The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Eco-Friendly Friday: Two Easy Ways to Recycle Flip-Flops and Makeup

It's all too easy to accumulate a closet overflowing with shoes and a cabinet full of beauty products (I should know), but what happens to all that stuff when we don't need it anymore? Thanks to companies like TerraCycle (, eco-conscious fashionistas can turn used footwear and personal care products into money for charity. These latest free recycling programs are perfect for any one trying to clean out her home while doing something good for the environment and for others.

Don't Throw Away Flip Flops or Shoes
There's no longer a reason to throw old flip flops in the garbage now that they can be recycled! Thanks to Old Navy, consumers can do the right thing for the environment and send their old flip flops to TerraCycle free of charge through the Flip Flop Brigade. For every 25 pairs sent in, consumers will receive exclusive Old Navy coupons to share with friends. TerraCycle and Old Navy had a month-long flip flop collection program in 2011 and the year-round collection program was instituted by popular request (probably from customers trying to unload all those $1 flip-flops that Old Navy sells, lol). TerraCycle also offers a Paired Shoe Brigade for people to send in pairs of shoes that will be donated to third world countries.

Recycle Beauty Packaging - Any Brand, Any Kind
Thanks to Garnier, guys and gals now have a solution when they want to get rid of an empty or old beauty product. Instead of throwing away any brand of shampoo bottles, lotion tubes, eye shadow cases or lipstick tubes, among many other items, they can be sent to TerraCycle through the Personal Care and Beauty Brigade. Two points are awarded for each item sent in and the points can be used for charity gifts or converted to cash and donated to a favorite charity or school. I've typically recycled things like plastic shampoo bottles via our city's recycling program but I'll definitely be sending in all those random "unrecyclable" beauty products to TerraCycle from now on.

Have you participated in any of TerraCycle's programs? How have you "greened" your fashion or beauty routine? Let me know in the comments. I'm going to try to make "eco-friendly Fridays" a regular feature here on the blog and would love your feedback.
I love the idea of eco-friendly Fridays! There's quite a few things to do with beauty products....if you bring a certain number (I think 5 or 6) empty MAC containers to MAC, you get a free lipstick. And Origins does an event every Earth Day where you bring in an empty skin care container and they give you a free full-size product. This year it was a choice of two moisturizers worth about $40 each and the last few years was a choice of two cleansers. Kiehl's has this new recycling program where you bring in empty Kiehl's containers and you get a stamp for each one on a card...3 stamps is a free lip balm, 5 is a free travel size product and 10 is a free full-size product up to $25! Also, Nike has a sneaker recycling program in stores (outlets too). There's definitely lots you could do with this!
#1 Donna F. on 2012-07-06 18:47 (Reply)
@Donna F. Love love love all these suggestions, thanks for sharing! I see a lot of potential too.
#1.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-07-06 19:09 (Reply)
Wow! Thanks for sharing. Never even knew about TerraCycle.
#2 Emily on 2012-07-06 19:46 (Reply)
So what happens to the stuff after it's brought in? Donating used flip flops to people in third world countries sounds great, not. I live in a semi-third world country and I don't think the people here are going to get too excited about wearing some used up cheap flip flops.
#3 jane on 2012-07-07 08:07 (Reply)
Flip flops are recycled, gently worn shoes are donated.
#3.1 The Budget Babe on 2012-07-07 21:56 (Reply)
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