The original Spiral Island was the talk of the world: a man-made floating island constructed from 250,000 plastic bottles that could drift and relocate as needed until it was destroyed by disaster. Now the new Spiral Island is slated to open to the public within the next few months in Laguna Makax near Isla Mujeres. The new island has drawn in donations, volunteers and visitors from all parts of the world and walks of life – people inspired by what may be one of the most impressive do-it-yourself projects of modern times.
Imagine a boat that coasts along almost silently and works completely on free energy. OK, well, almost free: when it is cloudy out you may have to pedal a bit to get it going. Still, you get to toss out the pricey gas costs associated with most water cruisers and relax in the sun when the weather is nice and pedal your way to shore when it isn’t.
Clearly we can’t very well tear down all of the world’s old skyscrapers for not being environmentally friendly – that kind of approach would itself be (ironic and) wasteful. At the same time, many of these buildings are projected to last for decades (or centuries) more. So what is the solution for making them green now? One rather clever proposal involves adding an auxiliary environmental layer to the existing structures that could house gardening and natural wind power production spaces.
Creatively artistic recycling doesn’t have to be limited to helping the environment: it can also be a challenge and opportunity to ingenious designers who work with materials most people would consider waste to create amazing things. Some of the following designs serve multiple purposes: illustrating the material possibilities of what most would consider trash while also maximizing the aesthetic potential of what would otherwise be considered waste objects. Clothes become rugs, airline trolleys become furniture, cardboard becomes bridges and sewage turns into building blocks!
Except perhaps in the bathroom, do you really need any kind of paper? These days it seems like paper is just an intermediate step or default conclusion – a copy that will eventually be scanned in or a digitally written paper printed out at the end. Still, is paperless the solution to environmental problems or simply wasteful in another way?