A fresh coat of paint can seriously work miracles.
Look no further than the neighborhood garage sale or your favorite budget furniture store (hello, IKEA!) to find the basis for a seriously upscale-looking piece. With a little paint, sandpaper, and some rolled-up sleeves, these DIY home decor projects turn humble “befores” to enviable “afters.”
We snagged this 1960s Bennington bookcase on Craigslist via Forgotten Furniture for just $50.
A quick wallpaper-and-paint makeover can fit any decor style. For a fun and feminine look, we picked pink accessories, gray pain, and Hygge & West Nethercote wallpaper (left). Traditional blue paint and striped paper lends itself to nautical vibes (right).
Transform a flea-market find with leftover black paint and fun new upholstery.
Save cash by painting the wood frame yourself, then taking it for a pro upholstery job. We picked Black Dalmatian Dots by Bliss Design Studio on Spoonflower for this piece, a spot-on print whether you style it with graphic, colorful extras (left) or girly, glam accessories (right).
A little elbow grease takes this plain-Jane pane to the next level.
Start by removing leftover chipped paint using medium-grit sandpaper until you’ve uncovered original wood. Wipe off excess dust and clean the panes, then brush on black chalkboard paint. Let the coats “cure” according to package directions before decorating with cute messages. Attach coat hooks for extra utility.
Pick up a matching set and remove any peeling paint to create a cute sideboard with a little personality.
Lay out your shutters to determine the size of your cabinet. Measure the width and depth for the cabinet top, bottom, interior shelf, and backing. At the hardware store, have four pieces of medium-density fiberboard cut to fit. Then assemble and attach bun feet and knobs. Don’t forget to paint it your favorite color!
Talk about a score. We stumbled on this $15 tufted bench at a garage sale.
Fresh white paint and a flowery fabric from Minted gave this piece a cheery update.
Pick up two ladders, a 4-foot wooden rod, and two wooden planks (one about 4 ½ feet, one 4¾ feet). Stay with us here .
Getting dressed will be a breeze when your go-to layers and favorite accessories stay on an easy-access rack. To make, paint the planks, rod, and ladder. Attach each plank to the bottom two sets of rungs using a drill and screws. Be sure to set the lowest shelf forward to make room for tall boots. At the top of the ladder, center two pipe brackets on each top rung and attach with screws. Slide top rod through.
Start with a plain wooden design, then paint the inside or leave it bare and simple.
This inexpensive storage unit that can be tailored to fit any space, like a pyramid in the mudroom or a low horizontal design behind a sofa or beneath a TV. Even better, this project doesn’t require a single power tool to construct! Stack and restack the crates until you find the right configuration. Then fasten the sides of the adjoining crates with large binder clips (measure the crate thickness first to ensure a snug fit). Avoid stashing heavy things like appliances near the top so the crates won’t topple.
You can find square pallets for a bargain at your local home improvement store.
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Little is known about consumers’ perceptions of PHA-based bioplastics.
How consumers respond to the introduction of products made from regenerated biowaste.
Deeper understanding to build new closed loop system.
New insights to how firms might better integrate consumers into a Circular Economy.
Increasing efforts are made to convert waste into new materials for replacing “traditional” ones. In particular urban bio-waste represents a primary source of concern for both government and society. A new type of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) have been very recently developed to convert food waste into a biodegradable multifunctional raw material to help solving the plastic waste problem. However, little is known about consumers’ reactions to products made from PHA. Hence this study aims at understanding consumers’ intentions to purchase, pay for, and switch to those bio-based products. Both multivariate analyses of variance and mediation analyses are run, addressing product involvement, consumer values, expertise and demographics within an experimental study based on a representative sample of UK respondents. Findings reveal no effects for product involvement and gender on the dependent variables, but for green self-identity, attitude towards bio-based product, age and past purchase experience of eco-friendly products. Results can help the adoption of PHA-based bioplastics to solve the pressing problem of the disposal of bio-waste. In particular, understanding the drivers of consumers acceptance of bio-based products poses opportunities to build new closed loop system and for successfully marketing the reuse of urban food-waste. Theoretical and managerial implications are addressed.
