TerraCycle – Giveaway!

In the never ending battle between my growing green crunchiness and E’s epic laziness, the one thing we usually agree on in recycling. Tossing a milk jug into the recycle bin takes exactly the same amount of effort as throwing it in the trash and since Connecticut gives charges us a deposit on soda cans we’re militant about dragging those down to the Stop & Shop for our nickels. I feel pretty good about our efforts, even if the occasional peanut butter jar does end up in the trash (they’re really hard to clean).

Unfortunately, just like in most towns, there’s a limit on what sort of materials they accept. Which is why when TerraCycle emailed about their program I was so excited! TerraCycle is a small (but growing!) company that takes normally non-recyclable products and turns them into cool and useful stuff.

In 2001, Tom Szaky, a Princeton University Freshman, founded TerraCycle in hopes of building an eco-capitalist company built on waste. After winning countless business plan contests, Tom dropped out of Princeton to pursue his dream of founding the world’s most environmentally friendly company. Seven years later, TerraCycle’s eco-friendly products have received a myriad of social and environmental accolades and are sold at major retailers like The Home Depot, Target, Wal*Mart and Whole Foods Markets. TerraCycle’s business plan and products made from waste received a Zerofootprint Seal of Approval, won The Home Depot’s Environmental Stewardship Award twice and recently won the 2007 Social Venture Network Innovation Award. Please visit us at www.terracycle.net to learn more.

So what exactly do they do? Well, they collect trash – everything from drink pouches and plastic diaper packaging to corks and Scotch tape – and turn it into usable products. Their newest partnerships are with Huggies and Sprout but they have programs for tons of other non-recyclables too. TerraCycle collects each kind of trash through groups called “brigades” and even pays for the shipping and donates money to charity for each item received, totaling more than a million dollars so far!

Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to join a brigade already in progress so I’m hoping to convince a local school or childcare program to set up a collection with us. (On that note, if you’re a local school or a childcare program, please email me.)

Even if you can’t help collect the trash you can still help by buying the trash – after it’s turned into cool stuff of course. Shopping for the environment! Everybody wins!

Know anyone going (back) to school in a few months?

It's like Lisa Frank for the eco-friendly era! Rainbows included!!

And today, because they’re such nice people, TerraCycle is giving one of my readers some of their cute stuff! I’m told there’s a big Capri Sun tote bag (diaper bag sized), a Kool-Aid Jammers lunch box, and a Capri Sun pencil case waiting to be sent right to your house. That’s right, I’m doing a GIVEAWAY.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me how you and your family try to recycle or Terracycle.

For one extra entry you can tweet (leave another comment telling me you did) the following: Tell @TerraCycle and @bebehblog why you TerraCycle or recycle and win a lunch box made from juice pouches! http://bit.ly/9QZUyA #TCbebeh

Entries are open until midnight on July 22nd. CLOSED. Winner will be selected using random.org and announced on July 23rd, 2010. Please make sure you use a real email address when commenting so I can let you know if you won! Sorry my Canadian friends, US residents only. Good luck!

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Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received no compensation or goods in exchange for this post – YOU’RE the only one getting the free stuff. I just thought it was a great program and wanted to share!

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37 Responses to “TerraCycle – Giveaway!”

  1. Miranda says:

    We try to recycle all plastics and cans. We’re vigilant about those the most (except the peanut butter jars. They ARE hard to clean!). We also recycle glass when we can. And I’m going to try and make the switch to plastic, re-usable containers for sandwiches and chips and such when I go back to work and start packing my lunch again.

  2. TMae says:

    You could give your dog the peanut butter jars when you’re done with them. Mine (dog) is an EXCELLENT peanut butter jar washer. Plus, it’s good for 20-30 minutes of peace. WIN!

    We recycle everything in this house. We even save the plastics that our curbside recycling program doesn’t take, so we can drive them to a location that will take them. Since we pay for garbage by the can, recycling cuts down on our garbage bill by about 50% every year. I admit it, I’m motivated by money AND a desire to save the environment. :-)

  3. Crystal says:

    We use cloth diapers and cloth wipes. We also use cloth grocery sacks. We recycle aluminum, cardboard, and plastic.

    Cool giveaway!

