Portland Cider Co. Invites Residents to Recycle Unwanted Apples for Community Cider

Portland Cider Company was started in October 2012 by an Oregonian and a family of British expats with the mission of bringing cider, handcrafted in the English tradition, to the Northwest.  Their business is based on the belief that good cider comes from good fruit, honest practices, and attention to detail. 

Their cider starts with fresh pressed juice from 100% Northwest grown apples.  They then carefully ferment it, using yeast that protects the delicate characteristics of the fruit. The results are ciders that are high quality, easy to drink, and refreshing.  

They don’t use artificial flavorings and colorings, or add any sulfites to their natural cider and because it’s made from 100% apples or other fruits, Portland Cider products are always gluten free.  If you are in the area, you can try Portland Cider Co. ciders at two locations.  It has two taproom locations: Portland Cider House at 3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR; and Portland Cider Co. Taproom & Cidery at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd, Bldg. F, Clackamas, OR.

Portland Cider Co. is calling on neighbors in the Portland Metropolitan area to collect and donate their fallen and unwanted summer apples for the cidery’s third annual PDX Apple Recycling.

Portland Cider Co. will be collecting a minimum donation of one bushel (40 lbs.) of edible quality apples daily from 9am to 9pm now through October 31. All varietals are welcome, but extra swag will be given for crabapples, bitter sharps, bittersweets, and bitters. Apples may be dropped off at the company’s Clackamas Taproom and Cidery, located at 8925 SE Jannsen Rd., Bldg. F.

The collected apples will be pressed into a community cider to support Oregon Wild, a nonprofit conservation organization that works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for all Oregonians.

“This is our third year doing the PDX Apple Recycling collection and we've been overwhelmed with the support of the Portland Metro community over the last two years,” explained Lynda Parrish, co-owner of Portland Cider Co. “This cider really is a byproduct of our community, to benefit and support the wildlife and lands of our community. It brings everything full circle and we love being able to spearhead this fundraiser every year.”

The finished community cider, appropriately named “Oregon Wild,” will be released in December at Portland Cider Co.’s annual Wassail Party. One hundred percent of the net proceeds of that cider’s sales will be donated to Oregon Wild’s Oregon Brewshed Alliance, an outreach initiative made up of a coalition of brewers and cider makers that work to protect the public and wildlands in the Northwest.

In exchange for each bushel, donors will receive one voucher for a pint of cider redeemable at either of Portland Cider Co.’s two taprooms; the opportunity to hand press apples into cider at a pressing party on September 29; and good karma from Mother Earth.

For more information, visit PortlandCider.com 


SKIP THE SLIP: Green America Urges CVS to Improve Receipt Practices

Green America launched its "Skip the Slip, CVS" campaign urging the pharmacy giant to improve its paper receipt practices to keep pace with other leading retailers. CVS is one of the largest retailers in the country and issues some of the longest receipts to customers. The chain's receipts contain the toxin Bisphenol-S (BPS), and its millions of paper receipts contribute to deforestation and pollution.

In response to consumer pressure and attention from late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel regarding CVS' long receipts, CVS introduced electronic receipts in its stores but failed to adequately promote the option to customers. Few CVS customers have switched because only CVS ExtraCare members have access to digital receipts, which they must request in store with a cashier. CVS' paper receipts continue to be over a foot long and toxic.

As Green America published in its recently updated report, roughly 93 percent of paper receipts are coated with Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol-S (BPS), known endocrine-disruptors. The total mass of BPA on a receipt is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount of BPA found in a can of food or in plastic baby bottles. Retail employees are at greater risk, as workers who make regular contact with receipts have over 30 percent more BPA or BPS in their bodies. Additionally, paper receipt production in the U.S. consumes an estimated 10 million trees, 21 billion gallons of water, and emits 12 billion pounds of CO2 each year.

"CVS has a well-known reputation for its lengthy paper receipts," said Beth Porter, Green America's Climate & Recycling director. "But what is less often discussed are that the millions of receipts it issues each year waste natural resources and pose health risks. CVS could be an industry leader on this issue if it switches to non-toxic receipts and fixes its restricted access to digital receipts. Currently, CVS is coming up short."

"We're mobilizing thousands of customers that visit CVS' 9,800 stores to urge the company to improve practices to protect worker health and follow through on its digital receipt program," said Todd Larsen, executive co-director of Consumer and Corporate Engagement at Green America. "As a company that is in the business of providing customers with products to protect and enhance their health, CVS has an obligation to move off of toxic paper receipts and make it easy for customers to get digital receipts."

