Waste is a huge problem in modern societies. Not only are landfills an environmental hazard – they use of vast tracts of land, emit greenhouse gas emissions, and leach toxic fluids into groundwater and soil – they’re expensive to maintain (i.e. require more of your tax dollars). Viewed another way, much of the trash that’s sent to landfills could be recycled into new products, if only enough creative reuse ideas were found. Here’s a collection of interesting and diverse ideas other green entrepreneurs have developed for recycling waste into new and useful products.
ReMakes – Reusing Billboards for Designer Placemats
Movie posters and billboards are usually constructed of plastic material that is replaced as often as once every month, and most go straight to the landfill. ReMakes is a company that’s found a way to transform old billboards into stylish placemats. Packaged in sets of four, each ReMakes group is made from the same billboard of movie poster to provide a cohesive color scheme and design, though no two placemats will ever be the same. They’re a funky, unique way to dress up your table while helping the environment. Right now, these placemats are available locally in two stores (one in the US and one in Canada), but perhaps your city needs a similar program for recycling billboards and posters?
Gardening at home is a great way to grow your own food and herbs, cheer up your indoor spaces, absorb carbon dioxide, and engage your creative brain in natural endeavors. Now you can do so more easily using Merry Project’s recycled bottle cap planters. Bottle caps are often unrecyclable, even if the bottle is recyclable, so finding a creative reuse for these caps is a great idea. The Merry Farming Kits come with a disk of soil that fits into a bottle cap along with seeds for planting. All you need to do is install the soil and seeds, add water, and get growing.
You may not realize it, but your beer habit likely contributes to a big bio-waste problem. Breweries produce a substantial amount of organic byproduct that is usually hauled away to the landfill. But PurposeEnergy has developed a proprietary technology – Biphase Orbicular Biodigesters – to turn this byproduct into a natural gas energy alternative. This helps local breweries reduce their waste, minimizes the greenhouse gas emissions associated with beer making (methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that’s emitted as organic matter decomposes), and generates a completely renewable fuel that’s relatively clean-burning.
The perfect green business idea for coffee lovers, Espressogrow is a new company that’s developed a method for turning coffee grounds into a natural fertilizer. Based in Australia, this company uses 100% recycled coffee grounds mixed with other organic nutrients to create a great nitrogen boost for your garden that will also help to control pests. Not only is this a great way to recycle organic matter that would otherwise end up decomposing in the landfull, it’s an excellent organic method for fertilizing your garden.
Coffee image Via Flickr: avlxyz