How to Reuse and Recycle Packaging

The most efficient way to cut back on household waste and recycling is to reuse an item you have used. Items such as glass jars, plastic containers, tin cans, cardboard boxes, and egg cartons can all be reused around your house. Some may think that this is impossible, but the possibilities are endless.

Reusing packaging is a way to test your crafty side. If you mess up, well you did not waste money because you were reusing. So basically you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Here are some ideas on how to reuse packages:

Glass jars give you the opportunity to store food that does not originally come from a package. This is perfect for storing food from your garden. Do not have a garden? This reusing gives you the perfect excuse to start one. A fun activity that will also reduce your grocery shopping bill.

Glass containers are one of my favorite items to reuse. I love having fresh flowers in the house so having a glass container, or a vase, to put them in is always nice. Decorating these glass containers are also a fun project to get creative with.

Plastic containers can be reused in a number of ways. They can be used for storage (crayons, nails, tacs, etc.) to keep items around your house neat. Containers can also be used to grow plants in.

Tin cans can be made into magnets. They can also be used as caddies in a garden.

Give a kid a cardboard box and they could be entertained for hours. Small cardboard boxes can be used to create houses and other art projects. They can also be used to store office supplies. Transforming a box into an art project is perfect for a pen box that sits on your desk. 

Egg cartons are the perfect item for art projects for kids. They can be used to hold paint or used to be painted on for art projects. Egg cartons are also a good resource to start seedlings that are being prepared to plant into a garden.



How to reuse packaging safely is very important to consider. states some very important rules to follow when it comes to reusing packaging. Glass containers can be reused indefinitely, but you do want to make sure they are cleaned properly. You have to be careful when reusing plastic containers. Checking what kind of plastic was used in the packaging is a good place to start. The safest plastics for repeated use in storing food are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE, or plastic #2), low-density polyethylene (LDPE, or plastic #4) and polypropylene (PP, or plastic #5). Plastics #3, #6 and #7 can possibly leach toxic contaminants when used repeatedly. Egg, milk, and juice cartons should not be reused for food because they trap bacteria and are hard to clean. Reusing packaging can be fun and help reduce waste if done correctly.




Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, we should all learn a few basic tips that allow us to be more eco-friendly and produce less waste!

  • Reuse old boxes for presents. Already used boxes can be be great for packaging your gift because they can be reused more than once. Bring these old cardboard boxes back to life by making them more festive by using old pieces of wrapping paper and gluing or taping the scraps to the box. 
  • Use fabric as wrapping paper. This holiday season, instead of filling trash bags with ripped up wrapping paper, try using fabric as wrapping paper. This way, you will be able to stop using unsustainable rolls of wrapping paper and be more environmentally friendly. You can also be creative by wrapping presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper. You can also use fabric such as a scarf, dish towel, bandana, or another cloth item.
  • Buy energy saving lights for the holiday season. Swap the tradition incandescent lights for LED lights to decorate your house. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights. By Using LED lights, you can safe your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season!
  • Shop online to save energy and fuel that you would use to travel from one to another, this will also save you money on gas.   
  • Send your greeting cards electronically. Every year about 2.6 billion greeting cards are sent. Sending a greeting card electronically is the perfect way to reduce waste. Websites like Hallmark or Photobucket offers a selection of holiday greeting cards that allow for great personalization options for you and your family. If you prefer to take the more traditional route by sending cards through the mail, look for holiday cards printed out on recycled paper. 
  • Give new life to old greeting cards by recycling the cards by cutting them into your favorite images and details from the cards . You can then turn these into gift tags or use them as decoration.

Old Vinyl Records Pump Up the Volume

Need an amplifier to pump up the volume on your smartphone? How about “Change the Record”. That’s the newly designed product from London-based Paul Cocksedge. Old vinyl records are reused and then turned into a stylish, retro amp that has the vintage look of a phonograph. Of all the reused products I’ve seen, this might be the coolest one. The best part is that there’s no need for wires or electricity.

The 12″ records are heated and molded into a sound-enhancing conic shape which boosts the volume of the music being played from a smartphone. Of course there’s no volume adjustment but this beauty is all about aesthetics.


More Evidence of Green Packaging Growth

World demand for green packaging is expected to rise 5.7% per year to $212 billion in 2015. We’ve been tracking these projections for a couple of years now. Without becoming redundant, it should be noted that these growth numbers have been consistent. A lot of speculation rose over the green packaging market a few years ago that is was a passing fad. But surviving a terrible world economy is a tell tale sign that the demand is real.

This new growth projection for green packaging comes from a new study by the Freedonia Group. The study shows recycled-content packaging as being the largest product type by far. However, recycled-content packaging will see the slowest increases due to the maturity of products such as metal cans and glass containers. Reusable and degradable packaging will experience above-average growth with degradable packaging in particular seeing double digit annual growth rates. Though degradable packaging’s demand will increase significantly, it will only make up approximately 1% of the overall green packaging market by 2015.

The largest regional green packaging market in the world will remain Asia/Pacific at $79 billion because of its large food and beverage industries. Asia will see some of the fastest growth in India, China,  and Indonesia. Other countries such as Russia, Turkey, Brazil, and Mexico will see healthy gains as well.

Accounting for 23% of the green packaging market in 2010, the US has the largest market share by a long shot. Other mature markets can be found in Germany as well as Japan though Japan’s growth is expected to slow down quite a bit.

Stay tuned…..although at this point we can predict the same type of story in the next study.

iPad Cases Made From Bernie Madoff’s Clothing

Frederick James designs and manufactures fashion iPad cases made out of luxury rescued and vintage fabrics such as Cashmere, Silk, Rayon, Organza and Wool. Now, they’re taking these recycled iPad cases to the next level- using Bernie Madoff’s salvaged clothing. Yes, that’s right…..Bernie Madoff’s salvaged clothing.

