While I was hunting for eco-friendly beach toys (which are nearly impossible to find, so draft your business plan now), Miguel ran across the Recyclers Raft. It cracks me up! You don't need to purse your lips or buy a pump to blow it up. Instead, insert a bunch of 2-liter bottles to keep the $50 raft afloat. Calling it more durable than regular rafts, maker Ron See advertises his product as puppy-proof. He was inspired by a contest in a Pennsylvania resort town that dared people to make and race flotation devices from old bottles. See decided to craft, patent, and sell his own raft that demanded recycling--a practice that he lives by. As he describes via email:
My whole family and I have been living off-grid since 1997. We use solar panels and a battery bank for most of our power supply, propane cook stove and hot water and a diesel generator for back up. I also have 2 windmills for battery charging that we are working towards installing. I run a small metal recycling and hauling business in Hartstown, PA. I have personally cleaned up over 2000 tons of scrap steel, and other metals from farm dumps old fence rows and businesses in the past 13 years.
To play devil's advocate, many LOHAS consumers might be too busy downing dixie cups of organic wheatgrass juice to build up a vast enough collection of 2-liter pop bottles to fill this raft’s 66 by 38 inch frame (though you could collect from neighbors). Nor is the polyester duck canvas some trendy, sustainably-harvested, biodegradable material. But if the recylers' raft is as durable as See and his three kids attest, that would make it greener than those rafts that you buy on Memorial Day, then trash by the time it's flat on Labor Day. Credit for creativity is due.