What are we talking about today?

I'll get back to theme days once I find a groove of posting regularly. In the meantime, most of my posts are about some variation of books, bikes, buses, or Broadway. Plus bits about writing, nonprofits, and grief from time to time.

This blog is mostly lighthearted and pretty silly. It's not about the terrible things happening in the world, but please know that I'm not ignoring those things. I just generally don't write about them here.

05 February 2011

Trash to Treasure

So I was innocently perusing Twitter on Thursday & came across one of those "RT and we'll draw a random winner" things, from ClifBar. And this is what they were giving away:


Very cool, right? I duly retweeted and was surprised by a follow from the company that makes these bags, TerraCycle. So I did what I always do when I have dishes that need washed and homework that needs doing: I went to their website and spent a couple of hours ooohing and aaahing at all the nifty stuff.

The cool part: Most of the rubbish they take in (like the pictured ClifBar wrappers) is not otherwise recyclable, nor it is reusable. Plus, shipping is paid for by the participating companies, so it costs the consumer nothing but a few minutes of time.

The cooler part: The person sending in the rubbish gets "paid" for what they send (looks like about 2 cents per average wrapper), but the money goes to the charity/school of the sender's choice.

The bummer part (for me, anyway): While there is a nice map showing the distribution of collection points, there's not a linky list or any kind of "find a location near you" interactive thing. If you want to join in, you have to either know someone who does it already, or form a new team. Which isn't entirely a bummer, but I don't use many of the products currently accepted, nor do I work in an office or other good place to start a team. I'm sure this is less of an issue for other people.

Parents & Teachers: Some rubbish-collecting groups, like for Ziploc bags, are just for schools to join and the $$ raised goes directly back to the school. So this could be a great opportunity for your local cash-strapped place of education.

Seven countries are listed as participating (including Sweden-- I still feel guilty for confusing them with that other country that starts with an "S" last week). I didn't go hunting for what those in other countries are to do, but I imagine it's either on the site or can be found out by contacting the company.

Okay, this post turned into an advert for TerraCycle, but in case you hadn't guessed, I'm very excited about what this company is doing. I went so far as to order their book on Amazon (for a penny, no less-- guess a lot of people didn't like the book) so I can read the history of a guy with a great idea. Why am I excited? It's an example of eco-friendliness being easy, inexpensive, and fun, without anyone (companies or consumers) having to make the major sacrifices we tend to associate with the green movement. Could we all do more? Sure. Is this a good start? Absolutely.

What do you think? Would you participate? Would you buy a reusable bag made from wrappers?


L.A. Colvin said...

very cool

Faith said...

Yes! I love those Kool-Aid package backs, or Capri Sun, or whatever. My Aunt actually does something like this, she makes handbags out of used coffee bags (which she gets from friends and family). She sent my mother one of her bags, and to my delight, all the coffee bags were 'Just Us' brand, a Fair Trade organic blend sold by Ten Thousand Villages.

And as a side note, I know of another company who makes handbags and suitcases out of used car seatbelts. I can't remember the name right now, but their stuff is *fantastic*. And durable!

Su said...

@LA: I think so, too. :)

@Faith: Wow, really? I spent some time trying to figure out how I could make one myself... I've had no luck, but obviously it's doable! And I am totally going to go hunt for the used seatbelt people.

Anonymous said...

fantastic idea!