  4. Swistle says:

    Ever since I read that it often takes more fuel to recycle products than is saved by recycling them, I’ve been trying to do more REUSING—which I why I love Terracycle’s ideas. If I need a piece of paper, I first look in the recycling bin to see if I can rip the blank part off a school newsletter or something—things like that. We also Freecycle a LOT: not only do we avoid throwing things away, we avoid buying things.

  5. MKP says:

    OOh, mememe! We recycle what with it being mandatory in Brooklyn, but when I assistant teach I also collect egg cartons, cardboard boxes, jugs, and TP tubes and take them in to the kindergarten classes we do art with. We also encourage the kids to bring in materials to re-use at home, and the parents tell us (mostly jokingly) that their kids have become great eco-lecturers over the past year as they’ve absorbed the “reduce, reuse, recycle” message.

    Plus I love to buy recycled accessories – there’s a company that turns up every holiday season around Manhattan that does things with old subway maps or makes purses out of ground recycled material. LOVE IT.

    And you better believe I’m tweeting this.

  6. Suz B says:

    We recycle everything we can~ glass, cardboard, plastics, paper, & cans. Things that can’t be recycled but still good, we take to Goodwill so hopefully others can use them.
    We also hope to cloth diaper future babies.

  7. Woo hoo! A giveaway! Green things we do: we recycle (as MKP above said, it’s mandatory in Brooklyn) we use cloth shopping bags and re-use any plastic bags we do end up with. I also wash and re-use ziploc bags. We don;t use a dryer, and dry our clothes on an outdoor clothsline or a drying rack. I also try as much as I can do use biodegradeable soaps, cleaning products etc. Terracycle stuff is super cute!

  8. I just tweeted this (@babyinbrooklyn)

  9. Steph says:

    We try to recycle by buying things that we can reuse, like yogurts with lids that can be reused as planters and using newspaper for paper mache.

  10. Amy says:

    We have curbside recycling that takes a lot of stuff, including tennis shoes. I also try and reuse as much as possible. I try to bring my own bag, but our local stores also take back plastic bags for recycling, for when I do get stuck with them.

  11. Megan says:

    We do curbside recycling (good for you for taking the cans in yourself, we donate our 5 cents to Willi Waste), use cloth diapers and cloth wipes (the wipes just at home), reusable groccery bags, and most recently reusable sandwich bags (which work great and are adorable). We do have a half hearted compost pile in the back yard, but I’d like to get better at that.

  12. Audrey says:

    We are extremely lucky to have an excellent recycling program in our city so if it is glass, aluminum, cardboard, paper or plastic of any kind it gets recycled in our house. And we’ve started a compost heap in our yard so that the majority of our food waste and yard waste is put to good use as well. I’m not sure if that counts as recycling..but if it’s not going to a dump I think it should. :)

  13. Connie says:

    we recycle, use cloth diapers, use reusable shopping bags and drop off all of our capri sun pouches to CJ’s school! he would think it was so cool to actually have something that show his efforts of recycling.

  14. Kristi says:

    I recycle everything. I even save the plastics that the curbside recycling program doesn’t take, so I can drive them to a location that will take them. In addition, I’ve started a compost heap in back so that my food waste is put to good use*although my apt complex left me some notices about that one* I use the reusable groccery bags and the wonder bread reusable sandwich container.

  15. Katherine says:

    I guess the major “green” things we do are recycle, cloth diaper and do our best to eat as locally and seasonally as possible. I try my best to find second uses for as many “trash” items as possible. We use reusable shopping bags as offen as possible, but when plastic store bags make it into the house we reuse them as bathroom trashcan liners and alway keep a few extra in the car for unexpected messes. We love making water bottle maraca’s with colorful dried beans in them. Lots of my empty food containers get washed out and put in my daughters play kitchen for her to cook with. She really likes having containers that look just like Mommy’s.

  16. Brittany says:

    We don’t have curbside recycling so we have to collect everything ourselves and drive it to the recycling center, but we do it!

  17. Amanda says:

    We have err scratch that HAD Recyclebank.com in our area so recycling was super easy. We could throw pretty much any recyclable materials into our giant blue bin!

