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Impress Your Valentine With Upcycled Hearts

ByPatti Roth

FEB 7, 2022
Hanging heart decorations
Hearts express affection for your favorite people. Hearts designed with upcycled materials express affection for your planet. If you prefer an Earth-friendly twist for your Valentine’s Day accoutrements, plenty of artists, artisans, and DIYers are poised to satisfy your (upcycled) heart’s desire.

Hearts To Buy Made From Upcycled Materials

Wine Barrels

John Heilman of WineyGuys on Etsy focuses his handiwork on recycling  Napa Valley wine barrels, including the metal rings that hold each barrel’s wooden planks in place. With those rings, he forms heart-shaped hoops.  Some feature a worn rustic vibe, enhancing the reworked piece’s personality. Left as is, Heilman’s Etsy description explains, galvanized steel hearts may be scratched, dinged, or discolored. Personalized wine barrel heart from Winey GuysImage: WineyGuys

Water Bottles

Anne Marie of RescuedWaterBottles on Etsy is enthusiastic about reducing litter in her local parks. She picks up and recycles plastic bottles, reserving an allotment as a resource for her handcrafted dangling heart earrings and other jewelry. Upcycled plastic bottle heart earringsImage: RescuedWaterBottles, Etsy“I decided to try cutting one of the water bottles I had rescued into a small shape and painting it. It was so much fun! I could actually design the whole project. And they were so light, I could wear larger earrings without tiring my ears,” Anne Marie says. “My daughter encouraged me to open an Etsy shop. So now I can share with the world my love for creating earrings, cleaning up our beautiful parks, and upcycling disposable plastic into something beautiful and lasting.” Upcycled plastic bottle heart jewelryImage: RescuedWaterBottles, Etsy

Avocado Pits

Avocados are delicious. And the pits are definitely delightful in the hands of Anna Ark. Anna uses a knife to form exciting designs with the pits, including heart-shaped pendants. The variety of styles includes etched hearts, scallops, and other patterns. Some pendants feature rose quartz inserts. Anna’s work is on Etsy, @avocado_hearts on Instagram, and on YouTube. Heart-shaped pendant carved from avocado heart from Anna Ark, EtsyImage: Anna Ark, Etsy

DIY Projects for Upcycled Heart

Heart Boxes

  • TerraCycle teamed up with Entenmann’s for a DIY video that shows how an empty food box is formed into an adorable gift box embellished with a heart, which doubles as a clasp.
  • Lindarose92 demonstrates her upcycling idea for a fancy, swirly DIY heart box on Instructables. She uses brown paper grocery bags for quilling strips.
Heart box, InstructablesImage: lindarose92, Instructables

Heart  Seat

Ipxav offers directions on Instructables for a “strong and durable” DIY seat in the shape of a heart. “Let’s recycle cardboard into useful furniture!” the Instructables website states. To show off the sturdy form, Ipxav includes a photo of himself standing on the seat.  “I worked with recycled materials because it is adding value to potential rubbish. Doing more with less and [letting] the magic happen with DIY,” Ipxav says. DIY upcycled cardboard seat, InstructablesImage: Ipxav, Instructables

More DIY Projects

  • Laura Beth Love employs pages from old books, sheet music, and other recycled papers for her upcycled paper hearts. Watch her YouTube tutorial for instructions.
  • Yoghima emphasizes recycling household items, such as newspaper and cardboard, for a heart-shaped photo frame and wall décor. Find the instructions on Instructables.

Other Upcycled Hearts To Adore

Artist Franciso Sheuat works with discarded aluminum cans to create his vibrant heart sculptures. Some are string-art style. Others are mosaics. “I use recycled aluminum cans in order to share my commitment to a greener planet, so recycling and reuse are an ongoing theme in my work,” Sheuat says. Heart-shaped upcycled wall hangings by Franciso SheuatImage: Franciso SheuatJean from WinterWomanDesigns delights in repurposing discarded bike parts. “Hiding under all the grease and dirt are some really cool things and I love turning them into something beautiful and functional,” she says. Her upcycled designs include heart necklaces formed with stainless steel spokes. Heart pendant made from upcycled bicycle spokeImage: WinterWomanDesigns, EtsyFlatware Fantasies on Etsy repurposes vintage silverware into heart pendants. The varied styles include hearts formed with silver-plated fork tines and silver spoons. Heart-shaped pendant made from upcycled flatwareImage: FlatwareFantasies, EtsyWilly Wires showcases the lively patterns on decorative tins, slicing and sanding them into heart-shaped earrings. Heart-shaped earrings made from upcycled tinsImage: WillyWires, EtsyRedeemedCrayons on Etsy melts broken and leftover bits of crayon, forming fresh, fun, and usable coloring implements, including hearts. upcycled heart-shaped crayonsImage: RedeemedCrayons

