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Tag Archives: TerraCycle

TerraCycle Logo-green-vectornew

TerraCycle launched in Ireland in 2011, but I still am amazed that the Irish public has not yet grasped the concept, or even tried to turn their trash into cash? So, I feel it is my duty to create an awareness around this really great company that is leading the way in ‘eliminating the idea of waste’

TerraCycle was set up by CEO Tom Szaky – an idol of mine and an absolute genius. Tom originally made his name when studying at Princeton – he fed the dorm food waste to worms creating liquid and solid fertilizers and packaged the products using recycled plastic bottles collected on campus. TerraCycle in the USA, have gone on to develop recycling programmes for cigarette butts and, wait for it, dirty nappies/diapers!!

The process is simple, worldwide there are a huge number of products that can be recycled ranging from mobile phones, diapers, crisp wrappers, biscuit wrappers and baby wipe packets. In Ireland, there are only a select few recycling programmes (that are called brigades)  part because the uptake has been so low I guess? For each item returned you get 1cent that is credited to your account. You can spend the money on upcycled items that TerraCycle makes from the trash or you can donate the money to charity – and by the way a school is deemed a charity so it is a perfect way for schools to make extra money and also promote entrepreneurship amongst eager students wanting to make money.

The brands in Ireland are:

  1. McVities biscuit wrappers brigade (but any brand of biscuit wrapper can be sent back)
  2. Ella’s Kitchen pouches brigade (but any brand using the same container can be sent back)
  3. Johnson’s & Johnson’s Baby wipe pouches brigade (but again any type of pouch can be sent back)
  4. Old mobile phones (cash for each unit varies from 50cents to €2)

All you have to do is collect a bunch of wrappers, or get all of your friends and neighbours to help out, print off an An-Post postage label and send them off.

TerraCycle are one of the global brands that got behind my Less Is More Challenge for Earth Day and hope to get them into every school in Ireland for The Less is More Schools Challenge for Earth Day 2014. If you are a teacher or student in a school and would like to know more about The Less Is More Schools Challenge please email me at claire@clairelewis.ie.

I will also be setting up an account with TerraCycle to help with My Waste Free Home and have already started to collect biscuit wrappers, it just so helps that McVities Digestives are a favourite in our house – smothered in Nutella chocolate spread, I might add!!

So, come on Ireland lets show the world that we may be a small nation but we can recycle like no other – and it helps to get something back from it too!


clothnappies

When I became pregnant on my first baby over 4 years ago now – without hesitation I decided I wanted to use cloth nappies! At the time I was living in a basement apartment that didn’t have great washing line facilities and I knew one of the main things for cloth nappies was the benefit of wind drying otherwise the benefits of using them in the first place would be greatly reduced if I had to go down the tumble drier route.

With statistics such as in the UK alone each year there are over 3 BILLION nappies ending up in ladfill taking between 50-100 years to breakdown – never decomposing just getting broken down into smaller bits! Scary thought isn’t it, and the length of time is longer when you wrap the nappies in non biodegradable plastic bags.

When I did go about having a look at cloth nappies I got a sample from a company called – Little Comfort – they made nappies from bamboo. All I can remember is the negative reactions from everyone that I suggested it to – it was so extraordinary that people had such an aversion to something so simple and environmentally friendly. Well I have made up my mind that if I have another, and please God I will,  I definitely will be using the cloth version without doubt – I have my washing line in place and even in the 4 years since I researched the quality and advancement in the cloth nappies has been amazing.

I am starting My Waste Free Home next Monday 1st of July where all my waste will be processed on-site/at my home sending nothing to landfill, using a Hot composter and a Pet Pooh Loo. For the mums who are interested in the concept of My Waste Free Home but would struggle with the problem of disposing of lots of dirty nappies on a weekly basis, cloth nappies would solve all of these problems. It may sound crazy but one of my favourite green companies in the world – TerraCycle actually have developed the method of recycling disposable nappies!! Check out more about it here.

Follow my blog and LIKE my Facebook page to follow what I am up to – Making it cool to care about the Environment!!

