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Zero Waste Communities of San Bernadino County

Reusable Bag Campaign


Why Go Reusable?


Going reusable is an important part of reducing waste.  By reusing bags when you go shopping, you help to reduce the amount of single-use plastic bags that become litter or head to the local landfill.


Reducing waste prolongs the life of the landfill and ensures a better quality of life for all residents of the Zero Waste Communities.



Do your part for the environment and your community by going reusable!



The Problem with Plastic


Californians use over 19 billion plastic bags a year.  These plastic bags take about 1,000 years to degrade, meaning that they become long-lasting litter in landfills and public spaces.*


In an effort to decrease the use of plastic bags and reduce waste, the Zero Waste Communities of San Bernardino County are launching a Reusable Bag Campaign pilot program.


The program is establishing partnerships with local grocery stores and community groups to encourage and remind residents in their perspective city to bring and utilize reusable bags whenever they are grocery shopping.



*Source: City of Santa Barbara, California

Boot the Plastic Bag Habit!

We don’t like nasty habits -- especially actions that are detrimental for the environment. One such habit that we’d love to see more people kick, is the practice of using single-use plastic bags. We know old habits are hard to kick but with small changes like bringing reuseable bags into our daily lives, we all can make a huge difference in the future of our environment.


According to the Algalita Foundation, a group which monitors oceanic water quality, half of all debris in our seas comes from plastics that are not properly disposed. These plastics will pollute waters for hundreds of years and eventually kills marine life that often confuse floating plastics for food sources.



Let’s help our local waterways and ocean friends and boot the plastic bag habit in our communities. We hope the video below serves as inspiration to kick that “plastic state of mind” and embrace reusable bags. The environment will certainly thank you.




What did you think of the video? Funny, inspiring, or clever? Share your thoughts with us! Also, tune in next week for some for some big news. We’re launching an exciting reusable bag campaign!

Lampshade Phonebook: A Creative Way to Reuse Your Old Yellow Pages

Phonebooks are thick in these parts, with many pages full of names, addresses, Yellow Pages and much more. They are also updated annually, which means phonebooks tend to build up after a few years.
altSo, what do we do with all those old pages? Sure, we can recycle our phonebooks, which is highly recommended. But for those that are a bit more craft inclined there are other ways to repurpose your old phonebook.


We recently stumbled upon The Swell Life, a blog by Alexa Westerfield, where she documents how she turned her telephone book into a lampshade. That’s right, in nine easy steps she created a lampshade that would make virtually any room shine!


So light up the New Year, and visit The Swell Life to learn more.
Have another suggestion for breathing new life into your outdated phonebook? Share it with us in the comments section below!

Recycling Glass Bottles is Just as Easy as Poppin’ Them!

Glass is all around us. It’s in our cars, our homes and our workplaces. There is no question that it is part of our daily lives in its many forms. Fortunately, unlike so many of the items we consume and use frequently, glass is 100% recyclable and often reusable.


Nonetheless, glass products make up a lot of industrial waste in our country and throughout the world. The United States is just now starting to catch up to places like Germany and England with the rates of our glass recycling, and with your help we can get even better!alt
Fortunately, here in San Bernardino County, recycling our glass bottles and containers is easy to do! Here’s how your household can properly recycle glass products:
*Glass can be placed in your curbside recycling bin
*Please empty and remove all lids
*Not all glass is created equal: keep mirrors, light bulbs, dishes, windows or ceramics out of your recycling bin. If these items are in good condition, donate them to your local thrift store. Burned out light bulbs should be taken to your nearest Household Hazardous Waste facility.

Pretty simple right? Well, that’s our goal anyway, and we hope as a result you will do your part to recycle glass bottles and containers. Let us know the latest glass product that made it into your recycling bin in the comment section below. To learn more about recycling, visit our recycling page.