How to Ensure Your Recycled Packaging Actually Gets Recycled

Your recycled packaging may actually end up in a landfill. Here are tips to ensure your trash goes to the right place.
November 24th, 2020 blog sustainability ecommerce
There have been a number of discouraging headlines over the past few years about recycling. In 2019, China stopped accepting our recycling waste, causing a drastic increase in the amount of waste in landfills. There’s also growing doubt about the paper and plastic thrown into your curbside recycling bins, raising questions on whether or not it will ultimately be processed for reuse. The good news is, it’s not challenging to ensure your recycled packaging makes it back into the circular economy. Here are four easy steps to take:  

Check With Your Local Government

Right now, there are over 9,000 curbside recycling programs in cities and towns across the U.S. Each of them has its own rules and procedures regarding what materials are accepted in their bins. Local governments typically publish their recycling policies online, detailing what kind of materials are accepted and what condition they must be in. A quick Google search of your town or city and the keyword “recycling” will likely lead you to the right page. You might also try using this resource by our partners at How2Recycle to find the information you need.  

Know If Recyclables Can Be Picked Up Curbside

Most curbside, city-run recycling programs will accept paper, corrugated cardboard (including boxes), hard plastics, and aluminum. Some will also accept glass depending on their facility. Case in point: Just because your local government is unable to process something through their blue bin program doesn’t mean it can’t be recycled. In many cases, the same government website that provides details about your local recycling program will also tell you where you can recycle items they don’t accept. If you’re having trouble finding the information online, call the phone number listed on the website. As you’ve noticed by now in this phase of research, there are many types of plastic resins, some of which can be recycled curbside, and some which require drop-offs at special facilities. Fortunately, all plastic containers have a label dictating what kind of plastic it is, and this resource from the EPA provides more information about how to handle each of them. Pregis paper products, such as Easypack and Quantum brands, are commonly accepted items in curbside recycling programs. Other brands and products such as Sharp mailers, Astro-Bubble, and Airspeed inflatable cushions can be recycled through store drop off programs. Poly bubble mailers and poly non-cushioned mailers can be recycled in store drop offs as well, as long as paper labels are removed. Pregis’ Renew branded portfolio of products is also designed for the circular economy, providing additional sustainable benefits such as higher amounts of recycled content while maintaining performance, recyclability, and using less raw material. What’s more, in 2019, to help consumers understand best recycling practices for different materials, Pregis joined the How2Recycling initiative, printing simplified recycling information straight on products, so consumers know exactly how to handle them after use.  

Properly Clean Waste Before Putting It in the Bin

Every city will have variations of what kinds of recyclables they can pick up curbside, but one rule that is universal is items must be clean in order to be processed. Here’s how to get started:
  • Thoroughly wash out all glass bottles and plastic containers before throwing them into the bin with soap and water, similar to washing dishes.
  • If you have a lot to recycle, it may be beneficial to run items through the dishwasher.
  • Don’t try to recycle soiled paper products. Used paper towels, napkins, coffee cups, and pizza boxes are never accepted by a processing facility.

Research Store and Manufacturer Recycling Policies

Though highly recyclable, flexible plastic films, such as bags, are typically only accepted for processing at store drop-off locations (for now). Next time you’re at a store, ask an employee if they accept bags. For additional help locating a store drop-off location, use this directory by How2Recycle. Plus, the Materials Recovery for the Future project is working on a program to show that flexible packaging materials (like bags) can be effectively collected and sorted through residential recycling programs while maximizing end market value — laying the groundwork for more convenient plastic bag recycling in the future. Manufacturers might have mail-in programs specifically for their products and packaging. This is especially true for electronics manufacturers, which often feature programs to collect old computers, cell phones, tablets, and lithium-ion batteries. (The EPA has a list of manufacturers that provide these types of programs.) There are even take-back programs as specialized as Terracycle’s Little Bites pouch recycling or Nespresso’s recyclable coffee pods. It may be tempting to be a “wish cycler” who casually tosses all paper, plastics, and glass into your recycling bin and hopes it gets processed — but this is a surefire way to send even more waste to the landfill. Following local instructions, and the rule "when in doubt throw it out," can sometimes be the best way to ensure your recyclables get recycled.   For more information about helping customers reduce their environmental footprint, read our Pregis Purpose.

Businesses Committed to Environmental Protection Offer Recycling Grants

Tom Szaky, president and CEO of international recycling company TerraCycle recently gave the keynote address at the 7th annual Responsible Business Summit New York. Szaky addressed how companies are increasingly looking towards sustainable innovations to change environmental, social and governmental risks into workable business opportunities.

