Recycling

I Hide Giants That I Make From Wood In The Wilderness Of Copenhagen

My name is Thomas Dambo, I’m a Danish artist who works with recycled materials. Over the last 3 years I made 25 big recycled sculptures around the world. Recently I made 6 hidden giants in my hometown of Copenhagen.

The sculptures are found in some of my favorite places around the city, places where people don’t go to often, because it’s off the beaten track. The sculptures can only be found by using a treasure map, or a poem engraved into a stone near each sculpture. These give hints on how to find the different giants.

I’ve made all the sculptures from recycled wood. Mainly from 600 old pallets, an…

NASA Is Developing an Inflatable Greenhouse to Use on Mars

image credit: University of Arizona

When astronauts finally make it to Mars, they’ll need something to eat. And while NASA is working on shelf-stable rations for those eventual missions, astronauts will ideally be able to grow their own plants while exploring other worlds. That’s where the University of Arizona’s inflatable greenhouse comes in, designboom reports.

The University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center is helping the space agency develop a closed-loop system that can provide astronauts with food, clean the air, and recycle waste and water in alien environments. This “bioregenerative life support system” uses plants and LEDs to recreate what’s essentially a miniature Earth environment, according to designboom.

The Lunar Greenhouse prototype is an 18-foot-long, 7-foot-wide cylinder that is designed to take the carbon dioxide that astronauts breathe out and turn it into oxygen through plant photosynthesis. Astronauts would introduce…

6 Creative Recycling Efforts From Around the Globe

Recycling isn’t—and shouldn’t be—limited to separating plastic cartons, junk mail, and tin cans for the garbage collector. This Earth Day, think outside the plastic bin, and brainstorm creative ways to convert or re-purpose old, discarded, or unexpected materials into something new and useful. Don’t know where to start? Get inspired by one (or all) of the sustainable organizations and initiatives below.

1. THE SHOPPING CENTER THAT SELLS RECYCLED/UPCYCLED ITEMS

The adage “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” rings true in Eskilstuna, Sweden. The metropolis is home to a shopping center, ReTuna Återbruksgalleria, which only sells upcycled, recycled, or sustainable merchandise. (The name ReTuna Återbruksgalleria combines Tuna, which is a nickname for the city; återbruk, which means “reuse” in Swedish; and galleria, which means mall.)

Patrons can drop off objects they no longer want or need at a designated recycling depot. Items that can be repaired are fixed and re-sold in the mall’s nine shops, which offer customers everything from furniture to clothing items to sporting equipment. Goods that can’t be sold are donated to needy institutions or organizations, or recycled.

2. THE MALL THAT FEEDS ITS FOOD WASTE TO HOGS

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The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, is the nation’s largest shopping center—and it’s also vying for the title of “greenest.” In addition to LED parking garage lighting, water-efficient toilets, and thousands of air-purifying plants and trees, the mall annually recycles more than 2400 tons of food waste by donating it to a local hog farm. (If you’re an entrepreneur who’s interested in emulating the MOA’s large-scale food waste strategy, you can check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines for getting started here.)

3. THE NONPROFIT THAT TRANSFORMS FLIP-FLOP FLOTSAM INTO ART

Around 8 million tons of plastic enter the ocean each year. Soda bottles, grocery bags, and six-pack rings aren’t the only plastic items polluting the world’s waterways and harming fish, turtles, and other animals: In…

Stop Throwing Your Broken Stuff Out. Go to a Repair Cafe and Fix It Yourself.

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So much for Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.

The average American throws out around 185 pounds of plastic each year. It has been estimated that our oceans now have 110 million tons of plastic trash, with 8 million tons of plastics being dumped into the oceans each year.

Something has to change. That’s where Repair Cafes fit in.

While a lot of focus has been placed on the third R, recycling, we often overlook the need to reuse–getting the maximum life our of our gadgets and household items. Here’s the problem: we tend to live in a throwaway culture where items are built to be replaced as opposed to repaired, and we often lack the necessary know-how if we wanted to fix the item.

Repair Cafes solve this problem by creating social community events where you can bring in your broken items to have fixed, free of change. And instead of a repair shop where you would still be dependent on someone else’s skill set, Repair Cafes operate by having attendees fix their own items alongside the guidance of the skilled volunteers. It’s one part maker movement, one part environmental awareness, and one part social gathering. It is also multi-generational.

You could throw your stuff away…. or you could save money & the environment and get things fixed! #bradfordonavon #repaircafe #reducewaste

How to Securely Wipe a Hard Drive on Your Mac

Thinking of giving an old hard drive to a friend, or taking it to be recycled? Be careful. When you delete a file on a mechanical drive, it’s not really gone—at least, not physically. Your file system marks the spot taken up by the file as “free space,” which is why you can sometimes recover deleted files.

With enough usage, new files will overwrite your deleted files, making them harder to recover. Until that happens, though, your files aren’t physically gone. As a result, it’s very important that you securely wipe a mechanical drive before giving it away or recycling it.

If you’re a Mac user, Disk Utility can write random information over any entire drive. A single pass with random data will foil most recovery software, but if you’re as paranoid as the US government, you can run multiple passes as well.

NOTE: it’s not really necessary to overwrite files on an SSD with TRiM enabled; your Mac is already deleting files completely to ensure fast write speeds later. This is much more important for mechanical drives with spinning platters.

To wipe your mechanical drive, open Disk Utility, which you’ll find in Applications > Utilities.

Connect the drive you want to securely delete, then click it in…

Filament Friday: Refil ABS Is Recycled Plastic for More Sustainable Prints

A major complaint leveraged against 3D printing is the creation of additional plastic waste that is quickly filling the world’s waterways. Most filament on the market is created from new, first-use polymers, but the team at Refil is working to combat that with their line of recycled plastic filament — creating little to no extra plastic waste.

A good friend of mine called me up to let me know he was helping out with 3D Brooklyn (who have recently been creating downloadable models for the History channel’s Vikings TV show) and that he thought I should check out the new filament they were bringing to the US market. He sent me a spool of the Refil ABS, a filament made from 100% recycled car parts, with no virgin plastic used. While you may not get the color options found in new plastics (Refil ABS only comes in black) you will have the peace of mind knowing that you are not contributing to the pollution problem as much as using new plastic.

Using the Refil ABS made me remember how much I love printing in ABS. It was not that long ago that ABS was the dominant 3D printing material and PLA was experimental. ABS…

Timberland Is Making Shoes and Bags From Recycled Plastic Bottles

Americans go through about 50 billion water bottles a year, but only recycle a fraction of that colossal total. Now, more companies and organizations are looking for creative ways to repurpose the waste that hydration leaves behind. Possibly taking cues from Adidas, Timberland has started making its own environmentally-conscious footwear.

The shoe company has partnered with Pennsylvania-based manufacturer Thread (and their Ground to Good fabric) to transform used water bottles into wearable shoes, bags, and shirts. The Timberland x Thread collaboration is taking bottles from the streets and landfills of Haiti in an effort to promote sustainability and…