Listed below are recent posts across all of CalRecyle's blogs.
You’re standing in a retail store and holding up a cotton shirt, thinking that it looks like it’s made from two yards of material, and that’s it.
Not so. What it’s really made from is more than 700 gallons of water to grow the cotton for that material, plus fertilizers, and chemical dyes. You can also factor in about 4.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions—the equivalent of driving a car for about 10 miles—expended in the manufacturing process. (The emissions from manufacturing a synthetic shirt are even higher.) No matter how much money you spend on the shirt, there’s also the environmental price.
To make things worse, if that shirt isn’t made well or you just grow tired of it, you might dispose of it fairly quickly and buy a replacement, starting the process all over again. And, unfortunately, you’re not the only one. A CalRecycle study determined that 1.24 million tons of textiles (defined as items made of thread, yarn, fabric, or cloth) were disposed in California landfills in 2014, making textiles one of the most prevalent material types in the state’s disposed waste stream.
What can be done to stop this cycle?
Shop carefully. Check to ensure the article is made to last, and think twice about buying something that will likely be out of style next year. Consider clothing made by manufacturers who offer warranties. Some will even take their clothing back when it’s worn out!
CalRecycle has recently updated its textiles recycling webpage with information on what to do with clothes you don’t want anymore and how to change your purchasing habits. Take a look—for the sake of your pocketbook and our environment!Posted on In the Loop by Heather Jones on Aug 13, 2018
Posted on In the Loop on Aug 6, 2018
- Bring a reuseable water bottle
- Say no to single-use plastic straws
- Bring reuseable grocery bags
- Bring a reuseable coffee cup to cafes
- Ride you bike to work, school, or the store
- Declutter & donate on a regular basis
- Make meals at home to avoid packaging & food waste
The summer is speeding to a close, but you still have time to check some eco-friendly activities off your to-do list. Need some help? We’ve got you covered!
Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot
Are you feeling the heat? You’re not alone! There are many ways you can combat it, but the quickest way is to weatherize your home by sealing windows and doors and by using heat- and light-blocking curtains. Program your thermostats to conserve energy while you’re away. You’ll save money and energy.
Want to save more energy? Plant some native trees around your home, if possible, to provide shade and clean the air. While you’re at it, plant more native, drought-tolerant flora and fauna to keep those pesky summer mosquitoes away. If you feel so inclined and want to prevent food waste, try starting a compost pile. Your new, eco-friendly native plants will thank you for refreshed, nutrient-rich soil!
Three Sheets to the Wind
While we’re on the topic of saving energy, why fire up that dryer when you’re done with your washer? If you can, set up a clothesline outside and let the summer heat do the drying for you. You can burn a few extra calories hanging and taking down your clothes and also eliminate the use of disposable dryer sheets—they increase landfill dependency and contain fragrances that set off allergies in people sensitive to chemicals. The sun also helps to whiten those whites, but be careful not to leave dark clothing out too long.
That’s How We Roll
Summer tends to have a “let’s get off the couch and do something fun” effect on people, and it’s the perfect time to dust off your bike, skateboard, or roller skates! If you live in an area that is easy to navigate without a vehicle, act like a kid again by biking or skating to your destination (or at least to public transportation or your carpool buddy’s place). It’s just plain fun, it’s good exercise, and it reduces carbon emissions that you would normally produce driving your car.
While you’re being a kid again, don’t stop at skating and biking. Think about what made summers so fun when you were younger—no school and water balloon fights probably made the top of your list. But, balloons can be kind of an eco-nightmare, and it’s kind of hard to justify wasting so much water. So, why not meet in the middle? DIY sponge water bombs are a fun and reusable alternative. Soak them in water and bombs away (preferably on an area that needs watering anyway)! Once summer is over, pack them up for next year or reuse them to wash your dishes!
Stuff Your Face
After working up an appetite, eat locally. Eating food that was grown and cooked nearby ensures freshness. We also know local food did not travel as far to get to us and is therefore less pollute-y. California is rich with delicious farm-to-fork restaurants, but if you can’t find one you like, there’s always the option of growing your own food and cooking it yourself.
The Great Outdoors
What’s summer without camping? It’s the quintessential summer activity. Put an eco-friendly spin on it with a “ leave no trace” trip. Always take out what you brought in so you don’t litter even the tiniest amount. The best way to do that is to pack reusables that you wouldn’t want to leave behind and leave those disposables at home (or at the store). Also, leave what you find. That includes any cool rocks or that perfect walking stick—it might seem like a good idea to take home, but remember it’s probably pretty happy right where it is.
Have you checked any of these off your summer to-do list yet? Do you have any more that you think need to be added to the list?Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Aug 4, 2018