Archive for March, 2010

No home for hard plastic

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Scientific American reports that despite an increased interest in recycling plastic, most Americans have to hunt around for places that will take back hard plastic items like ski boots.

Ski boots - photo via

Click through for a list of resources on where to recycle at the end of the post—handy for anyone getting rid of equipment as the ski season draws to a close.

The upcycling college

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Don’t know what to do with your career come August? Why not sign up to a 1-year program in upcycling design? Can’t believe I haven’t seen this before:

In the fall of 2008, Eskilstuna College started a course on sustainable development and recycling technologies. The course runs over two semesters and is intended for students who wants to work both theoretically and practically with the creation of new products from recycled materials.

You will have to work with practically everything from furniture restoration to the jewelry manufacture and use your imagination and creativity and you will certainly gain new insights into what sustainability really means.

This is really as cool as one thinks. [Apply here.] The work of this years trashtastic students can be followed at their blog, and their flickr. Personally, I’ve got my eyes on this vinyl record fruit bowl:

Vinyl record fruit bowl

The student will stage an end-of-the-year exhibition, open 27 May-20 August, at the college in Eskilstuna, so if you pass through Sweden, be sure to make a detour. In Stockholm, creations can be purchased at swop:art.

Upcycled helicopter

Monday, March 29, 2010

A team in Somaliland built this helipcopter out of scrap metal and an old van engine. AfriGadget has the scoop (and points out that there is no footage of the thing in flight).  This new one isn’t as cool as the Nigerian one AfriGadget posted on a few years back, but is still pretty rad.

Cassette clearinghouse

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rob Walker has constructed a “monster post” on “The idea of the cassette” over at MURKETING. Go. Click through. Get lost. It’s rich and entertaining and full of creative upcycling and recycling project ideas.

Related: This summer Walker and co posted a series on music on unconsumption that also featured neat cassette-themed links. That series coincided with the immediate aftermath of the contested presidential elections in Iran and inspired this everydaytrash post on technology, human rights and creative resuse.

Semirelated: Awesome Tapes from Africa is a site worth following (the name says it all). I discovered it via my friend Erica. Thanks, Erica!

Not that related but also awesome: There is a kid on YouTube who calls himself CassetteMaster. He is obsessed with collecting vintage tape recorders and making videos about them. He has a bit of a cult following. I am trying hard not to get sucked in, but these videos kind of lull you into addiction. Especially ones involving other people interacting with the awkward CassetteMaster. Like all things to do with audio and the absurd, this link came to me via Flex Unger.

Dead Computers

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Check out the winners of Instructables’ Dead Computers Contest.

Crane game

I wish I had a dead computer so I could make my very own crane game. I’d charge 25 cents a go and use the money to fund trashtastic reporting field trips. via MAKE

The Story of Bottled Water

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another gem from the creator of The Story of Stuff. via EcoLibris.

Upcycling your card

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Etsy Trashion blog has a handy pair of posts up about eco-friendly business cards up. The first covers how to make them yourself, the second how to get them printed.

DIY businesss cards

Several years into garblogging, I still don’t use a card. It’s a waste issue that’s had me conflicted for a while. Maybe this year I’ll get it together and make a snappy set of DIYs.

1400 calories

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Plos One

The average American tosses 1400 calories worth of food every day. That’s enough to sustain one skinny American or a whole developing country family (my calculations). Freshkills Park Blog has more scary food waste stats here. They come from this report, originally posted on Treehugger.

A message from N’Cognita

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

“It’s the dawn of a new decade! The economy is in trouble & we still have too much garbage! Your art could be part of the solution!!! If you make art from things that would have been thrown away – broken stuff, old stuff, burned stuff, torn stuff transformed into art- 2D & 3D in any media rescued from trash, your art is eligible. It’s happening again! The exhibit “Art of Detritus: Recycling with Imagination” features fine art from cast-off materials created by professional artists from throughout the country. The heart of this exhibit is the message of the three R’s: Reduce/Reuse/Recycle. The 2010 Art From Detritus Exhibition is a juried international art competition for dynamic, inventive and provocative work created from a multitude of materials that would have been discarded if not rescued for artmaking. The exhibit will occur in spring 2010 at PureLight Gallery located in a recycled building in Turner’s Falls Massachusetts.This show will be curated by Vernita Nemec, artist/curator, former director of Artists Talk On Art & Viridian Artists in New York City and currently on the Board of Directors of Soho20 in Chelsea NYC. She conceived the first Detritus Exhibition in 1993 & over the years has received funding from The Puffin Foundation, the Kaufmann Foundation and the National Recycling Coalition. Since then, there have been more than a dozen Detritus exhibitions through out the U.S. You can see images of and information on past Detritus shows here. Submit your best work now! Email 3-6 jpegs of work no larger than 500 dpi in either direction. Include in your email an Artwork List with size, materials used, title & date, plus an artist bio & statement. Submit by April 1, 2010 to: ncognita at earthfire dot org. There is no submission fee, but accepted artists will make a small contribution towards the exhibition expenses.”


