Tag Archive for green food

Celebrate Earth Day with an eco-friendly Lunch!

On Sunday April 22nd, millions of people worldwide will celebrate Earth Day, an event that aims to increase environmental awareness and inspire future generations to encourage the growth of a global green economy.
At BarterQuest we care about the environment and we encourage people to live a more sustainable lifestyle. In order to make a long-term impact on the environment, we have incorporated eco-friendly categories in our website. Our site allows users to redistribute unused items instead of disposing them.

Because we strive to make the planet greener, we decided to actively participate in this event. Therefore we chose to not only switch off the lights and the A/C today, but also to eat organic. But it doesn’t end there; on top of that we were having a vegan lunch! You might ask yourself why eating vegan is so much better for the environment. Well, here are some facts: the amount of land used to grow crops to feed livestock is 10 times we need to grow crops for human consumption. Also, if you consider the feeding, housing, transporting, and slaughtering of animals, and then the packing and transporting of the flesh and products themselves, you’re looking at a tremendous expense and degradation of natural resources.
So we prepared three lovely tasty meals that are not only good for us but also for our planet. Our choices included thai curry, tofu salad with sun dried tomatoes, and protein quesadilla with garden vegetables.

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Are you tempted by this yummy food? Don’t worry here’s the Thai Curry recipe. This healthy and organic meal will fully satisfy your taste buds.

Heat some oil (i.e. olive or canola oil) in a large skillet over high heat.
Add some tofu cubes (you should marinate the tofu with some curry paste, garlic and lemon grass overnight) and fry until golden.
Remove to paper towels and set aside.
Now add some more oil (if necessary) in the same skillet over medium heat.
Add some chopped onion and minced garlic. Then throw in some veggies you like (i.e. eggplant, carrots, zucchini, broccoli) and fry while occasionally stirring.
Now add curry paste and fry for another minute while stirring.
Then pour in some coconut milk. Add lemon grass and let simmer for about half an hour on very low heat. Remove lemon grass, add salt and pepper and cilantro, throw in the tofu cubes and mix everything. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Make sure to participate in Earth Day Events Sunday April 22nd 2012. But remember, Earth Day is every day. You can make a difference.

Karin and Tiffany

In Lean Times, Restaurants Barter for Trade Services

Article originally posted in The Wall Street Journal
On: December 3rd, 2009
Written by: Julie Jargon

Independent restaurants are turning to an old-fashioned method to fill tables—barter.

As they struggle to keep customers and pay the monthly bills, restaurants are swapping food for services like oven-hood cleaning and pest control.

Bartering helps restaurants fill seats, reassuring prospective customers who might be turned off by the sight of a vacant eatery. It also attracts new customers when tradespeople bring friends along, reduces some costs, and helps retain employees who can’t scoop tips off empty tables.


It’s hardly a permanent fix for ailing restaurants, which still need cash to cover such expenses as rent, mortgages, taxes and utilities. But bartering is an especially useful tool for independent restaurants that, unlike some chains, lack access to corporate credit lines or cash.

Many restaurants are using barter exchanges that track and manage the transactions, which count as taxable income and must be recorded for tax purposes. Rather than traditional bartering, in which services are swapped directly between vendors, most barter exchanges use a “round robin” approach that offers flexibility for both restaurants and service people. For example, a plumber uses trade credits accumulated at an exchange to pay for a restaurant meal. The restaurant owner can use the credits spent by the plumber to “purchase” a variety of services offered by appliance repairmen, electricians and other exchange clients. The exchange acts as a bank, keeping track of credits and collecting fees on each transaction.

Tony Romano, owner of Marcello’s Pasta Grill in Tempe, Ariz., where business is off 40% from three years ago, joined the Arizona Trade Exchange in October. Since joining the exchange, he says he’s been averaging $2,000 per week in trade credits from tradespeople, which has allowed him to pay for almost all of his monthly expenses—from laundry to fire-extinguisher maintenance—without writing a check.

Although the restaurant doesn’t receive cash for the food, the tradespeople usually tip well, Mr. Romano says, which keeps his wait staff happy.

He says his traffic has increased 10% in the last month. New exchange clients also have led to catering jobs. “A lot of small businesses can’t afford to take their employees out for a Christmas party, but they can barter it,” he says. “I’ve booked two lawyers’ offices and three dentists’ holiday parties.”


Independent restaurants have fared slightly better in the last year than chain restaurants, though it’s hard to say how much bartering has helped. Same-store sales at independent restaurants declined 9% for the year ended Sept. 30, while same-store sales at chains declined 9.7% during that time, according to restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.

Rob Miller, president of the Arizona Trade Exchange, says he now has more than 30 restaurants involved in his exchange, up 20% from a year ago. The exchange charges a one-time $495 membership fee as well as a $12.50 monthly fee, and takes a 12% cut of each transaction from the person making the trade purchase.

Ric Zampatti, chief executive of The Barter Company, an Atlanta-based trade exchange with clients in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia, says his business is up 10% in the last year, due partly to signing up 35 new restaurants.

Tradespeople also appear to be spending more when they go out to eat. A trade credit is worth a dollar; Mr. Miller says he used to see tradespeople buy restaurant credits in batches of 100 or 200; lately, he says people are buying restaurant trade credits worth $300 to $500 at a time.

