In 2021, Re-Solve to Re-Home!

Posted on December 22, 2020
Green recycling symbol.

Swap. Donate. Share. Image of snow board being listed online.
You sort and recycle. You shun plastic bags. Food scraps in the compost? Check.

Fantastic! Moving to zero waste also means making sure that the stuff you no longer want gets used by someone else, and that we all buy less in the first place. 2021 is a good year to resolve to re-home – to find new homes for unwanted stuff and to find ways to reduce the amount of new stuff we buy. Whether you prefer to designate a box or area where you place items you no longer want or decide to re-home items one at a time, the result is the same – giving reusable items a second life.

Here are some ideas to get your items underway:

  • Done loving it? List it. Consider listing reusable items on services such as Craigslist, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace.
  • Pass it along! Join or start a “Buy Nothing group” in your neighborhood. The platform allows neighbors to post anything they’d like to give away, lend, or share, and ask for anything they’d like to receive for free or borrow. Learn more at BuyNothingProject.org.
  • Donate to charity. Donate gently used goods to support reuse outlets such as Make It Home, Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
  • Own it together! Does everyone on your block need to own their own circular saw? Probably not. Consider joining or setting up a “virtual tool-sharing library” in your neighborhood on Nextdoor.com so that those important but rarely used tools can be put to good use all year round.
  • Get your space back. No takers? For damaged or no longer usable items, Marin single-family home residents can request a free bulky waste pickup. Contact your hauler:

Zero Waste Essentials During Shelter-at-Home

Posted on April 30, 2020

During this challenging time, moving toward zero waste may not be at the top of our to-do lists. The COVID-19 restrictions — such as reducing trips to the store, the ban on reusable bags and cups, and the closing of drop-off facilities — present multiple challenges to our usual waste reduction habits. But it is still possible — and desirable! — to waste as little as possible as we strive to stay healthy and sane. Below are tips to encourage waste prevention, reuse, and proper recycling as we all shelter at home.

leftovers in containers1. Prevent Food Waste

These days we may be buying more at each trip to the store, so we don’t go as often. We are preparing most, if not all meals, at home. It is more important than ever to shop smart, store food correctly, understand expiration dates, and use up what we have at home before it spoils.

See this page for more tips on food waste prevention.

 

2. Deliver Bags and Boxes to the Right Place

As we order more online and temporarily can’t use our reusable bags at stores, paper and plastic bags and cardboard boxes are piling up! Here’s what you can do:

cardboard boxesStore and reuse bags:

  • Paper bags can hold kitchen scraps for compost.
  • Plastic bags are not recyclable in your curbside cart. Use them to store fruit and vegetables in the fridge and to dispose of pet waste.

  • Many shoppers are choosing, when possible, to just put their items back into their cart or basket without taking a bag, and then pack up items in their car or bicycle.
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Reuse or recycle cardboard boxes:

  • Keep those boxes to store the items planned for donation (see below).
  • Break down delivery boxes and fit into recycling bins, making sure the lid closes.

box of items for donation3. Spring Cleaning? Collect, Sort and Store

After staying at home for weeks, you may be more aware of clutter and be moved to remove! During the shelter-at-home order, many facilities for drop-off and donation are closed or reducing services, including those that collect paint, batteries, bulbs, hazardous waste and e-waste. At this time, it’s best to collect, sort and store your no-longer-needed items to take for reuse, recycling and donation after we get the all-clear.

Goodwill is open for sales online and offers contact-free donation centers in Mill Valley and Novato only. Learn more.

See resources for how to recycle here..

flower pots for donation4. Zero Waste Yard Work

Some of us have more time these days to spend in the yard and garden. Here are some tips:

  • Yard and garden waste, such as clippings, flowers, grass and leaves, can go in your green cart.
  • Maybe now’s the time to start composting at home! See tips here.
  • Time to move along those tired pots or that statue that no longer appeals? Place them in your “to donate” box and find them a new home when the stay-at-home is lifted.
  • Some things never change! Pet waste should always, always go in the garbage.

Hang in there, Marin! Thanks for keeping Zero Waste essential!