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How Recycled Products Make Great Gifts

Updated on December 9, 2012

Buy Recycled

The economy is driven by consumers (you and me) going out to buy stuff. It really does not matter what you buy as long as you buy the wheels keep on turning. Now when times get tight and cash and credit are harder to come by well then things get tight all around.

Now I know this is a simplistic explanation of how an economy works but when we have money to spend we can make a difference in the products that are produced. Do not buy an item and it will vanish.

This short trip through economics pre-101 is an introduction into the world of recycled products that are out there waiting for us to buy, when we must get out and purchase something.

It does not matter whether you are buying shoes, shirts, hoodies, backpack or pens there is a recycled product just waiting for you to bring it home.

What better way to encourage recycling than to create a market demand for recycled products. You want drinking glasses, well companies such as Natural Spacessell recycled glasses and dinnerware.

You get set you table with products that have been reclaimed from the waste stream and look good while doing it.

Tiles napkin rings and sun catchers are other products that are made from recycled glass so if you need or simply want glassware then take a look at what the recycled glass market is offering.

If you or someone on your gift lists is an outdoor enthusiast then, Patagonia makes clothing for both men and women that are recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program. Patagonia launched our Common Threads Garment Recycling Program, through which customers could return their worn out Capilene® Performance Base layers to us for recycling.

When it comes to clothing you may also want to give some thought to second hand or vintage clothing. You may be able to create your own personal look and bring new life to a distinctive item at the same time, vintage jewelry and accessories are also popular.

A necklace that is made of parts from a computer circuit board may be just the item you need to say I care about the planet. Computer waste is a major problem and while there are some recycling programs much still ends up in the waste stream.

Now the ideal way to deal with waste is to not create it in the first place; to manufacture goods in a closed loop process that uses the waste from one process to make another product.

William McDonough is an architect and designer who has won several prestigious awards. McDonough along with Michael Braungart has evolved a new design and manufacturing process that eliminates waste. Their book Cradle To Cradle details the process.

This article on the textile industry is a good introduction to what McDonough is doing.

There is a long way to go in the transformation of our current means of production into a process that is designed upon the principles and concepts that McDonough has detailed. Until then we can each do our bit to keep the waste stream from expanding and keep the economy ticking by buying recycled goods when we can and when we need to buy.

Cradle to Cradle


Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for confirming the steel drm and the added info.

  • guitarcasesonline profile image

    guitarcasesonline 6 years ago

    Great post. Just to let you know, the steel drum was in fact made by in the slums of Trinidad from old oil barrels (Trinidad is an oil producer, and there were so many of these barrels just discarded as waste.) It is the only acoustic instrument invented in the 20th century in fact, and a whole industry and new music developed around it. The way the notes are arranged on the steel drum is unique and surprisingly scientific (in a cycle of fourths, for those of you who know music theory). It just goes to show the unused potential in our so-called "garbage".

    I just put up my first hub myself about making a bookshelf out of your old guitar case, after seeing an artist from France do the same.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, I do believe steel drums have been made from barrels. That sounds like a great event something I'd like to try.

  • Storytellersrus profile image

    Barbara 8 years ago from Stepping past clutter

    Hey Bob, great Hub.  Wasn't it steel drums that started from recycled oil barrels or something?  I did a booth once during a fundraiser for Haiti where we focused on everything recycled, because that is how so many of the poor in Haiti survive.  My daughters and I went through the house and boxed up all sorts of extra stuff- lots of weird combinations of items we no longer used or needed.  Then we offered visitors a chance to create something, i.e., jewelry... art... from whatever they could find at our table.  The only stipulation was they had to use whatever they took.  We had glue and paint and rubber bands and pin clips as extra items.  We charged a minimal fee because we were emphasizing consciousness raising.  But it was a lot of fun and the final creations were incredible.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, a search for jewellry recycled circuit boards should bring you som pics.

  • RGraf profile image

    Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

    Very good info. Never thought of the necklace out of computer parts. I would love to see some of them.