My Due Date

Back in January, September 13 felt like an eternity away. Since then, it's been a day that represents hope. It's surreal that this day is actually here, even if we haven't met Baby yet.


Photo Friday | Cajun Pregnancy Milestones

I have two apps on my phone where I keep track of baby's development each week, but the fruit size comparisons are not typically the best. Sometimes I'm not even familiar with the fruit (and yes, I have Googled a few), and sometimes, the fruits are contradictory - as in, one app will say a tomato at 17 weeks and another will say a tomato at 19 weeks.

The general fruit list inspired me to brainstorm a much more entertaining list of pregnancy milestones - one that is all Cajun!


Eco-friendly Supplies for Baby

When it came to creating our baby registry, there were a few different factors that went into a lot of our decisions. We ended up registering with Buy Buy Baby and Target, even though they're big box stores, because of ease for our family and friends and because they do offer a selection of natural brands and organic products.

I always read how first-time moms go overboard getting every product talked about, recommended and advertised, but I tried to remain somewhat minimalistic and stick with the tried-and-true items. Through research of other moms' registries and asking my mom friends what their most used items were, I spent a couple months putting together our registry lists. Researching organic or eco-friendly options did take some extra effort, but it was worth it!


Photo Friday | Cooking Oil Recycling for Homes and Businesses in South Louisiana

Used cooking oil is a hot topic when it comes to properly disposal and recycling. When poured down the drain, used cooking oil solidifies into thick layers, constricting water flow inside drainpipes, similar to the way blood flows in arteries. Over time, clogged sewers result in unsanitary conditions, odors and damage to sewer pipes. Used cooking oil also poses a threat to the environment when dumped in drains.



Photo: EarthaMag


HOMES

To dispose of cooking oil at home, pour the oil into an empty milk carton or another old, unrecyclable takeout container and toss it in the trash. When the pan is cool, wipe it with a paper towel to remove any excess grease.

Have a compost pile? Old grease should not go in it! As a rule of thumb, fats and animal proteins should stay out of your home compost pile because most home piles do not get hot enough to break these materials down, leaving the pile susceptible to rotting.

Earth911 shares some tips on cooking oil recycling at home.

The City of Lafayette's Household Chemical Waste collection does not accept used cooking oil.

East Baton Rouge Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish accept cooking oil at their Household Hazardous Waste Collection days. which are open to parish residents only.

BUSINESSES

Photo courtesy Southern Oil Solutions


Southern Oil Solutions is a Lafayette-based company that works with area restaurants, grocery stores restaurants, baseball fields, food trucks, hotels, cafeterias, mom and pop eateries, and of course festivals. In addition, they collect grease for proper disposal. Southern Oil Solutions works with businesses in and around Lafayette and travels north to Alexandria, east to Henderson, south to Morgan City, Abbeville, Gueydan, and west to Jennings, and everywhere in between.

I spoke with Brian, the owner of Southern Oil Solutions, who explained a bit more about their services. "We recycle the oil for the manufacturing of biodiesel, which is being used as an additive in #2 diesel. The biodiesel has better emissions and is a lubricant for the engine. Biodiesel burns cleaner, so there's less black smoke billowing out of diesel trucks, and its a renewable resource, so its a no brainer. We also clean grease traps and dispose of it properly at a recycling facility, where the grease is used to make a supplement in animal feed," he says.

He hopes to make a residential collection bin available within Lafayette in the future, in conjunction with Lafayette Consolidated Government. He has even worked with with one local resident who contacted him about a pickup after saving their cooking oil for a year. "I would pick up if they have 20 gallons or more," Brian says. 

"All in all, we are your one-stop shop for cooking oil and grease collection and recycling in the greater Acadiana area," Brian says.

For businesses near Lecompte and Holden, Louisiana, Dar Pro offers cooking oil collection.

Filta handles cooking oil collection for Baton Rouge, Denham Springs, Hammond, Gonzales and Prairieville, Louisiana.


Ragin Cajuns Kick Off to Composting

I obviously won't be making it out to many college football games this season, although I do plan on cheering on my Ragin Cajuns from home each weekend.



For the past few years, the UL Lafayette Office of Sustainability has led a recycling initiative both inside the stadium and at every tailgating spot. A recycling bin would accompany every trash can, and the school would participate in the annual Game Day Challenge (which is now apparently defunct), where the season landfill diversion rates would be scored between all participating universities.


But this year, the Office of Sustainability is going for a new tactic: going zero-waste!

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