Charlotte’s Earth Day and the “Five-Rs”

At the most recent Green Drinks event sponsored by Transition Town Charlotte, residents gathered on Earth Day, April 22, at the Charlotte Senior Center to discuss recycling and how to get to zero waste.

Lauren Layne, Chittenden Solid Waste District community outreach coordinator, presented on what belongs in and out of the blue recycling bin. For example, caps can be left on washed-out plastic and glass containers and, while most types of plastic are recyclable, black plastic is not.

Abby Foulk explained how to use a combination of recycling, compost and trash bins, which can be borrowed from the Charlotte Library, to make large events as earth-friendly as possible. In addition, she discussed the importance of composting, reminding residents that in 2020 a law goes into effect prohibiting food waste being put in trash containers.   

Ruah Swennerfelt and Karen Tuininga presented strategies they employ to get to zero waste following the Five-Rs: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot. They showed how anyone can accumulate a set of dishes, utensils, glasses and cloth napkins to use at parties, conferences and other events to make those gatherings zero waste.   

All participants received two gifts, a handmade cloth produce bag and a cloth travel napkin made from repurposed cloth by Transition Charlotte members.

The next Transition Charlotte Repair Cafe will be held at Champlain Valley Union High School Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring items to be repaired or volunteer to be a fixer. 

For more information or to learn how to RSVP for the event, email Jamey Gerlaugh at

Leave a Reply

Shelburne News requires that you use your full name, along with a valid email address. Your email address will not be published, shared, or used for promotional purposes. Please see our guidelines for posting for full details.