Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.

  • Treat Yo’self and the Environment: Part I

    A How-To on Self-Care for You & the Planet

    Crochet Globe

    Work, family, friends, news, life—it can be tough out there! That’s why it is really important to slow down and make time to take care of yourself. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t be able to give 100 percent to your family, friends, or work. So if you feel like you’re running on empty, here are a few ways you can fill up your tank while keeping the environment in mind.

    Couple walking in park during Autumn

    Walk It Off

    Walking has a number of benefits, especially when you do it in nature. Getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by strolling along a beach, in the woods, in a park, or on the countryside is a great way to integrate movement into your routine, get fresh air, appreciate the natural world, and reflect. Bonus points if you bring your dog!

    Dog at Spa

    Spa Day

    Treat yourself to an environmentally friendly spa day. The products used for manicures, pedicures, and facials sometimes contain chemicals that aren’t so kind to the planet, but the good news is sustainable spas are popping up all over the place. Scheduling a day to pamper yourself does wonders for your mood and can be a great way to recharge and relax.

    Laughing Girl Reading Book

    Reading is Fun-damental

    Been meaning to read that book everyone is talking about, but just haven’t made the time? Do it now! It’s a perfect way to escape for an hour (or more) and expand your mind at the same time. If you have an e-reader, download that must-read book. If you prefer turning pages of the latest page-turner, visit your local library or thrift store, or see if you can borrow a book instead of buying new. When you’re finished, pass the book on to someone else who also needs some “me” time. 

    Woman Crying

    Cry It Out

    Sometimes you just need to cry it out, and studies show that crying can relieve stress and be cathartic, too. If you decide to cry it out, invest in some nice hankies rather than using disposable tissues. Or, you can make them. Choose a fabric that feels soft on your nose and eyes, or even reuse fabric from your old favorite PJs. It’s an easy way to kick that disposable tissue habit, reuse fabric you already have, and relieve stress. 

    Awesome Mix Tape In Cassette Player

    Make a Playlist

    There isn’t a whole lot that feels better than listening to your favorite songs from your past. Find that mixtape you made as a kid, or visit your local secondhand music shop and pick up records, cassettes, or CDs you listened to when you were younger. Really want to throw it back and prevent waste? Find a thrift store and save that Walkman from a life in the landfill. Pop in that tape, put on those headphones, and do your best Star Lord dance around an intergalactic junkyard, or your living room.

    Self-care can play a big part in healthy mental and physical health! While it may seem selfish, carving out time to do things you enjoy can make a big difference in your mood and help you deal with life’s stressors. Stay tuned for more ideas on how you can do more for yourself with little impact on the earth. 

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Sep 5, 2018

  • Sun-sational Tips for a Sustainable Summer Vacation

    Greetings from Summer Vacation

    If you already live a sustainable lifestyle, why would you take a vacation from it when you’re actually on vacation? If you’re ready to add some R & R to your reduce, reuse, recycle routine, here’s how to get away without breaking away from your green lifestyle.

    Cave with sunlight shining from entrance

    Destination Conservation

    When choosing a vacation spot, look for a destination that focuses on conservation, like a state or national park. California alone has 280 state parks (with 15,000 campsites) with forest, desert, lake, and beach landscapes. Vacationing in nature provides the perfect way to unplug and serves as a bold reminder that when you’re living a green lifestyle, you’re protecting our beautiful planet.

    For those who’d prefer a getaway with more amenities, consider booking a room at an eco-friendly hotel or resort.  National Geographic has a catalog of unique hotels around the world that specialize in one-of-a-kind sustainable experiences. A simple Internet search can also be helpful—features to look for might include electric vehicle charging stations, bike rentals, biodegradable hotel key cards, water and energy conservation measures, soap and shampoo dispensers, farm-to-fork menus, and/or a less-waste spa. Choosing a location that is centrally located and easy to navigate on foot, by bike, or by public transportation is a great way to keep your vacation air clean.

