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That powerdery white, bluish-green mold on your lemon  Comments (0)

Has this happened to your lemons or other citrus you have taken home or picked from your tree?  Did you wonder (after thinking…ick! ) what is this powdery white, blue-green stuff, and why does it so quickly turn a perfectly nice lemon into a gooey moldy mess?

Mold on Lemon 1 web

A few months ago, we posted about the difference between the terms biodegradable and compostable (view post here).

In nature, mold helps food and other materials rot and is part of the composting process.   Mold is a recycler, since the rotten items return back to our soil and provides nutrients for other living things.

Because lemons have thick rinds that have aromatic oils, it can usually stop most types of mold…except that is,  for the penicillium digitatum -–  a type of bluish-green mold that specializes in citrus.

After about a week outdoors (in Central California coastal weather)  the lemon looked like this… sort of mummified.  Indoors with warmer temperatures, the lemons can sometimes collapses into a gooey mess, and much quicker.

Mold on Lemon 2 web

Penicillium types of mold are common and usually not harmful to healthy people — it is one of most common causes of spoiling fruits and vegetables, and what makes blue cheese.

If you find one of your citrus fruits infected with mold, it is best to remove it (very carefully) from your lemon bowl as the spores can be easily dispersed and then infect the other lemons!

Natural Gift Basket Tote RAB4 Lemons rd

Bag of lemons in Native Leaf handwoven gift tote

Related:

Native Leaf Blog Post – Difference between the terms biodegradable and compostable

How to Put Moldy Food in Compost -  from  SFgate.com

The Best Way to Keep Lemons Fresh – from the TheKitchn.com

Video below from Cornell Plant Pathology Lab shows a (36 seconds long) 12 day time-lapse movie of a lemon being devoured by the fungus Penicillium digitatum.

P. digitatum causes green mold, a common post harvest disease of citrus. This is the fungus you find in your fruit bowl… as you go to grab that juicy looking orange, your finger sinks into the soft rotten flesh not knowing Penicillium beat you to it. Images were taken at 15-minute intervals.


Japanese gift giving traditions (a box of mochi or manju?)  Comments (0)

We continue to learn about and add information to our blog pages on traditions of gift giving in other cultures.  For this post, we focus on Japanese gift giving traditions or “Omiyage”.

An article by Evelyn Iritani on Japanese Omiyage (Huffington Post Zester Daily: The culture of food and drink) provides great insight to this Japanese tradition that food lovers from ALL cultures can embrace.  Excerpt:

Omiyage is the tradition of gift-giving that permeates Japanese culture. Holiday celebrations. Business meetings. Travel abroad. The Japanese are a nation of gift-givers, and their stores are filled with exquisitely wrapped mementos of all shapes and sizes. You can give someone a bottle of expensive liquor, four individually wrapped apples or a beautiful box of mochi or manju, the chewy rice cakes filled with sweet bean paste.  Read the full article, here….

Have you had Japanese mochi or manju?

Many years ago, my younger sister and I stumbled into a tiny mochi store while in San Francisco’s Japantown area.  The mochis were a work of art… and heavenly to eat.

Of course having grown up in the Philippines, we are accustomed to rice flour-based and sweet bean (or yam) desserts, and instantly loved Japanese mochis — but they may not be to everyone’s liking.

manju-and-mochi at Benkyodo

Manju and mochi for sale at Benkyodo. Click on photo to link to Benkyodo’s website. Photo from Benkyodo.

The bakery — Benkyodo Company — is still operating, and all mochi / manju are made fresh daily.

The Benkyodo bakery celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2006 — and it is still much-loved — with over 600 yelp reviews averaging 4.5 stars!  If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, the shop is located on the corner of Sutter and Buchanan in San Francisco’s Japantown.

There are also spots in San Jose’s Japantown that we plan to check out…have you eaten manju from Shuei-Do at 217 Jackson Street in San Jose?  The Japantown San Jose website posted the following information:

Manju are a Japanese delicacy. They come in all forms and colors, shapes and sizes. Some are baked, some put on sticks, some are made with sweet rice (mochi) and some made with rice powder. They are often filled with a sweet bean paste called “an”. Shuei-do was honored to have their manju served to the Emperor of Japan on their last visit to the United States.

Related posts:


Is zero waste possible? The city of San Francsico thinks so!  Comments (0)

Zero waste means sending NOTHING to the landfill or for incineration.

