How many times have you wondered what to do with that outdated dress that’s been left in the back of your closet for years? Or your kid’s baseball gear gathering dust in the garage? Well, wonder no more—Reuse Day is coming!
Twice a year, Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery collects your gently worn clothes, old sports equipment, books, electronics—working or not!—and other items that you no longer need but could find good homes for someone else.
Mt. Diablo Resource Recovery will pick up everything reusable and donate items to charities and non-profits in many of our communities. Last year, they donated several truckloads of usable goods to people in Paradise and other towns who lost everything during the Camp Fire.
While recycling is the smart choice for plastic bottles, aluminum cans and other things that we use once, there are lots of perfectly good items just lying around our homes. Reuse Day gives them a new lease on life and keeps them out of the landfill. If your Reuse Day isn’t coming soon enough, use our RecycleWhere? tool to find another recycler nearby.
So say “so long” to that sarong and let Reuse Day help clear out your clutter. A little spring cleaning makes a world of difference.
For more information, visit RecycleSmart.org/cleanup.
Two weeks before your scheduled Reuse Day, you’ll receive a Reuse and Cleanup Day brochure with a list of acceptable items and instructions on how to properly put them out for pickup. Republic Services will swing by the day after Reuse Day to haul away the non-reusable items as long as it meets clean-up size and weight requirements. All the details are in the brochure!
Every year, Americans throw out more than 400 pounds of food per person. That’s 130 billion pounds we’re wasting as a country—equal to the weight of 130,000 jumbo jets full of food. And that doesn’t include the lost nutritional value or the water and resources used to grow, package and transport that food.
To help us kick the habit, California launched “Save the Food!” last March, a website with tons of useful tips and tricks.
A few ways you can reduce waste in your own kitchen:
Save: Keep clear containers on hand for leftovers, and don’t be afraid to save small portions. You can combine leftovers into tasty salad toppings or soup.
Plan: Plan your meals ahead of time—you’ll know what you need at the store and can prepare for leftovers if you eat out.
Store: The way you store food can extend its life. Use your freezer for bread, cheese and leftover soups or chili! Keep herbs, leafy greens and stalks of asparagus in a vase like flowers. Limp carrots? Soak them in cold water and—ta da!—they’re fresh and crunchy.
Label: Designate an “Eat First” shelf or bin in your refrigerator for food that is close to expiring, leftover sauces, a half sandwich, the rest of your avocado or already-sliced veggies.
Find lots more tips and recipes at SaveTheFood.com.
You may be itching to clean up and get rid of all that STUFF around your home. Great idea! After you gift, donate and sell online…what about the things that aren’t re-usable? Did you know sixty percent of clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made? No way! (We found that and other fashion facts in McKinsey & Company’s “Style that’s sustainable: A new fast-fashion” report.)
You can find a new use for hundreds of used items like furniture, shoes, even clothes, with the RecycleWhere? tool at RecycleSmart.org. RecycleWhere? shows easy ways to pass on items locally and get them back in the loop, rather than the landfill. Now that’s fresh.
Students Wild About Trash, or SWAT, team members at Buena Vista Elementary in Walnut Creek are showing us how kids can take the lead in trimming waste!
This team of recycling enthusiasts keeps their school in record-breaking recycling form by sorting compostables, making sure recyclables are “empty, clean and dry” and even changing school supplies to more responsible alternatives.
Science teacher Deborah Walker has been leading the group for eighteen years. She credits students with bringing the excitement and enthusiasm it takes to keep a daily program running. “Rain or shine, the SWAT team is cruising the campus to gather recyclables!”
This year, there are two big changes on campus as a result of the SWAT team: compostable trays have replaced polystyrene, and there are new compostable birchwood sporks to take the place of plastic utensils.
After a visit to the local materials recycling facility, students come back even more passionate about their work. “They keep us all on our toes!” says Walker, carefully placing her empty juice bottle into a nearby blue bin.
Skip the straw this summer and join a global movement during “Plastic Free July”. Started by a group of folks who wanted to challenge themselves by reducing their plastic use, now the plastic-free month is a global celebration! Complete info is at PlasticFreeJuly.org, where you can sign the pledge, get printable signs and posters for your home or workplace, find tips, fun videos and an amazing toolbox of information for lightening your plastic footprint.
Yes, there’s even sunscreen without plastic packaging! Drop a line to email@example.com and tell us your tips for reducing your plastic use.
A tip from Ronnie G. In Danville
This spring I thought I’d share a cleaning tip that I really like. A couple of years ago I ran out of window cleaner and read a recipe online that I could make at home. I’ve been refilling that same spray bottle ever since!
I mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar and three cups of water (sometimes a few drops of lemon juice for the scent), then spritz it wherever needs a shine: windows, refrigerator, even tile surfaces. I wipe my windows with a paper towel and other surfaces with a cloth rag.
Once my windows are sparkling, the paper towel goes in the compost and the bottle goes back in the cabinet. No waste and it’s fresh, clean and safe, too!
Quick, where do you put a food-soiled napkin—trash, compost or recycling?
If you said compost, you’re right! How many other items can you sort correctly? Now you can test your sorting savvy with our new online game: “Where Do You Dump Your Stuff?”
Race the clock and rack up points for every piece you place in the right cart. But be careful—choose wrong and you lose points!
Play against family and friends to see who gets to claim the title of Sorting Champion!
Play now: RecycleSmart.org/game