Author Archives: Sonja Sheasley

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

Here at Bum Boosa we love to: recycle, reuse and reduce! There are a number of items we recycle on a regular basis but recently we found out there is so much more. Therefore, we want to share our new found knowledge with you guys – and mark your calendars – America Recycles Day occurs on November 15th. recycle bag

1. Wine corks Cork is actually biodegradable and although wine corks are perhaps not the most vexing of items to warrant recycling, in the big picture, they really are! In the U.S. we consume more than 850 million gallons of wine, you realize that the corks can really start to add up… I know they do in our home! Luckily you can send your corks to, who will take them off your hands to create new products and so far 49,005,027 corks have been sent to them. Alternatively, you could try your hands at creating some DIY coasters!

2. Bras Let’s face it, ladies: the back of your underwear drawer is most likely a graveyard of bras you don’t wear anymore or that never fit right in the first place. Bras aren’t generally the kind of clothing we women toss in the “to donate” pile. But Free the Girls have partnered with safe houses and after-care facilities, and provide an opportunity for women rescued from sex trafficking to earn a living selling second-hand clothing while going to school, getting healthy, and caring for their families.

3. Crayons Yes, you can recycle crayons! 120,000 pounds of crayons are produced each day in this country. Landfills could become amazingly colorful. Fear not, the National Crayon Recycle Program will recycle your unwanted, rejected and broken crayons and recycle them into new crayons! So far, this program has made it possible to stop more than 94,000 pounds of unwanted crayons from going into landfills!

4. Bicycles Rather than throwing your old two-wheelers out to pasture why not donate them to Bikes of the World which collects, refurbishes and donates bikes to lower-income individuals and select institutions in developing countries. So far 94070 bicycles have been recycled but over 15 million bicycles in the U.S. are thrown away each year! Help Bikes of the World to enhance people’s lives and livelihoods through better transport.

5. Bike Tools and Gear Like Bikes of the World, Bikes Not Bombs takes bicycle bits, pieces, and gear in addition to the bikes themselves. They accept parts, tools, broken components such as cracked frames, worn tires, tubes with holes, helmets, bags, lights, pumps, locks, cycle clothing, etc. They restore bikes and gear, and deliver them overseas to economic development projects in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

6. Tennis Balls Why not use your old tennis balls to help move clothes around the dryer faster or on bottoms of chairs and walkers. Although, there is a limit to how many balls each year can be put to this purpose. And, even if reused, ultimately these balls still remain in the waste stream and wind up in landfills. Project Green Ballis a non-profit sustainability initiative to coordinate innovative recycling programs for used tennis balls and to donate surfaces based on the recycled balls to organizations servicing people with disabilities or life threatening diseases.

 7. Apple Products Apple is committed to supporting our customers and protecting the environment throughout the product lifecycle. Apple’s free recycling program makes it easy for you to safely and affordably recycle your used computer, iPod, or mobile phone.

8. Glasses New Eyes for the Needy and The Lions Club collect old glasses, and recycle them to make new pairs for those living in developing nations who need correction but can’t afford new specs! Imagine if you could help a child read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior maintain her independence. Everyday these recycled eyeglass programs do all of this and more.

9. Athletic shoes Worn out, tired, smelly running shoes are most generally directed to the trash. That’s a lot of sneakers stinking up the landfill! Why not introduce your old shoes to Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe recycling bins. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe takes worn out athletic shoes and grinds them down to create a new material called Nike Grind, which is used to make high-quality sports surfaces including courts, turf fields, tracks and more.


10. Bum Boosa Packaging Given that soft baby wipes packaging is not easy to recycle because it is made using a mixed resin plastic, also known as Plastic No. 7, or “other” plastics, Bum Boosa Bamboo Products has previously offered an incentive program for its direct customers to send back their empty baby wipes packaging to be repurposed into new tote bags, but now we aim to expand the program to include retailer participation. This program allows customers to deposit their empty baby wipes packaging to the store in exchange for a coupon that can be applied to their next Bum Boosa Bamboo Baby Wipes purchase. The packaging will be sent back to Bum Boosa® where designers will use the material to make upcycled products, which will be sold on our Etsy page.

For more information please click here.

Contributed by Author David Russell

The Bamboo Shift and World Bamboo Organization


Bamboo is beneficial for countless things, like preventing erosion, sequestering carbon, or cultivating as an alternative to wood in order to alleviate deforestation. In fact, bamboo is touted as the timber of the 21st century. You might have heard talk of bamboo flooring, bamboo beer, or even bamboo viscose towels or clothing. You might have even come across (yes, it’s true) our very own NON GMO Verified Bum Boosa Bamboo Bathroom Tissue. Despite what it may seem, bamboo is more than a fad. There are people devoting their entire lives to promoting bamboo as a practical and sensible crop that has the potential to support and revive local economies, and perhaps even positively influence global economy. Moreover, these bamboo enthusiasts consider bamboo, the fastest growing plant on the planet, a potential champion that may be able to help counteract some environmental challenges that we are now meeting head-on or that are lurking just around the corner.


When Susanne Lucas was a young girl growing up outside of Washington, DC, there was a lovely hedge of bamboo between her house and her neighbors, which served as a privacy screen. She was only about 8 years old then, but the running bamboo, Sikkim-2004Phyllostachys, somehow made an impression upon her. Twenty years later she re-discovered her much-loved bamboo as a horticulturalist in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and subsequently her affair with the plant solidified in 1992 while attending an international bamboo conference in Japan. Susanne says, “The horticulture of bamboo in Japan is an art. Bamboo is far more than just a plant in Japan, it symbolizes grace, beauty, versatility, and strength. It sways in the breeze, it covers slopes, it defines space, it is a softer kind of evergreen, it is lush and it thrives. It lives long after it is cut, as food, as utility, as art, as music, as inspiration. It endures.”

