11:00 am - Wed, Aug 21, 2013
71 notes

Berlin based street artist, Brad Downey is known for creating unique installations in public spaces using found objects in unconventional ways. In his most recent installation, ‘Fountain,’ Downey re-imagined a new purpose for an abandoned, old bicycle. He mounted the bicycle atop a rack, transforming the frame into a functioning water fountain.
He channeled water through a hose from a nearby canal, then into bicycle frame and out of the handlebars – spraying the water back into the canal. The piece looks at throwaway culture by giving a function to what might otherwise be viewed as useless trash.

via Old Bicycle Transformed Into Water Fountain - PSFK

Berlin based street artist, Brad Downey is known for creating unique installations in public spaces using found objects in unconventional ways. In his most recent installation, ‘Fountain,’ Downey re-imagined a new purpose for an abandoned, old bicycle. He mounted the bicycle atop a rack, transforming the frame into a functioning water fountain.

He channeled water through a hose from a nearby canal, then into bicycle frame and out of the handlebars – spraying the water back into the canal. The piece looks at throwaway culture by giving a function to what might otherwise be viewed as useless trash.

via Old Bicycle Transformed Into Water Fountain - PSFK

10:00 am - Tue, Aug 20, 2013
214 notes

Slate-ish gives you the look of actual slate but it’s made from recycled and reclaimed scraps of paper-laminate materials.
They take scraps from countertop manufacturers around the United States and cut the material into six shapes that can be used as a backsplash, fireplace surrounds, feature walls, ceilings, and pretty much any other surface you can think of. The tiles are super lightweight making them a great option for vertical walls and ceilings.

More: Slate-like Tiles Made From Recycled Scrap Paper Laminate - Design Milk

Slate-ish gives you the look of actual slate but it’s made from recycled and reclaimed scraps of paper-laminate materials.

They take scraps from countertop manufacturers around the United States and cut the material into six shapes that can be used as a backsplash, fireplace surrounds, feature walls, ceilings, and pretty much any other surface you can think of. The tiles are super lightweight making them a great option for vertical walls and ceilings.

More: Slate-like Tiles Made From Recycled Scrap Paper Laminate - Design Milk

10:06 am - Sun, Aug 18, 2013
212 notes

Spoilage and the resultant waste are two key concerns in the global food crisis. It’s estimated that some 25% of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage.
A simple innovation developed by Massachusetts-based company Fenugreen seeks to address this challenge with FreshPaper.
FreshPaper is a biodegradable, compostable and recyclable piece of paper that keeps fruits and vegetables fresher for up to four times longer.

 (via Design Indaba) 
Related: This Unconsumption post on another product designed to prolong the freshness of food, potentially reducing waste.

Spoilage and the resultant waste are two key concerns in the global food crisis. It’s estimated that some 25% of the world’s food supply is lost to spoilage.

A simple innovation developed by Massachusetts-based company Fenugreen seeks to address this challenge with FreshPaper.

FreshPaper is a biodegradable, compostable and recyclable piece of paper that keeps fruits and vegetables fresher for up to four times longer.

 (via Design Indaba

Related: This Unconsumption post on another product designed to prolong the freshness of food, potentially reducing waste.

2:09 pm - Fri, Aug 16, 2013
102 notes

British paper manufacturer James Cropper [has] unveiled a new way to deal with the environmental burden of the coffee cup. In response to the particular problem of the mixed material within, the company has developed a process to separate the paper content of a cup from its plastic lining and opened a new plant to specifically manage reclaimed fiber in Kendal, England.

Cropper’s process involves softening the cup in a warm solution. The cup then separates into its component paper and plastic parts. The plastic is sloughed away and recycled. Meanwhile, the leftover water and pulp are examined for impurities, which are then extracted. What remains is high-quality pulp that Cropper hopes to use in upscale packaging.

The company estimates that this may salvage 40 percent of the 2.5 billion cups that are pitched each year in the United Kingdom. Most likely, the coffee cups could be disposed of in mixed recycling collections, separated out, and then transported to Cropper’s facility.

An additional boon of this new process is that part of the energy intensive paper-making process can now be circumvented by Cropper’s re-use of preexisting pulp materials. In a conversation with Bloomberg, chairman Mark Cropper noted, “Rather than having to buy pulp from overseas, we built this plant to have our own supply.”

11:37 am
125 notes
Public recycling bins sound great — but what if they’re gathering data about you, and potentially using it for advertising purposes? Check this out:

Recycling bins in the City of London know what you’re doing. They are absorbing information about you through your smartphone and then using that data to advertise to you on your walk about town. Cyberpunk? Maybe. Weird and creepy? Absolutely.
London-based marketing company Renew is responsible for these intelligent recycling units. Each bin is connected to the Internet and has a screen that delivers news, public information, and advertising to passersby.
While some of the company’s units were in place prior to last year’s summer Olympics, it wasn’t until mid-June when Renew began testing its smartphone targeting service, Renew ORB. The tracking technology within the bins notes a mobile phone or other Wi-Fi enabled device’s MAC address, which is “a unique value associated with a network adapter.”
Once a bin recognizes your phone, it begins collecting demographic information about you. As you approach other bins of the same ilk, it will target appropriate marketing materials to you based on the acquired data. 

