Recycled Bowls

So I know these bowls have been out for a while, but I keep seeing them whenever I go shopping, and it just reminds me of how cool they are.

These bowls (and many other similar dishes) are by a company called Zak Designs. Their confetti bowls are really unique, because they’re made out of recycled melamine, a hard plastic that was popular during the 50s and 60s. Melamine is really hard to recycle, because it can’t be melted down, so Zak Designs has been quite innovative in figuring out a way to recycle this plastic. Unfortunately, they can’t be microwaved or washed in a dishwasher, because the plastic becomes very hot. However, they are extremely durable–much more so than ordinary plastic bowls. While Zak Designs isn’t a company completely devoted to making earth-friendly goods, they are making a positive impact with these bowls and another line called Eco line. These bowls can be found pretty much anywhere–Target, Sears, Ace Hardware, and of course on Amazon.



In this blog, I’ve focused on pretty common recycled products: clothing, school supplies, packaging, etc. But recently I’ve run into a few unique types of eco-friendly products that I think are pretty cool. These companies make saving the earth their mission, and they are all trailblazers in their industries by making recycled and eco-friendly products AND donating their time and money to further their cause.

Recycled Jewelry

While walking around at a street fair, I found a booth of  glass jewelry that was really unique. The booth was set up by a company that also has a website called Recycled glass is something that doesn’t seem to be used very often in consumer products, because materials like paper, cotton, or plastic are much more widely used. That makes the word done by Carolina, the artist, really inspiring: she takes glass  from sources like windows–something that traditionally just ends up in the trash–to create really beautiful jewelry that is also completely recycled. Carolina has also expanded and created earrings out of recycled paper. She uses flyers, advertisements, and recycled cardstock to make earrings that are one-of-a-kind and eco-friendly. On her website, she has a list of stores where her jewelry can be found, and it can also be ordered right off the website. The jewelry is not too expensive and they make great gifts for someone who wants something unique!

Recycled Glasses

Like the stereotypical 80s nerd that I am, my vision is terrible. When I was last at the eye doctor, I saw several pairs of glasses that caught my attention, because they were made by a company called Eco. The company makes their glasses and sunglasses from a minimum 95% recycled materials, stainless steel for metal frames and plastic for plastic frames. They are so hardcore about their use of recycled materials that they have been certified by Underwriters Laboratories Environment, an independent verification agency. Eco has an incredibly wide variety of glasses and sunglasses, with frames of practically every shape for men and women. The glasses and sunglasses are a little pricey, but they are less expensive than other designer frames. However, Eco tries to be earth-friendly beyond the production of their glasses. They plant one tree for every pair of frames sold, and they partner with OneSight to collect old glasses to donate to people in need. Eco is also a member of 1% for the Planet, meaning that they donate at least 1% of their profits to environmental organizations every year. So the next time you need a new pair of glasses or sunglasses, consider buying Eco!

Recycled Cosmetic Accessories

For several years, I’ve had a set of cosmetic brushes that I absolutely love: they are made out of bamboo (which is highly sustainable compared to wood), cruelty-free bristles, and recycled aluminum. Recently, I also bought an “Ecopouf“–a bath sponge that is made out of 100% recycled plastic and is recyclable once you’re done using it. Both of these are from a great company called EcoTools. Everything that the company makes is eco-friendly and they have an incredible variety of products, from cosmetic bags to skin products to sponges and pumice stones. The products are completely natural or recycled, using sustainable materials and no chemicals, including recycled plastic, cotton and hemp, and natural butters for skin care products. The packaging for the products is made with post-consumer recycled plastic, and are often reusable or recyclable. Like Eco glasses, EcoTools is a member of 1% for the Planet. The environmental organizations that they support are EarthShare and the Wildlife Alliance. Even with something as simple as cosmetic and bath accessories, it’s really easy to be eco-friendly!

These are just a few innovative companies that are seeking to make every area 0f consumption eco-friendly with recycled and sustainable products. Feel free to share any great companies that you’ve found!

Recycled School Supplies

There’s a huge new emergence of eco-friendly school supplies–school supplies are so often thrown out at the end of each school year that using recycled supplies really helps to reduce your environmental impact. I’ve already covered recycled pencils, but here are a few other helpful school supplies.

