How do you categorize things (say, a toy, doll or idol) made out of natural wastes like leaves, trunks, etc., from nature?

  • 1
    I'm not sure about things made from natural materials, but those made out of waste products usually state on them 'Made from recycled materials'. – WS2 Jan 10 '14 at 19:18
  • I wouldn't characterize leaves and bark and such as "waste"— in urban areas, where they are a nuisance and get hauled away, yes, but I would think materials for handicrafts would be harvested wild or farmed, not collected from curb strips and freeway medians. – choster Jan 10 '14 at 20:21

I'm not sure you'll find a perfect word here, but many manufacturers use eco-friendly, reclaimed, organic or the catch-all green to describe such products. I think these words all capture the repurposing of waste to make other products.


Labeling the use of such materials depends on where and how they were obtained. If they were harvested (taken from living things), then you can label them as made from all-natural materials. If you obtained them from the ground, that is, did not take them from living plants, made from eco-friendly, recycled, all-natural materials or any shortened version.

Labeling something as made from organic materials simply because they were once living matter is deceptive in the US, because organic implies freedom from pesticides or unnatural substances. This precludes things gathered from the roadside, or from areas where any spraying or fertilizing might have taken place in the three-years (or more, depending) prior (in the US).

You can also label either/all as being biodegradable.

  • Yes 'organic' is a protected word, a quite ridiculous word to chose for the purpose I might add, since anything non-mineral is 'organic' in some sense. – WS2 Jan 10 '14 at 20:30

I would call that stuff organic or organic matter. However, depending on where you're from, different countries have different standards on what constitutes organic material.

  • say if you are making a doll out of coconut shell is it still called organic matter? – sweetraskels Jan 10 '14 at 19:27
  • 1
    Of course you could. Anything derived from living organisms is clearly organic. – tylerharms Jan 10 '14 at 19:28
  • made from all-natural materials is more appropriate than saying organic unless they are from certified organic agricultural areas. – anongoodnurse Jan 10 '14 at 19:29
  • What do you mean by appropriate? The USDA has standards for granting the "organic" label. – tylerharms Jan 10 '14 at 19:31
  • 1
    I would even go so far as saying that "all natural" is incredibly misleading. Just look at cereal boxes that advertise this. – tylerharms Jan 10 '14 at 19:32

Perhaps, recycled would be more accurate.

  • I would assume that recycle is you destroy and create one out of it, but making use of the same without loosing its shape ?? – sweetraskels Jan 10 '14 at 21:18
  • then "made from recycled materials" or "reclaimed materials" fits – Oldcat Jan 10 '14 at 21:30

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.