Upcycling A Pizza Box.

The Buzzfeed article states differently but I’m pretty sure these upcycled pizza box ideas assume you don’t have the cheese-grease stain that kept you from recycling the pizza box in the first place.

Pizza box cat bed

Pizza box cat bed (click on the image for instructions)

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven.

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven. (click on image for instructions)

Pizza box birds nest.

Pizza box birds nest. (click on the image for instructions)

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game.

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game. (click on the image for instructions)

What can you do with a cheese-grease stained pizza box? Rip-off and recycle the unstained lid and then save the lower cheese-greased section as a fire starter. Additional upcycled pizza box ideas are posted on Buzzfeed.


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Ecover Will Be Partially Packaging Their Products With Plastic Retrieved From The Sea. Good Idea?

Plastic bottle in the oceanBased in Belgium, Ecover manufactures natural cleaning products primarily for the European market. They are like the United States’ Method brand – which they own. Ecover is always working on improving the sustainability of their products and their latest effort is to harvest sea-plastic from the ocean and incorporate it into their packaging. The sea-plastic will be mixed with a plastic made from sugar cane (PlantPlastic) and other recycled plastic to create a new one-of-a-kind packaging. Here’s how Ecover will recover and recycle the sea-plastic (Guardian):

“Boats outfitted with special equipment will be able to collect between two and eight tonnes of waste per trawl for cleaning and recycling, while other fishermen will collect plastic debris mixed with by-catch and deposit it at special collection points. The sorted waste will then be sent to Closed Loop Recycling’s plant in Dagenham, east London, where it will be processed and turned into the plastic for the new bottles.”

Reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans and creating awareness of the ocean garbage patches are all good things but I just can’t get past the idea of sending fuel-guzzling fishing boats out to trawl the ocean bottom for plastic. Maybe they’ll just skim the surface for floating plastic – still, it seems like an extremely consuming way to make a statement about ocean pollution and the sustainability of your product. Wouldn’t it be less consuming and less labor intensive to harvest the plastic on land before it reaches the ocean?

What do you think? [Guardian]


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Clotheslines Season Is Around The Corner. Check Out The Clotheslines Of 1930’s New York.

Clotheslines on laundry day in 1930's New YorkBuzzfeed posted “Monday, Laundry Day, New York City” and it was a nice reminder that clothesline season is almost here. My indoor clothesline has been working overtime this winter. I wash and hang a load on plastic coat hangers in the morning and then repeat the wash and hang process one more time in the evening.

Clotheslines on laundry day in 1930's New York

If you’re chomping at the bit and can’t wait for clothesline season, hang-dry your clothes indoors by purchasing an adjustable closet rod and a pair of wall brackets to hang your laundry over your washer/dryer. Your bathroom shower rod will work too.

Clotheslines on laundry day in 1930's New York

If you’re an anxious planner and can’t wait to get your outdoor clothesline set up, you can invest in an outdoor umbrella clothesline or get real old school and tie a rope/phone cord between to posts/trees.

Clotheslines on laundry day in 1930's New York

From my experience, wooden clothespins work the best on outdoor clothesline. Plastic clothespins become brittle from the temperature change of daytime heat and cool evenings.

Clotheslines on laundry day in 1930's New York

Good luck with clothesline season. Remember: clotheslines are the easy-to-install, affordable solar panel system. [Buzzfeed]

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Power An LED Lamp By Kicking The Energy-Harnessing SOCCKET Soccer Ball.

SOCCKET energy-harnessing soccer ball
SOCCKET in play.The SOCCKET from Uncharted Play, Inc. is a soccer ball that self-charges when people play with it. Thirty minutes of kicking the SOCCKET around will store enough power to run an LED lamp for 3 hours. It’s on Kickstarter looking for funding. According to CNET, if they’re successful on Kickstarter, Uncharted play will introduce a USB version. Who knows, maybe they’ll one day be able to produce SOCCKETs in quantity and follow the “One for One” model developed by Toms Shoes. [CNET]


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Waste Solution For Not-Recycling Houston: One Trash Bin For All Waste.

Landfill
Laura Spanjian - City of Houston Sustainability DirectorHow do you get a city with a low 14% recycling rate and no enforceable recycling laws to start separating their trash and divert it from landfills?

You don’t…. you bring in some garbage sorting technology and let it do the work. The City of Houston knew it would be tough to educate and motivate their residents to separate their trash so they went out and found companies that process it for them. Spearheading the effort is Laura Spanjian, Houston’s sustainability director. From Fast Co.Exist:

“Spanjian’s dream system combines many of these technologies: It would take everyone’s trash in one bin and send it to a facility that pulls out every piece of recyclable material and separates out food waste. Recyclable commodities would be sold, and food waste would be turned into compost or put in an anaerobic digester to power facilities or trucks. Another portion of the waste would be turned into gasoline.”

Brilliant – put all the trash in one bin and let the specialized machines sort it. Much better than the alternative of sending all of the trash to landfills.

Here are some of the companies Ms. Spanjian found that can divert and reuse/recycle Houston’s trash:

“One company cited by Spanjian, Organic Energy Corporation, offers a one-bin waste sorting solution. A company called BHS operates a material recovery facility in San Jose, California–but it doesn’t deal with food waste. ZeroWaste can take care of that; the company operates anaerobic digesters to deal with food waste in the city. And CRI Catalyst Company–a Houston-based company–offers a technology that turn biomass into gasoline or diesel.”

Not all cities are like San Francisco – which diverts 80% of their trash from landfills. If Ms. Spanjian’s model is successful, other low recycling rate cities can copy and implement a scaled version of her system. Dog wags tail. [Fast Co.Exist]

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Outbox Mail Service Digitizes Your Mail For Viewing On A Laptop, Desktop Or Mobile Device.

Outbox mail serviceJust heard about Outbox digital mail service and I’m not so sure about it. Outbox is a $4.99/month service that receives your USPS mail for you, scans it and lets you access it on any type of computer or mobile device. It’s a middle-mailman and a feature of the service is that you can unsubscribe from any company sending you junk mail right in the Outbox app. Unfortunately, that may be where the Jubbling ends.

Digitizing personal USPS mail just seems back-asswards to me. It’s a waste of energy (scanning, viewing) being used on a waste of mail; it’s like double dipping into the consumption bowl in order to make life a little more convenient. And what happens if Outbox receives some important mail for you? You have 30 days to have Outbox mail it to you… again; or you can print it out… for a second time.

In addition to the security issues of having strangers remotely handling your personal mail – how the Outbox digital mail service truly fails for me is mentioned in the CNET article:

“no more daily trek to the mailbox followed by the daily armload of junk into the trash can.”

Is walking to your mailbox that much of an inconvenience? Maybe if you purchased a Segway to get you to the mailbox it wouldn’t be such a hardship.

Sorry but applications should uncomplicate our lives and not add layers to it. Outbox may be necessary for some travelers or people that live overseas and need to check their USPS mail but for most of their potential clients, who feel strained by their daily commute to the mailbox, it’s an unnecessarily wasteful idea. Want the best feature of Outbox without signing up for the service? Try Catalog Choice to unsubscribe from junk mailing lists. [CNET]

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