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Hardware Happy Hour and Create a Salvaged Planter

Wednesday, March 23
5:00 pm–8:00 pm

Kick off spring with COLE HARDWARE at our Hardware Happy Hour, held at each of our five locations. Not only can you enjoy a glass of our Cutting Edge wine and save $10on a $25+ purchase, but you can also create a fun planter with a salvaged item that you find around the house! Almost any old item can be transformed into a planter with personality: an old boot, a teakettle, a rustic watering can—you name it. Just bring your salvaged treasure to Happy Hour, and we’ll supply the soil and up to five succulents to help reinvent your vessel. You’ll leave with a cool planter that will add a unique flair to your garden, patio, or porch. To sweeten the deal, spend $30 (after discount) and get one of our cool new “skyline” wine glasses. Spend $50 (after discount) and get a set of two!

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Warm Coat Drive

Friday, December 11, Through Monday, December 14

All Cole Hardware Locations

Although winters in the Bay Area are relatively mild most years, we do experience some intense cold spells during the season. While many of us will be sporting new coats this winter, our old, gently used coats can still be put to good use. During the weekend of December 11–14, all Cole Hardware locations will be collecting coats, scarves, gloves, and hats that will be donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s Vincentian Help Desk and St. Paul’s Pantry for Hope. These programs are a lifeline for those who are low income or homeless, helping people meet their most basic needs with dignity and respect. Look in your closet and bring us any of your old, warm coats during our weekend drive. Clean, gently used hats, scarves, gloves, and mittens are also welcome!

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Home Energy Upgrade Class

Thursday, Aug. 20, 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Rockridge Store

energyefficienthouseMake it easy to lower your energy bills with smarter products that operate more efficiently. Home Energy Upgrade is a “whole house” approach to energy efficiency. Rather than focusing on individual upgrades, the program addresses your home’s energy needs as a complete system. For example, your air conditioner can keep your house cool and use less energy if you seal the air ducts to eliminate drafts. Home Energy Upgrade helps you maximize your energy effciency, lower your energy bills, and increase your home’s comfort. The class is free, but please register by e-mailing so that we can provide refreshments.

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Composting Bags

Composting is the decomposition of food scraps, yard trimmings, and soiled paper products into a rich earthen material excellent for enriching garden soil or adding to houseplants. It is also a crucial way to reduce the volume of trash that we send to our landfills unnecessarily for disposal. To make composting as easy as possible, all Cole Hardware locations stock a full assortment of BioBag products.The BioBag is made of Mater-Bi, the main component of which is cornstarch. It biodegrades after 10 to 45 days and is 100% compostable. BioBags have been fully certified by the international Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and are approved by the San Francisco Department of the Environment for food waste collection for composting. The mechanical strength of BioBags is equivalent to standard plastic.And maybe the best feature of BioBags is that they are manufactured locally in the East Bay. Reduce pests, mold and mildew, and odors in the kitchen by using BioBags in your compost bins.

All of our stores stock these BioBags:

Food Scrap Bags: 3-gallon (25-pack: Sku 658124, $5.99; 48-pack: Sku 658658, $9.99)

Tall Kitchen Bags: 13-gallon, 12-pack (Sku 658125, $6.49)

Lawn & Leaf Bags: Strong, liftable lawn and leaf bags that will keep integrity for at least two weeks when filled with waste, even wet grass. (33-gallon, 10-pack: Sku 658126, $5.99; 60-gallon, 10-pack: Sku 658128, $25.99)

Pet Waste Bags: A 100% biodegradable “plastic” pooper bag that is made to decompose in 40 days when placed in a regulated composting environment. (Roll, 45-pack: Sku 658121, $5.99; Standard, 50-pack: Sku 658123, $5.99; Large, 35-pack: Sku 658122, $5.99)

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Recycle Your Styrofoam™ with GreenCitizen

GreenCitizen Employee Recycling Styrofoam
GreenCitizen Employee Recycling Styrofoam

A GreenCitizen staff member
processing some Styrofoam

After the holidays, many of us are stuck with Styrofoam or similar polystyrene foam packaging that cradled our shiny new flat screens, computers, and  appliances. Environmentally, these polystyrene products are one of the most frustrating materials we encounter. It takes several hundred years for a polystyrene food container to biodegrade (for  reference, it takes organic material, like a banana peel, only about two months). And because of its low density, it is not cost effective to recycle. Throwing it in a landfill is  obviously not environmentally responsible, and polystyrene already takes up significant space there. Polystyrene is also infamous for breaking up into pieces that kill animals and fish through choking or by clogging their digestive systems.

GreenCitizen to the Rescue

So, environmentally, the best course of action is to avoid buying products with polystyrene packaging and to avoid purchasing items online that must be packaged and shipped to you. Biodegradable packaging materials are becoming more readily available, but nevertheless, polystyrene foam packaging continues to be used. GreenCitizen to the rescue! GreenCitizen’s mission is to develop a sustainable metropolitan model that provides the most convenient and accountable ways for individuals and businesses to reuse and recycle electronics. They are pleased to announce that they are now also accepting Styrofoam and other polystyrene products for recycling at their four Bay Area Eco-Centers. Swing by and drop it off anytime during business hours (and take in any of those old electronics you would like to recycle, too). For polystyrene, they charge $5 per 30-gallon bag, which is the size of a regular garbage bag. Bags are available in the centers. This fee helps cover logistic and processing costs. They can only accept white, unmarked polystyrene (no colored polystyrene products and no products contaminated with food), and only EPS (expanded polystyrene) or XPS (extruded polystyrene) number 6. If you’re a business, they can even pick up electronics and polystyrene directly from your office. Electronics, as always, are completely free to recycle.

New Life for Waste Polystyrene

Foam Crown Moulding

Instead of spending centuries
in landfills, polystyrene can be
converted into useful products
like crown moulding.

How does GreenCitizen recycle your polystyrene packing materials? GreenCitizen recently purchased a polystyrene foam condensing machine. Workers feed the white, unsoiled blocks of polystyrene into the machine, which condenses it to roughly 1/90th of its original volume, slowly spitting it out like frozen yogurt. The dense polystyrene product emerging from the machine becomes a recyclable commodity for producers of recycled plastic pellets. These pellets can then be used for insulation sheets and other construction applications. The condensed product can also be turned into clothes hangers, jewel cases, public benches, garden pots, toys, picture frames, surfboard foam, and crown molding for around ceilings. So stop by a GreenCitizen Eco-Center to take an up-close look at some condensed polystyrene and recycle yours to keep it out of the landfill. Thank you so much for doing your part!

How to Find GreenCitizen

GreenCitizen’s San Francisco Eco-Center is located in the downtown area just south of Mission Street at 590 Howard Street. Visit for drop-off hours and further information on their recycling programs.

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