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SUNY Cortland’s Residence Life and Housing is finding new ways to turn perfectly usable “trash into treasure by carrying out a sustainable furniture refurbishing project that will save an estimated $150,000.
The project set out to extend the lifespan on lightly used desks in the Casey and Smith Tower residence halls without having to buy new ones. Besides the overall cost savings created by not purchasing new desks, the furniture facelift also benefited the environment. Roughly 21.25 tons of waste – or 42,500 pounds – were saved from going into landfills. That disposal also would have set approximately 33 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Consider, too, that enough energy was saved to power 17 homes for a full year just from avoiding the manufacturing process.
“A lot of the desks were still in good condition, they just needed to be polished up,” said the project’s initiator, Katie Ingraham, assistant director of operations for Residence Life and Housing. “We wanted to maintain the furniture in our residence halls instead of wate it in a landfill.”
Right Price Companies, a furniture company in Syracuse, N.Y., stepped in to redo the desks.
Ingraham, who has found many ways to champion environmentally sustainable initiatives in her work. also oversees the “Green Reps” program that puts an environmentally conscious student in every residence hall. Together these efforts result in a more eco-friendly campus.
I wanted to take the time to do the right thing instead of taking the easy way out,• said Ingraham, who has worked at the College or four years. When Right Price Companies first started the project last summer, it determined about 250 steel and 150 wooden desks could be renewed in total. The several step process consisted of: taking the desks apart, sanding them down, recoating them with polyurethane and then putting them back together.
The hutches that sit on top of the desks also were replaced, with tack boards and LED light fixtures added. Jeff Detar, the Right Price Companies representative who worked closely on the project, said the remanufacturing process puts a good product back into the field without wasting resources. “We wanted to help (SUNY Cortland) be a good pillar of sustainable products,” Detar said. That much is reflected in the work of Residence Life and Housing. “Everything is replaceable in today’s world, Ingraham said. “When something can be repurposed, we should be making the effort to do so.”
Plastic waste is a huge problem, both on land and in the oceans and waterways. A company in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has been taking to the city’s canals for a few years and scooping up plastic trash in nets. That waste is then transformed into boats that carry more “plastic fishermen” onto the canals to collect even more plastic. Now Plastic Whale has found another use for this floating environmental nightmare – office furniture.
Plastic Whale describes itself as the world’s first plastic fishing company, and more than 11,000 people have volunteered to help it remove plastic from Amsterdam’s canals since the firm began its cleanup operation in 2011. Over 100,000 plastic bottles and more than 2,000 bags of plastic waste have been removed, and 10 boats made from plastic trash now regularly take net-holding crews onto the canals to fish for more plastic waste.
For the recently launched Circular Furniture project, Plastic Whale has partnered with furniture maker Vepa and the Lama design studio to make high-end office furniture – currently comprising a boardroom table, a chair, lamps and acoustic wall panels.
The top of the 4 meter long, 1.4 m wide and 0.75 m high (13 x 4.6 x 2.4 ft) table was inspired by a surfacing whale and features a raised ridge along its center, and is made from a sandwich of recycled PET, FSC-certified birch ply and metal plating. The spine-like legs are made from FSC-certified oak with metal bars inbetween.
The shape of the office chair is said to resemble the tail of a whale. The bucket seat has a cast iron base made from waste from the Vepa factory, a pressed and recycled PET felt back and a seat shell of ply with oak veneer top layer. The cushion is made using dust waste and wrapped in a cover fashioned from recycled plastic bottles, and FSC-certified beech or oak legs raise it to sitting height.
Barnacles found on the skin of a whale inform the shape of the lamp, which is made from PET felt and makes use of energy-efficient LED filament bulbs. PET felt is also used to make the acoustic panels, which can be had with or without LED backlighting.
All of the office furniture has been designed in such a way that, at the end of its useful life, it can be broken down for reuse or upcycled to make something new.
Amsterdam seems to be something of a hotbed of recent activity for recycling plastic to make furniture, in the case of last year’s Print Your City! to 3D print curvy street furniture.
Some of the money raised from the Plastic Whale Circular Furniture project will be used to fund local plastic cleanup initiatives around the world, hopefully helping to turn the tide on a massive global problem. There’s more information in the video below.