We recycle and reuse what we can…but  zero waste?  Can you imagine generating zero waste in your own household?

View of San Francisco from TI rd

Early evening panorama photo of picturesque and environmentally progressive city of San Francisco, California (population 825,863). Photo www.NativeLeaf.info taken from Treasure Island, California

In a  study of metropolitan area cities in the U.S. and Canada called the North American Green Cities Index, San Francisco was named the greenest city in North America for its environmental performance and outlook.

zerowaste SF

Right now, 80% of  San Francisco’s waste is diverted from going to  landfills or for incineration.  Pretty good for a major U.S. city right?  But 80% is not good enough for a city with goals of Zero Waste by 2020.

One way to get to a goal of zero waste in 6 years is to tackle recycling of textiles — since it turns out that San Franciscans send 4,500 pounds of textile to the landfill every hour.

textiles clothes_pileAnd it turns out too, that much of the 39 million pounds of textiles the rest of us send to the U.S. waste stream each year can be reused or recycled into insulation material, or for flooring, packaging, or cushioning in stuffed toys, insoles, and bags.

With 82% of Americans now living in cities, implementing aggressive waste reduction goals is a must for metropolitan areas.

San Francisco — with its zero waste goals —  seems a model “green city” now, and a model for the future.

Related links:

The U.S. Zero Waste Business Council – Their vision: The U. S. Zero Waste Business Council will create a solid foundation that advances the integrity and credibility of Zero Waste. Zero Waste Businesses save money, are more efficient, manage risk, reduce litter and pollution, cut greenhouse gases, reinvest resources locally, and create jobs and more value for their business and the community.

San Francisco County Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau

SF zero waste textile bin

Click on the textile bin photo or here for San Francisco’s Zero Waste Textile Recycling Initiative (free textile collection bins for business, apartments, and for community groups).

What do you think about zero waste goals and programs?

Do you recycle all your textiles by donating to local organizations or would you use these textile drop off bins if these are available where you live or work?


Difference between terms biodegradable and compostable  Comments (0)

We often hear about or read the terms “biodegradable” and “compostable” — including here at the Native Leaf website.  Is there a difference or do the terms mean the same?

Biodegradable refers to natural materials like food, leaves and plant material that are decomposed by living organisms and bacteria.  When exposed to air, moisture, bacteria and other organisms, biodegradable items breaks back down to elements found in nature.

Mycetozoa haeckel plate print

Mycetozoa haeckel plate print text

Compostable generally means that a product can be composted right in one’s compost pile (garden or backyard) or sent to a local composting facility.

From the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Resource Conservation web page:

Compost is organic material that can be used as a soil amendment or as a medium to grow plants. Mature compost is a stable material with a content called humus that is dark brown or black and has a soil-like, earthy smell. It is created by: combining organic wastes (e.g., yard trimmings, food wastes, manures) in proper ratios into piles, rows, or vessels; adding bulking agents (e.g., wood chips) as necessary to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials; and allowing the finished material to fully stabilize and mature through a curing process.

Natural composting, or biological decomposition, began with the first plants on earth and has been going on ever since. As vegetation falls to the ground, it slowly decays, providing minerals and nutrients needed for plants, animals, and microorganisms. Mature compost, however, includes the production of high temperatures to destroy pathogens and weed seeds that natural decomposition does not destroy.

Our natural, artisan crafted gift packaging products are really simple.  All are made from leaves, plant material or 100% pure plant fiber from abaca (musa textilis), and are biodegradable, and compostable.

Recycle Globe

In terms of conservation and doing what we can for our environment, it’s a good idea to remember the “4-Rs” - to reduce, reuse, recycle to rethink…and to compost whenever possible.

We, as consumers can be mindful of what products are truly biodegradable.  But even with our good intentions to buy biodegradable products, if we don’t compost in our backyard or send these items to a composting facility via our waste collection system, it could still end up at a landfill, where it takes up space and take decades to decompose (since landfills are constructed to keep air, sun, and water away).

And most all….definitely keep trash — all trash — out of our oceans, where some items like fishing lines can take up to 600 years to biodegrade or end up as part of the trash gyre polluting our oceans.

