People everywhere are taking heed of what climate scientists have to say about the dire state of our planet. We have a long way to go as far as reducing waste, but one day  – and one idea – at a time, right? To that end, below are 5 interesting, out-of-the-box ways people are trying to save the planet.

#5. Dirty diapers can still be useful.

Canadian company Knowaste was founded in 1989 and recycles diapers and other absorbent hygiene products by stripping them of their plastic and fiber and turning them into composite construction materials, pet litter, and industrial tubing.

It’s a dirty job, saving the Earth!

#4. Turning trash into treasure.

In Eskilstuna, Sweden, they’re taking the phrase “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” to the max in a shopping center that sells only upcycled, recycled, or sustainable merchandise. Patrons can drop off objects they no longer want and mall customers can shop for everything from furniture to clothes and sporting equipments.

#3. It’s getting hairy.

If you’ve been throwing out your (or your pets) clumps of hair, you’re doing it wrong – Matter of Trust, a San Francisco based charity, collects hair and fur and uses it to make oil-absorbing mats and other tools used by Hazmat teams to clean up oil spills.

#2. It’s gone to the hogs.

Image Credit: Farragutful

The Mall of America is the largest shopping center in the States and it’s also perhaps the greenest. They’ve got LED garage lighting, water-efficient toilets, air-purifying plants and trees, and they also recycle more than 2400 tons of food waste by donating it to local hog farms.

It also recycles about 60% of its total waste – 32,000 tons!

#1. Old crayon, new crayon.

Crayons are cheap, which makes them easy enough to toss when they’re down to nubs (or your adorable toddler goes through their “break everything” phase). They aren’t biodegradable, though, so a North California nonprofit called The Crayon Initiative melts them down and turns them back into new crayons.

They then donate them to children’s hospitals.

 

We can only do it together!