More: London’s New Recycling Bins Will Be Watching Every Step You Take | Motherboard

Public recycling bins sound great — but what if they’re gathering data about you, and potentially using it for advertising purposes? Check this out:

Recycling bins in the City of London know what you’re doing. They are absorbing information about you through your smartphone and then using that data to advertise to you on your walk about town. Cyberpunk? Maybe. Weird and creepy? Absolutely.

London-based marketing company Renew is responsible for these intelligent recycling units. Each bin is connected to the Internet and has a screen that delivers news, public information, and advertising to passersby.

While some of the company’s units were in place prior to last year’s summer Olympics, it wasn’t until mid-June when Renew began testing its smartphone targeting service, Renew ORB. The tracking technology within the bins notes a mobile phone or other Wi-Fi enabled device’s MAC address, which is “a unique value associated with a network adapter.”

Once a bin recognizes your phone, it begins collecting demographic information about you. As you approach other bins of the same ilk, it will target appropriate marketing materials to you based on the acquired data. 

More: London’s New Recycling Bins Will Be Watching Every Step You Take | Motherboard

10:53 am - Thu, Aug 15, 2013
223 notes
In today’s GOOD NEWS: I salvaged a vintage globe and turned it into a lampshade!  
The globe’s owner — my aunt — tried for years to repair the decades-old globe (which had split apart and would no longer stand upright on its bent, rusted metal base). Last month, while visiting my aunt, I spotted the globe on top of her trash bin, grabbed it, and said we could find a way to reuse it. :)
Note: My lamp’s harp — the metal part that curves around the light bulb and onto which the shade gets screwed into place — is tall, leaving almost two inches of air space above the bulb. Stating the obvious, but still: When using a globe or other non-traditional item as a lamp shade, be sure there’s some open space around the bulb so the top of the lamp won’t get too hot. Also, as many of you know, using compact florescent lighbulbs (CFLs), which I use on this lamp and on others, can help reduce lamps’ heat output.
For earlier Unconsumption posts on other new uses for old globes and maps, see our Tumblr archive here, and Pinterest board here. 

In today’s GOOD NEWS: I salvaged a vintage globe and turned it into a lampshade!  

The globe’s owner — my aunt — tried for years to repair the decades-old globe (which had split apart and would no longer stand upright on its bent, rusted metal base). Last month, while visiting my aunt, I spotted the globe on top of her trash bin, grabbed it, and said we could find a way to reuse it. :)

Note: My lamp’s harp — the metal part that curves around the light bulb and onto which the shade gets screwed into place — is tall, leaving almost two inches of air space above the bulb. Stating the obvious, but still: When using a globe or other non-traditional item as a lamp shade, be sure there’s some open space around the bulb so the top of the lamp won’t get too hot. Also, as many of you know, using compact florescent lighbulbs (CFLs), which I use on this lamp and on others, can help reduce lamps’ heat output.

For earlier Unconsumption posts on other new uses for old globes and maps, see our Tumblr archive here, and Pinterest board here

3:00 pm - Wed, Aug 14, 2013
137 notes
Is there a downside to the banning of plastic bags? Possibly:

An interesting development in recycling—one that you’re bound to have mixed feelings about: As more individual businesses and municipalities are starting to ban both paper and plastic bags, or impose fees to discourage their use, it’s pissing off a certain group of people.
No, not consumers. Recyclers.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, or ISRI, yesterday fired a blast out of their e-mail gun stating “Policymakers are banning bags and creating fees without considering the real impact on recycling, and the recycling industry… Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policy makers should take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with responsibly recycling these bags.” They followed this up with some surprising statistics: 
In the United States, approximately 77 percent of paper mills rely on recovered fiber to make some or all of their products thanks in part to recovered paper’s significant cost and energy savings. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. According to the U.S. EPA, plastic recycling results in significant energy savings, an estimated 50-75 million Btus/ton of material recycled.

More: Paper and Plastic Bag Bans Continue. And Recyclers Ain’t Happy About It - Core77

Is there a downside to the banning of plastic bags? Possibly:

An interesting development in recycling—one that you’re bound to have mixed feelings about: As more individual businesses and municipalities are starting to ban both paper and plastic bags, or impose fees to discourage their use, it’s pissing off a certain group of people.

No, not consumers. Recyclers.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, or ISRI, yesterday fired a blast out of their e-mail gun stating “Policymakers are banning bags and creating fees without considering the real impact on recycling, and the recycling industry… Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policy makers should take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with responsibly recycling these bags.” They followed this up with some surprising statistics: 

In the United States, approximately 77 percent of paper mills rely on recovered fiber to make some or all of their products thanks in part to recovered paper’s significant cost and energy savings. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 79 gallons of oil, 7,000 gallons of water, and 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space. According to the U.S. EPA, plastic recycling results in significant energy savings, an estimated 50-75 million Btus/ton of material recycled.