And speaking of the world-wide environmental problem of ocean trash and how long common items take to biodegrade, here is an informative chart from the Hawaii-based C-More (Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education) website:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Marine Debris Biodegradation Time Line

Item
Time to degrade
phot of jar with marine debris
Paper towel 2-4 weeks
Newspaper 6 weeks
Cardboard box 2 months
Waxed milk carton 3 months
Apple core 2 months
Cotton gloves 1-5 months
Wool gloves 1 year
Plywood 1-3 years
Painted wooden sticks 13 years
Photo-degradable beverage holder 6 months
Plastic beverage holder 400 years
Plastic bags 10-20 years
Plastic bottle 100 years
Glass bottle and jars undetermined
Disposable diapers 50-100 years
Tin can 50 years
Aluminium can 200 years
Monofilament fishing line 600 years

Related: Trash and plastics vortex now the size of the state of Texas (North Pacific trash gyre)


Aromatic Lavender in our handwoven, natural abaca fiber pouch  Comments (0)

We are temporarily sold out of our lavender filled, hand-woven natural abaca fiber pouches.

1 and half cups lavender natural pouch

Lavender Natural Pouch Color Choices

We should have more after the holidays when we get a fresh supply of lavender flower buds from our local, Monterey county based farm source.

Note:  We fill our beautiful and natural abaca textile pouches filled with a generous 1 and 1/2 cups of high quality, super fragrant lavender flower buds from the french hybrid variety Lavandula x intermedia ‘Grosso”.

Field and bldg rd

We wish our customers and friends the merriest time during this holiday season, and a healthy and happy new year!


Santa Cruz Heritage Craft and Gift Fair  Comments (0)

We look forward to seeing you at the annual Santa Cruz Heritage Foundation Craft and Gift Fair, scheduled this weekend (and starting Friday).

Click on the banner below to link to the Heritage Foundation’s website for more information, or scroll to the bottom of this post for more information including Craft and Gift Fair hours.

Santa Cruz Heritage Craft Fair 2013

WHO: The SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIR HERITAGE FOUNDATION, a 501.(c)3 Non Profit Organization

WHAT: Continuing the Tradition of a GREAT HOLIDAY EVENT in the Monterey Bay!

WHEN: December 6, 7 and 8

HOURS:
Friday Noon to 8pm
Saturday 10 to 4pm
Sunday 10 to 4pm

WHERE: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, Highway 152, Watsonville, California

Click here for directions (2601 E Lake Ave, Watsonville, CA 95076)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!


Artisan crafted gift basket totes and Kraft crinkle paper for the holiday season  Comments (0)

With the holidays and gift giving season coming up, we are highlighting our artisan crafted gift basket containers and Kraft crinkle paper made from 100% recycled content.

artisan crafted natural gift basket tote

Instead of paper boxes or run of the mill baskets, an alternative is our beautiful artisan crafted  natural gift packaging for your carefully chosen gifts.

Our gift basket totes fold flat to save on shipping cost…and for ease of storing these bags for re-use.

artisan crafted natural gift basket tote packaging

From holiday specialty food items to a hostess gift of flowering plants (orchids are among our favorites), our uniquely textured and eco friendly gift packaging will help elevate your gifts as well as your expression of thanks and appreciation.

The top gift basket photo on this post feature our square romblon leaf gift tote in the color rust red.  The square (above) and rectangle (below) gift basket totes with example of gift contents are featured in our mango yellow color.

artisan crafted natural gift basket totes

And if you need crinkle paper to construct and cushion your sumptuous gift baskets, we offer 100% recycled content crinkle paper packed in our reusable natural gift pouches.

Our crinkle paper are generously packed in two of our hand-woven, abaca (sinamay) pouches.  For the holiday gift giving season, orders of crinkle paper ships free with your purchase of ANY of our gift totes.  The shipping cost portion for the crinkle paper will be refunded to your credit card or PayPal account after we process your order.

Crinkle paper gift pouch color choices are  Indigo Blue, Aqua (teal) Blue, Moss Green, Lime Green, Mango Yellow, Terra Cotta and Orchid Pink

Click on the photos to view these items on our market pages, or click here to shop our market.

crinkle paper recycled kraft in artisan made natural pouches

The holidays are right around the corner…can you believe it?

Order early to make sure you have plenty of Native Leaf’s gift packaging on hand — our artisan crafted gift containers are always appreciated as much as the gift itself!


