Zero Waste Wedding

Did you know that the average wedding produces 400 pounds of garbage? For a day that’s supposed to be all about the love, that’s a whole lotta’ of trash. Whether you’re on your way to zero waste, or just want to make this special day sustainable, we’ve got what you need for a waste-free wedding with all the bells and whistles!

Eat, Drink & Be Merry

Bambu Compostable Plates | Zero Waste Wedding | EarthHero

Compostable Plates + Utensils

Whether you’re catering a wedding, or throwing your own, one of the biggest producers of waste at these kind of events comes from the food packaging and single-use cups, utensils, and napkins. While some wedding planners are ready-to-go with 200 sets of stainless steel utensils, simply choosing compostable disposables is an easy way to reduce your impact, while not dealing with the hassle of cleaning all your guests’ dishes. These unique plates, sporks, forks, and knives are made from biodegradable and sustainably harvested bamboo, without pesticides, bleaches, or dyes. So serve up a feast, then forget the cleanup–just throw them in your commercial compost bin!

Bambu | Zero Waste Wedding | EarthHero

Serving Spoons

We love buffets for a zero waste way to feed hundreds of people. What we don’t love? The single-use serving utensils that often get tossed in the mix. Make the sustainable switch with molded bamboo, upcycled cedar, and natural bamboo reusable servers! Not only are they a great way to present and serve snacks, but they’ll be a great addition in the home of the bride and groom after all is said and done. Make large, shareable plates of food in reusable trays, then serve to your guests on some compostable or reusable plates.

Love Bottle | Zero Waste Wedding | EarthHero

Reusable Cups

There’s no doubt that champagne or sparkling juice flutes will be at any wedding celebration–but what about good ole’ fashioned water? Pick a large, reusable jug that can easily be filled with water, then leave out stainless steel or glass cups for your guests to fill at their leisure. Pro tip: leave an empty table, bin, or bucket clearly labeled for dirty dishes (with a trash can, compost, and recycling next to it!) This lets your guests minimize their waste, and makes cleaning up a breeze.

Flowers & DecorBambu | Zero Waste Wedding | EarthHero

Candles

Looking to have a classic wedding? Or do you want to make it modern? Maybe glitter is your thing. Or maybe your “flower girl” is actually your dog. Whatever way you make your wedding truly yours, you’re going to need some beautiful eco-friendly decor to tie everything together. Candles are amazing mood setters–turning any dining table or outdoor decor into a woodsy work of art. Go classic with thin, tapered candles, or spice it up with amber tinted glass soy candles! Love is (literally) in the air.

Bambu | EarthHero | Zero Waste Wedding

Serving Trays

Unless you’re having a backyard wedding, chances are, you’ll need to bring some things from home. And what better way to do that than with serving trays that also add a touch of natural beauty to the table? This cedar wood server is toxin-free, long-lasting, and naturally resistant to stains and bugs (just like a healthy marriage!) Plus, each tray is totally unique–with different grains, lines, and knots that feel rustic, yet refined. Whatever your style, there’s a serving tray to spice up any table.

EarthHero | Zero Waste Wedding

Decor

Making your wedding look like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost, well, a million bucks. Get crafty with it! Go scouting at your local park or riverbed for rocks that could work as napkin weights, use broken branches  as centerpieces, or sea glass as table “glitter”. Upcycling is always a great way to make imaginative decor, and be gentle to the planet at the same time. The internet is always a great resource for inspiration, or just ask your friends at EarthHero!

Keep them Entertained Zero Waste Wedding | House of Marley | EarthHero

Recycled Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Crank up the post-ceremony party tunes with a recycled content speaker from House of Marley! After the vows have been said, and first kisses had, it’s time to bust out the dance moves. From the bride and groom’s first dance, to everyone’s last dance, this speaker has 8 hours of playtime to last you all night long. Plus, it’s waterproof, just in case things get a little messy (that’s life!)