More: Paper and Plastic Bag Bans Continue. And Recyclers Ain’t Happy About It - Core77

10:00 am
37 notes

The grand prize in the Your Street Gauteng Challenge was awarded to Zamani Manqele for his proposal to turn discarded tyres into commuter seats at transport hubs in Johannesburg.

The tyres are retrofitted and placed in busy commuter areas, offering people an opportunity to have a break while waiting for transport.

(via Your Street Gauteng winner Rydngchairs | Design Indaba)

4:00 pm - Tue, Aug 13, 2013
44 notes
Though the end of September, public benches in nine spots around Amsterdam will be supplied with different reading materials every day as part of the Ruilbank project by Pivot Creative.

Though the end of September, public benches in nine spots around Amsterdam will be supplied with different reading materials every day as part of the Ruilbank project by Pivot Creative.

The benches are fitted with red metal clips that can hold a newspaper or a book. People who happen to find themselves on that bench are welcome to read the material, take it home, bring it back or exchange it with another material.

Neat idea, but what happens to the reading material when it rains?

via Book-Exchange Benches Supply New Reading Material Every Day [Video] - PSFK

9:51 am
107 notes
Idealist Blog » Blog Archive » From shambles to storytelling: Redefining repair in Greensboro, NC: 

Using his welding skills, Paul [Howe] crafted a steel plate to fill the perilous gap [in a sidewalk] and secured it into the hole without any objection (see the finished product). Only after bolting it down, he realized that he had created something more than just a harm-reducing fix.
“I realized that by using a material other than brick to patch a brick sidewalk, I had revealed a story about the sidewalk, and also added a new one,” says Paul.” I did not erase all of the evidence of the damage. I left a clue to it, revealed it, while letting it still function, as it should.”
This idea—storytelling through repair—drove Paul to join Elsewhere, Greensboro’s thrift-store-turned-cultural-center, to renovate its run-down workshop. But, instead of overhauling the entire building with modern fixtures and like mediums, Paul used a mosaic of building materials to smartly patch up the place (check out some of the end results).

Idealist Blog » Blog Archive » From shambles to storytelling: Redefining repair in Greensboro, NC:

Using his welding skills, Paul [Howe] crafted a steel plate to fill the perilous gap [in a sidewalk] and secured it into the hole without any objection (see the finished product). Only after bolting it down, he realized that he had created something more than just a harm-reducing fix.

“I realized that by using a material other than brick to patch a brick sidewalk, I had revealed a story about the sidewalk, and also added a new one,” says Paul.” I did not erase all of the evidence of the damage. I left a clue to it, revealed it, while letting it still function, as it should.”

This idea—storytelling through repair—drove Paul to join Elsewhere, Greensboro’s thrift-store-turned-cultural-center, to renovate its run-down workshop. But, instead of overhauling the entire building with modern fixtures and like mediums, Paul used a mosaic of building materials to smartly patch up the place (check out some of the end results).

7:22 pm - Mon, Aug 12, 2013
130 notes

Latest pollution threat to the Great Lakes? Plastic “microbeads” from some soaps and cleansers: 

A team of researchers with 5 Gyres Institute, a non-profit California-based environmental activist group, collected samples from lakes Erie, Superior and Huron last summer and found large quantities of round, plastic pellets. 

"They matched the same size, color, texture and shape of the microbeads found in popular consumer products," said the group’s executive director, Marcus Eriksen. He said the group plans to publish the research in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.

Microbeads are tiny plastic balls used in products like facial scrubs, body washes and toothpastes. They scrub away dead skin, similar to using a sponge, and are designed to wash down the drain.

Microplastic is easily confused with natural food found in lakes. The beads can remain in fish and be ingested by humans, the group said.

Both Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble reportedly will phase out use of microplastic in their products.

2:00 pm
2,022 notes

There is a stunning metallic dome floating on the Bronx River in New York City right now—this fragile-looking structure is made of discarded umbrellas salvaged from the city’s streets and recycled plastic bottles. Created by husband-and-wife design team Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture, the Harvest Dome 2.0 had a predecessor that was accidentally destroyed while being installed—this newer and better version has been made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

http://designtaxi.com/news/359816/In-New-York-City-A-Beautiful-Floating-Dome-Made-Of-Discarded-Umbrellas/

There is a stunning metallic dome floating on the Bronx River in New York City right now—this fragile-looking structure is made of discarded umbrellas salvaged from the city’s streets and recycled plastic bottles.

Created by husband-and-wife design team Amanda Schachter and Alexander Levi of SLO Architecture, the Harvest Dome 2.0 had a predecessor that was accidentally destroyed while being installed—this newer and better version has been made possible by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

http://designtaxi.com/news/359816/In-New-York-City-A-Beautiful-Floating-Dome-Made-Of-Discarded-Umbrellas/

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