Tag Archives: Green Toys Inc

If you’re not buying recycled products, you’re not really recycling

If you’re not buying products made from recycled materials, you’re not really recycling.

I read this statement the other day, and it stuck with me because it’s so true (and people forget).

Recycling is an energy consuming process. It is not the solution to our waste issues, our plastic oceans and high consumption of resources, but a last resort that can minimize the carbon footprint of our modern, on-the-go, lives. IF we use the materials that come out of recycling, that is.

Here’s the twist; most of USA’s plastic “recyclables” are exported to China. There, they are used to make everything from fleece jackets to stadium seats. China imports around 40% of the world’s plastic scrap, so if you buy “recycled plastic products” from China, chances are the material came from your curb. It’s a crazy world (and sadly, China is drowning in western trash).

Another twist to the plastic recycling business is that many processing centers actually don’t have the funds to recycle low grade plastics anymore, like plastic bags and produce containers (think cherry tomatoes and strawberries) so they end up in landfill or being incinerated (dioxin pollution!) anyway.

Why? Because there is NO DEMAND for the products that can be made from low grade plastic.

So yes, we must stop consuming plastic like it is “recyclable”. We need to avoid it like the plague! Plus, whenever possible, we must choose recycled products.

In a perfect world we should not be shipping off our “trash” to other countries but recycle it locally, so in an effort to get there, we should buy locally manufactured products made from recycled materials.

Of course not just plastic, the other recyclables too; paper, glass, metals, clothes.

Need ideas? Ok!

Reusable water bottles

Liberty BottleWorks make lightweight and durable bottles from recycled aluminum in Washington State. In fact, it’s the only US-made 100% recycled metal bottle in the market.

Liberty BottleWorks take pride in having a zero waste factory and allocating a portion of their sales to environmental organizations and community services.

Did you know that recycling aluminum saves a lot of waste? While 2.2 lbs of aluminum extracted from the earth creates almost 200 lbs of waste in the process, 2.2 lbs of recycled aluminum creates only 7.5.

Batteries

Can an environmentalist live without using “disposable batteries”? Almost. Smoke detectors, wireless keyboards and baby gear use them though.

Energizer now has batteries made from 4% recycled batteries. I know that sounds low, but it’s a start! By voting with our dollars and buying these instead of regular batteries, hopefully that percentage will go up, up, up. (Always check where batteries are made. There is absolutely no reason to buy made in Asia, when made in USA costs the same.)

Toilet paper, kitchen towels, trash bags

We actually really like Seventh Generation’s paper products and I encourage everyone to make the switch to 100% recycled paper. Think you can’t afford anything but the bargain brand? Well, the solution to that is to use less paper, by opting for cloth napkins and cotton towels 99% of the time. We keep paper kitchen towels around for picking up the occasional dead cockroach or wiping greasy pans (then compost).

Did you know that if every household in the USA switched just one packet of eight kitchen towels to recycled paper we’d collectively save 3,400,000 trees in a year?

Seventh Generation’s large trash bags is a better choice as well, as they are made from 65% post-consumer recycled plastic. Think you can’t afford anything but the bargain brand? Well, the solution to that is to use fewer bags by creating less trash. Avoid one-time-use items and start a compost for food scraps.

Did you know that if every household in the USA replaced just one package of 14 count trash bags made from virgin plastic with 65% recycled ones, we could save 221,000 barrels of oil?

Plastic bottles (when/if we must)

If you’re buying shampoo or drinks in plastic bottles, look for the symbol that tells you part of the bottle was made from recycled plastic. Every bit of fossil fuel saving helps.

recycling USA recycled material

For the kids

Green Toys Inc. have a bunch of different products likes buckets, water toys, kitchen play sets, cars, airplanes and an awesome green recycling truck. All their toys are non-toxic, safe, BPA- and phalate-free, and made in USA from curbside collected recyclables.

Re-Play make their products using only recycled milk jugs. While Green Toys focus on play, Re-Play has all the essentials for baby dinner time.  Eco-friendly and made in USA.

Did you know that for every pound of recycled milk jugs used to make products, enough energy is saved to power a TV for three weeks straight?

Cookware

SCANPAN utilizes 100% recycled aluminum – aluminum that might previously have served as beer cans, bicycle frames or something else. These pans are made in Denmark though (from aluminum consumed over there naturally!).

Did you know that 75% of the world’s produced aluminum is still being used, over and over, thanks to recycling efforts?

