Trash Matters to WastEDNY Dan Barber

You might wonder why a subway performer is blogging about trash, but trash matters to me.  All kinds of trash like e-waste and packaging come to mind. How we consume and how we discard has always held my attention in ways ranging from being curious to being enraged. I also love food. I am constantly distressed by the amount we trash, especially in an Urban environment. It's unsustainable. Coming up with solutions grabs my attention.

Blue Hill Farm chef Dan Barber has created a pop-up restaurant within Blue Hill Restaurant in the Village for the next 2 weeks.  It is called WastEDNY and they will be creating food from scraps and what would normally be trashed. 

Food critic and author, Ruth Reichl calls WastEDNY "The most exciting culinary event of 2015." I agree because if a major chef like Dan Barber can make the gourmet food world stand up and pay attention to a system change, it would be amazing. 

The hold music at the restaurant in a lovely sense of humor, has the wonderful classic Sesame Street song by Oscar "I Love Trash" 

I had fun creating my own spoof adaptation from the song about WastEDNY. Take a listen:

Oh, we love trash!  Anything moldy or measly or musty

Anything cragged or rotten or crusty yes we love trash

There's carrots and beets and ends from a Kale

bones from a fish and some animal tail, Dan doesn't' care if the color is pale

He loves it because it's trash

Oh, we love trash! Anything moldy or measly or musty

Anything cragged or rotten or crusty yes we love trash

Katie will make us a lemony drink, from something we used to just pour down the sink

nothing will perish or eventually stink, we love it because it's trash 

Oh, we love trash! Anything moldy or measly or musty

Anything cragged or rotten or crusty, Yes we love trash

we'll make dinner from scraps that we usually wasted    

no need to compost it 'cause it's already plated, turn into the best meal that you ever tasted

we love it because it's trash

Cause  we love trash Yes, we love, we love, we love trash

Stand With Me + my Pups

A follow-up to the massive march on Sunday where 400,000 were counted not including at least 2 poodles (and the countless other canines that were there):

The impactful has created a petition to ask world leaders to stand with us in finding a common goal in carbon reduction to stave off negative Climate Change:

I stand with the People's Climate March because I am ready for action, not words. I will take the action necessary to create a world with an economy that works for people and the planet – now. In short, I demand a world safe from destructive fossil fuels, and the ravages of climate change.

here's the link, please consider signing

Their amazing campaign to support the People's Climate March was very succinct.

"In order to change everything, we need everyone."

and a People's Climate wrap-up clip they created from the worldwide event

if you've been following my posts you know how much I care about the future of this planet. I even have a sustainability category here on this site where I post important information.

Stand with me. Think about your daily efforts to reduce waste and energy consumption. and if you don't have at least one thing you do to help, it's time to start.

and speaking of the canines in the march, I received this wonderful image of my pups by canine photographer Alice Su


Chopsticks like so many throw away items are more wasteful than you think. Bring your own and refuse the throwaway kind. Why consider taking them in to-go bags if you already have 400,000 at home, okay I exaggerate, but still… take the 2 seconds to say no thank you to the systematic filling of your lunch bag with extra stuff you know you won’t use.  And keep those extras in your pocketbook or briefcase, or save for parties, or that fun picnic you decide to take.  I’ve used them for paint stirrers, left over string bobbins, or poking a hole to plant seeds.  Just throwing them away because, well, you used the plastic fork instead, is somehow odd.

Regarding these choices to consider:

Call it sacrifice,

learn to embrace it, or

better yet, find a solution. 

Doing nothing is the wrong option.

More greener life tips, Printing and Paper

  • When you print documents use the font Century Gothic. 
A Wisconsin college did a study that shows Century Gothic uses 30% less printer ink than Arial.
  • Certainly if you have to print, there’s no excuse not to use both sides.
  • I save paper by reusing the old.  Unless the dog ate it! Here’s what I do with junk mail, or any paper with a blank side, I rip or cut into sheets for scrap, notepaper.  My scribbling and song ideas, notes to self, reveal on the other side a funny strange time capsule of marketing campaigns, old drafts and my world is full of them stuffed here and there.

things we can do in spite of oil nightmares

Trying to figure out how to curb our bad environmental habits and be more in sync with nature can be exhausting.  The deeply disturbing and continuing oil spill in the Gulf Of Mexico means a perfect time to rethink our habits.  It's empowering to sacrifice (yes, that) in the name of easing the burden of our oil addiction.  

Almost everything we use is petroleum based.  Think before using, and reduce what we use.  I could write tons, but I'll let Sheryl Eisenberg of NRDC shares her thoughts "Oil Spill Got You Down?"

thoughts For Earth Day

Catalogs:  don’t just throw them away, certainly recycle, use as wrapping paper, better yet call the number on catalog and get your name removed from the list.  Most company’s products are available to view online and are the most update anyway.

Household cleaning products: step away from your kitchen and bathroom sink cabinets and smell the toxins!  Most household products you’ve been using since well, who can remember when? Most are really toxic and there are great alternatives, and much cheaper too.  For example, save an old window cleaner spray bottle, buy a gallon jug of white vinegar and experiment mixing with water, I use about one cup vinegar for one spray bottle, and voila a great window cleaner.  Same for cleaning floors, vinegar in a hot bucket of water does the trick.

A clothes dryer is energy wasteful and actually destroys the fabric, Where else does all that lint come from. Little by little the dryer is eating away at your clothes.  Okay, I too use a dryer, but not for too much time.  Actually we over-dry our clothes, or over pack the dryer so it has to work that much harder.  Try hanging clothes over the shower bar and you’d be surprised how quickly things dry on their own.  A folding wooden clothes hanger was best investment I’ve made.  Where possible, hanging laundry on a line makes clothes smell fresh and saves energy.

Reuse as much as possible, I know it can be yucky, but come on what’s wrong with reusing a plastic veggie bag from the store?  I rinse and hang on a door cabinet pull (hide away when neighbors drop by, so the kitchen doesn’t look like a plastic factory), plastic is the most intensely disgusting wasteful product we seem to not be able to live without.  Plastic bottles, try switching to a glass one, or refill.  Of course do not leave a plastic bottle to heat up in a car-harmful toxins seep into the drink.  Same with plastic containers, for a long life, hand wash, as the dishwasher heats up enough to release toxins.  Scratching plastic with coarse sponge can also release toxins, so be gentle with them.  When done recycle.

To-Go containers are horrible and here in NY we can’t even recycle most of them.  Look for the lower numbers on the bottom.  Actually, aluminum to-go containers are the best bet as they can be recycled.  Luckily products are coming more and more available that are biodegradable. So try and either support those businesses who use them, or make sure to ask them to make a switch.

So my thought for Earth Day, now in it's 40 years is, we have to take responsibility for our consumption and our waste.  We can't just throw it all away, it's got to go somewhere.  What goes up must come down, what goes in must come out, so just because we can't see it (unless you live near a landfill, or happen to watch a garbage barge float by) doesn't mean it's not there.  What is mine becomes yours, for better or for worse, so let's try and do better.  


why bother?

Sustainability and Life Cycle consideration for every thing:

Living a life with consideration for sustainability takes time, takes conscious effort and intent.  My take is the effort is well worth the time well spent, it’s good to feel good about caring about our world!!

I have many ideas to add here, maybe you do too, so please let me know.  In time, even one thing done to help make a difference, does make a difference.