Posts Tagged ‘products made from recycled materials’
Last week I wrote a blog on why it is so important to recycle but why it is equally important to purchase recycled materials and to complete the loop. It is wonderful that recycling is now on the forefront of everyone’s minds nowadays but what should also be on the forefront is looking at your purchasing choices. I thought I would give a quick example of a couple products before the holiday season that are completing this loop!
Number 1: Green Toys made from recycled milk jugs!
These are probably one of my all-time favorites….. Milk jugs are made from HDPE (high-density polyethylene) and is one of the safest and cleanest plastics around. They are BPA (bisphenol-A) free, phthalates and lead free! Since they are also made from milk jugs the products themselves come out incredibly strong! Your child can throw these things across the room and they wouldn’t break. It actually reminds me of the tea sets that I used to play with as a kid. Somehow along the way those tea sets have gotten cheaper and cheaper as the years went along and are so flimsy that your child will break a fork when opening the box!
Another quick thing to point out is the packaging. I cannot stand when a company has a wonderful recycled material product and then screws it up by putting it in non-recyclable packaging! What is the point?? This companies packaging is recycled corrugated boxes and is 100% recyclable! Kudos!
Number 2: Bags made from recycled plastic bottles!
This company does not have an entire line of recycled plastic bottle bags but they are starting and making an attempt! This is a great example though of making a conscious choice of what you purchase. You may see the entire line of bags but you decide to purchase the one made from recycled plastic bottles, or they also have one made from recycled canvas. Have the recycled products start becoming your first choice! b. happybags recognizes that hundreds of billions of plastic bags are consumed each year and less than 3% are recycled and are taking an active choice to start changing that!
Number 3: Office & school supplies made from post consumer waste
Here is a big one!! If you cannot start doing anything at all, then at least pay attention to all of the paper you consume and to purchase paper or supplies that are made from post consumer waste (pcw). Did you know that less than 9% of the 8 million tons of printing and writing paper used in the US every year is recycled content?? The rest comes from chopping down 188 million trees. That is absolutely insane and “you” and I have the power to change that. The higher the pcw content the better but at least make sure it is over 30%.
So, this holiday season throw in a small notepad into your child’s stocking, or friends hostess gift. Get them started as well!
Number 4: Mr. Ellie Pooh made from elephant dung!
Here is a product that is made from not only pcw (post consumer waste of 25%) but is mixed in with 75% elephant dung! Any company that says they are saving the elephants one poop at a time, is a company that I like to support!! These products are of course made from elephant dung and how ingenious is that?!? This is an example of an adorable end product, that is helping with conserving our planet’s resources but also with animal conservation as well. Since 1950 Sri Lanka has killed over 4,000 elephants for the sole purpose of interfering with their agriculture. By supporting Mr. Ellie Pooh Paper you are saving the elephants! A perfect Christmas present and a perfect story to go along with it!!
Hopefully these few examples will inspire you to look at products this holiday season a little differently. I think the economy has forced a different perspective on everyone and we are more cautious about what we purchase now more than ever. Don’t just focus on the “cost-saving” aspects (although this is definitely important) but focus on the impact of the product and how it makes you feel when gift giving this year by knowing you are doing the right thing for our planet and future generations!!
Recycling is important for numerous environmental and non-environmental reasons. We are doing something right nowadays because recycling as a whole in the U.S is up in percentages the past few years (although we still have a long way to go). The unfortunate part is that the purchasing of recycled materials is down-way down.
I personally think that consumers are finally getting the education needed on “how-to” recycle and do realize the importance of doing so for the environment. The missing link though is also educating consumers on “why” it is so extremely vital to also purchase recycled materials. If we do not, then all of our efforts that went into recycling- from starting with us, to the money we spend for our cities recycling programs in tax dollars each year- goes right down the tubes. If we do not purchase recycled products, then there is no need to recycle and it will all wind up either in the landfills or our oceans anyway.
So what to do?? As I stated earlier you are doing something right by actually recycling so keep up the good work! If you are confused about recycling, or one of the biggest challenges is where to take certain items (3-7 plastics, hazardous waste such as batteries, lightbulbs, paint, etc) then a great source is earth911.org. You can either visit their website or look for the information on greenshops under green 101.
Now that you have started and it becomes part of your daily routine, you will really be surprised at how it changes your life. For one, you start to take notice of how much waste you actually consume each day and it starts to become a game. You will see your recycling bin start to increase each and every week and for your trash can to diminish. Since you are physically seeing the difference and conscious about what is being recycled and what is going into our landfills you instantly become aware of packaging. It drives me insane when I purchase a small item and it has all of that hard-to-open plastic everywhere! Why do they do that? They want you to love your item don’t they? I hate the thing before I even get it out of the package!
So now we have recycled, became aware of our packaging that we purchase and now for the final step. Look for the made from recycled materials symbol, wording or any other piece of information you can see that states it is made from recycled materials. Again, we cannot stress to you enough how important this is! Let’s take a stand and start to reduce the 300 million tons of trash that enters our landfills each and every year. If we use our purchasing power, then post consumer waste materials will become even more affordable and it will force manufacturers in the right direction!