reused items

The World Health Organisation has recently mandated a new, single use syringe design.

The unique construction of the syringe plunger prevents reuse of each item. After one complete injection, it cannot be drawn back again and will break if tampered with. It is hoped that this cheaply fabricated syringe will lower rates of accidental or misinformed reuse of contaminated needles and thereby transmission of the associated blood-borne diseases. 

WHO estimates that 1.3 million deaths occur annually as a result of contaminated needles. Hepatitis, AIDS and viral hemorrhagic fever are all diseases which are targeted by this innovation. 


Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Bordalo II creates resourceful assemblages out of the junk he collects in his city’s streets. Using a bit of spray paint, the artist configures the found objects into playful animal portraits. His street art work hybridizes muralism and sculpture. A portrait of an owl conceals layers of scrap metal; a painting of an apple contains bent bicycle tires, cans, wood and cardboard. Bordalo II’s art brings whimsical visions to Lisbon’s streets and invites viewers to imagine creative ways to reuse their discarded items. See more on Hi-Fructose.

Tasmanian Artist Rescues Glammed Up Dolls by Transforming Them with Natural Beauty

“With the help of a Tasmanian artist, secondhand Bratz dolls transform from modeling high fashion with attitude to showcasing the beauty of simplicity. The artist rescues castoff dolls from thrift shops, repaints their faces, restyles their hair and dresses them in outfits that her mother knits.

“My sisters and I grew up playing with second-hand dolls and homemade toys in the beautiful Tasmanian natural environment,” she says on her blog. “I love the satisfaction of repairing and reusing discarded items to give them a new lease on life.”

But this project is not only about repurposing cast-off items. The doll makeovers also offer interesting commentaries on natural beauty and healthy childhood. As the dolls’ exaggerated makeup and styled hair are wiped away, sincere expressions and genuine personalities are revealed. When re-dressed in modest, handmade skirts and sweaters, the dolls are posed outdoors to show off their new, simplified looks. “Here are the Tree Change Dolls (ex-Bratz dolls) playing outside the way kids should, after their radical make-unders,” says the artist on her blog.”

Tree Change Dolls Tumblr

Plastic Bag Bike Seat Cover

The other day I walked past another bike seat covered with a plastic bag, and I thought, “there has got to be a better way!"  In some ways, the plastic bag is a great solution to a sopping wet bike seat - it’s free, and it reuses an item that would otherwise be in a landfill. There are downsides, though - they tear easily, and the dangling plastic is constantly getting caught on things. I tried to maintain the spirit and advantages of the plastic bag bike seat cover by using…plastic bags. This project is still free, and still recycles. It adds strength and a clean look, and will keep your bike seat dry for a long time.