The Variety Of Recycled Products
Might Surprise You

How many recycled products have found their way into your home?

The last time you went to the office supply store did you buy recycled paper? How about when you went to the grocery store, do you look for recycled toilet paper or paper towels?

Maybe you are fortunate to live someplace where these and even more kinds of recycled products are more common on the shelves but in some places these might be your only choices, if you could find these items at all.

Seventh Generation Paper Towels

Buying Recycled

Most areas don't seem to offer a big selection of recycled items. The usual selection amounts to toilet paper, paper towels, tissues and some office supplies. If they are available it is usually because retailers are responding to our interest in buying them. So if your store doesn't carry at least recycled paper towels or toilet paper ask them about it.

The Internet has made it possible for those of us looking for recycled products to have access to a greater selection of items of all kinds. You can even purchase everyday items like toilet paper and paper towels but unless you shop with some place like Amazon where free shipping is available for something like recycled paper towels or toilet paper it's hard to justify the added expense. With a little looking on-line you can find many other types of recycled products.

Experts say we have to close the loop. Recycling is the first part now we have to make an effort to buy products made from recycled materials.

recycle logo

The 3R's In Brief


Years ago when my son was young and spent his money on a cheap little toy that broke shortly after he bought it. I said "Well, now it's garbage". We talked, rather I talked he sort of listened, about how everything we saw in the stores was potential garbage and even more so for the cheap, poorly made items.

It was at this time that I became more aware of my purchases. I started to buy less and questioned myself each time if the item was something I really needed or wanted. I also started to buy higher quality items, less plastic and more natural materials. It means owning less stuff and I find I function better and am happier without so many things. And what I do have are items I really love.


This is something many of us have some fun doing. Whether it's finding that hidden antique treasure or turning a piece of "junk" into a one of a kind unique piece, we are practicing reusing.

This is where buying quality really pays off. Something that is well made lasts and can be reused sometimes again and again making it less likely to end up as trash.

electronic garbage

Technology is growing so fast and more new items are manufactured everyday. We have a desire for the new and improved but what happens to all the perfectly good old stuff. Giving it to the right organizations to be refurbished and reused or recycled is the best solution.

If your old electronics don't work throwing them away is not the answer. They often contain toxic materials and need to be disposed of properly. Check out Greener Choices for solutions for recycling or refurbishing your old electronics.


aluminum can handbags

Many of us have either curbside recycling or access to recycling facilities. The most common items being recycled are paper, plastic, aluminum and glass but a growing list of recyclables includes steel, cell phones, batteries, office equipment, athletic footwear, clothing, tires and more.

Did you know your old carpeting or mattresses could be recycled? Check locally and see what's available in your area. The website set up by your city or town is a good starting point.

Whenever you recycle you not only save something from the landfill but you provide materials for new items made from recycled materials and there are some very interesting things being done by some very creative and talented people working to make recycled products.

Recycled Fibers

New Clothing From Recycled Material

Polyester made from petroleum products is one the the most recycled fabrics. It can be used to make more polyester fabric conserving natural resources. No more petroleum is needed to make new products from recycled polyester.

Another process that has been getting attention from clothing manufacturers is using all those plastic bottles that we have been recycling, making it into fabric and then some pretty cool clothing.

Polar Fleece was the first of such fabrics created from recycled plastic bottles. Millions of bottles have been recycled to make this fabric. As technology improved Polartec came along as an against the skin material. Many manufacturers of outdoor clothing and gear are putting these fabrics to good use.

Some manufacturers and designers are looking at ways to use fabric remnants from cutting room floors that would end up in a landfill. Items from tote bags to clothing are being created from these throw away fabrics.

Creative Recycled Products

By far the most creative recycled products being made are those where artisans allow their creativity free reign.

aluminum can handbags

Recycled Style

  • Purses or handbags are being made from throw away items like rubber tires, license plates, aluminum pop tops, candy wrappers, computer parts and much more.
  • Recycled fashions may be the most eco friendly way to dress. This is fast becoming a popular to add to your wardrobe and save money. Buying clothing made frome recycled or salvaged materials is a fun and creative solution that helps keep even more items from the trash.
  • Recycled jewelry is being green at it's most fun and it's most creative. There are no limits to the choice of materials which can range from reclaimed gold and silver to paper or plastic. You can easily find items that are sophisticated and elegant to those that are playful and fun.
  • Recycled crafts. Crafters by nature tend to be very creative so it is not surprising to find so many different throw away items being turned into interesting and sometimes beautiful items. Packaging from snack bags is just one great example. A popular idea is to weave them into handbags like those pictured on the right. Very cool and unique.

Recycled Paper Items

  • Ever increasing amounts of paper are consumed every day. Many of our needs can be met with recycled paper. It's great for necessities but many individuals are having creative fun by recycling paper into unique and beautiful items.

Recycled Glass

  • Many communities have glass recycling programs and all that glass can be put to good use as new containers, bottles, dishware, jewelry etc. Crushed up glass is also being used for counters and flooring. Beautiful and functional uses have been found for recycled glass.

Reclaimed Wood

  • If you're wanting a piece of history you may want to purchase a piece of furniture or maybe some flooring that was made with reclaimed wood. Wood that was once destined for the landfill might find a place in your home.

Recycled Plastic Items

  • Plastic recycling is probably one of our most important recycling efforts. New and interesting recycled plastic products are being developed all the time without the use of more fossil fuels. Plus we are keeping tons of plastic trash out of our overflowing garbage dumps.

There is no limit to the possibilities for recycled products from the creative to the functional. When we buy recycled products we not only do something good for the environment but we do it with style.

Got stuff? Looking for even more ways to recycle. Click here.

Related Pages

Green Living

Recycled Moving Boxes

Eco Jewelry

Better Choices

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