My husband and I drink a lot of wine, and about 6 years ago we started saving all of our corks. We have them in glass jars all over our house, and they are now overflowing onto the counter tops. For our wedding 3 1/2 years ago, I made a wine cork bulletin board for our name card display, and I've since gotten a ton of use out of. I love the look of wine corks, especially the ones with fancy names and red wine stains...but I'm realizing now that I'm at my limit. What can I do with all these corks? They seem to special to throw out?
Well now you don't have to throw out these tiny treasures. I want to share with you a very cool, cork recycling program that I recently discovered (thanks to my sister Jenn). Whole Foods Market announced on April 6 that it is implementing a company-wide wine cork recycling program that will be available throughout its 292 store locations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
In partnership with Cork ReHarvest, Whole Foods will set up designated drop boxes for recycling wine corks in its stores. Wine corks can be made into flooring tiles, building insulation, footwear, automotive gaskets, bulletin boards, packaging materials, soil conditioner and sports equipment.
Cork ReHarvest has led the cork recycling movement in the US and Canada, helping to collect and recycle some of the 13 billion natural corks that are produced each year. Equally important is their work to educate the public about the Mediterranean cork forests. These forests contain one of the world's highest levels of forest biodiversity including endemic plants and endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, the Iberian Imperial Eagle, and the Barbary Deer. It is also a vital source of income for thousands of family farmers, who for generations have worked these forests.
This important organization is doing big things in the cork industry!
- They speak for the cork forests, and for the people, communities, wild animals and plants that depend on those forests for their survival.
- They offer educational presentations that focus on the ecological importance of the Mediterranean cork forests and the negative environmental impact of screwcaps and synthetic closures.
- In creating a viable collection and recycling program, they work with their corporate partners to collect the corks before they reach the landfills. However, collecting the cork is not enough, doing so without increasing its carbon footprint is their major goal.
- They work with new businesses that recycle cork, to develop carbon neutral processes for manufacturing and shipping of the up-cycled cork.
So next time you polish of a bottle of vino, don't throw away your cork! Start collecting them, and then bring them to your local Whole Foods! To learn more about Cork ReHarvest, visit their website at http://www.corkreharvest.org/.