I have a pretty hardcore to-go coffee habit. Every time I buy coffee in a disposable paper cup (which is often), part of me cringes inside at the thought of it filling up a landfill. Obviously, this doesn’t stop me from buying it, which is part of why I’m telling you — to publicly guilt myself into bringing a reusable mug to Starbucks! The scary part is that there are thousands of people who feel the same way, and keep buying coffee anyway just like me. Fifty billion paper coffee cups end up in landfills every year, and that’s just in the U.S.!
Most paper coffee cups are made from a combination of cardboard and very thin plastic to keep the drinks warm and prevent sogginess. Unfortunately, this also deems them not recyclable because the two materials are impossible to separate — a fact many coffee drinkers don’t realize. Shouldn’t we have a more eco-friendly solution for something that’s consumed by so many people every morning? Keep reading »
Later this month, a group of students in New York City are pioneering a new program called “Good To Go” which would reuse coffee cups around the city. The Brooklyn Roasting Company in DUMBO, a neighborhood in Brooklyn, will begin the program on April 15, when caffeine addicts can drink from a light, reusable cup and then bring it back some other time. The cups will be sanitized before they’re reused on other customers. There is also a possibility of creating perks for coffee drinkers who reuse cups, like waiting in shorter lines similar to a “carpool lane.” Keep reading »
Starting in February of next year, when you bring in a bag of old clothes to H&M, the company will recycle them for you and you’ll be rewarded with a discount voucher to buy some new ones. Pretty cool, right? The clothing exchange discount is part of H&M’s new iCollect recycling program, which aims to reduce the massive amount of waste produced by the clothing industry. Not only is the plan good for the earth, it’s also a smart PR move: you might remember a couple years ago when H&M found itself in hot water after The New York Times revealed the company routinely destroyed unsold clothing–including winter coats and gloves–that would gladly be accepted by shelters and charities. Keep reading »
I try to be as eco-friendly as possible in most areas of my life, but sometimes my penchant for procrastination overpowers my desire to be green. Example: pretty much every Christmas eve, when I realize I forgot to get any kind of gift-wrapping materials and end up buying a pile of made-in-China plastic gift bags at the dollar store and feeling terrible. This year I’m taking a different route and crafting some of these recycled newspaper gift bags. They’re funky, colorful, earth-friendly, and almost free: what’s better than that? [Yours Truly, G]
You’ve seen prom dresses fashioned with duct tape. The next DIY sartorial eyeful is a wedding dress made completely from newspaper. I can’t imagine any bride wants ink stains on her big day, but at least designer Jenna Braga proves she could hack it on one of those weird “Project Runway” challenges. And hey, if it does take off, maybe it will bail out the struggling newspaper industry! [YouTube] Keep reading »
For a while a few years ago, everywhere you looked you’d see those Anya Hindmarch “I Am Not a Plastic Bag” bags — a cheeky take on environmentalism and sustainability. Now, Yves St. Laurent has their own, rather twisted take on recycling; they’ve created a bag made from plastic bags and manufactured by artisans in Burkina Faso. And it costs $1,720. Called the “Muse Two Artisanal,” YSL says the bag show’s the company’s “commitment to innovation in design and particularly to corporate social responsibility, demonstrated in the initiative’s alliance with a non-profit women’s organization and its use of recycled materials.” But we’d like to know just how much of that immensely high sticker price is making it back to the women who made the bag. [YSL] Keep reading »