- 8:03 am - Sun, Apr 28, 2013
- 125 notes
Old bed frame pieces used as garden borders / fences.
(photo via 33 Barefoot Lane)
- 5:08 pm - Sat, Apr 27, 2013
- 111 notes
Everyday plastic items, artfully arranged.
Installation by Mary Ellen Croteau; we featured her plastic bottle cap portrait earlier on Unconsumption here.
See also: Artist Jean Shin’s displays of empty pill bottles.
- 11:44 am - Thu, Apr 25, 2013
- 42 notes
Checking out this list of The 22 Best Product Designs of the Year, I was excited to spot at least one that has a sustainable/reuse/unconsumption-y vibe:
E-Source. A sustainable cable recycling system for small-scale recyclers in developing countries, E-Source consists of an innovative bicycle-powered cable granulator and an approach to separating copper and plastic using water.
Un-burnt copper can be sold for up to 20% more than burnt, providing a better income for workers and much healthier working conditions. The designs will be made available to local workshops who would produce the machines and then sell to recyclers.
Designed by Hal Watts.
- 12:04 pm - Wed, Apr 24, 2013
- 40 notes
A beachside kiosk in Torquay, Australia sets itself apart as a local architectural landmark by artfully making use of reclaimed flood barriers as its exterior walls. Designed by Tony Hobba Architects, the Third Wave Kiosk stands out on the shoreline whilst blending visually with the landscape, thanks to the use of upcycled sheet piles.
Knstrct reports that they were used as temporary formwork for sandbanking overflowing rivers during flooding. The architects wrapped them around the building to create a weathered, wave-like effect.
More: Beachside Coffee Bar Made Of Reclaimed Flood Barriers [Pics] - PSFK
- 12:21 pm - Tue, Apr 23, 2013
- 120 notes
Today we’re excited to share a guest post from Alexandra Pappalardo, a graduate student at the Savannah College of Art Design who recently completed a very Unconsumption-y course there, addressing new ways to think about what often seems a disposable object: the pen.
The disposable pen is such an afterthought for so many of us that an estimated 1.5 billion pens are thrown away each year in the United States alone. That’s 48 pens per second. How many of these, do you think, were empty?
As a masters student in the Design for Sustainability program at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I was part of a class, taught by professor Scott Boylston, that researched behaviors surrounding pen usage and disposal. Our task: “radically altering people’s perceptions of the disposable pen.” We poked into our classmates’ pen cases, baited students with free candy, distributed surveys, observed and created conversations. Inspired by other cases of upcycling, we designed and prototyped new product solutions for dead pens.
Finally, we staged a one-day “pentervention.” We lined the walls of our design building with interactive posters, set up a station for abandoned pens to be adopted, and not even professors were safe from the enigmatic and compulsive pen bandit. Much of it was silly, to be sure, but it wasn’t ignored and it didn’t produce the glassy-eyed effect of a shaming environmental lecture. Using all of our foundational work and the results from Pentervention Day, we created a website — www.pentervention48.com.
On the site you can delve into our research findings, check out product prototypes, find out what students wrote on our art pieces, and watch original videos designed to both entertain and educate. You’ll never look at the disposable pen the same way again.
— Alexandra Pappalardo
Pictured, from top: Pentervention Day; Pen Play: A necklace from expired pens; a flier with tear-off tabs that include suggestions for pen reuse; an invitation to give your pen more meaning — and “pensonality.” See the Pensonality site for more.
If you’re a student or professor with a project dealing with creative use or mindful consumer behavior that you’d like to share with our audience, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- 10:43 am - Mon, Apr 22, 2013
- 60 notes
The other day we noted plans to repurpose Denver’s unused train station into a hotel. Turns out it’s not the only former train station that’s finding new life:
The heyday of railway travel may have passed, but the nostalgic allure of architecturally striking infrastructure has ensured that it’s not the end of the line for many historic station buildings. We recently learned that Union Station in Denver, which opened to passengers in the late 19th century, will be transformed into a trendy hotel, with adjoining restaurants and a beer hall, by 2014. Click through our gallery to see how other train stations have been repurposed into thriving cultural centers, libraries, and more.
