Feed Me Your PETs

Here’s a refuse container that’s happy to assist you with recycling your refuse, doing it’s dirty job with a determined smile. Made me smile, too.

(Spotted and photographed by Virginia Leonard, Thirsty in Suburbia intern, while visiting the St. Louis Botanical Gardents in Missouri.)

Beware the Ecological Inspector

Please recycle your recyclables in the recycled container? All these -cycles are leaving me tongue-tied! Nice shot from laraine on Flickr, who snapped this photo in a large park in Mexico City. Even better, she provides a translation for the delightful signage:

Conserve a healthy environment for
the future of your children.
Flatten and deposit plastic bottles,
soda bottles,
water bottles
energy drinks.
Separate orgainc and inorganic (this is a new law in the city)
be careful about the ecological inspector.
Super Recycler

How about Sewranee Springs? Effluessence?

Yea, marketing! With a strategic sleight of hand, we can plaster a new name over something less pleasant and magically change everyones’ perceptions! Los Angeles is on to this trick, as noted in this story from Reuters on how the water crisis is forcing the issue of reuse in Los Angeles as the situation intensifies. The article notes,

Just don’t call it “toilet-to-tap.”

County officials prefer the term “Groundwater Replenishment System,” a name chosen after similar projects in Los Angeles and San Diego fell prey to public misconceptions, also known as the “yuck” factor,” and local election-year politics.

Their experience underscores one of the great lessons facing municipal officials across the U.S. West as they seek to bring purification and recycling technologies to bear against drought cycles expected to worsen with climate change.

The ideas are flowing! SiouxArTesian? Trader Joes, here we come! ReAgua? Let’s all join in the fun! You, too, can create your own re-branded, re-positioned “groundwater replenishment” product. Just go to The Soft Drink Generator, an interactive distraction where you can build your very own bottle from the groundwater up.

Post-Festival Fate of the Metheun Tree

Sometimes I’d just stare and think…I wonder what’s become of her? Just a couple months ago we wrote about plastic bottle holiday trees, including this recyclarific example from the 2008 Methuen (Massachussetts) annual Festival of Trees. And now that the holidays are over, we sadly assumed she had been shredded to bits and cruelly bundled in a recycling center or worse, buried alive in a dank, smelly landfill.

So imagine my excitement to see her again while browsing Flickr, under the heading I WON THIS AT THE METHUEN FESTIVAL OF TREES.

This must be this the same tree, I think, but she sure looks different in the morning without her lights! So I send a message to the owner to inquire about her fate… “I’m curious… what happens to it now?”

The happy response: “We have decided to move it to our pool area and keep it as a conversation piece.”  She always loved being by the water, and now she’s a bathing beauty. And possibly headed for another adventure as a emergency rescue flotation device. Ah, life’s funny.

Creative Thinkers Hit the Bottle

www.instructables.com, in partnershp with Tap’dNY, is running a “Keep the Bottle” Contest calling for great ideas to recycle and reuse plastic bottles. Tap’d is an organization that has been very active in promoting tap water as the preferred, smart choice as well as aggressive recycling of bottled water empties. Have a look at the entries, some are practical, some are crazy, but nearly all are pretty inventive.

At 26,000+, the “Most Viewed” entry right now is a Water Bottle Bazooka … quite impressive and as Mom would say, destined to cause someone to “put their eye out.”

Now of course, I couldn’t resist this. Although I’ve been a reader of Instructables for 5 years, I’ve never posted one of my own until now. And here it is, the “Plastic Bottle Self Extinguishing Ashtray!”

Plastic Bottle Self Extinguishing AshtrayMore DIY How To Projects

Naturally I have zero chance at a prize, given the simple concept and the political and social incorrectness of smoking. Still, I was fun to do! (Go ahead and vote for me anyway, OK?)

Trendy Store, Trashy Decor

It’s one thing to claim “trash to treasure” but it’s another to greet your customers with it and hang it from your ceiling. And have all be in awe of your cleverness.

In Montevideo, Uruguay is a high end shopping destination, the Punta Carretas Shopping Center, which is housed in a striking building that was formerly a prison. The Magma boutique at Punta Carretas ups the ante on the recycling theme with their designers-gone-wild take on architrash chic.

The store’s outer walls are a light-filtered “sandwich” of empty water bottles.

Inside, this ethereal curtain of plastic discy-things looks somehow familiar.

Yes, I do know you! You are Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, RC, and all our other formerly 2-liter friends.

Since I’m unlikely to ever get to Uruguay, thanks, well-traveled Flickr user london2434, for these almost-like-being-there photos.

Water Bottle Christmas Trees

Seen In Bangkok, Thailand in 2007, photograph from Flickr by Rob in London.

2007 in Malta, a tree constructed with 4100 bottles by the students of San Swann primary school Santa Bernadette, guided by teachers and artist Joe Barbara.  Photo from gozonews.com.

An unusual display at the 2008 Methuen (Massachussetts) annual Festival of Trees. Photo by 2blueyeboyz on Flickr.

Seen in 2006, Taipei Taiwan Hualien – Taroko Gorge, and photographed by Flickr-er quicklymilktea.

A 2008 brand-tastic tree constructed of full water bottles in Shenzhen’s Hua Qiang Be, a display called “perverse” by Flickr photographer Rock the Bike.