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Residents drop off food scraps at weekly farmers markets. [photo:ediblyRhody]

Happy fourth birthday to 1% for the Planet nonprofit partner ecoRI News! Approaching its fifth year in operation, the Rhode Island-based nonprofit journalistic initiative has a few other great reasons to celebrate. In 2013 alone, ecoRI doubled its readership. In June, it expanded to Massachusetts with its launch of ecoMass News, and completely revamped its foundational composting project, now named ecoRI Earth, in the city of Providence.

The news source’s activity in its communities goes above and beyond reporting alone, as they work tirelessly to master a high-visibility low-impact approach to their business. From the beginning, ecoRI has ran a residential food-scrap collection program that provides cities in Rhode Island with composting services. While the stories are provincial, the model that ecoRI presents for a news source’s capacity to affect positive social and environmental change is universal.

A nonprofit organization itself, ecoRI News counts on support from local businesses and devoted reader-donors such as New Harvest Coffee, A Market, Whole Foods Market Rhode Island Stores, and UNFI Organic Foods. Rhode Island residents Meg Griffiths and Heather Johnson raved about ecoRI’s composting program, saying, “we signed up for ecoRI’s residential compost program because it’s a win-win-win. We send less waste to the landfill, raise awareness about environmental issues among friends and family, and contribute to the creation of compost for urban farms, thus supporting the local food movement.” To date, ecoRI has saved nearly 50,000 pounds of nutrient-rich food scrap from Rhode Island’s Central Landfill, presently collecting between 250 and 350 lbs. of waste per week!

ecoRI Earth

ecoEarth kicks up their compositing initiative by implementing door-to-door compost pick-up in cities like Providence, redirecting the scraps from the central landfill to urban farms where they can be rejoin the agricultural cycle. [Photo courtesy: ecoRI.org]

In addition to its composting program, ecoRI’s outreach team has given hundreds of presentations on topics such as environmental degradation and the importance of waste reduction in both schools and businesses.

There is no better source on ecoRI News than its readers. Reader Zack Cote from Harmony, RI declared, “the BEST news source in New England for all things environmental, local, and important.” Here at 1% for the Planet, we agree with Zack Cote.

ecoRI News Gives Back to Blue by using reporting to bring action to environmental and social issues. By rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in the issues they report on, ecoRI presents a model for how local news can positively affect change in the communities they serve. For friends and readers beyond New England, you can support ecoRI’s mission by making a tax-deductible donation here. Remember to stay up to date and informed via their newsletter, Twitter and Facebook.


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