sustainable (səˈsteɪnəb ə l)
capable of being maintained at a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage
something newly introduced, such as a new method or device
Together these words mean so much more than their individual definitions imply. “Sustainable Innovation” can mean anything from new ways of providing safe drinking water in rural villages and urban slums, to hybrid vehicles made completely from recycled materials, to new building materials made from post consumer content (including sewage). Everyone can agree that this type of approach to the future is not only vital, but hopefully inevitable.
As we begin to build the world of WonderRoot Creative Reuse, we try to bring the concepts of sustainable innovation into all our plans and processes. In my research of budding sustainable innovations and designs, I have come across a few examples for us to marvel at this Sunday. Hopefully, these two amazing ideas will remind us all to think a little differently about the products and processes around our daily routines.
This is an ingenious idea to show that you do not need concrete, steel and glass to build a structure. The bridge is made up from 281 cardboard tubes, the steps are made from recycled paper and plastic and the whole structure is resting on a foundation of wooden boxes that have been packed tight with sand, which makes it strong enough to carry twenty people at a time. Read more about architect Shigeru Ban and his architectural firm here!
What if, instead of paying thousands of dollars to insulate your house to prevent escaping heating and air efforts and saving energy, you were able to line the inside of your walls with used newspapers? Artist Sumer Erek says “We all believed that moving into the digital era would diminish the use of paper. On the contrary, there seems to be a resurgence of printed material and newspapers, much of it free and everywhere – yet we don’t think much about where paper comes from and where it goes after we’ve used it. Newspapers pile up in our houses, lie on the streets and on public transport. The issue is not likely to disappear ; we must find creative ways to deal with it. We are urged to consume without thinking about how to discard. The first step is inviting people to think about and value the material itself, and to consider the issue of “waste”.
Although merely an art installation right now, and possibly incredibly flammable (whoops!), this new way of thinking about important and necessary home components is inspiring. Plus, I think it looks really beautiful when finished!