Greener consumption: the using what's available edition

What do you do with stuff when its reached the end of its useful life? Usually we trash it, but there’s probably still some kind of use left in it. From take-out containers to phone booths, here are some product ideas that make use of that “garbage.”

The Chinese take-out lantern: Order a lot of Chinese (or other Asian foods)? Than you’ve got the raw materials for these classy little lanterns that could accent your next backyard gathering. See how to make them above. (via Earth 911).

The vine chair: Thai furniture maker Parameria makes chairs, ottomans, and tables by hand from the local khreau suut vine. (via Inhabitat)

Make your tablet hands-free: If you’ve got some cardboard lying around (and who doesn’t?), you can make your own iPap stand for your tablet. The hardest part seems to be locating the template on the designer’s website.

Don’t trash those old jeans!: Send them to design firm Ridder & Clown in the Netherlands. They’ll turn them into one of their “Pop-Its,” a unique, upcycled puppet for display or play. (via Ecouterre)

The plastic bottle bathing suit: Plastic water bottles are everywhere – AquaGreen’s Eco Swim bathing suit line turns some of them into swimwear made from REPREVE recycled material.

The phone booth library: Used a pay phone lately? Probably not: most of us now have cell phones. Kyla Fullenwider of has an idea for all of those old phone booths: micro lending libraries.

Decor from the dump: That’s what the Philippine Christian Foundation sells in department stores around the world – bags, accessories, and other items made from materials mined from the Smokey Mountain garbage dump in Manila. (via Green Building Elements)

Know of other products or projects that make use of “useless” materials? Share them with us below.


Image credit: zen via photo pin cc