Most of us by now should be making our own soil by composting our left over scraps and papers. We know that compost can be beneficial to our gardens, but did you know it can also play a part in making more sustainably-designed furniture? That is exactly what Israel-based designer Adital Ela of S-Sense Design found out when creating Terra, a line of furniture that’s made entirely out of compost, which she actually cultivates and gathers near her studio.
Ela calls herself a “designer-gatherer” becasue she creates stools, cups, lampshades and other pieces of furniture by blending organic matter like vegetation, dirt and various fibers in a proportional recipe, and molded using compression, provided by her feet. According to Ela’s research, the foot-mixing technique for earth-based construction is quite old, being used in ancient times in places like Iran, Iraq and Palestine.
On FastCo.Design, Ela describes how she first got the idea for making these biodegradable works when sipping a cup of chai tea in a clay cup:
I was absolutely fascinated by the way those sun-dried clay cups were tossed to the ground and blended back to become earth again within minutes. Seeing this, I started asking myself, ‘How can products, like people, come from dust, and to dust return?’
This strikes a chord with us at Dust Factory because things are very much the same in the textile industry.
There are interesting implications in Ela’s project because not only are these materials available everywhere, the time-honoured technique is something that anyone can use to create their own low-impact and easily recyclable furniture. In developing her methods, Ela realized that her own grandmother built ovens in the past using similar techniques.
Find Out More at S-Sense Design
This weekend was the annual gathering of ancient grains, coconut water, fair trade chocolates, protein bars, and organic pet food in Orange County, that is at least where where baobab and sea buckthorn joined acai, goji berry and chia seeds, the reigning antioxidant-rich superfoods. There was overwhelming sea of 3,000 exhibitors, displayed across the exhibit floor of enticing organic foods, healthy items and green goods at the annual Natural Products Expo West convention and conference, March 10-13, seemed like all the world eats well and lives sustainably. But then reality struck.
There are mMore than 56,000 gathered for this 31st fest, with an increased visibility on non-GMO foods and eco-packaging. With aisle after aisle of vendors from Nature’s Path to Earth Balance, from omega-rich supplements to “pure” and “smart” items, it’s clear the message was healthy and environmental. Compared to two years ago, it was hard to find a plastic bottled water booth, through other drinks overflowed from teas to brain tonics, digestive beverages to chillout elixirs.
To us, one of the big hits of this event was Seventh Generation’s new cardboard bottle for its Natural 4X Laundry Detergent. We love great designs, but green packaging is just one small part of a sustainable design and product. Designed with Ecologic Brands, it features a recyclable and compostable outer shell of recycled newspapers and cardboard and a recyclable monopolymer film pouch inside with no nylon or laminates. It reduces the plastic by 66 percent and when empty, it’s stackable. so nine times more efficient to ship.
Photo: Rocket Chair
Just like clothing the design of furniture can fall out of fashion for a while, then back into fashion as time rolls on. This classic chair by the Jen Risom’s collection is one piece that fell back into style. Jens Risom was at the peak of his success in the late 1950’s. His slogan back then for his work was: The Answer is Risom. The Danish-born American still has the designing spirit at the ripe ol age of 94, and has worked closely with a London gallery to re-issue 9 pieces of his simple, American-style Scandinavian Furniture.
This first collection of his nine chosen pieces has been a labor of love involving a London Gallery, Rocket, and a furniture company that does handmade pieces.
All of his pieces are very functional but still very much elegant. They still have a definite Scandinavian influence but it is intertwined with American Modernism. With the number of his original pieces declining, this is another opportunity to celebrate design and reputation of an old master craftsman.
A friend directed us to an interesting article in the guardian.co.uk Posted on February 26, 2009. It turns out that American’s Love for a soft tissue to wipe there buttocks with is worse for the environment than their love for driving gas guzzling Hummers.
According to Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent guardian.co.uk,”The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country’s love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions, according to green campaigners. At fault, they say, is the US public’s insistence on extra-soft, quilted and multi-ply products when they use the bathroom.”
She goes on to quote Allen Hershkowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defence Council”This is a product that we use for less than three seconds and the ecological consequences of manufacturing it from trees is enormous,” he goes on to say, “Future generations are going to look at the way we make toilet paper as one of the greatest excesses of our age. Making toilet paper from virgin woodis a lot worse than driving Hummers in terms of global warming pollution.” Making toilet paper has a significant impact because of chemicals used in pulp manufacture and cutting down forests.”
