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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Death of Styrofoam

For years, we've been told that we need to live with Styrofoam containers because they're so darn good at holding hot foods. Well, some local restaurants are challenging the status quo. Sonoma Grille in downtown Pittsburgh has started using compostable take-out containers. I was pleased to see a little #5 on my opaque and durable plastic container from Il Pizzaiolo in Mt Lebanon last week. Even my corner Chinese food restaurant (the kings of take-out containers) use re-usable #5 plastic containers. (The city of Pittsburgh picks up numbers 1 through 5 at the curb along with many other items.) I applaud these local restaurants for voluntarily reducing Styrofoam use in our area. Other alternatives to Styrofoam? Tinfoil, corn husks, banana leaves, and recycled paper products are all better choices. Honestly, anything is better than Styrofoam which never breaks down. Any other restaurants deserving a high-five for making our region a better place?

Many cities from San Francisco to Seattle have banned Styrofoam products because of their ever-lasting effect on the environment. Even Chicago is considering this bold move. Could Pittsburgh be next? Let your council member and local restaurant know that Styrofoam is no good and help speed along the death of Styrofoam.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Allegheny County Green & Innovation Festival

This Saturday August 14, head out to Hartwood Acres to check out the Allegheny County Green & Innovation Festival.

"Residents will have the opportunity to learn how to live a 'greener' lifestyle and see demonstrations of innovative technology developed right here in southwestern Pennsylvania," County Executive Dan Onorato said in a statement.

According to the official website, "this zero-waste event will include earth-friendly food and product vendors, crafters, green living demonstrations, a book swap, musical entertainment, and children's activities." The event runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday. Admission is free, but visitors are asked to bring a nonperishable donation for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and used books to trade or give away.