Apparently we've been eating apples incorrectly.
If each of us eats an apple a day, and we are all wasting 30 percent of our apples at $1.30 per pound, that's about $42 wasted per person per year—which is $13.2 billion annually, thrown in the trash or fed to pigs.
Taking a cue from a video entitled "How to eat an apple like a Boss
", the Atlantic encourages us to be less wasteful.
How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media
in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure:
Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
The Restart Project
encourages community engagement in repairing broken electronic equipment. This one year old charity enables "restart parties
" which bring together consumers with broken electronic equipment and volunteer repairers, in an attempt to address our modern culture of "passive, flabby consumers of technology". When recycling is the second best option
Ballroom Luminoso is a series of six chandeliers made of recycled bicycle parts
, installed under a freeway overpass in Texas. The chandeliers were commissioned by Public Art San Antonio (PASA) and created by Joe O'Connell and Blessing Hancock Public Art
. When the globes are lit up at night, the results are what O'Connell describes
as a cross between a ballroom and shadow theatre.
The voyage of the MOBRO
. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes."
The world sends us garbage, and we send back music -- Favio Chavez, Orchestra Director
The modern equivalent of hammering your ploughshare into a sword.
Man sees a new AK-47 stock in a shovel handle, then decides to not stop at that.
Suppose you’ve got an old computer around, just taking up space
, and your initial attempts at finding alternate uses
for it have not been successful. But you know perfectly well that, according to this super scientific pie graph
, there must be better recycling ideas out there on the net. Let’s have a look at some of them, shall we? [more inside]
If you’re looking for a way to carry your laptop about, want to protect it from scratches, or just hope to make the fact that you’re carrying a brand-new laptop slightly less obvious to shifty-eyed individuals who seem to be overtaking you on a deserted, dark street, and you have been disheartened by the cost and ugliness of the laptop cases and sleeves on the market, take heart. You can make a laptop case or sleeve that will not only protect your computer but will proclaim your individuality and style. Like yoga? Make a case out of your yoga mat
. Love to travel? Use a vintage suitcase
. If you’re a Jim Henson fan, make a Furry Monster case (but just don’t keep your computer under your bed at night because your aging parents are already terribly tired of running down to your basement lair every time you have a nightmare)
. [more inside]
won the 1st prize in the competition “Expopack” for the design of a paper lunch box for Expo Milan 2015
, which is dedicated to food and sustainability. LunchBook is a recipe book made of paper dishes showing recipes from all over the world. The user can taste the food while walking among the Expo 2015 stands. Once a dish gets dirty, he can remove it and use the following dish. (via book patrol
) [more inside]
Biodegradation of Polyester Polyurethane by Endophytic Fungi [scientific paper]
. Pestalotiopsis microspora lives in dark, damp and anaerobic conditions in the Amazon, is a candidate for introduction to landfills, can survive on only polyurethane, and may solve the plastic 100-400 year decomposition issue [non-technical summary]
Some beautiful, some sad, 33 photos of Recycling Around the World.
How Christmas lights are recycled
in one of China's many recycling factories (with video). Reported by Adam Minter (whose blog, Shanghai Scrap, explores many aspects of the scrap and recycling industry in China
Science writer Angela Saini
on the joys of avoiding tech upgrades and being a late adopter
. Some of us haven't adopted
at all. Perhaps there are some less resistant to peer influence
? Or just more into making stuff
? Or perhaps it's anotherway
to be cool?
"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that a rubbish dump being created would, in the space of a century, become a protected area. Yet that is exactly what happened to what has come to be known as Glass Beach
, just outside Fort Bragg in California." [more inside]
Combine your passion in the bedroom with your love for the environment.