There are countless products using recycled materials! We just need to make it a habit to read labels so we can pick them out from the rest. Remember, if you’re not buying products made from recycled materials, you’re not really recycling.

Got a favorite “recycling” brand? Please share it in the comments! :)

Read more about recycling and material’s recyclability here, at Going Zero Waste.

 

Two years of blogging and the best stuff of made right (here)

Woo! 2 years ago I started this blog with a few trembling words and a commitment in my heart to change my shopping habits and inspire America to do the same. (Yep, I aim high.)

I am celebrating my blogging fun with a list of the five most loved, awesome or unexpected items I have bought since the challenge started. All made right here of course! If it wasn’t for the restrictions I set for myself back in 2014, I may never have gone looking and found these brands.

1. Best all-around purchase
Wow, have we saved a lot of styrofoam, plastics and paper cups from hitting landfills this past year! #loveyou. My made in USA Life Factory glass bottle is my trusty companion and partner in reduce waste crime. Of course I’ve had reusable bottles before but non as handy as this one. “How often do you wash that thing?” I was once asked after countless lunches with my colleagues. That’s between me and my bottle.

Just hanging on the couch
Just hanging on the couch

2. Best baby item
The award for best toy or kids item must go to the recycling truck from Green Toys Inc. Safe, BPA-free, made of recycled milk jugs, packaged in un-bleached carton without plastic and made right here. I think it is so wonderful that someone is producing responsibly-made plastic toys, since plastic seems to be very popular in the kiddos’ first years of playing and chewing. They have so many items – trucks, buckets, bath toys, kitchen sets, teethers – anything your kid will need, reasonably priced and often on sale on Amazon.

My little nephew loved his recycling truck
My little nephew loved his recycling truck

3. Best life changing product
I might have found this brand even if I wasn’t on the challenge, but it has changed my skin and therefore changed my life. Skin Ceuticals are made in USA and cost a fortune. I pay a whopping 250 dollars every 4-5 months for my correct and prevent regime. And yes, I am probably overdosing on these acids but it’s working and I’m worth it! I’ll take “acid-addict” over blemishes and lines any day.

Miracle workers.
Miracle workers.

4. Best surprise
Did you know that the Home Depot has screws and bolts made in USA & Germany now? Spax is the brand and this was the biggest (best) surprise I got last year. I always randomly check tags at the Home Depot and finally there’s hardware not made in China (or Taiwan). My hubs says they’re great, and as he makes up for what I lack in the DIY department, I need to take his word for it.

So awesome!
So awesome!

5. Best break-the-rules impulse item
You know I hardly ever buy anything big-brand leather, and I stay away from “want to haves”, but this Tory Burch leather gold emblem bangle has proven more than worthy of an exception. I wear this made in USA bling at least twice a week. It just goes with everything I own!! If you want one, don’t get it online though, few bracelets are actually USA made and they all sort of look alike. I got this one at the Tory Burch outlet for about 60 dollars.

Made in USA bling
Made in USA bling

When you shop as few and carefully chosen items as I do, all things become more valuable, memorable and special. I truly recommend a shopping-challenge to anyone wanting a more grateful attitude in life :)

Read my very first post here.

Cute kids deserve safe, US made toys (yes, they do!)

How annoying is it when people try to force their beliefs on you? Most of the time, it’s very annoying. Hopefully, I am not as annoying. I’m not trying to make you do what you don’t want to do, but I will keep talking about reducing consumption and making better choices. It’s just a reminder, and one you can’t really argue. Of course we should all be more mindful of what we purchase and ultimately, what we throw away.

So, with that said, I am guilty of bombarding my sister’s family with a lot of “good choice” presents and “advice”. She does get the organic pasture raised eggs now (they’re better for you and for the chickens) but I fear that alone won’t keep me from nagging.

Last time we visited, I brought the gift of recycling. To be precise, a recycling truck made from recycled plastic, here in the states, by Green Toys Inc. Score! I was really excited about this gift (naturally) and fortunately my nephew seemed to love it too.

maxan

Green Toys have a bunch of different products and lines. Buckets, water toys, kitchen play sets, cars, airplanes and more. All their toys are non-toxic, safe, BPA-free and made from curbside collected recyclables.

So don’t tell me all kids toys are made in China! Here’s proof that they’re not. And you can afford it. Just buy one Green Toy instead of three random ones at Toys R’ Us. Reduce your consumption and vote with your dollars.

My gorgeous nephew and I will discuss the (depressing) recycling situation in America in more depth when he gets a little older. Maybe when he’s like three. That should be a good time to start.