by Patrick LaDuke
A great alternative to those plastic Britas with wasteful filters. Japanese Kishu Binchotan, or White Charcoal, will turn tap water into mineral water, adding; calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. It will also adsorb (meaning the chemicals adhere to the surface) up to 75% of chlorine and all other impurities as well, all the while making your water taste better too. Once it is time to replace it, you can simply crush it and place it into the soil, where it nourishes and regulates PH levels. As to the sustainability: “Local craftsmen have carefully managed the forests that produce the raw material for White Charcoal for centuries. The way in which the wood is harvested promotes rapid and fertile regrowth and maintains a healthy ecosystem. The craftsmen have become the caretakers of the forest and by protecting it they maintain an environment that profits both man and nature.” Get it here.

Koncept is an award winning lighting company that makes all of their products with environmental considerations in mind. Their aluminum housing is fully recyclable, the LEDs do not contain mercury, the color finishes are with water-based paint, the cardboard packaging is FSC certified, and most lamps contain somewhere between 30-40% of pre-consumer recycled material(by weight). List of suppliers here. I purchased mine from Lumens, but you can also get them at Amazon.

Originally developed in 1944 for US ships and submarines in WWII, they were designed to be impervious to salt, water, and as a result are practically indestructible. Emeco builds chairs to last you for a lifetime, many of which have lifetime warranties. Almost all chairs are made from recycled aluminum, which is highly recyclable itself, but other materials include: recycled PET, glass fiber, reclaimed WPP (wood fibers), and natural wood. The upholstery can consist of: vinyl, ABS, fire retardant foam, c.o.m./c.o.l., polyurethane, and powder coat.

Ubico Studio sports a 100% recycled tag throughout the website. Most pieces are made of reclaimed wood, and some of their production is even done by a factory which employs disabled people. Most interestingly, they also conduct research, of which they did a series of cutting board art. This collection was called “Meating reality”.
“When is meat desirable? At what point does the craving become discomfort? The work examines this duality without stating a position but rather raises issue through the use of the cutting board as a plate for a bloody ponder.”