Posts Tagged ‘reuse’

APR Opposes Degradable Additives

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

recyclable plasticsThe trade association of companies that recycle plastic, also known as The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, opposes the use of degradable additives in currently recyclable bottles, containers, and films. There are serious implications of using said additives on the recyclability of packaging. While it may seem understandable to use an additive that will help the plastic degrade, the concern is the impact of this additive when used in successive applications. Most secondary uses of recycled plastics are intended for long term uses such as carpeting, plastic lumber, and pipe. Such items have an expected life span of 30 years or more, however if the plastics being recycled to make the product have this degradable additive, the polymer molecules will start to break down, vastly decreasing the product’s life span that consumers depend on. The Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers (APR) is in support of legislation that would require containers with degradable additives to be labeled with the instruction “do not recycle”. The APR have looked for instances and proof of no harm done from the providers of this additive, and do not have the evidence to change their opposition.

Read more at Packworld

New Packaging Provides Reuse Ideas

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

reusable boxPractically all products come with packaging that is reusable in some way. The problem is, not everyone is born with the creative instinct to know how to use it all (certainly not me). A great idea that comes from Costa Rica aims to provide creative ideas for packaging reuse for the creatively inept, therefore increasing and promoting clever re utilization of product packaging. The website, for “what do I do with this?”) is a successful project coming from Central America that has gotten several brands to incorporate reuse instructions in their labeling. The organization made an agreement with the Universidad Veritas in Costa Rica to introduce this project into their design curriculum. The product labels for these items direct consumers to the website for step-by-step instructions and pictures on how to reuse their packaging. Re utilization concepts can also be uploaded by anyone- a community reuse blog of sorts. The goal of this project is to make a large impact with such a small change. With the simple addition of a Quehagoconesto label, companies are given the opportunity to contribute to the post-consumer cycle.


Fishing Plastic Waste from the Seas

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

In seas around theUK, fisherman are being sent to collect waste plastic for recycling. The innovative project is supported by Ecover and Closed Loop Recycling. The waste being salvaged will go towards trials of a new type of plastic that uses rHDPE, plantastic, and the waste marine plastic that is collected. Both organizations involved are supporting the Waste Free Oceans initiative by sending an important anti-litter message to consumers to help in the efforts of reducing floating marine debris and highlighting the importance of recycling and the value of used plastic as a resource. Along with supporting these efforts, Ecover has launched it ‘Message in our Bottle’ campaign, along with the use of an entirely new form of fully sustainable and recyclable plastic made from 100% sugarcane and plastic fished from the sea- the use of this plastic will start in 2014.

Source: Packaging Digest

A Creative Way to Reuse DVD Cases

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The cheapest and most beneficial way to be more sustainable and eco-friendly is by reusing products and their packaging for things other than their intended use. Just like the young couple that used jewel CD cases as simple picture frames, one 4th grade teacher writes in her blog about a simple way to reuse DVD cases. Not only did this purpose extend the life of a once wasted product, but it saved her a lot of money in her first year of teaching. This first year 4th grade teacher wanted to use individual dry-erase boards for activities in class, but couldn’t afford to purchase one for every student. That’s when her sister gave her the idea to reuse old DVD cases as white boards by turning the printed insert inside out. The clear overlay allows for any dry erase marker to be easily wiped away. The teacher asked all of her students to each bring in an old DVD case which, let’s be honest, we all have a DVD case we don’t use anymore. Each student was able to choose their favorite colored construction paper insert to make the board more colorful and fun. The end result; a cheap (practically free) dry erase board for each of her students, and since they were DVD cases, the students were able to store whatever papers or extra inserts they needed for class activities.


read more of this teacher’s blog

A Great Way to Reuse!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

It seems as if printed/developed pictures are becoming a thing of the past. However, there will always be a demand for nicely printed and framed pictures in our homes and workplaces. A young couple from Virginia posted in their blog/website a unique way to have nicely framed pictures by using their used jewel CD cases. They express that ever since they started using the increasingly popular photography tool, Instagram, they have wanted to find a fun way to showcase their family photos. They realized after ordering the printouts of their photos, with a small trim these photos fit snugly into the front of a jewel case. Not only does this solution protect photos as they hang, but should a problem arise these easy-to-come-by picture frames cost less than a dollar to replace. Not only is this an economically friendly craft to spruce up your home, but it is a great way to re-use a product that would inevitably sit in a landfill otherwise.


