By Laure Latham @ www.GreenMoms.com
When it comes to wine, drinkers are generally pretty good with the bottle. Good at recycling it, I mean. Wine bottles are made out of glass. Therefore they go into the glass recycling bin. Easy.
But what happens to the poor lonely cork you've long forgotten about? More often than not, it ends up in the trash and sobs alongside onion peels and moldy cheeses. Why such cruelty when you could wear home-made cork necklaces or make floating boats with cocktail sticks?
Granted, you can only wear so much cork jewelry before your relatives start worrying, but cork crafts are underestimated. Take a green mom like me. I made cork elves for my Christmas tree two years ago. The difficult part was sticking the pipe cleaners deep enough so the "legs" wouldn't fall out. It took me and a friend two hours to come up with a half-football team of cork elves. It took my two-year-old thirty ONLY seconds to dismember them. So much for the elves.
Seriously, what to do with the mountains of corks I keep at home in empty jam jars? Well, it sounds like other people are sharing my cork anxiety after all. Two weeks ago, I was researching an article on environmental education at San Francisco's Eco Center (http://www.sfenvironment.org). There, I noticed a flyer on ReCork America (http://www.recorkamerica.com/index.html). Eureka!
ReCork America is a non-profit that collects natural corks to recycle them into floorings, building insulation, sports equipment or crafts material. As luck would have it, the collection points are concentrated in California and Oregon. Impressive numbers of the Whole Foods Markets participate, as well as places in wine growing regions (Napa is high on the list, but you'll find Paso Robles, Livermore or Redwood City too).
Now I can quit daydreaming that I'll build a cork catamaran and focus on finding my five-year-old stash of corks a recycling home. Remind me, red wine is good for your health, right ?
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