While the Tampa Bay area and Florida, in general, lags behind places like California and Oregon when it comes to availability of recycled products, we're not completely void of them. Several shops and artists carry items made from recycled goods. Here are a few of them. — Susan Thurston
If and Only If This 15-year-old clothing, jewelry and gift store sells a variety of boutiquey recycled items, including thrift-store clothing embellished with beads and embroidery ($20-$80) and flowery ornaments made from aluminum cans ($6). The store also carries Rubbish greeting cards by St. Petersburg artist Natty Moss Bond, made from recycled office supplies and paper. 4336 Fourth Street N, St. Petersburg; (727) 528-9490.
Silver Sage Organic Boutique After noticing a lack of stores selling eco-friendly gifts, 24-year-old Amanda Brzozowski opened Silver Sage in September. Every home decor item, handbag, hair and skin care products and gift in her store is organic, all-natural or made from recycled materials. Among the selection of recycled goods: oil and vinegar cruets ($17) and bud vases ($8.50) made from old glass; purses, totes and clutch bags made from candy wrappers (prices vary); and sea glass jewelry (prices vary). 2408 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 374-0398.
Tampa Street Market The husband/wife team of Charles and Amy Haynie comb thrift stores, lumber yards and estate sales for old furniture and wood and turns it into custom pieces. Their entire store, which opened in October, sells recycled products that otherwise would end up in a landfill or be burned in an incinerator. Other items: door mats and floor rugs made from leftover pieces of flip-flops ($32-$72); reusable tote bags made from old banners, seat belts and bike inner tubes ($29-$35); and wristlets and purses made from recycled plastic bottles ($21-$119). 4715 N Florida Ave., Tampa; (813) 236-4900.
The Outpost Eclectic and colorful, this beach-infused store sells a variety of recycled products, from handpainted stained-glass night lights made from old liquor bottles ($24-$28) to fish wall hangings made from palm fronds ($80 to $250). The best part: many of the offerings are made locally. 3007 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport; (727) 343-5962.
Why Not Boutique Jennifer Dutkowsky, 26, opened this green-themed clothing and gift shop in November. Although the focus is clothing, the store also sells items made from recycled products, including coin purses from juice boxes ($10-$75), bowls from melted LPs ($20) and bowls and trivets from magazines ($10-$15). A favorite conversation piece are the notebooks and stationery made from elephant poop ($8-$12). 3217-A S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 374-2394.