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

  • Save or Splurge on Holiday Experience Gifts: Create Memories, Not Trash

    It’s that time of year again: time to find the perfect gift to for your loved one. But, what do you give the person who has everything, and how do you leave an impression longer than the life of the batteries on that expensive gadget? Don’t worry! With a quick Google search, we’ve put together your guide to the perfect, less-waste, memory-making, mind-blowing experience gifts, for both the saver and the spender. 


    You gotta eat sometime, right? For those foodies in your life, a tour of all the hottest restaurants in town would definitely leave a good taste in their mouths. If you’re intending to splurge on your foodie friend or family member, a city food tour can run about $65, but a gift card to their favorite restaurant can cost just about $25, saving $40 if your wallet is as empty as your fridge was in college.

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    How about the wildlife enthusiast? Paddle out on a tandem kayak and wave hello to some humpbacks during a private whale-watching session for about $130. Or, if you’re not into spending more than you need just for the halibut, purchase aquarium tickets and expect to pay $60 to $100.

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    Navigating a new (or even your own) city can be daunting unless you take a Segway tour with your friend, family member, or significant other. A two-person tour can cost about $240, but a bike tour can cost just $40.

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    For serenity seekers, consider splurging on a spa day for about $385—your loved one may need a relaxing day when they find out you spent nearly $400! If spending more than $100 gives you a pain in the neck, spend your dollars on a 60-minute massage for $55 instead. 

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    Music lovers can turn up the beat with private DJ lessons for $215. Or, you could test your giftee’s vocal range with a gift card to a local karaoke room for $50. It’ll be music to their ears! 

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    There’s snow better way to celebrate the holidays than spending a day on fluffy white powder! The adventurer in your family might appreciate that lift pass for skiing, but if you’re running low on cold, hard cash, ice skating in town will run you about $12 instead of $96 for a day pass up the mountain. 

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    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Dec 8, 2016

  • Reusable Holiday Wrapping

    The holidays are a season of generosity. Most of us find ourselves giving gifts to our co-workers, to friends, and to family members. Much of the fun is wrapping the gifts in special packaging and watching someone’s eyes light up as they open their gift—in fact, sometimes the wrapping is just as special as the gift itself. Think of all the ways you can reduce, reuse, and recycle your gift packaging without compromising on style or quality.

    Reusable Gift Tags

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    Using special name tags is a wonderful way to add flair to your gift. In my family, we save our name tags and reuse them each year. Rather than using sticker tags or throwing away cheap tie-on tags, we selected a special set of vintage tags. Check out these free printable tags!

    Ribbon, Twine, and Bows

    Adorning gifts with bows adds an extra little touch to your gifts. Choose bows made with satin ribbon or wired ribbon so you can pluck them off the discarded gift packaging and tuck them away for next year.

    Try adding a sprig of pine, fir, or mistletoe to your gift. Clip a small branch from your live Christmas tree, or snip a small twig of rosemary from your garden.  Take a walk in your neighborhood and look for greenery, pinecones, and berry branches.

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    Wrapping Gifts

    This holiday season, consider wrapping your gifts in cloth in the Japanese tradition of Furoshiki. Use a scarf, an old sweater, a scrap of material leftover from a project, an old sheet, or a small throw blanket as gift packaging. There’s a wrapping technique for almost every shape you would need to cover.

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    When All Else Fails, Use Gift Bags

    Using store-bought gift bags is a great alternative to using wrapping paper, which inevitably gets ripped and is difficult to fold and reuse year after year. Gift bags are often stuffed with tissue paper, which you can always repurpose for wrapping delicate ornaments after its gift-packaging days are over.

    There are many ways to be mindful of the environment this season, and wrapping your gifts in reusable holiday packaging is just one of them. Explore your creativity and wrap your gifts—and the earth—in a little extra love for the holidays.

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 1, 2016

  • A Simple and Green Thanksgiving

    The holidays are a time for celebration of friends, family, and for what we hold near and dear to our hearts. With a little planning, you can make your gatherings a little kinder to our planet.

    Ditch the Plastic Utensils

    Many families host a day of feasting that includes munchies and appetizers before the grand finale meal. Let’s be honest—it’s often a full day of cooking with several loads of dishes. While it may be tempting to use plastic utensils to lighten the chore of washing between meals, remember all those plastic forks add up quickly during the holidays.  Consider serving snacks that don’t require cutlery. Try wrapping prosciutto around bread sticks or serve mini-quiches that don’t require forks and knives. Crostini is a great option because you can vary the toppings between sweet and savory and choose local, seasonal toppings that are tasty and economical. 

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     (Left: Party Perfect. Right: Pinterest)

    Use Cloth Napkins

    Cloth napkins add a flair of elegance to entertaining that leaves a memorable impression on guests. Cloth napkins are available in fine stores like Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table, but you can also find them in discount stores like TJ Maxx or Ross. If you’re crafty, you can make cloth napkins easily. Ann Drake of On Sutton Place blog offers a great tutorial for no-sew linen napkins

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    (Left: Sur la Table Right: Ann Drake On Sutton Place)

    Mason Jar Vases & Glasses

    Mason jars come in several sizes and make versatile drinking glasses and flower containers. Try a narrow table runner of mason jars filled with freshly cut flowers as a simple centerpiece for your holiday feast. For drinking glasses, add a nametag to each jar to encourage guests to use the same glass throughout the day. If you are hosting familiar faces, consider crafting permanent name tags for guests to use every time they visit. Between parties, mason jars can be stored in a box away from your daily drinkware so your kitchen cupboards don’t feel cramped. 

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    (Left: Pinterest Right: Pinterest)

    Ask Family Members to Bring Their Own Reusable Containers to Take Home Leftovers

    If you’re hosting Thanksgiving and plan to cook enough for everyone to have a meal or two after the big day, ask your guests to bring their own containers to take leftovers home. Most of us have a cupboard full of reusable containers and don’t need a host to supply containers along with leftovers.

    It’s easy to entertain in style and be gentle on our environment. Every step toward an eco-friendly holiday season makes a difference to our world.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Nov 24, 2016