I once wrote, “Oh, Put a Cork in It!” after having returned from Portugal and seeing cork trees during harvest time. It made me realize how truly special cork trees are. They’re renewable, they’re recyclable, they’re the bomb!

How about reusable?!

Now, the California Wine Club (CWC) and their “Put a Cork in It” nationwide collection drive has partnered with ReCork.org, and they’re hoping to collect 20 million natural wine corks by September 30, 2011. If their goal is reached, ReCORK will celebrate the accomplishment by planting 1,000 cork oak trees in Mediterranean forests.

I love it!

From a press release:

Have you ever wondered what happens to the corks in wine bottles as they’re tossed into the recycling bin? Of course, natural corks are biodegradable, but that can take years in a landfill and they don’t get recycled with the bottle. What if there is a better way to dispose of them and turn them into something useful? The California Wine Club is asking consumers to consider that question and is conducting a nationwide cork drive in partnership with ReCORK. The objective of the drive is to inform about the benefits of natural cork, a renewable material that can be repurposed and put to good use as footwear, flooring, furniture or other items, and give consumers an easy way to send their corks in to be turned into something else.

Repurposed… What a great concept for the corks lying around my house in pitchers, buckets, and vases. (They can’t have my wine barrel full of them. Those are staying in the wine barrel, kitchen table, with a  string of Christmas lights at the top of the barrel. It has about 12 inches of no corks at the top, so the lights illuminate the room as a night light glow…)

How does it work?

  1. Contact The California Wine Club at 1-800-777-4443, by e-mail at corkdrive@cawineclub.com, or via their Facebook page, and a postage paid envelope (think ink cartridge recycling) will be provided for cork return.
  2. For every cork received from each person, they will be entered in to a weekly contest for a variety of items, including wine magnums, The California Wine Club memberships, or SOLE footwear.
  3. Points for Corks Rewards System! For every 30 corks received from each person, they will earn a $10 credit towards the next purchase from The California Wine Club. Credits can be used as they are earned, or saved for later use.
  4. Follow @CWCcorkdrive on Twitter to find out about giveaways and special discounts from The California Wine Club and SOLE footwear.
  5. The drive will continue until they reach the 20 million goal, at which time 1,000 trees will be planted by ReCORK.org.

About The California Wine Club

Since 1990, The California Wine Club has offered its members hand-selected artisan wines from real working family vineyards. Bruce and Pam Boring created The Club with the idea that it would be “like a friend making a recommendation to another friend” to help people experience wines they might not otherwise find locally. Over 12,000 members receive a little bit of wine country at their door each month with the 100 percent guarantee it will be something they will like. More information about The Club is available at cawineclub.com.

About ReCORK

The ReCORK natural wine cork recycling program is sponsored by Amorim of Portugal, the world’s largest producer of natural cork wine closures, SOLE, a leading manufacturer of footwear products, and Amorim’s U.S. sales affiliates – Amorim Cork America and Portocork America. The goal is to recycle corks, and to educate and inform audiences about the crucial role cork forests play in curbing climate change. More information about cork recycling is available at ReCORK.org.


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