There Is More You Can Do to Help America Recycle

Each year, on November 15th, millions of people across the country participate in America Recycles Day, a Keep America Beautiful initiative. This nationally recognized day is dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products.

America Recycles Day aims to educate people about the importance of recycling to both our economy and the environment, and helps motivate occasional recyclers to become “everyday” recyclers. The recycling rate in our country has increased every year, for the past 30 years, however it’s still only at 34%.

America Recycles asks people to pledge to the following:

  1. LEARN about what materials are collected and recycled in your community
  2. ACT in the next month to reduce the amount of waste you  produce, recycle more, and buy more products made with recycled content
  3. SHARE in the next month and encourage one family member or one friend to take the #BeRecycled pledge.

It seems simple enough for everyone to take this pledge. For me, the LEARNING part is easy, I live in San Francisco, which has a Waste Zero goal and has programs in place to recycle literally everything from bulky things, like mattresses and appliances, to hazardous waste, like old paints and batteries. In fact, San Francisco Recology has a vision to create a world without waste by developing and discovering sustainable resource recovery practices that can be implemented globally.

Living in a city that is a world-leader with its Waste Zero mission means that, between composting and recycling, I already produce virtually no “trash”. However I know I can still do better and there are additional ACTIONS I can take. For me this involves two main areas,

  1. Making a stronger commitment to buy more products that are made with recycled content and to really pay attention to this.
  2. Making consistent smart decisions around packaging and reducing the amount of recycled material that I produce. From choosing reusable containers over ziplocs every single time (even when I’m in a rush and all of the containers are dirty) to making a conscious choice to choose Tap Versus Bottled Water and always remembering to bring my refillable container.

In the past, I’ve recommended my favorite refillable water bottles, but today, in honor of my America Recycles Pledge, I want to take this one step further by recommending the best refillable bottles that are made with recycled materials. Here are three awesome companies that are using sustainable practices to make really cool refillable bottles:

  1. Liberty Bottles: I can’t say enough positive things about this company. Liberty Bottleworks is 100% dedicated to preserving the environment and truly cares! The company’s unique aluminum bottles are made with recyclable material, are entirely recyclable, AND are made in the USA at a manufacturing facility that strives to be zero waste. The Washington-based company offers several collections of distinctly unique bottles, including its “Karma Collection“, by which it supports great organizations, like Keep America Beautiful and the National Parks Conservation Association, by selling uniquely designed bottles and then contributing 5% of its net sales to the applicable charity. Liberty Bottleworks offers so many fun and artistically designed bottles and even has a Build-a-Bottle program, enabling customers to design their own bottle all the way through the process. I love this company’s products, and what they’re all about, and can’t wait to buy some of their bottles to give as holiday gifts.

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    Liberty Bottles offer fun and unique artwork
  2. BottlesUp: Made with a minimum of 75% recycled glass, food-grade silicone caps and rings, and no plastic in the product or the packaging, this company believes that it has the lowest carbon footprint in the industry. BottlesUp’s glass water bottles are sourced and made in North America and available in 2 sizes and eight colors. The company is dedicated to offering customers a truly green product and also aims to be the healthiest option, stating that glass is the purest material to drink from.
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    BottlesUp combines the clarity of glass with a sophisticated and practical design

     

  3. ECOVESSEL: While not all of the company’s bottles are made with recycled materials, the company does have an overarching respect for the planet. Part of its mission is to support organizations that work to provide clean drinking water around the world, like Water for People. ECOVESSEL’s SURF Recycled Glass Water Bottle contains up to 60% Recycled Glass and is available in five colors and two styles.
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    ECOVESSEL’s SURF Bottle may be glass but it’s designed to be extremely durable and to withstand breaks

     

There’s always more that we can each do. Small individual changes can lead collectively to huge change. I’ve SHARED with you the actions I will take and have included three companies that I feel proud to support in an effort to help me fulfill these ACTIONS (although I must say that Liberty Bottles is my personal favorite).

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This Weekend’s Moscow “Wow”

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m a fan of health, wellness and HYDRATION. And, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that I’m not much of a social drinker. For the past several years, I’ve veered away from cocktails. Since having kids, there just isn’t much room in my life for even the smallest glimpse of a hangover. Waking up early, with a headache, isn’t worth the tradeoff. Sure, I enjoy a glass of wine here and there but don’t go much beyond that.

Lately though, even wine hasn’t been sitting well with me – in spite of my efforts to stay very hydrated, especially when consuming alcohol. I’m not sure if I’m more bummed about not being able to enjoy a glass of wine or by the reality behind it….I’m getting older, I’m often sleep deprived and my body is more sensitive to many things that, in my “youth”, never fazed me.  Recently, I was out to dinner with a friend, analyzing and agonizing over which varietal of wine would be least likely to produce a headache. My friend suggested that, instead of wine, I try a cocktail and that it would likely have less of an impact since I must be reacting to the tannins in wine not the alcohol itself. Ordering a cocktail hadn’t crossed my mind in many years (honestly, I’m that boring) but her explanation seemed reasonable and I figured I had nothing to lose. However, as perused the cocktail menu, I was disappointed by the choices – if I wanted to order one of the “signature mixologist” concoctions it seemed I had to chose between very strong, as in “that’ll put hair on your chest”, or very sweet, as in sweetened with trendily disguised sugar, like elderberry syrup, crème de violette, cherry cordial, and citrus honey.  Since I’ve never gone for either very strong or very sweet, I found myself in yet another predicament. By this point, my companion was over my exhaustive analysis, first of the wine menu, and then the cocktail menu, so in an effort to get on with it,  I finally ordered a simple vodka and soda with extra lime. BUT, I was determined to revisit my cocktail quest at a later time — convinced that I could create something tasty, interesting and most importantly without all of the calories and sugar.

This past weekend I found myself home, after a long week, with a hankering for an alcoholic beverage…..and so, my cocktail experimentation began. Having gone through a similar quest to create a healthy and natural water enhancer, I had some experience under my belt and once again brought out the fresh fruit, essential  oils and stevia. I played around on Friday night and served my husband and me up some decent drinks, but truth be told I didn’t make anything noteworthy and couldn’t even make it all the way through my one drink. Luckily, I truly enjoy a challenge, and with even more determination, I continued to experiment on Saturday night and achieved much greater success. With the simplest combination I made a delicious and healthy (it’s all relative) cocktail! I created a delicious and healthy version of a Moscow Mule, replacing the high-sugar ginger beer  with Ginger Lime H2wOw. I can’t believe I didn’t think of using H2wOw sooner; sure it’s a completely off-label use, but it makes so much sense for cocktails! I’ve been calling my cocktail the Moscow Wow and I’m so excited to have a fun drink to share with our next house guests.

Order some Ginger-Lime H2wOw, break out your copper mug (if you have one), and give this very simple recipe a try.

  1. Add ice to your glass or use a copper mug for an authentic taste
  2. Pour a shot of vodka over the ice (I used Tito’s)
  3. Add three squirts of Ginger Lime H2wOw (if you’re confused about how much a squirt is say the word squirt while squirting)
  4. Fill up the rest of the mug with sparkling water or club soda (I used Fever Tree)
  5. Garnish with a slice of lime
  6. Enjoy!

P.S. And for those of you that are wondering if any of these cocktails have left me with a headache, the answer is NO. I’m surprised and happy to report that I’ve (at least temporarily) converted from a tepid wine-drinker to a blooming healthy-cocktail connoisseur 🙂

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                                 My Delicious Moscow “Wow”