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February 2011

How to Show Some Love to Mother Earth (and make Necktie Aprons!)

Valentine’s Day, like many of our country’s gift-giving holidays, can be very wasteful. However, it does not have to be this way. And hopefully, we shouldn't ever need to wait for holidays to show our appreciation for our loved ones.

Saying “I love you”to those close to us is always important,and there are many ways to show your affection without purchasing wasteful cards or throwaway, single-use gifts. We believe that the most meaningful way to express our feelings is to do so in a more personal eco-fashion!


Did you know that the majority of roses sold for Valentine’s Day in the U.S. are imported from South America, wasting fossil fuels, or that in the two-week period leading up to the big day that American sales of gold jewelry lead to 34 million metric tons of waste?


The blog How to Reuse it Creatively wants to change this trend and created a list of 20 great ideas for how to reduce the waste you produce when giving gifts from the heart.





A few of the ideas for showing love year-round include - making an online mix of music for someone; sewing together a heart shaped pillow out of reused materials; making some yummy goodies like fudge or cookies and putting them in a homemade box; or making your own Valentine’s fortune cookie and putting a message for your loved one inside. Tutorials are included!


And if you’re considering sporting an apron and making a tasty treat for your loved ones, here’s a bonus make-it-yourself project. You can get crafty right here in San Bernardino County on March 5th in the City of Highland.  Bring along your old neckties and join the Highland Environmental Coalition to learn how to make a “Necktie Apron,” which is sure to be the talk of any dinner party. There is no sewing required and the event is absolutely FREE!

Just show up at Highland Environmental Learning Center 7863 Central Ave. in Highland, CA 92346 at 10 am on Saturday, March 5th with old neckties, and you’ll be good to go!


Do you have any crafty ideas to share? If so, we’d love to hear them! Please share in the comment section below.

Photo courtesy of Belle and Burger.


Creativity is Contagious: Take Those Old Cans and Reuse Them!


Last week we talked about the benefits of recycling our aluminum cans. The benefits are straight forward: recycling saves energy, saves natural resources, keeps waste out of our landfills and can increase the amount of recycled materials that ends up on our grocery store shelvealts.


Nonetheless, if you take your recycling ethic a bit further you may find that cleaning out your old cans and reusing them in a creative, eco-friendly manner is even a more fulfilling endeavor. Putting our old products to new use is rule numero uno for achieving Zero Waste!


Recently we stumbled upon Crafting a Green World's 10 Ways to Reuse, Repurpose and Upcycle Tin Cans, a fantastic informative guide on how to create vases, storage containers, candleholders, lanterns and even robots out of old cans. Yes, robots! It's not be to missed.


Do you have creative ways that you reuse your old cans? If so, let us know! Creativity is contagious and your ideas can help green our world.


Yes we Can Recycle!


Aluminum is literally all around us. The good news is that it is also one of the most frequently recycled products in our society today. In fact, over 50 percent of all cans produced in the world today come from recycled aluminum. And while that number is certainly good, it leaves a lot of room for improvement for us to recycle aluminum even more.

The recycling is fascinating. A recycled aluminum beverage can returns to the grocer's shelf as a new, filled can in as little as 60 days. Pretty fast, right? Fast and eco-friendly, just the way we like it. Certainly, the turnaround time for aluminum can recycling makes stashing your cans in the appropriate bin a worthwhile endeavor.

If this wasn’t enough, according to Earth 911, recycling a single aluminum can save enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours. So when we recycle, we actually save energy!

In San Bernardino County, we make it easy for you to recycle your aluminum cans, no matter what they contained, If it is an aluminum can, we recycle it. Simply place used, cleaned out cans in your recycle bin. Be aware, the color of your recycle bin will vary by city. To learn more about what’s right for your city visit our What Can I Recycle? city search page.

Do you recycle your aluminum soda cans for their California Redemption Value or put them in your curbside recycling container?  Share your story in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!


Remember Your Reusable Bag!

You’ll read the word “reuse” often on our Zero Waste Communities blog because we believe that reusing products is a great way to reduce unwanted waste. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can cut down on the stuff you throw in your garbage or recycling bin every week.alt
One item that we commonly see filling up trash bins in our area, not to mention flying around our streets, is the single-use plastic bag. Here at Zero Waste, it is our goal to make plastic bags a thing of the past.
As such, we're very proud to announce the launch of a new Reusable Bag Campaign that will reach a community near you! This campaign is a pilot program with concentrated efforts in the cities of Loma Linda, Rialto and Victorville. Zero Waste will be reminding residents to get in the habit of using reusable bags. We are currently teaming up with eco-conscious grocery stores in our area, including Albertson’s in Victorville, Clark’s Nutrition in Loma Linda and Fresh & Easy in Rialto.
In January, Zero Waste kicked off the program by meeting with our grocery store partners to introduce them to our campaign. Our grocery allies will help us remind customers to remember their reusable bags and applaud those who use them.
In our research on reusable bags we discovered a couple of obstacles that can be easily overcome. The first big issue is forgetting to bring your reusable bag with you to when you leave home. (We’ve all done it!) The second hurdle is remembering not to leave them in your vehicle when you park. (Hmm, done that one too!) Good news though, we'll also be posting reminder signs in the parking lots of our partnering stores to help jog people's memories.
Plus, reusable bags are just cool. As we’ve mentioned before, plastics are big polluters, so it’s the eco-friendly thing to do. Here’s a local video on why you should consider joining the reusable bag bandwagon and by kicking the plastic habit! and kick that plastic bag habit good-bye!

What are some of the ways you remember to bring your reusable totes?