Cody Smith, owner of Dynamic Pest Control in Mesa, Ariz., has been cashing in his trade credits at restaurants more frequently in the past six months. “It’s a great way to take the family out, enjoy a meal and walk away with very little cash out of your pocket.”

Trading his pest control services for restaurant meals and other services has brought in new clients and boosted his sales by 15% in the last year, due partly to new cash-paying clients who aren’t part of the exchange, Mr. Smith says.

Atlanta restaurateur Nancy Castellucci recently opened a fourth eatery called the Iberian Pig in an historic building that needed to be brought up to code. She used barter credits to cover 60% of the refurbishment costs.

“We would have had to go to the bank otherwise and we didn’t want to go to the bank. When you have barter dollars, it’s a much cheaper way to borrow money because you’re not actually borrowing money, you’re borrowing goods and services and not paying interest.”

Mr. Zampatti of the Atlanta exchange says he’s seeing restaurants increasingly use barter for routine maintenance costs. “In the past, restaurant owners would use barter to upgrade their lifestyle, like to go on vacation or buy jewelry, but because of the economy, now they’re using it to pay for their business expenses.”

Write to Julie Jargon at

Savannah Tractor Powered by Turkey Oil

Posted on November 28th, 2009
Original post by: Savannah Now

Now that your turkey is a picked-over carcass, here’s a win-win idea for getting rid of the oil that fried that bird: Wilmington Island farmer Bill Lynes wants used vegetable oil to power his tractor. The county wants to keep all that fat out of local sewers, where it congeals and creates expensive clogs. So they’ve teamed up to collect cooking oil at the Wilmington Island Recycling Center.

He currently collects oil from several local restaurants and a South Carolina nursing home, filters and centirfuges that oil to remove water and particulates, then pumps it into his diesel engine tractor. As an off-road vehicle, it’s a hassle-free use of a free fuel. Vehicles driven on public roads are required to pay road tax on their fuel, a process that’s difficult to comply with where free vegetable oil is concerned, Lynes said.

Lynes approached Chatham County officials several months ago with his idea of collecting used vegetable oil from residents. When they agreed to give it a try, he spent about $800 outfitting the Wilmington Island Recycling Center on Concord Road with a small storage tank just for the job.

Chatham County Environmental Program Coordinator David Nash loves the cooking oil collection not only because it’s a great local recycling effort, but also because the grease that could otherwise end up in local sewage systems is expensive to clean out.

“If you’re on septic, it will clog it,” he said. “If you’re on county sewage, it’ll clog up drains, and you’ll have a backup. It’s imperative not to put grease down the drain. It’s a slow killer.” “It’s like how you have a heart attack – plaque builds up slowly. Once it’s in there, you have a heck of a time getting it out.”

Lynes, who traded-in his Porsche race car when he bought his tractor, has been cultivating his three-quarter acre “town farm” for about a year on family land that once was part of a larger vegetable farm and before that a cotton plantation. He still works in Lynes Realty and Development Company, but he’s clearly a devoted gardener, too.

He barters his vegetables with local markets such as Davis Produce. Friends and neighbors get his chickens’ eggs. “I’m sort of in a learning process now,” he said. “I want to know what works, like bartering with people and giving stuff to friends.” And maybe, if it catches on, collecting used cooking oil.

Consider Bartering During the Holidays


Posted on November 24th, 2009
Original post by: Nashua Telegraph

Bartering for goods and services has a long standing history in New England. We’ve all grown up reading stories about how the colonists helped each other out by trading products or services. Hey, I’ve got a dozen eggs – I’ll trade the eggs for help with tilling my garden.

These days, bartering is still alive and well. In my case, one way I save money by bartering is that I review books for a Web site. I don’t get paid for the reviews, but I get to keep the books, which then become gifts for friends and family. To me, that’s a pretty good tradeoff. Books are wonderful gifts and ones you can personally recommend are even better.

In another case, I have a friend who has offered to help us pick up the leaves in our yard in exchange for my setting her up an account and getting her going on Craigslist. Living near woods with lots of tall oaks, this is a welcome trade I happily accepted.

This season, think about how you might be able to barter for what you need. Can you provide a meal to someone in exchange for helping you figure out a software program? Can you watch a friend’s child for a few hours in return for help cleaning out a garage? Can your son shovel a driveway in return for some math tutoring?

With so much to be done in all of our lives and with continued limited funds, the time has come to be creative and think about how we can share what we have to help each other along.

Great Green Ideas & Videos

a passive house:
what?: captures the heat produced naturally during the day
e.g.: 1/10 of energy than a regular house
where?: Sweden, Austria, Germany
why?: environmentally friendly & economical, saves energy and therefore money

a passive house

-> every house can be a passive house

Brooklyn greenest spot: Habana Outpost
what?: restaurant (solar powered eatery)
where?: Brooklyn
why?: green and yummy
solar powered eating place, recycled paper, rainwater to flush the toilet, local food, leftover as compost, and a old mailing truck as the kitchen

solar eatery

to watch this viedo search for: “Brooklyn eatery goes green” on cnn (unfortunately I wasn’t able to create a link, sorry)