DIY #Recycling: Celebrate with Eco Games and Gifts from Upcycling Pioneer TerraCycle

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching.  Some are planning romantic dates with their longtime sweetheart.  Some are planning to finally ask out their crush at recess.  Regardless of your plans this Valentine’s Day, TerraCycle has sweet ways to celebrate that are good for the planet, good for the wallet and good for you.

While cleaning up trash doesn’t seem like a romantic way to spend the day, you can celebrate the holiday and effect real-world change with special Valentine’s Day items, products and decorations in Trash Tycoon, Facebook’s first upcycling game from Guerillapps and TerraCycle.  In the game, you can clean up trash and upcycle it to fun products like necklaces, Valentine’s Day cards and heart shaped wreaths to send to friends or to decorate your town.  Players’ hearts will swell because Trash Tycoon creates positive social impact by donating 10% of in-game dollars to environmental projects sponsored by

Next, love Mother Earth and your Valentine by making an upcycled necklace out of Kraft Cheese wrappers or chocolate wrappers, just like the necklace in Trash Tycoon!  TerraCycle’s Design Junkies have brought the beaded necklace into the real world with simple, do-it-yourself instructions available for download here:   Whether you make one for that special Valentine or one for each of your friends, recipients will be touched that you took the time to give them a heartfelt, handmade gift.

Finally, Valentine’s Day and candy go together like peas and carrots, but the packaging can be a real heartbreaker.  All those red and pink wrappers left over from sweet treats can be sent to TerraCycle through Mars’ Candy Wrapper Brigade to be recycled and earn money for charity.  Signing up is free and easy at


About TerraCycle

TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling and recycling company that takes difficult-to recycle-packaging and turns it into affordable, innovative products.  Founded in 2001, TerraCycle ( is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. TerraCycle works with more than 30 major brands in the U.S. and around the world to collect used packaging and products that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It repurposes that waste into new, innovative materials and products that are available online and through major retailers. The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade programs, which are free fundraisers that pay for every piece of waste collected and returned. For information on how to join a TerraCycle Brigade and on purchasing TerraCycle products please visit

Plastic Food Storage Bags Recyclable?

Struggling with cutting down or eliminating reusable plastic? I stopped using plastic wrap a few years ago; however, I still haven’t kicked the reclosable plastic food storage bags.  I often buy the ziplock bags so I can wash and reuse them a few times to maximize their use and reduce waste.

How often do you use reclosable sandwich or freezer storage bags?

Feeling guilty by throwing away plastic storage bags, I only use them when I don’t have another option such as a glass food storage container. So, a package of 25 sandwich bags will last me about a month or two and even a box of 15 quart sized freezer bags will last at least a month or longer if I can wash and reuse them.

But can you recycle reclosable food storage bags?

Answer: Yes!


Oftentimes grocery stores will have plastic grocery bag recycling bins outside that will also accept clean reclosable plastic bags. Some municipalities will also accept clean food storage bags. Still not sure? Check out this

Comment about your use of plastic food storage bags or someone you know. Do they have other uses besides food? I’d love to share your ideas with my readers!

Diving For Treasures in Unusual Places

Treasures can be found amongst dumpsters, garbage and curbside trash pickups too, like framed pictures, reusable throw rugs, bed frames, shelving, couches, kitchen tables and more.

I have a knack for finding used boxes whenever I move (and I move often too). Uhaul and moving companies will oftentimes “buy back” used moving boxes and offer them at a reduced price or even free sometimes for those who know to ask. However, I have found the best boxes in recycling dumpsters. Many businesses have a separate dumpster for boxes, and I find both flattened and unflattened boxes.

Other treasures can be found amongst dumpsters, garbage and curbside trash pickups too, like framed pictures, reusable throw rugs, bed frames, shelving, couches, kitchen tables and more. Fine Diving Chicago writes about Tips for Dumpster Diving and all the treasures that can be found in others’ garbage.

Curbside trash alerts are often posted on Yahoo groups’ Freecycle for your community. It’s pitiful that people would rather haul their junk to the curb or the dumpster than call their city’s Salvation Army, Goodwill or other charitable organization to come pick it up for free.

We need to reduce the garbage and landfill, not add to it. So think twice before throwing away something that still has another life some place else.

You Can Recycle or Reuse Jeans, Gift Cards, Cooking Oil and More

Do you have a few things in your possession that you don’t want but don’t want to just throw it in the trash?

I have several expired or used gift cards, holey jeans, broken cell phones, and miscellaneous cables and wires. How do I get rid of them without causing a burden on the environment?

If you look, you will find….it on!

Find how to recycle, reuse or re-purpose those odd things you might have.

Freecycle – The Benefits of Giving Away Your Stuff

After going through a horrendous move from one apartment to another, and I only moved 4 miles away, I realized that utilizing a program like Craigslist or (also on Yahoo groups) is really the best way to get rid of your stuff.

I had one very worn, but comfortable overstuffed lounge chair that just wasn’t going to follow me into our new suite. So I posted it on Craigslist under the FREE category, and within an hour I received 2 phone calls. I was ecstatic! also promotes recycling by offering people to list their items that they are giving away for free.

It’s the best type of recycling when you can help another person.

Recycling and Freecycling are ways that we can keep junk out of the landfills, out of the dumpsters and into someone else’s home that will ultimately get more use.

Check out how you can create your own group to recycle on and green your routine. Greener living with Freecycling!

Recycle Candy Boxes for Unique Gift Boxes

It’s always great when you can find new uses for old things. So why throw away old heart-shaped or rectangular candy boxes when you can get crafty and use them to create some unique jewelry boxes? Here are some ideas, courtesy of eHow:

First, clean out the box so that no chocolate bits remain. Using a hot glue gun, glue batting on the parts of the box that you wish to cover in fabric. Cut away any excess batting. Next, cover the batting with fabric of your choosing. Velvet, satin, silk, and brocade are all good choices for the heart-shaped boxes, sticking with the romantic theme. For rectangular boxes, any fabric will do. You can use white craft glue to attach the fabric. Cut away any excess material. Cover the bottom section of the box the same way, but make sure that the fabric isn’t so thick that you can’t close the box.

If you want different compartments in your box, you’ll have to create dividers. Figure out how many sections you want, and create dividers using heavy cardboard. Measure them so that they are 1/8 shorter to make a little room for the felt. Choose a color of felt that goes well with the fabric you chose for the top of the box. Using white craft glue, glue felt to the dividers and set them aside to dry. They will be added later.

Next you’ll want to line the inside of the box with felt. Use white craft glue, since hot glue will leave ridges or lumps in the inside of the box. Cut away the excess felt. When the glue is dry, add the divider sections you made earlier, and glue them into place.

You can trim the box using a variety of embellishments, like ribbon or lace. This is not just for decoration, but also to cover up the fabric and felt edges.

Use whatever you like to decorate the top. Buttons, lace, ribbons, silk flowers, charms, and appliques are all great options. Use your imagination! Whether the jewelry box is for you or for a friend, it will be something unique made to suit your own personal style.

Courtesy of, a great resource for all types of packing and shipping supplies as well as crafty projects made from these products.