Tag Archives: recyclable

How To Repurpose Bicycle Helmets

Unique And Creative Ways To Upcycle Your Outdated Bike Helmet When Recycling Isn’t An Option

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Helmets have a limited lifespan—kind of like infant car seats. After some time, the parts of a helmet—such as the foam and adhesives, begin to degrade—resulting in a subpar level of protection.

Because of this, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recommends replacing a bicycle helmet every five to 10 years, which basically places helmets in the category of disposable products.

In that case, you absolutely must buy a new helmet, but what is the fate of the outdated one? What if you don’t want to send the old bicycle or motorcycle helmet off to the landfill? What are the alternative options?

Option 1: Recycle


One option is to call your local recycling center and ask if they recycle the plastic portion of the helmet. If that’s the case, you can take the helmet apart and place the plastic casing into your recycling bin. I’ll be honest, they probably won’t accept them. But don’t be discouraged, because there are other pretty cool alternatives to landfill disposal.

Ten years ago in Portland, Oregon, a helmet recycling program was in the works, but unfortunately, it never went anywhere. I believe the man behind the concept didn’t have enough investors or something to help him build a facility with necessary equipment. That’s too bad.

Another option is to send your helmet into a recycling program called TerraCycle who would take it apart and repurpose the components—BUT, I believe you have to order a special shipping box and it’s kind of expensive. A small zero-waste shipping box costs around $130.00 but, it can be filled with as many sporting goods as you can fit—so in addition to the helmet, you can get rid of other unwanted items that are just laying around in your garage. The question is, do you want to spend that much money?


Option 2: Donate

You can donate your old bicycle or motorcycle helmet to your local emergency response department (like the fire station) for training purposes. They will happily take your helmets and use them to teach their students how to safely remove a helmet when a motorist is injured.

Never donate an outdated helmet to an active motorist or cyclist—this is irresponsible and can cause a head injury and even death.

Option 3: Upcycle

Another great option is to upcycle your old helmet into something purposeful. Many people opt to turn their helmets into planters, which look unique and add charm and character to a backyard or garden. Simply line the bottom with some newspaper and add soil and seeds, or transplant an existing plant into it.

Many people also repurpose old bike helmets into unique lanterns and lamps that look awesome in a man cave, garage or even kids’ room.

Need a bowl? Bike helmets work amazingly well as fruit or popcorn bowls! You can paint them and use them in the home or break room at work for this exact purpose! Perhaps you have a Stars Wars fan in your life, in which case you can paint the helmet in the likeness of R2D2 or BB8 and create a Star Wars themed snack bowl!

And lastly, they can be painted and transformed into Halloween candy bowls or used for trick or treating! The strap easily works as a “bucket handle”. And they can most certainly be crafted into a costume accessory or scary yard display during the spooky season as well!

Until bicycle helmets are manufactured to be sustainable and recyclable, these are the best options for keeping old helmets out of the landfill—and they’re not such bad options.

Below are some amazing and creative examples of repurposed bicycle and motorcycle helmets to help inspire you! I hope you enjoy these ideas and please give these talented folks below a follow!

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Best Eco-Friendly Phone Cases

Compostable Smart Phone Cases That Protect Your Phone And The Planet

Updated May 19, 2022

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Want to protect your phone and the planet from plastic pollution? Read on!

There are currently 272.6 million smartphone users in the United States, and around 5 billion world-wide. This means that billions of plastic cell phone cases are lounging around in landfills.

Why? Because people are constantly upgrading their smart phones. And when you get a new model, it’s usually a different size than your previous smart phone—which means that you must get a new protective phone case to accommodate your new mobile device.

To combat plastic pollution and lower their carbon footprint, conscious consumers are exploring sustainable alternatives when it comes to protecting their mobile devices—and there are actually quite a few [green] brands that make plastic-free cell phone cases with compostable material and nontoxic adhesives.

Compostable cell phone cases aren’t just great for the environment—they’re also a lot healthier than their plastic competitors which are often times manufactured in countries like China, and are made with harmful toxins.


According to the New Straits Times “A consumer watchdog in China conducted an investigation recently and found that phone cases from several popular manufacturers contain harmful substances.”

One of the most harmful substances found in mainstream plastic phone cases is polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to infertility problems, as well as lung, bladder, skin and stomach cancers—even more reason to avoid plastic cases.