Consumers can sign the petition calling on CVS to replace its BPS-coated paper receipts with a phenol-free option and to offer digital receipts to all customers.


Move Over Matcha and Moringa: Argentine Yerba Mate Is the Next Super-Beverage

The National Institution of Argentine Yerba Mate is a national organization focused on promoting awareness for Argentine Yerba Mate and its growers. The Institution's vision is to bring Argentina's love for Yerba Mate to the world. It was designed to increase awareness and interest in the leaves of the Yerba Mate tree, which are native to the Misiones and Corrientes Province of Argentina. Originally championed by the Guarani, an ancient people indigenous to the South American rainforests, the history of Yerba Mate can be traced back many centuries and today the delicious and versatile drink continues to be enjoyed across the globe, with Argentina as the world's leading producer.

Argentine Yerba Mate, a tea-like drink known for its powerful antioxidants and high caffeine content, was featured at this year's Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.  The super-beverage is gaining popularity nationwide as Americans increasingly demand functional foods and beverages.

Argentine Yerba Mate's nutrient profile features essential vitamins including B vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Yerba Mate also contains chlorogenic acid, a compound that has been proven to accelerate the body's use of stored fat – a critical process for those looking to shed some pounds.

"Yerba Mate's health benefits are unrivaled – we know its powerful antioxidants capacity to be higher than that of green tea and also has similar caffeine amounts as coffee," said Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN. Glassman continues, "Drinking Yerba Mate in the morning provides you with a mental boost and the relaxing sensation of mindful tea sipping. It's the perfect coffee swap!"

Available nationwide in specialty tea stores, select Whole Foods Markets and on Amazon.com, Argentine Yerba Mate can be consumed in a variety of fun and easy-to-make ways. Traditionally it is sipped from a gourd and bombilla, but chefs and influencers in the US are starting to use Yerba Mate in food and beverage recipes such as Iced Argentine Yerba Mate Cashew Latte and Argentine Yerba Mate Horchata.

Those looking to enjoy the benefits of Yerba Mate are encouraged to seek out brands and products authentically from Argentina where the growing conditions for the yerba mate plant are exceptionally well suited for making the best products. The country's specific aging and drying process also provides the richest flavor and best texture.

For more Argentine Yerba Mate inspiration and recipes, visit SayYestoMate.com


4 Brands That Let You Send Stuff Back

Some manufacturers are launching their own take-back programs for items that municipalities aren't set up to handle.  Thankfully, Virginia Sole-Smith, a writer for Real Simple magazine, compiled some of the most popular, among them, here are a few of her favorites (and ours):

Collect at least five pounds’ worth of used water filters and the company will send you a free shipping label to return them. From there, TerraCycle breaks down the filters and recycles the useful parts into outdoor furniture, bike racks, and watering cans. Find more information at brita.com.

More than 1.5 million pairs of worn-out athletic shoes are collected each year through Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, which recycles them into playgrounds, tracks, and materials for new products. You can take up to 10 pairs of any brand to a participating Nike or Converse retail store. Find a participating store at nike.com.

The Worn Wear program lets you trade in your used fleeces and yoga pants for store credit. The clothes are then sold at a discount on wornwear.com, which also features tips on simple repairs you can make yourself to keep your Patagonia gear working even longer. Go to wornwear.patagonia.com.

If you buy a toothbrush, razor, or food storage container from Preserve, they’ll let you mail it back when you’re finished so they can turn it into a new product. You can also send any type of clean, rigid plastic stamped with the number 5 (think yogurt containers), plastic caps, and plastic utensils. Find more information at preserveproducts.com.

Thank you Virginia Sole-Smith and Real Simple magazine for this great list.Real Simple launched in March 2000 and quickly became one of the industry’s biggest success stories. The magazine has struck a chord with busy women looking to make life easier, currently reaching 8.6 million readers per month.  RealSimple.com provides smart, realistic solutions to everyday challenges.  To learn more about or subscribe to Real Simple magazine, click here for special offer (12 issues for $10!)


Loews Chicago Hotel is First Hotel to Go Straw-Free in Partnership with Shedd Aquarium

Loews Chicago Hotel joins Shedd Aquarium’s “Shedd The Straw” initiative to reduce the use of single-use plastic straws throughout the hotel.  Loews Chicago Hotel is the first hotel to join the initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastic straws in order to reduce waste and improve marine and freshwater ecosystems.

Beginning August 1, beverages served throughout the hotel, including Streeterville Social, ETA Restaurant + Bar, The Lobby Bar, banquets, and in-room dining will no longer automatically be served with plastic straws. Guests will be provided with biodegradable straws upon request.

