I have found another reason to love the Dutch. I have always loved their healthy bicycle lifestyle, their canals and windmills, their swingbridges and colorful tulips, their efficient airport and tasty cheese. And now, their creative sustainable designs.
Who else would have thought of turning their surplus manure into a sustainable design and an income-generating souvenir item but the Dutch. The photo that you see in this article is that of the Tulip Box – a tulip bulb packaging made of cold-pressed dried cow dung. The designer Andreas Müller created it thinking that “tourists who buy tulip bulbs as souvenirs relieve the Dutch of a small part of their excess manure by taking the box home with them.” Sounds like a crazy but very creative idea, huh?
Delft University of Technology, an internationally prominent Dutch academic institution, is currently hosting a Sustainable Design Exhibition. The main goal is to prevent or reduce waste through sustainable product design. All the functional and well-designed products on display are made from recycled, reused or biodegradable/sustainable materials.
The exhibit, which runs from 13 November to 23 December, features 150 designs from 17 countries worldwide. Aside from the Tulip Box my other favorites are: hand-made Fibre Bowls created from banana plant debris and coconut tree bark, recycled rubber from used car tires, Chicca Lamps from recycled plastic, and a Zulu Basket made of copper telephone wires wrapped in plastic.
The exhibit demonstrates that recycled materials and sustainable designs can also be visually aesthetic as well as highly competitive in the global market. It makes a good point that when it comes to recycling the possibilities are really endless. I hold out hope that this exhibition will encourage more people to recycle and create sustainable designs. Recycling reduces the consumption of natural resources and lessens our energy usage. Converting waste into valuable products can provide long-lasting environmental and economic benefits. For sure, it will keep Mother Earth healthy and happy.