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Posts Tagged ‘upcycle’

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!

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

December 13th, 2011 No comments

Time is running out to wrap up holiday shopping, and if you still don’t know what to get for people, turn to the environment. Everyone can feel good about receiving a gift that’s green.

Uncommon Goods, a web-based retailer and catalog, has a whole section of green gifts that are more unusual and thoughtful than the standard fare of knickknacks made from recycled glass bottles.

For the fashion plate on your list who doesn’t want to be caught wearing the same thing as someone else, consider a skirt made from recycled sweaters – no two are alike. There are also scarves made from t-shirts and belts made from spent fire hoses.

For the techie who has every device, the retailer sells iPad cases made from old mail sacks and pouches made from the same material that can keep cords and chargers organized, as well as other items. A company called ATP Electronics makes the EarthDrive, a USB drive made from biodegradable polyester that’s derived from renewable resources, such as corn. Another company called Devotec recently came out with a portable stereo speaker system that can play music wirelessly via Bluetooth while charging its battery from an integrated solar panel. The system can play continuously when in the sun, even if the battery has no charge.

The home decorator might enjoy vases made from recycled fire extinguishers, picture frames made from recycled ceiling tins or bookends fashioned from old vinyl records (if they even know what a record is), also available from Uncommon Goods.

And don’t forget about kids- they can be green, too.

Plum caters to parents who don’t want to keep buying new clothes for their fast-growing babies and toddlers.

People can sign up to receive a set number of outfits each month and then return them a month later for all new clothes. All items are washed before they’re sent out, and outfits that come back stained are donated or recycled. A perfect gift for the new parents on your list.

Bigger kids might like the Wild Science Worm Farm, a fun way for them to learn about the ecosystem.

Categories: ecycler, recycle Tags: , ,

Ecycler and Upcycling

May 16th, 2011 No comments

We have talked about how artists use ecycler.com to find materials that they use to create works of art. This process of taking something that was waste and turning it into something new is called “upcycling”. According to Wikipedia, upcycling…

is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

This is opposed to “downcycling” where an item is turned into something deemed lesser value than the original item. We won’t get into the debate about what defines better quality or less value, that’s another blog post entirely!

We’ve been checking out some of the interesting things that are being upcycled around the world as of late. Check out these interesting uses for materials that were headed for the scrap heap.

Recycled Inner Tubes and Seatbelt Buckles: The folks at Alchemy Goods make some great products from old inter-tubes. Laptop cases, wallets, purses and even the sexy “Night Out Wallet”. I really like the idea of being able to freshen up my man bag with a quick squirt of Armor All before a big date! Seatbelt buckle bottle opener is pure genius.

Placemats from Old Billboards and Movie Posters: If you’re like me a good placemat saves your table from getting all the drips and drops from my less than stellar eating habits. I like an easy to clean, wipe able placemat that can take some abuse and is interesting to look at. The folks at ReMakes are making some nifty placemats from old billboards and movie posters that fit the bill. Why use virgin plastic for an item that really doesn’t need to be made of new material? And the coolest thing is that these placemats have a QR code so you use that fancy smartphone at the table!

Recycled Oil Drums, Records and Washing Machines: You could say the folks at Lockengeloet have a fertile imagination. Or they are just a bit loco. How would you like a clothes storage dresser or lamp made from a washing machine? Or, an über cool oil drum storage unit to hide your crude oil? This is the true spirit of upcycling where an item that was previously headed for the recycling bin or your garage and turn it into  something cooler, better and downright sexy!

In the spirit of upcycling ecycler has recently launched some new recycling categories such as tennis balls, CD’s, keys and crayons. We’ve found folks that can turn these items into something better. So don’t forget the three R’s and the U.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle!

Categories: materials, recycle Tags: , ,

Upcycle with Bottle Caps

November 9th, 2010 No comments

What does it mean to upcycle? Upcycling is the process of converting discarded materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. We, at ecycler, have found some terrific examples of upcycling recently, but this artist has really caught our eye: RotorCaps.

RotorCaps are made with materials from everyday life that would normally end up in the trash. The aim is to transform these materials into jewelry for adornment and quirky personal expression. It is also to get people excited about recycling and the idea that we can look at these items in a different way and see that there is beauty and value in them.

Bottle caps collected from bars local to Philadelphia (the artist’s home town) are the main attraction. In addition, almost anything that is printed on metal–including cans and tins–will do.

The jewelry is eye-catching, interesting and whimsical. It is inspired by common symbols found in mainstream advertising that when removed from the product is transformed into a personal icon to be celebrated by the individual. Most importantly though, Rotorcaps are about fun!

Check out Jen Roder, renegade silversmith, and her creations at RotorCaps.com

Beyond Traditional Recycling!

April 17th, 2010 No comments

When someone says, “I’m going to recycle material X“, it usually references the action of placing something in a recycling bin for curb-side pickup or taking it to a recycling center. A lot of materials are capable of being recycled–everything from aluminum cans to rubber tires, we’ve outlined a few on our Recycling Facts page.

What’s the purpose of recycling? There have been books written on the subject, so we’ll simply list a few points here:Where everything you buy counts for our Earth

  • Reduce waste going into landfills
  • Recover natural resources
  • Energy conservation (less energy to make cans from recycled aluminum than from mining aluminum oxide, for example)

So, what if instead of the traditional recycling flow from consumer to recycling center to raw materials for manufacturing, we take those materials and merely create a product? Better yet, how about a product that is fun or useful (or fun and useful)?

We’re spotlighting several myEARTH360.com products made from recycled/reclaimed materials. Come check them out:

  • ecoist bags made from recycled/re-purposed newspapers, candy3 design choiceswrappers, food packages, soda labels, subway maps, etc.
  • one eighty design home decor made in the USA from reclaimed metals found via dumpster diving
  • reiter8 totes made from reclaimed sails

Think outside the (recycling) bin for an opportunity to make a green impact. For a full catalog of these wonderful items, check out myEARTH360.com.