All eco-centric southern Californians have trouble with waste of all kind. Waste is money; it’s inefficient; it means something wasn’t designed to its highest purpose, and so on. So, it’s no surprise that Southern Californians who can recycle their wine bottles (who are still wishing they were Cash Redemption Value like beer bottles…get on that Cal Recycles!) want to do something with the corks.
Well, a reminder that in the 3 R’s, (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) you’re supposed to try to reduce or reuse before you resort to the recycle step (though you can bring your corks to Whole Foods to recycle them).
You’ve maybe switched to some of the eco-bottles, bags or boxes that are out there, but not all of your favorite California wineries have made that jump yet, making certain favorites still in the heavy glass bottle with corks. So now we are at reuse.
Everyone’s probably seen the cork board art on www.Etsy.com, but what if you’ve already made one, and still have hundreds of corks left (thanks to friends who are also vino lovers)? Well, you can use them in a few different ways.
In decorative, you’ve got the dish, bowl or vase stacked with just a certain type or brand. Change your under-used umbrella stand (since it doesn’t rain in SoCal) to artfully holding all your California-champagne corks. Have a handy husband? Make plans to create an entire cork-wall behind a wine riddling rack. And of course, take that deep frame with a myriad of hot glued on corks centering the artwork in your kitchen. So what else can one do?
Like most SoCal residents, you appreciate your time out of doors. With maybe a small garden, you use every nook and cranny to the fullest! Since there’s not much permeable ground, there are probably lots of terracotta pots. In addition to hot arid weather, when a neighborhood squirrel likes to dig in your pots, you need mulch.
To deter the squirrel, you need mulch that is easy to put back in the pots when they get knocked out, looks artful, and hopefully befuddles the squirrel enough to keep their paws off. Thus, your bag of corks now heads outside.
Try topping most of your pots with corks as mulch. If it’s a flowering succulent, it doesn’t really matter if it is cork or one of those plastic cork wannabes. If it’s an edible plant, avoid the plastic ones (you don’t really want that leaching into your organic tomatoes, do you?).
Much like standard mulch, 2-3 inches will suffice to keep in moisture, avoid soil splash onto your leaves, allow fertilizing worm tea to percolate down, make the top decorative and infuriate squirrels who in”fur”iate you!