Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

I nearly died when I saw this video from our broken umbrella upcycling friends at Recycling Zychal. The video chronicles a black pug named Hurley, who as once afraid of the rain, and how he learned to love rainy walks once he got one of Recycling Zychal’s famous Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coats. It kind of reminds me of an eco-friendly version of Run Spot Run!

And if you are a cat person like me, you can help reduce your cat’s carbon paw print by purchasing one of these super cute Organic Cat Nip Filled Kitty Toys that help raise money for City Kitties Cat Rescue in West Philadelphia, because lets face it: If your cat is going to destroy something, it might as well be GREEN!

$1 from each cat toy purchase goes to City Kitties Cat Rescue in West Philadelphia!

You can purchase Recycling Zychal’s Upcycled Umbrella products on their Etsy store, as well as in Center City Philadelphia at Just Dogs Gourmet on Chestnut Street!

Quick side note: Recycling Zychal is also participating in America Recycles Day by launching a month long initiative to collect broken umbrellas from people all over the country. The difference is that between 11/15 and 12/13, the folks at Recycling Zychal will be making a special limited edition present crafted from the very broken umbrella donated for everyone who donates a broken umbrella to them as a thank you for participating in America Recycles Day. I’ve been given the insiders scoop on what the special present will be, but I’m trying to keep my lips tight!

To donate your broken umbrella or for more info, please go to the Donate A Broken Umbrella page on their website!

To read more about Recycling Zychal’s America Recycles Day Event, head on over to their blog!


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A photo I took of Snowmageddon 2010 in Philly at 3:30 am today

If you are on the east and experiencing what we in Philadelphia are calling, Snowmageddon, then this post should be right up your alley! We all know that curling up with a cup of hot chocolate and your computer on your lap surfing blogs is the best way to stay sane during a storm of this magnitude; but if you’re like me, you’ve got to get up just about every hour to stretch your legs and “check” on the weather.

Last night, when the storm came in for its first wave of destruction, I was checking when I saw the most terrifying group of 3-4 foot long icicles framing my door. I quickly shut the door and tried to forget about them, but I couldn’t and I knew in order to have a satisfactory slumber that evening, I would either have to knock them all down with a broom, or stop being a baby about it. I figured keeping myself busy with housework would help me to chill out.

Monster icicles that framed my back door last night, SCARIFYING!

I’m a plant lover, and by plant lover, I mean I have over 20 plants ranging in all different sizes and types all over my teeny little 1 bedroom apartment. I noticed that the heat had been blasting all day and decided to undertake a massive watering of all of them when suddenly my design mind woke up and it hit me: I could get rid of the icicles and feed my plants at the same time.. upcycle my icicles…. Upcycicles were born.

I busted out some courage and started yanking about 5-6 inches off of the tips of the massive formations and sticking them into my plants. The icicles water the plant slowly (about 2 hours), preventing root rot, and for those plants with slotted bottoms on their pots, I didn’t have to worry about the water dripping through, the plants sucked up the water as it melted.

Ivy plant enjoying an upcycled icicle

Thirsty snake plant enjoying an Upcycicle!

Beetlejuice, my crazy cat tail succulent being fed by an upcycicle

This proved to be both fun and function, 2 words that should really be used together more.

While melted icicles aren’t exactly what I would consider waste, the idea of taking something useless and giving it a purpose is the real reason behind this post. I hope that this idea will inspire and encourage more of you to think progressively about upcycling and how easy it can really be if we just use our design sense and problem solving skills to create ideas that employ maximum waste reduction while still satisfying or improving upon a popular objective.

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Upcycled Umbrella Dog Rain Coat made from a salvaged broken umbrella!

Philadelphia based green product designer, Taryn Zychal, has become a household name in the upcycling business this year for her work exclusively with broken umbrellas. Only having started her company, Recycling Zychal, in April of 2009, Zychal has already completely redefined the way people look at broken umbrellas in a number of ways including launching a successful national broken umbrella collection initiative entitled Flora Fauna Function, making special Upcycled Umbrella Dog Coats for the queen of craft herself Martha Stewart and her French Bulldogs, spreading the word about her business on the internet through her Etsy Store and Blog, being voted in as a finalist for the prestigious Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards and receiving tremendous local and national press for her efforts to get broken umbrellas off the streets and into her hands; all of which has resulted in the success of her softgoods company far beyond what she expected when she started.

“The response has been overwhelming and amazing, people have sent me broken umbrellas to recycle from all over the world. I started off with about 20 broken umbrellas and a dream, now I have over 500 umbrellas and a real business!” said Zychal in a recent interview. “My goal for 2010 is to get more people to know that if their umbrella breaks and they want to recycle or upcycle it, Recycling Zychal is here to do so, it is our sole purpose for being in business”, she commented.
New Winter HOODs by Recycling Zychal are now available on www.recyclingzychal.etsy.com from $22-$30+
With her ever-growing enthusiasm for green product design and marketing, Zychal is now asking for your vote to help her win 1designperday.com’s Sunday Young Designer Competition. The more stars and tweets she receives, the better her chances are of winning, and on top of that you are helping to spread the word about her broken umbrella recycling so that more people keep their broken umbrellas off the street and into the hands of someone who can make them into something new.

If you want to vote for Taryn’s broken umbrella recycling for 1designperday.com’s Sunday Young Designer Competition, please visit http://www.1designperday.com/2009/12/27/sundayyoungdesigner-3rd-runner-taryn-zychal/.

And if you would like to donate your broken umbrella to Recycling Zychal, please contact her by sending an email to info@recyclingzychal.com or by calling the Recycling Zychal Headquarters at 1-888-472-2912

Happy New Year!

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