A supermarket chain in the UK announced today that it’s going to power one of its stores entirely off food waste. It’s an attractive solution to two of the most gnawing sustainability concerns: waste and energy.
A Sainsbury’s in Cannock, a town in the West Midlands, will get all of its electricity from food waste through a process called anaerobic digestion. The process is pretty much what it sounds like: waste food is “digested” by microorganisms in huge tankers sealed off from the air, which Sainsbury’s compares to a human stomach.
Biffa, the waste management company working with the supermarket, explains that the waste is broken down into a slurry that degrades into an energy rich biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide.
More: This British Supermarket Will Be Powered Entirely by Its Own Food Waste | Motherboard
Here’s one of the more interesting quasi-unconsumption branding tactics I’ve encountered: Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh has been talking up the benefits of not washing your jeans:
In a post on LinkedIn called “The Dirty Jeans Manifesto,” Bergh explains both the environmental and durability benefits of never washing your jeans.
"We learned that an average pair of jeans consumes roughly 3,500 liters of water – and that is after only two years of use, washing the jeans once a week," Bergh writes. "Nearly half of the total water consumption, or 1,600 liters, is the consumer throwing the jeans in the washing machine. That’s equivalent to 6,700 glasses of drinking water!"
He adds that not washing them also helps them to last longer.
More here (including what to do about stains, and the benefits of freezing jeans as a cleaning alternative): Levi’s CEO Explains Why Not To Wash Your Jeans | HUH.
Earlier we mentioned the event World Design Capital 2014. Here’s a follow up:
A spectacular structure, designed by Dutch design studio Droog and made entirely of salvaged materials, pops up in Cape Town this week for the Department of Design, a temporary hub connecting Dutch and South African designers as part of World Design Capital 2014
More: Lookbook: Department of Design | Design Indaba
Skyscrapers don’t build themselves, but the designers at French architecture firm Chartier-Corbosson might have come up with the next best thing: London Organic Skyscraper, if realized, would constantly grow using, as building material, the recycled waste of its residents.
(via Eco-Skyscraper Concept Grows From The Recycled Garbage Of Its Occupants | The Creators Project)
Hank by llot llov is an “adjustable harness” that converts unused little mirrors into decorative wall pieces. More: Hank Harness by llot llov
Do you see the size of this Reclaimed Wood Tree Swing? Sure, there’s a little kid in the photo, but it’s still pretty sturdy in terms of length, width, and depth.
Made from salvaged antique flooring, this swing from Peg and Awl has a vintage look that will fit in any backyard, especially when hung from a large tree branch.
Natural tung oil keeps the seat water resistant and a five-loop fisherman’s knot secures the rope.
More: Reclaimed Wood Tree Swing — ACCESSORIES — Better Living Through Design
If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. …
It’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.
The structure … is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.
More: A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC | Colossal
When your smartphone reaches the end of its brief life, what will become of it? Will it be pawned off onto an unappreciative relative, or will it be discarded, its toxic innards eventually seeping into the earth?
Or, will it become a champion of conservation? Rainforest Connection, a San Francisco-based nonprofit with a new Kickstarter campaign out, is converting old phones into devices to detect illegal logging and poaching in the rainforest in real-time.
Again, we don’t normally tout Kickstarter stuff here, but this has already hit its goal, and sounds fascinating. More here: A Network of Recycled Phones Is Listening for Illegal Logging in the Rainforest | Motherboard
Here’s a fun contest that involves reusing electronic components:
Build us something, anything! It can be a working piece of circuitry, or a wonderful piece of art, or both! It should be made out of at least 75% reused parts (though we encourage 100%!).:
- Send your photos or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submissions will be accepted until Friday August 1st.
- The winner will receive $100 in SparkFun credit!
More details: Reused parts contest! - News - SparkFun Electronics