Archive for October, 2008

AfriGadget and creative recycling

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bookmark this site, trashies.  It’s a blog highlighting creative, African grown soultions. The AfriGadget tagline is “Solving everyday problems with African ingenuity”.   Case in point: this post on iron workers in Kenya who fashion chisels from old vehicle gearshifts and automate bellows with old bike parts.  Photo ripped from AfriGadget, click through for a video of this simple machine in action.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Now this is my kind of show: a piece of trash is your entry fee for a night of experimental sounds and sights known as ScrapCycle.

RIP Sister Emanuelle

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From Voice of America:  “Born in Brussels, Sister Emmanuelle lived and worked with a scavenger community in Cairo for more than 20 years. She founded an association that built a school and provided trucks for the Zabbaleen community there, which has become internationally known for its recycling practices.”

Via FP Passport.  Photo ripped from the Washington Post

A monkey and a plastic bag

Sunday, October 26, 2008

One of the places I visited while taking a short vacation in Bali last weekend was the Ubud Monkey Forest.  Overall, the visit was more upsetting than pleasant.  Vendors sell bananas and sweet potatoes inside the park, a practice that encourages tourists to get very close to the animals.  While I was there, I saw monkeys steal other food from careless people who had  stupidly brought in bags of chips and juice boxes, which the monkeys made little work of snatching and opening.  I saw lots of groups getting monkeys to climb all over them by dangling oranges and bananas in thier faces.  I also saw one crazy monkey fight and a couple  of sickly looking moneys I wouldn’t want to touch.  It was all very sad.  Still sadder was the fact that there was also a lot of trash in the ravines of what might have been a beautiful park.  I wasn’t able to capture the bulk of the human arrogance and monkey aggression I witnessed, but here is a short clip of a monkey digging through fruit peels and trash in the park.

Techies, Trashers and Tightwads

Friday, October 24, 2008

This just in from Dumpster Taoist: the internet debut of a film he made about the lives and views of dumpster divers.  Thanks for sharing, DT!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Techies, Trashers and Tightwads on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod


Thursday, October 23, 2008

I’m not big on product pimping here, but among the flood of supposedly eco-themed press releases this week was one from a company selling seltzer bottles and soda syrups.  The eco-pitch: use fewer plastic bottles by making soda at home.  Scanning the site made me nostalgic for a) the old fashioned CO2 cartridge selzer bottle my grandparents kept on the bar for mixing with whiskey and b) the similar bottle we had at home, which I used to mix up raspberry shrub.

Photo via Soda-Club

Recycling & Resourcefulness: Quilts of the 1930s

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From today’s Flavorpill:

American Folk Art Museum unfurls 12 quilts that were sewn together from secondhand fabrics by women during the Great You-Know-What. The striking, variegated handiwork features materials as diverse as flour sacks and dressmaking scraps, and the handsome individual pieces match up with themes such as sunbonnets, the alphabet, and Chinese fans. More than salvaged vestiges of a once-prevalent pastime, the patterns are tidy examples of the functional achieving fine-art status.”

FYI, New Yorkers, open today through March 15, $9 to get in.

Photo of a string quilt via museum website

Balinese trash factoid

Saturday, October 18, 2008

“Just as the layout of the village reflects the grand order, so too does the layout of the family compound. The Balinese believe each part of the house corresponds to a part of the human anatomy: the head is the family shrine, the sexual organs are the gates, the arms are the bedrooms and the social parlor, the navel is the courtyard, the legs and feet are the kitchen and granary, and the anus is the backyard garbage pit. In each corner of the yard are temples dedicated to guardian spirits.”

Quote via Kinaya tour and travel; first read about the anus of the home in Lonely Planet’s Best of Bali.  P.S.  Trash hiatus is nearly over, I’ll be home Tuesday.

Waste Digestor

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Thanks to an ecogrant used to buy a “waste digestor” food from a British primary school is now churned directly into compost.

Via the Clitheroe

Dinosaurs and Robots

Monday, October 13, 2008

Today, via a tip from my friend Brendan to check out a post on Boing Boing, I discovered the adorably titled blog Dinosaurs and Robots.  Today’s post on trash cars won me over right away, but I was further charmed by the mission statement: “Rather than focus on the newest trend, we will seek authentic, handy, rarefied, disgusting, illuminating, delicious, mysterious, intoxicating, commonplace, historic, intensely personal, entertaining and enlightened objects, both priceless heirlooms and exquisite trash.”

I’ll be tuning in for more examples of exquisite trash and sharing what I find from this and other blogs.  Of course, with friends also combing the Web and the world, this job becomes much easier.  Big ups to my tipsters, keep the trashy content coming!

Photo ripped from Boing Boing via Dinosaurs and Robots

Vivan Sundaram

Monday, October 13, 2008

Artist Vivan Sundaram has been thinking about trash since the late nineties, as evidenced by the series of his large-scale photos of garbage on exhibit now at Sepia Gallery in Manhattan.  Newsweek has the scoop.

Photo of “Fly” by Vivan Sundaram via Gallery Chemould

High profile trash

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Washington Post offers up some trash-reducing tips today (photo ripped from article).  Apologies if posts are lazy this week.  I’m in Jakarta for the day job.  Will attempt to find some Indonesian-themed tidbits for you.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Dumpster Toaist just shot me this amazing tip, a trash-themed game called Gomibako was debuted for Playstation at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show.

Here’s what the Gamespot review had to say: “Think Tetris, but with garbage. That’s the simplest description of Gomibako, a PlayStation Network puzzle game we found in the Sony booth here on the show floor of the 2008 Tokyo Game Show. It’s a bit early for proclamations–we’re only halfway through day one of TGS–but we can safely say that Gomibako is one of our favorite games of the show so far.”

How to compost a horse carcass

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What do you do when your trusty Rocinante kicks the bucket?  Perhaps not a great concern for Brooklyn-based readers, but in Colorado and other rugged places, apparently dead horses end up in landfills.  Or rendered, which sounds like made into glue but does that even happen anymore?  Anyway, the best way for green riders to honor their fallen companions is to cover them up with a 50/50 mix of hay and manure and let them disintegrate into usable soil.

More on horse composting can be found at the Denver Horse Examiner.  Or if you live in Oklahoma, you can attend this how-to seminar.  And of course, the more common link between horses and compost is that their poop is an excellent ingredient to a good pile.

This reminds me, has anyone seen Harry Potter in Equus yet?

Horse silhouette via Karen’s Whimsy

Trashy honeymoon idea

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Strapped for travel cash?  Follow this British couple’s lead and redeem cans for miles.

Photo ripped from

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