Tag Archives: Rcycle

Putting old books to good use II

29 Feb

More ‘hard-back book’ tile color combinations.

As I said before… I love the shades of brown :). Here it has been mixed up with blue. The motif on the tiles brings the nature into the room where these are used.

Shades of brown

This is a more masculine color combination.

Shades of green.


Putting Old books to good use.

26 Feb

A combination of elements put together to create a 'green wall'

This is a very creative way of using old hard-back covered books. This wall was decorated by the redesign department of Fretex in Oslo. It was done in the Fretex Unika shop on Markveien 51.

interesting color coding.

I wrote about Putting a twist on wall paper last year and showed some pictures of multicolored color-coded wall here. I personally prefer this though and can visualize more monochromatic combinations to go with different types of interior color schemes. For example a selection of various shades of brown tiles against a coffee brown wall!

reminders of the past

some futuristic elements.

I really love this wall because it not only looks good, it also tells a story . It is a green wall. Very environment friendly.

hard-back book wall tile installation inside the Fretex Unika shop in Oslo.

Fretex Unika

So if you happen to be in Oslo, check this out.

If I were you I would order me some book cover tiles from Fretex for your House/home/cafe/shop.

Get with the program people green design is the trend!!!


More Buttons!!

23 Jan

I was excited when I found this being made as a window curtain or drape(don’t know what name suites it best) at the Fretex redesign work-shop in Drammen.

So cool I have to say! Buttons have no end when it comes to design ideas.

Little treasurer, are they not? especially when put together.

Think twice before ever throwing away a single button people.

World challenge

12 Oct

A one of a kind competition was going on without my knowledge!!! Check this out

I  now have the pleasure of knowing about it. I discovered it through a friend, Marianna B, one of my fellow ‘green designers’ and was beyond inspired by what the competition is all about. Talk about global justice green style, OH ya!!! Something I thought was impossible is coming to life and catching on like wild-fire.

Check it out people and VOTE VOTE VOTE…

Energy saving stove from Uganda

Beautiful polythene baskets

Hands off my scrap.

15 Aug


Metal Scrap business has become a resort to some parents and even children since it’s a kind of business that doesn’t require any kind of capital or exclusive skills to start. 
Abdullah Sendagire who pays his school dues plus his other three siblings’ out of the business says this is the best business for starters.
 He says, “With scrap business, all you need is a sack and the energy to carry the load. No government official will come to you asking for license or rent,”
Though the business is associated with many evils such as households theft where saucepans, charcoal stoves and other home used equipments are stolen, those who have done it the right way have experienced good returns.
“With increased reports of theft, stringent measures have been put upon the scrap collectors. 
Scrap from electronic poles, piped water materials manhole covers and rails are not authorized to be bought by anybody at either the collection centers or the companies themselves,” said James Ndhote of Recycle of Uganda a scrap recycling company in Kampala. MONDAY, 08 AUGUST 2011 07:19 FLAVIA NASAKA.  Read more here

 Today I was reading an article in The East African Business Week and it brought back fond memories of home(Uganda).

One very hot day I was sited in a parked car waiting for someone, the details of who I was waiting for and when are hazy but I can not forget what I witnessed that day.

Two Teens, a boy and a girl happened to walk by carrying very bulky and dirty looking sacks.  The girl who walked ahead looked older and was much taller than the boy. As they went by, I noticed that they seemed to be searching for something and it did not take me long to realise that they were looking for scraps of metal. Many children from poor homes do this for pocket-money or to contribute to their school fees.

So any way,they both  lingered around the area where I sat in the car waiting because (I think) they were finding very many bits and pieces of metal, mostly tin, old pipe pieces and stuff like that. The girl found a huge piece of metal (I think it was some sort of car engine part, cant be sure..,) and looked very happy with herself. She tried it for weight and by the look she had, I think she figured she had her work, carrying this good find, cut out for her. As she stood over the metal scrap  trying to figure out how she would carry it, I noticed her companion(the younger and much shorter boy) inching closer and closer with a mischievous look on his face.

What happened next is like a scene from a comedy and is permanently etched onto my brain (still laugh a lot when I remember). I felt sorry for the girl but I could not help but laugh when the boy suddenly snatched or tried to snatch the metal scrap from the ground and the unsuspecting girl realised to her dismay that she had been robbed of her little gold mine. Luck was on her side however because unlike her, the  boy had no idea that what he was trying to steal was very heavy. If you have ever suddenly picked up something that you didn’t know was heavier than it looked, you know what the boy felt.


You should have seen  him trying to make a run for it with a load that was obviously too heavy for him to carry let alone run off with, hilarious!! When the shock finally wore off, the girl bolted into action and it didn’t take her long to catch up with him. The boy threw the stolen goods clearly knowing what was best for him and made a run for it bulky sack in hand. I can’t blame him because the look the girl had……. hell has no furry like a woman scorned.  The girl then shouted warnings at the boy and threw in some insults to drive her point home. She proceeded to retrieve her metal scrap which she put in her already full sack. She tried and failed to carry  the not only bulky but now heavy sack in all ways possible so she decided to drag it on the road be-hide her.  The sound ‘that’ sack full of metal scrap made was  obviously disturbing but no one who had witnessed  what had happened could scold her. I would have pitied any one who tried, she was a girl on a mission to protect her property and deal, not too kindly, with any one who got in her way. Reminds me of the movie Diary of a mad black woman or in this case … of a metal scrap collector.

This memory for me is bitter-sweet.

I look back and laugh at the funny situation and then feel guilty because it is not so funny after all.

I look back and  think how justice was served but I am saddened to depths I do not want to even go into now by the fact that a young girl had to fight for rubbish because to her, it is valuable. Was there any justice in this?

I am proud that recycling is going on but my conscience is rattled by the fact that some poor children use their free time sorting through rubbish for a chance at education or for a little pocket change. They could be playing or doing what kids do ( enjoy life and have lots and lots of fun).

Some problems are big and take a longer time to be turned into good. A lot is being done in Uganda by people to earn a living and it is truly survival for the fittest. As far as recycling goes as seen in the article  above, baby steps are being taken, but they are still steps and that counts.

It is said that “You do not know what you have until you have lost it.”.  It is now clear to me that, you also don’t know what you don’t have if you don’t have it or know it. Confusing, right?  This is what I mean:  Now that I have been in Norway for six months and see how a good system works, I have clarity about what is wrong with the picture I just painted( the story of the teenage scrap collectors) while the girl and boy have not experienced any better, to them life is normal . They do not know what they don’t have and if they know, it is an untouchable dream/ fantasy. Like if you have never eaten chocolate you will not know what you are missing. It is like that with life’s pleasures. I have tasted what a high standard of living feels like in Norway so I know what could be in Uganda but is not.

Well, its things like this that puzzle me and sometimes give me sleepless nights.  It helps to have a laugh some times, looking for the humor in the midst of problems sometimes gives the lift that is needed to face a problem head on. Every cloud has a silver lining. Knowing that you can not solve all of life’s problems also helps. You can only do what you can handle. And you can start by doing your part to recycle. Remember…