Paper use facts and statistics  Comments (0)

Here are interesting facts and statistics about paper use from a Worldwatch Institute study…

Worldwatch Institure Paper Use Facts

And until I saw these statistics from www.conserveatree.org, I had no idea how many times we can recycle paper…

 

Great reason to recycle paper

As it turns out, quite a number of times.  Recycling paper is a great way we can all save resources, water, energy and reduce pollution!

Related Native Leaf post / links:

The recycling psychology…and why a half or torn piece of paper gets thrown away instead of recycled

The impact of recycling

Together we can make a difference…the “4-R’s

What type of trash is generated more than any other in the United States?


A bottle of olive oil… great gift giving traditions  Comments (0)

natural packaging olive oil bags w egp for post

Giving a gift of premium gourmet olive oil as a host / hostess gift is becoming more common (perhaps a new tradition?) in the United States.

Although most of the olive oil consumed by Americans are imported from olive growing areas of the Mediterranean basin, the number of U.S. olive farmers growing olive trees to harvest fruit for olive oil production — from California, Georgia, Oregon to Texas — is increasing every year.

Consumers are learning more about the health benefits of olive oil, and stores dedicated to premium olive oil tastings & sales are cropping up in many cities.

If you want to make your olive oil gift presentation special, we have the perfect natural packaging and bottle gift bags.

From tiny sampler bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) in mini 60 ml bottles to more standard, 375 ml and 750 ml bottle size, we have the best, unique gift bags for your olive oil bottles!  Click on the gift bag photos above or below for more details…

trio_natural abaca_mini_gift_bags_rd2

Olive trees are native to the coast areas and the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, south of the Caspian See,  and the northern parts of Iraq and Iran.

Illustration of Olive Oil plant 1887The olive tree – Olea europaea — is hardy and one of first known cultivated trees.  From the website whyolive.com on Olive Oil History:

Between the 7th and 3rd centuries B.C. Aristotle elevated olive cultivation to a science, other Greek scientists wrote about its history, made its botanical classification and analyzed the curative properties of olive oil. In the 6th century B.C. Solon introduced the first Olive Protection Law, by which he was convicting those who cut down a tree and the punishment for this was death. Solon also prohibited exports.

...In the period of Early Roman Empire, olive oil was considered luxury and was highly appreciated by the emperors who were even offering olive oil as a gift to the citizens for celebrations occasions. By 400 A.D. the Romans had invented the screw press producing oil in the way that continues as today.  Click here to read more on Olive Oil History.

Since it is getting easier for American shoppers to source the perfect bottle of olive oil to present to their host / hostess or as a housewarming gift for a new neighbor, a gift of delicious olive oil (instead of a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers) may become a tradition here, too.

I grew up in the Philippines and had to get accustomed to the taste of olive oil (or maybe the olive oils I had in my earlier years were not very fresh).  Now, I love the taste of fresh extra virgin olive oil.  We always have a bottle or two of EVOO in our kitchen to use as our primarily cooking oil or for drizzling on salads.

What are your gift giving traditions?  Are you starting something new for the holiday 2013 gift giving season?  What do you think about gourmet food gifts for the holidays?

–mj

Related post:

Japanese Gift Giving Traditions – a box of mochi or manju?

Extra virgin olive oil buying guide (article from SF Gate):  California had a bumper crop for olive oil production and this article links to competition award winners.

If you prefer gift boxes to gift bags, click on the photo below or here to view our long box, natural gift box page.

Wine Natural Gift Box and other gift ideas


Natural gift pouches – large size now available in variety color set of six…and FREE SHIPPING SPECIAL!  Comments (0)

We have updated our market abaca natural gift pouch page and you now have the option to order our beautiful, large size pouches in a mix color / variety color pack of 6.

natural gft pouch 2013

Click on the photos of our super sturdy, earth friendly, natural abaca textile pouches above or below to link to the updated page.

Exceptionally durable (and biodegradable / compostable), our natural fiber gift pouches are an earth-friendly alternative to paper gift wraps or petroleum-based plastic gift bags and nylon organza pouches.

Native Leaf’s eco-friendly natural gift packaging are always appreciated as much as the gift itself!

natural pouch gif mix size color set 4

We currently have special free shipping on orders of any combination of our abaca natural gift pouches and abaca / sinamay natural gift bags totaling $50 or more.  Your shipping costs will be refunded to your credit card or PayPal account after we process your order.

