GREEN GRILLING

Lump Charcoal

Firing up the grill this weekend? Did you know that your barbecue can be more sustainable? Here are some ideas for greener grilling …

BURN, BABY, BURN

Charcoal or propane: the ultimate grilling grudge match. What is more environmentally sound? With all of the factors considered, propane is more sustainable than charcoal.

Charcoal may be derived from natural and renewable resources, but it can contribute to deforestation. Charcoal briquettes often contain chemical additives and fillers that can infiltrate your food, stifle the air and leave a bad taste in your mouth – literally. Borax and sawdust … yum. (Not really.) A traditional charcoal grill also emits more harmful pollutants. While it is produced from finite resources, propane offers a cleaner burn.

If you are a charcoal fan, though, all is not lost. Lump charcoal is a healthier choice for you and the environment. Consider lump charcoal that is natural, carbon-neutral and certified by The Forest Stewardship Council.

Mesquite and raw wood chips certified by The Forest Stewardship Council and The Rainforest Alliance are other sources of sustainable fuel as well.

LIGHT MY FIRE

Come on, baby … light my fire – but not with lighter fluid. Lighter fluids also contain harmful chemicals that can seep into your food when they are burned. Try a chimney charcoal starter or electric charcoal starter to grill green.

(CUE AUSTRALIAN ACCENT) THROW ANOTHER SUSTAINABLY SOURCED SHRIMP ON THE BARBIE

WHAT you grill is just as important as HOW you grill. For a healthier and more environmentally sound barbecue, choose locally raised meats, sustainably sourced seafood and locally grown produce. You’ll support your local economy, reap the benefits of fresh food and reduce your environmental impacts.

TALKIN’ TRASH

At your barbecue, be sure to watch your wasteline. You read that correctly. Not your WAISTline. Your WASTEline. As Queen said, ‘don’t throw it all away!’ Choose reusable dinnerware instead of disposable dinnerware to reduce your waste. If you cannot use reusable dinnerware, then try recyclable, compostable or biodegradable dinnerware.

Recycle as much as possible, and use bio-based cleaners instead of chemical cleaners to tidy the grill.

FOR MORE INFORMATION …

How to Go Green Guide: Barbecues from TREEHUGGER

Green Grilling from MOTHER NATURE NETWORK

Your Guide to a Green Tailgate from JUST ENERGY

How to Use a Charcoal Chimney from THE GRILLING SPOT

Find a Farmer’s Market from LOCAL HARVEST

The Smart Seafood Buying Guide from NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL

26 Genius Ways to Use Barbecue Leftovers from FOOD NETWORK

15 Things You Can Make With Barbecue Leftovers from BRIT + CO

Advertisements

TAKING OUT THE TRASH: IMPROVED REPORTING INCREASES WASTE DIVERSION RATE FOR ARMY RESERVE

Recycle Keyboard

Often, recycling is considered one of the easiest ways to integrate sustainability into daily operations. The U.S. Army Reserve has been successful in implementing recycling programs at its Installations, Mission Support Command (MSC) and Regional Support Commands (RSCs). But, due to their geographical dispersion and unique needs, RSCs face a challenge: to capture the recycling efforts that happen at their sites every day, across the country. The Army Reserve Solid Waste Program is meeting those challenges to ensure that the Army Reserve will reach Federally mandated solid waste diversion goals.

Currently, the municipal solid waste (MSW) diversion rate for the Army Reserve is 37 percent, which is five percent greater than the MSW diversion rate for fiscal year 2014. So, even though there is still work to be done to reach the Federal goal of 50 percent diversion from landfills, the Army Reserve is charting progress that can be attributed to improvements in reporting.

Many Army Reserve sites have established successful recycling programs, but according to Solid Waste Program Coordinator Tyrone Cook, “the challenge has always been in capturing the diversion at the MSC and RSC level due to their unique organizational structures.” So, Cook and the Solid Waste Team sought solutions. They developed a Solid Waste Management and Recycling Profile Survey, which will be used to improve solid waste best management practices, identify areas within established programs that need improvement and identify additional diversion opportunities. In addition, the team added a solid waste management assessment to existing Comprehensive Energy and Water Evaluations to further identify diversion opportunities and program improvement areas, and they created a Solid Waste and Recycling Weight Estimation Tool and accompanying guidance to help sites more accurately report their diversion.

