Tag Archives: Repurpose

How Your Used Mascara Wands Can Help Save Wildlife

Check Out How This Non-Profit Organization Repurposes Discarded Mascara Wands

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Did you know that your used mascara wand can help save small wildlife? Read on to find out how!

Wands For Wildlife—a non-profit organization based in North Carolina, is asking for your used mascara wands to help treat injured wildlife.

Why mascara wands? Because the tiny and compact bristles are the perfect size for removing stuff like fleas, ticks and other debris from the fur of small critters and wings of injured birds.

“Because the bristles of a mascara brush are so close together, it basically works really well to groom through the fur and through the feathers”.

📸: Wands For Wildlife

Wands For Wildlife began as a program at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, but has since become a separate organization due to its success.

“The initiative grew and expanded to share wands with other wildlife rehabilitators across the state of North Carolina. After three years, it became clear that the program was beyond the mission of Appalachian Wild’s focus on injured and orphaned wildlife in Western North Carolina”.

📸 : Wands For Wildlife

Donating used mascara wands to help injured and orphaned wildlife is such an awesome way to repurpose plastic that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

And if you’re someone who does not wear makeup, you can always collect mascara wands from family, friends, and co-workers, who will be more than ecstatic to pitch in!

April happens to be Wandraiser Month for Wands For Wildlife, so if you’d like to donate a wand or two, click here to find out more and take action to help wildlife!

YouTube | Appalachian Wildlife Rescue | Wands For Wildlife

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Unique And Creative Ways To Upcycle Your Outdated Bike Helmet When Recycling Isn’t An Option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