Ask The Experts: What Can I Do with Old T-Shirts?

t-shirts on hangers
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Q: I’ve got too many t-shirts. What can I do other than throw them away?

A: Many of us have a shelf or drawer filled with t-shirts from events or gatherings that are meaningful. But what can you do when, over time, these items wear out, or there are just too many of them? Repurpose them! There are a lot of easy home crafts and interesting ways to reuse an old t-shirt and save it from going to a landfill.

New or Usable T-Shirts

Some t-shirts just aren’t the right size or fit, or don’t get worn as much as originally planned. If they’re new or like-new, they can be donated to a local thrift store or charity. If a t-shirt is the right look but not the right fit, consider cutting the sleeves or neck. T-shirts still in somewhat good condition can also be donated to companies that will repurpose them into a new product.

Old and Worn Out T-Shirts

Worn out t-shirts can be cut up into small pieces to be used as cleaning rags around the house. Or cut them into strips and knot or braid them, to create an entertaining dog toy — just make sure your dog doesn’t eat it.

Sentimental T-Shirts

Old t-shirts with sentimental value that still have some life in them make great pieces for a quilt. There are many patterns available online, or craftspeople who accept whole shirts and can do the project from start to finish.

Get Crafty

There are many easy at-home craft projects that are perfect for old t-shirts. These include making bracelets, headbands, plant hangers and so much more. This helpful list provides many options for t-shirt crafts.

Recycle More

If you can’t, or prefer not to, repurpose your old t-shirts into something new, schedule a Recycle More curbside pickup. The Recycle More program will pick up your t-shirts, and other clothing (including shoes) and make sure they are reused or recycled.

Steel: The Most Recycled Material in the World

scrap metal recycling

Did you know that steel is the most recycled material in the world? In North America, we recycle around 80 million tons of steel each year. That’s more than the weight of all of the cars in the entire state of California. It’s also more than all the paper, plastic, aluminum and glass we recycle each year combined.

Why Recycle Steel?

Steel recycling is good for the environment because the more steel we recycle, the less mining for new metals we have to do. Every ton of steel we recycle saves 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone. It also saves energy — recycling steel uses 74% less energy than creating steel from raw materials.

Why Is Steel So Recyclable?

Steel can be recycled over and over again to produce new steel. Why is it so easy to recycle? First, it’s magnetic, so it’s easy to separate from other metals. Second, unlike recycled paper or glass, which suffer from degradation when recycled, steel doesn’t lose any strength when it’s re-melted to make new steel, so it doesn’t lose any of its value.

What Is Steel Used For?

From cars and skyscrapers to soup cans and sardine tins, steel is used to make many of the objects we interact with every day.

Here’s a list of common steel items:
(Click to see how each item can be recycled)

Steel can be used in any of the applications above then be melted down and remanufactured into any of the other items on the list — or even the same item. Isn’t recycling neat?

How Do I Recycle Steel?

It depends on the item. Items such as food cans can be put in your curbside recycling. However, if your steel is large scrap metal or large appliances or small appliances, make a Recycle More appointment.

If you have scrap metal you’d like to sell to a scrapyard, start by determining the market price for the metal you have. (A few cans or small steel items are unlikely to be worth the trip.) Then, bring it to the Devlin Road Reuse & Recycle Center, or find a scrapyard by looking up your zip code in the iScrap app. When you bring in your steel, you can recycle other kinds of scrap metal at the same time, including aluminum, copper, brass and cast iron.

Trash Talkin’

Trash Talkin’ with Tim, Kendra & Guests

WE WILL TALK ABOUT:

  • recycling
  • compost
  • wasted food
  • sustainability and so much more.

New topics and guests will be featured weekly!

EVERY WED 1 PM ON FB AND ZOOM
@NapaRecycling

What’s the Big Deal About Fruit and Veggie Stickers?!

Stickers on fruits and veggies may be small, but they can have a big impact!

Stickers down the drain = Problems in the wastewater treatment system!

Stickers in the compost bin = Plastic in the compost used to grow food!

How can you help?

• Remove stickers from your produce when you first get home from the store so you don’t forget!

• Shop at a farm stand or the Napa Farmers Market where they don’t use produce stickers.

• Reuse them to create a work of art!

• Don’t want to create art? Stickers go in the landfill cart!

Calling all sticker artists!

Use produce stickers and any other materials you like to create a work of art! Share your creation with us to get a prize and have your work displayed on our Facebook pages! Learn more at: www.napasan.com/produce-sticker-art or www.naparecycling.com/produce-sticker-art

California Coastal Cleanup 2020

VOLUNTEERS are needed to clean up Napa County’s streets & creeks!

EVERY SATURDAY IN SEPTEMBER, grab your family or housemates and clean up your street, park, local shoreline, or favorite happy place! Join thousands of Californians in cleaning up close to home this year. Adopt a spot and pick up the trash before it gets to the ocean!

Here’s how we’re doing it this year to keep everyone safe:

  • Don’t go out if you’re feeling sick
  • Wear gloves
  • Avoid gathering in groups and wear a mask
  • Pick up trash with a picker if you have one
  • Report your findings and contribute to an ongoing data set with the CleanSwell app

Show us your trashy treasures by tagging us on social media!
@NapaRCD | #CleanNapa | #TrashyTreasures | #CoastalCleanup2020

Find more details and get started at NapaRCD.org/Cleanup2020 Contact Ashley@NapaRCD.org or 707-690-3117 with any additional questions.

No Time To Waste!

Forty (40) percent of food in the USA goes uneaten, with most ending up rotting in landfills creating methane gas.