As a result, sites have markedly improved their diversion reporting in Solid Waste Annual Reporting on the Web (SWARWeb). SWARWeb is an online system for
tracking, analyzing and reporting information on the generation, recycling and disposal of non-hazardous solid waste at Department of Defense Installations. Army Reserve
Installations, the MSC and RSCs are capturing a more complete set of data for the diversion that is taking place throughout the enterprise. “We have improved processes that are helping to identify and include data that have been overlooked in the past,” Cook added. “Overall, Installations, the MSC and RSCs are prepared to increase their diversion reporting simply by capturing what is taking place within their fence lines and out in the field. We may find that we have already reached or exceeded the Federally mandated goals.”

As they ride the momentum of a notable increase in solid waste diversion, Cook and the Solid Waste Team realize that they cannot simply rest on that achievement. While they focus on capturing diversion at Army Reserve Centers, they also want to find ways to decrease or divert food waste from waste streams. They are also bolstering recycling education and awareness efforts. For instance, a paper reduction awareness campaign
began in April with goals of meeting Federal and Department of Defense paper reduction mandates, conserving resources, lowering operating costs, reducing waste and improving business efficiency for the Army Reserve. The recycling programs in the field are forging ahead, too, and continuing to support diversion efforts.

Whether it is reporting more of its diversion or recycling more of its waste, the Army Reserve is taking out the trash today so we have a more sustainable mission for the future.

46 PRACTICAL AND CREATIVE WAYS TO REUSE PAPER

Colored Paper

In honor of the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, enjoy these 46 practical and creative ways to reuse paper. You can click on the projects that are in green for further instructions.

CARE FOR YOUR PETS …
• Use shredded white paper or black and white newspaper to line cages for small animals
Make an eco-friendly cat litter with shredded newspaper

GROW YOUR GARDEN …
Cut unbleached, undyed paper bags into strips and use them as mulch in your garden
Create biodegradable pots for seedlings from toilet paper or paper towel tubes
• Use a paper coffee cup to scoop garden soil
• Place fresh fruit in a used paper bag to accelerate ripening

CLEAN AND ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE …
• Clean windows with old newspapers and vinegar
• Use pieces of crumpled newspaper to deodorize small spaces
• Line drawers and bookshelves with colorful gift wrap
Decorate a paper towel tube to make a jewelry holder
• Cover old shoe boxes with colorful paper to make storage containers

THROW A PARTY …
• Make confetti with colorful shredded paper
• Cut shapes out of colorful paper to make banners, streamers, ornaments and other decorations
Make party hats out of used gift wrap
Make a piñata with scraps of colorful paper
String holiday lights through paper coffee cups to make paper lanterns
Roll old newspapers to make a firestarter

GIVE A GIFT …
Fold colorful newspapers and magazine pages into gift bags
• Fill gift bags, boxes and baskets with shredded, colorful paper
• Wrap gifts with colorful paper such as newspaper comic strips, obsolete maps and brightly patterned magazine pages
Fold old wrapping paper into gift bows
Design your own greeting cards with graphics from
newspapers and magazines
Turn a paper coffee cup sleeve into a gift card holder

MAKE SCHOOL AND OFFICE SUPPLIES …
Make a book cover with used gift wrap
• Use blank sections of printed office paper as scratch pads
Decorate toilet paper or paper towel tubes to create desk and drawer organizers
Make a journal or notebook from old magazines
Make a bookmark with bright card stock, old photos and paper

SEND PACKAGES …
• Save cardboard boxes for future shipping needs
• Use newspapers instead of Styrofoam “peanuts” or plastic
bubble wrap to pack boxes for shipping

DECORATE YOUR HOME …
Use paper towel or toilet paper tubes to make a wreath
Weave old newspapers into a basket
• Decorate a paper coffee cup and fill it with water to use as a vase for flowers
• Frame colorful, patterned paper to make unique art

