Category Archives: mini challenges

Experiments in Square-Foot Gardening

This month the mini-challenge is localizing our food.We’re paying attention to where our food comes from at the coop, choosing Minnesota or Wisconsin-grown, rather than California or Mexico. At our last trip, 24% of our purchase was local. The other … Continue reading

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June Mini-Challenge: Eat Local

June in Minnesota means gardening! Our mini-challenge this month is to take steps to make our food choices more local. Gardening: If you’ve got a yard, you can start a garden. At our house, we are trying out square foot … Continue reading

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May Mini-Challenge: Reducing Trash

This month our mini-challenge goal is to reduce the amount of garbage our households (or businesses) send to landfills. Up for an even bigger challenge? How can you reduce both trash and recycling? (Recycling takes energy, too.) If you tamed … Continue reading

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Reducing Paper Use: Toilet Paper

When we first talked about the paper mini-challenge at the Longfellow Sustainability Group, Peter joked that he was going to give up toilet paper, to which there was a resounding chorus of laughter and oh no’s. He hasn’t done anything … Continue reading

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4 tips to make recycling cleaner, easier and more efficient

One way to really stick with behavior goals, in this case, the goal of more recycling, is to change the environment to make it more conducive to success. To improve our in-home recycling efforts, I made the following changes to … Continue reading

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Hidden Paper Waste: Alternative Feminine Hygiene Products

Every year, over 12 billion disposable menstrual pads and tampons are thrown away in the U.S. That’s huge! While these products are really convenient, there’s just no way around the fact that they are costly to the environment in terms … Continue reading

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Ending Junk Mail

Recycling paper is better than dumping it in landfills, but it’s still a huge waste of resources to manufacture, transport and dispose. Here’s a  link to tips about ending junk mail. Note: Leslie and I have eliminated a lot of … Continue reading

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April Mini-Challenge: Taming the PAPER dragon

This month the Longfellow Sustainability Group will be looking at ways to reduce/reuse/recycle paper — all kinds of paper: kleenex, paper towels, mail, magazines, and personal products. Our neighborhood recycling program picks up clean paper and cardboard. If you are … Continue reading

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Curbing Our Energy Appetite

Powering Down One Appliance At A Time According to the Consumer Electronics Association, in 1975 the average household had fewer than two electronic products. In 2007, the average household had 25 consumer electronic products (computers, DVD players, video game consoles, … Continue reading

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Phantom Load: Ferreting Out the Energy Vampires

Phantom load is electrical use from appliances that are plugged in but not in use. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, phantom load can account for 5-10% of the average home’s energy use, or some 65 billion kilowatt-hours of … Continue reading

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