Nowadays, our planet is literally drowning in garbage. The amount of global waste has reached unimaginable numbers and, unfortunately, very little of it is recycled or reused. According to the World Bank, the global annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70% from the year 2016 until 2050. Not to mention that China’s 2017 waste import ban has arisen even more challenging waste management problems for our countries.
So, we are experiencing several environmental concerns that have started from the fact that worldwide landfills and oceans are filled with trash. Not only that unrecycled garbage led to heavy pollution which has resulted in climate changes, but our land and marine ecosystems are also powerfully impacted by the plastic, aluminum, and metal waste.
Thankfully, there are a few creative and innovative minds in this world who have found unique ways to rethink garbage in a way that it will become a valuable asset. Here are 5 examples of creative ways to turn trash into cash:
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One great example of a unique idea that managed to transform trash, not only into cash but also into art, is Scraphala. The founder of the company is the 28-year old Shikha Shah who decided to leave her job to make a difference in our world through transforming garbage into decorative products.
The company has been started only almost 4 years ago but has already managed to protect our planet from more than 20.000 plastic bottles and about 10.000 kilograms of diverse types of waste. All this waste has been transformed into different unique products including home, garden, and office decorations and accessories, and decorations customized for cafes and restaurants who also promote a zero-waste mindset.
Apart from producing personalized and unique decorations from non-biodegradable materials, Scrapshala also fights global waste pollution through spreading awareness and educating people about proper waste management.
The journey of transforming trash into valuables started when Shikha decided to use her own waste to convert it into something unique. Later on, as her business was growing steadily, she started to collect garbage and waste from the municipal trash corporation. Today, Scrapshala has become so popular that people from across India are sending their waste to the company to get their garbage transformed into decorations, games, or accessories.
Is there something nobler than helping unprivileged kids to enjoy their childhood? The Anthill Creations team took this kind gesture and combined it with a zero-waste mindset and started a business that helps both our planet and unprivileged kids.
The concept behind Anthill Creations is building low-cost and sustainable playgrounds by using scarp tires and other non-biodegradable materials for underprivileged kids who had nowhere to enjoy their childhood years. Although the company has been founded only 6 years ago, it has already achieved to finish nine projects in four cities across India repurposing about 830 scrap tires to build playgrounds and libraries.
The five IIT Architecture graduates who decided to start Anthill Creations decided to use their training to build play zones for underprivileged kids across India building some of the most colorful swings, slides, and jungle gyms you can ever see. Their projects have become so popular that even the reputable tire company Michelin decided to fund their unique idea.
Apart from putting large smiles on kids’ faces and protecting our planet from non-biodegradable materials, Anthill Creations is also devoted to spreading awareness among children about sustainability and recycling.
Recycle India is a concept started in 2015 by a couple who joined the zero-waste initiative. The initiative is based on the principle of sustainability that focuses on reducing, reusing, and recycling waste.
Would you have thought about building a shelter bus stop made only out of plastic bottles? Prashant Lingam and Aruna Kappagantula surely did. And, they had even more great and unique ideas about how to transform trash into something great.
The two who started the Recycle India initiative are very devoted to spreading awareness about reusing and recycling plastic bottles. So, in just one month, with a team of only 20 people, they achieved the construction of a house made out of 5000 plastic bottles.
The startup also collects municipal waste including tires and drums and convert it into unique and personalized furniture including chairs and tables.
The Sydney-based company Replas is another company that succeeded in transforming trash into profit. The company collects plastic waste in Australia and transforms it into several types of outdoor products including decking, fences, park benches, and signs.
Replas encourages the public to purchase their products made from recycled materials as a way to support the zero-waste mindset in the country. This isn’t the only zero-waste initiative in Australia as many companies are focused on sustainability and better waste management practices. Many companies collaborate with waste and recycle solutions providers such as Mil-tek in Australia to recycle their corporate waste properly.
If there is a company winning at storytelling to promote one of their best-selling products, that will be Ikea for sure. Would you ever think that the fluffy feather duvets and pillows from Ikea are the result of a bright mind who saw a great opportunity in waste?
