When was the last time you heard garbage and great in the same sentence? Yeah, that’s what we thought. Rarely do the two appear together in the same stream of thought. Is it even possible to make garage great?

According to Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle — absolutely. Published by HarperDesign and coauthored by Terracycle founder and CEO Tom Szanky and Terracycle Global VP of Communications Albe Zakes, Make Garbage Great is your go-to guide on all things reduce, reuse, recycle (something we know a little about).

“Make Garbage Great is a our attempt to bring a fun, positive spin to recycling and resource conservation, while also providing academic leve history and research. We hope the book is eye-opening and informative, but also empowering via the 100s of tips, stats, facts and DIY projects! Our hope is the book will be enjoyed and helpful in the classroom and the living room,” said Zakes.

What is garbage?

After a foreword by Ben & Jerry’s Cofounder Jerry Greenfield, “Make Garbage Great” poses the question — what is garbage? We’ll let you ponder that question a bit. With more than 200 beautiful photographs and illustrations, “Make Garbage Great” teaches us how we all can cut down, reuse, and repurpose what others consider garbage. Ever wondered about the lifecycle of a polystyrene fork? This guide has you covered and then some.

Make Garbage Great
Make Garbage Great: The Terracycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

Spanning eight data-packed chapters, the guide is chocked full of great information. Each chapter examines a why and how we use a specific material, how it impacts our environment and what we can do to reduce usage.

Chapters include:

  • Plastics
  • Metals
  • Paper
  • Textiles
  • Glass
  • Wood
  • Rubber
  • Organics

For each of the above materials, the book’s authors take you on a deep dive exploring yesterday, today and tomorrow — all in easy-to-understand plain speak.

Transforming words into action

More than just a history lesson, “Make Garbage Great” also includes more than 100 recycling tips and DIY projects. With step-by-step instructions, the guide walks you through creative upcycling projects like:

  • How to create a tote bag out of food pouches
  • How to create a wallet out of bicycle inner tubes
  • How to create an eyeglass case out of denim

None of those strike your fancy? There’s more where those came from.

Make Garbage Great
Everything you ever wanted to know about paper, and then some.

Resource squared

A resource in and of itself, “Make Garbage Great” includes additional resources at the conclusion of the book, Earth911 being listed as one of those resources. We’re blushing.

Most people might walk right past a book that has garbage printed on the fore edge. We see garbage a little differently (and we bet you do, too).

By Chase Ezell

Chase has served in various public relations, communications and sustainability roles. He is a former managing editor for Earth911.com.