Flavor of the Year: HONEY

First-Ever Instrument Recycling Program Launches in the US

Is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Right for You?

RECYCLING PLASTICS IS AS EASY AS...1, 2, 3, (4, 5, 6, 7)

World's First Fair Trade Organic Frostings

nature conserve


As we close out the last issue of the Green Living Newsletter for the year,  we like to go back andreview past issues to discover which stories generated the most interest, were clicked on most often, and generated the most feedback.  Below you will find reprints of our most popular stories of 2016.  We want to take this time to thank all of our readers, advertisers, and supporters for helping to make this year another great one.  If you have a product you would like us to consider for review or have some exciting news to share, please contact us.

We wish you all a wonderful new year filled with all great things.

Flavor of the Year: HONEY

This beloved sweetener, which was named Flavor of the Year 2015 by Firmenich, was recognized for its unique flavor and its versatility as an ingredient, elevating its status beyond an everyday sweetener. The National Honey Board (NHB) continues to bear the good news and raise awareness about honey and its many culinary uses.

Firmenich chose honey for this award last year because they believed it had the potential of becoming a "classic" flavor. Honey may be well on its way to joining the likes of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry in this prestigious category and consumers seem to agree. According to a recent Consumer Sweetener Usage & Attitudes Study Report fielded by the NHB, 6 out of 10 consumers agreed that foods sweetened with honey taste better than foods made with other sweeteners. In addition, 46 percent of total consumers say they have used honey in the past month adding to the continued growth and demand of honey on menus and in households.

DID YOU KNOW?  honey bees visit approximately two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

"We have seen honey grow exponentially in its use with chefs, manufacturers and consumers over the last few years, especially with yogurt, craft beers and baked goods," explained Catherine Barry, NHB director of marketing. "With consumers preferences leaning towards artisanal, natural and clean-label ingredients; we believe consumers are realizing the potential of honey as a premier ingredient in foods and beverages."

Product developers and chefs have discovered how versatile honey is and have included it in combinations with many different flavor profiles. From craft beers and cocktails, functional beverages to baked goods and snack bars, among others, Firmenich took notice that honey is becoming a sought-after flavor option.

"Product developers are realizing what a fantastic and versatile flavor honey is in regards to combining it with other tonalities,” said Patrick Salord, senior flavorist at Firmenich.

"Crafted from the nectar of flowering plants, honey's unique flavor profile is unlike any other," shared the experts at Firmenich. With more than 300 varietals in the United States, ranging in flavor and appearance, this iconic sweetener pleases all taste preferences and is appealing to consumers of all ages. The flavors of honey can range from lighter colored honeys, which are milder in flavor, to darker honeys that tend to be more robust, making it easy to choose the right kind of honey for the recipe ahead.

"This versatile ingredient is used on my restaurant menus, including in our popular coffee drinks, but it is also a staple ingredient in the recipes developed for my cookbooks, and in my pantry at home. I have more than 100 different honey varietals I use when cooking for my family," shared TV Personality and Cookbook Author Chef David Guas. "When I'm looking for an ingredient to add depth to my menus, I know that honey will balance and complement a variety of foods and marry flavors from sweet, sour, bitter, salty and even savory."

Beyond taste, honey has a multitude of functional benefits for both cooking and baking. Honey attracts and holds moisture, enhancing freshness and shelf life, and it acts as a binder and thickener for sauces, dressings and marinades. Honey adds a rich golden or amber touch to finished recipes, can be used as a substitution for granulated sweeteners, or can serve as a simple syrup in cocktails or beverages.

Discover more about the natural wonders of honey by visiting the National Honey Board website at www.honey.com.  While there you can learn more about honey, the natural benefits of honey, read recipes, get tips, access resources, and much more.


First-Ever Instrument Recycling Program
Launches in the US

Founded in 2001, TerraCycle, Inc., is the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of hard-to-recycle post-consumer waste, ranging from used chip bags to coffee capsules to cigarette butts. The waste is collected through free, national, brand-funded recycling programs, as well as various consumer and government-funded models. The collected waste is reused, upcycled or recycled into a variety of affordable, sustainable consumer products and industrial applications.

D’Addario, the world’s largest maker of instrument strings and accessories, has been a pioneer in sustainability for decades – from environmentally responsible packaging to robust tree re-planting programs.  The company is taking its environmental commitment even further in 2016 with the unveiling of Playback, the world’s first-ever industry-wide instrument string recycling program. 

D’Addario has teamed with the global recycling organization TerraCycle to create Playback, a safe and independent way to recycle and upcycle instrument strings.  Currently, municipal recycling systems in the United States do not accept instrument strings because of the metals and alloys they are made from. D’Addario will not only be rewarding players for recycling their own strings, but will accept all other string brands as well as part of this program.  The program is currently only available in the U.S., and is free for any U.S. resident to participate. 

“In many ways, this program speaks to D’Addario’s commitment, not only to its loyal players and social responsibility, but also to its mission of building an ongoing, self-perpetuating cycle of music,” says company CEO Jim D’Addario.

Playback is a part of D'Addario's Players Circle loyalty program. Once registered, members that recycle strings are rewarded with points, which can be redeemed for new sets of strings, picks, gear and other accessories.  The points can also be used to Play It Forward: members can donate their points to D’Addario’s non-profit organization, theD’Addario Foundation, to help fund music programs in underserved communities.

For more information visit: http://www.daddario.com/playback


Is a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Right for You?

Thinking about signing up for a CSA but want to learn more about the idea before you commit?  For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

There are several advantages to joining your local CSA, here are a few:

You Know Where Your Food Comes From
In a CSA share your produce comes directly from your farmer so you know who is growing your food and how. If you have questions about their farming practices or values just ask! With this level of transparency, you can rest assured knowing your farmer cares about what matters to you.

