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

  • Tips from the U.S. EPA to Cut Holiday Food Waste

    Get Smart: Take the Food Waste Challenge

    See how much food (and money) you are really throwing away every week by measuring (by volume or weight) your edible and preventable food waste for six weeks. That may seem like a pain, but the U.S. EPA found that it’s hard to achieve food waste reduction if you don’t actually measure how much you are throwing away and identify why you couldn’t eat what you bought. Those who participated in this challenge noted it had a big impact on their shopping and cooking plans and helped them reduce wasted food.

    Smart Shopping: Shop with Meals in Mind and Your Calendar in Hand

    We all do it—shop for home-cooked meals and then opt to dine out or do take-out instead. To reduce food waste, be realistic about how many meals you will actually cook at home.

    Smart Storage: Store Food for Maximum Freshness

    Food waste often occurs because we are improperly storing our fruits and vegetables. Many fruits give off natural gases that hasten the spoilage of other nearby produce, and it’s helpful to know which items should be stored inside and outside the fridge to maximize shelf life.

    Smart Prep: Prep Now, Eat Later

    One of the biggest reasons people don’t eat what they buy is that their cooking time is limited on weeknights. Taking a few moments to prepare your food after purchasing it will make it easier to whip up meals later.

    Smart Saving: Eat First!

    Sometimes our own refrigerators are so full that it’s difficult to clearly identify foods that should be eaten first. Counteract this by managing your fridge more efficiently and designating a space for foods that should be eaten relatively soon.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 13, 2018

  • The Re-Gift that Keeps On Giving

    Oh, the holidays. They bring gatherings, good feelings, gifts, and ... garbage. How do you keep your cool when it comes to wading through the clutter brought on by this special time of year? One way is by cleaning your closets and clearing the chaos with regifting. Sure, some people think it’s tacky to give a gift that was once given to them, but from an economic and environmental standpoint, it makes a lot of sense. Here are some important rules to regifting to rid yourself—and save the landfill—from that godawful (or good, but mis-gifted) present.

    To Regift or Not to Regift

    First things first: Ask yourself why you are giving this item away. Are you doing it because you’re being cheap, you ran out of time, and/or you don’t want it tucked under the bed or in your closet anymore? Then you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. Giving a gift is a special thing, and the item you’re giving should reflect that feeling to the special person who is receiving it. Just because a gift is not brand new does not change or diminish the reason why we give. When you regift, you’re still keeping the receiver in mind and giving them your item because it’s something they would like to have, not because you just don’t want it.  

    It’s Not Personal

    Is the item personalized or homemade? If so, regifting is a hard no. Always check your item for engravings, a monogram, a signature, or any other indication that it belongs to you and you alone. If you don’t want to open a present only to find out it’s an embroidered item with the name Edna on it, then chances are, your receiver doesn’t either. Unless, of course, their name is Edna.

    Reduce Reuse Recycle Regift


    The Difference Between Used and Pre-Owned

    It’s all in the wording, but really what is the difference between used and pre-owned? When you’re considering regifting, make sure the item is in good working condition. If it’s never been used and is in the original box, that’s even better! Refrain from giving your friends or family members items that have been visibly used, have wear and tear, or are dusty. It’s likely your receiver doesn’t want that old food processor from the depths of your kitchen cabinets any more than you do, but they may like that extra kitchen gadget you never opened.

    Tie a String Around Your Finger and the Gift

    One of the biggest no-nos in regifting is inadvertently regifting an item back to the original giver. Not only is this embarrassing for you, but it can also hurt the original giver’s feelings. It’s important that if you get an item that doesn’t fit your style or that you don’t need, to take note of who gave it to you. And if you had a memory lapse and aren’t sure who it was, it’s best not to regift it at all. You don’t want to have an episode of Seinfeld on your hands.

    Honesty is the Best Policy

    If someone does find out you regifted, it’s always best to fess up. We’ve all received a gift that didn’t fit our bodies, lifestyle, or personalities, so it’s best to just say so. If you give a present to someone and they find out it was a regift, let them know it wasn’t your style or you already had one and you knew they would love it. You don’t have to say anything negative about the item, just that you thought they would really appreciate it. And after all, it is the thought that counts, isn’t it?

    Giving a gift is a special thing, and the item you're giving should reflect that feeling to the special person who is receiving it.

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Dec 6, 2018

  • Five CalRecycle Webpages You Should Know About

    CalRecycle’s website has more than 3,000 webpages to educate consumers, government entities, and business owners about responsible waste management and recycling. Chances are you come to our website looking for something specific, like where to recycle certain items or information about a newly implemented recycling law. Here is a list of other useful CalRecycle webpages.

    Recycling Starter Kits

    Did you know CalRecycle will send you a free starter kit? Whether you’re a schoolteacher or a private business owner, we will send you a complimentary black bin to collect California Refund Value (CRV) beverage containers.

    Green Building

    CalRecycle features an entire section of webpages dedicated to educating visitors about green building principles. Browse through case studies that describe how businesses have incorporated these into their building management plans. You can search the case studies by category, making it easy for homeowners, retail business owners, school facility managers, and large venue managers to find helpful information about sustainable buildings.

    Wastes Banned from the Trash

    Certain things just shouldn’t be tossed out carelessly. In fact, it is illegal to dispose of household hazardous waste in the garbage, down storm drains, or onto the ground? Chemicals in hazardous waste can be released into the environment and contaminate our air and water, and possibly the food we eat. Learn how to manage light bulbs, batteries, electronic devices, paint, and used oil in a responsible way.

    Backyard Composting DIY

    The best way to recycle your food waste is to compost it. If you have a curbside organics collection service that allows food waste, you can toss in those onion peels and apple cores. If not, you can start your own backyard composting bin. Compost adds nutrients to soil that benefit plants, and it increases soil’s water retention capacity, which is especially helpful during drought seasons. This webpage includes a recipe for compost, troubleshooting tips, and a guide to building your own composting bin.

    Waste Reduction

    Recycling is great, but preventing waste from being generated is even better. Scroll to the bottom of the page to learn how to reduce waste at home, at work, at school, and at special events. You can even find case studies that feature efforts to reduce and divert waste at events and sites throughout the state.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Nov 1, 2018