GOOD

I don't know about you, but my shower blesses me with amazing ideas. Convincing others of their brilliance, though, doesn't always happen so fluidly. Let's be honest, for many of us "cerebral-types," the thought alone of having to explain yourself to hundreds of onlookers could result in discrediting bright ideas long before they ever get to that point.

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For the past year, New York City-based product designer Matthew Waldman has been saving all of his used coffee grounds (like most designers, he drinks a lot of coffee, so it was no small amount to keep out of the trash). Waldman wanted to find a creative use for the grounds, and ended up combining them with resin to make a new material that he has formed into a line of plant pots now on Kickstarter.

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Designing a Composter You Won't Want to Hide

For those of you lucky enough to live in a city with an official composting program—say, San Francisco—recycling food trash is as easy as putting it in the right bin. For the rest of us, it's a little harder.

For those of you lucky enough to live in a city with an official composting program—say, San Francisco—recycling food trash is as easy as putting it in the right bin. For the rest of us, it's a little harder. Where do you keep your compost bin? Do you really want a big plastic tub in your yard? Two Irish architects were inspired to come up with a design for a wormery that's small enough to keep on a balcony, and good-looking enough that you wouldn't want to hide it. The designers explain:

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How the Greenest Cities in the World Clean Up Their Trash

More trash means more money wasted and more resources used up. Here are a few ways to clean up a waste stream.


The greenest city in the world, depending on who you ask, might be San Francisco, California, or Curitiba, Brazil, or Copenhagen, Denmark, or Vancouver, Canada. These cities and others like them have freed their citizens from car-dependency, switched to clean energy, and made room for green spaces that let everyone breath a little freer. But one key function they’ve also worked hard on? How to deal with their trash.

It’s convenient to think of the trash can as a black hole into which scraps and discards and mistakes disappear. But these cities know better. Producing more trash means wasting more money and using up more resources that could be put to better use. Here are a few lessons from some of the greenest cities in the world on taking out the trash.

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'Greening' the Disposable Coffee Cup: The Value of Simple Fixes

No matter how sustainable options are out there, there’s little chance the number of disposable cups sold will dwindle to zero.


If you’re in the market for a reusable coffee mug, the MoMA Store has a couple of clever options. There’s the New York Coffee Cup, a ceramic version of the classic Grecian-lettered “We Are Happy to Serve You” paper cup. There’s the I Am Not a Paper Cup, which looks just like the tall, generic one available everywhere, but made of double-walled porcelain.

It’s not necessary to own a reusable mug that pokes fun at its paper rivals: Touting around any reusable mug is a responsible, sustainable choice. But the majority of people don't do it, and many never will. And even the most environmentally minded people sometimes leave their reusable cups at home and still want to buy a cup of coffee. In other words, there’s a limit to the impact personal choices can have. No matter how sustainable options are out there, there’s little chance the number of disposable cups sold will dwindle to zero.

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A Compostable Plastic

Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a plastic that can be composed at home and could be used for all sorts of food packaging....

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