- 3:40 pm - Sat, Oct 18, 2014
- 32 notes
So, where do our electronic relics end up once we finally decide it’s time to recycle them? And what does our relationship with these outdated technologies say about us as a culture?
Julia Christensen, a multidisciplinary artist focused on systems of technology and consumerism, is creatively exploring the issue of electronic trash with a series of research-heavy investigations called Project Project (first ‘project’ reads like the noun, second ‘project’ reads like the verb that describes what a projector does).
In Burnouts, the most recent part of Project Project, the artist uses outdated iPhones and other trashed tech to create functional projectors through which she beams animations of obsolete constellations— celestial configurations that have been retired from star maps, often because light pollution has made them too difficult to see from Earth.
More: We Talked To The Artist Turning E-Waste Into Projected Star Maps | The Creators Project
- 1:58 pm - Fri, Oct 17, 2014
- 106 notes
When Paul Wilson cycles across town, he tends to attract a lot of attention. It’s not due to his attire … but rather the size of his cargo load. Wilson is one of the East Side Compost Pedallers, a bike-powered compost recycling program in Austin, Texas.
The for-profit organization is on a mission to reduce landfill waste in Austin one bin at a time, by pedaling “scrapple” (their term for compostable food scraps) from homes and businesses to urban farms, schools, and community gardens, where it is composted into rich soil.
(via A Healthy Cycle for Austin’s Compost Scene)
- 3:40 pm - Mon, Oct 13, 2014
- 322 notes
In 19th-Century Italy, the brothers Calamai began collecting secondhand wool garments, shredding them into strips, and selling them to factories to be re-spun into yarn. But as the boys became men, they began amassing mechanical equipment that they could use to re-process the wool themselves, and eventually opened their own reprocessing factory. Decades before anyone even knew what environmentalism was, the Calamais were pioneering the art and science of reclaiming materials.
Here in 2014 the successful Figli di Michelangelo Calamai is now run by the fourth generation of Calamais, and while factory technology has advanced, they still stick to the old principles: They reclaim the wool from old garments and scraps mechanically, not chemically, and minimize the need to re-dye by carefully sorting colors.
More: Recycling Wool the Hard Way, Since the 19th Century - Core77
- 12:20 pm
- 52 notes
There’s only one gun store in Mexico, so Mexican drug dealers stocking up on AK-47s tend to look north of the border: Every year, more than 250,000 guns are smuggled in from the U.S.
As violence has increased over the last decade—in part thanks to the expiration of the U.S.’s assault weapons ban—artist Pedro Reyes decided to help bring new attention to the problem by making sculptures from melted guns.
“I wanted to make a kind of protest,” Reyes says. “A large number of weapons have entered Mexican territory, 90% from the United States. I wanted to turn that around and call attention to the need to stop the flow of weapons to Mexico.”
We have covered Reyes’ work in the past, but this is a good overview, and it’s notable that (for better or worse, given his source material!) he remains so productive:
A Mexican Artist Turns Assault Weapons Into Musical Instruments And Art | Co.Exist | ideas impact
- 3:40 pm - Mon, Oct 6, 2014
- 29 notes
The Times follows up this story with a guide to options for properly disposing of you own phone. Read that here.
GameStop, a video game retailer that buys and sells used electronics and games, said it held a trade-in event last weekend. In three days, it accepted more than 15,000 devices. The items that were traded in the most included the more recent iPhones, like the 5, 5S and 5C, the company said.
EcoATM, a company that buys used cellphones through a network of kiosks, said that since the release of the iPhone on Friday, it had seen an 80 percent increase in iPhone trade-ins at its 1,100 kiosks in the United States. It declined to say how many devices it accepted over all.
Gazelle, a reseller that allows people to mail in their used electronics for cash back or credit on Amazon, said it was making 180 offers a minute in the week leading up to the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus on Friday. The iPhone 5 accounted for 38 percent of the devices being traded in ahead of the release. Gazelle also noted that in the week Apple introduced the latest iPhones, the number of trade-ins of Samsung products tripled compared with the week before.