The iPad case collection called “The Bernie Madoff” uses a limited number of personal clothing items belonging to the notorious felon, Bernie Madoff. After his arrest, US Marshalls seized and auctioned thousands of items from his New York homes. Each iPad case is one-of-a-kind and they range in price from $250 to $500…..Wait, how much does an actual iPad cost? $500? Ok… Founder John Vaccaro warns purchasers that the cases are strictly for fashion use and should not be trusted to keep an iPad safe in the case of a drop.

And if you’re wondering “Who is that guy?”, Bernie Madoff is the admitted operator of what has been described as the largest Ponzi scheme in history. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009.


What it Means to go Green

We are encompassed by the words green, eco-friendly, and sustainable, but do we really know what it fully means to be eco-friendly and go green? Going green are steps we can take to replace environmentally harmful behaviors with behaviors that are friendly. These new behaviors can be simple or complex based on small or large scale atmospheres. Smaller scale behaviors can be done at home by an individual or a few others, while large scale operations can be done by corporations trying to become more sustainable overall.

Going green is centered around three words: reduce, reuse, and recycle. There are many ways to put these words into action and become more eco-friendly. One person can make a difference by following those three words in their everyday lives. One can reduce the amount of plastic bag usage by bringing their own bags when shopping. Reusable bottles can be used for water, juice, ect instead of drinking bottled beverages. And a person can take part in a recycling program at home so items can have the chance to be made into something else instead of going to the landfill.

Corporations can take their part in helping the environment by reducing, reusing, and recycling. Companies can find ways to make their packaging more eco-friendly by reducing ink and print content or the use of plastics. Amazon did this with their “frustration free” packaging by reducing content on their boxes and just having words on their packaging. They can also take their waste products from production and find ways to reuse them in other aspects of their business. PepsiCo’s UK Walkers brand potato chips did this by using the starch from their unused potato peels. Companies can also sprinkle eco-friendliness in their offices by initializing a recycling program and getting employees involved.

Every little bit of time we take to do things to be more eco-friendly helps our planet. So what does it mean to go green? Anything that will help the earth is an act of going green. Whether its done by an individual or a corporation, we can all take out part in protecting our planet.


Sustainable Packaging Emerging in Beauty Products

Beauty products are saying goodbye to old plastic packaging and focusing on sustainable packaging. This is because two major players- Whole Foods and Procter & Gamble – are passing new regulations for sustainable and recyclable packaging.

Whole Foods’ new regulation goes in effect this month and requires suppliers to use packaging materials that are easily reused or recycled, are non-toxic, and call for a switch from plastic to glass whenever possible. Strengthening their commitment to reducing, reusing, and recycling waste is the main objective. Whole Foods has switched to post-consumer recycled bottles for most of their store-brand personal care and nutritional supplement products. They have also implemented responsible packaging guidelines for all of the company’s personal care product suppliers (more than 1,300). The new regulations will cause many brands to adapt to their sustainable packaging objectives regardless of wherever else they are sold.

Over the next few years, Procter & Gamble will switch to sustainable packaging made from sugarcane produced in Brazil. P&G employed Brazilian supermodel and Pantene endorser Gisele Bundchen to announce the switch. The initiative will help meet the needs of women around the world who have been demanding more environmentally friendly products with no trade-offs in performance, aesthetic, or value.

Brands like The Body Shop and Stila have had a longer history of using green packaging but with the new changes from a giant like Procter & Gamble, it’s a sure sign of change in the mainstream marketplace.

Sustainable Packaging Flourishes Despite A Weak Economy

Most sectors of packaging have been taking a hit during these tough economic times, but not sustainable packaging. Sustainable packaging has experienced positive growth over the past two years and it’s not expected to slow down. According to “Sustainable (Green) Packaging: A Global Strategic Business Report”, the green packaging market should to be worth $142 billion by 2015.

What sectors of packaging are the key developers of sustainable packaging? Cosmetics and personal care, food and beverage, shipping, and healthcare packaging have all embraced green packaging to a large degree.

There are key driving forces that account for the growth of sustainable packaging. Growing concerns of the environment around the globe is number one. Also, stricter government regulations are making it mandatory for companies to adhere to sustainable practices and production. Other drivers include increased awareness about recycling of packaging wastes and companies cutting costs by using recycled and reusable materials in manufacturing.

The United States and Europe currently cover more than 70 percent of the global green packaging market. Recycled material is the most important packaging category in the US, accounting for 90 percent of the total demand.

The fastest growing region for green packaging is expected to be Asia-Pacific with 10 percent annual growth over the next 5 years. The fastest growing segment of the packaging industry are biodegradables with the highest demand coming from bioplastics.

It’s Gonna Be A Good Year

How about this for creative packaging? A wine label completely unglued to the bottle itself attached by a rubber band. Why? Because it’s a poster!

2010 is the name of the wine and it has a very positive outlook on the year. The poster reads “Got a feeling it’s gonna be a good year”. After the wine is finished, hang the poster on your wall or refrigerator and return the wine bottle. Now don’t quote me but according to the 2010 Minnesota Recycling Refund Act, each returned bottle accounts for 10 cents. You do the math….it’s gonna be a good year!

Designed by Bendita Gloria Studio

A Unique Spin on Books.

We’ve featured artists in the past who incorporate our favorite R’s; reduce, reuse, recycle. We thought it was time to spotlight another talented artist.  Mike Stilkey of Los Angeles is a unique artist with an unique medium.  One of his go to canvasses is old books.  Here are a few of his incredible paintings.


For more information visit:

Mike Stilkey