Author: Claire Bell
Have you thought about buying something new that’s actually old? Don’t be confused, we’re talking about buying products made from recycled materials, whether is wallets made from bicycle tyres or rings made from old silver spoons. Buying recycled is the ultimate regifting.
Recycling only really works if there are end markets for recycled materials. Buying recycled means not only are you supporting the recycling industry in Australia and more importantly new products are being made without the need for new resources. Buying recycled is part of moving towards a circular economy where materials are kept in circulation for as long as possible through reuse and recycling.
Buying gifts (or any product) with this principle in mind is a great way to contribute to your eco-friendly holiday season. We’ve picked out some product ideas to give you a taste of what’s out there:
Art and craft - for the budding artists in your life, 100% recycled ink or fine liner pens could be the perfect present. Melbourne artists Mike & Ollie started Lousy Ink, made with the waste ink from printer cartridges collected via programs like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. The pens are also made from the cartridge plastic and can be recycled at your nearest Cartridge 4 Planet Ark collection point.
His and hers accessories – there's a whole array of bags, wallets, jewellery and more, all made with anything from flour sacks, old jeans, fire hose and even cutlery! The only limit seems to be imagination when it comes to reuse and upcycling. Two great online stores to check out are. The Elephant Emporium and Upcycle Studio.
Beauty and Home – What we use on our bodies and in our homes shouldn’t harm our health or the environment. Our friends at Biome Eco Stores have some beautiful eco-friendly and recycled products that won’t cost the earth.
Bathroom & Kitchen – okay so maybe not a gift. But if you have guests, you have mess! You’ll need 100% recycled kitchen and toilet paper on hand from Naturale endorsed by Planet Ark, stock up now and make sure you don’t run out!
Back to work and school – when getting organised after the holidays think about making notebooks from scrap paper or buying stationary made from 100% recycled paper such as Planet Ark Paper - great for the office and home printer. Talking of printing, make sure you buy cartridges from manufacturers such as Canon, HP, Epson, Brother, Kyocera or Konica Minolta who all take responsibility for recycling their cartridges via the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program.
Whether you’re shopping online or at the store look out for products and packaging that are made with recycled content and can be easily recycled. The new Australasian Recycling Label helps you know which is the right bin for product packaging.
Search for more products at our Recycled Products Directory.
Check out our other Holiday Hacks for Living Large with a Small Footprint
Claire is Planet Ark's Recycling Campaign Manager. After working in the communications industry and raising a young family, she joined Planet Ark to follow her passion for helping the environment.
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