The founder of the $44.6 billion worth company Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, was completely mesmerized by the thousands of chickens who were plucked and strung in the food markets in China. Asking around about what happens to the feathers from the chickens, the farmers told him there was a certain person who was paid to burn them once the chickens have been plucked.
He then offered to take the feathers for free and obviously got a positive response from the farmers. Seeing opportunity in waste, he then used the feathers as a key material for one of his best-selling items: feather duvets and pillows.
The sustainability of our planet is on all of us and we can all make a change by being mindful about recycling or reusing our waste. These 5 examples are a great way to start reconsidering garbage and converting it into something valuable.
By Lisa Leff, Associated Press | December 20, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO — Other artists might take offense if someone described their work as derivative junk and their studio as a real dump. Not Nome Edonna, the newest artist-in-residence at the place where San Francisco’s garbage goes.
Edonna, a painter and fan of vintage collectibles, couldn’t be more inspired as he picks through a pile of rubbish that a pickup truck just added to the heap in a salvage-sorting warehouse.
Wearing gloves and work boots, he inspects what appear to be the vestiges of an old woman’s estate — letters written in Spanish, crystal sherbet dishes wrapped in newspaper, used cold cream jars– and adds a tattered pink lampshade to his metal shopping cart.
“If you like digging through stuff, it’s like a dream come true,” said Edonna, 33, who is thinking about making a hand-built phonograph and a skull sculpture out of forsaken computer monitors during his four-month stint turning trash to treasure. “I can’t think of another residency I’d rather have.”
Although the idea of turning discarded objects into “found” art is not new, San Francisco may be the only city where artists are paid to create masterpieces from the raw material of people’s lives. For 16 years, the private company that runs the city’s recycling program has provided Bay Area artists with a $1,900 monthly stipend, fully equipped work space, and an end-of-term public art exhibit, along with access to a first-class assortment of castoffs.
The purpose of the competitive program is to reduce waste that would otherwise end up in a landfill by showing how it can be creatively reused, said Paul Fresina, who runs the Nor cal Waste Systems artist-in-residence program.
“I want the message to be, ‘Go try this at home,’ ” Fresina said.
About 60 artists apply for the program each year and between four and eight are selected. Most who’ve participated work in the visual arts, although a handful of writers and musicians have been chosen.
Besides pledging to work at the dump for a certain number of hours per week, artists are required to donate three finished pieces to the dump.
The work ends up decorating Nor cal Waste System’s offices, in a gallery that school groups visit during tours of the garbage facility, or in a sculpture garden designed by Susan Leibovitz Steinman, one of the program’s first residents and the sister of photographer Annie Leibovitz. “We have a better art collection than most companies,” Fresina said.
The salvage warehouse, where the artists prowl, is off-limits to the public and contains refuse people pay to dump instead of the garbage hauled from curbs and city trash bins. As trucks unload construction debris, mattresses, electronics, record albums, and books, plant workers salvage the best stuff for thrift stores, homeless shelters, and themselves.
It’s a sweet gig, if you don’t mind the smell or depressing sense of waste that comes with the territory, according to several artists. Cameras, sewing machines and televisions that still work, unopened kitchen gadgets, and barely used office furniture join unpublished manuscripts, bottles of perfume, and sports trophies in an inconspicuous display of consumption and longing.
Touched by the stacks of carefully assembled photo albums that surely would have been wanted by someone, somewhere, artist Noah Wilson created an exhibit earlier this year of black-and-white landscapes from the 1920s and 1930s using transparencies and negatives he culled from the reject pile.
“A lot of people are instantly baffled by the idea of digging through trash, but once I tell them the things I found, they think it’s pretty cool,” said Sudhu Tewari, another artist selected for this term’s residency.
Tewari, 29, makes kinetic sculptures and musical instruments, so he needs a lot of scrap metal and moving parts for his projects. While combing the mound one recent morning, though, he bypasses a rusty stationary bicycle with all its parts in hopes of finding a newer model. He sees two or three other such remnants of failed New Year’s resolutions get dropped off every day.
Deborah Munk, who helps coordinate the art program, said some artists get so entranced by the possibilities that she has to pull them out of the warehouse two months into their residencies and say, “OK, stop digging around and start making something.”
