Posts Tagged ‘Terracycle’

About two weeks ago, a day or two before Earth Day, when the kids and I were coming out of Port Authority I spotted a store that had the words “recycling” and “green” plastered all over it. It was an odd location — almost like a little cave in the mountain of that huge industrial structure off 8th Avenue. We were running late for the theater, but we had enough time for a quick look.

Inside, I was greated by an Oreo Cookie bag kite. Then the familiar Capri Sun bag. And, of course, a home planter kit made from little Stonyfield yogurt cups. It wasn’t just your ordinary pop up store, I  had entered the domain of Terracyle.

As I marketer, I knew about Capri Sun bags  — but I didn’t know that there was a real green initiative behind it. I thought those bags were simply another way to trick consumers into advertising their brand while feeling trendy at the same time. Which is sort of is. (I just don’t trust any company that sells its final product in Walmart). But Terracylce seems like a whole lot more than that phonemonah and whether or not it’s politics this company seems to be keeping volumes of garbage  out of the landfill, while  bringing the idea of “reuse” to the general consumers conscience, in a way that isn’t preachy. In fact, it’s telling people in a mass market way, re-use, with a little imagination, can be cool.

Earthday snacks

That Sunday, after baseball, we went to an Earth Day Event at the Y on Nagle Avenue — our local Y. One of the vendors was giving away little Cliff Bars. The kids scrambled over, and before I could say anything, they were unwrapping their chocolate chip energy bar revealing the shiny silver inside. My stomach sunk and I felt my whole body tense– here was another piece of garbage I had allowed to happen, all  because I didn’t want to look like the strident, crazy, mom and hadn’t said no. And on Earth Day, too!

The woman smiled the calm smile of someone who, unlike me, hadn’t stopped paying attention to what was happening environmentally back in the 70’s.”When you’re done,” she called happily to the kids, “bring me back the wrappers. I can recycle them.”

My whole body relaxed. “Really?”

She showed me the recycling box and nodded.

It was then that I learned that Terracycle will take back a whole host of garbage including certain candy and gum wrappers to old pens and glue. What they do with that garbage goes way beyond the Capri Sun bags and backpacks — they make over 178 items.

While those space age pouches were never a daily drink, in the summer, we used to keep them around. They travel well. The freeze well. Heck, they even act as freezer packs until the kids drink them. I seriously never thought of their environmental impact. I thought about the sugar content and for a while searched out Honest Kids.

Since we found out about terracycle, we’ve been collecting garbage. We’ve been scouting for pouches during school field trips. John’s been keeping his gum wrappers. I’ve emailed my HR person at work to see if I can start collecting candy wrappers. I’ve emailed the school PTAs  and I’ve put the word out at Little League that I want to collect pouches.

“Garbage mom” on deck
There’s a lot of drink pouch action at baseball.  A  lot of pouches  get given out at snack — even among the other CSA saavy moms. People were surprised and pleased to find out that they could be diverted from the landfill. I’m slowly spreading the word, but for now, I’m trying to collect as much as I can. Yesterday, I even found myself pulling the pouches out of the trash can.

Sure the kids look at me a little strangely, but  that’s good. TV commercials (which I actually love) teach them to “Respect the pouch.” What I’m trying to show them is it’s not just a fun juice pouch, it’s garbage. And  until we parents wean ourselves off the kid convenience snacks (which we should), it’s gotta go somewhere

Join the Calibans Kitchen Brigade

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