Many older devices are not traded in at all. A study by OnePoll, a research company, found that about 54 percent of American consumers say they own two or more unused cellphones. The study estimates that Americans own about $34 billion worth of used cellphones.
Apple also offers a trade-in program at its stores, working with Brightstar, a company that buys and sells used electronics.
- 2:32 pm - Thu, Oct 2, 2014
- 95 notes
Bloomin Rubbish is delighted to be working with Disability Art Project Uganda (DAPU) to create a range of recycled bottle top clocks.
DAPU are now working to create a range of recycled bottle top clocks for sale in local craft markets and shops in Kampala. To get this project up and running DAPU need to buy essential tools and materials which are hard to come by in Uganda, including clock parts, cable ties and hand drills.
We’ve mentioned Bloomin Rubbish before — It’s a “pop up recycling project” created by (Unconsumption contributor!) Deirdre Nelson & Frances Priest in association with Covepark, involving creative reuse of castaway materials to make attractive new objects:
is about the importance of recycling materials, the fun of designing and making together and the need to raise awareness about the problem of plastic pollution.
Per above, project partner Frances Priest recently visited Disability Arts in Uganda,
where a new collaboration is underway to make clocks from plastic bottle tops and lids in a Bloomin Rubbish Style.
While they’re working on prototypes, they’re looking for funding to buy drills, cable ties, clock motors and the like — to take the project to fruition, and create beautiful (sellable) remade objects.
- 12:20 pm - Wed, Sep 24, 2014
- 71 notes
Some more nice press for our friends over at TerraCycle:
According to New Jersey-based Terracycle, a business that makes consumer products from pre-consumer and post-consumer waste, 99% of the total material flow in the US becomes garbage within six months. Founder Tom Szaky says it is important to note that from a strictly material or scientific standpoint, everything can be recycled. The only barrier to something being considered “recyclable” in our society is economics. “For-profit waste management companies are allowed to define what is recyclable based on what is profitable for them to collect. That is why our recycling system is broken,” says Szaky.
Cigarettes, baby diapers, cheese wrappers and more find a second life through TerraCycle by people simply taking the time to get rid of waste they create on a regular basis. Enlisting in-house teams to separate cigarette waste into its most basic components, the organic waste (ash, tobacco and paper) can be used in tobacco-specific compost, while the plastic (the filter) can be re-heated, extruded, and turned back into plastic pellets. Recycled plastic pellets like these mitigate the need for virgin plastics, and can be used to make ashtrays or industrial products such as shipping pallets.
(via Chicken feathers and cigarette butts put to use in circular economy | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional)
- 3:40 pm - Tue, Sep 23, 2014
- 316 notes
Remember video cassettes, those big black boxes that played pictures? Rendered useless by DVDs, they’ve found a new purpose. Some 4,000 of them have built a house, along with two tonnes of denim jeans, 2,000 used carpet tiles and 20,000 toothbrushes.
The result is Britain’s first house made almost entirely from rubbish. Based at the University of Brighton, the house opened its doors in June and is a live research project, acting as a test-bed for new windows, solar panels, insulation and construction materials.
More: The house made from 4,000 video cassettes and two tonnes of jeans | Guardian Sustainable Business | Guardian Professional
- 12:20 pm - Sat, Sep 20, 2014
- 99 notes
This beautiful home in Croatia by DVA Arhitekta features recycled red brick that was actually waste from another renovation. Using this material allowed the architect to blend the modern blueprint better with its surroundings.
Big window panels allow lots of natural light inside and smart use of materials, gives the interior an upscale look. It’s not every day you see a modern building such as this made from brick — it feels like a slightly warmer option than concrete or stone.
(via Podfuscak Residence in Croatia by DVA Arhitekta - Design Milk)