I like posts and articles about reusing items, as not buying is first, reusing second and then recycling. Coupon Sherpa has a great article called 20 Uses for Cardboard Tubes Beyond the Bathroom.
11. Candle Storage
Place tall candles in paper-towel tubes and votive candles in toilet-paper rolls to keep them organized and intact. Empty tubes are the perfect width and height for both. Coincidence? Probably, but no less convenient.
Recycling is all well and good but it does take a lot of effort and energy and I’ve often wondered about something that was on Springwise recently – why aren’t companies more linked in together? One company’s waste is another’s raw product.
An American firm based in Houston is now doing just that – helping businesses get connected. RecycleMatch ains “to create an industrial ecosystem in which the use of energy and materials are optimized, waste is minimized, and there is an economically viable role for every product of a manufacturing process”. A noble goal.
Aimed at industrial-sized companies – fees are based on matching firms and then taking a cut of the cost per ton – it works more or less like a small ad in a newspaper or online. A company advertises its waste and someone else buys it. Simple.
According to the site three million pounds of waste materials have already been sold which would have otherwise ended up in landfill.
eBay, the online aution place, have developed their own duarbale, reusable shipping box. It’s an interesting idea and suggests that suggests “if every box gets reused at least five times, we could protect nearly 4,000 trees, save 2.4 million gallons of water and conserve enough energy to power 49 homes for a year.”
Of course, it encourages people to use eBay more too, having the easy t ship boxes available to them.
According to the site:
“It’s normal for boxes to get a few bumps and scrapes as they travel, and some of you may be wondering what happens when a box reaches the end of its useful shipping life. Not to worry, we’ve thought about that too. All of the eBay Boxes are made from 100% recycled content, FSC-certified corrugated cardboard and are fully recyclable. But once you see the boxes up close (we’re giving you a sneak peek inside), we hope you’ll agree that they’re way too special to trash.”
They are printing 100,000 of the boxes in three different sizes, and each box features a way to trace the travels it has made through other users.
Read more on the eBay Green Team Blog.
Ever wanted to reuse those greeting cards? For $11.99 you can get enough supplies from Regreet to reuse 8 greetings cards, which is certainly cheaper than buying them new.
Made up of two parts that are almost the same, the first is simply a sheet to stick over the signature, a sticker to attach to the back so the card can be tracked, and an envelope. The second is a “hop-along” kit you can include so the recipient can do the same as you just have.
Check out how it works with the video below and take a look at Regreet.
Green-kits are made by Eco-Logics, Inc., a Virginia-based company committed to providing earth friendly products of all kinds. Most known for providing ready-made green cleaning kits, they also sell a nice range of sustainable reusable cloth bags that I was sent to test.
The video below (if you’re an RSS reader you can click here to see it) shows the cool bags I was sent, with a special surprise for me at the end!
Featured in the video are the TerraSack Botanical 4-Pack ($32), the Cotton Produce Bag “Produce” ($6), the original signature Terratote ($15), and finally the Personalized Reusable Lunch Bag ($8).
They have a massive variety of reusable grocery bags in all shapes and sizes and different patterns and sale packages so take a look.
Finding alternative green materials to the most commonly used synthetic materials out there is often a challenge. I was delighted to be sent a Act2 GreenSmart horizontal messenger bag. The bad also comes in a vertical version and in Storm Blue.
I’ve put together a quick video of the bag so you can see all it’s features. If you can’t see the video please click here.
It features front and back zipped pockets, magnetic snaps on the front, three smaller inside pockets, two large inside pockets, with the second one divided into two and padded for your laptop. Using 30 16 ounce PET (plastic) drink bottles as the material, this is the easiest plastic to recycle (symbol 1).
The bag is great, certainly large enough to contain everything, er, a messenger bag should contain. It’s stylish (my wife loved the colour!), strong in my tests, and it certainly looks like it’s durable and tough enough for day to day use.
My only slight concern is the price. At around $70 – $75 it’s not the cheapest bag out there, but looking at ones of similar style, build and quality (as far as I could tell) it is only about $10 more than comparable “non-green” laptop messenger bags that I could find. Of course you can get bags for $30, as you can for $300, so although it may seem expensive it’s a matter of getting what you pay for, and in this case I think that’s a lot.
Made by Act2 GreenSmart they are available from a few places including agreenplace4u for about $74.99. The vertical version is $69.99.
The Great Bag is another addition to our reusable comparison chart. And what an addition it is.
More expensive than some other reusable shopping bags at $19.99, The Great Bag proves to be worth the price. Made from 100% quilters quality cotton (which apparently has a higher thread count and increased durability – I’m not sure if it’s organic though), the bag is strong enough to carry up to 40 lbs. The 18″ handles make the bag easy to carry over the shoulder.
What the picture won’t tell you is how soft the cotton is. It feels high quality and it is, hand made in the USA. A nice feature are the three hooks is has, made to fit in US grocery stores bag holders to make it easier to fill up. At 13″ high, 11″ wide and 7″ deep it still folds up neatly but can carry a lot of shopping.
There are a variety of bags designs available and being handmade look great. They’re available from The Great Bag.
To compare bags, check out the other bags in our reusable comparison chart.