Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Washing machine furniture - better than recycling!

It is not a revelation that environmental crisis is rooted in consumerism. While green consumerism is often proposed as a solution to the problem, switching from consuming conventional to green products will not, by itself, result into abating the environmental degradation. The size of our consumption matters. Therefore the key is to trim it.

Our society is about constant production of short term products that are dumped far too soon creating masses of waste and pollution. In the better case, a small percentage of post consumer waste gets recycled through downcycling - breaking products into smaller parts that serve as a material for new products, mostly of a lesser value. Unlike recycling (with its downcycling process), upcycling doesn't require substantial amount of energy to melt waste parts into new material before converting it into new products. I guess, in upcycling most energy is used in the thinking process and manual application. Upcycling is where old products are given more not less value.

Almost anything can be repurposed into new useful and trendy items. It depends on your imagination. I created a taburete from an old washing machine drum as a present. All items used, with exception of three wheels, were destined to be thrown away. Here is what resulted from an idea and several hours work. It was fun!

100% upcycled taburete from an old washing machine drum

By removing the pillow, the same taburete can 

be converted into a small table. Inside space is 

used for newspapers and magazines

The washing machine upcycling didn't end there. From another drum, we created an outdoor grill. However, others made washing machine drum into a lamp or a flower pot.

Other parts of washing machine can be repurposed too. I use the glass door that comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes as a bowl for fruit or as a plate under my plants.  I like the funky look of this irregular one.

Washing machine glass door used as a fruit bowl

RELATED: Rethink waste, wake up your arty soul
                    Forget bricks, plastic bottles are in!

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