Thursday, April 15, 2010

COHDA: Recycling Design Factory at Dott 07

COHDA: Recycling Design Factory at Dott 07
by Ariana Mouyiaris, 11/22/07

One of our favorite eco-design visionaries Cohda Design recently brought its amazing recycling design process to the public by staging an interactive event that showed off its recycling machines and allowed the public to participate in the process of turning plastic bottles into beautiful designer chairs.

As part of the Design Council’s Dott 07 conference in Newcastle, Cohda Design created the Recycling Factory, a live public display that “allowed visitors a front-row seat in viewing a range of recycled products being born.” Members of the audience were asked to bring along plastic waste that was then transformed by Cohda’s U.R.E. process, creating a range of functional design objects. Culminating two years of research, the aim of U.R.E. (the un-cooled recycled extrude process) is to “(A) view waste packaging as a valuable resource as opposed to an ecological difficulty, (B) utilize the embedded energy present in waste plastics, and (C) generate a new recycled design aesthetic.”

This live-show technique, pioneered by Design Miami/Basel this summer that showcased designers working in open studios throughout the exhibition space, is a new take on the design process, signaling the rise of a “design as performance” model. Over the nine-day event, running from October 20-28, the Cohda space filled what started off as bare display occupied only by a set of machines that would produce these second-life plastic designs.

Along with many individuals and enterprises hoping to spread an awareness of their work and highlight their process, an archive of time-lapse movies from the Recycling Factory can be found on the Cohda website.

+ Cohda

+ Cohda Recycled Plastic RD4 Chair

Product Overview
Clear, fast-setting, non-staining adhesive for paper products
Permanent and repositionable bonds
Convenient spray application for larger areas
All paper products
150ml can

Product Overview
Clear, fast-setting, non-staining adhesive for paper products
Permanent and repositionable bonds
Convenient spray application for larger areas
All paper products

150ml can

Thursday, April 8, 2010

making newspaper pot

How to Make Sturdy Recycled Newspaper Pots

Making pots for seedlings is a great way to recycle newspaper and save money gardening. These recycled newspaper pots are relatively easy to make and make transplanting seedling to the garden very easy. Making pots this ways removes the need for any tape, glue, string, or staples and results in a sturdy recycled newspaper pot.
Step 1
Start with a single page of newspaper folded in half on the crease.

Step 2
Fold the newspaper in half again, lining up the bottom and top edges of the newspaper.

Step 3
Cut about 3-3 1/2 inches off of the right side, through all four layers. If your newspapers are wider you may not need to cut any paper off. (The newspapers we used were approximately 11 inches wide.)

Step 4
Fold in half from the bottom up.

Step 5
Crease well.

Step 6
Fold in half from the left to the right.

Step 7
Crease well.

Step 8
Take the bottom right corner (blue flower in the photo) and opening up the flap, line the corner crease up with the crease in the middle.

Step 9
Flip the whole thing over.

Step 10
Repeat with the flap on the left. (red flower in the photos)

Step 11
Pull the left and right flap that are face up together.

Step 12
Pull the back two flaps together. You should now have a smooth looking "triangle" with no loose bits.

Step 13
Fold the top right flap in so the edge meets the middle crease. Crease firmly.

Step 14
Fold the same flap in again (kind of like a paper airplane).

Step 15
Repeat with the top left flap.

Step 16
Flip the whole thing over and fold both flaps in the same way as the previous side.

Step 17
Fold the tabs that are facing up into the pot so that the top folded edge lines up with the sides.

Step 18
Flip the pot around and fold down the other tabs.

Step 19
Fill with potting soil, dirt, or seed starter and plant your seeds or seedlings.

We normally make a bunch at once. To keep the folded in tabs from coming undone, we collapse the first pot, folding the sides in like the sides of a gift bag and place it under a book. Once another pot is complete we simply place the first pot inside of the second. The pot inside is still collapsed like a gift bag and keeps the second pot from coming undone. Four collapsed pots fit nicely into one expanded pot.

