Posts tagged "cans"

Interesting reducing, reusing and recycling links

(Photo by CraftyNest)

Recycling into art: the scale of the problem

Cans Seurat by Chris JordanLast week’s post on HA Schult’s Trash People reminded me of something I saw on Alice in Blogland‘s blog a few months ago (Alice is a regular commenter on this site and was the one that suggest we should make the reverse Recycle This idea a regular thing – hi Alice! :) )

Anyway, she linked to the awesomely amazing work by photographer Chris Jordan, which really illustrates the scale of the problem we face when it comes to trash.

His “Running the Numbers” exhibition combines awesome visuals with statistics about usage/wastage in contemporary America – for example, his ‘Cans Seurat’ picture “Depicts 106,000 aluminium cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds”. (It covers other social issues too – for example, gun-related deaths per year and the amount of children in the US without health care.)

Speaking about his previous exhibition ‘Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption’, Chris said:

“The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.”

How can I make a sturdy bookcase recycling or reusing stuff?

booksWe’ve had an email from Alice who wants to turn this whole crazy thing on its head:

Instead of an item that I want to recycle, I’m actually working backwards here – does anyone know what kind of waste could be used to build a sturdy bookcase?

A few ideas spring to mind from previous posts – namely snowboards (and I guess skateboards would be similar), hollowcore doors – and old hollowed out televisions. There is also a suggestion on making shelves out of old books but I suspect that’s more decorative than sturdy.

If you’re interested in an industrial look, you could use stacked metal food cans (or decorated old paint can) between the shelves – and depending how you do it, they could be used for secret storage too – or skip-diving might turn up some breeze blocks or the like (it might get heavy quickly but red house bricks would look cool).

Any other suggestions?

(Photo by GiniMiniGi)

How can I reuse or recycle … plastic can holder things?

Plastic can holderWe went for a walk in a local wood the other weekend and while we were walking around, I saw one of those plastic things that holds together four packs of (usually drink) cans.

It was still intact so I picked it up to tear it apart (none of the non-existent deers that are supposed to live in that wood would be choke on it on my watch) but as I did so, it made me wonder whether those seagulls-killers have any possible reuses.

Any suggestions?

(Photo by celiece)

How can I reuse or recycle drinks cans?

An empty crushed beer canAside from glass bottles then newspapers, one of the first things to hit my recycling radar was learning to tell the difference between steel and aluminium cans for recycling purposes. I think there was a Blue Peter Christmas appeal to collect aluminium cans or something, so for a good few months I watched with glee as magnets slid off the side of cans. In the name of children’s television related charity, I perfected the art of crushing cans or at least getting them wedged onto my shoes so I could pretend I was a tap dancer. Ah, happy recycling days…

Reusing them though, that’s a bit more tricky. I wonder if recycling of them is so commonplace that people don’t think to reuse them – or if they’re only recycled because there aren’t many reuses for them… Any suggestions?
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