TCBC Upcycle 704x423

DIY Bar – Weekend Project

Who doesn’t love a bit of DIY on a Saturday afternoon? Not only that, but this one will allow you to sit back and relax at the bar after a hard day’s work. Yes, that’s right, a BAR!

Team member, Caoimhe Sheridan, takes us out of the (home) office and into the garden with this fun and functional DIY bar.

To build this upcycled bar all you will need is:

  • 2 crates
  • 2 planks of wood (longer than the width of the crates)
  • Screws
  • A drill
  • A saw (preferably electric)
  • Fun decorations

Step 1: Simply cut one of your crates in half.

Step 2: Position the full crate on its side, slotting the half crates into each side to build the bar structure. Drill at least two screws into either side of the bar.

Step 3: At this point you can sand down your wood, but this is optional. Once the bottom structure is sturdy, add one plank of wood on top, screwing as you go. Next, cut the other plank in half and attach to the two sides of the bar.

Step 4: Spice up your bar with any decorations you can find. We painted the bar counter and a recycled cardboard frame, adding fairy lights and candles to finish it off.

Step 5: Finally, don’t forget to send us on a snap of your creation to You can also share to your favourite social media channels!

food waste

IBM Hackathon winner helps fight rash of wasted food

IBM Hackathon winner helps fight rash of wasted food

IBM recently called on developers in the U.S. to use open-source technology to create solutions to fight food waste. The Food Waste Developer Challenge wrapped up in August and the winner of the competition has just been announced.

Food waste is a major issue in the U.S. By the USDA’s estimates, 30-40 percent of the food supply goes to waste. In 2010, when the agency compiled its most comprehensive food waste figures, that corresponded to roughly 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food.

The consequences of this waste range from food security to ecological issues.

“The land, water, labor, energy and other inputs used in producing, processing, transporting, preparing, storing, and disposing of discarded food are pulled away from uses that may have been more beneficial to society,” according to the USDA, “and generate impacts on the environment that may endanger the long-run health of the planet.”

Incredibly, given that food security is such a pressing issue in this country and elsewhere, food waste is the single largest component going into municipal landfills, according to the EPA.

IBM, along with partner AngelHack, created the Food Waste Challenge on the premise that coders can help create a more transparent and real-time supply chain tracking how food is sold and fulfilled with waste reduction in mind. Developers in the contest were asked to leverage IBM’s code patterns and data sets to create new solutions that dramatically reduce waste through grocery and food chains. Some of the tools at their disposal include IBM Watson Visual Recognition, IBM Blockchain, and chatbot APIs.

One month and more than 100 registered teams later, IBM has announced that a winner is a group called FreShip.

FreShip combines software and hardware to minimize food waste through constant monitoring along with a smart eCommerce platform that allows food that would otherwise be wasted to be resold elsewhere. FreShip places Arduino and NB-IoT technologies in food shipping containers to help monitor food freshness during transport. Smart bidding contracts are deployed via blockchain.

“Using IBM Watson machine learning, FreShip analyzes photos of food to determine how fresh it is and provides options for what to do with food instead of letting it go to waste,” according to IBM. “For example, if a supermarket orders bananas and due to shipping delays the bananas are too ripe for them to sell, instead of them being thrown away, FreShip would allow them to redirect this shipment of bananas to a manufacturer that could use them.”

The result is a reduction in the loss for the supermarket, as well as less food waste.

For winning the contest, FreShip will get a few thousand bucks. A bigger prize, however, maybe the exposure the first place finish brings. IBM will be inviting the FreShip team to a dinner summit with grocery industry leaders, as well as showcasing the technology through various IBM channels.

Original link


21city sin bin

The City Bin Co. – New Sustainability Partner to Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby and The City Bin Co. are delighted to announce a three-year official partnership which will see The City Bin Co. take on the role of Sustainability Partner to Connacht Rugby.

The City Bin Co. has over two decades of experience in waste management and innovation and now brings this knowledge to an organization keen to place a greater emphasis on sustainability both on and off the field.

Announcing the new partnership, Head of Commercial and Marketing at Connacht Rugby Brian Mahony said: “This partnership is much more than a traditional partnership. We are committed to reducing the amount of single-use plastics and waste going into landfills and The City Bin Co.’s expertise in the field of sustainability is central to making this happen. Both Connacht Rugby and The City Bin Co. have their roots in the province and we see this as a natural partnership, to provide ongoing guidance and education not only to the team and supporters but also to the next generation of green ambassadors.”

