Recycling is often such a boring and easy task that it’s hard to get people to change their ways, in order to make them do it. If the blue or green trash bin is just like the black one, only I can’t put everything I want in it, it’s easier to use the black one, right? Well, what if you make recycling fun? I know, it sounds like a pitch you’d make to a grade-schooler. But here are seven ways to make recycling a visible impact instead of an additional hassle when you’re going to the trash bin.
7. The Walking Bike
This invention from Max Knight is a creative way to use old shoes. You’ll note he’s got new ones on the display model here, but you get the point– just a few modifications to the forks and you get this bad boy. Of course, you have to be willing to give up your hand brakes, but it’s a small price to pay to ride in such amazing style. The bike even has socks!
6. Pop Art Duck
This might be the best use of old tires that I’ve ever seen and we don’t know the first thing about its location, origin, or what, exactly, the author was trying to say by creating a giant rubber duck. I do know that judging by the size of the tires on our would-be feathered friend, he’s got to be 7-8 feet tall, at least. Anybody with any information on the tire duck…get in contact with us. We’d love to do an interview or a follow-up.
5. The Washing Machine Spaceship
This alien-looking craft is, believe it or not, made entirely out of refrigerators and washing machines, dishwashers and garbage compactors. It’s an office designed to be structurally composed entirely of things that would otherwise be taking up space in junkyards, and can be found in Rotterdam, when it’s not blasting off to another planet or hosting alien lunch meetings.
4. A 2-liter Paradise: Build Your Own Island
That looks like a fairly normal island, doesn’t it? Why, you’d never suspect that it’s covering a floating heap of trash, thousands of plastic bottles in bags, held together with a bamboo frame, the island is 66 by 54 feet and can support a two-story house! This original, built in 1998, was destroyed by a hurricane, but a successor is under construction currently, and features low-impact options such as a self-composting toilet and a solar oven. Nice. Now where did I put last night’s recycled pizza?
3. The Beer Bottle Buildings
Making walls out of bottles isn’t just a way to recycle: it’s creative; a way to create odd works of pop art while building a brutally tough structure. We’re all familiar with the effect that glass bricks can create, and how expensive they are–imagine that, only without the expense, and in a form that’s so well-constructed that there is a 100-year old bottle house in Nevada.
2. Garbage Architecture
I’m sure you’ve all heard of Michael Reynolds and his earthships at some point: he builds entire houses out of earth and trash, forming amazing works of art that dot the American Southwest. I bet that you didn’t know he’s been doing it for 37 years now; he’s an early environmental warrior, and a consistent advocate of a sustainable lifestyle. Reynolds has written six books, and is starring in a documentary on his activities, all because he’s had the vision to use tires as walls and design a sustainable home.
1. The Trashosaurus
Stamford, Connecticut is the proud home of the Children’s Garbage Museum. The front of the Children’s Garbage Museum is graced by one of the most impressive creations known to man: the Trashosaurus. As you might have guessed, this is a dinosaur made entirely out of garbage. It also weighs one ton, an appropriate marker for the entry to a museum where you can witness the journey of trash from the moment it leaves your hands until it lands in the landfill, incinerator, or trash barge to the ocean.
If you’ve got any other examples of cool recycling, let us know in the comments and we’ll follow it up!
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