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Eco-Capitalism: How to Build a Small Empire from Worm Droppings

worm-castingsWhat better way to follow-up Earth Hour as we move towards Earth Day than with a spotlight on one the world’s leading eco-capitalists: TerraCycle.

Essentially, Tom Szaky, founder and CEO of TerraCycle, upcycles trash and turns it into new products.  We’re not talking just plastics, cans and glass. We’re talking just about everything.

They got their start by feeding organic waste to worms, liquefying their poop and packaging it in reused soda bottles.

Today, TerraCycle produces a host of organic lawn & garden products, household cleaners, fire starters and logs, bags, and office products; all from upcycled materials.

TerraCycle isn’t just selling to you. The company gets you involved.  Check out their “Capri Sun & Honest Kids Drink Pouch Brigade” From their site:

capri-sun-bagEvery year BILLIONS of drink pouches end up in dumpsters and landfills across America. TerraCycle, Capri Sun and Honest Kids are working together to put an end to this awful loss of resources. As an eco-friendly innovator, TerraCycle is going to convert the used drink pouches into unique fashion bags, tote bags, and pencil cases for kids and adults!

 

Where a lot of “green” companies fall down is the lack of education on how exactly they produce their products, which leaves much to the imagination of a cynical public.  Not TerraCycle. Throughout their site they do a nice job showing how the products are made.

Finally, you don’t become a great eco-capitalist without some great eco-marketing. Last year TerraCycle teamed with Target stores and Newsweek Magazine on a brilliant promotion. Again, one designed to get their customers involved in their mission while generating the “raw materials” they needed for their inventory: In this case, plastic bags.

org-246TerraCycle ran an ad on the cover of Newsweek and created a postage-paid envelope that invited readers to send in their used plastic Target bags. The returned bags were then re-purposed into the store’s unique ReTote bags. Those mailing in their bags received a coupon for a free ReTote from Target. This ad ran last year in the April 7 edition of Newsweek.

Keep an eye for hopefully another clever marketing/recycling/educational stunt by TerraCycle.

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2 Comments On This Topic
  1. Dan O'Boyle posted
    March 31, 2009 at 10:19 am

    Very cool, but with all that hands-on collecting, sorting and washing, it’s got to be expensive.

  2. TerraCycle - Aus Scheiße Gold machen! | betterandgreen posted
    April 17, 2009 at 12:54 am

    [...] Szaky (englisch) Treehugger – TerraCycle verwandelt Computer-Schrott in Blumentöpfe (englisch) Park Howell - Eco-Capitalism: How to Build a Small Empire from Worm Droppings [...]


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