My father peels back the leathery orange skins with sharp, careful movements. No movement is wasted, and neither will any part of the mandarin once we are done with it. The peel will go into the compost bin to be stirred and added to growing plants. The flesh will be devoured and only the small slimy pips will be left behind— drowning in the breadth of the plates, in an unfamiliar world.

No two oranges will be one and the same. My mother says, 有难同当,有福同享。We split each orange evenly so that no one has to struggle through eating an orange withered and dry of juice, dividing each mandarin into segments methodically and passing them around to each other. 

My sister and I eat the mandarins, juice dripping down chins as we spit out the pips like an undulating rhythm, pea-drops striking porcelain. They taste like a new beginning.

—  mandarins by K.A TAN 

I dreamt that the trunk of my palm tree got thicker and was covered with moss. ’It ate all the soil!’, I said. Its leaves were yellow and dry, I added compost fearing there won’t be enough to feed my plant.

I dreamt I was walking naked in the city, and decided to put some clothes at a bus stop because I felt it was inappropriate to show my body in a comic book store I wanted to go in.

Are they siblings? Are they friends? Are they straight? Is he gay? Is she gay? Are they both bi? Please say they’re both bi. What are they doing? Family fishing trip? Are they composing a symphony to try and put Mozart in his place as a second-rate composer? Are they trying to take down an evil galactic empire with little help from anyone? Avril we’re gonna need more information here, you say you’re making it obvious but I think we all know you’re lying!

For Shadowhunters viewers who are not familiar with Alec’s style - yes, he IS supposed to look like he recently climbed out of a compost pile and just barely managed to straighten out his shirt.


I make my Compost in layers of green stuff and brown stuff. Green stuff like leaves, grass clippings, kitchen waste, sea weed, weeds, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Brown stuff is hay, nutshells, paper, sawdust, pine needles, cornstalks, straw from animal bedding. Every so often throw in a shovel full of dirt. Plain old garden soil contains all the micro-organisms your pile will need.

Taste deterrents for dogs

Heaps of toxic products are marketed as ‘pet safe’ because the manufacturer claims to have added a so-called 'taste deterrent’ to stop dogs and cats from eating it.

My question is this:

Given that dogs eat notoriously foul things, including but not limited to: rotting meat, compost, worn socks, used tampons, human vomit and their own poo, what taste exactly do you think is going to deter a creature such as this from eating your toxic product?

This is especially relevant for products like rat poison and snail bait, which are supposed to appeal to the appetites of the species they are trying to kill.

Please don’t fall for it. Dogs (and some cats) will eat anything. Taste deterrents do next to nothing.

Staten Island building hires city’s first “resident farmer”

Urban farming has been fashionable for quite a while now. But one Staten Island apartment complex has accomplished a first for the city: hiring a resident farmer.

The first-of-their-kind farmer will run a small organic farm, as well as rooftop beehives and a compost operation at the $150 million, 900-unit Urby rental complex in the Stapleton section, according to the New York Post.

Zaro Bates, who has extensive urban farming experience, will receive around $40,000 a year and a free apartment for her work.

“A farm as a selling point, an amenity, like a gym — that’s what this is,” Frank “Turtle” Raffaele of the Queens-based cafe chain Coffeed, told the Post. “It’s going to be really game-changing.”

Coffeed is partnering with Ironstate Development to get the initial 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of street-level crops growing.

Once it’s all in bloom, the farm will supply herbs, greens, heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and cucumbers to an on-site Coffeed restaurant. Veggies will also be sold to tenants and visitors in the complex’s grocery store.


right now i’m thinking about like environmentalism in 90s cartoons cuz i just watched the jetsons movie and the entire agonizingly slow plot hinges on spacely sprockets building this plant on some other species’ home and george jetson eventually having to force him to stop and it just makes me think about fucking captain planet. now that was the real shit. the fucking half assed “you should sort your recycling and maybe compost, also cut plastic rings” was saved for the PSAs at the end but the episodes of themselves were just “this dickhead greedy fuck is destroying the ozone layer, let’s go beat the shit out of them with our magic rings and our superpowered man we summon from them”

My trash experiment

Ever since watching No Impact Man, discovering My Plastic-free Life, and stumbling upon the idea of trash without trash bags, I have become more and more aware of my trash output. More importantly, what I can do to reduce it.

I’d feel the guilt every time I’d tie off a bag and lug it out to garbage can.


Especially when that can is full itself, with two or three other bags already inside.

This isn’t right…it doesn’t FEEL right.

In fact, it feels awful.

Wasn’t I recycling? Isn’t that helping?

Then, why is there still SO MUCH garbage? 

