From Dean Dowd on August 18, 2009 in Green Remodeling
What would you say if I told you you could take recycling to the next level? That you could eat off of recycled garbage? Well, you can, literally. Kitchenware made out of recycled refuse is making a big stink in the green industry. Luckily, the recycled items are of the trash-to-treasure sort and not the moldy bread and old coffee grounds ilk (because, naturally, youre throwing that stuff in your compost heap). Paris-based artist Gilles Eichenbaum, whose nickname is Garbage - and I can only hope he got this name by dumpster diving for great finds and inspiration, and not because he looks or smells badly - makes unique and creative kitchen lighting fixtures out of disposed-of kitchen items. His pieces are very distinct and gorgeous. They exude creativity, and despite the fact that hes making these fixtures today, they have a very retro-chic feel. His motto is Your dustbins have talent and hes proving it by using discarded items like coffee pots, colanders, silverware and frying pans and fashioning them into the coolest lighting fixtures Ive ever seen. Companies are beginning to shed some light on other recycled products for the kitchen as well. One such company, Recycled Glassworks of San Francisco, is using discarded plate glass windows, sliding glass doors and traffic lights to make dinnerware. The old glass from the windows, doors and lights are kiln-fired over various molds to give the pieces new shapes and beautiful patterns. The result is absolutely spectacular and definitely eco-friendly. The company avers that most plate glass is excluded from recycling programs, so the fact that theyve found a way to use it helps to keep a lot of glass from filling up landfills. Theyve come up with plates, platters and bowls that definitely wont be wasted anytime soon - theyre just too gorgeous to part with. Naturally, when youre setting the table with your recycled glass plates and bowls, youll want something equally eco-friendly to drink from. No problem. Designers Tord Boontje and Emma Woffenden have come up with a way to recycle wine and beer bottles into very luxurious yet simply designed drinking glasses and tumblers. They call their creations the TranSglass Line and the pieces have either satin or polished finish to their green, brown and clear hues. The hazy satin finish reminds me of the drinking glasses at relatives’ houses circa 1980, but whats definitely unique is that the glasses still have their concave bottoms left from their days serving as wine bottles. It amazes me, but Im convinced that nothing actually has to leave the house as trash now. Even large items you never thought you’d reuse, like broken windows, bent-up silverware and the dead soldiers from last nights binge can end up as tomorrows gorgeous place settings and the light by which to admire them.