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Staying green through the fall with eco-friendly school lunches

This year, bringing green into the fall and winter is easy. While packing lunches for kids as they head back to school, options for staying eco-friendly and keeping lunch tasty are at your fingertips. TerraCycle, a pioneering recycling and upcycling company, offers eco-friendly, upcycled and recycled lunchboxes as well as a way to earn money by collecting non-recyclable food packaging such as cookies, chips, and juice pouches.

Trash Tycoon on Facebook makes fun-loving, eco-capitalists of us all

As it says on the game's official Facebook page : In a distant, but not so unrealistic future, where people have abandoned your town because it has become covered with trash, you the player, have been left to clean up the mess; So grab this trash picker, invite your friends and start to clean up your trash-strewn town to become the Willy Wonka of the garbage business. Describing the game as the "Willy Wonka of the garbage business" might be going a bit far, because the game's style isn't imbued with anything mysterious or eccentric. But the company that sponsored the game, TerraCycle , is known for "upcycling " and making products out of weird things. Namely, these include used food wrappers from things like M&M's and Oreo cookies. In the Facebook game, players collect trash and occasionally find treasures, profit from fertilizer generated from their own worm farms, clean up ramshackle houses and will have the opportunity to do some in-game upcycling of their own. As the game says, "It's Eco-Capitalism!"

Going green without changing your routine

To help, one company is offering consumers a way to reduce their household garbage while earning money for local schools or charities. Through free collection programs called Brigades, upcycling pioneer TerraCycle is collecting and paying for packaging waste from household staples -- from the bathroom to the kitchen to the classroom. Many major brands are getting on board with upcycling. Scott tissues and Huggies are sponsoring programs to collect plastic packaging waste from paper products and diapers. And since most oral hygiene products aren't recyclable, Colgate and TerraCycle have partnered to collect used toothbrushes and toothpaste cubes.

Recycling Program Turns Party Trash into Charity Cash

Fourth of July is synonymous for cookouts and fireworks but after all the revelry has passed, hosts are left with piles of trash to tackle. TerraCycle has a solution for getting rid of all the non-recyclable waste from the Fourth and other summer parties through its collection program, the TerraCycle Brigade program. Anyone can send non-recyclable packaging from summer events – such as chip bags, napkin wrapping or plastic cups – to TerraCycle free of charge to be recycled or even repurposed into new, useful and innovative products. In addition to repurposing the waste, individuals that send waste to TerraCycle earn two cents per item for a charity of their choice – and there are plenty of great causes right here in Ashburn and Loudoun County. The program provides a great way for people to keep garbage out of the local landfill and give it another use.

Kraft Foods' string cheeses -- branded Polly-O on the East Coast and Kraft elsewhere in the country -- are teaming with Six Flags Entertainment Corp. for a multi-platform "Twisted Fun" promotion this summer.

  Kraft Foods' string cheeses -- branded Polly-O on the East Coast and Kraft elsewhere in the country -- are teaming with Six Flags Entertainment Corp. for a multi-platform "Twisted Fun" promotion this summer. The promotion also brings in a sustainability element, through a partnership with the TerraCycle, Inc. "upcycling" company.

Recycling part of culture at Bartlett school

At Bartlett’s Liberty Elementary School, recycling isn’t just a passing fad. It’s a way of life. During lunch, students dispose of their leftover food before sorting their packaging into various bins for cookie wrappers, drink pouches, potato chip bags and other items. If they forget, the lunchroom staff reminds them. This has been the culture at Liberty since art teacher Heather Lass started the TerraCycle program at the school. TerraCycle accepts hard-to-recycle objects like used glue sticks and mp3 players and recycles them into products such as clipboards and tote bags that they sell online or through national retailers. Large recyclers, like schools, can open an account on TerraCycle’s website and track their progress, earning 2 cents for every item they send in. So far, students at Liberty have collected more than 20,000 items, earning more than $500 for the school.