Bureo | Zero Waste Wedding | EarthHero

Yard Games

It’s summertime, and outdoor weddings are becoming the go-to for couples everywhere. Set them up for a day of friendship, fun, and festivities with some outdoor yard games like frisbee! Opt for a plastic-free one like this one made from 80% recycled fishing nets that can be sent back to it’s maker, Bureo, to be made into something entirely new if it falls apart, or a natural hemp version! Plan ahead: will kids be there? If so, set them up with some recycled plastic or biobased toys so they can stay entertained during the wedding reception.

You May Now Kiss the Bride

We love love. Aaaand we love the planet. And there’s nothing that combines those two loves like a zero waste wedding. Whether you’re planning and throwing a 200+ person gala, or just having 20 of your closest friends and family over, designing a wedding around your sustainability values can be super simple. From the gifts on your reception, to the decor on the table, your zero waste wedding can have a meaningful impact on your friends, without a long-term impact on our planet!

Upcycling vs Recycling

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat… say hello to upcycling–the manufacturing revolution changing the way we turn wasted materials into amazing new stuff! While both recycling and upcycling reduces the amount of junk that goes to our landfills, upcycling turns that same waste into a product of a higher quality–while recycling slightly decreases the quality of certain materials. Simply put: recycling breaks products down into their raw materials to be made into totally new things, while upcycling creatively repurposes old materials while maintaining some of their original characteristics.

Recycling, Downcycling, Upcycling | EarthHero

Why bother?

“Well, if I recycle, why do I need to upcycle?” Not only does the process of upcycling keep tons of waste from entering our landfills, lakes, and waterways (where they’ll sit for centuries!), it reduces the amount of CO2 entering our atmosphere by making use of old materials instead of extracting resources to create new ones. Believe it or not, for every ton of tossed textiles that get upcycled, 20 tons of CO2 is prevented from entering the atmosphere! Also known as creative repurposing, upcycling is about more than just enjoying a fun DIY–it uses less water, energy, and raw materials to create something new than traditional production.

If you weren’t already itching to try your hand at upcycling, here’s one of the best parts: it will save you money! Instead of buying that expensive trendy new lamp, repurpose old mason jars for an industrial looking chandelier. Have old tee shirts? Cut and sew them into plastic-free produce bags for the grocery store! Or, do you want to use less energy to heat your house? Upcycle old tees into a “draft stopper”, and boom, you just saved money on your energy bill for a grand total of $0. You could also try your hand at sewing old jeans into dog ropes and save money next time you hit the pet store! There’s truly no shortage of wallet-friendly repurposing hacks out there.

At the end of the day, upcycling can be a heck of a lotta’ fun, while helping your wallet–and the planet. From scouring local thrift stores for fun pieces to repurpose, to bringing friends together for an upcycling party, it can be an awesome way to rally your community around sustainability.

How can I do it at home?

Conceptualized in 1994 by Reiner Pilz, the term upcycling is still relatively new. Upcycling refers to a system where “old products are given more value, not less.” From weekend DIY projects to large-scale manufacturing, all upcycling projects start with creativity. Pro tip: there are no mistakes when trying your hand at upcycling, only valuable lessons learned. After some practice, you’ll start seeing innovative products hiding within what others would consider junk everywhere you go! We break down our top upcycling tips below:

Step 1: be prepared! This means before you cut, hot-glue, or hammer anything, you need to begin with a plan of action. From the tools you’re gonna use, to your raw upcycled materials, starting with some knowledge under your belt will make the upcycling process go smoothly. It all starts with proper planning!

Toothbrushes repurposed as plant markers!Step 2: get creative. There’s tons of innovative ideas out there, from DIY recipes, to zero waste challenges and tips. Use your imagination, and don’t let the intended use of an item discourage you from transforming it into something totally different and unique! Feeling stuck? There’s Pinterest boards, groups, and tons of resources (like this one!) for upcycling inspiration.

Step 3: reach out to your community! Before you toss away something in good condition that could be upcycled, first reach out to your local or online communities and see if anyone has a way to repurpose the item, or would like you to send it to them so they can use it! Many local stores and businesses will accept certain items–for example, most animal shelters accept towels with holes in them to upcycle into dog beds and toys.

