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Giving Green

December 01, 2015 2 min read

This week, we’re talking trash! That’s right! Gifts that: Reduce. Reuse. Repurpose. 

Upcycled and recycled materials are warm, comfortable, durable, and make a more powerful statement than their animal-based and virgin competitors.

Recycling & Upcycling Defined

Generally, recycling can turn one object into another, thereby reusing all or some of the materials that object is made up of. However, energy and waste is expended to recycle say, a plastic bottle into a plastic plate. 
Upcycling goes one step further, transforming byproducts, waste materials, useless and/or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. It also reduces the need for new virgin material to be harvested as feed-stock for new generations of product.

Image courtesy of hipcycle

Green companies 

A green/sustainable business strives to reduce its negative impact on the local environment, community, society or economy while maintaining a profit, such as:
Reducing carbon footprint
Creating fair business opportunities
Helping local communities
Enhance lifestyle through green products
Inspiring young generation through green innovation
Spreading green awareness
Protecting wildlife and nature

Focus on quality, not quantity

Many of the designers and artisans of upcycled goods take pride in being as green as possible in their designs and in their ability to take an item and turn it from something boring into something edgy and new. In addition to being green, upcycled products aim to be cool, innovative, stylish, functional, and built to last.

History in Each Creation

Using items that already have a story creates a connection between the past and present. Think of the traditional quilt, a new item that is made with pieces of fabric from many old items. A quilt that includes a first baby onesie, a piece of a wedding dress, and a special school outfit is a special quilt indeed. Each time that you upcycle an old item into a new one you have the opportunity to bring the story of the object to new life.

Some of our favorite eco-conscious brands…
Unlimited Supplies from Everyone’s Discards creates fashionable and functional pieces made from reclaimed seat belts, air bags, coffee bags, and sail shades. The Truth is in your trash™.


EcoWings’ holistic design approach turns ‪upcycled rubber tires into ‪‎sustainable, ‪fair-trade bags that are ‪‎stylish, ‪environmental- and ‪‎animal-friendly.Ecowings
The People’s Movement creates eco-hip footwear and accessories that stand for reduction of single-use plastic.

Engage Green
Their logo (because we think their logo is cool enough to talk about!) depicts a penguin riding on the back of a chicken, representing two very different birds from totally separate climates yet they are both concerned with the future of the environment. They are intended to engage you in a dialogue about sustainability -- to make sure that they never wind up living together as roommates in a hot climate!  In other words, global warming affects every corner of the globe! (by the way, their products are made of recycled plastic bottles)


Read the entireCompassionate Gift Giving: 8 Gift Ideas

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