Earth Month Giveaway: Recycled Glass Night Light

April 1, 2011

April is Earth Month, and we’re excited to show Mother Nature some love! What better way to ring in Earth Month than by celebrating recycling? How about by giving away some eco-friendly art?

We’re giving those who pledge to recycle the chance to win one of six Recycled Glass Night Lights by Vawn and Mike Gray! You can vow to help the planet by:

1.) Go above and beyond recycling newspapers and soda cans. Pledge to recycle old linens, batteries, cell phones, and other items that don’t get picked up by the side of your curb.

2.) Look carefully at the packaging on the items you buy. Pledge to cut down on buying items that can’t be recycled, or come in extra packaging that will end up in the trash.

3.) Start reusing materials to create art projects of your own!

Three contestants will be chosen at random to receive the Recycled Pelican Night Light, and three more will be chosen to win the Recycled Sandpiper Night Light.

So leave a comment sharing your pledge, and don’t forget, leave a comment on our Facebook wall and tweet @uncommongoods to triple your chances to win!

Pelican Night Light

The shades of all of Vawn and Mike’s night lights contain post-consumer glass that’s been rescued from the landfill and kiln-formed in a special, low-energy kiln. The Sandpiper and Pelican lights are extra special, because ten percent of the proceeds from each of these bird-themed lights goes to benefit Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.

But birds aren’t the only natural wonders that inspire the Florida-based artists, “We find inspiration all around us,” says Vawn. “We live in a tropical climate with amazing birds, creatures, flowers, beaches and sunsets. Most recently, a handsome dragonfly that crossed my path on the way to the mailbox sparked a new design!”

Recycled glass just might be the perfect medium for Vawn and Mike, since the colors commonly found in post-consumer glass are also those of elements in nature. They use brown glass to symbolize earth, green for grass and trees, clear for air and blue for water.

Sandpiper Night light

The Grays didn’t always use recycled materials, though. They were professional artists for years before making the switch, using old-fashioned high-energy kilns, toxic glazes, Styrofoam packing peanuts and gas guzzling truck to haul their products to art shows. In 2007, the couple saw a broadcast of the Live Earth Concert, which included eco-facts along with musical performances, and they were inspired to conserve.

“We stepped into a whole different process which required a lot of trial and error,” says Vawn, “much like re-inventing the wheel. But, we love a challenge—and the interest in our work was immediate—which provided more validation for our environmental focus.”

Vawn and Mike hope that their handmade pieces provide “artful reminders to conserve.” Their advice for those ready to start creating their own art from reclaimed materials?
“I think textures play a big roll when working with recycled materials,” says Vawn. “When you put your focus on texture and form—suddenly a twisted rusty old can takes on a whole new life. It’s all about imagination. If you don’t have enough—consult the nearest child!”

Do you plan to create a recycled masterpiece of your own? Are you willing to load up your bike basket with takeout containers and peddle to your local recycling center? Tell us your pledge!

Enter by Wednesday at 11:59 ET for a chance to win. And check back soon; all this month we’ll be featuring the work of artists who are going above and beyond to protect the planet, and offering easy tips for you to do the same!


  • Reply Melissa M April 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I am going to buy a new printer this month because my current one is almost kaput. I pledge to find out how to properly recycle it, even if it means extra effort on my part. Never recycled a printer, so this is all new to me.

  • Reply Bridget Richlen April 1, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I pledge to not FORGET my reusable bags when I go to the grocery store. I pledge to put them back in my trunk when I am finished using them!

    I’ve been saving the mesh bags that fruit comes in and I pledge to do something creative with those!

  • Reply Kelli Rogers April 1, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I will be tearing out carpet from my spare bedroom this month to install new flooring and I pledge to find out how and where to recycle my old carpet despite how much it may cost me.

  • Reply Suzy Beckwith April 1, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I am building a wee small home started the process last weekend. It is a full green project.

  • Reply Nicole April 1, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I pledge that my children and I will walk or ride our bikes as often as we can instead of driving. Even when its 110 outside!

