a program like this in place?

Also, I’m running out of ideas for what to experiment with next. Is there something you wish I’d experiment with? What recipes do you like? What have you tweaked about any of the ones I’ve shared? Let’s improve them together.

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