  18. Suzanne says:

    Awesome giveaway! We are big recyclers, usually generating more in our recycle bin each week than in our trash can. We’re the type of people who wash zip-lock bags to use again. :)

  19. Abbie Neary says:

    I am going to cloth diaper. We recycle all our plastic and bottles etc. I would love to give this to my Nephew for school. You could send it to him in VT :)

  20. Too cool!!

    We recycle cans and bottles, use grocery bags for garbage bags, and use reusable totes for grocery bags :)

  21. We HAVE to recycle. We have recycling police (aka My mother) will go through the trash and find the plastic container that I through out because it was full of something horrible and moldy and then wash it while fuming with all the things she is going to yell at us about. My whole family recycles EVERYTHING for fear that she will catch us! It’s every effective!! :)

  22. cute stuff! we recycle all cardboard & plastic ’round these parts. in our city glass isn’t picked up from homes so i tend to re-use those containers as much as possible. and yeah, sometimes those peanut butter jars are just TOO annoying to deal with! (;

    xoxo!

  23. Amy says:

    We have curb side recycling and we put everything we can into it. It really cuts down on the amount of trash we made.
    We use gdiapers (husband too wussy to do cloth).
    We compost our yard waste and try to compost our food waste as well.

  24. we recycle! ALSO I’ve gotten SO much better about remembering my canvas bags when I go out to shop, that was a goal of mine this year.

  25. Skipper says:

    I’m also one of those people who’s family generates more recycling than trash each week. Despite the fact that our trash can is about ten million gallons and our city-issued recycling bin is about the size of a shoebox. We piled things in paper grocery bags and boxes until last week, when we got the bad news that our city did not pass a budget item to buy us bigger recycling containers… and I went out and bought my own HUGE container. Now I can fill it up with as much recycling as much as I want, *and* I can use my reusable bags at Trader Joe’s instead of getting paper just to fill with recycling.

  26. mama23bears says:

    my girls are in charge of the recycling. they empty all the bins in the house. they also take alot out for crafts!

  27. Amanda says:

    Awesome giveaway! We love to take all our “trash” and turn it in to some kind of craft project!

    Two liter soda bottles and any type of can with a pop top make cute ways to wrap presents once they are cleaned out and decorated a little bit!

    And old cardboard cereal, pasta and etc. boxes make great toys for the kiddos to use with their matchbox cars! Then when they are done with them, I use them when I am mailing something I don’t want to get bent!

  28. Jennifer W says:

    Luckily, our community has a trash day and a recycling day. So, we just make sure to separate the garbage from the paper, cardboard, plastics, etc…
    Oh and we also use the reusable bags when we grocery shop. I love that it takes 4 cloth bags to hold the same amount of groceries that used to take 10-12 plastic bags.

  29. Kim says:

    We recycle everything that we think our town allows us to recycle. Which means that we look at things and say “Do you think this is trash or recycling?” “Ummm… I don’t know it looks like plastic/glass/metal/paper just recycle it.” And the recycling-collectors haven’t yelled at us yet, so I think we’re doing it right. We also try to reuse the baby food jars and containers, until we think we’ve used them too many times – and then we recycle them. I had never heard of terracycle, but I will definitely look into it and see if there is a collection anywhere near us. Thanks Suzanne!

  30. brigidkeely says:

    It is soooooo easy for us to help the environment, as we live in Chicago. This means our taxes pay for blue bins and a company that comes and empties them, this means we have affordable and extensive public transit options alleviating our reliance on cars, and as we’re in the city and not the suburbs we do most of our grocery shopping at a store we walk to and use our own cloth bags to haul our groceries home.

    However, I grew up in a family that recycled (we’d pack up our glass and plastic and take it to the Lion’s Club which had a recycling facility, and we’d take our newspapers to an animal shelter who used them for bedding) AND that reused and reduced as much as possible (from-scratch cooking, scrap paper from the back of print outs and junk mail, etc). It’s something we don’t really think twice about, now.

  31. Amy says:

    We are very good recyclers, excellent, I think. We recycle all plastic, metal, paper, cardboard and glass. We return all deposit items to the store for 5 cents. Once, I returned so many cans and bottles that had collected in my garage, I actually got $28 back.

    At 9 p.m. ish every Sunday night (the night before garbage and recycling pick-up) a van (the bin pickers) canvases our neighborhood bins to get cast off money worthy recyclables. They don’t even stop at our house. They know our bin is worthless. We ARE good recyclers.

  32. […] have no doubt seen the posts by Mandy @ Harper’s Happenings, Suzanne @ Bebehblog and Allsion @ O My Family about the awesome thing that TerraCycle is doing. Normally I would […]

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