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Glen Ellen Telegram

Zero waste
Glen Ellen Telegram
Bill Jones spent an afternoon with his grandson, Auggie, picking up garbage at Moran-Goodman Park in 2020.Photo by Emily Robledo


By Emily Robledo

I ’ve long had an awareness of consumption and its impact on not just the world, but also our local community. Pre-pandemic, I was striving to eliminate all single-use plastic from our home, and have recently refocused on that goal.

I was at Refill Madness at 500 W Napa St. in Sonoma near the Sonoma Market refilling my assorted household supplies (toothpaste tabs, dish soap, laundry, and so on) and came across the free Zero Waste Guide for Sonoma County. This guide was put together by Zero Waste Sonoma, which is the new name for Sonoma County Waste Management. This was exactly what I have been hoping to find for a while.

Inside this 23-page guide are details on where to recycle batteries (I see you, Parsons Lumber & Hardware!); dates for Household Hazardous Waste appointments (Kenwood, October 4, 2022); details on composting; where to safely recycle used motor oil and filters nearby (shout-out to William’s Auto Care in Boyes Hot Springs); and answers to questions that start with “what should I do with …?” Additionally, the resources are not just household specific: There are details for local businesses, including information about Business Assistance Programs to help make them more sustainable, along with grants to help cover costs of reusable food ware.

Oakmont is home to quite a number of recycling events, including free e-waste twice this year! Living in Glen Ellen makes me aware of how far removed some of life’s conveniences are, and this guide provided me with new resources and places to turn for a little help.

Most folks are aware of the carbon footprint that their food leaves. Whether it is the production of the packaging and the truck used to transport it to store shelves or the methane produced from (ahem) flatulent beef, the impact is real. For a long time, veganism has been touted as the solution. While yes, that can be true, shopping “hyper-local” is another solution. Look around at the local farms, like Oak Hill and Flatbed Farms in Glen Ellen. Flatbed Farms also offers special workshops and events, along with a communitysourced agriculture (CSA) box option for a hassle-free produce selection.

Finally, get involved however you can. The Glen Ellen Forum (GEF) is a group of community members who are gathering via Zoom on a monthly basis to discuss and plan around all the things that impact Glen Ellen. The GEF’s Projects Committee, chaired by Laurie Pile, is always working on small projects to improve the look and functionality of the town. The meetings always have a wide variety of topics from knowledgeable speakers. Everyone is welcome.

I would like to thank you for allowing a bit of a different tone for the Telegram this month. My father passed away at the beginning of August, and I have been reflecting quite a bit on where and how I grew up. He lived in Monterey and would come to visit at least once a month, often wondering out loud about moving here to be closer to his grandkids, his college buddies, and other extended family members who also live right here, in Glen Ellen.

Thanks to my Dad, I grew up with an awareness of my community, learned what it meant to help and be involved, and came to love the ocean and environment, even though I’ve never learned to surf … but that’s a story for another time.

For more information about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle, visit https://zerowastesonoma. gov/.