9 Eco-Holidays We Should All Celebrate

With Christmas right around the corner and the New Year in close pursuit, the Holiday Season is in full swing. As we prepare to ring in 2011, here’s an idea for your New Year’s resolution: Why not obaltserve all the upcoming eco-holidays over the next 12 months?
Here’s a list of nine green holidays and we’re betting you’ve never heard of some of them! Please visit to see detailed descriptions of each.
1)    World Wetland Day, February 2nd
2)    World Forestry Day, March, 21st
3)    World Water Day, March 22nd
4)    Earth Day, April 22nd (check out our Zero Waste events calendar for a number of Earth Day activities and events in San Bernardino County)
5)    Arbor Day, April 29th
6)    World Environment Day, June 5th
7)    World Oceans Day, June 8th
8)    Pollution Prevention Week, September 19th-25th
9)    America Recycles Day, November 15th
Okay, maybe you won’t be able to observe all of the eco-holidays, but why not pick a couple and appreciate our natural environment a bit more than usual that day? Sounds like a green New Year’s resolution we can get behind.


On that note, what are your environmental friendly goals for the upcoming year? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.

This Season’s Green Holiday Trend: Reusable Gift Wrap



In our last installment here we talked a bit about how to reduce waste this holiday season by recycling that used, old wrapping paper.



This week we’d like to take it a step further by introducing a few cool ideas that will eliminate wrapping paper altogether, yet still provide your family and loved ones the never-ending fun of not knowing what their gifts may be (if we can keep it a secret).
What are we even talking about? We’re talking about alternatives to wrapping paper, that’s what! offers some, dare we say, creative and classy ways to wrap up gifts of all shapes and sizes, with no paper at all. The site also shows us how to do it right, in easy steps for each of the paperless ideas.
Ever thought of using cloth to package and tie up your presents? How about cloth bags to hold your gifts where the bag itself is actually a reusable gift? How about jars? Fabric gift baskets or metal tins? What about repurposing used VHS tape as package ribbon? Yeah, pretty cool huh? We thought so too.


The options are indeed endless for those willing to explore alternative ways to present gifts without the use of paper. So check out these great ideas and let us know in the comment section below which you believe is the coolest, as well as any other options that you have seen or used!


Be sure to check back next week for a great list of 2011's forthcoming eco-holidays!

Zero Waste PSA - Curiosity Quest

When you go shopping, do you bring your own bag? Or are you a paper or plastic person? The Zero Waste Communities encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, but don't take our word for it. Check out the video below to see why others bring their own bags. You can also visit our Reuse section to explore more about  reusable bags and tips on how to reduce waste!

Give your Holiday Wrapping Paper the Gift of New Life: Recycle It!

If you were asked, you could probaaltbly guess what our Monthly Recyclable is this month. Correct! It is wrapping paper!


You know what we are talking about. As all the gifts are snatched open by the kids (and the young-at-heart), wrapping paper piles start to build. If we throw this in the trash it will go to the landfill.


Good thing there is another, more eco-friendly option: Just recycle it!


It’s easy to do. Collect the paper every time a gift is opened.  At the end of the  celebration, place the paper in your Curbside Recycling bin and your local hauler will  pick it up and make sure it doesn’t go to waste.
Got more creative ways of recycling your wrapping paper? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments section below.
Keep recycling right and Happy Holidays!
PS: If wrapping paper isn’t your thing and you want to take your holiday greening a step further, come back next week for alternative options to traditional gift wrapping paper.

San Bernardino Zero Waste’s Blog is Back!

That’s right, after a bit of a hiatus the San Bernardino County Zero Waste Communities’ blog has made a triumphant return!  Not only will our blog be filling up with great material on a regular basis in upcoming weeks - we will also be launching a new Zero Waste quarterly e-Newsletter, which we hope you'll sign up to receive via email.
 We have the answers you’ll be looking for. Come back soon, as the Zero Waste blog will be sharing green tips about how to make your year the most environmentally friendly to date.


In the meantime, please check out the useful, which you may have seen on local bus shelters.


3 easy steps to recycling right:


1. Click on the city where you reside.
2. Take a look at the list of acceptable items that can be placed in your recycle bin.
3. Bookmark the page so you can reference it whenever you have a question about what is and what is not a recyclable item.


Remember, depending on where you live, your recycle container may be green, grey or blue so make sure you know which one you have! Are there any materials you have questions about? Let us know!
See you next week! Same time. Same place.




Zero Waste PSA - Curiosity Quest


When you go shopping, do you bring your own bag? Or are you a paper or plastic person? The Zero Waste Communities encourage shoppers to bring reusable bags, but don't take our word for it. Check out the video below to see why others bring their own bags. You can also visit our Reuse section to explore more about  reusable bags and tips on how to  reduce waste!


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