Did you know that cork forests are some of the most biodiverse habitats on the planet? Cork trees grow quickly, and between wine bottles and home decor, there's a growing demand for the material.
The other day at Whole Foods, I noticed a cork recycling station. You deposit your old cork wine tops, and the folks at Cork Reharvest grind them up to make new cork products. The idea is actually to increase the demand for cork, which is pretty unusual in a project focused on sustainability! According to the folks at Cork Reharvest:
...based upon current estimates there is enough cork to close all wine bottles produced in the world, for the next 100 years. The cork forests are now being more sustainably managed than ever before in their history and new planting is always ongoing.
When you harvest cork, you don't cut the tree down. Instead, workers in managed cork forests hand-extract the bark from trees every nine to 12 years. The folks at Cork Reharvest want more folks to use cork, because they think that will encourage even more sustainable cork forests.
They teamed up with Whole Foods back in April, and most Whole Foods markets now have cork recycling stations right in the wine section, so you can drop off your old cork while shopping for your next bottle. They've even got a handy finder, so that you can locate a cork drop box near you.
Cork also makes a great material for all sorts of fun DIY projects. If you can't find a drop box or just want to get crafty, you can make a wine cork message board or try your hand at one of our wine-related gardening crafts!