Train Station Library
Library attendance numbers in the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands were dwindling. A public service organization decided to bring books to the people instead of waiting for people to come to the books. They created a public library in part of the Haarlem train station, providing a literary oasis for busy commuters.
More: 10 Incredible Repurposed Train Stations – Flavorwire
- 11:50 am - Sat, Apr 20, 2013
- 163 notes
According to wikipedia, “Guilt is is an emotion that occurs when a person believes that they have violated a moral standard.” In other words, those guilty feelings we have rear their heads when we think we have done something wrong (or when we have actually done something wrong).
A thought-provoking essay that (in my reading) argues for a mindful form of consumer behavior that rejects guilt: “You don’t need it. It doesn’t feel ‘good’ and it likely isn’t motivating you to change your behavior. Instead feeling guilty is allowing you to justify doing things that don’t sit well with your value system. Let it go.”
To me, at least, a big part of the Unconsumption project is to frame these issues in away that’s not about guilt, but about the myriad possibilities to be part of a solution, instead of complaining or feeling bad about a problem. Earlier, I wrote about why “feeling like part of the solution” matters.
- 4:38 pm - Fri, Apr 19, 2013
- 45 notes
It’s wine o’clock (somewhere) …
Which means it’s time to share a wine-related repurposing idea: Use corks as coaster tops. (via Libbie on Etsy)
For additional inspiration: Check out the Unconsumption “wine o’clock” series — a semi-regular series of Friday afternoon posts — here.
- 3:45 pm - Thu, Apr 18, 2013
- 147 notes
Okay, we’ve pointed out more than our share of pallet stories. But this is cool, because it’s totally DIY, and would totally involve putting to use found/discarded pallets.
We recently recycled a shipping pallet we’ve had in storage into a versatile indoor/outdoor storage system, and we can’t wait to share how easy it to make one of your own.
You Will Need:
A shipping pallet
Indoor/outdoor spray paint
Sandpaper or grinder
Wood filler and finishing nails (optional)
Face mask & protective gloves
The rest is here: How-Tuesday: Upcycled Pallet Shelf | The Etsy Blog
- 9:27 am
- 43 notes
Union Station in Denver was thought by many to have seen its final days, until it was announced the unused train station will be transformed into a trendy new hotel.
The station was originally built in 1894 and frequented by 80 trains a day at its peak during the 1920s and 30s.
Plans for the hotel include 112 guest rooms which will be attached to the station’s main terminal, [which] will become home to a series of four restaurants, as well as a huge beer hall.
(via Abandoned Train Station Repurposed Into Modern Hotel - PSFK)
- 7:04 pm - Tue, Apr 16, 2013
- 510 notes
We’re fans of reusable items, especially things that can be used instead of plastic wrap and other disposable, single-use plastic products.
Beeswax-infused fabric is such a reusable item for food storage. Waxy cloth can be used to cover vegetables, fruit, cheese, bread, and other items, including those in bowls. The warmth of your hands helps to mold the material around the food you wish to wrap or over the top of a bowl or other container. The waxy cloth can be rinsed off using water and mild soap, if necessary, hung to air-dry, and it’s ready for use again.
The Art of Doing Stuff blog features this simple tutorial for making your own sheets of beeswax wrap; all you need are pieces of cotton fabric, beeswax, an oven, and a tray.
For pre-made options: This recent Design*Sponge post mentions Bee’s Wrap, made by a small company in Vermont.
A similar food-storage product, Abeego, has been made in Canada for the past several years. The folks who make Abeego wrap even put their scrap pieces to use, turning them into useful items such as business cards and twist-ties.
For helpful wax-wrap care and use tips, check out Abeego’s Web site here.
(photo via The Art of Doing Stuff)