Food Composting at the Inn

Food composting has been a problem for many years since it is not offered in most municipalities. By throwing cooked food or food scraps in the garbage can in plastic bags methane gases are created at the landfill which is not good for the Earth. Some landfills are recapturing some of the gas to generate electricity but not all is captured across the country.

Some States like Vermont provide curbside food composting where the food is composted for fertilizer or given to pig farmers. The finished compost is available to the public for their gardens. In some Vermont towns they have reduced the frequency of trash pickup to every other week since less trash is generated and the trashcans do not smell of food garbage. Composting of food is every week.

At the inn we compost just about everything from raw food scraps from breakfast preparation to cooked food the guests do not consume. Fortunately Mary Beth’s breakfasts are well received and most guest’s plates are cleaned of food.

For the cooked food that most people throw in the trash can or garbage disposal food composting green conewe use the Green Cone Cooked Food Composter. All kinds of cooked food from pasta to meat can go in the cone and it is gone forever. No odors have been noticed in the 5 plus years we have used ours. It also does not seem to attract animals or flies. All the contents is contained underground.

For all other food scraps we have a compost bin near the garden.

For more information on the green practices at the inn visit green.

What To Do With That Awful Styrofoam

At Cedar House Inn we recycle everything we can to reduce the trash we take to the landfill and to help the environment and reduce our impact on the Earth.  Recycling styrofoam is a challenge. For years we have been mindful to purchase items with limited packaging or in containers that can be recycled or composted (for example choose glass, 1 &2 plastics).

Unfortunately styrofoam sometimes appears with something we have ordered online (those darn packing peanuts) or guests leave us coffee cups or fast food take out containers in the trashcan that cannot be recycled. Styrofoam in the landfill can last for many years and never decomposes.

Fortunately you can now take styrofoam egg cartons and meat trays to Publix for recycling.

Now there is a solution I recently found. Unfortunately it is not available in our area. The process is called Styrosolve and involves crushing the used styrofoam into small pieces to be mixed with a recycled solvent that breaks down the styrofoam into polystyrene. The polystyrene is then sold to companies to make cell phones and television cabinets for example. What a great idea!

The company that has created this product is Blue Earth Solutions Inc. in Florida. They are a publicly owned company that will sell the technology to recyclers and municipalities through the country. Imagine making money recycling all of that styrofoam that now sits in the landfill for thousands of years.

In conclusion it would be great if we would all opt out from using styrofoam that cannot be recycled. Don’t request that your restaurant leftovers be saved in a styrofoam container. Use reusable coffee mugs. Purchase meat/chicken/etc and take the containers back to Publix. Get your egg cartons in paper or plastic and recycle them. By opting out the product that does not decompose will not sit in the landfill for thousands of years.

For more information on our green efforts visit our green page

Eat Less Meat- Helps You and the Planet

Did you know that going meat free helps the Earth?

The meat industry is a top source for greenhouse gas methane according to a 2006 United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization report. In fact meat and dairy production create more carbon emissions than all the cars and trucks on the highways.

Reason why is that cows emit methane which traps 21 times more heat in thegrass fed meat atmosphere than carbon dioxide. Their solid waste produces nitrous oxide which is a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than CO2. Factory farms for cows, chickens and pigs are the worst when it comes to pollution. Some studies show factory farming is worse than automobile emissions.

Try going meat free for one or two days  a week or limit your portion sizes.

We are not advocating that everyone should go vegetarian. Just cut back on thefull organic meat free breakfast amount and frequency. We have reduced our meat consumption considerably by only purchasing grass fed organic beef, organic chicken and sustainably wild caught fish. The prices are higher, portions are smaller but we like that it is healthier for us (higher omega 3’s) and much better for the planet.

Grass fed pasture raised animals also tend to be more humanely raised and that is why you will see some grass fed pasture raised products showing the “humanely raised” seal.

As mentioned earlier we noted that we only eat pastured raised meat, eat much smaller portions than in the past and eat meat less frequently. It has become a lifestyle choice for us as well so that when we go out to a restaurant we often bypass the steak since when know it is most likely factory farmed. Same with seafood which often is factory farmed not wild caught. Shrimp is one of the largest factory farming industries overseas- often from Viet Nam.

Spirit’s Tavern in Dahlonega offers a great grass fed burger that we enjoy.

If you would like to enjoy one of our delicious meat free breakfasts come stay with us. Here are some sample dishes.