Susan also points out that Paper manufacturers such as Kimberly-Clark have identified luxury brands such as three-ply tissues or tissues infused with hand lotion as the fastest-growing market share in a highly competitive industry. Its latest television advertisements show a woman caressing tissue infused with hand lotion.
The New York Times reported a 40% rise in sales of luxury brands of toilet paper in 2008. Paper companies are anxious to keep those percentages up, even as the recession bites. And Reuters reported that Kimberly-Clark spent $25m in its third quarter on advertising to persuade Americans against trusting their bottoms to cheaper brands.
But Kimberly-Clark, which touts its green credentials on its website, rejects the idea that it is pushing destructive products on an unwitting American public.
Americans already consume vastly more paper than any other country â€” about three times more per person than the average European, and 100 times more than the average person in China.
Barely a third of the paper products sold in America are from recycled sources â€” most of it comes from virgin forests.
“I really do think it is overwhelmingly an American phenomenom,” said Hershkowitz. “People just don’t understand that softness equals ecological destruction.”
Source & images Courtesy of guardian.co.uk
This is a cool bike we noticed from Alternative Consumer. A look at one of the UKâ€™s best selling, fold-able bikes that comes with a nifty handle/shoulder bag. Use the bag to carry or store your bike. When ready to roll, zip open the bag and it doubles as a backpack to carry any incidentals you might need to bring along.
Bike in a bag is available in two models: Compact and Touring.
Compact, single-speed bike weighs 26 pounds (11.8kg), can accommodate riders up to 6’1? and sells for $250.00 â‚¬179.95
The new Touring 6-speed Shimano gears bike weighs 30.4 pounds, can accommodate riders up to 6’8? and sells for $327.00 â‚¬239.95. available @ bike-in-a-bag.com or here.
Wallpaper for commercial applications must be a hardy, sturdy product to withstand daily wear and tear. LSI Wallcovering is making wallcovering waves with the market’s first ever recycled vinyl wallcovering for commercial applications, which is also stylish enough for high-end applications. The manufacturer launched its recycling program Second Look last year and will premier the fruits of this endeavor in three new collections”Versa, Cirqa, and Plexusâ€”this Spring at contract furnishings tradeshow NeoCon World’s Trade Fair. Composed of 20 percent recycled content and a minimum of 10 percent post-consumer content, Second Look meets the U.S. Green Building Council’s criteria for LEED certification. A low VOC, Type II, 20-ounce wallcovering, it uses water-based inks, can be installed with water-based adhesives, and is also available with Permavent, a hi-tech feature that allows walls to breathe. Have vinyl wallcovering from a recent renovation job? LSI accepts used vinyl wallcovering from any manufacturer, which can be sent to its factory for recycling.
What was once the top of a pot and a few forks and spoons, now is a fun recycled wall clock. Find inspiration while seeing everyday objects in unusual places.Find at Mixt Goods
This week TreeHuggerTV teams up with with Comet Skateboards and learns how a sustainable skateboard company is bringing kids from different hoods together for one unified purpose. Comet uses sustainably harvested bamboo and non-toxic resins to make its hip pin-striped topped skateboards and their manufacturing plant uses a 10KW solar panel array to fuel the process. Comet is also a place based company and is dedicated to making a positive impact on its community as well as the environment. In addition to raising funds for a sustainably designed skate park in downtown Oakland CA, Comet has collaborated with local skaters to put on Hood Games. Hood Games 4 brought together a truly remarkable gathering of the skateboarders, parents, and friends for a full day of music, art, and of course â€“ ecofriendly skateboarding!
We found this interesting on alternativeconsumer.com. Did you know that 80 percent of all residential moves take place during the summer? For an earth-friendly (and low-cost alternative) to moving your home goods in slick, new cardboard boxes, try ordering from new company, Used Cardboard Boxes. Providing high quality, previously-used boxes, the website (with locations in Los Angeles and New York) guarantees the lowest prices, delivers boxes in one to two business days and doesnâ€™t charge for shipping.
Just think of how many trees youâ€™ll be saving – $120 billion of boxes are produced each year around the world, typically used once and tossed out, according to Used Cardboard Boxes.
With Co-op Americaâ€™s seal of approval, check out usedcardboardboxes.com
for more info.
You can also visit U-Haulâ€™s Box Exchange to see if anyone in your area has boxes to give away or sell @ www.uhaul.com/boxexchange/.