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

  • Smashing Pumpkins

    How to recycle Jack-o-Lanterns

    Now that Halloween is over and the trick-or-treating is all done, you probably have a jack-o’-lantern still sitting on your front porch. Seriously, what are you going to do with that pumpkin?

    Well, a lot of people simply put it in the trash can, and that’s not the best place to put it.

    If tossed into the trash, a rotting pumpkin will decompose like any other food waste and emit methane, a harmful greenhouse gas.

    American’s likely spent $377.23 million on pumpkins for carving into jack-o-lanterns in 2019. Across the nation, more than 650,000 tons (1.3 billion pounds) of pumpkin flesh could be headed to landfills because many consumers will carve the pumpkin but not consume it.

    So, what’s a possible solution? Well, how about composting old pumpkins?

    If you have a green waste curbside collection bin, chances are you can put your pumpkin in there where it will be taken to a compost or anaerobic digestion facility and turned into biofuel. If you would like to compost the pumpkin in your own compost pile, you can find a compost recipe and tips on our website. But here’s the basic gist of how to get it done.

    • Remove candles, artificial lighting, or any other decorations that are in or attached to the pumpkin. Pumpkins that have been decorated with paint or glitter should not be composted.
      • Remove the seeds so you don’t risk starting a pumpkin patch in your compost pile. (It’s OK if you do—just turn those pumpkins back into more compost.)
      • A clean pumpkin can be added to an existing compost pile and mixed in with other ingredients.
      • Another bonus to composting pumpkins—you can smash the orange head into smithereens and compost all of the tiny pieces. (Such a good way to let out your aggression after someone egged your house. Darn kids!)

      Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Nov 4, 2019

    • Maya Angelou: Inspiring Us to Fight for a Better World

      Today is Black Poetry Day, and arguably one of the best American poets of all time was Maya Angelou. She inspired many through her poems, her spoken words, and her endless fight for civil rights.  

      Even though Angelou passed away five years ago, her quotes are still used on social media to encourage and inspire others.  I wanted to share this quote that was posted recently:

      Nothing will work unless you do.

      Maya Angelou: Nothing will work unless you do.

      I thought this quote is relevant for those who care about creating a greener and more sustainable environment. We all need to be willing to do our part to reduce, reuse, and recycle in order to make things better for future generations. Our ecosystem will not function properly if we don't do anything to clean it up.  

      So, go ahead and do something to help the environment, and then maybe you can inspire others, much like Maya Angelou continues to do.  

       

      Posted on In the Loop by Syd Fong on Nov 1, 2019

    • Don't Scare the Planet with Your Halloween Costume


      Pumpkins with plastic ghosts. Don't scare the planet with your halloween costume

      Many costumes are made with the intention to scare folks during Halloween. But one of the scariest statistics about this spooky day is that people spend about $8.8 billion, or $75 per person, on Halloween-related items, including costumes that get thrown away.

      According to a CalRecycle waste characterization report, more than 1.24 million tons of textiles were disposed in California landfills in 2014. Every year, Californians spend more than $70 million to dispose of used textiles in landfills, and 95 percent of this material is actually reusable or recyclable

      So, why not save money and the environment by being a little creative when deciding what to wear for Halloween? Here are some simple tips to consider:

      • Check out Pinterest for DIY costume ideas, and then peruse your own closet or local thrift store to create your next costume.
      • Instead of purchasing a plastic or rubber Halloween mask, use makeup or non-toxic face paint that you already have to create your look. 
      • Look in your recycling bin for anything that can be used for Halloween costumes and decorations. How about using a cardboard box to create a robot costume?
      • Save your kiddo’s costumes and host a Halloween costume swap party before next Halloween.
      • If you can’t hang on to the costumes for that long, consider donating them to organizations like a local theater company, day care provider, or thrift store.

      Along with alternative plans for Halloween costumes, maybe consider a different way for kids to carry their trick-or-treat candies. Instead of using those plastic pumpkins, consider creating your own reusable bag. In this video, our CalRecycle team shows how easy it is to make one with an old shirt.


      Posted on In the Loop by Tracey Harper and Syd Fong on Oct 31, 2019