Giveaway: Bazura Bag… upcycled with a mission & a cause

(This giveaway is now closed for entries. See “comments” for winner announcement!)

My absolute favorite products have to be those that serve a real purpose, help the environment and also contribute to a cause… today I want to give you a chance to learn about and win one of “those”…

baz bagLet me introduce Bazura Bags!  These bags are created by a co-operative of women in the Philippines desperately working to put their lives back together after a devastating typhoon last fall.  Made from otherwise unusable drink containers collected by local schoolchildren (who are paid for their “supplies”), the women of the co-op create and sell these unique, fair trade bags to support themselves and recover from this disaster.

It should come as no surprise that Bazura is actually a Filipino word for “trash”!… well, not anymore!  They are creating these bright and cheery bags that can be used again and again for any shopping trip or occasion when you need a simple tote.  Just yesterday, I saw them for sale in the shop of Cleveland’s Museum of Contemporary Art, so they are truly considered little works of art!

I have a market bag* to share too!  Would you like to win it?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win and tell me how you’d like to use your bag, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog.  Fbaz womenacebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner will be randomly selected on May 24! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Even if you don’t win, consider buying one of your own or take a look at their site for a whole variety of products the next time you have a gift to give… and then smile when you realize all of the ways these bags are making a big difference in the lives of these women and for the sake of the environment!

(*Please note:  because all bags are unique, the bag will not look exactly like the one shown above, but it will be very similar!)

Simple reuse tip: don’t cry over broken crayons…

cray brknWeekend fun for my family included a trip to the fabulous Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  A visit in their Discovery Center had me tucked next to my daughter (at an all-too-small-table for an adult, mind you!) making leaf rubbings to decorate their tree mural (as every Ohioan is desperately awaiting the arrival of spring and the first sign of leaves!)

Immediately I was drawn to the crayons they had on the table.  They weren’t your run of the mill Crayolas, mind you… they had pizzazz!  My daughter loved them too and handed me a card with a simple “here you go, Mom…”.  Low and behold a recycled crayon recipe! (She knows me too well!)

My first thought was, “well… of course!  Why wouldn’t I recycle crayons?”  My second thought was, “I need to share this…” so (in case I’m not the ONLY mom who has never done this!) here’s the recipe:

  • Remove the paper from broken crayonscray rcycled
  • Place foil baking cups and their paper separators in the wells of a muffin pan
  • Fill cups ½ full with crayons (you can choose the same color family or multiple colors)
  • Put the pan in a 225 degree oven for about 15 minutes
  • Remove them from the oven and, if you’ve used multiple colors, give them a quick swirl with a toothpick
  • Cool to room temperature, remove from cups, break in half or quarters, and get ready to CREATE!

You can use these at home, give them as party favors or gifts, or even donate them to a school or art class.  If you’re wondering about the real value of recycling crayons consider this… statistics say that 90% of crayons get discarded once they get broken or the tips wear away, so yes… this is a worthy project.

And considering there are literally BILLIONS and BILLIONS of crayons sold and distributed each year (think how many you’ve left on restaurant tables!) and I must have at least a million broken crayons littering my house, I’ll never cry over an unloved, broken crayon again… I’ll just recycle ‘em!

Upcycle with TerraCycle… joining the “Brigades”!

Mom Goes Green is now also “Upcycle Mom” to 400 kids… the kids at our daughter’s elementary school, that is!

We’ve finally joined TerraCycle in their “Drink Pouch Brigade”.  If you know TerraCycle you probably know all about their products, but if you don’t know about their brigades, let me give you the rundown…

terracy prodsFirst of all, keep in mind that each year literally BILLIONS of non-recyclable drink pouches get tossed in the trash and wind up in landfills… fortunately, along came TerraCycle.  They upcycle this otherwise worthless trash and convert the used drink pouches into fashion bags, tote bags, pencil cases, and a whole slew of other items for kids and adults.  All you have to do is save the drink pouches, send them to TerraCycle and earn a little cash for your school, organization or charity of your choice.

Sure the financial part is a little incentive, but more than that (to me!) is the idea of all the trash that is being salvaged, upcycled and put to use.  Anytime something DOESN’T go in the trash can (thus the landfill), I’m one happy green momma!

These programs are perfect for schools, community groups, Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops, youth groups, churches… you name it… any group can do it and make quite a contribution to the planet.  terracy logo

And it’s not just drink pouches… they also collect yogurt cups, candy and cookie wrappers, chip bags, glue sticks and glue bottles… there is a list of 25 brigades, so something is sure to fit.

I’m ready to go and lead my little troops in the Drink Pouch Brigade.   Now, if I suddenly stop blogging, could someone please come over and rescue me from under the mountain of drink pouches where I’m likely to be buried?!?