By the time Susanne had attended that Japanese conference in 1992, the need for a non-governmental international body for bamboo collaboration among bamboo enthusiasts had been budding. There at the conference in Japan, a bamboo forest was planted to cover and reclaim the dirty soil of Minamata, arguably the first well-publicized ecological and human disaster. Then those who participated decided to build a metaphorical bamboo bridge across the world, with the goal to unite efforts to promote bamboo as a sustainable resource, a multi-faceted solution to so many problems.

A group of like-minded souls, some whom had met at previous events, began round-table discussions and formed the International Bamboo Association. Susanne emerged as the North American Coordinator. Without major funding support and before the days of the world-wide internet capabilities, the International Bamboo Association survived as a group of committed volunteers devoted to holding a World Bamboo Congress every 4 years, and bringing and sharing information on how to not only grow bamboo, but how to promote the use of this rapidly renewable grass with its foreseeable potential to ease the burden of a planet fraught with environmental issues.

Susanne subsequently became the International Coordinator, and as her office in Plymouth, Massachusetts became the headquarters, surrounded by bamboo, her commitment evolved into a life-long endeavor. Those days spent in Japan with new friends from around world gave her inspiration as strong and expansive as the roots of bamboo itself. Susanne feels the time is right for bamboo as a sustainable alternative to timber. “It has always been right,” she says, “but particularly now, bamboo deserves a fresh perspective as a natural resource with tremendous potential as source for bio-energy, bio-plastics, paper pulp, environmental remediation, carbon credits, non-timber contemporary products and more.”

The International Bamboo Association has since evolved into what is now the World Bamboo Organization, of which Susanne is the CEO. WBO exists to find ways to improve and promote the use of bamboo and the conditions of surrounding bamboo agriculture and industry. It is dedicated to promoting the use of bamboo and bamboo products for the sake of the environment and economy. Members make up a diverse group consisting of individual people, commercial businesses, non-profit associations, institutions, and allied trade corporations that all share a common interest = bamboo.

WBO launched a website, established an administrative board, and applied for U.S. tax-exemption status. In 2005, corporate by-laws were adopted, and the WBO obtained U.S. 501-c-6 status as a United States trade association. This was all great progress, but there were no funds and no corporate sponsors. Once again, committed volunteers kept WBO alive, and Kamesh Salam, of Assam, was appointed President to bring new energy to the World Bamboo Organization. In November 2008, Susanne and Kamesh set their sights on Bangkok for the 8th World Bamboo Congress to be hosted by World Bamboo Organization. Through collaborations within Thailand, they began coordinating this amazing global event that would bring people from around the world together, sharing ideas and learning about how best to utilize this amazing grass. Since then, the WBO has hosted the 9th World Bamboo Congress in Belgium in 2012, as well as coordinating World Bamboo Day events around the world.


Planning is currently underway for the 10th World Bamboo Congress to be held in Damyang, South Korea: 26 June – 1 July 2015. Damyang County is located in the southwest corner of South Korea, in Jeollanum-do. It enjoys a southern continental climate and temperate climate forest zone with high temperatures and precipitation in summer, providing ideal conditions for bamboo growth. The county has 1,797 hectares of bamboo forest equal to 25.5% of Korea’s total bamboo habitat. It is rural and scenic, far from the hectic city of Seoul, and very much worth the travel to get there, especially if you want to see bamboimagesVNSNG08Ko forests.

Surrounded by mountains and hills covered with bamboo, Damyang historically has been a traditional bamboo region, with an immense market for local craftsman making everything from furniture, baskets and other utility products. Twenty years ago, the bamboo markets closed in Damyang because of declining demand for bamboo products. Today, thanks to Governor Choi, the local bamboo resources are carefully maintained and managed to sustainably supply bamboo culms and shoots for emerging new markets. The Governor is enthusiastically collaborating with WBO to educate and promote awareness of the potential of bamboo during the World Bamboo Congress in 2015, and hopes the result is a true bamboo revival. In anticipation of the Congress, the bamboo market there is already regaining its vigor and preparing for an even wider reach.

Sonja Sheasley is an Honorary Council Member of World Bamboo Organization and Founder of Bum Boosa® Bamboo Products, the first company to bring bamboo wet wipes and bathroom tissue to the US market.

The Issue with Tissue

The Issue with Tissue

What is the issue with your tissue?First, virgin pulp used to make all kinds of paper and tissue products contributes to deforestation.  Secondly, recycled pulp has been found to be tainted with micrograms of Bispenol A from other sources. For tissue we flush, rapidly renewable bamboo is a practical option to the recycled variety. Especially when researchers at Dresden University concluded in a 2008 study that recycled content toilet paper was the source of BPA contamination in tap water and recommended that recycled content not be used for products that are flushed or composted. Continue reading

For Immediate Release – Bum Boosa Expands Packaging Reclamation Program

Bum Boosa Expands Packaging Reclamation Program’s Upcycling Coordinator June Monteiro says, “This program is an exciting endeavor for myself as a designer and artist, but also for the consumer who cares about the sustainability of the products they buy.”

Boosa® Bamboo Products Launches Exciting Packaging Reclamation Program, Offering Retailers Exclusive Incentives to Participate Beginning July 1, 2014

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