In the UK we produce over 100 million tonnes of waste every year – that’s enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall in only two hours. ‘Circular economy’ is a phrase more and more popular with each passing year – a term used to describe companies such as PPS whom work with companies to eliminate waste and pollution, by design or intention as part of their reusable packaging.
And with more and more companies shining the light on recycling and re-useable energy, here’s a look at some of the most inventive and creative examples of recycling:
Bullets into Pens
Around 1964 one of the bloodiest conflicts in history began in South America, initially caused by an attack on the Marquetalia Republic by the Colombian Military. Following the attack, on July 20th 1964, the guerrillas from Marquetalia met with other communities, organised, and unified in what they called the First Guerrilla Conference, leading to a half century long fight with the Colombian Government. In 2016, after 52 years of armed conflict, the Columbian Government signed a peace treaty with the rebel group FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) to end a bloody battle that took the lives of over 250,000 people and displaced over 5 million.
The treaty was signed by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the guerrillas, Timoleón Jiménez, on Monday 26 September 201, with a pen made from a single bullet, to signify that peace is stronger than violence.
Ocean Waste into Skateboards
Started in 2012 by three friends; Ben R. Kneppers, David M. Stover and Kevin J. Ahearn. After launching a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, the team raised a sizeable $64,000 dollars to start their business. Bureo Skateboards make boards out of recycled fishing nets and actively gives back 1% of their profits to the ‘Save the Waves’ campaign. Bureo was initially formed to find solutions for the growing issue of ocean plastic pollution, inspire future generations and initiate social change. In line with this mission, Bureo founded ‘Net Positiva’, a fishnet collection and recycling program aimed at combating the harmful impact of discarded fishing nets. A serious threat to marine mammals and ecosystems, discarded fishing nets make up an estimated 10% of the ocean’s plastic pollution. Fishnets are a challenging material for fishermen to manage and properly dispose of. In response, Net Positiva supports environmentally sound disposal points, from which Bureo is able to source highly recyclable and durable raw material. The company also have an apparel line made from recycled, organic and GMO free materials. To date, the company have helped recycle 124,000 square feet of ocean net whilst that number continues to grow.
Oil Cans into Electric Guitars
Sustainable art is a cause we can all get behind. Founded by Adam & Shaun Lee from Johannesburg, South Africa, Bohemian Guitars are a unique instrument maker whose guitars are designed to stand out from the crowd whilst saving the world. The company has a line of hand built guitars called the Vintage Series, with guitars hand crafted by luthiers out of upcycled gas canisters and oil tins. All the materials used in their vintage series are recycled from other materials, and even contain wood from unused guitars to keep the production 100% sustainable. Even better, for every guitar they sell, they’ll plant 10 trees to keep their company green. The company recently started an initiative called Far Out Fridays in which, for every guitar sold on a Friday, they’ll donate another one to a partner organisation or charity.
T-Shirts into Car Parts
2015 saw Nissan release their zero emission, 100% electric Nissan Leaf. The car promises to source 25% of its build from recyclable materials such as clothes, metal and scrapped household appliances. Nissan also assure consumers that unused materials from the production process are recycled again during the process to assure the build is as green and sustainable as possible. For those worrying about quality due to the aforementioned materials, Nissan has promised buyers that its recycled materials are held to the same standard as the rest of its resources. The company also looks to increase the percentage of recycled materials used in its future models.
Big Productions into Small Productions
It is estimated that 95% of the materials used in the film industry end up in a landfill. Considering the industry is worth over $286 billion dollars, that’s a lot of wasted material. Scenery Salvage are a company based in Buckinghamshire that collect materials from big scale film sets and recycle them. If the materials aren’t recycled right away, they’re either stored to be hired out again and used for new productions, or sold onto smaller film and theatre groups. This cuts the cost for both big and small films companies, and also reduces the impact on our planet. Previous clients have included BBC, ITV, and T4.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .