Man Parades Beverly Hills in 100 Lb. Trash Suit, California Sets Clean Energy Record, Gov. Gavin Newsom Wants $330M to Up Recycling, Listener Call to Action

by | Jun 6, 2022 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Man parades Beverly Hills in 100 lb. trash suit, plus California sets clean energy record. CA Gov. Gavin Newsom wants $330M to increase recycling, and we answer a listener “call to action” request.



California Governor Gavin Newsom/state of California recently proposed $330 million to restore the state’s declining bottled deposit program. The goal is to expand the number of sites, and offer grants to retailers and grocers who take back empties. The plan also includes reverse vending machines for empty bottles on school campuses. Newsom also wants to raise the consumer credit for returning bottles.

California’s bottle deposit program has been declining since 2013. Roughly 68% of bottles and cans bought in California are recycled today, down from about 85% at the program’s 2013 peak. There are 1,264 recycling centers statewide that buy back empty California Refund Value (CRV) beverage containers. 

Newsom hopes the revamp will give consumers a new incentive to recycle, and fix recycling deserts across the state. Here’s how. The proposal will increase the number of recycling deposit sites, adding mobile recycling trucks, offering grants for retailers and grocers, and a smartphone app to help consumers find places to redeem their bottles and cans.

Why does California’s recycling revamp proposal matter to us? For starters, California has over $600M in unclaimed bottle and can deposits, and that’s at a 68% recycling rate, which by the way is more than double the US rate of 32%. So, making recycling “convenient” for Californians again may help make American recycling great. For the first time.

DEEPER DIVE: CalRecycles, Mercury News, SFChronicle



Did you hear the one about the man who wore a trash suit all around Beverly Hills? Or, how about, “One person’s trash is this man’s suit.”  Environmental activist seeking to end food waste, Rob Greenfield, decided to make a point.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, he said, “For one month, I’m living like the average person, just eating, shopping, consuming like so many of us are used to. But the catch is, I have to wear every single piece of trash that I create.”

After 27 days of turning his trash into part of his wardrobe, Greenfield estimated he was wearing almost 100 pounds of garbage. Then he waddled and, at times, wobbled his way through Beverly Hills one day last month, wearing see-through bags filled with garbage. The cumbersome suit of trash — taped to his arms, legs, shoulders and abdomen — includes cups, bags, boxes, cartons and other discarded items that Greenfield had used over the month of April.

Here’s why Greenfield’s trash suit stunt matters to us. Onlooker Trelawny Dios said it best, “If we all had to carry all of our trash around, after a while, we’d be very aware of what we’re dumping into the landfills, into the ocean. I’ll absolutely consider changing my own habits after seeing him.”

“For most people, trash is out of sight, out of mind — we throw it away and we never think about it again,” he told a group of wide-eyed onlookers. “This is to create a visual that shows just how much it adds up.” According to the EPA, the average person can create up to 5 pounds of trash per day. Greenfield says his goal wasn’t to shame anyone about their trash, but to serve as a billboard for awareness. And yes, he says he cleaned every item before wearing it.




Speaking of California, we just found out about a new record that state recently set. According to the California Independent Systems Operator,  at 3:39 p.m. on Sunday, April 3, 2022, the golden state hit the 97% renewable energy mark, beating its previous record of 96.4% that had been set a week earlier. 

California aims to have a carbon free power grid by 2045. The state has ramped up wind and solar production in recent years with the hope of generating half its energy from renewable sources by 2025. The milestone shows advancements the state is making towards its clean energy goals. 

California Independent System Operator CEO Elliot Mainzer said, “While these all-time highs are for a brief time, they solidly demonstrate the advances being made to reliably achieve California’s clean energy goals.”  

DEEPER DIVE: Bloomberg, Yahoo! News



Recently, one of our listeners shared her story of how listening to the climate daily helped her deal so well with her climate change overwhelm, that she got out and started working with the local community based group. Then she challenged us to ask you all to share any stories you might have of how listening to the climate daily might have inspired you into action, so we can share them with the world.

Remember, we’re all about sharing stories of people taking positive action to combat climate change. And that’s you listeners. You can hit us up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter at #wetheclimate or Jeffrey at the climate dot org or Maude at the climate dot org, too.