Taiwan is now home to the world’s first building made from plastic bottles – 1.5 million of them to be precise.
The EcoArk is an exhibiton hall and aims to draw attention to the poor amount of recycling in the country, New Tang Dynasty Television has more below:
Completely the wrong time of year to post a story about this but who cares, it’s a neat idea.
Oak Hall has introduced a line of eco-friendly caps and gowns made from 100%, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Named “GreenWeaver” is made of fabric spun from molten plastic pellets. The result is a fabric so comfortably soft you have to feel it to believe it! It takes an average of 23 bottles to make each gown.
After first experimenting with a mix of bamboo and polyester, Oak Hall eventually turned to recycled plastic bottles – already used to make sweatshirts and other clothing – to change the way academic regalia are made and worn.
You can find out more here.
Apparently Italian scientists are developing DustCart, an on-demand robot trash collector. DustCart is part of a project called “DustBot,” a $3.9 million research program that started in 2006 to implement robotics in society in useful ways, such as cleaning the streets. As well as collecting trash “on-demand” the robot is able to gather real time data on the surrounding environment. Equipped with special sensors it monitors air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, ozone, benzene, CO, CO2 and air temperature.
Part of me thinks it’s a great idea, another part thinks it’s not really a solution – we already have people who earn their living cleaning the streets, it’s very expensive and it doesn’t look entirely practical. Mind you, he looks happy in his work.
Read more about DustBot here.
We get lots of emails at Life Goggles and one the other week turned out to be a two in one deal. Not only did it link to a digital editions of magazines via a website called Cloverleaf, but the article it pointed to for a free preview was about how plastic is recycled into fabric.
The article is from ReadyMade magazine and you can read it here. A little more info and picture of the digital edition are below.
The article follows the process it takes to turn a bottle into fabric, from the chipped plastic bits that resemble snow cone filling to the fiber filaments that “feel eerily like human hair gone unwashed for so long that it’s soft with grease.” There’s also some great photos, and surprising facts like it takes just 10 plastic bottles to make a pound of fiber.
Finding alternative green materials to the most commonly used synthetic materials out there is often a challenge. I was delighted to be sent a Act2 GreenSmart horizontal messenger bag. The bad also comes in a vertical version and in Storm Blue.
I’ve put together a quick video of the bag so you can see all it’s features. If you can’t see the video please click here.
It features front and back zipped pockets, magnetic snaps on the front, three smaller inside pockets, two large inside pockets, with the second one divided into two and padded for your laptop. Using 30 16 ounce PET (plastic) drink bottles as the material, this is the easiest plastic to recycle (symbol 1).
The bag is great, certainly large enough to contain everything, er, a messenger bag should contain. It’s stylish (my wife loved the colour!), strong in my tests, and it certainly looks like it’s durable and tough enough for day to day use.
My only slight concern is the price. At around $70 – $75 it’s not the cheapest bag out there, but looking at ones of similar style, build and quality (as far as I could tell) it is only about $10 more than comparable “non-green” laptop messenger bags that I could find. Of course you can get bags for $30, as you can for $300, so although it may seem expensive it’s a matter of getting what you pay for, and in this case I think that’s a lot.
Made by Act2 GreenSmart they are available from a few places including agreenplace4u for about $74.99. The vertical version is $69.99.
Apparently some people have been talking about a patch of rubbish/garbage the size of the US state of Texas floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, ingeniously dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Basically, the theory is any rubbish/trash that gets dumped in the water rides the currents to this one spot and joins an ever-increasing flotilla. However, no one seemed to have a picture of the buildup, so Thomas Morton went out to sea to investigate. Below is part one of the 12 short part series, if you can’t see it you can click here.
We Want Tap is a nice new idea. Essentially it’s just a DIY labeling kit for your water bottle.
Whilst we encourage the use of reusable bottles – plastic, steel or aluminum – there are times when they’re not practical due to size, or if you’ve forgotten to take one with with you. So when you’ve got a plastic bottle, We Want Tap packs each contain five large and five small labels to stick over the current label on the bottle. On the label is their patented Drink-O-Meter, you can keep track of your re-fills. Mark off each time you fill up and when you reach ten, recycle the bottle. The pack also contains 20 bonus fun size stickers, and is only £6 in the UK.
They will soon also sell reusable plastic bottles, including a nice small one, but no news on what type of plastic they’re made of. Take a look at We Want Tap, or our Eco Product Reviews of other reusable water bottles.