Sustainable Phone Cases

Day 164 – Our household was in need of a couple new phone cases. There were numerous options for environmentally friendly phone cases. We decided to go with Pela.

Here are a few of the reasons we decided to purchase Pela phone cases.

  1. Their cases are 100% compostable. They will completely break down in 3 to 6 months, in proper composting conditions.
  2. They are Climate Neutral Certified. They offset and reduce all of their greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. They are a certified B-Corporation. B-Corporations have met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.
  4. They are a member of 1% for the Planet. They take 1% of their profits and donate to environmental organizations.
  5. Pela’s 360 program will take your old phone case (from another brand) for FREE to recycle or upcycle it for you and if it’s an old Pela case, they’ll upcycle it into a new Pela product or compost it for you.
  6. Pela offers a Screen Protection Guarantee Policy on almost all of their phone cases.

Pela also has Habitat, which offers a line of plastic free personal hygiene products. They also created Lomi, a countertop composter. Pela has a line of plastic free pet care products called Barxby. They also have a line of compostable sunglasses and blue light glasses, Pela Vision.

If you end up switching to a more sustainable phone case and the company does not offer to recycle your old case, be sure to check out TerraCycle’s PopSockets Recycling Program. Through this program you can recycle phone cases. You can also drop off your old phone cases at the Northcenter Neighborhood Association’s Recycle Popup. Our next popup is on June 19th.

We look forward to the arrival of our new environmentally friendly phone cases. They should be arriving any day!

Tomorrow, our first farmer’s market experience.

Children’s Clothing: Grow. Recycle. Repeat.

Day 162 – On Day 61, I listed some options for clothes that have been worn out and are not suitable for donation. There are numerous places that will take and recycle your well lived clothes. Today, I wanted to include another option for you.

Carter’s has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle your child’s worn out clothing. Any non-donatable baby & kid clothing (newborn – size 14) brands are welcome. However, no shoes or accessories, at this time.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Sign up for the program. If you don’t have a TerraCycle account yet, create one here! To earn reward points and ensure your points can be tracked and awarded, use the email address on your Carter’s Rewarding Moments account. (Take a peek at your Carter’s account or sign up to be a member  here.)
  2. Fill a box with the baby and kids clothes you don’t plan to hand down or donate.
  3. Log into your account, download and print your FREE shipping label.
  4. Seal your box, affix the printed shipping label and drop it off at any UPS location.

Be sure to ship when your box is full to minimize the transportation carbon footprint for this program. Be sure the clothes are dry. Once collected, the clothing is separated by fabric type, shredded, and recycled into materials that are used for stuffing in workout equipment and furniture, as well as for home insulation.

So, there is no reason to throw out your child’s old clothes if they can not be donated. Those torn pants and stained shirts can be given a new life.

Tomorrow, the advantages to wildland farming.

Eyewear: Options for donating and recycling

Day 157 – About 60% of the world’s population needs some kind of corrective lenses. That ends up being a lot of eyeglasses and contacts being worn and eventually tossed. Thankfully, there are places to donate your eyewear and recycle your contacts.

Eyeglasses

The organization you donate to will inspect the glasses, determine the prescription, and clean the eyewear so it can be used again. Your old glasses will then get matched to someone who needs them — around the world or in your neighborhood.

  1. Lions Club International – They operate a network of collection boxes and Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers, where volunteers process donated glasses for distribution through medical missions around the world.
  2. New Eyes – A United Way agency, buys new glasses for people in need in the United States. It also accepts, processes and distributes gently used donated eyeglasses to people overseas. New Eyes accepts used prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses and children’s glasses in good to excellent condition.
  3. OneSight -An independent nonprofit that has helped more than 9 million people in 46 countries. They set up permanent vision centers and hold charitable clinics around the world. While OneSight dispenses only new eyewear to patients, they accept donations of used eyewear and send it to Lions Clubs International in support of their recycling programs.
  4. Eyes of Hope – Vision insurer VSP Global provides access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than 2 million people around the world. They accept donations of new and gently used eyewear.

Contacts

You can recycle your contacts and their packaging through TerraCycle’s Free Recycling Program. Just type in your zip code and you will be given a list of participating eye care facilities that will take your used contact lenses and packaging.

You can drop off your old eyeglasses and used contacts at the Northcenter Neighborhood Association’s Recycle Popup. Eyeglasses will be donated to the Lions Club and contacts will be recycled through TerraCycle. Our next popup will be on Saturday, June 19th.

So, on this National Eyewear Day, consider passing on those old eyeglasses to someone in need and give them the gift of good eyesight.

Tomorrow, keeping our food safe, locally and globally.

Candles: Recycling Options

Day 121 – If you have any home fragrance products from Yankee Candle®, WoodWick®, and Chesapeake Bay Candle®, including candle jars, wax melt packaging, diffuser oil bottles, Easy MeltCup containers, ScentPlug® Refills, reed diffusers and refills, room sprays, fragrance beads, and car fragrances you can recycle them all through TerraCycle.

Consider reusing the glass jars from your candle if possible — that’s the most environmentally-friendly solution there is. If you can’t reuse your empty candle jars, check with your local recycling program to see what types of glass they accept. Ensure candle jars are free of wax, wicks, and their lids before recycling curbside.

A third option is to either box up your recyclable items and send them (for free) to TerraCycle or you can drop them off at your local Yankee Candle store.

To find the closest store near you, click HERE.

To view frequently asked questions about the recycling program, click HERE.

Enjoy your favorite fragrances without the guilt.

Tomorrow, an update on the shoe collection back in March.

Shampoo: Bar or Bottle

Day 85 – Not too long ago, you could easily have found at least three different types of shampoo brands in our shower. Each accompanied with a conditioner. That is a lot of plastic bottles in one bathroom. So, for Christmas, I included some samples of shampoo bars in a basket of gifts from Mother Earth, to the kids. All the items were going to help us rid our house of single use plastic.

Well, the shampoo bars sat for a month and no one was willing to try them. So, come February, I took it upon myself to be the test subject. I used the shampoo and conditioner bar for about three weeks. I had read that some hair types would need an adjustment period to get used to using such products. In the end, I had to go back to liquid shampoo. I needed a little lather, which the bars were not offering. Besides the lack of lather, aging has not been treating my hair so nicely. So, with the little hair I do have, I wanted it to look and feel clean. Now, this was only one brand and there are countless shampoo bars on the market and I’m sure there are some really great bars out there. I have just decided to put this challenge a little lower on my list.

I definitely want to go plastic free in the shower and it seems like the only way to do that would be to use a shampoo bar or look into a retailer like Loop, that will allow me to ship my empty bottle back and have it refilled. Currently, this type of reusable packaging can be pricey for a larger family. So, I came up with a plan B that will work for now, until a better solution can be found. I perused the TerraCycle Free Programs for shampoo brands. There were a few, but I decided on Hair Food. Hair Food is sulfate-free, paraben-free, dye-free, mineral oil-free and is cruelty free. I signed up for the program and can now ship my empties to TerraCycle, where I now they will be recycled into new products.

So, even though you might have difficulty parting with a product that happens to be packaged in plastic, don’t beat yourself up. Plan B will work until you can find a successful way to complete your original plan. It’s important that you stay positive and engaged, so that you feel good and your hair, too!

Tomorrow, going dark to shed light on the environment.