Dialysis Bag Wallets

January 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Clutch bags made out of coffee foil packaging; marble-like tabletops made of button scraps; and furniture made from pressed thermal pressed cartons; not to mention wallets made from hospital dialysis bags.

Contemporary design inspired by environmental issues defines modern green companies such as Osisu, in Thailand, where the emphasis is on fashion, function and feeling as if you are doing your bit for the planet in style.

Waste from construction sites and manufacturing is transformed into trendy furniture, home décor products and accessories through the work of architect Dr Singh Intrachooto. His company offers advice and ideas on what factories, and other companies wanting to use their waste in a productive and profitable way, can do.

By not manufacturing the products, which are made by the companies producing the waste, there is no need for this eco-design company to have huge premises and get involved in the nitty-gritty of the production line. The products are given the stamp of approval by Osisu before being sold in eco-shops and high-end designer style home furnishing outlets in Bangkok.

Being green in Asia is about being hip, rather than hippy. Without the cultural history of green-awareness, there are no negative connotations or stereotypes associated with recycling and caring about the environment, which has sometimes been attributed to this cause in the West.

In many ways this gives companies like Osisu scope to market recycling and other green issues in a modern style that defines ecological ideas in a way that is less about feeling bad about the destruction of the planet and wastefulness of resources, and more about clever use of natural products in design.

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Beach Garbage Hotel

January 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm

How do you make a statement on the state of the world’s oceans? Make a hotel out of rubbish of course. Made from 12 tonnes of beach debris, in the centre of Madrid, the Garbage Beach Hotel, was temporarily opened in January 2011. The aim was to send a message to the tourism industry about the future of holiday hot-spots, not just in Spain, but in the rest of Europe too, if the waters and coastlines were not cleaned up soon.

The five bedroom hotel was littered with decoration ranging from toys, to plastic drums and tyres, and all the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the polluted shores of many of Europe’s beaches.

This is not the first eco-hotel either. Sweden’s renowned Ice Hotel has to be the ultimate recycling project. Rebuilt every year, the ice and snow melts back into the river. Of course there is an environmental impact of building and running the hotel, so efforts to produce more renewable energy than is consumed are being made. The architects of the Ice Hotel have made a pledge to be CO2 negative by 2015.

In the UK, even hotel chain Premier Inn has opened its first eco-lodge, in January 2012, designed to use less energy. Features at the 65 bedroom Cornish hotel include ground source heat pumps for adjusting room temperature and water temperature.

Sustainably-sourced timber, LED lighting and key cards which ensure energy is not used up in unoccupied rooms, add to the green-consciousness of this business, with plans to incorporate many of these energy-saving architectural and design features in future builds.

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