Sunday, 18 July 2010

Beer can sculptures

We've published quite a few pieces on art from recycled materials - but it's been a while! so I thought I'd remedy that today. One of our earliest blog pieces features the Buddhist monks who built a whole temple out of beer bottles - see here

Today's recycled art has another beery theme but this time it's cans rather than bottles and we're amazed at the ingenuity of some of the creators. From this giant peacocks to full-sized cars and more, the sculptures make great use of old cans.

But it's not just sculpture. We like these bags that Sarah Roemer makes and sells on Etsy. (Sorry purses for our American friends). You can buy Sarah's beery creations here

Whilst always ready to make sacrifices in the cause of fashion I think I might draw the line at these wonderful creations from Nikos Floros, a Greek scupltor who made a series of beer can based opera costumes for an exhibition. I find pointy toe stilettos a trial when they're made of soft leather, I think wearing these canned shoes would be like having root canal work.

Have a look at our other posts on recycled art
New life for dead shopping trolleys
Art from the floors of China's factories
Art from toilet rolls

Recycling small electricals

At Make it and mend it we've long been advocates of recycling rather than just taking stuff to the tip, but broken electrical goods present a difficult problem. If you're not an electrician or an expert you can't fix them. Charity shops won't take electrical goods and it doesn't feel right consigning them to landfill.

I was therefore pleased to discover that my own local council, Hounslow, now offers kerbside recycling for small electrical goods. Items, including hairdryers, kettles, toasters and irons, small enough to fit into a supermarket carrier bag can now be placed, in the bag, alongside your other recycling boxes for collection each week (but no more than one carrier bag per week).

A list of the types of electrical equipment that will be accepted is available on Hounslow's website. If residents have an item that isn’t on this list, they can contact the council's environment team which will be able to let them know if it is suitable for collection.

How good is your own local authority at collecting materials for recycling?

For more information on recycling electrical goods (including big ones) see our website post on this  How to recycle electrical goods

Friday, 9 July 2010

A Yen for cutting emissions!

I loved this little snippet that I caught on the news the other day – a real Make it and Mend it approach to cutting carbon emissions. In their vast wisdom, the Japanese have come up with a way of cutting carbon emissions without spending a Yen. 

Apparently the Japanese government is telling the people to go to bed an hour earlier and get up and hour earlier, and this will dramatically reduce their emissions. This claim is based on the fact that a staggering 20% of their energy output is consumed in the final hour before they go to bed when people potter around making their last cup of tea, brushing their teeth and catching that final TV programme.

This sounds like a brilliantly simple solution, however surely there is a basic flaw in this thinking? Surely somebody must have thought about the possibility that by moving your bedtime forward will just bring that 20% surge forward by an hour – people are still going to be making cups of tea, and still brushing their teeth etc.

Unless they have an extra hour asleep, this just isn’t going to work…or am I missing something here?