a boots-on-the-ground view of the change that's a-foot

Posts Tagged ‘recycle’

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I’m still awed and inspired by the Terracycle eco-capitalist model and their recycling programs. Here’s a bit more about it –

Status Quo (or, How We Got Here) Capitalism: takes raw materials from the earth which causes depletion and destruction of resources and habitats >>> sends it to a factory which uses polluting and wasteful manufacturing processes >>> products go to consumers, most of which end up in landfills.

Eco-Capitalism: Uses garbage as raw material >>> sends to a more sustainably-operated factory >>> products go to consumers >>> products disposed of are recycled and/or turned back into raw material.

TerraCycle points out that there is no waste in nature and we must achieve that same level of sustainability to well, sustain on this earth.

This sounds like Einstein got together with a couple of college kids and… hey, I guess it sort of happened that way at TerraCycle, although the college students didn’t need an Einstein. A little bit of science, logic and passion did the trick.

Now for those ingenius recycling programs of theirs – go here to sign up for yourself, your school, neighborhood, workplace, daycare, or organization. You won’t need any form of Einstein, since it’s beyond simple. You collect any number of designated common trash (yogurt containers, cookie/sportbar wrappers, drink pouches, corks, plastic bottles, etc.), they send you collection containers and free shipping materials and you send it back at your convenience. THEN, they pay you 2 cents for every piece of trash you collect and give it to a non-profit organization of your choice. They will upcycle or recyle your waste.

Sign up HERE.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 276 user reviews.

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I hope you had a happy, hopeful new Year’s celebration. Although, in many ways, I’ve landed with a thud at the bottom of my mountain in 2009, a little battered and bruised, I’m still feeling ready to pick myself up and continue on the path towards change (after all, as Joseph Campbell reminded us, “The warrior always says yes.”).

I usually have a feeling of settling down and “cleaning things up” when January arrives and although I’ve toned down most of my past holiday raceabout, I still get in this groove this time of year. It’s tempting to want to simply sweep things up and out to the curb – gift boxes, decorations, packing materials, food containers and the like…but don’t get stuck in that moment! More things are recyclable than ever before and you can start your New Year off well by getting the job done right.

Don’t know where to start? Go to and find out why, how and where to recycle anything in your area (conveniently listed by zip code).

For instance, my most exciting holiday gift was a cd rack that found for $4.00 at the thrift store – I happily spent some of New Year’s Day FINALLY pulling year’s worth of cds out of shoe boxes and arranging them for more convenient access, discovering long lost and favorite music along the way. I ended up with a couple dozen “dead” disks, which I am shipping off to to be recycled.

I’m cleaned up at home without messing up the planet – ahhh!

Happy, Healthy Year! Tao

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 291 user reviews.

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