Zero Waste Boxes: Assisting you on your zero waste journey

Day 77 – I first talked about TerraCylce on Day 23. I gave a brief description of the various services they offered. On Day 56, I went into greater detail about the Free Recycling Programs. Today, I am sharing information about their Zero Waste Boxes.

Zero Waste Boxes collect anything from candy and snack wrappers to cassette tapes. They have boxes for pretty much anything. I purchased the Kitchen Separation box. The kitchen has been the most challenging room in the house when it comes to going zero waste. Food packaging is difficult to avoid and recycle. It’s the frozen fry bag, the shredded cheese bag, the tortilla chip bag, and so on and so on. All of this packaging used to go into the garbage and now it goes into the Zero Waste Box.

Some say that the existence of TerraCycle is encouraging companies to continue making products that are disposable and non-recyclable. I say, TerraCycle exists to help us on our journey to zero waste. We may never reach the end of that journey, but we can improve along the way. There is nothing easy about living a life of zero waste and it most certainly does not happen overnight. TerraCycle is there to help us recycle our trash, while we make adjustments to minimize the waste we produce.

After you order your Zero Waste Box and it arrives at your home or workplace, the collecting begins. Most of my trash that I put in the Kitchen Waste box is plastic bags (food packaging). I could put many other items in the box (plastic packaging, paper packaging, filters, cleaning accessories, coffee and tea accessories, party supplies and dining disposables, interior home furnishings, prescription drug packaging, fabrics and clothing), but I have found using the box for plastic packaging has been the most beneficial.

Now, the not so great news. The Zero Waste Boxes are not cheap. The cost of the box pays for the shipping of the box to TerraCycle and the recycling of the items in the box. It takes a real commitment to want to pay for these boxes and for many, it’s just not in the budget to cover the cost. If you’re interested, but the price tag is discouraging, I suggest you start a Zero Waste Box fund. Place loose change in a jar and save up that way. Or you could even suggest a Zero Waste Box for a gift suggestion around the holidays or for your birthday. If there is a will, there is a way. I collected my plastic food packaging in a regular brown box until I was able to purchase my first box. I also suggest that you sign-up for an account with TerraCycle, so you’ll receive updates and news when there is a sale on Zero Waste Boxes. And they do have sales.

With the help of the Zero Waste Box, recycling and the incredible ease of composting with Waste Not Compost, my family of six has gone from two bags of garbage (minimum) per week to one bag of garbage every two weeks. So we have gone from producing 104 bags of waste (on the low end) per year to just 24. Can we do better? There’s no doubt we can. We’ve only been at this new way of living for 3 months.

So, celebrate Global Recycling Day, by coming up with a plan to reduce your daily waste.

Tomorrow, ways to have a sustainable Easter.

Recycle and Bring Donation Dollars to Your Favorite Charity

Day 56 – Can it be that easy? Yes, it can! Your trash can actually benefit others. TerraCycle makes it all possible through their Points Program. I have mentioned TerraCycle in numerous posts (Day 23, Day 37 and Day 55) and how they recycle pretty much everything. I have posted about various partnerships that TerraCycle has created with companies to help make recycling easier. Their partnership with Nordstrom helps recycle makeup containers and their partnership with Rubbermaid helps recycle your well-used plastic containers. These are not the only companies working with TerraCycle. There are plenty that want you to take their empty packaging and return them for points. In turn, you can redeem those points in the form of charitable dollars. To date, TerraCycle has donated close to $45 million to charity.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Create an account on the TerraCycle website.
  2. Check out the Free Recycling Programs and signup for the ones that pertain to you and the products you use. Do not get discouraged if the program you signed up for is full. You will be put on the waitlist. You can sign up for as many programs as you want.
  3. Collect items for each of your programs.
  4. Once you have enough packaging to ship (some programs have a minimum amount requirement), all you have to do is print out a shipping label and send your recyclables to TerraCycle.
  5. You will then receive points for your recycled material.
  6. You can redeem those points in the form of charitable donations.

​​“TerraCycle has partnered with various non-profit organizations so that your recycling efforts not only help the environment, but also contribute to a wide variety of causes. Whether you want to protect national parks, provide water to someone in need, or offer free music classes to children, your efforts can truly make a difference.” – TerraCycle

If you would like to make a donation to a national nonprofit that is not featured as one of their partners, tell TerraCycle about them! They are always interested in hearing where you would like to see TerraCycle making a difference.

I am currently enrolled in the following programs:

  1. Burt’s Bees Recycling Program
  2. Gillette Razor Recycling Program
  3. Hair Food Recycling Program
  4. EOS Recycling Program
  5. Rubbermaid Food Storage Recycling Program

If boxing up and shipping out isn’t your thing, feel free to join my collections and let me do the boxing and shipping for you.

So, start collecting! Take your trash and turn it into a gift for a worthy cause.

Tomorrow, celebrating Skip the Straw Day.