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Ecycler and our Journey

February 20th, 2014 2 comments

With much fanfare, we launched ecycler at TechCrunch50—it was September 2009. Our primary goal was to create the one stop place for recycling. We moved beyond traditional recycling (paper, bottles, etc.) into what we called, shippables. These materials are recyclable, but not having enough value for someone to pick them up. The third phase (never implemented) would have been junk pickup.

ecycler Founders at TechCrunch50 - 2009

We focused our energies on growth, not revenues.

We won $20,000 during the Fairfield Challenge for demonstrating our Social Media prowess—including a facebook best page commendation from Inc. Magazine—awesome! For the challenge, we visited 13 cities over 15 stays at the Fairfield Inn–we talked to business owners about how to make their recycling easier. And, many registered on ecycler to try us out.

With the winnings, we commissioned an iPhone app, a fun recycling game called iCanRecycle. We also invested in the ecycler Canada site–thanks Vancouver for being our guinea pig.

We’ve recycled hundreds of pounds of materials via the site; everything from aluminum cans to VHS tapes to Crayons. And, we had some fun along the way with our weekly Crush that Can episodes, all of which can still be viewed by following that to YouTube.

But, our magic wasn’t enough to maintain the business plan. As of the end of 2013, we’ve shuttered ecycler, a (once) new way to recycle online.

We’ve since sold off the ecycler.ca (and e-cycler.ca) domains and a few others including GirlsofRecycling.com.

Thanks to everyone that had a chance to make the world a better place by recycling something with ecycler. For the time being, we’ve taken down the main site and replaced with our blog. Please take advantage of the years’ worth of knowledge collected here and learn a thing or two about recycling!

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

 

Categories: ecycler Tags: ,

Social Media: From Virtual to Real World

March 14th, 2013 No comments

The recent rise in social media has enabled ecycler (and many other businesses) to get in front of more customers than they ever would have been able to before.

The recognition that social media sites have created for various brands can work offline, as well. Companies can include their twitter handle or facebook page address in traditional marketing campaigns or post it on decals in their brick-and-mortar stores to point customers to their products and services online.

The possibilities for harnessing the power of social media offline are limitless. Ecycler, for example, has labeled all of its recycle bins located at various businesses and restaurants. Also, the front door to ecycler HQ has a social media window decal applied to it; these are available for anyone to attach on their establishment’s windows and doors. Companies could, perhaps, print their social media information on shopping bags, the sides of city buses and on billboards. It’s basically double advertising-– social media engages consumers with brands in the virtual world and points real world customers-–or potential customers-–to their brand online.

The logos and identities of the top social media sites-–including twitter, YouTube and facebook-–are so recognizable to people now, that once they see that a product or service they like has a social media presence, they are more likely to seek that company out online, too. That can lead to more purchases-–and therefore more revenue for your business.

Another fantastic way to let someone really know about your business is adding your QR code to your advertising. This will allow people to scan your offline social media ad with any QR code supported phone and learn more information about your business. Everything they need to know about your business will pop up on their phone.

We recommend Social Media Decals for your windows!

ecycler_QRCode

 

Categories: ecycler Tags: ,

Ready, aim, recycle!

July 11th, 2012 No comments

A group of gun-rights activists recycled their old weapons in exchange for gift cards under a program that Chicago police created to get guns off the streets.
Members of Guns Save Life took advantage of the program last weekend by trading in 60 guns for more than $6,200 worth of gift cards. The move was criticized because most of the guns were old and useless and weren’t being used to commit crimes, but rather were rusting in the members’ homes. Still, most of the weapons qualified for the program.
The group admitted it was taking advantage of the program but said the gift cards would be used to buy ammo and weapons for a program that educates kids about firearm safety.

Unfortunately, we don’t know if the metal was recycled properly, or simply dumped into a landfill.

The city of Chicago collected 5,500 weapons and handed out a $100 gift card per firearm and a $10 gift card for a BB gun or replica.

The Chicago PD was not amused.

“There’s a ripple effect following every shooting incident that we all feel. We host the gun turn-in event on an annual basis to encourage residents to turn in their guns so that we take firearms off our streets, and it’s unfortunate that this group is abusing a program intended to increase the safety of our communities,” a police spokeswoman told the Chicago Tribune.

But, we all know the truth that gun control simply removes guns from the hands of law abiding citizens and does NOTHING to stave off abuses by criminals.

Categories: ecycler, junk Tags:

Here Comes Earth Hour 2012

March 9th, 2012 No comments

Earth Hour: 8:30pm, Saturday, 31 March 2012.

In under five years, Earth Hour has become the largest campaign in history for the planet. It has grown from one city, one country to over 135 countries and territories in 2011. Earth Hour — By The People, For The Planet.

Download the iCalendar reminder for Earth Hour 2012…

Switch off your lights for Earth Hour at 8:30pm, Saturday 31 March 2012 and celebrate your commitment to the planet with the people of the world!