Why we love upcycling!

Do-it-yourself not your thing? You’re in luck. There’s a ton of awesome brands taking upcycling into their own hands, and making some seriously awesome stuff while at it. Check out some of the awesome conscious companies we’re proud to have in the EarthHero family below!

Alchemy Goods | Upcycling vs Recycling | EarthHero

Alchemy Goods

In 2003, product engineer and bike rider Eli Reich had his messenger bag stolen, and decided to try his hand at making a new one out of a material he happened to have a ton of–used bicycle inner tubes. The result was a easy-travel bag that was durable, water-resistant, and ruggedly stylish. Beginning small in Seattle, Alchemy Goods quickly took off, and began to reach out to bike shops across the US to keep up with demand. To date, these uniquely upcycled bike bags have kept over 425,000 bike tubes out of our landfills!

Chop Value | Upcycling vs Recycling | EarthHero

Chop Value

Asian food is amazing. The single-use chopsticks that you get every time you eat it–not so much. In Vancouver, Canada alone, a whopping 100,000 bamboo chopsticks are tossed every single day throughout 2,000 restaurants. This inspired German native Felix Böck to launch Chop Value, a company that repurposes bamboo chopsticks into innovative home products and yoga blocks. In just two years, they’ve transformed over 2.5 million chopsticks into beautiful long lasting decor.

Flowfold Wallet | Upcycling vs Recycling | EarthHero

Flowfold

Charley Friedman was working on a sailboat off the coast of Maine in 2005 when his old leather wallet fell to pieces. Inspired by the sailcloth he found around the docks, he crafted himself a simple wallet that was water-resistant, durable, and eco-friendly. From there, Flowfold was born! From repurposed sailcloth wallets, to discarded climbing rope dog leashes, they’ve worked for the last decade to find materials and production methods that reduce waste, use less energy, and create the smallest impact on the planet.

Green Guru | Upcycling vs Recycling | EarthHero

Green Guru

What do wetsuits, bike tires, and old yoga mats all have in common? They’re the upcycled materials that make up Green Guru’s line of handmade vegan products. Founded just a few miles away from the EarthHero office in Boulder, Colorado, Green Guru has teamed up with outdoor companies and customers nationwide to take back everything from used bike tires to nylon factory scraps. To date, they’ve prevented over 500,000 pounds of waste from entering our landfills!

Indosole Shoes | Upcycling vs Recycling | EarthHero

Indosole

In the USA alone, 300 million tires are disposed of annually, staying in our landfills for centuries, where they can pose fire risks or become bug breeding grounds (yuck!). Indosole is on a mission to change the course with their responsibly made flip flops, created from upcycled tire soles with a touch of natural rubber. Sustainably crafted without any animal products or fuel powered machinery, these kicks are ready to hit the road.

Osom Socks | Upcycled vs Recycled | EarthHero

Osom Brand

Did you know that the fast fashion industry is the second biggest polluter on the planet, right behind the oil industry? Osom Brand combats textile pollution with their upcycled socks, made from clothing scraps that are upcycled without chemicals, dyes, or toxic fabric treatments. Their ultimate goal is to “close the loop” to a circular economy, keeping textiles out of the trash by repurposing them into new things whenever possible. Awesome work, Osom!

 

At the end of the day, there’s no shortage of creative ways you can bring upcycling into your life, from shopping with brands that upcycle materials, to trying your hand at it with what you already have available!

Rethinking Recycling

It’s no secret that recycling can be a little confusing…to say the least. From following guidelines that differ not only from one town to the other, but that also depend on what waste hauler you’re using–recycling properly can take a little bit of research. That’s why, to fully kick off our “Journey to Recycling June”, the EarthHero team took a trip to Boulder, Colorado’s “Recycle Row”.

What’s Recycle Row, you say? The City of Boulder conveniently placed all of its recycling infrastructure in one place. To take the next step on our own recycling education, we toured two of these locations–the Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC), and the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

We’d like to give a big thanks to Eco-Cycle for running the BCRC and CHaRM Facilities, and for leading the charge in working to transition Boulder to a Zero Waste city!