Below are some of our favorite compostable smart phone case brands that are made from nontoxic and sustainable resources like bamboo, cork, recycled wood, wheat straw and even flax.

And because the packaging is just as important as the product itself, all of these brands use compostable packaging made from recyclable paper.

These environmentally friendly phone case brands also plant trees and contribute to non-profit organizations with every phone case sale.

Making a switch to a biodegradable cell phone case is a great choice for both your health and the environment.h

Wilma Compostable Phone Cases

Wilma is an eco-friendly phone case brand that makes their phone cases entirely out of corn starch and cellulose—making them completely biodegradable, according to European standard.

Wilma’s biodegradable phone cases come in both vibrant designs with environmental messages as well as plain, solid colors.

Wilma donates $1 per case sold to non-profit organizations.

Pela Compostable Phone Cases

The eco-friendly Pela phone cases are made from a combination of flax shive and plant-based biopolymers. These compostable phone cases contain organic ingredients that meet rigorous ASTM D6400 standards for compostability in municipal and industrial composting facilities.

Pela phone cases are available in a wide range of designs—from plain, solid colors to designs inspired by the environment.

Pela also donates 1% of their revenues to non-profit organizations.

Loam & Lore Compostable Phone Cases

Loam and Lore are a vegan phone case brand that makes their phone cases from sources like walnut wood, bamboo and other plant-based material.

Loam and Lore biodegradable phone cases are available in different colors and we love that this brand has an assortment of aesthetics to choose from.

Loam And Lore plants a tree for every case sold and donates a percentage of sales to a non-profit organization.

Reveal Biodegradable Phone Cases

Reveal is an eco friendly phone case brand that makes their cases from bamboo, cork and hardwoods.

We love that Reveal uses sustainable wood as material for their phone cases, and that they offer a folio style case to prevent dust and debris from reaching your smart phone.

For every phone case sold, Reveal plants a tree in an endangered forest.

Nalia Natural Cork Biodegradable Phone Case

Nalia natural cork cases are hand made and biodegradable. Natural cork is ultra soft and feels like leather, hence it has become known as the “vegan” leather of the fashion world—being used to make shoes, purses and…phone cases.

We love that the Nalia phone cases are hand because each one contains its own unique pattern. There are even some with pretty henna designs to choose from.

Best Eco-Friendly Sippy Cups For Babies And Toddlers

Environmentally friendly and Non-Toxic Sippy Cups That Are Great For Babies And Toddlers

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Saving the planet and making it a greener place to live in begins with eco-conscious parenting. And there are several plastic swaps that you can make for your children as soon as they are born—some of which are feeding supplies.

We also live in a time where everything is mass produced and most of the sippy cups and dinnerware for toddlers that are on store shelves are made from plastic. And as a parent, I know how tempting it can be to purchase one because, let’s face it, they’re inexpensive and have your child’s favorite character on it. Heck, it even says it’s BPA-free, which serves as a reassurance for parents that the product is safe to drink out of. But, just how safe is it?

Unfortunately, BPA-free Sippy cups and bottles still leach other chemicals that have replaced the function of BPA—and they’re not any healthier. Just like disposable plastic bottles, even BPA-free drink ware can leach chemicals that disrupt hormones.

As a health conscious adult, I bet you prefer to purchase plastic alternatives when it comes to reusable water bottles. Maybe you’ve bought a stainless steel or glass water bottle because of these findings— so why not have the same concern for your child?

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So what can you do? The best investment that you can make for your child’s health is to switch to a nontoxic and eco-friendly sippy cup. Anything, but plastic. No matter how cute it is. And you know what? Most eco-friendly sippy cups are either biodegradable or recyclable!

Not many parents realize that some of the most basic essentials for babies and toddlers like bottles, sippy cups and dinnerware are available in nontoxic, compostable, biodegradable and recyclable varieties.

What Are Eco-Friendly Sippy Cups Made Of?

Eco-friendly sippy cups are made out of some really cool environmentally friendly material. Some are made out of your typical stainless steel, glass and silicone—and then you have some that are made from recycled waste products like rice husks, wheat straw, and recycled milk jugs (which I think is so clever).

Some sippy cups come with spouts and some come with silicone straws—some even have 360 degree lids for more advanced drinkers. Personally, it was easier for my daughter to transition from bottle to a straw, so if you’re having a hard time transitioning your little one to a “big kid” cup, consider one with a reusable straw instead of a spout.