Mercer Elementary School Announced Winner of Nationwide Recycling Promotion Sponsored By Entenmann’s® and TerraCycle®

Mercer Elementary School of Hamilton won Entenmann's® Little Bites® “Small Bites, Big Collections” recycling contest by collecting a total of 5,874 empty Little Bites pouches. With help from recycling pioneer TerraCycle®, the accumulated waste will be cleaned, processed, and reshaped by for use in new plastic products.   As the winner, Mercer Elementary School will receive 50,000 TerraCycle points, school supplies, four custom collection boxes, and 50 boxes of Little Bites for their efforts. TerraCycle points are redeemable in the form of a cash donation to a non-profit of the winner’s choice.
  The Entenmann's® Little Bites® “Small Bites, Big Collections” contest launched September 1 and ran until December 31 nationwide for schools, clubs and community groups participating in the Entenmann’s Little Bites Recycling Program, a free recycling program operated by Entenmann's Little Bites and TerraCycle.   “The sustainability of our future and environment is so important for the children of generations to come,” said Kim Bremer, Director of Marketing for Entenmann’s Little Bites. “Entenmann’s Little Bites feels honored and proud to stand next to TerraCycle in such an important global issue.”  
Mercer Elementary School and other collectors participating in the Entenmann's® Little Bites® Pouch Recycling Program have diverted a considerable amount of plastic waste from landfills. To date, the program has recycled 4,217,634 pouches and donated over $68,000 to schools and charities. The program is open to any individual, school or organization interested in reducing local landfill waste. To learn more about the Entenmann’s Little Bites Pouch Recycling Program, please visit www.terracycle.com.   The full set of rules for the 2018 Entenmann's® Little Bites® “Small Bites, Big Collections” can be viewed at: https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/contests/small-bites-big-collections.

Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Pumpkin Muffins Are Here #LoveLittleBites #LittleBitesPumpkin

The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s® Little Bites® so that I could try the product and share my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s® Little Bites®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®.   image: https://momandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Entenmann.png   The weather is starting to cool off and the leaves are changing, which can only mean one thing… Pumpkin flavor is here! From coffees to oatmeal to cereal, pumpkin flavor everything is slowly taking over. Entenmann’s is not one to be left behind so of course they have added Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Pumpkin Muffins to their line for the season.   image: https://momandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/PumpkinMuffin.png   Did you know that Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Pumpkin Muffins are baked using real pumpkins? Yes not just flavoring but rather actual pumpkins! Each muffin features rich and moist pumpkin flavor in each bite.   image: https://momandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/pumpkins-457716_640.jpg   Entenmann’s® Little Bites® Pumpkin Muffins are also only 180 calories per pouch so you don’t have to feel guilty snacking on this fall treat. I look at it too like the pumpkin-flavor season is only around for a limited time so its okay to splurge. Luckily too these treats do not contain high fructose corn syrup or trans-fat. I will say too, I am not a huge pumpkin flavored fun but am looking forward to trying these muffins. I have yet to try an Entenmann’s Little Bites muffin flavor I didn’t like and I am sure these will be the same. My local store did not have them in stock yet but I am hopeful I will get to try them before they disappear until next fall.

Don’t miss the Entenmann’s® Little Bites® TerraCycle Recycling Contest

“Small Bites, Big Collections” is a contest that is running from September 1 to December 31st. TerraCycle is kicking off the new school year with a huge giveaway with Entenmann’s Little Bites®. The grand prize winner will be awarded 50 boxes of Little Bites®, four custom collection bins, $500 in TerraCycle points and more! More information about the Entenmann’s® Little Bites® and TerraCycle contest can be found athttps://www.terracycle.com/en-US/contests/small-bites-big-collections

Want to stay on top of Little Bites® Promotions?

Join the Club: Get the inside scoop on all things about Little Bites® snacks before everyone else does! New Products, contests, giveaways, getaways, videos, recipes, freebies! Learn more about how to join at www.littlebites.com.

Stay Connected with Entenmann’s:

WIN IT: (1) US winner will receive a $25 Visa Gift Card (virtual) and three coupons, each valid for $5.00 off the purchase of Entenmann’s® Little Bites®   image: https://momandmore.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/entenmanns-pumpkin.png   Need help entering a giveaway?  Check out my blog post for some help! GIVEAWAY ENTRY:  
  Read more at https://momandmore.com/2018/09/entenmanns-little-bites-pumpkin-2.html#1d9Zmvvd34vjtP0f.99

3 ways to have an eco-friendly picnic

With the Spring Equinox upon us, making it a point to connect with the natural world is one of the best things we can do for our health and wellness. While people of all ages benefit from face time with the great outdoors (particularly city dwellers who see more concrete than green), children and young people are especially better off. While the average American spends 93% of their time indoors, an alienation with nature, “nature-deficit disorder,” as been associated with higher rates of physical and emotional illness and attention difficulties in children.


The coupons for product redemption, information, and gift card have been provided by Entenmann’s Little Bites® so that I could try the product and share information about the Entenmann’s Little Bites ® Pouch Recycling Program with TerraCycle® and my thoughts and information about Entenmann’s Little Bites®. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Entenmann’s Little Bites®  #LoveLittleBites. #LittleBitesPledge, #PledgetoRecycle