Useful Links:

http://www.realnappiesforlondon.org.uk/

http://www.thebabyplanners.co.uk/category/cloth-nappies

http://www.rollercoaster.ie/Discussions/tabid/119/ForumThread/141267651/Default.aspx


toothbrush

When thinking of everyday objects that are necessities you would wonder how much involvement do the manufacturers have in the quest to rid the world of non recyclable, useless, badly designed items?

For me the TOOTHBRUSH pops into mind when thinking of such an item. Like soothers these items are on a whole 100% recyclable but main stream recycling companies will not accept them as they are deemed hard to recycle waste and end up in landfill. A toothbrush is made up of 5 different types of plastics all of which can be recycled.

I have heard that you can send your toothbrush back to the company you bought it from to be recycled but when I googled this it seems to me this can only happen in the states. A company called Preserve makes toothbrushes from yogurt pots and then when the tooth brush is used up you post it back and it is ground down into park benches and the likes.

TerraCycle who are global leaders in recycling hard to recycle waste items do have a collection programme with Colgate called the Colgate Oral Care Brigade  check it out in your county to see if TerraCycle offer this and get collecting.

Do the math: Thats 4 tooth brushes a year per person and we are now living to an average age of 67.2  = thats 268.8 toothbrushes per person.

And with 7 billion of us on the plannet that leaves a heck of a lot of tooth brushes going to land fill.

Useful links:

http://environment.about.com/od/earthtalkcolumns/a/toothbrush.htm

http://www.greenamerica.org/pubs/greenamerican/articles/21Things.cfm

http://www.preserveproducts.com/

http://www.examiner.com/article/recycle-your-expired-toothbrush


earthday14 size2

I am getting things ready for The Less Is More Challenge April 22nd, 2014. I hope that this challenge will grow exponentially as the founding year – 2013 was a great success. I would love for all the green brands that I mention in my 10 steps to back this challenge even more going forward. These green brands are Bobble, TerraCycle, Ecover, Lillies Eco Clean, The film’s HOME and Trashed.

The Less Is More Challenge primarily was created to challenge the less green in society who are the majority, hence my eagerness to challenge them. Even though I say the less green in society, I don’t mean it in a derogatory way as I know that life is a very busy place and governments and schooling do not do enough in my opinion to help the situation or put much emphasis on instilling life long learning commitments for our own earthly journeys. I use my tooth-brush model to explain what I mean by this – we are not born with the knowledge to brush our teeth twice a day we are thought by our parents. We are also encouraged by the dental professions to have healthy teeth for our life time we need to look after them. Now why are we not doing the same thing for the EARTH which we need to survive a lot more than fluoride tooth paste!

All 10 steps of the challenge are easy to accomplish to instill positivity and hopefully lifelong commitments to change for the good of the planet. What I hope is that year one someone will take the challenge and complete if not all 10 suggestions then as many as they can. Then year two they might make more of an effort and with the highlight events I will be having on August 22nd and December 22nd I hope to drive home the positive message that we all can make a difference. With global consumerism at an all time high and the trash problem out of control it is up to each one of us now to try to make our own little difference.

All you got to do as part of the LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE is to do as many of the following:

  1. Pack a lunch for work.
  2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.
  3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try to only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues in the production of the product. I don’t think in one day you will in counter a fashion emergency!!
  4. Swap a Chemical Based home cleaning product for an ECO alternative, two of my favorite companies are Lilly’s Eco Clean & Ecover
  5. Recycle & discover TerraCycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”!
  6. Buy local organic produce or pre think your shop for the week to reduce food waste.
  7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s LIKE.
  8. Cycle to work or take public transport.
  9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed.
  10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instill change in our world globally starting with yourself!

If you would like to find out more check out The Less Is More Facebook page or sign up to my Claire Lewis Blog (bottom right of this page)

 


amiaonline

I was lost for words and totally chuffed to pieces this morning when I went to have a peek at my interview for online magazine amia. Editor Jan totally had the element of surprise when I realised that I was Woman of the Month – Totally blown away and honored. Thank You to Jan and all the team at amia for this great recognition. It is sometimes really hard when you are sitting in front of a computer all alone, trying to get your thoughts into action.  All the blood, sweat and tears that go into my work can sometimes feel to be in vein – because of the fact that I rarely meet the people I have an effect on it is difficult to see the change or the appreciation for my work. This major appreciation and recognition couldn’t have come at a better time! It is also like a very early birthday present as May is my birthday month and also one of my favourite months – so what better issue to be Woman of the month than May 🙂

amia magazine is a great read with lots of powerful stories that will inspire you, lots of fun things to do and healthy alternatives. The best thing is it is online so no magazine waste, but it is jam-packed with great reading!

