One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Or, in the case of Dutch studio Whim Architects, one man’s trash is another man’s home. Whim Architects are hoping to raise enough money to construct a floating, self-sufficient island made entirely out of recycled garbage.
But they’re not just using any normal type of plastic waste – they plan to collect waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). What’s the GPGP? Well, if you ever throw floating garbage into the ocean, then tides will eventually take it to an area in the Pacific Ocean, a miles-wide area of the ocean that is full of garbage. You’d be amazed by all the things that people have found in the GPGP. Some people have gotten down and dirty like private detectives to trace back the trash to its origins, but the visionaries in Whim Architects would rather just transform it into something beautiful.
The floating house would be constructed out of hollow blocks and covered with vegetation to create a verdant, recycled oasis. The island would naturally adapt to the rising water levels, so it will be fully prepared for future climate changes. They hope that the island will act as a powerful symbol of green manufacturing and sustainable living.
So, what does this have to do with the world of aquariums? Nothing directly – custom aquariums and this floating island both relate to aquatic architecture, but the comparison ends there. The main reason why I’m highlighting this floating island is to draw attention to the beauty of recycled products.
We see recycled newspapers and recycled bottles all the time, but recycled aquariums? Absolutely! You can incorporate all kinds of recycled materials into your aquarium to create a green, eco-friendly aquascape. For example, think about the sand or gravel at the bottom of an aquarium. Why buy prepackaged gravel when you could fill the bottom of your aquarium with ground-up stone from demolished buildings? Why not replace rock formations with old, repurposed objects?
In fact, saltwater aquariums are ideally suited for recycling. Coincidentally, coral absolutely loves to grow on concrete. There have even been several efforts to restore coral reefs by carefully introducing demolished concrete into the ocean. You could do the same thing for your home aquarium. For example, if your childhood home or one of your favorite buildings was ever demolished, it would be kind of poetic to put some of the destroyed concrete into an aquarium to create a truly one-of-a-kind aquascape. Be sure to get it tested first — some types of concrete are not suitable for saltwater aquariums
Just remember: green is the new black. Some people may prefer top-notch materials in their aquariums, but a lot of people out there would love to own a green, natural aquarium, (even one that’s thick with algae) that stands as a symbol of an eco-friendly lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to look into recycled materials rather than conventional manufactured objects.