Are you looking for a great earth-friendly gift for your friends and family? Well a backpack made out of juice pouches, or a wallet made out of candy wrappers would be perfect for this holiday season. Lucky for you, TerraCycle makes those kind of products. TerraCycle is a company that diverts trash from landfills and creates new products out of it. Terra means earth, so TerraCycle is earth-cycling.
TerraCyclewas founded in 2006 by Tom Szaky, 29. It all started in college when Tom and his friends started feeding the leftovers from their cafeteria to worms, and selling liquid worm poop in used bottles at hardware stores. Since then, they have grown to become "one of the fastest growing eco-friendly manufacturers in the world." In only three years, more than 20 million people are helping to collect trash in more than 70 thousand worldwide locations. In 2006, Inc. Magazine named TerraCycle "The Coolest Little Start-Up in America!"TerraCycle's key partners are Kraft Foods, Frito-Lay, Kashi, Elmer's Products Inc., Clif bar, Sprout Baby Food, Neosporin, Colgate, BIC, Nestle, and many more. In 2011, they are projected to make $18 million. They have contributed more than $1,567,000 to charity.
Schools all over the country are collecting waste to send to TerraCycle, and each school receives 2 cents for every item recycled. Carl Sandburg Elementary in Littleton, CO is one school that has made more than $10,000 by participating in TerraCycle's Brigade program. (Please see related article.) You can participate in this wonderful program by going to terracycle.net to sign up for the Brigade of your choice. Pick the type of waste you would like to collect, and start collecting! When you are ready to ship the items, download free shipping and send it to TerraCycle. TerraCycle will then donate money to the charity of your choice.
Albe Zakes, TerraCycle Global VP of Media Relations loves working for TerraCycle. He likes helping the planet, and diverting so much trash from landfills. "We're redirecting millions of pieces of waste that would otherwise go to landfills," he explained. Zakes says that one of the best selling product lines is their upcycled CapriSun juice pouch school items. TerraCycle makes lunch boxes, backpacks, and pencil cases out of collected juice pouches. Also, the company is launching new garden products made out of wrappers, and they are relaunching computer and mp3 speakers made out of Peanut M&M wrappers! These would be great gifts to give to for the holidays.
You can buy TerraCycle products at Target, Walmart, and online at terracycleshop.com. Happy TerraCycling!