THE MAY 2013 ISSUE:

WOMAN OF THE MONTH.

Each month we will profile “unsung heroes” – the kind of women who inspire others around them without realising it. Often, we will go “undercover” to do this as the women we profile will probably not see themselves as heroes. This is our chance to let them know they are.

Claire Lewis is a wife, mum, author and nature lover. She started Claire Lewis Co. to inspire people to connect more with the world in which they live. She set up the Less is More Challenge to coincide with Earth Day (22nd April) 2013 and to inspire people to think a little differently about their use of resources on that day and subsequently. Claire lives in Dublin and says that she was “born an earth scientist and will die an earth scientist” and that her goal is be one who has made a little difference

  • Tell us a little bit about your life, lifestyle and interests……

“Going forward, I know that the earth, the environment and living in an environmentally responsible way will become more and more important. Teaching (rather than preaching to) people is why I started the Claire Lewis Company – Making it Cool To Care About the Environment.  This is all about giving tips on how to start making small changes, plus ideas to reuse things and DIY projects to get you on your “Green Path”.

“My life is pretty hectic. I am married with a three year old daughter and two dogs. As well as doing my own work, I also work part time in an events company. My main focus in my life is on implementing ways I can make a difference, whilst educating my daughter too. Children follow your lead and I am hoping that she will develop this mentality of doing things with the earth in mind.”

  • Tell us about the Less is More Challenge and where the idea came from?

The Less Is More Challenge was born out of a blog post that I wrote on March 30th   (https://clairelewisco.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/less-is-more/) I was trying to stir up people’s thinking – to prompt them to think, “How did we get into the situation we have found ourselves in?”

The LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE asks people taking part to do as many of the following as possible:

1. Pack a lunch for work.

2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.

3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try and only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues in the production of the product. I don’t think in one day you will in counter a fashion emergency!!

4. Swap a Chemical Based home cleaning product for an ECO alternative, two of my favourite companies are Lilly’s Eco Clean & Ecover.

5. Discover Terracycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”!

6. Buy local organic produce or pre think your shop for the week to reduce food waste.

7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s like.

8. Cycle to work or take public transport.

9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed.

10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instil change in our world globally.

“Knowing that Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd every year I worked towards setting a challenge that everyone could participate in. I love psychology and part of the challenge for me was trying to impact on every-day people, like my husband, who on a regular day wouldn’t stop to think about the earth, environment, climate change or their own role in all of these issues. So I devised the challenge to contain 10 suggestions that would have a positive impact on the environment – but would also be easily completed by those who took the challenge. I have learned that people will change and listen to what you have to say once you do it in a positive way. If you start preaching about all the negative stuff in the world, this will help no-one and will overwhelm people. This could impact on my drive and the cause would be doomed.”

“It is important to keep positive and strive towards each individual having a positive view of their environment, keeping informed and taking an active role in improving things. Hopefully, one day this will lead to a neutral or positive impact on the earth!”

  • What were the main things you are hoping to achieve through the challenge?

“I set out with the view that if I had a positive impact on just one person that would be fantastic! Earth Day occurs once a year and if this one person took on the challenge and succeeded then maybe they might keep up one or two of the suggestions all year. Then when the Less Is More Challenge links to Earth Day 2014, who knows what that person will do to challenge themselves for the next year? For some people, it is a baby step process. There are others (like me) who were born with the switch firmly on, in the quest for the “perfect world” where people have a positive impact instead of all the currently negative ones.”

  • What do you think the main successes have been so far?

“Well, I can safely say I have beaten my quota of one person – I have over 420 people taking the challenge via Facebook. The special thing for me is that I set the whole thing up three weeks before Earth Day and the response was amazing and speedy. I even had a school – Coachford College in Co. Cork, Ireland totally embrace the challenge. They even planted a tree in my challenge’s honour. The success was so great that I am building on creating an awareness so that The Less Is More Challenge can be actively completed every day and not just for Earth Day. I would like Earth Day to be more of a celebration of actively participating the whole year round! Imagine that! If my dream came true for this, it would be amazing.”