  • Reply Cari April 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Now that we have rallied to bring back glass recycling to our town- I will use it every chance I get!

  • Reply Terresa Dipuma April 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    I pledge to avoid excess packaging when buying grocery and not to forget my grocery bags.

  • Reply Candy Asman, RN April 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I am not one for making New Year’s Resolutions or promises I cannot keep. I take promise keeping and pledge keeping very seriously. This relates to “words can wound and words can heal.” I will pledge to do my best to be my best self at all times, which would of course include taking care of other living beings, and nature. I know what I can do to improve and I will do my best to do so. In my mind if I really wanted to improve the environment instead of trying to “win” this nightlight as lovely as it is…I would allow the Divine light to guide me and donate what this nightlight costs on your web site to an environmental cause. Do I need this nightlight? No. Do I want this nightlight, I did when I started writing but now, not as much. I have changed by an awareness of what would be the higher calling, donate the $ of the night light to an environmental org. Thank you for enlightening me. Pun intended.

  • Reply Joe C. April 1, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I pledge to:
    – use reusable bags for shopping.
    – compost.
    – buy local (farmer’s market).
    – grow own produce.
    – not consume bottled water.
    – try and be as least wasteful as possible.
    – reduce, re-use, recycle.

  • Reply Kristal G April 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I pledge to look at the packaging more often and to not forget my fabric grocery bags at home so that I cut down on the plastic bags at the store!

  • Reply Aimee Trier April 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I pledge to continue recycling and teaching these important concepts to my environmental after-school club!!! I am very conscious about my responsibility to the planet!!!!! To step it up this year, my resolution was to cut down on my “junk” mail and subscribed to 41lbs. to enlist their help in cutting down unwanted junk mail!!!

  • Reply Tracey Nelson April 1, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I already recycle everything possible. I have very little trash both at home and at work. I will not be wasteful and abuse our beautiful Earth! We have a great recycling center where I live and they take everything possible!

  • Reply Erin Cloos April 1, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I pledge to ride my bike more often rather than driving.

  • Reply Patty Shaffer April 1, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    I have begun collecting compostables (fruit and veggie scraps) from my co-workers. I pledge to take it home every night, so I won’t get dirty looks from my fellow passengers on the bus because of my stinky baggage.

  • Reply Andria Petersen April 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I pledge everything you said in your blog. yay.

  • Reply Robyn Madson April 1, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    I pledge to recycle the cans and paper regularly at work (they don’t have a program, so I have to do it myself).

  • Reply Debbie April 1, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I will continue to 1. recycle, even though my condos don’t, and try to get more neighbors to as well 2. buy less plastic 3. stop using zip lock bags 4. recycle batteries 4. remember to take to go containers into restaurants 5. ride my bike more, building up courage to ride on the streets! Memphis is adding lots of biking lanes and trails! 6. continue teaching my 6th grade students to reuse, reduce and recycle 7. keep my windows open whenever possible, love fresh air!

  • Reply Rebecca Wright April 2, 2011 at 12:54 am

    I pledge to continue recycling at work first off. I work at Life University, a green campus where we recycle all kinds of things (not just paper) and even have an organic cafe where all the plates, forks, etc are made from organic corn that can be broken down into mulch. I also plan on looking into and implimentng a recycling system at home!

  • Reply Angel Brodsky April 2, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Wow what beautiful creations…It is a beautiful thing to create trash to treasures. There is beauty in all things. Love what you are doing. Everyday and in everyway we do our part to make this world a better place.

    Blessings Angel

  • Reply Janine Rudzki April 2, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I pledge to continue creating my artwork by using recycled materials. And to continue recycling and composting at home.

  • Reply Ashlyn December 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Very interesting topic, thanks for putting up.

  • Reply Bridget August 25, 2016 at 12:52 am

    I’ve need recycling for many years and reusing and repurposing too! I think people forget about the reuse repurpose part.. I made yarn out of plastic grocery bags and newspaper bags to make purses and market bags to take to the farmers market.

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