History of Earth Hour

WWF started Earth Hour in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turned their lights off for one hour to take a stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, CN Tower in Toronto, Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries switch off for an hour. But it also marked the start of something new –going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on sustainability.

Visit EarthHour.org for more ideas!

Categories: ecycler, event Tags: ,

iCanRecycle Showcased on FeedMyApp.com Today

February 19th, 2012 No comments

Come check out the write-up on FeedMyApp.com and download our iCanRecycle mobile app–it’s free! FeedMyApp.com is a Web 2.0 Directory with the best and latest web 2.0 sites, updated daily.

Fueled by a global network, 1000’s of app reviewed. Sounds good to us!

iCanRecycle is a virtual can crushing app. And, the best part is you can take any stored image or take a picture with your iPhone camera and apply it to the can, then crush away! Our virtual can may be rotated on both the vertical and horizontal axis for optimal viewing. Connect to your ecycler.com account to view all the cans you’ve actually recycled and see your environmental impact. We’ve calculated the carbon saved based on your recycling efforts and the equivalent of planted trees.

Showcase here: http://feedmyapp.com/p/a/icanrecycle/23327

Categories: achievements, ecycler, recycle Tags:

Winter Cleaning!

January 21st, 2012 No comments

There’s no need to wait for the birds to start chirping and the flowers to start budding to get rid of the junk around your house.

Why not do Winter cleaning instead of Spring cleaning? After all, the skies are still gray (in most parts of the country) and who wants to waste a sunny, Spring day inside clearing out clutter?

If it’s too overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, consult a professional organizer. FindMyOrganizer.com is a site that can help you choose one. A third party can help sift through the clutter without the emotional attachment most people place on their possessions and make suggestions for how best to organize the items you do keep.

But if you don’t have a need for outside help, or can’t afford it, plow ahead on your own with these suggestions:

Start small: Don’t try to attack your entire house at once, or you’ll be tempted to give up. Pick one room that’s particularly troubling and then start in one area of that room, such as the closet or the overstuffed drawers. Once you get one area of the room under control, move onto the next. If you’re still on a cleaning streak, move onto the next room. When you’re tired, stop for the day and resume the next day or the following weekend.

Sort, sort, sort: The key to successful de-cluttering and organization is to think in terms of categories. When going through your linen closet, for example, make a pile of mismatched sheets and towels that you never use and set them aside for donation, if they’re in decent condition, or reuse as cleaning rags. Then fold all of the good hand towels, washcloths and bath towels and group the matching sets together back on the shelves. Do the same with bed sheets. Sort out all the other loose odds and ends in the closet, such as shaving supplies, sewing kits and hotel shampoos (c’mon, you know you take those home) and organize like items into clear plastic bins, label them and stack them on the shelves where they can be easily identified. Ah, order.

Purge quickly: Once you’re done, you should have items in boxes or bags meant to either sell, donate or toss. Don’t keep those things lying around or you may never get around to properly discarding them, thus contributing to more clutter (and a possible change of heart). Immediately list the items of value on ebay or craigslist, put the recyclable items on the curb or take them to a center, drop the donatable items off at Goodwill and toss the rest.

You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted. And then, when Spring rolls around, you can secretly smile to yourself when you see your neighbor going through his garage while you head out for a bike ride.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to Bill Longshaw and christineshomeandtraveladventures.blogspot.com for the use of their images!
Categories: ecycler, junk Tags:

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in the Workplace

January 17th, 2012 No comments

We often talk about (brag about!) being earth-friendly, going green and recycling in our home. But most of us spend a good portion of our lives in another environment, one that generates its own share of waste: the workplace. Whether you work for a large company or a small business, you likely have an office in which you spend five or more days a week. That office requires heating and cooling; it uses paper, appliances, and other materials; and it creates waste just as prolifically as does the home – if not more so.

If you are a business manager or simply an outspoken person in your office, you can take concerted steps toward reducing, reusing and recycling in the workplace. Here’s how:

REDUCE

Technology has made it increasingly easy to reduce in the workplace. By using cloud computing, electronic billing, and email communication a business can go paperless and save troves of trash (and money) the process. You can also reduce on your electricity consumption by installing intelligent thermostats and energy-efficient lighting. The possibilities are truly endless and the potential for savings are considerable. As a successful energy-reducer can tell you, you don’t need solar power to save on utilities in the workplace.

REUSE

Changing workplace trends dictate that companies are always creating waste. Every technological and management change likely yields discarded furniture, printers, and various other office items. All of these materials can be donated to agencies that will help reuse them in some capacity. An office truly committed to being environmentally-friendly is not one that will leave generations of printers sitting in a landfill.