Finally there’s an environmentally friendly way to dispose of used or broken vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, and other sex toys. (NSFW)
MIT students created water bottle light bulbs
that diffract natural sunlight and provide the equivalent of a 55 watt light bulb out of an empty plastic bottle, water, and a few drops of bleach. They are being installed and used in shanty towns where no natural light gets into the makeshift tin roof homes.
is a Thai sculptor who makes incredible Transformer statues
out of recycled scrap parts. | Her Predator
creations | Alien
| Megatron Tank
| and more
. Bonus link: Transformer art in Mexico
Street interviews with Buffalo's freelance bottle collectors
– the people who wander through the city to recycle our empties. [more inside]
A Euro Scam That Unfolded at a Snail's Pace
“It wasn’t so unusual to get coins from China,” said Susanne Kreutzer, a Bundesbank
spokesman. “That is a business model for some people.”
Steampunk Insects. "Tom Hardwidge’s Arthrobots are robotic insects — steampunk creations made from upcycled gears, nuts, bolts… and bullets!"
- a photo essay by and interview with industrial art photographer Stephen Mallon on NYC subway cars repurposed into underwater reefs. (via @stevesilberman) [more inside]
Kyle Wiens of iFixit talks to ArsTechnica
about iFixit's history ("my iBook G3...It seemed crazy that I couldn't find any information online on how to get the thing back together"), his goals ("we realized that the world needed free, open source service manuals, and the manufacturers weren't stepping up"), planned obsolescence, the dirty tricks manufacturers pull to make it harder to repair your own stuff ("Torx has a patent...They're using lawyers to prevent people from making their computers last longer than 3-400 battery cycles"), who are the design kings of repair and servicing, who the villains are, and why recycling electronics isn't all you'd probably like it to be.
TV encased in Mahogany? WE WANT IT
! [more inside]
Dutch Architects envision a self sufficient floating island
in the Pacific.
would be located in the North Pacific Gyre or Garbage dump
NE of Hawaii.
Richie Sowa did this before
on a smaller scale with his first Spiral Island
. You could say that Plastic makes it possible
( Richie Sowa previously
Want a 5,000 pound roll of used denim
every week for free? No? How about 40,000 pounds of organic fruit and vegetable waste
every day? Want to get rid of a few thousand wooden cable reels
is betting that one company's waste stream is a supply stream for some lucky manufacturer out there.
makes some amazing bowls
and other artwork out of a surprising material... [more inside]
Your cafefully separated recycling heads to the dump.
Reporters in D.C. follow some of the trucks around town and watch them dump the trash and the recycling together into the same truck. (previously
The Pacific theatre of World War 2 left many traces behind. The shipwrecks
of Chuuk Lagoon
are probably the most famous, but they're hardly the primary reminders of former military action present in the day-to-day lives of many Micronesians. [more inside]
If you’re into crafting, you’ve probably stumbled upon Craftster
, a crafting community web log within which members can post pictures and documentation of their own crafts and processes, share information and tutorials, and get feedback. The crafts tend to be off-beat and original and many involve upcycling – this is not a site where one would proudly post pictures of a completed paint-by-numbers or rug hooking kit project. The Craftster esprit de corps
is nicely expressed by its slogans, which include, “No tea cosies without irony”, “Knit fast. Die Warm”, “Measure twice, cut once. Meh. Just start cutting”, and “Cheaper than therapy”. Craftster was launched in 2003, has 700,000 visitors a month, and, besides posting and discussion boards for every possible subset of crafting, its features include a calendar of forthcoming crafting events
, member-created city guides to craft resources in your area
, and staff-written articles
. But I especially wanted to draw your attention to the Craftster Craft Challenges
, the first one of which was announced on April 28, 2005. If you’re competitive and crafty, you have just enough time to whip up something for the 41st crafting challenge, which is to create an “edible craft”
(the entry posting window is August 1st to August 5th). For inspiration, check out the 40 previous Craft Challenges. [more inside]
Your household probably gets something like 800 pieces of junk mail per year. Other than sighing and tossing the junk into your recycling bin, what are your options? Of course, I’d urge you to support any one
of the numerous current anti-junk
(do be aware of any possible conflicts of interest
), but until those measures take effect, there is always crafting. [more inside]
If you’ve got extra kitchenware about is never used to cook or contains food anymore, here are some (low calorie!) ways to use it again. If you’ve kicked your caffeine habit, your metal coffeepots can become lamps
, or your teapot can morph into a camel.