Needless to say, we got the dirt on all things recycling. While it’s easy to simply toss things in your blue bin and forget about it, there’s so much more that goes into turning our trash into brand new treasures. Here’s the EarthHero team with the breakdown:

Not-so-fun Facts with Juliet

I’ll be honest, until recently, I was what some would call a “wishful recycler”. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably hoped that recycling is as simple as throwing anything and (almost) everything paper or plastic into the bin, and walking away guilt-free. News flash: recycling doesn’t work that way, and there’s a lot more to it than you might think.

From what to do with paper towels (they’re paper, right?) to the age old “to crush, or not to crush” aluminum can debate, I had so much to say that this quickly turned into its own post. Lucky for you, you can read my full report of the 7 Surprising Things You Can’t Recycle Curbside! We’ve tried our best to chose tips that are applicable to most recycling centers, but as always, we recommend you do a little research into your local recycling guidelines. Your local recycling center, and the planet, will thank you!

Hard-to-Recycle with Hannah

Visiting the BCRC and CHaRM, I already had a good idea about what goes into recycling the little things. I try to do my best to sort everything properly, and only recycle what actually can be recycled. What I was missing, however, was understanding the impact of some of the larger items–which just happen to be the ones that cause the biggest landfill issues! My biggest takeaway from this experience was actually what to do with all of the stuff that normal recycling centers can’t take.

Recycling the big stuff

Refrigerators

When you think of recycling, do you think of your refrigerator? Probably not, but check this out! I learned recently from our friends and Project Drawdown that properly disposing of refrigerants (think: anything that’s used to keep things cold) is the #1 way to cut down on greenhouse gases. In fact, HFC’s (the main cooling culprit) has the capacity to warm the atmosphere 1,000 to 9,000 times more than carbon dioxide.

Now, we’re lucky to have CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) nearby, where we can recycle these more difficult items, but I know it’s not that simple everywhere. That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, though! Try one of these if you’re looking to responsibly get rid of a large appliance:

  • Call up your local energy utility services to see if they offer an appliance recycling program!
  • Ask your waste management service if they offer large appliance pick-up and recycling.
  • Seek out a scrap metal recycler nearby! These facilities often have the ability to correctly recycle those cooling chemicals.
  • Many retailers will pick up your old refrigerators when you buy a new one–just ask them to make sure it will be properly recycled.

Mattresses

The awesome part about mattresses is that they have so many reusable materials. When sent to the landfill, however, that wealth of materials can backfire–think about taking up a ton of space! In the US, we dispose of about 20 million mattresses annually. That takes up to 132,000 square miles in the landfill! On average, 85% of what makes up your traditional mattress is recyclable (from the foam to the fabric to the spring!) Next time you’re upgrading your mattress, think about where you’re sending your old one.

What you can do:

  • Like appliances, retailers will typically pick up your old mattress when they bring you a new one! Just ask them to make sure it’s being properly recycled.
  • Call your local waste management center and see if they have a mattress recycling program.
  • Call your local thrift store and see if they offer mattress recycling.

Becki’s Breakdown

For me, this tour of the BCRC and ChaRM was special. Before EarthHero, I worked for Eco-Cycle, the incredible non-profit recycler that runs both the BCRC and CHaRM facilities that we toured. Throughout my time at Eco-Cycle, I worked within the community to educate others about our local recycling guidelines, and how our ability to process waste is largely dependent on the types of equipment that are available to us. The amount of times I had to explain to someone that their perfectly clean, #1 plastic container was not going to be recovered by our facility was, frankly, disheartening.

Technology to the rescue!

This time around, the tour symbolized how a community can mobilize and make big changes in the way we process waste. The BCRC had just undergone a huge upgrade, receiving two optical sorters to help more efficiently process materials. Funded in part by the Boulder County Recycling Tax, this upgrade was possible because our residents rose their hands and agreed that supporting recycling infrastructure is important to them. Now, the amount of aluminum we can recover rose by 90%, and many new shapes and types of plastics can be recovered and recycled properly. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is!