Support Small Farming
By supporting small family farms you are guaranteeing that 100% of your money goes directly to the farmer to grow and harvest high quality food for you and others in your community

Most CSA farms strive for ecological diversity and a wide variety in crop production, so over the course of the season CSA farmers usually grow more types of vegetables than found at a grocery store. You’ll discover varieties that you might not otherwise find or buy, so get ready to enjoy your share of the season’s bounty including leeks, celeriac, edamame, garlic scapes, daikon, and many other diverse goodies!

Better Flavor
Fresh is best!  The time between harvest and consumption is reduced so you get fresher food that tastes better. Unlike industrial farmers who harvest for shipping and shelf-life, CSA farmers harvest for ripeness and flavor. Eating seasonally means every week you receive what the conditions were most fit to produce so you’re guaranteed to eat your veggies at their peak. Get ready for a culinary delight and adventure!

Have fun!
There are lots of exciting ways to enjoy your CSA share- including visits to the farm, u-picking, potluck dinners and community events. During the growing season there is always something fun to do with you and your family to celebrate local agriculture, enjoy good food and mingle with other CSA members.

Find a local CSA in your area, visit: http://www.localharvest.org/

RECYCLING PLASTICS IS AS EASY AS...1, 2, 3, (4, 5, 6, 7)

If you recycle you’ve probably turned over a plastic container to read the number on the bottom, the one surrounded by the little recycling symbol  known to many as the “chasing arrow”.  Many recycling programs depend on these numbers to tell you which plastics you can and can’t recycle.  The symbol codes we are all familiar with were designed by The Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) in 1988 to allow recyclers to differentiate different types of plastics and to provide a uniform convention that manufacturers could implement nationwide.  Since recyclers target post-consumer plastics, the SPI code is most commonly found on household packaging materials. The numbers shown inside the chasing arrows refer to different types of plastics used in making plastic products and containers.

Presently, SPI is working to improve the numbering system to make it easier for you to know what to recycle.  But what do all these numbers mean???

PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)
PET is used in the production of soft drink bottles, peanut butter jars...
PET can be recycled into fiberfill for sleeping bags, carpet fibers, rope, pillows...

HDPE (High density polyethylene)
HDPE is found in milk jugs, butter tubs, detergent bottles, motor oil bottles...
HDPE can be recycled into flower pots, trash cans, traffic barrier cones, detergent bottles...

V (Polyvinyl chloride)
PVC is used in shampoo bottles, cooking oil bottles, fast food service items...
PVC can be recycled into drainage and irrigation pipes...

LDPE (Low density polyethylene)
LDPE is found in grocery bags, bread bags, shrink wrap, margarine tub tops...
LDPE can be recycled into new grocery bags…

PP (Polypropylene)
PP is used in most yogurt containers, straws, pancake syrup bottles, bottle caps....
PP can be recycled into plastic lumber, car battery cases, manhole steps...

PS (Polystyrene)
PS is found in disposable hot cups, packaging materials (peanuts), and meat trays...
PS can be recycled into plastic lumber, cassette tape boxes, flower pots...

This is usually a mixture of various plastics, like squeeze ketchup bottles, "microwaveable" dishes...
Other (number 7) is usually not recycled because it is a mixture of different types of plastics

Please be sure to recycle only those plastics collected in your recycling program!
Source:  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation www.dec.ny.gov

World's First Fair Trade Organic Frostings

Wholesome!®, the nation's leading Fair Trade, Organic sweetener brand, is stretching its Fair Trade impact even further this year with the launch of the first ever Fair Trade Organic Frostings.   Available in Vanilla, Chocolate and Wild White Strawberry, each delicious flavor is made with Wholesome! Fair Trade Organic Powdered Sugar. They are ideal for all last-minute baking needs and a delicious topping for cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

Wholesome! has been a longtime supporter of Fair Trade with its extensive line of Fair Trade sugars, agave and honey. The company has a 15 year relationship with organic cane sugar farmers in Paraguay and pioneered Fair Trade certification in the U.S. for sugar and honey in 2005. This has secured a steady income for farmers in this area and helped pave a path forward to develop their communities. Collectively, Wholesome! has paid more than $11.5 million in Fair Trade premiums to farming co-operatives and partners worldwide, helping bring clean water, electricity, schools and health care to villages in Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil and Malawi.

"We're always proud to bring Fair Trade products into the grocery store. It has made such a difference in these farming communities, anwe're so delighted to have found a way to not only continue that relationship, but to build on it," said Sarah Miller, Director of Marketing for Wholesome!. "Now every time someone makes a simple cake using Wholesome! Fair Trade Organic Sugar and Organic Frosting, they have made double the impact on these farming families. Check out our website for great recipe ideas."

"Wholesome! is expanding the Fair Trade universe with its new frostings," said Sri Artham, Vice President of CPG at Fair Trade USA. "The frostings not only improve the lives of sugar and cocoa farmers, but empower consumers to support these efforts in a whole new way."

Fair Trade USA is celebrating the way that Wholesome! Organic Frostings and other Fair Trade Certified™ products empower consumers to make a difference in its new Fair Moments campaign, running through the end of October. Learn how your small, everyday moments can have a big impact when you choose Fair Trade at FairMoments.org.

Wholesome! Organic Frostings are currently sold in Whole Foods, Wegman's, HEB, EarthFare, Meijer, Giant Eagle and other natural/specialty stores. They are available in 12.5 oz containers, are ready-to-use and are Non-GMO Project Verified, Gluten-Free, Vegan and Kosher.