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

  • Come and Get It: A Primer for a Less-Waste Summer Celebration

    At CalRecycle we work hard and we play hard. Well, maybe not “hard,” but we do know how to have a good time on occasion. But, unlike most workplaces, we dedicate ourselves to making less waste when we celebrate. In fact, we have a Zero Waste team that ensures any and all CalRecycle get-togethers are set up for less-waste success. One method we use is to encourage CalRecyclers to bring their own reusable cups, plates, utensils, and cloth napkins. We also offer reusable “mess kits” for those times when life gets in the way and we forget to bring our own.

    Since summer is ramping up and we know lots of workplaces will be having company picnics and potlucks, we’d love to share how we handle our mess kit “rental” system so you can join us in the fight against waste.

    1. Before any shindig, encourage everyone to BYO mess kits, which should include reusables like cups, cloth napkins, utensils, plates, and bowls.
    2. Assess how many kits you need. This involves taking a simple head count to find out how many employees you have. It doesn’t hurt to have extra kits laying around just in case you have unexpected friends or family members drop in as well! In CalRecycle’s inventory, we have 100 plates, 50 sets of utensils, and 50 cups. We have approximately 700 employees total.
    3. Gather your kit pieces. At CalRecycle, we organized a “mug drive” and asked staff members to donate their unused cups and mugs. If your office is anything like ours, you won’t have a problem collecting those extra mugs! We also received cutlery donations and purchased some from the Goodwill. We generally encourage donations and second-hand purchases, but if you are unable to acquire your whole set, purchasing new is also an option.
    4. At first, each kit was rented out for a $1 fee, but we have since dropped the fee and accept donations instead. The idea is to encourage less waste, not to ding someone for forgetting or not bringing their own kits. So, a small donation is effective and can help replenish any items that go missing in the process. (You could even establish a deposit system.)
    5. Create a sign out system to ensure all your kits are returned and if you use a deposit system a list of checkouts can be helpful.
    6. Keeping your kits clean can be one of the bigger challenges. At CalRecycle, we request that everyone bring back a clean kit—if it was checked out clean, it should come back that way! However, if you have a more germ-conscious team, you may want to run the kits through a dishwasher. A full dishwasher can be more water- and energy-efficient than washing by hand. And who wants dishpan hands from 100 mess kits anyway?
    7. Store your mess kits in a clean place where they can await your next function!

    Our CalRecycle mess kit system was a collaboration between our Social Committee and our Zero Waste team. Since August 2018 we, along with our sister departments at CalEPA, have avoided trashing more than 1,500 single-use foodware items by using the mess kit system. We encourage you to do the same, share what works for you, and lead by example!

    Mess Kit
    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on May 20, 2019

  • 5 Environmental Social Media Accounts You Need to Follow Today

    They say if you’re not on social media, you don’t exist. We all know that isn’t true, but it wouldn’t hurt to at least check in on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram every once in a while to see what’s happening in the world of environmentalism. Here are a few of the many social media accounts that we at CalRecycle think are worth a follow if you want to keep up with sustainability, environmentalism, climate change, recycling, and nature.

    Recycle by City

    Recycle by City provides specific recycling information to eight cities (three in California) with easy-to-follow instructions and visuals that help clear up recycling confusion. Always on the pulse of what is going on in the world of waste and environmentalism, Recycle by City deserves a follow on Twitter, Instagram, and/or Facebook—whichever you prefer.

    Podship Earth

    You’re missing out on all kinds of fascinating environmental topics if you’re not listening to Podship Earth, hosted by Jared Blumenfeld, CalEPA’s new secretary. While the Instagram and Facebook accounts both have relevant and interesting content, it’s best to subscribe to the podcast and/or follow on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.

    U.S. Interior

    The name doesn’t really do this Instagram account justice—while it sounds like it might be a photographic tour of America’s best interior designs, it’s actually more about the exterior. The U.S. Interior’s Instagram account will blow you away with breathtaking nature shots from federal lands—lands the department is charged with conserving. We love this particular account because it reminds us why we fight so hard to protect the planet.

    Save the Food

    In California, 1 in 8 people are food-insecure, including 1 in 5 children. Yet each year in our state alone, we waste approximately 5.6 million tons of food, which generates greenhouse gases when it decomposes in our landfills. Save the Food’s Facebook page is chock-full of statistics on food waste, how to prevent it, and tips on how to best store and repurpose food before it goes to waste. Plus, they’ve got quick videos that are fun and fascinating.

    The Story of Stuff Project

    Everyone’s stuff has a story! Whichever account you follow—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even YouTube—The Story of Stuff Project will have some content that you can relate to. Whether it’s climate change, waste, or eco-friendly tips, following any or all of their accounts will not disappoint. Their quirky videos will have you thinking twice about your stuff after it’s not your stuff anymore.

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Mar 28, 2019

  • Waste Characterization Studies: The Video

    Last week, we wrote about How Waste Characterization Studies Work. Now, in technicolor and right on your own computer screen, we bring you the video.

     

    Posted on In the Loop by TC Clark on Oct 25, 2018