Recycling: the end destination

In the world of recycling, there’s another topic looming over the conversation: China. As some of you may know, The US exports approximately ⅓ of its total recyclable material, with nearly half of that heading to China. However, China has recently banned dozens of types of foreign recyclables from entering the country, causing a huge commotion for American recycling centers. Rumor has it that our recyclables are too contaminated, so the processing is more expensive and results in a lower quality product. We’ve heard a lot of people wondering what that means for their recyclable materials–are they just being “thrown out”?

Luckily, we’ve learned that the BCRC has created many local partnerships that can take our recyclables directly, so the materials being collected in Boulder County aren’t being trashed. Phew! However, we know not all cities will be so lucky, so we wanted to provide some advice on what you can do if your town’s recyclables are piling up.

  • This one’s obvious. Reduce, reduce reduce! When you’re grocery shopping, you can find a ton of products in reusable glass containers, or utilize reusable produce bags to cut down on unnecessary food packaging. We don’t want to sound like a broken record, but never underestimate the waste you can reduce by investing in reusable straws, coffee mugs, water bottles, utensils, and food containers.
  • Find alternative places to recycle the tricky stuff. EarthHero has recently teamed up with TerraCycle, who’s doing incredible things in the world of recycling. Their motto, which is literally “Recycle Everything”, leads them to find recycling solutions for everything from electronics, to sports equipment, to toothpaste tubes. If you have a collection of empty face wash containers, toothpaste tubes, and other empty personal care items, you can send to to EarthHero and we’ll recycle it with TerraCycle! We also have a collection of their Zero Waste Box recycling solutions available here!
  • Buy products made from recycled content (say it again for the people in the back!). Seriously, the final step in the recycling process is using collected materials to create something new. So, if you’re not buying anything made with recycled content, you’re not really participating in the full recycling process. We need to create a market for recycled materials, or this build up of unusable waste will just get worse, and that’s the last thing we need.

Ryan’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In my efforts to stay educated on local sustainability issues, I’ve toured the local recycling center multiple times, and this time, my reaction was no different. Each time I’ve visited and viewed the continuous stream of human designed trash flying in all directions at dizzying speeds, I have mixed emotions. On one hand, it’s amazing to see so much material being diverted from the landfill and on its way to becoming new products. However, the dominant feeling is one of sadness. How did we get to this point of having so.much.stuff? How is it possible that this much material is being processed (and wasted) all over the world, every day? While recycling is certainly a massive and necessary band-aid for our consumption habits, it’s definitely not the only answer.

There are proven ways to make and consume products better, and it’s time for them to become the new normal. We’re in desperate need of a paradigm shift–we buy and consume too many things that are literally designed to end up in the landfill. Think about all the one-time use trash we generate. From food packaging, to coffee cups, to water bottles, straws, utensils, etc.

It’s moments like this that reassure me that we’re on the right path with EarthHero. If we can provide a reliable source for one-time-use replacements and products made from these recycled materials, while supporting companies that are creating products in better, more sustainable ways, we can be part of the shift towards a more sustainable future.

Gifts for the (Green) Bride & Groom

Love is in the air (but so is pollution!) Whether you’re throwing your own dream wedding, or simply part of the band, there’s no shortage of ways to turn this special day into one that celebrates the planet as well. From the honeymoon to “death do us part”, these sustainable wedding gifts are sure to make a statement.

The Honeymoon Phase

The wedding has wrapped up, the gifts have been unwrapped, and the happy couple has crossed the threshold to their new life.

Tree Free Greeting Cards | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Recycled Paper Thank You Cards

You’ve made it through the bachelorette party, the reception, and the *cringe-worthy* toast from the groom’s best man. Now all that’s left is for the bride and groom to break open their gifts, and send ‘thank you’s’ to family and friends! And what better way to celebrate a zero waste wedding that than with eco-friendly thank you cards? Tree-free uses 100% recycled paper for all their cards, custom printing each batch in a woman-run, solar powered factory. It’s a physical reminder of the amazing memories made, without the planet-hurting power of traditional paper cards.