While much of the art that gets made at the dump has an industrial feel to it, such as the ethereal sculpture crafted from empty vodka bottles, artist Kim Weller decided to take her work to another level earlier this year. Weller scavenged thin sheets of wood from abandoned doors and shipping crates, sanded, repaired, and painted them in Day-Glo colors that mirrored the safety vests dump workers wear.
The result was a 3-D re-creation of a summer’s day at the beach scene from the cover of an Archie comic book. Captivated by the juxtaposition of the innocent idyll she produced and the bleak, industrial landscape it occupied at the dump across a freeway from San Francisco Bay, she named the piece “Friendly Fire.”
But, Weller said, “during my show, someone referred to this as ‘Teenage Wasteland,’ which I thought was great.”
If you’ve turned your temporary work-from-home measures into permanent remote policies, it’s time to do something about your corporate real estate. You don’t need as much space or equipment now that your staff logs on from their homes.
This location change has a direct impact on your finances, freeing you from a costly corporate lease. But there’s a hidden downside to this change of pace. As office vacancy rates soar following the pandemic, there’s potential that more f-waste will clog global waste streams.
What Is F-Waste?
F-waste, or furniture waste, represents any chair, desk, cubicle, or corporate fixture that you send to the landfill after vacating your old office. According to the EPA, nearly 10 million tons of it gets sent to the landfill annually.
How is this number reached each year? The average corporate relocation or revitalization sends about 80 percent of its assets to landfill when using traditional liquidation methods.
Liquidation And F-Waste Facts
Liquidation comes with the following negative impact on the environment:
- Wastes perfectly functional equipment
- Increases carbon emissions from disposal methods
- Adds pressure on the manufacturing process to replace discarded items
- Traps recyclable materials in landfills
- Pollutes the earth — the average office furniture is comprised of toxic chemicals and glues that are harmful to the environment
F-Waste Is Bad For Your Budget
F-waste is bad news if you’re trying to set new sustainability targets. But from a purely financial point of view, it’s also a bad investment. Landfill tipping fees are a costly tax that keeps rising each year.
How Can You Handle F-Waste More Responsibly?
Look to the circular economy for your answers. This economic concept tries to keep materials in use for as long as possible. The circular economy repositions your used office furniture as something that can be resold, reused, or recycled rather than an expired commodity destined for the trash.
A Sustainable Way To Decommission Your Office Inventory
If you aren’t sure how much value is in an office worth of furniture, check in with a sustainable decommission firm that uses the circular economy as a template. They can help you sell a portion of inventory to generate revenue for your move, then donate and recycle the remaining items.
If you donate office furniture, you can turn waste into donations that help non-profits operate on tight budgets. Your donation means they won’t have to invest their limited budget in new equipment. Instead, they can focus on what they do best, using all their programming dollars to deliver their services to the community.
Those items that don’t have a place in these businesses or non-profits will get strategically recycled, releasing valuable materials from the waste streams and back into the manufacturing cycle.
It’s Time To Change How You Think About F-Waste
The old chair or desk you don’t need may not have a place in your office anymore, but it doesn’t belong in the garbage either. It can lead a longer, perfectly serviceable life with other businesses, non-profits, and charitable organizations.
Take the time to find a sustainable firm that takes its cues from the circular economy. It improves upon an old-fashioned and wasteful disposal method.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.
Introduction: Paper Furniture
This Instructable will show you how to turn a couple of old sunday papers into a lasting piece of furniture that you can use! Supplies are extremely common, cheap and easy to use: tape, string, paper. Knowledge of lashing is required, there are many instructables that can teach you how to do this better than I could, specifically you must know the square lashing and double floor lashing. I recommend using newspapers since they are long and wide enough to make a decent sized stand, also they are (much) easier to roll up than standard printer paper. However if you prefer to use larger, smaller, or thicker paper it’s up to you, each will have its own characteristics good and bad. I document how to make a simple stand that is about a 1ft cube, it’s completely possible to make full sized furniture if you’d like, however you should remember that you are working with paper and once a paper section is damaged, it is very difficult to make up for the strength that was lost. My design has its limits, I know full well that this particular cube can be strengthened further, making a much more sturdy frame, so please go ahead and improve on my design!
