October 31, 2012

Up-cycling!

Chances are you already know that recycling is good for the environment. Why? It helps us reuse materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Depending on what it is, “trash” can take months to years to thousands or millions of years to decompose. That’s a long time and we have to have a place to put all of it!
“Up-cycling” is a new term that means taking waste materials or useless products and turning them into something new. Have you heard it before?


The carpet at the Elam Environmental Center is made from recycled pop bottles.




I try to recycle as much as I can. I also try to buy products with minimal packaging and “repurpose” items that I might otherwise throw away into something new. I even have things in my home that are made from recycled products.


Check out my cool mixing bowls!
I recently stumbled across a website called Terracycle that’s really awesome. Brands like Colgate and M&M’s have partnered with Terracycle to help provide a second life for their products and packaging. The idea is, you collect “trash” (certain kinds of it) and send it, free of charge, to be “up-cycled” into new products. Candy wrappers and drink pouches might be made into bags and purses; plastic bottles and food tubs might become trash cans and park benches! You earn points for the items you send that turn into money for a designated charity or school (ahem…Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland!). You can visit it at http://www.terracycle.com/en-US/ and start your own eco-brigade! 



We’re even hosting a craft party for Brownies in December at Camp Ken-Jockety where we’ll make all of our crafts from something that might otherwise get thrown away! You might get to make stuff like holiday ornaments from old CDs, jewelry from beads created from magazine paper, or recycled denim and Girl Scout patch purse shown below. Check it out on our website

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