Read more about Young House Love

DIY – Photo Frame Carousel

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

A few weeks ago our blog post “Upcycling: Turning Old CD Cases into a Photo Cube” showed us how we can upcycle our old jewel CD cases by turning them into photo cube in a DIY project. This week, we found another DIY project via Photojojo using old jewel CD cases, this time, the cases can be used to create a photo frame carousel!

The DIY photo project comes from Tiffany Threadgould’s DIY book, Remake It, and is a great way to use old jewel CD cases you thought you no longer had use for.

Once completed, this frame-holder can hold up to 10 photos and spin around base just like a carousel. And, anytime you feel a picture is getting old and outdates, you can easily swap out an old picture for a new one!

The carousel is easy to create and we’d like to give a BIG thanks to Photojojo for the great ingredients and step-by-step guide on how to craft this DIY project below!

Here’s what they had to say:


  • 5 CD jewel cases
  • 10 5″x7″ photo prints
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Tape (electrical tape works best)
  • 10 old CDs
  • CD spindle
  • Stickers, ribbon, scrap paper, etc. (optional)

1. Take the Insides Out

Carefully remove the black or clear center tray of each CD case.

This is the part of the case where your Spice Girls CD would normally snap onto.

Just lift up one edge with your finger until the whole thing moves freely and remove it.

You can throw it out since you won’t need it anymore.

2. Prep Your Pics

Here’s where you can choose to keep things simple or get crafty.

To fill the entire CD frame, trim your photos to 5⅜ inches x 4⅝ inches.

If you’re going the crafty route, you can glue smaller photos onto 4¾ inches x 4¾ inches pieces of decorative paper. Then decorate photos with stickers, ribbon, scrap paper, whatevs you want.

Insert two photos back to back inside a CD jewel case. The photos will display where the CD liner notes used to be. Close the CD jewel case.

Now repeat for the other 4 jewel cases ’til you have 10 photos displayed, 1 on each side of each case.

3. Tape the Cases Together

Stack two jewel cases on top of each other.

Cut a 5 inch piece of tape and tape the cases together along their spines.

Make sure you don’t tape the side of the case that opens. You’ll need to be able to open the cases for switching out photos.

Add another case to the top of the stack and tape it to the one beneath it. Repeat this step until you have a stack of five jewel cases taped together on their spines.

4. Fan the Cases

Place the CD stack upright so it’s standing on your work surface with the front facing you.

Fan the jewel cases out so they sit carousel style. They should be connected at the center where the tape is.

Insert one more piece of tape at the hinge between the two cases that used to be on the top and the bottom of the stack. This’ll close the loop!

You’ll want to reinforce all the other hinges with tape along the opposite side that you already taped them on.

5. Place Them on the Spindle

Now grab your 10 CDs. Place them shiny side up, in the bottom of the CD spindle.

The CDs will be a slippery surface for the jewel-case photo spinner to spin on. This is a good time to pretend you’re a DJ scratching on your records. (Make sure no one’s around because gawd, that’d be embarrassing.)

Now for the crowning moment: slip your jewel case spinner onto the spindle. It’s best if the spindle is taller than the CD jewel cases, so adjust your stack of CDs accordingly.

If the jewel cases don’t spin easily, try gently tugging on them in opposite directions so the tape stretches slightly.

Now, place the CD jewel-case photo spinner on your desk and admire your work.