Step 1: Supplies
You probably have these already, and if you don’t have them on hand, most stores will have these altogether for under $5.
Paper -I like newspaper the most, printer/construction paper is “stronger” but smaller and harder to roll tightly
String -I use low grade dollar-store cotton string. Ideal qualities would be little to no stretch, easy to tie, “grippy” to the newspaper.
Tape -Basic clear or scotch tape, from the dispenser, you will not need anything especially wide. This is used to keep the paper sticks tightly wound, also can be used to strengthen joints.
Scissors -For cutting the paper and string
Athletic Tape -This can be used to wrap around the ends and joints of the paper sticks before you tie (lash) them. The idea is that this will make it easier for the cotton string to hold on and not slip on the smooth newspaper. ^String slippage is the primary reason this design is not as strong as it could be.
Step 2: Rolling the Sticks
This is the most important part, without strong paper sticks you won’t have strong joints and therefore won’t have strong paper furniture. My design has an approximate weight maximum of 10lbs, once too much weight is applied the legs will begin to buckle and twist clockwise, lowering the “table top”, adding cross sections in-between the load bearing legs increases the stand’s stability greatly. I will detail the cross section in a later step.
To roll a good paper stick, begin with one corner on a flat surface and start to roll as tightly as possible. Place a heavy weight (or your foot) just past the mid-line. The weight keeps the paper taught, when you roll up to your weight remove it and continue to roll tightly with your hands on the flat surface or held up. Seal the tightness of your newly made paper stick with a tiny bit of clear tape. Make as many as you need! I used 74 in total.
Step 3: Cutting the Sticks
I’m sure you noticed that the paper stick you just rolled has two super weak ends and a strong middle section. Cut the ends of the stick off, only keeping the stronger section. Length is up to you, longer will be a bit weaker. Recycle the end scraps!
Step 4: Building the Columns
Four single sticks won’t keep up 10lbs of weight, we need to combine some sticks in order to make a “column” that will hold the weight. I took four sticks and used more clear tape to hold them together as one column, taped at each end and the middle of the four sticks (second picture). Once your column is rolled, you may want to cover the ends with one layer of athletic tape, this will give the cotton string something to grip onto. If you don’t have any athletic tape don’t worry, the design pictured doesn’t use any and still bears weight very well.
Step 5: Lashing Joints
This is where less common skills will be used, you will have to know or learn to make a square lashing. If you don’t know it by now simply search for it in Instructables. I don’t suggest trying to learn the square lashing on paper sticks, they are a bit tricky since they are smooth and have a bit of give when wrapped tightly. learn first on some wooden sticks or dowels, practice will take about 10 minutes before you can nail it down. Do your square lashing wherever you please, but stay about 1.25 inches away from the very edge of your “column”, the very ends have more give and can be crushed by a solid and tight lashing (which you will have to do).
Make 2 identical cross pieces as picture above. Then make 2 more with the horizontal column (row?) higher or lower than the first two that were made, refer to next step for help and picture.
Step 6: Piecing Together the Frame
Now that you have your parts you can piece together the frame. You can either make two sets of 2 cross pieces, or start with a single cross piece and continue to build the frame directly onto it. Please refer to the picture since explaining this is difficult.
Feel free to add the “X” stick pairs at this point. These keep the legs from twisting independently. There is probably a professional lashing for this instance, however I simply tied them to the legs by wrapping around as to what felt right. As you can see in the picture, I only used 3 of the “X” stick pairs, adding a fourth pair would increase stability further, however I wanted easy access to the space underneath an the 3 pairs holds well.
Step 7: Finishing Up the Table
The “table” part of this paper stand is simply a lot of singular paper sticks held together with a double floor lashing on the two highest horizontal bars. I highly recommend watching a video on how to do this, it’s not the easiest thing to understand even in pictures. The Eagle and Boy Scouts will have plenty of quality videos on various lashings, which are invaluable in prototyping mechanical pieces and frames in my opinion.
Now what can you make out of newspaper?
You can get old newspapers from many locations, I made a simple 1ft cube. What can you make with these same materials? cot? dresser? house*? Show me in the comments!