“I have also set up The Less Is More Schools Challenge, which has slightly different challenge suggestions. More tailored to the student lifestyle and environment. Students are always eager to learn ways that they can make a difference and this challenge is a great way for even one interested class to get the whole school involved.”

“Another great success for me was the eager involvement of big green brands, as I call them. Brands like Ecover, TerraCycle, Lilly’s Eco Clean and the film Trashed (starring Jeremy Irons) were all very supportive and eager to lend themselves, their products and their brands to get on board and create an awareness of The Less Is More Challenge.”

  • How do you think more people can get involved in doing things that can make a positive difference to the world?

“To anyone looking to know “Where do I start?” I would say – go online and get searching for blogs, and companies to give you pointers about how to get involved. If people do not actively think about the earth, they will have no idea about all the debates, the hot topics and ideas, how to make changes, etcetera. My company (Claire Lewis Co) is just one example of the type of company I am talking about – I set it up with the view of ‘Making it Cool to Care About the Environment.” I I blog regularly about a whole lot of ways to help you start to personally make a change. I believe that it is not necessarily people’s fault if they do not actively think about the environment on a daily basis – it should be a learned behaviour so should be taught in schools and encouraged by governments and employers.”

“Just like brushing your teeth, 99.9% of people do this on twice a day because we were taught to do so when young to keep our teeth in good condition. Well let’s start teaching that the earth is like our teeth  – we need to care for it at least twice a day!”

  • What are some of the main things that you think can get in the way of this?

“I find that most people do care about the welfare of the earth and the environment – they just have not learned that their own active involvement means a lot. Similar to my tooth brushing example, we just need to recondition people’s mind-sets and things will change. More people will begin to ask questions and demand answers. For example, we are all brain- washed by large multinationals who for years have marketed products in such a way that allowed them to become market dominant brands. These brands may not have very good environmental practices or be good for the consumers. What we need are consumers who will go to the till and ask questions, such as: –

“How is this manufactured?”

“How am I supposed to know what these ingredients when I am not a scientist?”

“How are your employees treated when they make this product?”

“Why do you use toxic chemicals and how do you dispose of them?”

“People are busy – sometimes governments need to manage what companies are selling. We need to a greater emphasis on greener products and services and this must be government led.”

  • Which people have inspired you to want to make a difference?

“The main people to inspire me are Ecopreneur & TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky; Virgin boss Richard Branson and of course my husband Daniel Lewis! These guys are super positive and have “can do” attitudes – they are also not afraid of failing. I also just have this overwhelming urge to follow my passion which concerns all things to do with the Earth!”

  • What do you say to those people who say, “It’s too late” or “What difference can I make?”

“I would tell them my snowflake story and let them make up their own minds:

Each tiny snowflake is as individual as you are – beautiful, intricate designs as unique as your finger prints. Some are smaller than others and some bigger.  Collectively the snowflakes fall from the sky and can cover continents. But imagine if each tiny snowflake said, “Oh no, I can’t fall from the sky – I am so tiny that I will not make a difference?”

  • Where do you get your own drive from to keep your quest going?

“I think it’s a combination of traits. I come from a working class family – my dad worked and my mum stayed at home and was very environmentally friendly without even knowing it. I learned a lot from her and she is also an incredibly hard working person. My dad was very good with his hands and he was always in his shed, working and maintaining things. He was also the one who nurtured my love for animals. We always had a dog and he even bought us chickens, which I was in charge of – of course!”

There was always a huge emphasis on education in my home and we were encouraged to do what we enjoyed in college. I loved school but I really, really had to work my little cotton socks off and for that I am very pleased. This gave me my steely determination and dedication – without this trait I think success would be difficult.”

  • What are your hopes for the future?

“Where do I start? I have so many! My main area of focus is on writing children’s books. I want to be a successful children’s author, planting tiny little seeds in children’s minds and growing into full on love affairs with the earth and environment around them.  I know I have plenty of material for this task – it’s all running around in my head just waiting to explode. I am just waiting for my first book ‘The Soother Cycle’ to be released so I can see where this takes me.”

