Buy Products that can be Recycled
As a consumer you have considerable power to help influence businesses to do more for the environment. With every purchase you make you have a choice between a product made from and packaged in recyclable materials or products that are made with materials that cannot be recycled.
For example, when you buy eggs at the supermarket you have a choice between buying eggs in a cardboard box, a clear plastic box or a styrofoam box. The styrofoam box cannot be recycled but in most parts of New Jersey cardboard egg boxes can be added to the mixed paper recycling collection and in some towns, clear plastic egg box containers are also accepted. Consult the recycling webpage of your local town or county to find out what you can place in your curbside recycling collection and then where you have the option, buy the goods that are packaged in recyclable materials.
We understand that environmental concern is not the only consideration, often price or quality of the item is the main factor governing your purchasing decision, but being good to the environment and to your wallet does not have to be mutually exclusive. It is very often the case that by choosing a more durable, longer lasting product, instead of the disposable single-use alternative you save money over the medium to longer term.
Buy Products made from Recycled Materials
Another choice you have is to buy products that are made from recycled materials. By purchasing products made from recycled materials or buying restored second hand goods you help create a market for these items, helping to make businesses that recycle more profitable than those that do not.
The Association of New Jersey Recyclers (ANJR) has put together a database of businesses in New Jersey that make products, made from recycled materials, providing a great resource for finding products that you can buy that will promote greater recycling in the garden state. The database can be easily searched for particular items and then provides you with a list of businesses that sell that particular product type, made from recycled materials. You can then contact the business yourself to see what items they have in stock and if they are suitable for your requirements.
To go to the ANJR "buy recycled" database, click here.
The Cumberland County recycling website has a fantastic page with information for purchasing items made from recycled materials: furniture, building materials and carpet.
Check out the buy recycled guide on the official NJ state recycling website for more information about where you can buy products made from recycled materials.
Converted Organics collects organic waste from businesses and municipalities and composts on an industrial scale to make nutrient rich fertilizer products for use in the garden. For more information about their products check out the Converted Organics website.
Ecologic manufactures environmentally responsible bottles that are both made from recycled materials and are easy for consumers to recycle once they have used the enclosed product.
The Ecologic bottle is made from recycled cardboard (70% recycled cardboard and 30% recycled newspaper content) with a plastic bag liner inside that holds the liquid. Unlike commonly found tetrapaks (juice cartons) the plastic liner is not stuck to the cardboard so the plastic and cardboard are easy for a consumer to separate, and recycle using widely available recycling schemes.
For more information consult the ecologic website.
Milkmuny make designer wallets from old drink cartons (tetrapaks). For more details check out their website
Based in Wayne, NJ, RecyclingBin.com manufactures recycling bins using at least 35% recycled material. The bins are colored to make it easier to identify the types of recyclable material that they are used to collect and the clever flat pack design means that these bins are east to ship and install.
For more details go to http://www.recyclingbin.com/
Terracycle is a New Jersey business, based in Trenton, that only sells products made entirely from recycled materials. They specialize in recycling materials that cannot otherwise be recycled, creating new and innovative products such as: pencil cases made from old candy wrappers, fences made from capri sun packets, organic garden fertilizers packaged in old soda bottles and coasters made from computer circuit boards.
Go to the Terracycle website to find their full list of products.