So many of the things in our lives are disposable, and the items that are meant to be kept are manufactured to wear out quickly so they can be replaced with new products.
Clothing, electronics, furniture, housewares, toys, and so much more are made to appeal to current trends rather than long lasting quality. So where do all these things go? Into already overcrowded landfills where they may take hundreds or even thousands of years to finally break down into the soil.
The solution to this cycle is recycling these items instead of dymoing them. Most of us think of recycling as only involving our cans, plastic, paper, and glass, but it can actually include everyday and disposable items.
Recycling opens up creative possibilities, as seen in the following list of products, and encourages more sustainable living practices. Here are a list of recycled products that are inspiring and can encourage people to think twice about items they toss.
1. Automobile airbag products.
One company has produced a line of messenger bags, tote bags and wallets made from the airbags of junk passenger vehicles. The airbags are removed and sent to a recycling facility in Salt Lake City where they are sorted before being sent to the manufacturer. The bags and wallets are cut and sewn by individual crafters who sign their name to each one. The sleek, modern design of the bags is versatile and appealing. The bags and wallets come in either gray or white.
2. Leather iPad covers
Another company that often uses recycled wetsuit fabric, cotton, wool, hemp, and other fabrics to create products has begun crafting iPad covers as well. The covers are manufactured from discarded shoe leather that is has too many flaws to be used.
On average, one shoe factory can discard 4500 pounds of this blemished leather per day. By recycling the still perfectly usable leather into highly sought after iPad covers, thousands of pounds of material are prevented from reaching landfills. The resulting iPad covers use the blemishes of the leather to add unique character.
3. Cardboard radios
Recycled cardboard from shipping boxes and packing materials are being made into battery powered fm radios. The result is a fun, humorous product made from a readily available material that also happens to be taking up precious space in landfills.
4. Coffee activewear
Yes it’s true, sports wear is being manufactured from discarded coffee grounds. A special process removes oils and other chemicals from the coffee and turns it into yarn. That yarn is then made into the fabric used to make the activewear. This unique fabric has special properties, including being naturally odor resistant, UV protective, and fast drying, that make it an excellent choice for sports wear.
5. Skateboard iPhone backs
Several skateboard companies got together to create these iPhone backs made from their discarded waste material. The backs are made by hand, which means no two pieces are alike. This process saves a busload of waste from each factory from being thrown out every week.
Jana Stone is a Quality and Development Specialist at Rubber Bark and she oversees the production side of Rubber Bark’s many faceted production force.