HomeBiogas – turn your waste into energy

2-12-2015

Turn your kitchen leftovers into 3 hours of cooking per day. HomeBiogas is a family-sized affordable biogas system. It converts any organic waste into clean cooking gas and a high quality liquid fertilizer for the garden.

How to use the system

On average, one kilogram of food waste produces about 200 litres of gas, which generates around one hour of cooking over a high flame. Therefore, one can generate 1 up to 3 hours of cooking gas each day with six kilogram of food waste – the perfect amount for three meals.

HomeBiogas is easy to use, doesn’t need any electricity and can be connected to your stove. You will need to place the system outdoors or in a barn, it works optimally in places with an average day/night temperature above 17 °C.

Successful crowdfunding

HomeBiogas is a crowdfunding project on the website Indiegogo. Their target was to fund at least $ 100,000.=. They already reached 130% of their target within 7 days and still have 24 days left. If you would like to support this project you can choose between several perks. One of the perks contributes to the HomeBioGas-Arava Institute to support peace-building, social justice, and environmental leadership and research in the Middle East. It is also possible to support the project and at the same time order the HomeBiogas system.

HomeBiogas within the hospitality?

For now the HomeBiogas is perfect for families. It’s not meant for industrial use such as hotels or big restaurants. The big amount waste they produce, can’t be handled at this stage, by the system. It can convert a maximum of six kilogram of food waste. For smaller restaurants and cafés the system could be an option to become more sustainable.

Global warming and carbon footprints are from major importance to the world’s future. Using HomeBiogas will certainly contribute to your sustainable image.

The system also fertilizes your herbs and vegetables. A lot of people already make their own compost at home and with this innovation we think that many more people will follow.

Buzzed – beer as a refill for your 3D printer?

16-11-2015

‘Buzzed’ is an invention made by 3Dom USA for your 3D printer. This refill for your 3D printer is completely produced with the waste and by-products derived from the beer process.

With Buzzed you can…

The latest product from 3Dom USA is ‘Buzzed’ an official refill suitable for the use in a 3D printer. The thread is 100% made from waste and by-products derived from the beer process. The produced wire (‘Buzzed’) is 1.75 mm thick and gives your homemade product a rich golden colour and a distinctive natural grain. The bio-based ‘Buzzed’ is already the second product in the line of ‘c2composites’ that 3Dom USA brings to the market. The first product, also a refill for 3D printers, is made entirely of waste and by-products of coffee called, ‘Wound Up’.

Drinking beer from a home-made beer mug

As an example 3Dom USA made a beer mug of ‘Buzzed’. So for the real beer lovers and owners of a 3D printer, from now on you can drink your beer from a home-made mug made from beer!

You can use the refills of 3Dom USA in almost all PLA (a type of plastic made from natural raw materials) 3D printers. The cost for a role ‘Buzzed’ is $ 49, =. Are you inspired and did you make a nice product with the ‘Buzzed’, please let us know!

Seaweed that tastes like fried bacon?

9-11-2015

US researchers have discovered a strain of seaweed that tastes like fried bacon when fried. The seaweed not only tastes delicious but is also very nutritious.

The strain of seaweed ‘dulse’

The discovered ‘dulse’ is a red algae that can be found along the coast of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and is often used in the Asian cuisine. This is due to its high protein content and ‘umami’ taste. ‘Dulse’ has been used in Europe as an ingredient for smoothies and as a dried product it is used in a dietary supplement. The smoky bacon flavour can only be brought out when it’s fried. The seaweed grows in offshore farms in an environmentally responsible manner. The ‘dulse’ grows in recycled water and it only needs a limited amount of sea water and sun.

Seaweed as a substitute for meat

This seaweed could be a replacement for meat in the future. Besides that, it also allows vegetarians to taste the smoky flavour of bacon, without actually eating meat. With the impressive nutritional values, ‘dulse’ will be seen as a superfood, even though we are getting a bit bored with the ‘superfood’ hype. Anyway whether we stigmatize it as a superfood or not, this seaweed is another possible alternative food source.

Inspiration

It might be a great idea for restaurants, especially those located at sea, to start experimenting with this ingredient. The Food Innovation Centre (FIC) is currently also experimenting with this product, along with two other parties. Their Agricultural Experiment Station is located in Portland, Oregon. Read more about this meat substitute here.

Bitter Balzz, variant of our famous Dutch ‘bitterbal’ filled with insects

2-11-2015

At BUGZZ they create food with insects. Their goal is to bring the sustainable snack ‘Bitter Balzz’ in production and that is why they started a crowdfunding project.