The initiative is designed to help protect water systems and the animals that live in them by highlighting the dangers single-use plastic straws pose to aquatic life. Each year approximately 11 million pounds of plastic enters Lake Michigan alone – equivalent to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools – and plastic straws are one of the top ten plastic items that end up polluting our oceans, lakes, and rivers.

“As part of our Good Neighbor Program, we are proud to partner with Shedd Aquarium on their ‘Shedd The Straw’ initiative to reduce waste and help protect aquatic ecosystems,” said Christian Hansen, managing director, Loews Chicago Hotel. “With our hotel located just blocks from Lake Michigan, we are excited to make this change that will help make a difference both near and far. We are honored to be the first hotel to partner with Shedd Aquarium to reduce our single-use plastic straws throughout our hotel, and hope we can help to continue the conversation on this topic to better our environment.”

Plastic straws do not biodegrade naturally in the environment and are nearly impossible to recycle. That means nearly every plastic straw ever used on the planet still exists, although they may have broken down into smaller pieces of plastic. By eliminating plastic straws, Loews Chicago Hotel expects to keep more than 155,000 plastic straws from being used per year. Because most straw-users trash their plastic straws when done, that means every straw saved will not end up in the trash, where they often escape trash receptacles and are flushed into our waterways.  A biodegradable straw will be provided to guests, upon request, including to children and those with disabilities who may require a straw to eat or drink.

“We are excited to work with our partners at Loews Chicago Hotel to find innovative ways to reduce single-use plastics and commend them for helping us highlight how small changes like ‘Shedding the Straw’ can have a positive impact for the health of our lakes, rivers and oceans,” said Cheryl Mell, Senior Vice President, Conservation Partnerships, at the Shedd Aquarium. “Small actions can turn into big solutions, and we look forward to being a resource and working together to inspire action to reduce our plastic footprint.”

The Loews Hotels Good Neighbor Policy, the hospitality industry’s first comprehensive community outreach program, addresses issues ranging from hunger relief and literacy to green practices and the arts. Loews Hotels’ Good Neighbor Policy was awarded the President’s Service Award, the highest honor given by the President of the United States for community service directed at solving critical social problems.

#SheddTheStraw began last year on Earth Day, when Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium launched its campaign encouraging people to switch from single-use plastic straws to reusable or biodegradable alternatives.


HS Science Teacher Invents Sand Repellent Beach Towel Made From Recycled Plastic Bottles

The Evolve Adventure Towel is the world's first sand-repellent towel made from recycled plastic bottles.  The towel was created by a high school environmental science teacher and utilizes an innovative fabric developed by Evolve Travel Goods, called Ecolite™ Microfiber. This unique recycled fabric makes the towel eco-friendly, sand repellent, antimicrobial, light weight and rapid drying. The towel launched on Kickstarter last week, with five vibrant, travel inspired designs to choose from.

Wayne Goodwin is an environmental science teacher from Australia who has spent his career working in international schools around the world. The passion for the environment he sees daily from students in his classroom has inspired him to take action himself; an idea which has led him to creating an environmentally focused travel brand, along with his first product, the Evolve Adventure Towel.

"Outside of the classroom, I spend my time travelling, surfing, diving and camping," Goodwin explains. "A towel is always an essential accessory, but I've never found one that's perfect. They're always too bulky, too sandy and take too long to dry. When my students inspired me to start an eco-friendly brand for travelers, this was the first problem I chose to tackle. Fast forward months of researching and designing, and I really think I've found my perfect towel. Best of all, we've been able to make it in a way that is environmentally positive, by recycling an estimated 20 plastic bottles for each towel, that otherwise would have ended up in a landfall or polluting our oceans."

Beyond its eco-friendly credentials, Ecolite™ Microfiber is an innovative, high tech fabric that has unmatched performance when compared to the competitors.  The Evolve Adventure towel boasts a number of breakthrough features:

  • Sand Repellent - The innovative fabric allows sand to slip easily off, without becoming lodged in the fibers like a traditional cotton towel.
  • Super Absorbent - The fabric can hold three times its weight in water.
  • Ultra Portable - Engineered to be lightweight, allowing the full-sized towel to be folded up to about the size of a large burrito. Making it the perfect towel for travelling, when space is at a premium.
  • Rapid Drying - Evolve's towels use increased solar absorption and a unique weave pattern in the fabric that allows water to escape faster, significantly enhancing drying speed.
For more info:  www.evolvetravelgoods.com. Check out Kickstarter, Click here.