Want to win a free eco-binder or cleaning products? See details below.
As the lazy days of August start, I am reminded that I have to get my children ready for school. This include shopping for clothes, school supplies, and doctor appointments.
Last year, I wanted to buy eco-friendly binders for them. I looked into both the recycled vinyl coated and cardboard binders. The vinyl coated ones were too expensive especially when you have to buy multiple notebooks for many children. The cardboard notebooks were only available via the Internet, so I was not able to see how sturdy they were. Plus, I had to pay shipping for a box full of binders. So, I ended up buying the standard heavy duty binders hoping they would last the whole year. Guess what? They did not and are clogging up a landfill as I write this article.
Why office supplies? When I questioned Albert Zakes, Director of Press Relations about this decision, he replied that Tom (the CEO) sees TerraCycle as the new Proctor and Gamble offering a multitude of eco-products for our needs.
OfficeMax’s expertise in office supplies combined with TerraCycle’s ingenuity in making trash into treasure is a wining combination. “At TerraCycle, we believe that OfficeMax is the ideal retailer for our products,” said Tom Szaky CEO and Founder of TerraCycle as stated in the OfficeMax press release. Szaky further states, “they share our vision of making products from waste and supplying them to a mass audience without charging a premium. We are excited to help achieve that goal with the help of an industry leader like OfficeMax.” The key is that these products are being offered at competitive prices and are relatively easy to obtain.
The binders are made out of sturdy 100% recycled cardboards and 90% recycled metal rings. They are priced as follows:
1 Inch: $3.99
1.5 inch: $4.49
2 inch: $4.99
As I mentioned above every Fall, I buy a bunch of vinyl clad binders which evidently fall apart in a couple of months. The vinyl skin comes apart and the corners fray. So, what happens to the notebooks? I tear them apart and recycle the cardboard and throw out the rest. What a waste…literally.
With the new eco-binders, I will no longer have to throw away the vinyl part, which will not decompose in the landfills. As protection for the corners I figured I would cover the binders with a book sock to see if this helps the corners not to fray. If your kids are creative, then they can decorate each of the cardboard binders in their own styles to distinguish them for each different subject. OfficeMax will take back the binders when the its life has been exhausted.
The pencil holders are made out of old juice pouches collected by TerraCycle as part of a school/not for profit fundraising program. The program pays schools two cents a pouch. “The program helps to challenge kids to rethink what happens to the materials they discard and ways those materials can be re-used,” as stated in the OfficeMax press release.
The first time I opened a pencil holder, I smelled a grape juice smell. Zakes assured me that all the juicy pouches were cleaned. I happen to love grape juice so reaching in to get a pencil will be delightful rather than a chore. The pencil case is priced at $1.99 for a small case and $2.99 for a medium case. My wish is that the pencil cases had holes in them so that they could fit in the binders. This way the case could not get lost.
While we are on office and school supplies, what office would not be complete without a nice trash can or recycling bins? Better yet, how about a trash/recycle bin made out of recycled plastic to close the loop? I have the TerraCycle recycling trash can conveniently located right by my desk. However, it could easily be placed under my desk. Now, everyone has no excuse not to recycle paper. Priced at $10.99.
If the school and office arena is not enough, then TerraCycle wants to clean up your life too with their TerraCycle Natural Cleaners bottled in one liter used soda bottles. The Company offers an All purpose Cleaner, Window Cleaner, and Degreaser. According to OfficeMax’s press release, “over 80 billion plastic bottles were discarded and ended up in landfills.” Zakes explained that the plant based cleaners are all non toxic, biodegradable, and have received the Canadian government’s EcoLogo certification.
I am not a big fan of smelly cleaners. However, the faint smell of these cleaners did not bother me. I tried both the all purpose and window cleaners, and liked both of them. Priced at $3.99 for the Window and All Purpose cleaners and $5.99 for the Degreaser.
Let me know your experience with any of the above products. I would not be surprised if you visit OfficeMax, and find more TerraCycle products that I did not mention in this article. It is really hard to keep up with them!
TerraCycle has been very generous and has offered five lucky Green Talk readers a choice of either a binder or a set of All Purpose and Window cleaners.This contest is for US residents only.
In order to win, all you have to do is leave a comment about something you would like to learn about. Winners will be randomly selected, so the quality of your comment does not matter. It is just fun for other readers to read. However, if you do not leave a comment as requested, you will not be considered. The contest will end August 14, 2008 at 6 pm eastern time. The company will send your choice to you directly. Good luck!
Photos via OfficeMax.