31 July 2006

Recycling made fun!

Look at this amazing recycling system we found at Eduardo’s house today. Eduardo Sentís is the man behind Modular, the bike parking design company in Rubí near Barcelona. He also built this recycling system that makes recycling easier, more comfortable and takes up very little space. No smelly big bins in the kitchen but they fill up outside via a tube you throw the rubbish into; one for paper and one for plastics. Next to the sink is a funnel to collect the used oil and another bin for the organic waste. Great! We like it… but first we have to get the kitchen sorted and a few other things! Thanks Eduardo for sharing this with us.

10 July 2006

Choosing the Flooring

After quite a few weeks researching materials, sanding down the wooden balcony doors and getting estimates for electricity, heating & water installations we are now looking at what type of flooring we can put down. Unfortunately the current floor is beyond restoration, which would of course be the most eco-efficient solution. So things to keep in mind while choosing a suitable floor are weight restrictions (the building is fairly old and has wooden beams), height restrictions (we can’t raise the floor too much or else we’ll have problems with the balcony doors), cost (still haven’t won the lottery and even if…), practicality (nothing too delicate please) and of course eco-friendliness.
So here’s what we found:
Continuous flooring is definitely one of our favourite options after we came across this special mixture of almond flour and natural cement. It’s beautiful as well as practical: lightweight, insulating and resistant. Other possible mixtures are cement with cork or other woods. So let’s see what their technician says when he sees the flat and how much it costs… >Pavindus
Then there is wooden parquet flooring. Of course we love bamboo flooring for its aesthetics and durability plus it grows back fast and hence is very sustainable… but does it make sense to order something from the other side of the world? We could also go for a local parquet floor made from locally and sustainably grown wood with an FSC label… >Tuka Bambu
Another local produce are tiles- easy to maintain and with very cool designs, but very energy consuming in production and transportation… But there are even some made from recycled glass… >Zicla
Speaking of tiles, we came across cork tiles! Now that would be very eco and all but with already cork on the walls for insulation, it might not look so nice to plaster the whole flat with that stuff, no matter how good it is for us and the environment. Let’s not get carried away even if we are cork-lovers! >J.Palet
And last but not least we have recycled plastic floor tiles… not so nice for the living area but probably very useful in the studio and around the kitchen area. >Zicla

I guess mixing them cleverly could be the solution!