    Open baggage with items in it

    Claiming Your Baggage

    What you pack for your trip is key—the lighter your bag, the less energy you use to get it to your destination. Packing clothing you can wear multiple times in different ways will make getting ready a whole lot easier, save space, save money since you don’t have to pay extra baggage fees, and allow you to keep tabs on your luggage at all times. See if you can stay away from packing items in plastic bags, and try separating clean clothes and shoes using a fabric pouch instead. 

    Woman shampooing her hair

    Clean, Green, and Pristine  

    It’s important to pack eco-friendly toiletries. Sure, most hotels have those adorably convenient mini shampoos, soaps, and lotions, but if you’re not keen on the plastic waste or you’re not staying in a traditional hotel, bringing your own toiletries is important. Start with a shampoo bar! Similar to bars of soap, a shampoo bar is meant for your hair and is a great, and often package-free, way to keep your locks squeaky clean while reducing waste. Don’t stop at a shampoo bar—bring your own bar of soap (or use your shampoo bar for your body), reusable razor, and  bamboo toothbrush (a more sustainable and biodegradable option). Try storing your items in environmentally friendly carriers like a soap tin, small jar, or fabric pouch. 

    Shoppers clamoring for souvenirs at a a shop

    Skip the Souvenirs

    It’s so fun to bring home a little trinket of your fun-filled trip, whether it’s for yourself or for a loved one, but consider how many items you’ll bring home and where they’ll end up. An alternative would be to send an email or post photos on social media to let people know about your amazing trip. If you just can’t avoid purchasing a souvenir for your best friend or grandma, find something that is high-quality (it won’t wear out easily and end up in the landfill), locally made (less energy for travel), and meaningful (so they won’t just let it collect dust or toss it in the trash). 

    Hikers on a foggy mountain trail

    Keeping Yourself Busy

    If you’re an active type of vacationer, find out if there are things you can do that align with your green lifestyle. A popular trend among travelers is  do-good activities like a lake cleanup boat ride, saving sea turtles, or taking care of your favorite hiking trail. It’s the perfect way to show your love to the planet, see the local scenery, absorb local color, and feel good about what you’re doing. And keep in mind, the activity doesn’t have to take up your whole holiday—you can still take time to rest and relax. 

    Meat skewers being barbequed on a dining table

    Local Cuisine

    Half the fun of getting out of town is sampling the  local cuisine! Finding a restaurant that serves locally sourced food is a great way to support surrounding farms and businesses. It’s also an excellent way to cut down on fuel and emissions that come from shipping non-local foods. Try the coffee in Seattle, the gumbo in New Orleans, the barbecue in Texas, the lobster in Maine, or the sourdough in San Francisco! 

    Nest digital thermostat

    Before You Go

    Before you pack up and hit the road, make sure to prepare your home for your absence. Aside from securing your home, turn your thermostat to “away” temperatures so you won’t be wasting energy on heating and air conditioning that you won’t be around to enjoy. Some recommend turning your thermostat to 85 degrees when you’re gone in the summer and 60 degrees when you’re gone in the winter. Ultimately, you need to decide what you’re comfortable with, especially if you have pets or plants that could be affected by the temperature changes. A  smart thermostat with an app linked to your phone might be a good option, and many utility companies provide discounts and rebates. Also, don’t forget to unplug any unnecessary appliances that could suck up a bunch of energy. Finally, have the post office hold any of your mail, or better yet, put a stop to unwanted junk mail and paper bills by  opting out.

    Now, have a wonderful, fun, safe, rewarding, and eco-friendly vacation wherever you end up on the globe!

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Aug 9, 2018

  • The Difference Between Use-By, Sell-By, and Best-By Dates

    Have you thrown away food because you weren’t sure what the label meant? You’re not alone! The average family wastes $1,500 to $1,800 worth of food each year, thanks in part to confusing food labels. 

    Here’s a quick explainer of “Use by,” “Sell by,” and “Best by.”

    Posted on In the Loop on Jul 9, 2018