Related links:

Natural abaca POUCH sets market page

Natural abaca GIFT BAG sets market page


Unique coffee gift bags now available on our market pages  Comments (0)

eco friendly coffee bagsWe have added our uniquely textured coffee gift bags to our market pages, adding to the array of our natural packaging options and sizes available on our website.

A special bag of coffee is a great host / hostess gift and our stylish, Eco friendly gift bags are the perfect container to present your favorite 1 lb bag of coffee.

coffee bags fairly traded

Click on the coffee bag photos above or here to view our natural coffee gift bag market page.

coffee plant illustrationSome coffee trivia…

  • Originating in Ethiopia, coffee plants are now grown in over 70 countries
  • Upon ripening, the berries of coffee are picked, processed and dried before being roasted to different flavors
  • Over 150 million Americans drink coffee on a daily basis
  • Coffee is the most popular beverage sold at convenience stores
  • The top 10 producers of green (not roasted) coffee in the world are:
    1. Brazil
    2. Vietnam
    3. Columbia
    4. Indonesia
    5. India
    6. Ethiopia
    7. Peru
    8. Mexico
    9. Guatemala
    10. Honduras

Coffee Growing Map

Map above via Wikipedia commons shows areas of coffee production

  • r: cultivation of Coffea robusta
  • m: cultivation of Coffea robusta and Coffea arabica.
  • a: cultivation of Coffea arabica.

Arabica types of coffee beans are grown in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia, or Asia, while the Robusta type coffee beans are grown in western and central Africa, throughout southeast Asia,  and in Brazil.

What is your favorite coffee type / brand, and has it changed over the years?

–mj


Need a bag to present your bottle of olive oil host / hostess gift?  Comments (0)

olive oil gift bags

An alternative to giving a gift of wine to your host / hostess is to give a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.  Considered a healthy oil, olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which is a healthy dietary fat.

Every year, consumer demand for high quality extra virgin olive oil continues to increase significantly.  Although most of the world’s olive oil comes from Spain and Italy – with over 60% combined production — olive oil production is increasing here in the United States, particularly in the states of California, Arizona and Texas.

American wine country destinations in areas with Mediterranean climates may offer olive oil tasting bars, right along with wine tastings.  Sometimes, these tasting rooms focus exclusively on olive products, olive oil tastings and sales.   It is now more and more common to see California extra virgin olive oil sold in grocery stores right next to bottles of Italian extra virgin olive oils.

If you are giving a gift of specialty olive oil to your host or hostess, our hand-woven, natural gift bags are perfect to contain and present the tall, skinny olive oil bottles, or standard size olive oil bottle.

Weaving Hands

These earth friendly gift bottle bags also fit dessert wines bottled in tall, skinny bottles like ice wines and Moscato wines, as well as the smaller port wine bottles and super aged balsamic vinegar.

Our romblon leaf olive oil bags are shipped in a mixed color set of 4 (two sizes as pictured above, and in a variety of colors).

Click here or the photo above to view our market pages featuring Olive Oil / Vinegar and Dessert Wine Bottle Gift Bags

And did you know….

  • Olive oil is used as a base for many cosmetics
  • In Asia, Japan is among the top importer of olive oil as consumers there consider eating and applying olive oil to the skin to have great health benefits
  • Nearly 2/3 of oils on super market shelves are falsely labeled as extra virgin grade (based on 3 studies done by the UC Davis Olive Center) *
  • As of September 2012, there were over 30,000 acres planted in California for the production of extra virgin olive oil. For the first time this is more acreage than table olives *
  • Unlike wine, olive oil should be purchased as close to bottling date as possible and consumed within a month or two for maximum health benefit (and taste!)
  • There are over 400 growers/producers of olive oil in California*
  • Over 50 olive varieties are grown in California for olive oil production, resulting in proprietary blends unique to California *

* Source: The California Olive Oil Council — For more on California Olive Oil, visit the California Olive Oil Council


Resting dragonfly…on our wine bag handles  Comments (0)

Dragon fly on Native Leaf wine bag handles

So here is something I don’t see everyday…a dragonfly, and especially, a dragonfly resting on one of our hand-woven natural leaf wine bag handles!

Dragonflies are ancient insects and there are 28 species of dragonflies and damselflies in the San Francisco Bay area.

Looking at the Wildlife of the San Francisco Bay Area website, it looks like this particular one is a Blue-eyed Darner – Rhionaeschna multicolor.

