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How Recycled Products Make Great Gifts

Updated on March 31, 2021
Bob Ewing profile image

Bob is a permaculture desginer who understands we can only benefit from a circular economy.

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


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