Local Food Donation Programs

Napa Valley Food Bank
canv.org
(707) 253-6128
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? Fresh Produce Only

Puertas Abiertas
puertasabiertasnapa.org
(707) 224-1786
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? No

Salvation Army
napa.salvationarmy.org
(707) 226-8150
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? Call Ahead

The Table
napatable.org
(707) 224-8693
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? Currently Closed – Check Website

Feed It Forward Napa Valley
fifnv.org
(707) 200-3691
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? Yes — Call ahead

CA Human Dev Farmworker Center
californiahumandevelopment.org
(707) 696-1132
Non-Perishable? Yes
Prepared Foods? No

The Good Samaritan Act (Public Law 104-210) protects you from liability when donating food.

September is Hunger Action Month

UNFORTUNATELY, OUR ANNUAL CURBSIDE FOOD DRIVE IS CANCELED DUE TO COVID-19.

But, the Napa Valley Food Bank has tripled the amount of food they’re distributing and still needs your help!
Individuals who would like to support the Napa Valley Food Bank are welcome to send tax-deductible contributions to:

Napa Valley Food Bank 
2521 Old Sonoma Rd
Napa, CA 94558 (707) 253-6128
or visit canv.org/food-nutrition/food-bank/

FEEDING IT FORWARD NAPA VALLEY is on the road against food insecurity during the pandemic! They also need support to help fund the transportation of increased volumes of food in their refrigerated van…the Napa Valley Food Bank and other local organizations need your help to cover that last mile!

Your donation helps fund the variable costs (fuel, supplies, etc.) of transporting fresh, perishable food safely and successfully to the final destinations—the agencies that serve those in need throughout Napa County.

MATCHING DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR! FIFNV has until September 30, 2020 to raise up to $20,000, which will be matched by the Travis Credit Union Foundation. Visit their website at tcufund.org and select Feeding It Forward, Inc.

Thank you for your donation and support of those less fortunate.

Disposable Gloves, Masks and Wipes Go In the Trash

Disposable gloves, masks and wipes go in the trash. Please do not litter or put them in the recycling!

Besides being gross — littered gloves, masks, dog waste bags and other plastic trash can enter storm drains and cause harmful pollution in the Napa River and beyond.

How to BYO Bag During COVID-19 / Cómo Traer Una Bolsa Reusable Durante COVID-19

How to BYO Bag During COVID-19 in California

For Stores:

  1. Post signs at entrances and registers with proper procedure information for customers
  2. Employees have no contact with bags
  3. Disinfect bagging areas more frequently

For Customers:

  1. Leave bags in shopping cart or basket
  2. Bag your own purchases
  3. Wash reusable bags more frequently
  4. Maintain physical distancing

For More Information Visit:

www.countyofnapa.org/coronavirus


Cómo Traer Una Bolsa Reusable Durante COVID-19 en California

Para Tiendas:

  1. Publique letreros en las entradas y registros con información de procedimiento adecuado para clients
  2. Los empleados no tienen contacto con bolsas reusables
  3. Desinfecte áreas de embolsado con mayor frecuencia

Para Clientes:

  1. Deje bolsas reusables en el carrito o canasta de compras
  2. Empaque sus propias compras
  3. Lave bolsas reusables con mayor frecuencia
  4. Mantenga distanciamiento físico

Para Más Información Visite:

www.countyofnapa.org/coronavirus

Reuse Broken Planters and Grow Beautiful Houseplants

plants

It’s easy to spend money on plants. From chic planters to the newest and cutest blooms, not to mention potting soil and fertilizer, it really starts to add up. But you don’t have to break the bank to grow beautiful houseplants. Just follow these tips to cut back on how much you’re spending. After all, reducing and reusing are two of the three R’s!

Fixing Broken Planters

Breaking planters is all too easy. From window ledges to curious cats to failed macramé knots, there are plenty of ways to send one tumbling. Unfortunately, whether they’re ceramic or terracotta, they’re not recyclable. But it doesn’t have to mean the trash. Here are some ways to repair or upcycle your damaged planters:

  • Planters with cracks, fine lines or fewer broken pieces can be sealed with an epoxy glue or cement adhesive. This will make them watertight, extend their life, and it can even give them a fun, modern look. Alternately, you can take the more glamorous Kintsugi approach by adding a gold or silver tint to your epoxy.
  • Consider repainting the planter, by hand or with spray paint, if you dislike the look after the epoxy has dried. This is also a great way to spruce up any planters whose colors have washed out or faded — they’ll look brand new.
  • Use broken planter pieces as stones in the bottom of other plant pots to help with drainage. This is especially useful in planters that don’t have a drainage hole, so the bottom layer of soil doesn’t get stuck sitting in extra water. Too much stagnant water can cause the soil to become moldy and give your plants root rot.
  • Repurpose your planter pieces. Turn them into plant labels for your garden, succulent terrariums or a mosaic.

Starting Plants From Cuttings

Many houseplants can be turned into new plants just by taking cuttings. This includes succulents, vines, snake plants and monsteras. Check out the video below to see the four main ways plants can be propagated. Then, double check the right way to propagate the plant you’re interested in and get started! Ask friends and family if they’ll give you any cuttings from their plants, or offer to trade with them. Pro tip: Add some liquid organic fertilizer once a week to get your cuttings growing even faster.

Starting Plants From Kitchen Scraps

Food scraps left over from fruits and veggies, including pineapple tops, avocado pits and lemon seeds, can be used to grow beautiful, unique plants for your home. Follow these instructions from A Piece of Rainbow to learn more.