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Upcycling Your Trash: The Terracycle Interview

Terracycle is one of the “green” businesses profiled in Richard Seireeni‘s Gort Cloud: The Invisible Force Powering Today’s Most Visible Green Brands. In this interview with Ode, TerraCycle co-founder and CEO Tom Szaky proves his company is not just talking the green talk, but also walking the green walk.

TerraCycle co-founder and CEO Tom Szaky doesn’t believe in a conflict between environmental values and the bottom line. He built a profitable business based on new uses for garbage. TerraCycle collected more than 100 million packaging items last year—potato chip bags, juice pouches, yogurt cups—and recycled them into tote bags, school supplies and other products.

Your goal is to eliminate the idea of waste. Is that really possible?

“In nature, garbage doesn’t exist. Humans create garbage by choosing to put items in trash cans. If you start to see all these items we choose to throw out as valuable, then you don’t have garbage at all. Nature has all these different solutions for by-products of its systems. What we’re doing [at TerraCycle] is going waste stream by waste stream and creating specialized solutions.”

What is “upcycling”?

“With upcycling, you value all aspects of the item and don’t treat any aspect of it as waste. So, for example, we have yogurt cups we’re making into gardening pots. We say, Let’s not melt it down, but find a new use.

Read the whole interview here.


Prehistory of the Next American Revolution

What now? A new Revolution? If we are to counter the dangers both of corporate domination and of traditional forms of socialist statism, decentralization is essential—both of economic institutions and of political structure. We are at a point in our nation’s history that could, decades from now, be taught as the prehistory of the next […] Read More

The Seven-Point Protocol for a Lean Economy

In the future, what will our local economies look like? How will they function if there is little, to no, state or national support? The late David Fleming envisioned a post-capitalistic society that we could call “deep local” — in which all needs are met at the local level — from income to social capital […] Read More

Happy Holidays from Chelsea Green Publishing!

Today we kick off our Holiday Sale — with 35% off every purchase at our online bookstore. Simply use the code CGS16 at checkout from now until the end of the year. Along with this great discount, we are offering free shipping on any order over $100*. Are there homesteaders or organic gardeners on your […] Read More

The Six Vital Capitals of the Future

There is an increasing demand on businesses and governments to evaluate their impacts on multiple forms of capital – natural, social, and economic— and this book explains how they can make it happen. The MultiCapital Scorecard’s open-source methodology has been endorsed by the United Nations Environment Program, and it has been shown to help public […] Read More

Author Nicolette Hahn Niman to Speak at Nobel Dialogue on the Future of Food

What does a former environmental lawyer and vegetarian turned cattle rancher have in common with Bob Dylan? They’ll both be — theoretically — in Stockholm in December during the Nobel Prize ceremonies. That’s right – Chelsea Green author Nicolette Hahn Niman will be one of several global opinion leaders and experts taking part in this […] Read More
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