The key to sustainability

M.A.D. Gallery, the art and design-based brainchild of Reverse Garbage, who focuses on utilizing materials already in existence, rather than buying and creating with new products. That is exactly our way of thinking!

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Stake your reclaim!

Aaron Moran’s geometric sculptures from reclaimed wood have a graphic patchwork feel about them. The Canadian artist’s works are full of patterns and colors where the found wood’s grain and texture often show through giving each piece character.Featured image

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It would seem that you are able to made useful items out of virtually any material, and in the case of these tables it is clear that it is true. These tables have been designed by Artists For Humanity to use reclaimed materials and present them in a way that looks really cool. The main material is magazines and other materials that have been found suitable; they are then covered in an eco friendly resin which helps to keep the water out.

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The right chemistry.

Talk about multi-usage: this delightful chandelier can be filled with whatever you fancy. Created by a Polish designer, Pani Jurek, it’s a one or two-tiered row of test tubes and what you do with it is up to your imagination. Our team of scientists really like this.

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Street signs

Bally’s work transforms recycled street signs, weapon parts, and a wide variety of found materials into objects for reflection. These pieces celebrate raw American street-aesthetic in the form of objects, often useful, for the home and the body. Surprisingly comfortable, durable aluminum seating.  Reflective and bold. Patented design.

  • Urban Furniture Design Recycled Road Signs Boris Bally Transit Chairs
    Urban Furniture Design Recycled Road Signs Boris Bally Square Tables
    Urban Furniture Design Recycled Road Signs Boris Bally Pop Kids Chairs
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A better method

Methods’ new range of bottles are made with a blend of recovered ocean plastic and post consumer recycled plastic (a world first according).  The ocean plastic used to make the bottles was collected by Method employees, wow. And the ‘Sea Minerals’ soap sounds pretty appealing to us too. We think the combination of packaging for bottle and soap is thought provoking and generally outstanding. Do you?

Ever wonder what happens to unsightly ocean plastic?

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Eco dryer

We can’t wait for this…

eco dryer

eco dryer

eco dryer

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Off the grid

Deb McKinnon and Tom Ordway built a straw bale home off the grid near Princeton, Idaho in the 1990s. Learn how they constructed their home and chose their power sources. Content includes lots of construction shots and finished interior photos. Learn what they learned and how they’d do things differently next time. Video>


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A hard working billboard

In Peru, it hardly ever rains and most water sources are polluted, but the humid air is full of water vapor. So the University of Engineering and Technology has rigged up a billboard to suck drinking water out of thin air. Taking advantage of capital city Lima’s high humidity levels, engineers have created a system to gather the water through reverse osmosis, purify it, and send it down, clean, to families below. It’s already produced almost 2,500 gallons of water and is the only billboard we’ve ever seen that actually can justify its existence! Video>

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Mesila Studio

Founded in 2008 by Shlomit Levy, Avital Levy and Ifat Zvirin, Mesila Studio specializes in sustainable design and creates one-of-a-kind home products that all contain between 30%-100% recycled content. We love the clothespin lamp.

Mesila in home furnishings  CategoryMesila in home furnishings  Category

Mesila in home furnishings  Category

Mesila in home furnishings  CategoryMesila in home furnishings  Category

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Green tub

A flexible, foldable bathtub for kids. Flexi Bath is the same size of an average baby/children’s bathtubs and does not contain any harmful materials. Even the packaging is made from recycled paper.

Flexi Bath in home furnishings  Category

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Demolition area furniture

Brazilian design house Oficinaethos primarily use certificated woods, and also woods found in demolition areas for their beautiful furniture and artwork.

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Green Moms…

This green alternative for lunch packaging from 3greenmoms is sure to make the standard plastic sandwich bag green with envy. The skins are designed to be durable, reusable, and dishwasher-safe homes for your favorite sack lunch items. They are made from a German fabric that has been certified food-safe and come in different patterns in a variety of colors to match every personality (of any child or adult). So far, the skins have saved an estimated 1.2 million plastic bags from landfills!

Lunch Skins by 3greenmoms in home furnishings  CategoryLunch Skins by 3greenmoms in home furnishings  Category

Lunch Skins by 3greenmoms in home furnishings  Category

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Dumpster diving…

Whether it’s for wasted (but still edible!) food or recreation, dumpsters and diving seem to go quite well together. New Orleans-based production designer and architect Stefan Beese has transformed an old dumpster into an upscale-looking private pool in his backyard.  42-year-old Beese is no stranger to reusing old metal containers; for the city’s annual Voodoo Music Experience, he adapted shipping containers into the event’s stage design. All in all, Beese’s dumpster pool cost him somewhere between $5,000 to $7,000, though he admits it would have been cheaper if he did more of the labour himself. The narrow pool fits right in with the elongated footprints of New Orlean’s famous shotgun houses, but is designed to be easily dismantled and drained for transport. Check out more images over at The Times-Picayune.