Other items of kitchenware can become recycled toys
. [more inside]
For St. Patrick's Day, rather than show you how to knit your own leprechaun
or make a hat out of a ice cream container (because who the hell wants to do that)
, I'm going to help you with your after party cleanup. You'll have lots of bottle caps and wine corks lying about afterwards, so here are some ideas on what to do with them. [more inside]
If you have too much mismatched cutlery to fit in your kitchen drawers, take a stab at crafting with it! Make a wind chime
, fork key ring
, fork cup rings or coat hooks
, make cutlery clocks
, or light fixtures
such as these by designer Ali Siahvoshi. Or you can make jewelry: fork bracelets
, a fork necklace pendant
, or collaged spoon necklace pendants like those made by SpoonFedArt.
Forks and spoons make groovy rings
. Here’s how to make spoon rings
. For more inspiration, check out this cutlery chair sculpture by Osian Batyka-Williams
, this cutlery table by Toni Grilo
, some sculpture
by Matthew Bartik
, Vince Pompei’s whimsical silverware flowers
, or the items at Forkometry
. Just don’t get so carried away with your new craft that you find yourself having to eat with your fingers.
Does your linen closet runneth over? Yes, you say, you have a stack of towels you regularly use in the bathroom and for swan origami
, but you have others that are getting worn. You have tablecloths and aprons you never use, your dish towels seem to breed in their drawer, and you have pillowcases which have outlasted their matching sheets, king-sized bed sheets for the bed your ex took when you split, and your linen closet contains a selection of linens that are faded or torn or leftover from former decorating colour schemes. What are you to do with them? [more inside]
You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, and you can’t buy eggs without winding up with egg cartons. What will you do with the empty cartons? Well, you could make a string of flower lights
, or a pendant light
. If you refrained from drinking too much egg nog over the holidays, you might be lightweight enough to make use of a egg carton seat
. This company makes footstools out of egg cartons
. [more inside]
You forgot all about Valentine’s Day and now must come up with an extra special momento to pacify your beloved. Or you are sitting home alone with no way to celebrate V-day. In either case, it’s crafting time! You can recycle things you probably already have to make Valentine’s Day trinkets. You can start by making a card with scrap yarn
, or from wrapping paper
. You can make gift bows
or a heart-shaped candy basket
from recycled magazines, and a gift bag from a newspaper
. You can make a love letter box from an old box
. The kids or the artist in your life might like to get heart-shaped crayons
, made from stubby old crayons. [more inside]
What can be done with worn, outgrown or single socks? Well, if you want to wear those favourite socks awhile longer, you can darn them
. If your baby’s feet are no longer so tiny, make a baby sock purse
, baby sock reindeer
, or baby sock corsage
or bouquet decorations
for a friend’s baby shower. You can make a hat
out of your child’s outgrown socks, or your kids can make Barbie clothes
. You can use single socks to make a foot massager
, a dog rug
, a snowman
, sock puppets
or cute critters
. Or sock art installations
. See these articles for more pedestrian ways to use socks.
You’re a former diva who’s decided to eschew cosmetics and let your natural beauty speak for itself, or you just find yourself with drawers full of makeup that you’ll never use. What will you do with all these products? Well, you can consolidate your lipsticks
, check out these five ways to use or recycle old makeup
, or see the reader comments in these threads
for more tips. You could make a snake out of your old fake nails
, or take a look at this list of 20 things to do with old nail polish
. When your mascara gets too old to be safely used on your eyes, you could sketch a tree
with it, or Bette Davis
. Here are some tips on how to use makeup as an art medium
. And if you decide to paint with your old makeup, please start with the blue eyeshadow and mascara. Merci.