Two Recycled Content Green Business Ideas

UBeauty garden pots - green businessGreen entrepreneurial ideas that take resources out of the landfill, provide employment for people in emerging economies, and result in super practical products – sounds like a winning green business combination to me!

UBeauty Recycled Tire Garden Pots

Upcycling used, worn tires, UBeauty is a company that’s producing garden pots to benefit Pakistani communities and the planet, too. Started by an Australian company, UBeauty’s tire planters are constructed by underemployed people in Pakistan out of an old leather workshop using old tires that would otherwise sit in a landfill and pose fire hazards.

The tires are stripped of remaining tread, hand cut, and stitched together by hand using durable nylon thread.  Any excess rubber tread or steel belting is recycled, too, making it a wholly-green business model. And the great news is that the company operates according to Ethical Trading Initiative standards. To date, the pots are only available in Tasmania or Melbourne for between AUD 10 to AUD 75.

PaperFlops - green business ideaPaperFlops Recycled Newsprint Sandals

Created using upcycled newspapers by the new Indonesian company, PaperFlops, are green sandals that are great for the environment and provide a boost to local economies. Using other recycled and natural materials like coconut shells, biodegradable materials, natural rubber, and palm tree roots, mentally and physically marginalized individuals stitch them all together into functional green footwear. Each pair of sandals uses up 1 kilogram of newsprint, and is finished with a natural sealant to keep them durable even in wet weather.

This post was written by:

Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Maryruth has been seeking the keys to environmental justice - both at home and at work - for over a decade. Growing up adjacent to wild spaces, Maryruth developed a healthy respect (and whimsical appreciation) for things non-human, but her practical mind constantly draws her down to earth to ponder tangible solutions to complex eco-problems.

With interests that range from green living to green business, sustainable building designs to organic gardening practices, ecosystem restoration to environmental health, Maryruth has been exploring and writing about earth-matters for most of her life. Of special interest is the subject of ecopsychology and the role the natural world plays in the long-term health and well-being of humanity. You can learn more about Maryruth's work at

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  1. Archie Ward says:

    I’d love to get me a pair of paperflops. I actually lose flip flops all the time, it’s an annoying occurrence in my life.

  2. Brian Ray says:

    The sandal’s look very well made, wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a pair of those. I like the green ideas though, and a great way to re-use old junk.

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