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

  • Inspiration from Martin Luther King, Jr.

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    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jan 16, 2017

  • Holiday waste-reduction roundup: 7 tips for low-waste festivities

    Here’s a roundup of ways to reduce your holiday footprint! See the links for more details.

    1. Utilize reusable plates, utensils, and napkins

    Whether they’re posing as fine china or cheap dinnerware, there is no place for disposable plates, plastic utensils, and paper napkins this holiday season. Yes, using the real thing does mean extra time in the kitchen cleaning up. But, by choosing kitchenware, you can lead by example and choose a short-term inconvenience for long-term (and often indirect) gains. You can also use this opportunity to solidify a work ethic in your little ones by inviting them to help with the cleanup! 

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    2. Give experiences rather than stuff

    Instead of spending money on cheap novelties with little value, think about giving the gift of experience. Movie tickets, sports games, comedy specials, and concerts make great gifts that allow you and your loved ones to make memories that will last longer than that ugly sweater or flimsy trinket. 
    Save or Splurge on Holiday Experience Gifts: Create Memories, Not Trash

    3. Nix the wrapping paper

    Skip the wrapping paper and opt for reusable bags. Repurpose some you already have or buy new ones that can be reused year after year. If nixing wrapping paper makes you say “Bah Humbug!” then think about using old cereal and shoe boxes to take the first step in going completely reusable. Reusable Holiday Wrapping

    4. Just say no to the frosted Christmas tree

    Many cities and counties offer Christmas tree recycling. However, if you opt for a flocked tree, most often these cannot be recycled because of the chemical content used to give the tree that frosted look. Go au natural or opt for an artificial tree that be reused year after year.

    5. Bundle up instead of cranking up the heat

    Bring out the blankets and throw on the sweaters to decrease your energy use this holiday season. Instead of blasting the heat, bundle up to save energy and money too!

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    6. Let no food go uneaten

    When planning your holiday feasts, try your best to not overbuy or overcook. Make sure you have containers on hand to offer leftovers to guests. If there is still excess food, donate the leftovers to a local food pantry or homeless shelter to ensure nothing is wasted and to help out those less fortunate in your community. 
    Reduce Holiday Waste with Party Portion Planning

     7. Recycle

    Make sure to have separate bins to capture all recyclable and compostable items. Signage will help reduce contamination. If you are using reusable plates, napkins, and cutlery, recycling all beverage containers, and composting leftover food scraps, you are well on your way here having a zero waste holiday season!

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    Posted on In the Loop by Angela Vincent on Dec 22, 2016

  • Reduce Holiday Waste with Party Portion Planning

    During the holidays, some estimate Americans increase overall waste by 25  data-sf-ec-immutable="">Given that food waste is the number one component of our waste stream, it can be daunting to determine how much food to prepare for a holiday party or special meal.

    To help reduce food waste and save on their budget, caterers and restaurants use simple portion formulas to calculate how much food to prepare and serve at events. A good rule of thumb is to expect to serve 10 to 20 percent more people than the number of RSVPs. This helps account not only for last-minute drop-ins but also for the variations of appetites of your guests.  Here are some quick tips for planning your holiday parties.

    Tips

    • Guests tend to eat and drink more in the evening than during the day.
    • You can serve a lighter menu in between meals (mornings and afternoons).
    • Napkins encourage snacking while plates encourage a small meal.
    • If you serve a buffet, people are likely to fill their plate, no matter their appetite. Salad plates allow guests to return for seconds while gently guiding people away from taking more than they can consume.

    To reduce food waste, include items that you can easily use for a future meal if they are not used, like rolls, nuts, or a veggie tray. It’s much easier to repurpose dinner rolls for lunch sandwiches or add chopped veggies into a stir-fry than to eat barbecue-sauced mini sausages for days on end.

    Drinks

    Guests will likely consume two drinks the first hour and one drink per hour after that. If you host a four-hour party, plan for four drinks per person to help reduce waste.

    Type of Beverage and Number of Services in Each  

    • Soda: 1-Liter Bottle = 11 glasses (6 oz.)
    • Punch: 1 Gallon = 32 servings (4 oz.)
    • Wine: 1 750 ml bottle = 6 glasses (4 oz.)
    • Liquor: 1 750 ml bottle = 15-18 pours (1 oz.)
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    Hors D’ouevres and Appetizers

    • Cocktail or Finger Food Party – no main meal following but not near meal time: 4-6 bites/hour
    • Cocktail or Finger Food Party – main meal following: 6 bites total
    • Cocktail or Finger Food Party – in lieu of main meal: 8-10 bites/hour

    Lunch Entrees

    • Protein: 4-6 oz. 
    • Chilled Salad: 4 oz.               
    • Pasta as Side: 3 oz.                  
    • Pasta as Main: 6 oz.     
    • Bread: 1 roll

    Dinner Entrees

    • Protein: 6-8 oz.                 
    • Starter Salad: 1 Lg. Handful                    
    • Pasta as Main: 6-8 oz.                    
    • Hot Side Dishes: 3-4 oz.               
    • Bread: 2 Rolls 

    We hope these tips help you better plan your menu and grocery list so you don’t have a lot of food left over after a grand event. If you do have leftover food, send it home with your guests. They will love the extra gesture of generosity!

    Happy Holidays!

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Dec 15, 2016