Bitter Balzz

BUGZZ uses our traditional ‘bitterbal’ (a Dutch treat; a small round croquette) to let us, consumers, get acquainted with healthier insects in an accessible way. BUGZZ created the ‘bitterbal’ with buffalo worms. Everybody in the Netherlands has tasted a ‘bitterbal’ at least once, why wouldn’t they try the Bitter Balzz? At events where BUGZZ was present, the Bitter Balzz were very popular. Because of the fact that the insects are hidden, it is easier to move beyond prejudices against insects.

Why insects?

80% of the world use insects in all their dishes, and insects are, according to BUGZZ and their customers, very tasty and versatile. In recent years, we increasingly hear about insects as a healthier and more sustainable alternative to meat. Insects take up much less space, they need less nutrition and water and produce much less emissions in relation to, for example, the cow. Next to those facts they also contain a lot of calcium! There are many more initiatives in the field of insects, we spotted amongst others a pizza with grasshoppers and a spread made of mealworms.

Who are the people behind BUGZZ?

Anne-Marie and Patrick, the founders of BUGGZ have different backgrounds, but have one thing in common: they love to cook tasty and adventurous meals. BUGZZ has only been operative for half a year and they have been seen at different festivals like the NeighbourFood Market, ‘Rollende Keuken’, Best Kept Secret, Amsterdam Kookt and the Amsterdam Woods Festival. Anne-Marie, Patrick and their team try to convince people to try insects as an alternative food source, in an enthusiastic manner.

Creating a healthier planet while having fun with the Scale Down Challenge

6-10-2015

The Scale Down Challenge allows you to play around with your habits and choices concerning food, energy, waste and water. Thirty simple and surprising challenges can be found on the giant interactive grocery scale that travels around to schools, festivals and public spaces. The device does not weigh people, nor products, but the choices made as a consumer.

The Scale Down Challenge

Small actions can make the world a better place. Here’s a selection of the sparkling challenges the Scale Down Challenge offers: Veggie on vacation, Peanut Butter Boost, WTFridge, Supermarket Selfie, Chili sin Carne, Bring a Bottle and Bye Bye Plastic. With the last you be challenged to buy nothing out of plastic for one whole week!

Merel Mirage designed the scale with the young designers of the Design Academy. As participant you have to step on the scale and push one of the buttons. On the output ticket is written what has to been done and a special code to login and upload pictures on Instagram. The HOLY foundation of Merel Mirage is travelling to schools, conferences and museums with the scale to challenge as many people as possible. You can even enter as participant to devise your own challenge and compete for the Scale Down Challenge trophy which will be announced on Earthday 2016.

It could work in our restaurants and hotels as well: small gestures to create less waste and having fun trying to achieve the challenge!

FoPo Food Powder creates powder of almost expiring fruits and vegetables

17-7-2015

Kent Ngo created FoPo Food Powder which saves almost expiring fruits and vegetables by drying & powdering them.

FoPo Food Powder is a nutritious powder

FoPo food powder is a nutritious powder made from unattractive market fruit that has been freeze-dried just before it expires, in order to help reduce food waste.

Worldwide more than 40 percent of fruits are thrown away, unattractive items which are classified as unsellable are quickly disposed of by supermarkets. All over the world we see initiatives to reduce this food waste.  Like our Dutch initiative the Kromkommer and Inglorious foods in France. FoPo food powder is another ingenious solution created by students at Lund University in Sweden, who plan to freeze-dry fruit immediately before it expires. Food that otherwise would have been wasted can be used up to two weeks to two years later.

Freeze-dried almost expired fruit and vegetable waste

Freeze-drying isn’t a new technology, even in restaurant kitchens it’s used frequently to create powder.  New is that FoPo aims to freeze solely products that would otherwise be discarded. The powder will be sold to consumers to be used in smoothies, soups etc.  Besides that they hope that the food powders will contribute to help feed the hungry, especially in the Philippines, where the operation will be based. FoPo is crowdfunded through Kickstarter with, amongst others, a contribution by Ben & Jerry’s.

Inspiration: Chefs who are working with freeze-drying could try to use their almost spoiled fruits or vegetables and come up with ways to use this food powder, all in order to reduce food waste.

ID&T and Coca-Cola collaborate for recycling at festivals

26-6-2015

Entertainment company ID&T and manufacturer Coca-Cola have been partners in sustainability since 2012. Together they want to encourage visitors of festivals and events to recycle. This summer they are working together for recycling at festivals in The Netherlands.

Recycling at festivals

ID&T and Coca-Cola are working together at three festivals: Defqon.1, Mysteryland and Welcome to the Future. At each festival there will be a couple of facilities available that will give people the chance to recycle. There will be ‘Green Teams’ walking around the terrain that encourage the visitors to throw their garbage in the right bins and they keep the terrain clean as well. There will also be a recycling-booth present where visitors can learn why recycling is important and how they can contribute.

