One man’s trash is another man’s totally awesome eco-friendly product! Check out my roundup of products made using post-consumer recycled materials, below.
With America Recycles Day just around the corner, recycling has definitely been on my mind. I’m always so amazed by the ingenious ways companies are using recyclables to create functional, earth-friendly products. Who knew recycled plastic water bottles could be 3D-knit into these darling ballet flats?
The marketplace is full of creative, recycled products. Here are ten of my absolute favorites!
1. Keen Harvest Collection Messenger Bag
Keen makes tote bags, messenger bags, and wallets out of pre-consumer automobile side airbags that have been made obsolete due to advances in auto technology. So cool! After being sorted for quality, the materials are dyed and cut into bag shapes, then sewed together by expert crafters. Look for the signature of the person that made your bag when you purchase!
2. Looptworks Leather iPad Covers
One of my personal favorites, Looptworks, is an industry expert when it comes to using recycled materials. In the past, they’ve found creative ways to use everything from old neoprene wetsuits to recycled polyester! These upcycled iPad covers are made from scraps of excess shoe leather that was ditched by larger manufacturers because it had natural blemishes. This sort of discard can amount to 4500 pounds per day from just a single factory!
3. Dakine Switch 21L Backpack
By now, it should be no surprise that a lot of the plastic we produce ends up in the ocean. This is why clothing manufacturer, Dakine, started making bags made with 100 percent recycled PET fabric from plastic bottles. Not in the market for a backpack? Dakine is making recycled totes, carry ons, and duffles as well.
4. Green Toys Playsets
These adorable retro toys are made out of 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs. As such, they can also be recycled at the end of their life. Plus, the packaging is totally pain free, so you won’t have to deal with a mess of twist ties and cardboard.
5. Vinylux LP Record Clock
Old vinyl records that are scratched, warped, or otherwise played out, find a new home with Vinylux – a company that turns them into functional clocks instead! The company also makes bowls, ornaments, sketchbooks, and mirrors, ensuring no scraps are wasted.
6. Coal Headware Yukon Beanie
Repurposed cotton scraps, chemical-free processing, recycled materials…these beanies just get better and better! If you’re on the hunt for the perfect beanie to keep your noggin warm this winter, this may be the one.
7. ReCycle Bikes
Born in the wonderful city of Portland, Oregon, ReCycle handcrafts bikes from recycled aluminum and renewable cork. The company has hopes to eventually produce bikes made entirely from recycled materials. Until then, this is a great start!
8. Baseball Bat Openers
These bottle openers, made from bats swung by famous Major Leaguers, are a perfect gift for the baseball lovers in your life. Plus, each opener is carefully marked with a number, which when plugged into the maker’s web database, can help you find out which game the bat was played in. So cool!
9. Preserve Toothbrush
Preserve, a Certified B Corporation that makes bath, kitchen, and tabletop products, collects often un-recycled #5 plastics to make toothbrushes and razors. So, while I’m not typically a fan of plastics, Preserve is relatively purposeful in their thinking. Toothbrushes can be dropped in one of their Gimme 5 bins or mailed back to the company to continue the recycling loop.
10. Rothy’s Flats
These darling ballet flats are made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles. Plus, they’re also carbon-free, recyclable, moisture-wicking, hand assembled, and machine washable. Does it get any better?!
Why to Buy Recycled
Buying 100 percent recycled products is a wonderful way to save natural resources like mined metals, trees, and petroleum. Typically, the manufacturing processes used to create these products also require less energy to produce.
For example, recycled aluminum sheets can be made with 95% less power than virgin aluminum sheets. Recycled materials also cut pollution and save water as well; not to mention the way they prevent our garbage from dying slowly in a landfill.
While as a zero waster my preference will always be to avoid products like aluminum foil altogether, buying products made from post-consumer recycled content is a great step in the right direction. I absolutely support it.
Keep voting with your dollars, people! The market will always go where the cash is. And these days, recyclables are a huge commodity.
What do you #BuyRecycled?
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