Recycled newspaper pencil pouch: This pencil pouch is made from recycled newspapers. They are woven together in small strips so it is incredible durable and can fit a ton of supplies. It can be found at Barnes and Noble, as can many other similar supplies.

Recycled pens and pencils: A huge amount of recycled pens can be found at Earth Friendly Pens. They are specially made as promotional pens for companies to advertise. There are pens made from recycled paper, plastic, bamboo, and wood. They also have pencils and notebooks.

Recycled ruler: This (tiny pictured) recycled ruler is made from 70% recycled materials. 30% of it is post-consumer recycled, while the other 40% is post-industrial. This ruler can be found at Staples.

Recycled notebooks and binders: ReBinder provides tons of recycled office and school supplies, including binders, dividers, notebooks, and business cards. The notebooks are made with 100% recycled paper. The binders are made with recycled cardboard, and business cards are 100% recycled stock.


Check out Chipotle’s new bag!

While they could definitely improve on the 30%, it’s great to see a restaurant like Chipotle being environmentally conscious with their food packaging. Chipotle also uses napkins that are made with 100% recycled materials. More information about Chipotle’s environmental impact can be found at


Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything–I’ve been on a little bit of a hiatus since the end of classes taking a much needed break. In the meantime though, I’ve posted quite a few links to other sites that have a similar theme to mine. I’m also working on a new post about recycled jeans to go in my Top 5 category, so that should be posted in a couple of days. This one is proving to be a little bit tougher–not a lot of companies make recycled jeans, because it’s more difficult to make jeans out of recycled cotton than fresh cotton. This just means that the companies that do make my list will be really fantastic!

Also, since being back at work, I’ve been reintroduced to how much waste is created in stores. But I noticed at Hallmark that we recently got some shopping bags that are made with 100% recycled paper. So, I’ve decided to introduce a new set of posts–basically recycling measures that everyday companies are making that we might not even notice. For instance, Urban Outfitters is now using shopping bags made with non-woven polypropylene (PPNW), which cost about the same to make as paper bags, but are completely reusable–and Urban Outfitters encourages people to reuse them.

So that’s what to expect in the coming weeks! Hope you enjoy it 😀

Eco Crafts Kit

This is one super unique way to use recycled materials: an eco crafts kit! This crafts kit by ALEX Toys uses recycled paper and has pencils, stickers, and wooden building materials all made out of recycled materials. Making crafts with kids can use up a lot of resources, so making crafts in a sustainable way is really helpful!

The kit comes with tons of materials and instructions to make certain craft projects, so you can get plenty of use out of it. The kit can be found at stores such as Bachmann’s, Dick Blick Art Supplies, Creative Kidstuff, and tons of independent stores across the country.

Upcoming Events

Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles–Friday April 29th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; Textile Museum, 2320 S St NW, Washington, DC 20008
Jessica Moon Bernstein–Friday April 29th from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, 1750 13th St, Boulder, CO 80302

More information can be found at

Habitat for Humanity Restore Green Fair–Saturday April 30th from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm; 1785 Stratford Ave, Stratford, CT 06615

More information can be found at

Recycled Flower Pots for Mom–Saturday April 30th from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm; 300 Tawes Dr, Elkton, MD 21921

More information can be found at

Wild Earth Fest–Sunday May 1st from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm; 452 New Providence Rd, Mountainside, NJ 07092

More information can be found at

Green Evening Series: “Waste Management & Recycling”–Tuesday May 3rd from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm; Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP; 1000 Marsh Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025

More information can be found at

2011 Ballston Arts & Crafts Market–Saturday May 14th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Welburn Square, Arlington, VA 22203

More information can be found at

Deconstruction, Building Materials Reuse, and Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D) Recycling Conference 2011–Sunday May 15th through Thursday May 19th; Yale University, 17 Hillhouse Ave #460, New Haven, CT

More information can be found at

Green Business Networking Mixer & Recycle Point–Tuesday July 12th from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm; 212 Marine St Suite 100, Santa Monica, CA 90405

More information can be found at