Posts Tagged ‘recycling’

Ride the Subway

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remember Joshua Allen Harris‘ adorable air bear, air giraffe and eclectic air zoo? If the plastic bag polar bears in this Ad Council bit aren’t Harris’ work, they are based directly on it. It looks like air animals have gained an even more overt political voice—promoting public transport—than the obvious and embedded message (don’t litter).

I discovered this clip over on GreenMuze while browsing for more photos of the fabulous giant orange recycled bunnies I’d seen on Olympia Dumpster Divers this morning. Check them out.

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

Bridge day = trash day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

My dear folks spend a lot of time at their country house in rural Sweden. This week and weekend, Ascension Day means Thursday off, usually with the effect that everyone claims Friday as bridge day, i.e. day off too, and leave their cities. My folks are no different, how can one deny such a great opportunity to clean out winter trash in the summer house?

Dad reports he thought they would be the only ones being houseproud enough to visit the local town trash deposit this lazy day, but oh was he wrong. There was a cue! Conclusion: Swedes take time off work to drive mile long stretches to recycle. Is this just us? Memorial day is coming up in the US this Monday, does it mean the recycling will overflow in Park Slope? Experienced citizens, pray tell.

EDIT: Dad now reports that Swedish Public Service television news says today is Sweden’s busiest recycling day of the year. All thanks to a legend about the ascent of this guy who preached about “be nice to people”, some 2000 years ago. Who said religion wasn’t useful?

Sometimes, when killing time in airports

Sunday, April 26, 2009

…I root around online for trash tidbits. At home, I search Google News at least once a week for terms like  “trash,” “garbage,” “solid waste,” “recycle,” and “compost,” but I rarely take the time to dig into specific sites for newly posted trashy treasures. Clearly I should more often. Just look what I found today searching Flickr for photos tagged “upcycled”.

PJ Harvey upcycled album bouquet via scribblenation on Flickr

PJ Harvey upcycled album bouquet via scribblenation on Flickr

In case you were wondering, there are over 16,000 photos tagged “upcycled” on Flickr (and an overlapping nearly 8,000 tagged upcycle) like the stellar photo above from scribblenation’s photostream of an upcycled album cover via which I discovered the Trashion Nation photo pool and entries in the Upcyclist Party Contest pool.

But is it doing any good?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Elizabeth Royte covers the “Zero-Waste Zealots” in the trashy new issue of MoJo.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Today’s secret word is obtainium. Scream when you hear it.

I read about obtanium—a poetic term for salvaged objects—in this ambling New York Times profile of artist and architect Randy Polumbo. The piece  covers building houses in the desert out of shipping containers and empty tequila bottles and making sculpture out of dildos. Also, it’s about libertarians.

Dave Lauridsen for The New York Times

Dave Lauridsen for The New York Times

There’s some good stuff in there about the silly terms people use to fancy up good old fashioned recycling, dumpster diving and conserving. Like “green architecture”. To be honest, though, I found the article itself hard to get into, it’s a little all over the place. Or I am. It’s been a long week and the Internet is destroying my attention span.

Luckily,  if you’re scattered like me, there’s an audio slide show. And for the truly word averse, Polumbo’s Web site has several video clips showing his home and art.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More crisis less trash

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Municipal recycling stations in Sweden note a decrease in the stuff that one really doesn’t need to purchase, but swipe your credit card for anyway, like electronics. Less cash and more insecurity makes us cling on to that four year old thingie, even though our neighbour bought a cooler version. The extravagance we see in time of prosperity goes beyond the usual flat screen and Wii though, as trash worker Börde Edlund gives example of:

Before, people came here with entire kitchen furnishings because they had the wrong colour.

Idiotic beyond belief, the way we live. Sometimes it just hits me. Aaaargh!

Swedish recycling crimes

Friday, January 30, 2009

Living in Sweden, one gets used to recycling. “To not recycle” is one of the things you just don’t_do, should you want to be able to blend in with your average crowd of people. We take it very seriously. A few years ago, municipal authorities brought a 77-year old woman to court for failing to recycle a frying pan in the correct manner, and last year a police candidate was fined for placing a cat litter box outside the plastic recycling container, instead of inside. [The links are in Swedish, so most of the readers will have to take my word for it.]

There are many examples like this, all made possible by a system of Garbage Spies, who stand guard at public recycling stations (undercover), and document wrongdoings. The Garbage Spies however, claim that highlighting the 77-year old woman makes them look stupid (yathink?), and that their work is focused on finding people who dump big things, say 20 gallons of frying oil without permission.

I myself find this highly amusing, but at the same time I’m a staunch supporter of Garbage Spies. Abusing your recycling systems should cost you! Inspired by their great deeds I did some private investigations today, at the recycling station in my house. Noted that several people have put non-coloured glass in the container for coloured glass and that there’s lots of plastic in the wrong places. Scandalous! I will be filing a report.

Supposed to be for coloured glass only

Supposed to be for coloured glass only

In the electronics bin, I found a vacuum cleaner, a television and a pair of speakers. Clearly someone’s been upgrading their gear. Was probably  necessary, the dumped television wasn’t even flat screen… And to finish off this first proper own post of mine, I’m most curious about other recycling cultures? Tell us in the comments section please!

Discarded television et. al.

Discarded television et. al.

Recycling Barbie

Thursday, November 6, 2008

arm I just discovered Margaux Lange‘s whimsical and slightly disturbing jewelry made of Barbie (and Ken) parts via a Cool Hunting post.  These darling pendants fashioned from torsos and boobs take me back to the third grade when my best friend Miriam and I spent enormous amounts of time telling each other raunchy stories, always with the main characters of Barbie and Ken.  We composed the stories during lunch, then used our dolls to act out the scenes at my apartment after school when I was FINALLY allowed to have a Barbie of my own.

At first, my capital F feminist mom didn’t want me to have a plastic idol to self-loathing and poor body image, but I managed to get around the ban when my dad’s best friend (king of the innapropriate comments and gifts) got me a Western Winkin’ Barbie.  She had a white bedazled cowboy hat and I could depress a button in her back that made one blue eylid shut.  Unfortunately, after a while, the winking eye ceased to reopen.  I think we even took her to the doll hospital, but alas, WWB ended up in the trash.  If only I’d known all the postpunkpostfeminist possibilities, I might have saved the doll to reuse the parts.


Images ripped from the artist’s site.

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