Sunday, December 2, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas -- TerraCycle Offers Eco-Friendly and Affordable Gifts For Everyone on Your Shopping List (Review)

Today’s consumers are searching for more eco-friendly, sustainable and reasonably priced products. TerraCycle, known for recycling and upcycling non-recyclable items recently introduced a collection of gift ideas perfect for the whole family. These items are so stylish and useful; no one needs to even know they are both eco-friendly and affordable! I was sent a few of their must-have eco-friendly items to review, and can't stop showing them off to family and friends, looking for unique gifts to give and request from Santa this holiday season.

The first item I was sent was an iPad case made from a recycled mail carrier bag.  When I first showed my husband this, he didn't know what it was.  At first, he thought I was trying my luck at sewing. But, when I told him it was constructed from a mail carrier's bag, he thought it was a novel idea, and great way to reuse/recycle.  We have been using this handy iPad bag to bring the iPad to the stores with us, and on vacation.  And, I can't tell you how many times people compliment on it, or ask where they can get one, when they see us pulling the iPad from the bag, and learn that it is a recycled mail carrier's bag.

The next sample I was sent to review was the lunch tote.  Now, this is not your usually lunch tote.  Instead, it is main completely out of Capri Sun juice pouches.  Remember drinking these as a kid?  Or, does your child drink these juice pouches now?  Your children will go crazy when they see this fun and unique lunch box made fro recycled juice pouches.  And, I guarantee they will want to use this lunch bag to bring their school lunches in, only to show off the cool design.  Who knew that recycling products could be so neat?  I would have never though to save old juice pouches, which we seem to go through like water, and turn them into a lunch tote?  But, now that I have this bag, I too, feel like a kid, and want to show it off.  It is a great conversation starter, as well as a way to show young children that their so-called trash can be recycled and reused again.

The last sample I was sent, and my favorite of the three was the portable speakers made out of Skittles wrappers.  Yes, you read that right, Skittles wrappers can become a portable speaker. :-)  Just look how cool these speakers are:

Now, who wouldn't want to have these on display in their house, to use when you want to share music from your iPad, iPhone or other mobile device?  I wasn't sure how the quality of these speakers would be, but was pleasantly surprised at how great the sound was.  I used these battery-free speakers to listen to my audio books stored on my MP3 player, as well as holiday CDs while decorating.  And, this past Thanksgiving when family and friends came to visit and for dinner, I had holiday music playing in the background.  A few people asked where the speakers were, as the sound was so crisp.  When I showed the speakers and how with a few simple folds (as these speakers ship flat for less pollution), they were shocked and amazed, and wanted a pair for themselves?

So, if you are looking to give a unique gift for those people on your list who prefer eco-friendly products, or even those who have everything, why not pick up these products from TerraCycle?  

In addition to the products I was sent to review, here are a few others that may interest you:

Travel Items: Toiletry Case (Dopp Kit), Tote Bag, and Lunch Sack
Material: Upcycled Tents
"These light, water and stain resistant bags are upcycled from tents and the perfect gift for the traveler or outdoor enthusiast! The lightweight material won’t weigh down a suitcase, and makes the tote bag, lunch sack and dopp kit practical for any trip or excursion. Each item is handmade in the U.S. from a different tent part, giving it a distinctive, custom design."
PR: $37.00 - $46.00

Coin Pouch, Tote, and iPad Case
Material: Upcycled USPS Mail Sacks
"Looking for a bag that will last through rain, sleet or snow? TerraCycle’s Mail Bag products are made in the USA from retired United States Postal Service mail sacks. Each mail sack has its own distinct history! The graphics, rivets and worn look of the bags will vary, making each bag completely unique. These make great holiday gifts for anyone who likes one-of-a-kind accessories. The pouch is perfect for stashing cash, credit cards and keys. The iPad case protects your device with a gentle ultrasuede lining with an outside pocket perfect for chargers. The spacious tote also includes a convenient outside pocket."   SPR: $14.00 - $84.00


Watering Can
Material: Recycled Granola Bags
"Help the garden-lover in your life grow flourishing plants with this recycled plastic watering can! Made from granola packaging, this product keeps wrappers and used plastics out of landfills and prevents new plastic from being made. The design is narrow, making it easy to carry and store. The diffuser spreads the water evenly and gently. 100% Recycled and made in the USA." SPR: $11.99

Plant Caddy
Material:  Recycled Juice Pouches
"Give this plant caddy to someone who wants to beautify his or her patio or home! This nifty plant caddy is made using juice pouches and offers strong support to move heavy potted & container garden plants. Four spinning wheels help to easily move plants around. 100% Recycled and Made in the USA." SPR: $14.99

Material: Upcycled M&M’s and Chips Packaging
"Give the gift of music with Eco-Nation and Terracycle’s small, portable; upcycled electronic speakers made from 80% recycled materials. The speakers are foldable and battery-free with a 3.5 mm universal plug, perfect for iPods, MP3 players, your laptop, or Smart Phone. From wrapper to music blaster, the speakers are 57 mm in diameter with a max power input of 2 watts." SPR: $19.00

School Supplies
Material: Recycled Juice Pouches, Candy Wrappers and Chip Bags
"For the first time in history, “I ate my homework” can actually be true; well, almost. TerraCycle turns empty food packaging into school supplies like unique backpacks, pencil cases, notebooks and more! This will be the only time your scholar will be excited to go to school and it’s a great way for your students to take note on how important recycling can be." SPR: $1.99 - $19.00


Products include traditional garden supplies like a Terra Stone Plant Caddy retailing for $14.99, the Eco-Terra Watering Can for $11.99 and TerraCycle’s trademark All-Purpose Plant Food for $4.99 - $32.00 are at major retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, independent garden centers and online.  Other unique items including tote bags, lunch sacks, toiletry cases and travel pouches made from repurposed USPS mail bags and upcycled tents are available online at and Lunch sacks retail for $37.00, dopp kits for $38.00, and tote bags for $46.00. The Coin Pouch, Tote, and iPad Case retail from $14.00 - $84.00

These items are perfect gift ideas for your green-minded friend and family or just anyone who enjoy unique, well-made products. 

Disclosure: I was sent samples from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views above are mine and mine alone.

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