Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
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
While Aunt Ida always enjoys your holiday newsletter in the snail mail, it might be time to shake things up like a snow globe this year. Ho, ho, hold the postage and check out these ways to send out holiday greetings the green way.
DYO—Design Your Own
Designing your own holiday greetings can be a fun and easy way to put a personal spin on your e-card or annual e-newsletter with zero postage or paper waste. Plus, it can be free if you play your cards right. Apps like Canva, Unfold, and Adobe Spark take the intimidation out of designing. With preloaded templates you can customize, you’ll be emailing adorable personalized cards faster than the speed of Santa’s sleigh.
Not really the artistic type? Don’t worry! All is calm, all is bright because you still have options. For those who have a holly jolly sense of humor, Jib-Jab is a hilarious personalized way to send greetings year-round. It offers some free e-card videos (and access to more videos with a premium membership). You can also post them on social media instead of sending an email blast.
It can be hard to give up the paper card, especially if you have loved ones who don’t use email or social media. But you can still get on the nice list! Look for cards made from recycled content and skip over any cards that have glitter, pom-poms, and plastic or foil lining. (The same goes for wrapping paper!) You can also make your own cards from items you have around the house that might otherwise have gone into the trash. These card ideas from Good Housekeeping are a great place to start.
Now get out there and send out your eco-friendly season’s greenings ... er, greetings!Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Dec 10, 2018
A How-to on Self-Care for You and the Planet
If you’ve ever felt like screaming at the top of your lungs in frustration or felt so drained you just couldn’t seem to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, you may be in need of some serious self-TLC. It’s important to make time to do something for yourself so you can recharge and start tackling the world again. Here are some ways you can reconnect with yourself without leaving a giant footprint on the planet.
Breathe In and Smell the Roses
Few of us take the time to really focus on our breathing because it’s automatic, but breathing deeply can have a big impact on your physical and mental well-being. Practice square breathing (or your technique of choice) in your garden or another place you feel comfortable. If you want to go that extra mile, plant a tree, flowers, or other greenery. Plants are known to suck in all that “bad” air and provide us with clean oxygen to breathe. How selfless of them! When you feel like you’ve mastered your breathing technique, you can really stop and smell those roses.
Unplug: FOMO No Mo
How often do you find yourself grabbing your phone because you thought you heard it? Or, how many times do you go online to check your social media because you think you’re missing out on something? We’ve all been there! Schedule a day without your phone, computer, TV, or radio, and then let your friends and family know you’ll be offline (unless there’s an emergency). If you can’t go a whole day, try just a few hours. Make sure you put your electronics away between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. to give yourself some time away from the alerts, photos, lights, and drama that come with technology. It’ll be difficult at first, but you’ll see how much better you feel when you’re not a slave to your phone. Literally unplugging will save energy on your phone and computer, and on any other unused appliances around your home. Ever heard of vampire energy?
Movement is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental wellbeing, especially when you find something that works for you. Go online and look for exercise classes in your area. Then ride your bike, walk, or carpool there with your workout buddy. Many cities have free yoga classes in the park, or you can get trial passes at local gyms. Many gyms want you to try out their facilities, so you can ask for a free weekly pass and hop around until you find one that suits you needs. The best parts about this are 1) trials are often free, 2) you’re getting exercise, and 3) you’re not negatively affecting the environment by making waste, especially if you use alternative modes of transportation.
Building or making things often gives us confidence, which feels great, right? Try getting crafty with salvaged items from your home, thrift shops, or yard sales, or from found items. Our Pinterest page has lots of upcycle ideas, from everyday projects to special occasion projects that can turn your home into a showplace and make you feel proud. If you get really good, you can give away or sell your items so everyone can enjoy them. And who doesn’t love getting a compliment on something they created? As always, exercise safety and caution when salvaging items.
Again, self-care can play a big part in mental, physical, and relationship health. While it may seem selfish, carving out time to do things you enjoy—whatever those activities are—can make a big difference in your mood and help you deal with life’s stressors. The most important part is to find something that works for you as an individual, and of course, takePosted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Sep 26, 2018