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How Big Is Your Collection Of Reusable Bags?

As the Zero Waste Communities'  Reusable Bag Campaign prepares to roll out across San Bernardino County after a successful pilot program, we’d like to change our main question from “do you use reusable bags?” to “how many reusable bags do you have?”

If you’ve got more than 10 - wow, good job! But don’t worry if you feel like your number is too low. We’ve all got to start somewhere, so why not at one? While disposable plastic bags are convenient and often free, that’s beginning to change in many cities with new local environmental legislation.

Now is the perfect time to start expanding that bag stash and Zero Waste Communities is ready to help you do it by launching a Reusable Bag Campaign and teaming up with local grocery stores. Residents can connect with us on Facebook or at one of our partner stores: Albertsons in Apple Valley, Hesperia, Highland and Victorville, and Clark’s Nutrition in Loma Linda.  This year, employees at our partner stores will be reminding residents to use their reusable bags. Best of all, by filling out a sign-up sheet in-store or online and “liking” us on Facebook, San Bernardino County residents can receive a free reusable bag! Whether this is your first one or your tenth, each reusable bag you use stops many of its disposable counterparts from ending up in landfills, or worse, as roaming debris.

As our partnerships prove, it’s not just the conservation groups that are supporting this shift to reusable bags; many retailers are advocating reusable bags as well. This commitment goes beyond reminding people to “Grab Your Bag.” Retailers like Clark’s Nutrition and Albertsons are embracing comprehensive, affordable and environmentally conscious choices and reminders for their customers. Albertsons in particular over the last year has significantly expanded its recycling programs throughout the country, putting their stores and offices on a path to zero waste.

These grocery store partnerships continue to be important because even those of us who carry reusable bags with us for shopping can often forget to bring them into the store - whoops! After our pilot campaign launched earlier this year, a combination of public outreach and on-site retailer engagement resulted in the percentage of reusable bags increasing from only 5% to 14.5%!  And while almost 10 percent improvement is a good number, we have a long way to go.

Sign up for a free reusable bag online or at one of our partner stores and be a part of a strong community of reusable bag users in San Bernardino County. This is a small but important step towards making disposable plastic bags the exception rather than the rule in California, the country, and the world.



DIY Composting and its Benefits to Nature and You

Last week we talked about how composting and recycling can contribute to a 

substantial reduction in greenhouse emissions. This week, we'll explain how you can make a compost bin in the comfort of your own home or backyard!.


But first, what exactly is composting? Composting is a natural process of recycling grass, leaves, and other yard waste into rich soil. Anything that was once alive will decompose. Compost bins simply accelerate this natural process. When this organic waste re-enters the soil, the cycle of life continues onward. When this material becomes compost it will resemble a dark brown color that smells of a forest floor.


The benefits of composting are many. Here's just a few (not including the greenhouse gas reduction!):


*Composted soil retains water better than regular soil

*Food and yard waste account for 30% of materials found in our waste stream

*Homemade compost reduces costs compared to store purchased compost

*Composted soil produces healthier, more adaptable and nutrient rich plants


So what are you waiting for? Check out this DIY video below to learn how you can make your own compost bin. You will also hear a few more good reasons for tossing that yard and food waste into the garbage can. Talk about saving a few bucks and nature at the same time!

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If you still prefer to utilize a compost bin, many cities within County of San Bernardino sell them to residents at a discounted price. Please contact your local jurisdictions for more information.

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