Commenting on the exciting new partnership, Gene Browne, CEO, The City Bin Co. added: “We are excited to come on board with Connacht Rugby as Sustainability Partner for the next three years. Connacht Rugby has a long tradition and presence in local communities with a very devoted and growing fan base, but are also very aware of the legacy they want to create for the future, which is what makes the partnership such an excellent fit for us. Through various initiatives and activations, we will bring awareness in a way that is directly aligned with Connacht Rugby’s community-driven purpose.

We look forward to supporting the continued success of Connacht Rugby in the seasons ahead.”

TCBC Latest Blg Zero 658x380

The Zero Waste Dream

Across the UK last week, homes and businesses took part in Zero Waste Week. The project is a grassroots campaign, raising awareness of the environmental impact of waste and empowering participants to reduce waste.

The idea is for millions of people around the world to reduce waste through reuse, recycling and repurposing material for a longer life.

But, in truth, the solutions to waste are very complex. They involve global industry, trade and profit. Indeed, the very basis of today’s economy requires fundamental change to combat waste.

What is Zero Waste, and what can be done to achieve it?

Zero Waste is in its aspirational sense a very simple goal; to reduce the amount of materials we use that aren’t recycled or composted to zero.

But of course, as soon as you examine the details, things become more complex. If an old plastic bottle is burned to make energy (called incineration), not recycled, does that still count as Zero Waste?

Or, if a plastic bottle that was manufactured very efficiently, using very little CO2 or energy isn’t recycled, is that worse for the planet than recycling one which used lots of energy in inefficient production? Remember, recycling itself takes energy, and has CO2 impacts too.

For these reasons, the simplicities of much Zero Waste campaigning, and those powerful calls to action don’t really stack up in the real world. Most of us want goods, like flatscreen TVs, whose components we can’t recycle.

Even more fundamentally, we all need hospitals, but the syringes must be individually packaged in sterile, expensive, hard to recycle packaging for health reasons. Who among us would consent to a reused syringe?

So the truth is, Zero Waste is a useful goal, but it can’t become reality for many years yet, if ever. What can be done is to consider the best ways for society and industry to improve sustainability. And that’s where the circular economy comes in.

What is the circular economy?

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is leading the race to a circular economy. In the Foundation’s words, a circular economy is one that is restorative and regenerative by design, and which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times.

The circular economy is about designing things right to begin with, at global and industrial level, so that recycling is easy if or when products finish their useful life. When we get this right, Zero Waste has a shot at success.

With a circular economic model, the flatscreen TV we previously couldn’t recycle would be designed differently, so it could be easily and profitably recycled, or reused.

The circular economy is vital, because individuals like you or I can’t really change how a flatscreen TV is made. This is up to manufacturers. Globally, these need to be shown the potential and the possibilities of more circular industries.

Then, you and I just need to drop our TVs off to the Council for recycling, when hopefully, in the future, they are designed better for this purpose.

All of this is complicated. But essentially, for Zero Waste to work, the circular economy needs to become a reality. Then, big manufacturers could sell us products we would willingly recycle.

It all goes to prove that the biggest aspirational, environmental challenges, require buy in from industry, not just activists on the street. As ever, a combination of forces conspire for the greater good.

Originally published by

TCBC Latest Blg Apple 658x380

Apple’s Environmental Progress in China

First, it announced that Lens Technology, which produces glass for Apple, has committed to using 100% renewable energy for all of its Apple operations by the end of 2018. Lens, which is the first Apple supplier to commit to using fully-renewable energy sources, has entered into agreements with local wind energy suppliers to fulfil its commitment.

Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said:

We want to show the world that you can manufacture responsibly and we’re working alongside our suppliers to help them lower their environmental impact in China. We congratulate Lens for their bold step, and hope by sharing the lessons we’ve learned in our transition to renewable energy, our suppliers will continue to access clean power projects, moving China closer to its green manufacturing goals.

Second, Apple announced that all of its fourteen final assembly sites in China comply with UL’s Zero Waste to Landfill standard, which “certifies all of their manufacturing waste is reused, recycled, composted, or, when necessary, converted into energy.” Foxconn met the Zero Waste to Landfill standard earlier this year at two of its assembly sites. Twelve other sites were added more recently.