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Amazing sculptures made from plastic utensils via renest by way of unconsumption.

Kitchen Utensil sculptures by Sayaka Kajita Ganz

Rahmin Bahrani’s Plastic Bag

Monday, March 8, 2010

…is now viewable online. Go crazy.

Portia Munson and other Debris

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Portia Munson makes plastic pretty by piling it up and placing it in musuems. Check out her stuff at Beautiful/Decay. Hers and other trashtastic work will go on display at the Chelsea gallery P.P.O.W. from March 20th in a show called Debris. More to come when the show opens.

Portia Munson

Thanks for the tip, Douglas!

Five Easy Pieces

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saw Five Easy Pieces at Film Forum last night.
Favorite part pasted below (and ripped from here).
It’s the brilliant lead-in to the famous Diner scene.




moving through the Redwood country above San



bored, as he drives. Beside him, Rayette primps in
the sunvisor mirror.


Terry lights a cigarette while Palm, staring
morosely out the window, goes into a soliloquy:

	I had to leave this place. I got
	depressed, seeing all the crap. And
	the thing is, they're making more
	crap, you know? They've got so many
	stores and stuff and junk full of
	crap, I can't believe it.


	Who? People, that's who! Pretty
	soon there won't be room for
	They're selling more crap that
	people go and buy than you can
	imagine. Oofh! Crap! I believe
	everybody should have a big hole
	where they throw in all this stuff
	and burn it.

Rayette leans around to her.

	There'd never be a hole big enough.
	Now took at me, for instance, when
	I was just one person, before
	Bobby, I had so much garbage
	collectin' onto me every day, I was
	thinkin' about gettin a dispose

	A dispose-all, what's that but more
	crap? I've never seen such crap.
	Oofh, I don't know how people get
	up in the morning.

	Mass production is what does it.

	What do you mean "mass"... I have
	to come out and tell you, you're
	not that clean, either.

	Wait a minute. I'm not that neat,
	maybe, but I am clean.

	Well, you're not that bad, but some
	people... I mean, people's homes,
	just filth. I've been in people's

	In my personal observation, I think
	that more people are neat than are

	In my personal thing, I don't see
	that. I'm seeing more filth. A lot
	of filth. What they need to do
	every day, no, once in a while, is
	a cockroach thing, where they spray
	the homes. And uh...
	can you imagine, if their doors
	were painted a pretty color, and
	they had a pot outside, with...

	Yeah, it could be adorable...

	And they picked up! I mean, it
	wouldn't be filthy, with Coke
	bottles and whiskey, and those
	signs everywhere...

She gestures angrily out the window at the roadside

	... they oughta be erased! All
	those signs, selling crap, and more
	crap, and, I don't know, it's
	disgusting, I don't even want to
	talk about it!

Bobby starts to say something:


	It's just filthy. People are dirty.
	I think that's the biggest thing
	that's wrong with people. I think
	they wouldn't be as violent if they
	were clean, because then they
	wouldn't have anybody to pick on...
	Oofh... Dirt...


	Not dirt. See, dirt isn't bad. It's
	filth. Filth is bad. That's what
	starts maggots and riots...

She suddenly leans over to the front seat, pointing
to a semi ahead.

	Hey, follow that truck. They know
	the best places to stop.

	That's an old maid's tale.

	Bullshit! Truck drivers know the
	best eating places on the road.

Rayette turns around, asserting:

	Salesmen and cops are the ones. If
	you'd ever waitressed, honey, you'd

	Don't call me "honey," mack.

	Don't call me "mack," honey.

	I wouldn't be a waitress. They're
	nasty and full of crap.

	You better hold onto your tongue!

		(giving her the finger)
	Hold onto this.

Terry laughs.

	Just one minute, you! Don't you
	ever talk to me like that!

	Shut up! All of you!

Freshkills 2010 tour schedule

Friday, March 5, 2010

Attention NYC: The Parks Department has just announced a dozen opportunities for you to experience a guided tour of beautiful Freshkills Park.

Freshkills Park

Tours in April, May and June are currently open for public sign-up. The tours begin at the Eltingville Transit Center, 90-98 Wainwright Avenue in Staten Island, at 10am and 1pm on alternating Saturdays, and are free of charge. They will run through the middle of November. Here are the exact dates and times:

April 10, 10am and 1pm

April 24, 10am and 1pm

May 1, 10am and 1pm

May 15, 10am and 1pm

June 5, 10am and 1pm

June 19, 10am and 1pm

I plan to attend at least one of these dates myself. Who’s in?

Recycling design competition

Monday, March 1, 2010

Details @ MAKE.

4th RecyclingDesignPrize 2010

%d bloggers like this: