flip flop recycling: Learn how to keep those yucky old flip flops out of landfills by sending them off to Africa to be upcycled into beautiful jewelry and art by the award-winning UniquEco.
A while back, we featured a story about UniquEco – an award-winning African company that transforms discarded flip flops into innovative pieces of art and jewelry. It was a story that resonated so strongly with our readers, we decided to become UniquEco’s first collection source in the U.S.
Thanks to your generosity, we have received hundreds and hundreds of pairs of flip flops. We are overwhelmed by your support, and proud to have helped keep this potential trash from clogging up landfills, to see it upcycled into useful and beautiful items and to help create a sustainable economy in the ancient civilization of Lamu.
Unfortunately, due to new regulations, shipping all of these flip flops to Africa has become cost-prohibitive for us. We know how important this project is, though, and we are looking for angels who can help sponsor shipping. If you know any individuals or corporations who may be able to help, please send them our way. Meanwhile, we are asking you to please continue to collect flip flops – and send them directly to:
P.O. Box 15565-00503
For you, the cost to ship a box to Africa will only be a couple of dollars more than it is to ship to us. We thank you for understanding and hope you will continue this easy way to do good.
We are deeply honored that our fellow Oprah Ultimate Viewer, artist Priscilla Nelson, was so inspired by our Formerly Flip Flops bracelets that she featured them in her new painting which, we are humbled to tell you, she named “Style Substance and Soul.” Wow.
Priscilla’s gorgeous painting is now hanging in the Townley Galley in Laguna Beach, but the bracelets themselves can hang from your own wrists!
The bracelets, which make a unique and meaningful Mother’s Day gift, used to be flip flops. Whenever we wear them – which is pretty much all the time – we get tons of compliments and are asked lots of questions about what they’re made of, where they came from and how other people can get them, too. We’ve stocked up so you can help support UniquEco’s award-winning efforts to keep old flip flops from clogging up landfills while creating a sustainable economy in a remote village in Nairobi.
Read more about our Formerly Flip Flops campaign, then buy an armful of bracelets for yourself, your mom, your daughters, your friends, teachers, graduates, hostesses, everyone you know! They are great conversation starters, and they add a little pop to any outfit while improving the lives of people on the other side of the world.
Bracelets are only $12 apiece or 3 for $30, plus $2 shipping regardless of how many you’re ordering. To order, simply send us a check made out to “Four Friends For Good” and include your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and quantity of bracelets you’re ordering. Send your order to StyleSubstanceSoul, 3525 Del Mar Heights Road #582, San Diego, CA 92130. If you have any questions, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whenever we wear our Formerly Flip Flops bracelets – which is pretty much all the time – we get tons of compliments and are asked lots of questions about what they’re made of, where they came from and how other people can get them, too.
Well, just in time for the holidays, we’ve received a few hundred bracelets for you to buy to help support UniquEco’s efforts to keep old flip flops from clogging up landfills while creating a sustainable economy in a remote village in Nairobi.
You can read more about our Formerly Flip Flops campaign here, and then buy an armful of bracelets for yourself, your daughters, your mom, your friends, teachers, hostesses, everyone you know! These are great conversation starters, and they add a little pop to any outfit while improving the lives of people on the other side of the world.
Bracelets are only $12 apiece or 3 for $30, plus $2 shipping regardless of how many you’re ordering. To order, simply send us a check made out to “Four Friends For Good” and include your name, mailing address, phone number, email address and quantity of bracelets you’re ordering. Send your order to StyleSubstanceSoul, 3525 Del Mar Heights Road #582, San Diego, CA 92130. If you have any questions, write to us at email@example.com. We will fulfill orders quickly so you’ll have them in plenty of time for holiday gift-giving.
Order extras so you’ll have them on hand (literally!). This is a gift that definitely fulfills our “Look good. Feel good. Do good.” mantra!
It was a rainy summer day in Florida and I sat at my computer, surfing the web for ideas to spice up the upcoming school year and rev up the kids. As luck, fate, destiny, or perhaps all three, would have it, I received an email about a grant opportunity sponsored by the NEA and the Target Corporation. It was the Green Across America Program, which awards grants totaling $50,000 — up to $1,000 each — to educators for innovative educational programs, activities, lessons or events designed to excite students about going green, caring for the earth, and creating a sustainable future. I’d been inspired by StyleSubstanceSoul’s Formerly Flip Flops project and loved the idea that trash could become treasure on the other side of the world, while keeping something that takes 50-80 YEARS to decompose, out of our own local landfills and oceans. Besides, everyone wears flip flops everywhere here in Florida. Each time I go to the beach, there’s at least one dead flip flop littering the sand. Speaking for myself, as an “average” person who owns more pairs than I want to admit, I knew there had to be an obscene number of rubber flip-flops clogging up our local landfills and blighting the ocean.
I applied for the grant and titled my project, “How Old Flip Flops Changed a New Generation’s Mind.” In October, I received the news that I’d been chosen as one of 55 winners! I introduced the project to my students with a pre-awareness/involvement survey regarding recycling, marine debris awareness, and knowledge of the location of Kenya. My survey results revealed that a whopping 42% of the students did not recycle at home! An even more astonishing 65% of my 6th graders did not know on which continent Kenya is located. All were overwhelmingly amazed at the decomposition times of various materials and the amounts of marine debris collected each year.
They were genuinely excited about the project and eager to get started. A group of students set to work right away, researching shipping and packaging costs. They determined the cheapest way to send the flip-flops was by the USPS, with an 8 pound box estimated to run about $58.00, which they figured would allow us to send approximately 17 boxes. The cost analysis on packaging tape revealed that it was cheaper to buy Wal-Mart packing tape at 400 yards for $8.44, as opposed to 50 yards for $1.08, but as it turned out, we found the Post Office would “give” us the priority mail packaging tape! In addition, an astute student suggested we use copy paper boxes, which were free and that we had plenty of at school, so our packing costs ended up being nothing! Our WSUN school news team produced a PSA for us to kick off the collection campaign. We quickly created posters, set up a collection bin, and before we knew it, had 5 copy boxes filled and ready to ship! Since then, we’ve collected and shipped 5 additional boxes, bringing the total to 10, and leaving us with enough money to send 6 or 7 more.
I integrated the project into my math, reading, language arts and social studies lessons. The entire 6th grade has been doing research on Kenya and chose it as their country for our school’s upcoming annual Multicultural Night, where we’ve asked attendees to bring their used and broken flip flops and trade them in for raffle tickets! Our students will spend the last few months of the school year expanding their investigations of marine pollution, whaling, and local landfills. Sunrise’s Planet Love Flip Flop Project will wrap up with a post-event survey to measure the students’ recycling involvement and marine pollution awareness, but I know already, from student comments and actions, that a great impression has been made!
The project is about so much more than flip flops. My intent from the beginning was to create a sense of connection as I helped my students reach out in a global manner. I wanted to provide them with a direct sense of worldwide community and responsibility. Most of all, I wanted to show my students that they could each make a difference. With little more than old flip flops, I sought to inspire them to be leaders in their generation’s efforts to keep the planet green and protect marine life.