I remember chasing many vibrantly colored butterflies when I was a kid.  There was a house near us with an abandoned pool — and what must have been perfect breeding grounds for them, as dragonflies and damselflies begin their lives living underwater for a year of more as nymphs.  No wonder there were so many dragonflies!  Of course back then, we did not worry that one of our playmates might fall in the algae, leaf-filled tannin brown (and rather deep) water…we just had fun and ran after the shiny dragonflies.

By the way, I tried to go on the USGS.gov website today, forgetting about the US Government shutdown.  Turns out, even the websites are shutdown and “Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained”.   Can they get this resolved NOW?   What about our veterans?  Many people are suffering, not only government workers, but those whose services and livelihood depend on supporting these workers.

Locally here in Monterey County, California, I have heard of visitors coming to camp / hike in Big Sur and getting kicked out of the  campgrounds due to the government shutdown.  Bad time to be on vacation to visit national parks, and bad times for our already fragile economy.

–mj

Related:

There is an interesting article from The Dragonfly Woman’s website titled “Dragonflies for Dinner” on edible insects and the countries where they are commonly eaten.  Click on the photo below or here to read…

Dragonfly catching

Photo of dragonfly haul from NOVA, via Dragonfly Woman’s website


Annual Carmel, California Mission Fiesta  Comments (2)

Carmel California Mission

Thank you to our customers who visited with us at the Carmel Mission Fiesta this past weekend.  We appreciate your support of Native Leaf’s hand-woven earth friendly, reusable, natural and durable packaging, as well as your positive comments about our gift bags and boxes.

A special thank you to Richard and Lisa who remembered us from last year, and called to pre-order our fall color, natural woven leaf placemats!  Our uniquely textured and easy care place mats usually become the household favorite.

Carmel California Mission Church roof tiles

The annual fundraising event for the  Carmel Mission’s Junipera Serra School was held at the beautiful courtyard of the historical Carmel Mission.  It was a lovely day, with happy fiesta participants listening and dancing to great music, eating good food and all the while raising funds for the school.

The Carmel Mission is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  Founded in 1771, it is an active parish, and the only one of the California Missions to have its original bell tower dome.

For more on the Carmel Mission, please click on this link to the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission’s website, or here to link to the Carmel Mission Wikipedia page.

Click on any of our gallery photos of the Carmel Mission below to view in larger slide format.


The recycling psychology…and why a half or torn piece of paper gets thrown away instead of recycled  Comments (0)

Recycle Globe MWM

Have you heard about the recent study finding from the University of Alberta on the human psychology of recycling — or rather on NOT recycling something that a person deems as somehow damaged?

It turns out that most people don’t recycle torn or half pieces of paper, or dented cans.  Instead, they throw it away!

I’m not sure when my brain made the switch to attempt to recycle every little scrap of paper or box we had in our household, but if definitely was a LONG time ago, as I find the result of this study a bit baffling…

Here is an excerpt  on a report about the study, from the website Technology.org:

Jennifer Argo, a marketing professor in the U of A’s Alberta School of Business, says that people are psychologically hard-wired to believe that products that are damaged or that aren’t whole—such as small or ripped paper or dented cans—are useless, and this leads users to trash them rather than recycle them.

...From their observations and study findings, Argo and co-author Remi Trudel of Boston University found that once a recyclable item ceased to retain its whole form—whether a package that was cut open or a strip of paper torn from a whole piece—users demonstrated an alarming tendency to throw it in the garbage.

I am surprised at this, as the whole point of recycling is to make a product new again, so what difference does it make if it is dented or torn, or not in its whole form?

Why there is this tendency to throw away —- instead of recycle — a dented soda can or throw away instead of recycling a 1/2 page of paper is hard for me to fathom.

The article does go into exploring repetitive messages for product packaging to reinforce the recycling message, and redesign of packaging.  Maybe manufacturers can start by increasing the size of those recycling symbols and messages on product packaging …

Recycling Bins large

The waste management company for our area makes it easy to recycle…everything goes into one bin, no need to separate paper, or plastics or metals.  So soup cans can go right into the bin with paper, foil and other recyclables.  Maybe that is part of the reason that we tend to recycle most everything that can be recycled.

What is your habit for recycling scraps or recyclable items that you view as damaged?  What do you think about this study?

Here is a link to the rest of the article “The ‘whole’ problem with recycling is in human psychology” from Technology.org

 




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