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

  • Pride in Yourself, Pride in the Planet

    Pride in yourself, pride in the planet: If you can't love yourself, how in the heck can you love the planet

    June is LGBTQ+ Pride month—a time to celebrate acceptance! You may already know the symbol for Pride is the rainbow, but did you know each color has symbolic meaning? Red is life, orange is healing, yellow is sunshine, blue is harmony, and purple is spirit. Green, our favorite color here at CalRecycle because it reflects the environmental protection work we do, stands for nature on the Pride flag. This means protecting the planet is already built into Pride. Here are a few ideas to help keep the environment a safe, clean place where we can all continue celebrating acceptance.


    Get Involved

    Environmental Justice: Is the fair and equitable treatment of EVERY person

    Find out if your local community has environmental programs you can be a part of. Out for Sustainability, a nonprofit organization, is a good place to start connecting with other environmentalists who also happen to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. If your city doesn’t have a club, consider starting one! It could be as easy as networking with friends who are also interested in the environment and cleaning up a park, planting trees, or throwing a less-waste dinner party or brunch to spread awareness.


    Climate Change is a Drag

    Climate change is a drag: Organize a charity drag show and donate the proceeds to environmental causes

    Drag shows are a staple in the gay community, so take advantage of the opportunity to organize a show, collect money, and donate it to an environmental cause. Connect with drag queens and kings, and see if they would be willing to donate their earnings from a performance. Or go big with a charity drag bingo event, story hour, or comedy night to raise awareness and cash. And don’t forget to encourage environmentally friendly transportation to your event e.g. biking, carpooling, or walking.  


    Sickening in Secondhand

    Fierce Fashion: Shop secondhand, slay the runway, and reduce waste without dumpster diving

    Looking fierce doesn’t have to come at the expense of Mother Earth. In fact, the fashion industry is one of the largest contributors to pollution, but don’t feel like you have to dumpster dive à la RuPaul’s trash couture challenge just to save the planet. Shopping secondhand or swapping outfits with friends is a much easier way to reduce waste and save money. And don’t stop at clothing! Reduce waste any time you shop by bringing your own reusable shopping bags. 


    Speak Up and Out

    Speak Up & Out: Contact LGBTQ leaders and tell them why it's important to take action on climate change and how they can help

    One of the most important things you can do is to spotlight your concerns about climate change. Contacting LGBTQ+ leaders and influencers is a smart way to get your message out. Send an email, letter, or message to them outlining why the environment is important, why you are concerned, and how they can help getting your voice heard. An influential celebrity or community leader can quickly reach millions of people with social media.

    If you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community and would like to be more involved in the environmental movement as well, we hope these ideas will spark some action in a positive direction. Now get out there and WERK for the environment! 

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Jun 17, 2019

  • 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


    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

  • Keeping Track: CalRecycle's Top-Read Reports

    CalRecycle publishes more than a dozen reports every year in its publications database to provide updates on the status of our programs and detail how much our state is recycling and landfilling. If reading an entire report seems daunting, check out the executive summary, which provides the big-picture context, key statistics, and basic conclusions. Here’s a quick list of CalRecycle’s most-read reports.

    2017 State of Disposal and Recycling in California

    The 2017 report outlines the primary laws that govern waste management and recycling and evaluates the state’s progress in meeting statewide waste diversion goals. This report also outlines new tools and approaches to increase recycling in the state, like improving the quality and marketability of recyclable materials that continue to be generated. Fun fact from this report: In 2017, California generated 77.2 million tons of waste and recycled 42 percent of it.

    2017 California Exports of Recyclable Materials

    California’s recycling infrastructure has heavily relied upon the export of recyclable materials from California ports, and this report outlines the materials we export and the countries that accept these materials. California recyclable materials exports have been steadily declining since 2011, dropping more than 33 percent in weight since then, which resulted in a corresponding drop in the vessel value of exports by nearly $5 billion.

    2018 California’s Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Program Fact Sheet

    This report provides a snapshot of the Beverage Container Recycling Program, including the recycling rate per material type, the total number of sales and redemptions, estimated revenues and expenditures, and the number of containers per pound by material type.

    2014 Disposal-Facility-Based Characterization of Solid Waste in California

    While the State of Disposal and Recycling report offers a big-picture look at how much waste is generated in California, this report reflects the results of an in-the-field study that examined the composition of our waste.  With up-to-date information on the types and amounts of materials disposed in the state’s waste stream, CalRecycle can better determine where changes are needed to achieve California’s 75 percent recycling goal. CalRecycle is currently conducting another waste characterization study that will likely be published in late 2019.

    SB 270: Report to the Legislature: Implementation Update and Policy Considerations for Management of Reusable Grocery Bags in California

    Curious about the success of the statewide plastic bag ban? This report provides an update to the California Legislature about how the plastic bag ban has decreased usage of single-use plastic bags and positively affected the waste stream.

    The Future of Electronic Waste Management in California

    Although not technically a report, this policy recommendation paper is an interesting read. It details how California’s current program needs to be expanded to include all the new types of electronics in the marketplace.

    SB 1383: Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment (SRIA)

    Curious about how the new organics law will affect California? This report details impacts on residents, businesses, and local governments, including benefits (like jobs created), direct costs (like rate increases), and an analysis of alternatives considered (like eliminating enforcement mechanism).


    Posted on In the Loop by Christina Files on Apr 4, 2019