Products made from recycled material - Why? (among other pressing questions)

Posted by Daniel Cain on

Who are we?

Hi there!  Before we get to "why," which is right below, it is always nice to know a bit more about who is talking to you.  We are Dan and Jessica. Two harried parents of young children who live and work in the nation's capital, Washington D.C.  We are both dedicated public servants trying to drive positive change from within the crazy complicated bureaucracy of the federal government - challenging but rewarding work.

We are also a family that is trying our darnedest to live a responsible, environmentally sustainable, and ethical lifestyle while maintaining some semblance of sanity - raising a family is hard work (who knew?!).  Over the last few years we have tried to change how we live, pushing ourselves to change our ways, make sustainable lifestyle choices, reduce our carbon footprint, and support responsible companies. We compost, bike everywhere we can, pay a little more for something that will last longer and chose products that we know can be recycled.

Why are we doing this?

In case you haven't seen the news, the recycling industry is in crisis, and the situation with plastic recycling was not that great to begin with only about 7% of plastics being diverted from landfills to be recycled (S. MacBride, Recycling Reconsidered).  In response to our growing trade war, China tightened its rules for accepting recyclable material and guess what?  Most of the stuff you put in your recycling bin ended up in China.  Local governments, cities, and waste facilities are awash in recyclable material and the prices have cratered, increasing incentives to divert recyclables straight to the landfill rather than reuse it, or to cancel recycling programs completely.

What can we do to help?

We need to strengthen the market for recyclable material at home, as well as build demand for products that use sustainable practices like using as much recycled material as possible.

The good news is, you can make a difference.  We know there are people out there who care as much as we do and are as busy as we are. We wanted to try to help people incorporate good choices into their daily lives by doing some of the leg work for you. Turns out, there are tons of companies out there using recycled plastic, recycled paper or cardboard, or otherwise trying to reduce waste, and you can find them hereBy directing your dollars to the right companies and products, you show that consumers care about sustainability and how products are made. The choices you made to supply your home and live your day to day life  can make a difference in the way manufacturers source materials for their products.

Where and when?

Here and now!  Over the last few years we've found numerous products and tested them in the ruthless proving ground of a household with children.  By taking advantage of our years of research and testing, you can continue to live a convenient, modern lifestyle while reducing your impact on the environment and building demand for companies that are focused on reducing waste and bettering the planet.

Let's get started

P.S. - This site links to other pages where the products I recommend can be purchased (mostly Amazon).  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  This means I earn a small commission on the things you buy, at no cost to you, which helps me cover the cost in time and money to build, host, and maintain the site.  My goal is to increase the amount of material being reused in our society rather than ending up in a landfill, but I ask you to ensure you are clicking through from my site when you purchase these products so I can continue to maintain it over the long haul (or until all products are made of recycled material and this idea is completely obsolete...which would be awesome!).


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