Diving into the 4th R

Diving into the 4th R

I collect trash for a living. Not behind a truck, but behind a desk. Let me back up. My company takes what might otherwise be thought of as waste, and makes it in to new and interesting products. But that’s not what I’m here to write about today. I’m here to tell you how trash can be a source of inspiration, imagination, and creation of possibilities.

We’ve created what we call Brigades, where schools, community groups, and dedicated families and friends collect everything from wine corks to drink pouches. getting paid a few cents per pack, in the process reducing the amount of trash going to the landfills. While these are both great things, it’s what else happens that excites me. When you move beyond the three R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, and deeper into what I call the fourth R, rethink, that’s where the real magic, and real benefit happens. When a kid looks at their juice pouch with different eyes, realizing it and most of the packaging their food comes in can do something more after they’re done with it, that I imagine sets off all kinds of other possibilities.

I can see it now, somewhere amongst the thousands of people helping us upcycle packaging, there’s a kid who will one day far exceed even our most advanced thinking today in terms of sustainable design, packaging, etc. How can you get involved? Visit http://www.terracycle.net/brigades/ and sign up today.

Albe Zakes

Albe Zakes is the 24 year old Vice President of Media Relations at TerraCycle, Inc., the world’s leading ‘upcycling’ company, which turns waste materials into eco-friendly, affordable products available at big box retailers nationwide.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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