Featured Do-Gooder: TerraCycle Part 2

From time to time Smart Family Tips will feature an organization that is a “Do-Gooder”: a group that works to help both people and the environment. The Do-Gooders may be companies, nonprofits, or any organized group that focuses its efforts on making the world a better place.

terracycle

I’ve written about TerraCycle before, but there are some updates that I’d like to make you aware of. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of TerraCycle, and I’m excited about their growth. The company is changing the way we perceive waste and finding innovative uses for our “trash.”

The Book:

In Revolution in a Bottle: How TerraCycle Is Redefining Green Business, Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle, explains how he co-founded the company as a freshman at Princeton and tracks the amazing growth the company has seen over the last five years. I’ve just finished reading the book myself (I won it in a giveaway at The Good Human) and I found it fascinating. TerraCycle has become successful because Tom and the other members of the team have been able to re-envision what “waste” is and how it can be used.

The Product Line:

TerraCycle’s product line has expanded. What started with liquefied worm poop in reused soda bottles has grown to include household cleaners, office products, school supplies, bags, planting pots, composters, and more. If you haven’t seen their products lately, be sure to visit TerraCycle.net.

The Brigades:

The Brigades are what TerraCycle uses to collect literally tons of waste that is used in their products. People all over the country sign up to collect, among other things, empty juice pouches, cookie packaging, and energy bar wrappers. What started with a plastic bottle brigade has expanded to over 10 categories of products that can now “TerraCycled.”

The Online Store:

One of the problems I’ve run into is difficulty in finding some of TerraCycle’s products locally. While much of their stuff can be found in big box retailers like Target, Home Depot, and Wal-mart, not all of their products are carried by any one store. Enter the official TerraCycleShop.com. Here, you can order directly from TerraCycle the items you want, but can’t find. (The online store is brand new, so products are being added weekly).

Twitter:

TerraCycle is now on Twitter. You can follow them @TerraCycle for regular updates.

Exciting things are happening at TerraCycle and there seems to be no end to the amount of press they receive. I’m happy to see so much attention given to little start-up  that is doing so much good.

Featured Do-Gooder: TerraCycle

From time to time SmartFamilyTips will feature an organization that is a “Do-Gooder”: a group that works to help both people and the environment. The Do-Gooders may be companies, nonprofits, or any organized group that focuses its efforts on making the world a better place.

TerraCycle was born in 2001 by two Princeton University students, Tom Szaky and Jon Beyer. According to the company’s website, Szaky and Beyer wanted to create a company that “could be financially successful while being ecologically and socially responsible.” It all started with worm poop, a key ingredient in creating their first product: TerraCycle Plant Food™. Since its launch, they’ve created many more in several categories. A few of their lawn and garden products include:

One of their newer products is an 8″ planting pot made entirely from recycled e-waste. The pots come in an array of colors thanks to the work of inner city artists.

TerraCycle also makes Eco (and human) friendly cleaning products as well as office supplies and bags made from recycled bottles and wrappers.

One of the best things about TerraCycle is that they package all of their bottled products in used milk jugs and soda bottles.

Aside from their products, TerraCycle provides a great opportunity for individuals and companies to recycle items that are often not recyclable in their local area. They accept these items through their “Brigade” programs which are now accepting:

  • Cookie wrappers
  • Bear Naked bags
  • Toasted Chip wrappers
  • Drink pouches
  • Energy Bar wrappers
  • Corks

In some instances, TerraCycle will even donate money to a charity of your choice when you send them recyclables. Check out their site and let me know what you think. I’ve already signed up for the Cookie Wrapper Brigade and the Cork Brigade. TerraCycle couldn’t have made it easier.