A successful collaboration

Milou Hamelers, Recycling Manager of Coca-Cola Enterprises, says that they are very happy to work together with ID&T because their festivals attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. “This is a wonderful chance to show our involvement in sustainability and recycling.” she says. In an inspiring way ID&T and Coca-Cola would like to show people that a lot of garbage still has value after being thrown away in a bin.

The McBike

23-6-2015

This takeout container should actually have been invented in the Netherlands! But McDonald’s has worked with the ad agency Tribal Buenos Aires in Argentina to create this McBike packaging.

Takeout packaging for cyclists at McDonald’s

This cyclist-friendly packaging is a recyclable, compact container for a burger, fries and a drink. The burger and the fries each have their own compartments. You can attach the package to your bicycle’s handlebars. The design ensures that the drink is kept upright.

The McBike packaging will also be launched in the Netherlands

The McBike package is launched in Copenhagen, Denmark. Copenhagen is one of the most cyclist-dense cities in the world. But it’s also launched in Medellin, Colombia. We’re lucky, Amsterdam is also on the list of McDonald’s to launch the McBike … ..

Geef Café comes to Amsterdam with “pay as you can” restaurant

5-6-2015

Social enterprise Geef Café wants to make healthy and fair food accessible for all the people in Amsterdam.

Pay as you can

The concept is based on the ‘Pay as you can’-model where the guest decides what he or she pays. This allows people with less money to spend to visit Geef Café as well. After several successful pop-ups and an extensive trial period, it is time for the next step: a permanent location in Amsterdam. Therefore, the founders start a crowdfunding campaign and get help from Ben & Jerry’s.

Poverty

The Netherlands has many people who have little money to spend. As a result, these people often have no access to healthy food and eating out is an unaffordable luxury. Hence Judith Manshanden decided to establish the Geef Café with Laura Schön and Rogier Charles in 2013.

Trial and target price

Inspired by the pay as you can-movement in the US, the founders of the Geef Café wanted to open a restaurant in the Netherlands where everyone is welcome. The concept proved to work very well in Rotterdam and generated a lot of positive reactions. Over 80% of visitors were paying more than the target price. “Now is the time for a permanent location in Amsterdam, to inspire so many more people from The Netherlands and abroad,” said Manshanden. The Geef Café is supported by Ben & Jerry’s through the ‘Join Our Core incubator’ program.

Food Waste

Geef Café cookes with vegetables that are normally discarded. During previous pop-up dinners in Amsterdam and during the trial in Rotterdam, a total of 2.500 kilos of waste products was collected from wholesalers and used in their meals.

With the support of Triodos Foundation and the DOEN Foundation they’ve already built a budget. The last push is needed to provide a green light to the Geef Café, therefore they’ve started a crowdfunding campaign at the Doorgaan.nl platform. Donators get various rewards in exchange for a donation. For example, € 150,- gives you a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream party for 50 people.

The campaign ends on 16 July and after that the Geef Café hopes to open as quickly as possible at a permanent location. With 42 days to go they’ve acquired 55% of the targeted goal.

Luxurious bed sheets by EKOCYCLE

2-6-2015

Sheets from EKOCYCLE will be on the beds of W Hotels worldwide. EKOCYCLE is an initiative of musician will.i.am and the Coca-Cola Company. The sheets are eco-friendly because they’re made from a kind of polyester that’s made out of recycled bottles.

Luxurious bed sheets partly made from recycled bottles

For each king-sized sheet approximately 31 plastic bottles are used. In total the sheets equals more than 268.000 plastic bottles. The polyester fiber rPet is used which basically is recycled plastic. The sheets remain as luxurious as the guests used to experience. But even guests can retrieve that feeling of being environmentally conscious and they won’t be able to tell the difference in comparison with the old sheets.

W Hotels and EKOCYCLE

W Hotels didn’t stop their partnership with lifestyle brand EKOCYCLE™ with just changing the sheets. Together they created the “Mobile Charger and Accessory Valet” (MCAV). A colorful portable USB charging device, valet, night light and alarm clock in one. The MCAV is available in a couple of colors and also partially created out of three recycled plastic bottles.

EKOCYCLE is a company owned by rapper will.i.am and the Coca-Cola Company. Their tagline is ‘waste is only waste if we waste it’. The two partnered up after a Black Eyed Peas concert where an artist transformed all the plastic junk left behind into usable objects. Products from EKOCYCLE are available at Harrods and soon at the W Hotels shop as well.

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