Mechanical apple harvesting could be the key to improving yields — or even, in an era of labor shortages, the orchard's very solvency — but more efficient picking won't do any good if the rest of the operation can't keep up. To take full advantage of mechanized harvests, farmers must be able to quickly move apples to packing houses without bruising or otherwise damaging the fruit.
Organic produce requires very careful postharvest-handling strategies. For good or for ill, this is a premium product, and even aesthetic compromises on quality affects its salability. More importantly, there's the food-safety issue, as improper handling at harvest can spread pathogens and other contaminants, which is clearly unacceptable for organic farmers and their customers.
A food system at any scale contains all the processes, infrastructure, labor, equipment, and institutions that bring food from farm to fork. No matter how complex the supply system may be, each step along the way affects every other step. Therefore, improving efficiency on a local level can have an outsized effect on the entire food system.
Safety may be the most important issue facing the solid waste industry today. As we near the final year of the National Waste and Recycling Association's current three-year safety plan, experts continue their efforts to remove waste collection professionals from the top 10 most-dangerous jobs in the United States.
The sooner your kids get started cooking, then, the better off they'll be — and you can say the same about the planet. With that in mind, here are a few recipes that could help your child develop eating habits that are healthy, enjoyable, and environmentally friendly all at once.
When you think about renewable energy in waste management, the first thing that comes to mind is biogas. But how can material recovery facilities, haulers, and composters use green energy if they aren't producing it in an aerobic digester? Thanks to the growing affordability of solar panels, the answer could be staring us in the face every day: The sun, of course.
Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer which means it's the last chance to swim, hike, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors before school starts. If you're looking for some fresh ways to make the most of Labor Day weekend without adding to your carbon footprint, we have a few ideas. These sustainable outdoor activities keep the kids entertained, but they're also a blast for parents. Best of all, they teach the values of environmental stewardship and responsibility that you'll also find at the core of the American labor movement. After all, that's what the holiday is all about!