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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Solarclave Sterilizes Medical Equipment In Remote Areas Using Sunlight.

Solarclave from MIT's Little Devices groupIn hospitals, an autoclave is an electric-powered device that is used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies. The Solarclave, designed by MIT’s Little Devices group, is an autoclave that is solar-powered and can be used cheaply and repaired easily by remote clinics in developing countries. Here’s a description of the Solarclave from the Little Devices group:

“With a bucket, a pressure cooker, and 140 pocket-sized mirrors, IIH researchers have invented a device that uses sunshine to sterilize surgical tools. Solarclave provides reliable surgical sterilization for rural clinics outside of the grid – enabling healthcare workers to provide basic, life-saving services for patients.”

And here’s how it works (SmartPlanet):

“Under a clear sky, the system takes 45 to 60 minutes to heat up to a sterilizing temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) and then 20 minutes to carry out the sterilization cycle.”

The final design of the Solarclave was modified based on feedback from rural users in Nicaragua. [SmartPlanet]

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Bullfrog Mousetraps?

Bullfrogs eat everything - National GeographicMy garage has a mouse problem and the mice are winning. Out of four attempts, the mice have nibbled around my peanut butter baited trap without ever releasing it. They’ve even left behind some potty business that looked like it spelled out their preference for chunky peanut butter.

I won’t go the poison or the sticky trap route and I’ve tried the furry-friendly method of capturing mice in a bucket after they walk the baited plank but they keep brazenly coming back. I swear one of the little buggers, after I released it, gave me the finger and squeaked out a “Sucker!

Time to bring in the bullfrogs. Can’t think of a more Jubbling way to get rid of the mice and a couple dozen spiders. [Laughing Squid]

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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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Wee-Wee Is Partially Powering A Float At Carnival In Rio. Power To The PEE-ple!

Electric Pee float at Carnival in Rio
Power to the pee-pleThis will only take a second.

Poopcycle, you’ve got competition. During this year’s Carnival in Rio, the AfroReggae float is going to be partially powered by pee-pee / urine / wiz. From JWT Brazil:

“JWT Brazil and NGO AfroReggae teamed up this year to do something about it. The result is the ‘Electric Pee’ project — a unique urinal designed to generate electric energy from urine. Using a process similar to a hydroelectric power plant, which uses flowing water to generate energy, the energy created from each use will help generate power for AfroReggae’s float at Carnival.”

Told you it wouldn’t take long to relieve ourselves of this story. [JWT via Treehugger]

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Submerged Art Installations And Sculptures Made From Our Marine Trash.

Forlane 6 Studio - Posidonia

Posidonia

Scuba artists Mathieu Goussin and Hortense Le Calvez built underwater art sculptures out of marine trash.

Forlane 6 Studio - Martini Effect

Martini Effect

Here is a portion of their artistic statement:

“In response to our time of alarming climate change, the work presents a deliberate immersion of the objects that compose our daily surroundings. The certainty that in a near future, global issues will bring disastrous consequences on the environment creates a disturbing atmosphere. However the mass production rate of artificial material seems unstoppable. It overflows well beyond land frontiers and the seas surface, as it penetrates the depth of a distant and foreign space.”

You can read the full artistic statement on the Forlane 6 Studio website.

[Read more…]

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