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

    Limopool

    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

  • Putting Cap-and-Trade Dollars to Work for California

    CalRecycle’s greenhouse gas reduction grant and loan programs put Cap-and-Trade dollars to work for California by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening our economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in low-income and disadvantaged communities.

    Since 2014, CalRecycle has received $105 million from Cap-and-Trade funding. So far, funds have been funneled into three grant categories:

    • Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program—$9.38 million
    • Organics Grant Program—$72 million
    • Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass Grant Program—$14 million

    You can read more about specific grant recipients and their efforts to help expand California’s recycling infrastructure in the “Putting Cap-and-Trade Dollars to Work for California” booklet.

    CalRecycle receives Cap-and-Trade funds to help California meet two statewide objectives: 

    • Reduce the amount of solid waste going to landfills by 75 percent by 2020 (AB 341)
    • Reduce the amount of organic material going to landfills by 75 percent by 2025 and recover at least 20 percent of disposed edible food by 2025 (SB 1383)

    California will need to move about 20 million tons a year out of the disposal stream to meet these goals. Regarding 75 percent organics recycling – a statewide mandate – CalRecycle estimates that roughly 50 to 100 new and expanded organics recycling facilities, at a cost of approximately $2 billion to $3 billion in capital investment, are needed to handle this amount of material.

    CalRecycle-funded organics recycling and digestion projects expand existing capacity or establish new facilities to reduce the amount of California-generated green materials and/or alternative daily cover sent to landfills. Landfilling of organics generates methane, a GHG about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year horizon.

    Food Waste Prevention and Rescue projects (often run by food banks and food pantries) keep edible food out of landfills by reducing the amount of food waste that is generated or rescuing edible food from the waste stream.

    Recycled Fiber, Plastic, and Glass projects build or expand infrastructure for manufacturing products with recycled fiber (paper, textiles, carpet, or wood), plastic, or glass.

    Together, these programs are expanding the necessary infrastructure for California to manage our waste responsibly. As an added bonus, they also happen to be among the most cost-effective GHG grant programs in the state!

    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Oct 8, 2018

  • CalRecycle Director Talks Food Waste Prevention

    San Francisco hosted California’s first Global Climate Action Summit earlier this month, drawing governors, mayors, business executives, and leaders from around the world. In addition to new climate-focused pledges from governments and promises from companies, participants stood united to show how bold actions to combat climate change can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen economies, and provide models of success for others to follow.

    “A key premise of the conference was that if a handful of leading-edge states, cities and businesses can demonstrate that it’s feasible—and even lucrative—to go green in their own backyards, they might inspire others to follow suit. That, in turn, could make it easier for national leaders to act more forcefully.” —New York Times

    At an affiliate event titled “More Feast, Less Footprint: New Goals and Progress Towards Wasting Less Food,” panel discussions focused on efforts to reduce the estimated 1.4 billion tons of food wasted across the world every year. That’s roughly one-third of the global food supply.

    Left to right: Scott Smithline, CalReycle; John Dannan, Generate Capital;  Geeta Sethi, World Bank; Chris Cochran, ReFED.

    Left to right: Scott Smithline, CalReycle; John Dannan, Generate Capital;  Geeta Sethi, World Bank; Chris Cochran, ReFED.

    CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline joined representatives from ReFED, Generate Capital, and the World Bank for a discussion called “Financing the Change.” Smithline spoke about CalRecycle’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, which awarded $9.4 million to 31 projects earlier this year.

    The goals of the grant program include:

    • Decreasing the estimated 6 million tons of food waste landfilled in California each year, and
    • Increasing the state’s capacity to collect, transport, store, and distribute more food for the roughly 1 in 8 Californians who are food-insecure.

    When sent to landfills, food and other organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a potent greenhouse gas with a heat-trapping effect at least 86 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span.

    “Bolstering California’s food recovery infrastructure will help feed communities in need, create new jobs, and result in significant greenhouse gas reductions,” Director Smithline said when the grant awards were announced. “Our hope is that these programs will inspire similar efforts throughout California.”

    CalRecycle’s Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

    During the “Financing the Change” discussion, Director Smithline also spoke of the importance of food waste prevention and rescue in achieving success in SB 1383, California’s new law to combat climate change by getting organic waste out of landfills. At 23 million tons, organics is by far the largest material type landfilled in California each year. SB 1383 mandates a 50 percent reduction in organic waste disposal by 2020 and a 75 percent reduction by 2025, as well as actions to redirect 20 percent of currently disposed, edible food to Californians in need.

    Posted on In the Loop by Lance Klug on Sep 21, 2018