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


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.


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!


Baby's Nursery Tour

At long last, I'm so excited to share a quick tour of our nursery! Even last year, I decided that I wanted our nursery to have soft white walls, highlighting our home's wood floors, and have a gender-neutral, calm and eco-friendly decor plan.


Photo Friday | National Secondhand Wardrobe Day

Break out your favorite vintage or thrifted outfit tomorrow and celebrate National Secondhand Wardrobe Day in eco-friendly style!


A Baby Shower with Special Eco-friendly Touches

One thing I have really looked forward to during my pregnancy is my baby shower. My group of high school girlfriends took the lead in planning it, and I gave them a few suggestions of the kind of day I'd like. My two eco-friendly requests were no balloons and that the invitation specify 'no gift wrap'. But beyond that, I didn't want to be too much of a green-zilla about the party.

However, my friends went above and beyond and created a really special shower with a bunch of thoughtful eco-friendly touches—some I didn't expect at all!


Photo Friday | Pamplona Tapas Bar's Commitment to Reducing Waste

Nestled in Downtown Lafayette, in a gorgeous historic building, is the restaurant Pamplona Tapas Bar. The restaurant is known for its gourmet tapas menu, ambiance and killer sangria (okay, it's definitely known to me for its killer sangria).

But did you know that Pamplona has also made efforts to reduce its own waste footprint and recycle more?

Photo courtesy Pamplona Tapas Bar


Heading Back to School and College

If school isn't already back in session where you live, it's sure to be soon. I've still got a few more years until I need to worry about school supplies again, but I do know that when it comes time, I'll be looking for eco-friendly options—especially ones that work within my budget.

Photo via @parklandmfg


Photo Friday | Weekend Getaways

Earlier this summer, my husband and I took a short weekend getaway as a quick babymoon. Taking a small (or large!) babymoon is, to me, especially important to take a breather during preparing for a baby's arrival, in addition to relishing that last time you can go somewhere without having to either find a babysitter or bring a child with you.

We made our way to the beach and got in some great R&R time before heading back home, back to work and back to finishing up things around the nursery and checking other less-fun things off pre-baby punch list.

While the majority of my focus was on simply relaxing and not stressing about everything still left to do (which, if you know me, is hilarious), I still worked to be less wasteful. I noticed that the beaches promoted the phrase "Leave only footprints", although it seems like many beachgoers weren't too worried about leaving some of their trash behind. We spotted a few morning walkers picking up trash as they went, which was inspiring.

I packed my water in a trusty reusable water bottle, and thanks to the water pitcher in the hotel lobby, I was able to fill up on our way out without having to hunt down a water fountain or resort to bottled water. We brought reusable coffee cups, and my husband packed our small travel coffee pot, so we didn't have to use single-use coffee pods or filters.

I also packed my Vitamin A swimsuit and a hand-me-down maternity one-piece suit, along with two borrowed beach hats from one of my cousins-in-law. My red cover-up is from my great aunt as well.

We may have had a short trip, but it was pretty perfect. And yes, we know that next time we head to the beach, we won't be toting just one canvas bag of stuff, ha!

Green Business Spotlight | GreenEarth Cleaning

One area where I don't feel like I have "adulting" down properly is in the world of having clothes dry cleaned. I'm honestly far too lazy to keep on a schedule of bringing clothes to the dry cleaner and picking them up, and I don't own too many "dry clean only" pieces in the first place.

But dry cleaning is an important part of keeping your clothes in pristine condition, especially if their care requires it over regular machine washing. And when it comes to sustainability, ensuring that your clothes last as long as possible helps to keep a lot of textile waste out of landfills.

The drawback is that the conventional dry cleaning process is not very eco-friendly, especially with the chemicals used. PERC is a common dry cleaning solvent that has been reduced over the years, but can still be found, and it's a volatile organic solvent that that can pose serious health hazards, per OSHA. Plus, PERC can be the culprit behind making plush items clumpier, like comforters or stuffed jackets.

Photo courtesy GreenEarth Cleaning

However, there is a greener alternative, and that's where GreenEarth Cleaning comes in.

Photo Friday | Just Take the Photo

A little departure from my usual posts, but the concept of making memories has been on my mind lately. Blame it on pregnancy hormones for sure.

I am absolutely known as someone who takes a lot of photos. My phone's camera roll has a ridiculous amount of photos stored (and yes, I clean it out regularly, and yes, a lot of the photos are of recycling bins and my cat.)

But, I'm someone who subscribes to the belief that it's better to just take the picture and have it saved away, than to not take the picture and wish you had. Especially with the ability to save digital photos so easily these days, it's a no-brainer to me.

Last month, my grandmother passed away, and the last photo I'd taken with her was the month before. I felt silly in the moment taking it, but I knew it was one I would like to have saved. And now, more than ever, it's a poignant photo that I'll always cherish.

On another note, there's a photo my husband took a few weeks back of me in our baby's in-progress nursery. (A very rough sneak peek, and I promise you guys will get a tour in a couple more weeks now that the room is much more put together!) It was a spur of the moment photo, and I was resting while playing on my phone before he snapped it.

The more I looked at it, the more I came to really cherish it. Just a simple moment, but one that will be fun to look back on as we prepare for our first baby's arrival.  

I know that once our baby is here, I'm going to be even more focused on capturing memories. You can always go back and pare down your saved photos, but you can't always recreate a moment to get a photo.

Yes, I take a lot of photos of our cat as well, but they're also photos I know I will value years down the road, especially after Dax's health issues three years ago. 

The point is just - take the photo. Capture the moments and the memories. You can still be present and mindful, and the photos don't have to be perfect or shared right away (or ever) on social media. Sometimes, even if you feel silly taking the photo, it can become something you treasure immensely.

Going Green is Not 'One Size Fits All'

There has been a lot of conversation lately about plastic single-use straws, particularly following Starbucks' plan to eliminate their use (and redesign their plastic lid for their single-use cup, but that's not where I'm going with this today.)

The conversation has brought about some counterpoints about the use of plastic straws, particularly for people who are disabled or have illnesses. The valid argument is that for some people, plastic single-use straws are the best option.

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