I enjoy the various drinks offered at Starbucks and have found out that Starbucks offers a 10-cent discount when customers use their own reusable mugs or tumblers for their beverages in company-operated stores in the U.S. and Canada. Customers enjoying their beverage in-store can also request that it be served in a ceramic mug where available. Every paper cup saved helps keep our forests intact.
Remember to bring your own mug for the 10 cent discount or you can also purchase a reusable Starbucks cup (for those of you who can't drink their coffee without the Starbucks logo on the container) and use it for the discount.
Starbucks has a comprehensive eco-friendly program but they can definitely do more. I recently received my receipt from a purchase at a GAP store via email (pdf) as opposed to a print out paper copy. Other retailers such as Starbucks should learn from this approach. You avoid unnecessary printing of receipts and you also get the customer's email address so that you can send product updates and offers. It's a simple and eff
It's wonderful to see how a blueberry plant grows. Here's a photo of our recently planted blueberry plant with berries all ripe and ready for picking. We picked the berries just in time before the squirrels and birds got to them. Next year, we may need to build a protective net barrier to keep the animals away.
We also found out that blueberry plants do not self-pollinate so we planted three near each other to increase the cross pollination rate.
So how does homegrown blueberries taste? Sweeter than store bought because the berries have not been refrigerated. Just a nice cool water rinse and they are ready to be eaten.
Our tomatoes, red peppers and eggplants are beginning to grow as well.
We planted our organic garden this year with tomato plants (cherry and beefsteak), pepper, basil, oregano and eggplants. Depending on how well the plants thrive, we plan to add additional plants over the course of the summer.
We learned that natural mulch helps deter weeds. There has been plenty of late afternoon rain showers so the plants are growing nicely. Within the next two to three weeks we should start seeing the fruits of our labor.
In the meantime, our garbage has been reduced in half! We compost most of our leftover fruits and vegetables. The compost sales person was right, there is no foul decaying odor. In fact, there isn't any odor at all. We are looking forward to our organic soil in time for early fall planting season.
Today, Town of Cary is having an annual one day sale of compost bins and rain barrels. We bought a compost bin after learning how to get it setup. It is pretty easy. Include a 50/50 mix of food scrappings and leaves in the compost bin. The soil is ready within 8 weeks. We are looking forward to having our first "homemade soil" in eight weeks.
I've wanted to buy a compost bin and it was part of my 2012 "to do" list this year.
For more information, visit www.townofcary.org.