Environmentally, the aluminum can was such a promising development: simple, inexpensive, lightweight, and completely recyclable. So what went wrong?
Knocking off wild apples
Just as springtime brings the roadside forager to stalk the wild asparagus, fall-time conjures visions of wild apples -- the tart and teasing sugar-plums of this evocative, transitional season.
Postmodernism and the family farm
What could be more postmodern than a farm that shifts from producing produce, to producing the performance of producing produce?
Most people don’t know about cottonwood bark
Eastern cottonwood, Populus deltoides, is one of the most common trees in the central United States, particularly in moister parts of the Midwest. Today, most who live in its midst are at best ignorant and at worst dismissive of its qualities.
Scourge of the forest: Oriental Bittersweet
For years now, I have periodically engaged in a bitter personal vendetta, directed toward the invasive species that have confidently taken up residence on my property of mixed hardwoods and grassy meadows. ...
The ongoing saga of the one-way produce box
Although vegetables and fruits are commonly delivered to your local grocery in sturdy boxes, the produce distribution network does not accommodate their reuse. As a result, landfills are being filled with astounding amounts of wax and plastic crates. What are the reasons behind this pattern of activity, and can it be changed? ...
The wirebound crate: Poised for an unexpected comeback?
Meet the wirebound crate -- familiar primarily to farm workers and backroom grocery clerks, it is a lingering but rapidly disappearing throwback to a simpler time, when sustainable packaging was the default. ...
A case study in sustainable packaging: Why can’t all soap be packaged like this?
What's stopping commercial packaging from being environmentally benign, like it was a century ago? Not technology, but three unnecessary vices of modern business: unregulated competition, force of habit, and business as usual. ...
There’s no longer an excuse for plastic utensils
I used to think there was no way to make disposable utensils without making them of plastic. But I was wrong. Like many, I just wasn't thinking hard enough, or hadn't been around enough. ...