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

  • Planet Protecting-Prom: Dance the Night Away Eco-Guilt-Free

    Sandy and Danny dancing in the movie Grease

    Corsages and cummerbunds mark prom season just before the end of the school year. Soon students will be shopping for dresses, tuxes, and limos, but at what cost to the environment? If you’re a freshman to the world of sustainability, take note of these tips for a planet-protecting prom.

    Various prom dresses

    Give Fast Fashion the Slip

    It can be difficult to avoid those inexpensive clothing items when you or your teenager are fashion-forward on a budget. But, armed with the knowledge that the fashion industry (especially fast fashion) is one of the main contributors to landfill waste, pollution, and unfair labor practices, it might be a little easier to give up those bargain garments. Instead, try purchasing something secondhand. Just because it was previously owned, that does not mean it is cheap, tacky, or unsophisticated. In fact, most prom dresses are only worn once, so it’s likely any “used” dress will be in excellent condition—not to mention less expensive. You can also get creative and refashion a secondhand item that has potential. Don’t have enough room in your closet or not as creative as you’d like to be? Find a dress rental company in your area—tuxes are rented, so why can’t a dress be? Another option can be a formal clothing exchange between friends, an exchange program, or even your library—yes, your library! There are also plenty of places to donate your dress when you’re done with it.

    Olive Oyl applying makeup

    Makeover Your Cosmetic Bag

    Looking your best doesn’t stop at your outfit, and it shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet. Whether you or your teen wears makeup or simple moisturizer, applies lots of hair product or just needs a razor to get rid of unwanted stubble, there is an earth-friendly option for everyone. Start by asking what cosmetics and beauty accessories are made of—plastic or natural ingredients? Biodegradable or single-use? What about excess packaging? Look for zero-waste companies, or DIY your cosmetics.

    Limo driving to dance


    If you or your teen can afford to rent a limo, make sure to get as many passengers as possible. This will help offset the carbon emissions created by driving multiple cars, and it can also help bring down the cost of the rental. If a limo isn’t in the cards, try regular carpooling or even a pedicab if the venue is nearby. No one expects anyone to ride their bike in their formals, but a pedicab or even a horse-drawn carriage can be a fun and eco-friendly option if the dance is nearby.

    Peter Parker handing a corsage to his date

    Corsage Compost

    After the night is over, the formal footwear is kicked off and it’s time to hit the hay, don’t toss your boutoniere or corsage in the trash. If you don’t plan on hanging on to your flowers as a keepsake, compost it or throw it in your yard waste bin minus the ribbons, pins, and other decorations—you can always reuse those, but they don’t belong in the pile with other organic waste.

    Now get out there and promenade that planet-protecting way, knowing you did the right thing for future prom-goers!

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Apr 8, 2019

  • Easy-Peasy Ideas for a Less-Waste Thanksgiving

    Household waste generally increases during the holidays. Here's how you can prevent that!


    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Nov 15, 2018

  • "Bee" on Your Way to a Zero Waste Halloween!

    Wrap your candy in beeswax cloth wrap and reuse it for leftovers or a pack lunch

    CalRecycle’s Social Committee and Zero Waste team have joined forces for a Zero Waste Halloween by using reusable packaging and buying candy in bulk to make “Boo Grams” for their co-workers and friends. You can make them, too!

    This year’s CalRecycle “Boo Grams” come in either a reusable mason jar or homemade beeswax cloth wrap.  Beeswax cloth wraps are an alternative to plastic wrap. They are designed to store food or to wrap treats. 

    You can buy reusable beeswax wraps, but, it turns out, making your own is a fun and easy DIY project! I attended a workshop at the Ecology Center in Berkeley to learn how. Read on to learn how to “bee” on your way to a Zero Waste Halloween!

    How to make your own beeswax cloth wrap

    Materials needed:


    • Cut the fabric to your desired size.
    • Use the cheese grater to grate the beeswax. If you have the pellets, skip this step.
    • Place the fabric on the ironing board with a piece of parchment paper underneath and on top.
    • Spread a handful of beeswax on the cloth. (Note: Less is more!)
    • Use the iron to melt the beeswax onto the cloth. Add more beeswax, if necessary, to areas on the cloth with no wax. 
    • Use pinking shears to trim the edges.
    • Voila! Enjoy your DIY beeswax wrap!

    How to care for your beeswax wrap

    Use your beeswax wrap to wrap sandwiches, cheeses, or produce, or to cover a bowl!

    • Wash with cool water and gentle soap. Let dry.
    • Use the warmth of your hands to flatten it out for storage.
    • To store, use the warmth of your hands to flatten it.
    • Not recommend for use with raw meat.

    Posted on In the Loop by Angela Vincent on Oct 29, 2018