This is the second in a new series of Harvard Alumni “Green-prenuers.” Are you or do you know a Harvard alum doing something cool in the sustainability field that should be featured? Let us know, email kate_hammer@harvard.edu.

Two heads are better than one, right? That’s exactly what Harvard graduates, and husband and wife duo, Jeff and Liz Helfrich prove with their solution to common recycling barriers in the home. Do you always remember to recycle your empty shampoo or lotion bottles? What about those empty toilet paper rolls? Do you walk that empty toothpaste tube to the recycling bin all the way in the kitchen? Let’s face it, a lot of us don’t always earn a gold star when it comes to recycling in the bathroom, bedroom, or office. But with Jeff and Liz’s product, the Solecan, reasons of inconvenience and, if we’re being honest, laziness are taken out of the equation. Equal parts trash and recycling bin, the Solecan is an inconspicuous receptacle that aims to make common recycling challenges in the home and office obsolete.

Jeff credits early green efforts at Harvard as the kickstart to his environmental consciousness, "During our time at Harvard, sustainability efforts and initiatives were just taking off, and some of the simple, but important steps really rubbed off. Today, we're always looking for ways to reduce waste in our house and I credit our green path to the tone set in the Harvard Houses."

Stemming from a reccurring marital argument involving a lack of recycling in the bathroom, “Green-preneurs” Jeff and Liz decided placing a combination trash and recycle bin in areas like the bathroom would eliminate the root of their recycling woes. Despite seeming like an obvious contraption, Jeff and Liz could not find what they were looking for at any stores. Enter: the Solecan.

During our time at Harvard, sustainability efforts and initiatives were just taking off, and some of the simple, but important steps really rubbed off. Today, we're always looking for ways to reduce waste in our house and I credit our green path to the tone set in the Harvard Houses.

Devised on a cocktail napkin, the Solecan is an affordable, convenient, and eco-friendly recycling solution. The dual sides of the Solecan snap together, so that each compartment can be easily unsnapped so that you can take either to a larger recycling or trash bin. According to Jeff and Liz, they wanted to create something so that “people couldn’t help but recycle more.”

Visit their website to learn more about Jeff and Liz's story and the Solecan.

Please note: The products and companies included in the "Green-preneuers" story series are for informational and educational purposes only to highlight the work of Harvard alumni in the sustainability field.  Harvard University and the Harvard Office for Sustainability do not specifically endorse or recommend any of the products or companies in this story and the story may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of Harvard University or the Harvard Office for Sustainability.