This jewel of a project is a super original way to frame your photos. Plus it makes you feel good because you get to recycle, which pretty much saves the planet.

Source: Photojojo

Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

With the holiday season upon us, we should all learn a few basic tips that allow us to be more eco-friendly and produce less waste!

  • Reuse old boxes for presents. Already used boxes can be be great for packaging your gift because they can be reused more than once. Bring these old cardboard boxes back to life by making them more festive by using old pieces of wrapping paper and gluing or taping the scraps to the box.
  • Use fabric as wrapping paper. This holiday season, instead of filling trash bags with ripped up wrapping paper, try using fabric as wrapping paper. This way, you will be able to stop using unsustainable rolls of wrapping paper and be more environmentally friendly. You can also be creative by wrapping presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper. You can also use fabric such as a scarf, dish towel, bandana, or another cloth item.
  • Buy energy saving lights for the holiday season. Swap the tradition incandescent lights for LED lights to decorate your house. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights. By Using LED lights, you can safe your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season!
  • Shop online to save energy and fuel that you would use to travel from one to another, this will also save you money on gas.
  • Send your greeting cards electronically. Every year about 2.6 billion greeting cards are sent. Sending a greeting card electronically is the perfect way to reduce waste. Websites like Hallmark or Photobucket offers a selection of holiday greeting cards that allow for great personalization options for you and your family. If you prefer to take the more traditional route by sending cards through the mail, look for holiday cards printed out on recycled paper.
  • Give new life to old greeting cards by recycling the cards by cutting them into your favorite images and details from the cards . You can then turn these into gift tags or use them as decoration.

Old Vinyl Records Pump Up the Volume

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Need an amplifier to pump up the volume on your smartphone? How about “Change the Record”. That’s the newly designed product from London-based Paul Cocksedge. Old vinyl records are reused and then turned into a stylish, retro amp that has the vintage look of a phonograph. Of all the reused products I’ve seen, this might be the coolest one. The best part is that there’s no need for wires or electricity.

The 12″ records are heated and molded into a sound-enhancing conic shape which boosts the volume of the music being played from a smartphone. Of course there’s no volume adjustment but this beauty is all about aesthetics.


Upcycled Birdhouses Turn Junk Into Art

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

A few months back, we blogged about the concept of upcycling. In short, upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or products that cannot be recycled into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. In fact, just last week we covered a story about Method and their upcycled plastic packaging made ocean waste. Though people have been upcycling things for years, the term wasn’t officially coined until recently. Now it seems it’s becoming quite popular in our eco-conscious world.

The folks at, for example, are beginning to make quite a name for themselves by making upcycled birdhouses. The birdhouses are pieces of art made from items collected at flea markets, thrift stores, antique stores, etc. The designs are made from a random list of items including old license plates, trophies, oil cans, scrap metal, and metal space heaters. The birdhouses are really colorful and unique and available for purchase on their website.

Method Unveils Packaging Made From Upcycled Ocean Plastic

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Method has unveiled its latest innovation in sustainable packaging- a bottle that is made out of plastic collected from the North Pacific Gyre, also referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The bottle contains 100% post-consumer polyethylene, 25% of which is plastic collected from the Gyre. Method has partnered with Envision Plastics who is one of the largest recyclers in the US making it possible to make this Ocean PCR that is the same quality as virgin HDPE plastic.

The process starts will collecting and cleaning the plastic removing unwanted contaminants where it is then blended and remanufactured into high quality plastic. The beauty is that the upcycled ocean plastic can be recycled again and again. Method’s ultimate goal is to raise awareness that the real solution to plastic pollution lies in reusing and recycling the plastic that’s already on the planet. Method also aims to prove that green business can grow the US economy and create jobs.

Method made its first bottle entirely from post-consumer recycled plastic in 2006. Since then they’ve been known as a leading innovator in premium eco-friendly household and personal care products by developing plastic packaging that is completely free from virgin plastics. Method products can be found in over 35,000 retail locations.