 

United by Blue Travel Bag | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Travel Toiletry Bag

Our favorite part of the honeymoon phase: the honeymoon! When you’re heading out of town with your new boo’, things like toiletry bags, duffles, and travel-size items are more important than ever. While traveling the world can be pretty wasteful, our on-the-go essentials help you reduce your impact. Check out this water-resistant organic cotton toiletry bag to keep everything in one eco-friendly place. Need more sustainable travel ideas? We’ve got you covered here!

U Konserve Tumblers | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Insulated Wine Glasses

Like a nice bottle of wine, you have to let a new relationship breaaathee. We love these insulated wine glasses because they’re totally shatter-proof, come with lids for travel (camping honeymoon anyone?), and keep drinks cold for hours and hours. Plus, they’re great for those romantic backyard date nights and dinner parties once you get settled in. Keep the party going in your happy home with cups that are as up for adventure as you are!

 

Build a Happy Home

Make some time for dinner and a movie, just the two of you! Turn on the music, light some candles, and enjoy with these sustainable wedding gifts.

Mini Upcycled Bamboo SpeakerUpcycled Speaker | House of Marley | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Set the mood, sustainably. Whether you’re heading out to date night, or celebrating a cozy night in, create a musical atmosphere with this speaker made with upcycled and recycled materials. With a sustainable bamboo exterior, and a post-consumer recycled fabric front that’s paired with organic cotton and hemp, this speaker celebrates the planet with every tune. Plus, House of Marley plants a tree for every item purchases, planting over 25,000 trees to date!

Reversible Bamboo Candle HoldersBambu Home | Bamboo Candle Holders | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

From preparing the perfect bath with candles and roses to setting the Thanksgiving table for a family of five, these bamboo candle holders let you switch up the mood. Simply flip to change from tealight candles to tapered candles! Made from sustainably harvested bamboo, a natural and renewable resource, this simple addition to any home is sure to make a beautiful statement.

 

 

United by Blue | Soy candle | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding GiftsMountain Peak Soy Candle

Smells like… home. Bring the smell of the outdoors, in, with United by Blue’s soy candles. Hand-poured in Philadelphia, these small-batch, GMO-free candles have a non-toxic cotton wick, and burn for 40 hours. With a refreshing aroma of green safe and earthy wood, this candle smells even better than it looks (plus it comes with 100% plastic-free packaging!) Breathe in newlywed life with this fresh-scented candle!

 

 

Couple of Chefs

Relationships are about sacrifice. And good food. Mostly food. Tackle the kitchen with your loved one with the help of these eco-friendly gifts!

Natural Home Brand Recycled Glass Oil Bottle | EarthHero | sustainable wedding gifts

Recycled Glass Oil Bottle

You may not be a pro in the kitchen–but this bottle will certainly make you look like one. This 100% recycled glass bottle lets you mix up salad dressings, drizzle oil and vinaigrette, and prep pans with ease. Fun fact: glass is infinitely recyclable (unlike plastic!). When you buy recycled glass, you’re giving post-consumer glass a new life.

 

 

 

 

Bambu Home | Upcycled Wood Cedar Serving Tray | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Upcycled Cedar Serving Tray

For hundreds of years in China, the go-to building material was Chinese Cedar wood, due to its lack of chemicals, but natural resistance to staining, bugs, and mold. Bambu is giving this wood a new life with their Reclaimed Cedar Wood Serving Trays, made from hand-selected cedar planks from abandoned Chinese homes. Whether you’re enjoying wine and cheese between just the two of you, or serving up appetizers for the whole family, these natural wood serving trays bring an air of class and sophistication to any new home.

 

 

 

Bambu home | Bamboo cutting & serving boards | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding GiftsBamboo Cutting & Serving Boards

Cut, slice, serve, and celebrate with these multi-purpose bamboo boards! Made from sustainably harvested, non-toxic, naturally moisture-resistant bamboo, these boards allow you to slice your baguette and serve it too! With gently rounded edges that won’t dent your table, these beautiful bamboo boards look great on any new family’s dinner table.