By switching your children to eco-friendly sippy cups, you’re also instilling a green mindset, and teaching them about plastic alternatives. And they’ll carry this knowledge with them throughout their whole lives and make smarter choices in adulthood as conscious consumers.

Another thing to consider is that baby bottles and sippy cups aren’t needed long term. Our kids outgrow them anyway. It’s not like they’re going to take them to college. And where do they go? The landfill! So let’s at least make a collective effort to keep plastic sippy cups out of landfills by switching to drinkware that is recyclable, biodegradable and compostable!

Below are some of the best eco-friendly, compostable and biodegradable sippy cups that have been hand picked by Eco Mom Diaries! All are BPA-free, nontoxic and safe for consumption by your kids.

Nontoxic Sippy Cups For Babies And Toddlers

Bamboo Bamboo Glass Sippy Cup

Bamboo Bamboo

These beautiful and eco-friendly glass sippy cups by Bamboo Bamboo are available in many colors and each glass cup is wrapped in a silicone sleeve and contains a bamboo lid with BPA-free straw. Some moms don’t like the particular straw design, but you can always incorporate your own (especially if baby prefers a bendable one).

REPLAY RECYCLED MILK JUG SIPPY CUPS

Replay

These no-spill sippy cups by RE-PLAY come in a pack of 2 and are made from recycled milk jugs! In fact, one cup saves two milk jugs from the landfill, which is really awesome! They have an easy to clean silicone valve and are extremely durable. Moms seem to be very satisfied with these!

Klean Kanteen Beach Bum Sippy Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen

This eco-friendly sippy water bottle by Klean Kanteen is made from high quality food-grade stainless steel and is molded to fit your child’s little hands, while the large mouth opening can fit ice, and is easy to fill and pour. This sippy features an easy to clean electropolished interior that doesn’t retain flavors and it’s dishwasher safe.

TRUE NORTH STAINLESS STEEL SIPPY CUP

True North

This 9oz stainless steel sippy cup by True North is double wall insulated and keep your child’s drinks cold for up to 24 hours. It has an elegant sleek design and handles for easy grip. You can even customize this cup yourself by adding vinyl letters for your little one, or as a baby shower gift for an expecting mom.

MOD WAVE SILICONE TODDLER CUP

Mod Wave

The Mod Wave sippy cup for babies and toddlers is made from 100% food grade silicone and can hold 4.4 fluid ounces of liquid. This Sippy cup is easy on the gums and contains a heart shaped handle for easy carry—and the lid can be removed and used as a regular cup as your child grows.

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WOLFSAY WHEAT STRAW SIPPY CUPS

This 8.5 oz sippy cup by WOLFSAY is made from biodegradable wheat straw—they’re completely compostable! It’s also extremely durable and contains a leak proof silicone sealing ring. The two handles are perfect for younger toddlers. The only con is that we wish more wheat straw sippy cups were manufactured because they’re so great!


THINKBABY STAINLESS STEEL SIPPY CUP

Thinkbaby

These Eco-friendly 9oz stainless steel sippy cups by ThinkBaby come equipped with easy grip handles and a travel top. It’s made from 304 stainless steel that’s dishwasher safe and a medical grade silicone spout.

SUNZIO STAINLESS STEEL SIPPY CUPS

Sunzio

These 10 ounce eco-friendly sippy cups by SUNZIO are made from kitchen-grade 18/8 stainless steel, and come in a pack of 4. The spouts and sleeves are made of food-grade silicone. The only con is that the silicone spout stretches over the mouth of the cups and over time, can wear out and rip if stretched too forcefully. Other than that, it’s a great product with many praises from green moms.


CUPKIN STAINLESS STEEL SIPPY CUPS

These 8 ounce sippy cups by CUPKIN are made from stainless steel and come in a pack of two. They each come with a food-grade reusable silicone straw, and can be used without them. The only con is that younger babies might flip open the lid if not supervised.

Bamboo Bamboo [Bamboo + Silicone] Multi-Purpose Cups

Bamboo Bamboo

If your little one wants to skip the spout and use a “big kid“ cup, then the Bamboo Bamboo cup is perfect for all ages—even babies! The soft inner silicone which flows over the edge of the rim allows these adorable cups to be used as is, or with a reusable straw. They also double as smoothie and ice cream cups and come in a variety of pretty colors!