Some people may suggest filling the hollow portion of the paper stick with epoxy, feel free to try, however I personally don’t feel that is really “made” out of paper, just using the paper as a mold.
*If you make a newspaper house and hurt yourself in doing so I’m not responsible for it!
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Discount Office Stationery and Supplies
You know how much damage the making of new paper costs our environment. However, there is hardly any substance that can replace the function of paper. Even high-tech office computers are not able to eliminate the need for paper. But there is one thing we can do to lessen our use of paper in our own way. You can segregate white office paper from other office trash for recycling. But with a bit creativity and effort, you can turn recycled paper supplies to a profitable business.
Paper recycling is old news, but it seems to be an on-and-off venture for most people. Making recycled paper crafts into a business provides fuel to the recycling machine. If you look at bookstore displays, you’ll find coarse looking stationery and specialty papers. Even if these look old and rough, they are more expensive than those smoother and printed papers. Those coarse specialty papers are handmade and use natural fibers and recycled paper. You don’t need to buy a truckload of waste paper to get started. In fact, look around your house. Sort through your old files and see if there’s anything in there that you don’t need anymore. White office paper like bond papers are great for this recycling project.
After sorting the white papers from the rest of your office stationery supplies, shred them in a document shredder or just tear them to little pieces. Throw in colored paper if you like a bit of color and different textures. Place the shredded papers in a blender or food processor with hot water in batches. Blend for a couple of minutes until the mixture looks fine and in one color. Add food color or dye if desired. For a touch of ingenuity, a few drops of essential oils like lavender or rose water make for lightly scented papers.
The blended pulp will be the base for your homemade paper. But to form and harden it, you must have a screen and mold. These materials are available in paper supplies stores or made at home using wooden frames and fiberglass screen. Meanwhile, soak the pulp in batches in a soaking solution made of water and liquid starch. The starch will prevent the ink from softening the paper. The amount of pulp per batch depends on the desired paper thickness. More pulp means thicker paper. Stir amd make sure that the starch is well incorporated in the pulp. Scoop the paper out using the molds and tap it to drain excess water. Level the surface of the pulp until smooth. Do this repeatedly until the right thickness and texture is achieved. Cover the mold with a fabric and invert it, making the pulp slide onto the cloth. Squeeze the pulp to remove excess water and dry it out. Stack the prepared pulp together with fabric in between in each layer. Press excess water out and separate the individual sheets. The sheets can be air-dried or laid out in newspapers to dry by sunlight.
Best Deals on Office Furniture Online
Sitting in a cheap office chair the first time feels about the same as sitting in an expensive one. It’s comfortable, solid. The question is how will it feel on the ten thousandth sitting? Will that cheap assemblage of plastic, foam, and vinyl even last for ten thousand landings, and what will it look like if it does? Quality office furniture should last for years in a demanding environment without losing its functionality or design. So the buyer’s job is finding the best quality.
Name brands can be deceiving, because some of the best-known companies make inexpensive office furniture, sold at big-box stores and designed for home offices. It may take a little digging, but highly respected furniture makers are out there, specializing in products for the workplace. Even if these companies are not well known, there are ways to spot them:
Lumber is divided into dozens of different grades, with furniture varieties at the top. The best hardwoods offer durability and beauty, plus the potential for a well-kept piece to hold or increase its value. Even chipboard and veneers come in different grades with different life expectancies, and metal furniture is not all built the same way either. A bunch of metal tubes screwed together is not the same as solid rails with good welds, although both may be equally shiny. Leather comes in a myriad of different grades, too, but investing in top-grain leather is always worth the cost in durability and lasting impressions. The finish is a place where some manufacturers scrimp, and the finish takes most of the abuse in the office. So the savvy buyer should always go for the best available veneers, stains, and coatings. Simply put, cheap furniture is made from cheap materials.
Design and Functionality
Office supply stores usually offer bland furniture designed for the lowest common denominator and budget. That’s why it’s important to look beyond those outlets to find office furniture with style and innovation. Progressive manufacturers and vendors keep up with changes in office equipment and new discoveries in ergonomics, and they offer a wide variety of styles. A firm that offers creative designs probably goes the extra mile in materials and craftsmanship too.