 

Happily Ever After

You and your special someone have years of adventure to come. From building new traditions to celebrating old habits, celebrate the planet with every step with sustainable wedding gifts designed to last you a lifetime of love.

Organic Cotton Sheets

Breakfast in bed–made better. These organic cotton sheets aren’t just luxuriously soft. They’re also pesticide, herbicide, and synthetic fertilizer free, with no phthalates, formaldehyde, or toxic chemicals (that’s a truly non-toxic relationship!) Plus, they’re made without child labor, and provide fair wages. From sleepless nights to lazy Sundays, these sheets are sure to complete your cozy bedroom.

 

TerraCycle All in One Zero Waste Box | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

TerraCycle All-in-One Zero Waste Box

Ready to start living more sustainably? Now you’ve got a partner in crime to help you along your journey! Going zero waste can be challenging, but TerraCycle is making it easier than ever to reduce your hard-to-recycle waste. From batteries, to candy wrappers, to old electronics, TerraCycle works with independent companies nationwide to find recycling partnerships for tons of unique materials. With any new marriage, trash can pile up as you find duplicates of essentials (think coffee machines), but TerraCycle keeps things waste-free.

 

Chop Value | Bamboo Hexagon Shelves | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Recycled Bamboo Chopsticks Shelf

New relationship, new home, old chopsticks. Chop Value upcycles bamboo chopsticks from restaurants in Vancouver to transform into their densified wood shelving units. Although we may be biased (we have a set in the office), these hexagonal shelves are the perfect way to make any new home a conversation starter. Plus, they’re a great place to display all those wedding photos!

 

 

Full Circle Compost Bin | EarthHero | Sustainable Wedding Gifts

Compost Bin

Sometimes relationships mean getting your hands dirty, literally! Embarking on a new marriage can also mean embarking on a new step of your sustainability journey. Encourage each other to reduce waste in your home with a new compost bin! Plus, composting can inspire fun new projects around gardening for any new couple. They say you should get a dog before having a baby, but we our rule is: get a compost bin before both! 

 

Recycled Products that Change the Way You Look at Trash

Does recycling really make a difference? The (annoyingly vague) answer: Yes…and no. Recycling in and of itself doesn’t save the planet from tons and tons of waste–the real difference comes from creating new products from those recycled materials. From children’s toys made of milk jugs, to wallets made of sail cloth, there are amazing companies that don’t just reduce their impact, they actively prevent trash from entering our landfills and oceans, closing the loop to a circular economy. These super cool upcycled and recycled treasures might just change the way you look at trash!

Recycled Products Minnow Skateboard

Minnow Cruiser Skateboard 

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the gyres of plastic trash (just look at what happens to plastic straws) in the oceans, or sea turtles getting tied up in plastic 6-pack rings. But how can all this ocean trash be transformed? Bureo is tackling part of the problem with their recycling program Net Positiva, working with locals in Chile to collect discarded fishing nets and turn them into something totally new. The result? Durable, eco-friendly skateboard decks, each made from 50 square feet of recycled fishing nets. It’ll arrive at your door in recycled and recyclable packaging, and when it reaches the end of its life, you can send it back to Bureo to be recycled again!

 

RADIUS Source Toothbrush | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Upcycled Money Toothbrush

Every year, the U.S. Federal Reserve removes and destroys about 5,000 tons of money, costing millions of dollars (and tons of trees!). RADIUS saw this huge waste of resources, and found a way to use this recycled money in the handles of their classic Source toothbrush. Made in Pennsylvania on low-energy machines in a women-run solar powered factory, this crafty toothbrush is certified cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny, vegan, and BPA-free. Plus, the bristles are made from vegetable-based nylon, and can be replaced, so you can keep your money handle for years and years.

 

House of Marley Chant Bluetooth Speaker | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Chant Mini Bamboo Bluetooth Speaker

This tiny speaker has a huge positive environmental impact. House of Marley’s upcycled tech and music gear not only uses recycled and upcycled materials like hemp, aluminum, plastic bottles, and cotton–they also plant a tree for every item purchased, with over 25,000 trees planted to-date! Standing at 3.3 inches tall, this little powerhouse has 6 hours of playtime, a clip to hang from your bag, and a splash resistant exterior. Superior sound, sustainably crafted.

