A little upcycling for rubber bands

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have rubber bands bursting out of our drawers, mostly acquired from the produce we buy at the market. What on earth to do with all those pesky little guys?

If you don’t want them at all, take them to your local farmer’s market. You will likely find farmers thrilled to take your rubber bands (and berry containers, egg cartons, etc.).

I, myself, have found them to be invaluable for knitting. I like to knit with bulky yarns, which usually means using large needles (size 13 and up). Standard stitch markers usually do not fit onto larger needles. I’ve found that rubber bands make fantastic stitch markers, however, on those larger needles. I also use them to hold my needles together when I’m working on a project and want to be able to travel with it without worrying about it slipping off the needles! Try it – you’ll never curse your rubber band supply again! ;)

Here are a few more tips from green maven, Sophie Uliano:

Do It Gorgeously – Rubber Bands from Gorgeously Green on Vimeo.

Why tins and not tubes?

Most lip balms come in plastic tubes. Ours come in tins. We realize that plastic tubes are more marketable. People tend to like the easy application offered by the tube. However…we chose tins for a multitude of reasons:

::Our tins are made from recycled materials.

::Lip balm tubes are almost always made from #5 plastic, which is not recyclable in most US recycling centers. Here’s what Preserve has to say about it:

If you’re serious about recycling, you know that most communities don’t accept these common containers for recycling. There’s not enough money in it for them to make it work. And those communities that do accept #5s almost always bundle those with other low value plastics and sell them to someone else who burns them for energy. Yuck!

Preserve runs a program called Gimme 5, which offers a mail-in program for your #5 plastics, and also provides drop-off locations in some states. But realistically, we believe that if you don’t live near a drop-off location (and we don’t), will you really have time to save and mail in those #5′s? Even the greenest among us are extremely busy, and we don’t want to add to your to-do list. Nor do we want to be responsible for those tubes that might make their way to the landfill. Further…

::Plastic never degrades. We simply don’t want to contribute to its proliferation in the environment. Right now, we have two plastic challenges to overcome – the caps on our moisturizer, and the tape on our boxes. We’re working on phasing those out. When it came to the lip balm, however, it was easy to decide to keep the plastic OUT.

::Our lip balms will last a long, long time. Most plastic lip balm tubes contain only .15 ounces of product. Our tins contain 1/2 ounce of lip balm. That’s over TWICE as much as a tube! At our current price of $3.95 per tin, that’s quite a bargain, considering other natural brands, like Burt’s Bees and Terressentials, sell their .15 oz. tubes for $3-$4. A mere .30 ounces of their lip balms would cost you $6 or more – and that’s still not as much as our half-ounce! We want to be able to offer you a great product at a great price, while also offering containers that will last you a long time so that you don’t end up with loads of wasteful packaging.

::Our tins are reusable (and in some areas, recyclable – but please check with your local recycling center before tossing them into the co-mingle bins). When you are done with your lip balm, you can easily wash out the tin and use it for those odds and ends around the house (paper clips, brads, guitar picks, small buttons). You can even use it to transport items in your purse, like vitamins or hair bands.

We hope you understand why we say no to traditional plastic lip balm tubes, and why we love our tins. We hope you love them, too!

Earth-friendly Envelopes

As our customers know, we strive to keep plastic out of our products and shipping materials whenever possible. We ship all our orders in reused cardboard boxes, and cushion the items with newspaper – both are recyclable items.

However, when shipping small orders of only lip balms, we did not want to use the plastic bubble-wrap lined envelopes that are so common today. Those end up right in the trash, and thus, more plastic ends up in the landfills, in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, in the food chain.

We are pleased to announce that we have found the solution: Caremail envelopes! These envelopes are:

-made from 95% recycled content, 55% post-consumer

-plastic-free

-made with old newspapers

-made in the USA

-RECYCLABLE!!

Yes, you can tear into these envelopes guilt-free, then toss them into your mixed paper recycling bin!

So come on over and pick up some lip balm! Next week, we’ll be launching two more flavors, and a thick hand balm to get you through the last few months of winter.