California Cities and Counties are experiencing the lingering effects of over a decade of budget cuts and staff reductions. As a local nonprofit organization that fights the cruel effects of global climate change and poverty issues, Campus California felt there was certainly something we could do to help. After an informal study and some discussion among the board, we made a change to our mission statement to include California’s solid waste reduction goals. Our new statement reads:
Campus California’s mission is to support sustainability projects and to work toward California’s solid waste reduction goals through the collection and sale of donated items and by working in cooperation with communities most affected by global climate change and those living in poverty both locally and globally.
We piloted a new program in our home city of Richmond to join the community cleanup efforts. A couple of our nonprofit partners joined in to help collect clothes and shoes, toys, and books before they ended up in the waste stream. The clothes and shoes came to us, the toys and books were distributed to the other two partners who will wrap them and distribute to children and families in Oakland and San Jose for the holidays. The event was successful and the City of Richmond can add these additional pounds to their State waste reduction report.
We also began conversations with local schools to implement a program on site to have the students paint the boxes as an art project and a show of school spirit, and offer clothing drives to support the local community children and families that are in need of appropriate clothing for the weather. Campus California also believes in order to achieve waste reduction goals, we must focus on waste reduction education and are currently in the process of developing a brief presentation on the benefits of textile reuse and recycling we can offer to schools, cities and counties, or other groups and organizations. We look forward to expanding these programs and to finding other innovative ways to help California achieve 75% solid waste reduction before 2020.