 

Flowfold Sailcloth Wallet | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Minimalist Sailcloth Slim Wallet

Founded and crafted in Maine, Flowfold is addressing the problem of sailcloth waste with their upcycled and vegan wallets made from reclaimed racing sailcloth, originally constructed from a blend of mylar, polyester, and aramid fabrics. These sailcloths are particularly damaging to the environment due to their complex material makeup, as well as their tendency to unfurl in landfills, which can cover and “lock in” other waste. Flowfold takes this durable, lightweight material and instead creates hardy, low-impact wallets (shipped in recycled mailers!) that will last you for years.

 

Green Guru Bag | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Brooklyn Backpack

Alchemy Goods has created value out of the seemingly invaluable with their upcycled bike inner tube bags. Handmade locally in Seattle, they’ve set up programs that collect reclaimed bicycle inner tubes from bike shops across the country to use in their unique, durable bags and wallets. So far, they’ve upcycled over 500,000 tubes! With a padded laptop sleeve, padded straps, and colorful zippers–you’ll love the classic functionality paired with a bold upcycled style.

 

 

Haiku Jaunt Crossbody | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Jaunt Crossbody

Discover a bag so cute, you’d never know it’s made from 12 plastic water bottles! Haiku constructs all their vegan pieces from CyclePET, a durable recycled polyester fabric that’s water resistant, inside and out! Lift up the stylish front flap of this crossbody to reveal a RFID-blocking ID holder that protects all your vital info from theft. These bags were created by women, for women (and the planet!)

 

 

Recover Tee | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Classic Henley

The awesome power of recycling trash into treasure isn’t just for accessories–there’s some seriously amazing clothing out there that helps to combats the thousands of tons of textiles that end up in our landfills every day! This eco-tee from Bighorn, shipped in a recycled mailer, uses 65% recycled polyester and 35% recycled cotton, making it 100% a go-to closet essential. 

 

 

Green Toys Kid's Toys | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.com

Recycling Truck Toy

What better way to teach your little one about recycling than with a recycling truck, made from recycled milk jugs? Green Toys makes all their BPA-free, phthalate-free, PVC-free toys from 100% recycled content, with no added metal axles. Manufactured locally in the USA, every pound of recycled milk jugs that goes into their fun kids toys saves enough energy to power 3,000 AAA batteries, or a laptop computer for a month!

Reclaimed Sailcloth Dog Leash | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.comReclaimed Climbing Rope Dog Leash

The problem: rock climbing gear, especially climbing rope, is not the place to let frays and breakage slide. Lives literally depend on it! That’s why, when climbing company Sterling Rope gives their ropes a quality check, some just don’t make the cut.

The solution: Turn these still barely imperfect climbing ropes into colorful dog leashes that are strong enough to wrangle any pup. Made in America, FlowFold’s 6ft leashes keep climbing ropes out of the landfill, and your dog within reach!

 

Osom Socks | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.comUpcycled Hiking Socks

Thanks to fast fashion, the average American will throw away 81 pounds of clothing textiles each year–which adds up to 26 billion pounds of clothing annually! Osom Brand keeps these textiles out of the trash by turning them into innovative socks made from 95% upcycled textiles. Plus, their upcycling process requires no dyes or water, and they ship their awesome socks in envelopes made from 100% recycled polyester!

rPETe Bottle Sling ChicoBag | Upcycled & Recycled Products | EarthHero.comrPETe Bottle Sling

Plastic water bottles are out–and reusables are in! But the key to making the switch is all about preparedness, and that means bringing your bottle with you wherever you wander. This neat bottle sling features an exterior made from recycled PET, a strap liner from recycled polypropylene, and a 78% recycled aluminum carabiner. You can even send this bottle sling back to ChicoBag at the end of its life to be recycled into a totally new item! That’s recycling, on recycling, on recycling.