I first learned about TerraCycle® when my son's school was collecting products for a fundraiser. They collected a few thousand juice boxes, yogurt containers, candy wrappers and cheese packages. In return they received cash for much needed school supplies and school repairs. I figured this was just a school fundraiser.  How wrong I was: it is SO much more! I have now sent in ten packages of items that I would have normally thrown in the trash. Those "waste" items earned me points that I have used to donate towards different charities in my community, and you can too.

What is TerraCycle®?

TerraCycle® is an internet based recycling coalition whose mission is to eliminate the idea of waste. TerraCycle has over 23 million people in 14 countries collecting and sending in all sorts of items that would typically be tossed in a landfill.

Through TerraCycle.net® you can sign up for what they call "Brigades." These are programs where certain items are collected in mass for recycling to create over 1,500 different products that are sold at retailers like Walmart and Whole Foods.

This is a FREE program. YOU SPEND NO MONEY OUT OF POCKET (for most collections.)  You simply sign up, they mail you a box for collection, postage is paid by different companies that are recycling or creating the products, and you’re done!

What do I get for my items?

Each item that TerraCycle® is collecting is assigned a point/cash value: anywhere from 2 points, which equals .02 cents, to as much as 500 points which is equal to $5.00.

You can redeem your points, and TerraCycle will donate the cash value to your specific charity of choice, or you can choose for them to donate one of the following charitable acts:

  • Give clean water to a person for a week
  • Provide one meal to a hungry American family
  • Give clean water to a person for one full year
  • Reduce one pound of carbon in the atmosphere
  • Adopt 36 feet of wildlife land
  • Plant a tree in an American forest
  • Adopt one acre of wildlife land
  • Give one baby chicken to a needy family
  • Give ten honey bees to a needy family
  • Give one goose to a needy family
  • Give school supplies to a homeless child for one day

TerraCycle® is currently collecting:

  • Chip Bags
  • Yogurt Containers
  • Lunchkit packaging (ie: lunchables, lunchmates etc.)
  • Juice Pouches
  • Cheese Packaging
  • Cereal Bags
  • Candy Wrappers
  • Bottles/Cans
  • Coffee Bags
  • Cookie Packaging
  • Oral Care Packaging
  • Wine Corks
  • Digital Cameras
  • Elmer's Glue Bottles
  • Flip Flops
  • Gum Packaging
  • Keyboards
  • Writing Utensils
  • AND MORE….

Because it is back-to-school time, you can also find extra incentives for donating to schools and so forth…see website under "Resources" in "Incentives/Contests".

This has been a guest post by Daylene from Seattle, WA
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