CREATE A FUN ART PROJECT …
Fill paper towel or toilet paper tubes with rice or beans to make homemade maracas
• Make an old-fashioned paper airplane with old newspapers
Use colorful magazine pages for découpage projects
Use old newspapers for paper maché
• Decorate old paper bags to make reusable grocery totes
Make your own recycled paper
Roll old newspapers into beads for jewelry
Fold origami shapes out of old paper
• Repurpose a paper coffee cup to mix paint
• Use old newspapers as a “drop cloth” to protect floors and furniture from painting jobs, your child’s art activities and other potentially messy projects

MAKE A DIFFERENCE …
• Donate old books to a local charity, school or library
• Donate recent magazines to your doctor’s office

No Army Reserve or Federal endorsement of external links is intended.

FORT HUNTER LIGGETT QUALIFIED RECYCLING PROGRAM UNLEASHES THE COYOTE

Coyote

If you’re not recycling properly at Fort Hunter Liggett, watch out! The “recycling coyote” is on the loose, and he may be coming for you.

The Fort Hunter Liggett Qualified Recycling Program’s “QRP TV” revealed amazing,
never-before-seen “footage” of the recycling coyote at the garrison’s America Recycles Day, Safety Stand-Down and Organizational Day last November.

In the footage, the recycling coyote stealthily appears when unsuspecting individuals either toss their recyclables into refuse receptacles or deposit their trash into recycling bins. Sightings of the coyote, encouraging Soldiers and Civilians to recycle right and recycle more, have been reported throughout the Installation.

Rick Bosch is Fort Hunter Liggett’s appointed Qualified Recycling Program (QRP) manager and Chief of the Community Recreation and Business Operations Division at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. He said that the coyote was born from a need to educate the community about proper recycling practices in a unique and different way. “Recycling should be fun and dynamic, not rigid and regimented with force,” Bosch commented. Since Fort Hunter Liggett’s garrison mascot is a coyote, the creature was the perfect choice to serve as an ambassador for the program. “At this remote and isolated Installation, there are actually more coyotes than people, so we have a built-in watchdog force,” Bosch joked.

Bosch said that the coyote has been well-received so far and that the QRP has been successful in leveraging champions in the community. The achievements of the program – which are rather incredible for such a new endeavor – can be attributed to the efforts of Soldiers, Families, Civilians and contractors.

Fort Hunter Liggett established its QRP in 2013. By 2014, the QRP had recovered 207,000 pounds or 103 tons of recyclables. In 2015, the QRP recovered almost four times that amount ‒ 776,000 pounds or 388 tons. The QRP has not only diverted tons of recyclables from the landfill, though. It has also raised around $500,000 in funds for numerous quality-of-life projects at the Installation. In the past two years, the QRP has funded the Army Reserve birthday barbecue, occupational health and safety educational materials and signage, two organizational days, the annual holiday tree lighting and free internet access at the Cybrary.

Collaboration with the State of California has also enhanced success. The program has achieved Certified Community Service Program status. Their curbside recycling services in Army Family Housing gained Certified Curbside Recycling Program status, and they are a Certified Oil Generator, for which they receive credit and state funding.

Although Fort Hunter Liggett has a 30 percent diversion rate, “we can’t sit on our haunches and rest on our laurels,” Bosch said. The Installation is still chasing the Net Zero standard of a 50 percent diversion rate for municipal solid waste, and Bosch estimated that they would need to recycle about 300,000 additional pounds of materials this year to meet that goal.

To that end, Fort Hunter Liggett plans to continue educating its population about the benefits of recycling – with the help of that wily coyote, of course.

“We have turned a corner in changing behaviors and perceptions,” Bosch said. “[The QRP] is something that helps us meet our Net Zero waste goal but allows us to have fun and benefit as a community. People are the heartbeat of this community, and the more opportunities we have to share time and smiles as an organization, the more prepared and passionate we are to support our mission daily.”

WATCH THE RECYCLING COYOTE IN ACTION

LEARN MORE ABOUT FORT HUNTER LIGGETT’S QRP