“I want to grow The Less Is More Challenge into a very successful awareness campaign that gets results worldwide. I also want to focus on getting into schools as this is a major area where we can improve the level of practical knowledge our young students have to go out into the world and so they know what steps they can take to make their lives more environmentally responsible.”

“I have just undertaken the Live Below The Line Challenge where I will need to live on €1.19 for 5 days and within that budget, cover all my eating and drinking costs!!  I think I may be the only person in Ireland doing this challenge and I love getting people to think, “Wow, I wonder what that is and could I give it a go?”

“There are a few other projects that I am working on at the moment that all centre around getting people involved in living environmentally responsibly and having a positive affect on the earth. So keep tuned in and follow my blog for more J”

Blog:

https://clairelewisco.wordpress.com/

Email me: claire@clairelewis.ie


EarthTagWebHigher

My goal when starting The Less Is More Challenge was to reach out to as many people as possible and try in my own little way to get people to have a little sit down with their Earth Conscience and maybe instill change for the only purpose of making Earth a happier place for all….! Never could I have imagined the response from people all over the world taking up The Challenge and the desire from others to help as much and as best as they could. The Facebook page to date is not even 2 weeks old and already the response is over 200Likes which also converts to Less Is More Challengers. Press interest and the amazing support of global and national Green/Eco Brands such as TerraCycle, Lilly’s Eco Clean, The Film Trashed – starring Jeremy Irons, Ecover and many more. It really has been an amazing week and a half, and with momentum building for Earth Day on April 22nd it will be an even busier week and a half to go – but like you all I am Up For The Challenge!!

Due to the interest from schools all over Ireland I have decided to launch The Less Is More  Schools Challenge. Still the same concept as the main challenge but just tailored to suit the needs of the teenage population..I assume changing from Chemical Based to Eco Based cleaning products would be of no Challenge to a teenager!!??? I am just assuming so if I offend anyone please forgive me your parents must be delighted you like to clean 🙂

So just for the younger generatio, Earth Day 2013 is nearly here, show your support in some small way that together will make a massive difference. For one day take 10 suggestions and see if it changes your lifestyle forever?!

All you got to do as part of the LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE is to do as many of the following:

  1. Pack a lunch for school.
  2. Use a reusable bottle for your water – Bobble Bottles are great for filtering as you go and are offering a discount during Earth Month.
  3. Do not purchase Clothing for one day. But if you have to try and only purchase clothing that give back and make an effort to tackle environmental issues and sustainability in the production of the product .
  4. Turn off Lights, computers, TV’s and any other electrical item that consumes electricity.
  5. Unplug mobile phone chargers when not in use as they still consume electricity when left plugged in!
  6. Recycle & discover TerraCycle and the ways you can help to “Eliminate the Idea of Waste”
  7. Plant a Tree and/or a plant that native bee’s LIKE.
  8. Walk, Cycle or take public transport as often as you can.
  9. Watch the film HOME & film Trashed starring Jeremy Irons.
  10. Just open your mind for one day to the little things you can do to instill change in our world globally.

The core of the LESS IS MORE SCHOOLS CHALLENGE is to tackle peoples acceptance to the emphasis on consumerism resulting in ginormous global waste issues and global warming. We all have the ability to change starting with ourselves and if for one day we all had a little think about our own personal journey and lifestyle then it could start something special. Let April 22nd 2013 be the day that YOU take up the CHALLENGE.

Go to the Less Is More Facebook page and all you have to do to register is LIKE the page and share a comment on what LESS IS MORE CHALLENGE you are going to set yourself on Monday 22nd of April 2013.

On the Facebook page check out the brands that are getting behind the challenge and offering discounts or freebies, send us a picture or some feed back of how you got on during your LESS IS MORE  SCHOOLS CHALLENGE or for just a general earthy chat…

Twitter  #lessismore

The very best of luck and most importantly ENJOY!!

If you would like to get involved in this challenge please email lessismore@clairelewis.ie

The Following Brands are Proudly Supporting the Less Is More Challenge for Earth Day, April 22nd 2013

Trashed logoThe Soother Cycle LogoThe Upcycle MovementTerraCycle Logo-green-vectornewlillys Eco Clean LogoCL_Logo_Colour-01Ecover Logo October 2011