Here’s a reason to go to the mall today. On the always informative Budget Ecoist I read about a cool company called TerraCycle whose raison d’être is to produce eco-products that are made of trash and packaged in trash. They go out of their way to collect items that aren’t typically recycled, and then “upcycle” them into useful products: pencil cases and little totes made from used juice packs; a Plastic Bag Bag (made from plastic grocery bags); trashcans made of crushed, discarded computers and fax machines; and a line of plant food (their original product) and natural cleaning products packaged in upcycled one-liter soda bottles.
TerraCycle gets most of their material from elementary school drives (and pays the school per item). The spray tops are leftovers from other businesses; even their shipping boxes are misprints from other companies. They sell their goods in chain and “big box” stores where, realistically, most of America shops. While I have a one-woman Wal-Mart boycott that no amount of ecologically friendly products can change, I was pleased to see that TerraCycle is also in places like Home Depot, Office Max, and Target where I do sometimes shop.
Here’s a peppy little video highlighting their work.
To find out where to donate your wine corks, juice packs, and Nabisco cookie package wrappers; to start your own drive which will also earn some money for your school or charity; or to check out TerraCycle’s products, click here.
Product image © 2008 Terracycle, Inc.