Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
Happy Holidays, from CalRecyclePosted on In the Loop by CalRecycle Staff on Dec 24, 2018
Did you know composting your food waste helps the environment? When landfilled, organic material emits methane gas, which directly contributes to climate change. If you have outdoor space, consider composting to prevent methane emissions and to create a rich soil amendment for your own use. Find basic directions on our compost webpage, and check out these tools that can make it easier to compost at home.
Using a pail or crock to collect coffee grounds, onion peels, potato peels, and table scraps in your kitchen will reduce the number of trips you make to the green bin or your own compost bin.
Kitchen pails and crocks are available in a variety of materials like stainless steel, ceramic, bamboo, and plastic. Look for a container with a lid, which prevents odors from permeating your kitchen. Or consider lining your pail with a compostable bag, which cuts down on odors and makes it easier to transport green waste to your curbside bin. (Note: Check with your local hauler to see if they accept compostable bags. Some haulers consider compostable bags to be contaminants.) Some pails and crocks work with charcoal filters, which also reduce odors.
Some Californians have a large backyard and can manage a compost pile on the ground, while others may have limited space or have concerns about attracting rodents with food scraps. If you want to contain your compost, you have several options. Wire cages, plastic bins, and wooden crates expose the outer edges of your compost pile to the air, but they require a manual turn with a pitchfork to aerate the center of the pile.
Want to speed up the process? Consider composting with worms. Vermicomposting is an efficient way to compost in a small space, and worm compost is considered by many in horticulture to be the very best soil amendment available.
Another option is a composting tumbler, which does not require heavy lifting to aerate the pile. Spin or turn your tumbler to aerate your compost more efficiently, which can reduce the amount of time it takes to convert organic waste into compost. Tumblers range in size from 25 gallons to 170 gallons, which makes them versatile options for every household.
If you use a traditional compost pile or bin, a manual aerator tool can help you mix your compost pile without heavy lifting. If your pile isn’t transforming organic material into compost efficiently, consider troubleshooting with a compost thermometer to measure the internal temperature.
Home composting creates a valuable soil amendment that contributes to healthier and more abundant produce in your backyard garden. We can each do our part to protect the environment and human health by reducing food waste and composting our kitchen scraps.Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 20, 2018
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.
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.
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.
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.
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