Greenbuild NEXT focuses on what’s next and with this in mind, I went to the exhibition hall to meet with the companies to discuss what they are doing to take their company to the next level in their sustainability effort.
I found most of the companies focused on waste product and how to minimize that waste stream to the best of their ability. The hypothetical question, ‘How do we recycle or reuse what no longer works for us?’ seems to be the question everyone is asking.
Ecovea: Claiming itself as the world’s most intelligent shower, the Ecovea shower system saves up to 80 percent of water and energy. Currently in the product testing process, the ecological shower is expected to be approved in the EU near future with hope of breaking into the US market thereafter. The patented system sorts water during use, recycles it via filtration and reuses the stream lowering water consumption. The filtration systems guarantees clean water so no need to worry about the water quality. Just enjoy your guilt-free morning showers.
Crossville Tiles: I love companies that recycle or takes back their waste products. Crossville Tiles does both to the point that they are negative not net-zero impact on waste. That is such an admirable effort that they are on top of my list for companies to feature. Crossville takes their unusable ceramic pieces, breaks them down to remake their floor tiles. They even partnered up with TOTO to take back some of their waste as well. Although most of the recycled materials are not post consumer, they have been known to work with post-consumer waste with their customers if requested. Their products are beautiful which doesn’t sacrifice high-quality for sustainability.
WM: Thinking with the user end in mind, Waste Management has created a recycling machines that rewards recyclers. The Greenopolis, “on-street” recycling systems offer rewards to those that recycle their cans, bottles, jars, paper and cardboard boxes. The recycling machines or kiosks eerily resembles a vending machine, perhaps to convey the convenience, portability and keeping up with the post-modern culture. The machines are currently located at some Staples, Whole Foods and various other retailers. I think a program like this actually works because it rewards instead of deprives. It encourages people who might not be so inclined to recycle to do so and on-street participation involves the community as a whole.
Oceanside Glasstile: A company that produces beautiful glass tile work with pre-consumer and post-consumer waste products, their mantra “From Curbside to Oceanside” describes the company’s dedication to transforming glass into raw design materials that would otherwise end up in landfills. I was especially impressed with their use of Corona beer bottles found on side streets. The craftmanship of the glass are superb and beautiful. The company is going towards third-party certification but claims that their practices are reaching toward cradle to cradle concept. Based in California, Oceanside glass has taken a creative and sustainable approach to waste management.
Photo Source: Press Release Images