I decided right then and there that I had to take control…I had to figure out WHAT exactly we were throwing in landfills.

So, while Jerm was away on a business trip (figured it would be easier to keep track of that way), Marbs and I conducted a trash experiment.

I decided the stepper lid trashcan makes it all too easy and convenient to make “trash”..step, drop it in, forget about it.

So, after I had taken out the garbage, instead of replacing the bag inside, I placed a bowl on top. This way I could see (and examine) every item of “trash”. And since I wasn’t adding any wet or food items, that task wouldn’t be disgusting.

This is what Marbs and I accumulated over three days:

The bowl is our “trash”, the pile in the middle is recyclables and the plastic bag is kitchen scraps (my compostables).

I loved to see it broken out like this.

Actually, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe how little “trash” we accumulated. least, I think it’s little :) 

I believe now that our trash isn’t too far out of whack..(especially now with our new composter :) I just need to be more diligent and aware when disposing of something, rather than lazy and robotic. 

A little effort can go a long way.

…now if I could only get Jerm to use the bowl :)

Repurpose Launches New Products on Earth Day!

Repurpose Launches New Products on Earth Day!

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April 22, 2012 —- Los Angeles, CA ——Repurpose® Compostables, creators of premium, eco-friendly food service products, based in Los Angeles, is pleased to announce the release of their plant based, clear cups for cold beverages and heat resistant cutlery. Traditional plastic cups and cutlery are made from oil but Repurpose Compostable’s products are made from plants. Repurpose’s mission is to…

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How to make dead bodies useful

Mushroom burial suit turns dead bodies into clean compost

by Katie Herzog 

You are going to die. It’s a frightening reality that most of us prefer to ignore, but the truth is, every breath you take brings you one closer to your last. And afterward, you’ll leave behind only your impact on the world around you. Well, that a corpse.

For most of us in the U.S., there are two options when it comes to post-life management: You are conventionally buried or you are burned. Both have downsides: If you choose to be buried, as the majority of Americans do, your body will be drained of blood and injected with a cocktail of formaldehyde, methanol, and other solvents that prevent decay. This pickling prolongs the amount of time it takes for your body to decompose, but it will decompose eventually, and as it does, all of those toxic chemicals are leached out of you and into the earth — despite preventative measures like caskets and coffins. For a proper viewing and burial, you will pay between $7,000 and $10,000, and you’ll still be dead.

Burning comes with its own environmental problems. Cremation — in which bodies cook for a few hours in an 1,800 degree oven — releases soot, carbon monoxide, and trace metals like mercury into the air, and each cremation requires 28 gallons of fuel and releases of 540 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. En masse, it’s not an insignificant amount: the Funeral Consumers Alliance estimates that 246,240 tons of carbon dioxide are released each year due to cremation, or the equivalent of 41,040 cars.

Clearly, neither of these options are ideal for those of us who care about our aftermath. But there could be a greater — and a greener — way to go, and it is comes to us from, of all places, the humble mushroom. Meet the Infinity Burial Suit.

The brain child of designers Jae Rhim Lee and Mike Ma, the Infinity Burial Suit is essentially a body suit you wear after death. The makers say that it “cleanses the body of toxins before returning it to nature,” and the human body is full of toxins. According to the Centers for Disease Control, we have hundreds of toxic pollutants in our bodies, including pesticides, preservatives, and heavy metals like mercury and lead. These are not things you want leaching into the soil or groundwater. And that’s where the mushrooms come in.

During development, Lee tested various types of mushrooms — which are known to clean up toxic environments — by feeding them her own hair, skin, and nails, and selectively breeding the ones that best consumed them. Then, she designed a body suit with thread infused with the mushroom spores. After death, the mushrooms consume both the body and the toxins within it. Basically, the suit eats you, leaving behind clean, pollutant-free compost.

It’s a weird concept, and one Lee knows many people may be uncomfortable with. But she also thinks it can help people come to terms with their own inevitable demise. “We want to eat, not be eaten by, our food,” she said in a 2011 TED Talk. “But as I watch the mushrooms grow and digest my body, I imagine the Infinity Mushroom as a symbol of a new way of thinking about death and the relationship between my body and the environment.”

After six years of development, the Infinity Burial Suit is coming to market in spring 2016. Its first user will be Dennis White, a 63-year-old suffering from primary progressive aphasia, a rare neurological disease.

“I never thought about death until I was diagnosed, and I want to go out with a bang, like I’ve lived most of my life.” White said in a documentary. “What a long, strange trip it’s been.” And for White, the trip will end shrouded in mushrooms, his body going back to the Earth.