This also makes it easy to keep track of how many pots you have made since each group consists of five pots.

Step 20
Place your recycled newspaper pots on an old cookie sheet or tray that has a small side to keep pots from falling off.

Eco Gadgets: Recycled chandelier gives new look to broken glass

Eco Gadgets: Recycled chandelier gives new look to broken glass

Eco Factor: Chandelier made from broken glass bottles.

Canadian designer Eric Sauvé is giving a new look to broken glass, by converting all those sharp glass bits into a stunning chandelier to grace your indoors in a sustainable fashion. With a diameter of 80 cm, the chandelier can be coupled with any energy saving light bulb to illuminate your interiors.

sustainable material -glass

This bracelet from Betty Belts is made with sustainable recycled glass and crystal beads. Named after the newest Betty B. Team Rider Jeanette Ortiz, it comes in three great colors, black, clear and ivory. This sweet little bracelet is made with sustainable recycled glass and crystal beads (black and clear) or recycled glass beads (ivory). The jet black is strong and feminine at the same time. Wear the clear one with any color and see it pick it up through the glass. The ivory color is classic and unique at the same time.

They look great worn three or more at a time and/or combined with other bracelets they would look great paired with silver.

This item is hand made under fair trade conditions in a local and woman-owned artisan workshop on the beautiful Island of Bali. No sweatshops, all good vibes!

sustainable material - wood


Everything we do affects the environment around us. It is impossible to construct a building without having some impact on the world’s environment. Designers and builders are becoming more aware that the selection of materials, building systems and equipment can reduce the effect of construction on the world around us.

Designers and building owners in North America and elsewhere are embracing the concept of “Green Buildings” and are making choices that reduce energy use, reduce the use of non-renewable materials, and reduce the pollution caused by the manufacture of materials. In this way, they are able to minimize the impact or “environmental footprint” of a building.

As designers make conscious environmental choices, they are returning to the only building material that uses the sun’s energy to renew itself in a continuous sustainable cycle – wood. Wood is the only major building material that is renewable. Warm, natural wood uses less energy and produces less air and water pollution than the energy intensive manufacture of steel and concrete. In addition, new technology is producing engineered wood systems that maximize the use of the material to reduce resource use. In looking at the scientific evidence, wood clearly makes the grade as the green building material of choice.

There are many claims of environmental performance, making it difficult for designers to determine the right choices. In order to assist designers, builders and building owners in these choices, criteria and methods to evaluate performance are being developed by the US and Canada.

sustainable chair

sustainable material - paper

Paper accounts for over 40% of the trash we produce here in the U.S. That is a crazy amount of waste! Rather than tossing junk mail, newspaper, or any other paper scraps into the trash or recycle bin, you might consider giving those materials a brand new life with one of these fun tutorials:

Sustainable knitting

Knit 2 Your Heart's Content
EcoMetro Guide East Bay Tuesday, November 10, 2009 01:06 PM

-Elliott Mamauag, EcoMetro Guide East Bay Market Director

Every knitter's heart does a little purl every time they see a sheep. Not simply because of the inherent cuteness contained therein, but because they are imagining the lifetime of warm and cozies that can come from the irrepressible growth of wool.

Knitting has always been the ultimate sustainable craft; the purest, most organic materials used in the craft grow from an animal's back. Sheep, llama, rabbit and even cat and dog fur can be used to make yarn. However, knitting has recently undergone an even greener revolution. With advances in turning plant fibers into yarn, you can now enjoy a hat made from hemp, socks of soy or a belt of bamboo. Stocks of organic cotton yarns are also making their way to store shelves.

With winter approaching it is a perfect time to pick up or rejuvenate your knitting skills. Not only are knit items always appreciated as gifts, but they can be donated to those in need (please go here for a comprehensive list of charities). Our partners at Article Pract in Oakland, K2TOG in Albany or Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley will be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have or materials you may need; don't forget your EcoMetro Guide when you go !