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COTE Top 10 Green Projects

The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE) has announced its Top 10 Green Projects for 2012, and exemplifies the top works in sustainable architecture and design solutions. The COTE Top 10 Green Projects for 2012 are:

Courtesy of contract design.


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Reverse garbage

Check out this organization after our own heart>

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Outsmarting waste…

TerraCycle’s purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. They do this by creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste. Anyone can sign up for these programs, called the Brigades, and start sending them waste.

TerraCycle then converts the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. With more than 20 million people collecting waste in over 20 countries TerraCycle has diverted billions of units of waste and used them to create over 1,500 different products available at major retailers ranging from Walmart to Whole Foods Market.

Their goal is to eliminate the idea of waste by creating collection and solution systems for anything that today must be sent to a landfill.

Founded in 2001 by Tom Szaky, then a 20-year-old Princeton University freshman, TerraCycle began by producing organic fertilizer, packaging liquid worm poop in used soda bottles. Since then TerraCycle has grown into one of the fastest-growing green companies in the world.

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Classic Book Club


The wild minds at Twelve South have designed a novel way to offer your MacBook Pro the kind of unique protection it deserves. The BookBook is a totally original way to disguise your MacBook to look like it’s 1925.

Once you slip your Mac inside BookBook’s velvety soft, padded interior, you can trust that rigid leather hardback cover to deliver a solid level of impact absorbing protection. Then just zip it closed and put it up on the shelf.

Each book is distressed by hand to ensure no two books are exactly alike. Vintage protection for your Mac has never looked quite as good as this.


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Shipwreck recycled

South African designer Nic Kruger is turning flotsam and jetsam into tables and chairs. Years ago, he stumbled upon a wrecked boat, named the Kunene, and fell in love with the patinas of her siding. The moment provided the inspiration for his company, Shipwreck Furniture, which now produces one-of-a-kind furniture pieces out of wood scavenged from old boats. Whether a bench or a table or chair, each piece tells a story about an adventure at sea, and is truly recycled. See the full portfolio of work here.

shipwreck table

shipwreck furniture

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A Consumption Manifesto: The Top Ten Principles of Good Consumption

Consumption is one of life’s great pleasures. Buying things we crave, traveling to beautiful places, eating delectable food: icing on the cake of life. But too often the effects of our blissful consumption make for a sad story. Giant cars exhaling dangerous exhaust, hogfarms pumping out noxious pollutants, toxic trash heaps nudging into poor OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAneighborhoods—none of this if there weren’t something to sell.

But there’s no need to swap pleasure for guilt. With thoughtfulness and commitment, consumption can be a force for good. Too long have we consumers been a blushing bride overwhelmed by business suitors. It’s time for the bride to assert herself. We’ve got the dowry; we have the purchasing power. We can require our suitors to comply with our vision of environmental stewardship—or we can close the door behind them on their way out. Through buying what we need, produced the way we want, we can create the world we’d like to live in.

To that end and for the future, a Consumption Manifesto:

Principle One. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This brilliant triad says it all. Reduce: Avoid buying what you don’t need—and when you do get that dishwasher/lawnmower/toilet, spend the money up front for an efficient model. Re-use: Buy used stuff, and wring the last drop of usefulness out of most everything you own. Recycle: Do it, but know that it’s the last and least effective leg of the triad. (Ultimately, recycling simply results in the manufacture of more things.)

Principle Two. Stay close to home. Work close to home to shorten your commute; eat food grown nearby; patronize local businesses; join local organizations. All of these will improve the look, shape, smell, and feel of your community.

Principle Three. Internal combustion engines are polluting, and their use should be minimized. Period.

Principle Four. Watch what you eat. Whenever possible, avoid food grown with pesticides, in feedlots, or by agribusiness. It’s an easy way to use your dollars to vote against the spread of toxins in our bodies, land, and water.

Principle Five. Private industries have very little incentive to improve their environmental practices. Our consumption choices must encourage and support good behavior; our political choices must support government regulation.

Principle Six. Support thoughtful innovations in manufacturing and production. Hint: Drilling for oil is no longer an innovation.

Principle Seven. Prioritize. Think hardest when buying large objects; don’t drive yourself mad fretting over the small ones. It’s easy to be distracted by the paper bag puzzle, but an energy-sucking refrigerator is much more worthy of your attention. (Small electronics are an exception.)

Principle Eight. Vote. Political engagement enables the spread of environmentally conscious policies. Without public action, thoughtful individuals are swimming upstream.

Principle Nine. Don’t feel guilty. It only makes you sad.

Principle Ten. Enjoy what you have—the things that are yours alone, and the things that belong to none of us. Both are nice, but the latter are precious. Those things that we cannot manufacture and should never own—water, air, birds, trees—are the foundation of life’s pleasures. Without them, we’re nothing. With us, there may be nothing left. It’s our choice.

Thank You Umbra Fisk, Grist Magazine!

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