October 24, 2013

Starting a TerraCycle Brigade - Yes, You CAN Recycle that!

This week I started a TerraCycle Brigade and made fun DIY monster recycling bins to get kids excited about our project as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias and their client.

Recently Craig and I embarked on the fabulous journey that is determining where you want your child to go to kindergarten.  Seriously, who knew that this decision was actually more of a commitment than college?  Why?  Because it sets the track of schools they'll attend for the next 13 years.  BOOM.  That's the sound of my head exploding.  What could this possibly have to do with recycling?  I will tell you, give me a second!

Mommy Testers, How to start a TerraCycle Brigade, DIY Monster recycling containers, How to teach kids to recycle #shop #cbias

Kayla's teacher recently pulled me aside and told me that I need to find a school for her that is going to provide a challenge next year.  Oh.  Pair that up with a friend whose child just started kindergarten at a local school and told me there are kids in the class who have no idea how to do things like hold a crayon properly or identify basic words...like their name. Yikes.   The hunt was on.  Fortunately, our hunt quickly led us to a new school in our neighborhood with a specialized Mandarin immersion program and a very passionate principal.

Mommy Testers, How to start a TerraCycle Brigade, DIY Monster recycling containers, How to teach kids to recycle #shop #cbias

Craig and I took a tour and I immediately fell in love with the school that was brimming with smart, motivated and seemingly happy children.  While on the tour I picked up a few papers in the front office and one of them happened to be a PTA letter outlining some goals for the year including opening the library that sits closed because of course, here in California there are no funds granted for a librarian.  Thanks, budget cuts.

Shortly after that we actually took Kayla to see the school and attend a neat little event they were hosting all about the Korean alphabet.  She loved it and was seemingly intrigued by the different way of teaching and learning.  I think she stared at this bookcase for a full two minutes before I made her move on to the next activity.

Mommy Testers, How to start a TerraCycle Brigade, DIY Monster recycling containers, How to teach kids to recycle #shop #cbias

My child doesn't even go to the school and I felt like I wanted to do something.  Anything.  After all, our family is pretty big on giving back.  As you probably know by now, Craig and I are both wish granters for Make-A-Wish.  And when I started my blog, it was with a pretty deep sense that bloggers should really be donating most of the things they receive to test out.  Yes, we get a lot of cool stuff.  I can't tell you how many pick ups Family Services of San Diego and AmVets have made at our front door.  What I can tell you is I'm delighted to keep calling them to come on by.

Mommy Testers, How to start a TerraCycle Brigade, DIY Monster recycling containers, How to teach kids to recycle #shop #cbias

Call it Karma, call it awesome, but something really neat happened just the other week.  I was given a fantastic sponsorship through Capri Sun and TerraCycle.  I love that they work together to build sustainable communities.   The idea was to start a TerraCycle Brigade and empower a group of children to recycle things that otherwise would not be recyclable.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Take things that you can't throw in your recycling bins at home and would otherwise end up in a landfill and keep it out of the landfill.  Sounds ideal, right?

As you know, I'm pretty big on repurposing and upcycling in fun ways.  My mind immediately went to that school.  I wasted no time firing off an email asking them if we could work together on this project.   Much to my delight I found out they were just about to start a recycling program of their own and yes, we could team up and reward those kiddos with some awesome stuff for their school.  So I am starting a Terracycle Brigade with Barnard Asian Pacific Language School and we'll be collecting drink pouches and oral care items.  Who would have thought you can actually recycle those foil pouches?  I'm literally stunned that you can recycle old toothbrushes and empty toothpaste tubes.

Mommy Testers, How to start a TerraCycle Brigade, DIY Monster recycling containers, How to teach kids to recycle #shop #cbias

So of course I had to make something cute and fun to get the kids excited about recycling with TerraCycle and thus these DIY Monster Recycling Containers were born.  They are actually quite easy to make and if you're planning to start your own TerraCycle Brigade (which is a fabulous idea) then you should give these a try or come up with your own engaging version.  Here's a full tutorial for my DIY Monster Recycling Containers.
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