RECYCLE

Most people find it far easier to recycle in the home than in the workplace. The reason? At home, many of us have a dedicated bin for trash and another one dedicated for recycling. Every time we empty the trash or take the bins to the curb we are reminded to sort the recyclables out from the items that are not. We often don’t get this kind of reminder in the office, where trash receptacles are abundant but recycling bins are a far rarer find. There’s an easy solution to this, however: next to every trash can add a well-marked recycling bin. Certainly make sure there is one in the kitchen or wherever employees tend to eat their lunch.

Hopefully these tips can help your business better reduce, reuse and recycle. Doing so not only helps the environment, but can also translate favorably towards the company’s bottom line. As far as the workplace is concerned, there’s really no reason not to go green.

Top-20 Ways to Make your Business Greenerhttp://blog.ecycler.com/2010/11/13/top-20-ways-to-make-your-business-greener/

Read more…

Stop SOPA / PIPA

January 13th, 2012 No comments

We, at ecycler.com, do NOT support SOPA / PIPA.

For the very first time, we are posting something not related to being green or recycling. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) are dangerous and written from a point of ignorance of the Internet and Innovation.

For an explanation, please watch this short video PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks the Internet from Fight for the Future.

Some initial thoughts (partially borrowed from WordPress News):

  • Our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, i.e., people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not easily reverted. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it.

The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars over the next few years — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the Internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the Internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.

We’ve added the “Stop SOPA” ribbon to our blog and encourage all other blog owners to do the same.

For more information:

Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/18/1055849/-Confessions-Of-A-Hollywood-Professional:-Why-I-Cant-Support-the-Stop-Online-Piracy-Act-(UPDATED)
Mashable: http://mashable.com/2011/11/16/sopa-infographic/
TechDirt: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/why-hollywoods-idea-innovation-is-sopa.shtml
TechCrunch: http://techcrunch.com/2011/12/15/sopa-brad-burnham/

Thanks! And, now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Categories: ecycler, legislation Tags:

A Clutter-free 2012

January 3rd, 2012 1 comment

The gifts are unwrapped and the holiday lights are off, so now what? Time to get organized! Many people resolve to exercise and diet, but the beginning of a new year is also a good time to purge those clothes you haven’t worn since college and organize the clutter that’s been collecting in your basement.

Some organizing experts suggest getting rid of one item for every new holiday gift received, as a way to neutralize the incoming stuff. It’s a good time to consider donating items to charitable organizations that normally get a flood of new things before the holidays but that are still in need of basics after the last ornament has been plucked off the tree or the last candle in the menorah has been blown out. People are in need all year long, so your old coats, toys, canned food and household items are welcome after the holidays.

Items that can’t be reused can usually be recycled, including the cardboard boxes in which your holiday gifts were shipped, the batteries that you replaced in your kids’ toys and the household appliances that are being swapped out for new ones. Even your Christmas tree can find new life as mulch. Many municipal recycling programs pick up trees at the curb and recycle them.

The new year also presents a good time to get the holiday decorations in order. Organizing ornaments and lights and labeling them helps prevent you from buying new decorations you don’t need the following year. Keeping perfectly nice gift bags, bows and ribbons also prevents you from having to buy new ones next year and keeps those items out of landfills. And don’t be afraid to re-gift – if you got something you just don’t need but don’t want to donate it, hold onto it for next year’s Secret Santa swap at the office or give it to a friend or relative that you know would like it.

What about all those holiday cards that have been piling up? Hold onto a few from close friends and family, especially the ones containing photos, and recycle the rest.

This is a good time to teach children to be generous to others. Now that they’ve gotten so many gifts, tell them that they are fortunate to have received presents and that there are a lot of kids who did not and encourage them to pick out some old toys that are safe and in good condition to donate to another child. There’s no reason the season of giving has to end after Christmas.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to unvarnishedmom.com for the use of their image
Categories: ecycler, materials Tags: ,

Connect with Us on Pinterest!

December 31st, 2011 No comments

We are all about recycling and being green. Some may call it junk, but it can certainly be reused, recycled or upcycled! With so much upcycling inspiration around here, we thought Pinterest would be a great place to showcase some of our discoveries!

If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, think of it as a place to create virtual inspiration boards. If you see a craft project, a recipe, or anything else that inspires you, you can “pin it” on your Pinterest account to find later (and to show-off to the world!).

We use ecyler’s Pinterest board to bookmark and share awesome, eco-friendly, upcycled stuff that we stumble across. We want to create a pinboard that’s got green crafty inspiration for home decor, clothing and accessories and any other awesome upcycled or revamped craft projects we stumble upon in our travels. We also post some interesting images of recycling of materials from aluminum cans to wine bottle corks.

Want to keep up with the eco-friendly, upcycle action on Pinterest? Follow the ecycler Pinterest board! We’d also love to connect with other green pinners out there. Do you have a Pinterest account? Tell us who you are in the comments!