Monday, February 11, 2008

Stick a Cork in It!

In search of the ever-shrinking garbage can, I often set things aside for reuse. Strawberry baskets go back to the farmer. Boxes and packing material are "free-cycled" for Ebayers. Wine bottles find new homes with home brewers. Rubber bands sneak into Whole Foods for reuse. Ribbons go into the ribbon box, wrapping paper into the wrapping paper box, and so on. I also collect a variety of other items, including wine corks, for reuse at my children's schools. With the help of an inventive preschool teacher and two dozen little hands, wine corks can be transformed into reindeer, trees, and frogs. Schools are a wonderful outlet for reuse but, let's be honest, at some point, your child's art work is also likely to be, ummm, "recycled".

Therefore, when a longer term opportunity for reuse comes along, I take it. Enter, wine cork recycling. If I were truly industrious, I'd turn my corks into a baseboard a la Kate continued. Alas, I am not and was therefore delighted to learn of a "sustainable business", Yemm & Hart, which collects post-consumer wine corks - cork only, save the plastic ones for the schools - and reconstructs them into attractive cork flooring. I recently spotted their collection bin at a Napa Valley winery though you can also send the corks in by mail. Indeed, if you register with the company, they'll even pay you or your favorite non-profit for your corks! Now that is a recycling progam we can all drink to.

photo from Yemm & Hart


~mel said...

Very cool! At my monthly book club meetings, we usually drink a bottle or two of wine--several of the women are wine drinkers.

I think I'll post this link on our message board and see if they are interested in bringing in their used corks. I can start saving them and ship them off when I have enough.

And, it might be a good way to get discussion going about recycling (something I just posted about last night after coming home from my book club).

Jennifer said...

I LOVE the baseboard ideas!

As for me, I am saving up all of my corks to make...


No, seriously... I have an old multi panel window I am going to glue them into in little designs to make a very cool cork board for my kitchen.

Kind of like this:
but using an old mullioned window for the frame instead!

Before I settled on this, I had though of making a mat for in front of my kitchen sink (nothing like standing on cork to sooth your feet)... I still might do that in another hundred wine bottles or so!

katecontinued said...

Thanks for the link Green Bean. You know I love this post. I am delighted that you and others like cork as I do. I wish that I could wiggle my nose in Bewitched fashion and have 500 corks right now. It is slow going to nag my son to remember to bring them from the restaurant.

On the other hand, one of my challenges is to live with as little self-imposed anxiety as possible. Life has stress, as it should. I just want to stop piling on with nonsense I create.

This research you did was great.

Jennifer, love the cork board idea. I would adore a counter made of that and encased in epoxy - just for the visual beauty. But alas, my mind's eye can afford that much epoxy, I can't.

CindyW said...

Thanks for the idea. I have collected a whole bunch of corks, though I have not figured out what to do with them yet. Now I know!

arduous said...

Green bean, thank you SO MUCH for this tip. Do you mind if I pass it along to the readers of my blog?

Green Bean said...

Mel: it sounds like a great way to open up the conversation on recycling and "going green". Post about how it goes!

Jennifer: Great idea! Start drinking, girl!

Kate: maybe we should start a collection for you. ;-)

Arduous: spread the word!

Chile said...

It sounds like pressure to drink more just to have more to recycle! Yeah, yeah, I know. You're gonna tell me to just put a cork in it.

Now leaving and taking my pitiful wit with me... ;-P

Green Bean said...

Well, Chile, just think of all you can do with corks! Drink up, my dear. Drink up!


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