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The ‘rest of the stories’

April 24, 2012
By Sharon Root , Marshall Independent

We ran out of room last time so here are the "rest of the stories:" The PaperChair is Made From Expired Flour and Old Newspaper, and Smallest legal apartment in California is prefab. Paper mache is definitely not a new art form but, considering about the only thing I can "paper mache" is slapping the sticky/messy concoction on a blown-up balloon (A Martha Stewart I ain't!) naturally I was amazed when I came across a picture of a funky looking chair.

Created by two architectural students that "first used thinly shredded old newspaper, a natural flour-based glue and recycled foam board to create a molded frame. After a mold was shaped, damp paper slices were layered and pressed together to form the surface of the PaperChair." To see the picture visit Pretty unique reuse idea!

I've felt a little crowded in our house...1056 square feeton a few occasions when 10 or more folks were there especially if three or more of us were trying to maneuver around in my small kitchen at the same time. However, after seeing a video clip about an apartment prototype that was built with the 42 percent of the San Franciscans who live alone in mind, my house seems quite spacious. The studio apartment is 160 square feet - total! At first glance I thought it was a crazy idea, too, but after watching the informative clip it doesn't seem so far-fetched. The developer who came up with the idea figured that considering he, his wife and kid stayed comfortably in a 78 square foot trailer for several weekend trips, a 160 square foot living space should work for a single person living in San Francisco. Space is at a premium in a big city and, as was noted in the clip, a lot of folks don't even spend that much time in their domiciles anyway so, done right, a small space could work for them.

An MIT student lived in the prototype for awhile to see what worked and what didn't. If her suggested changes/modifications are made e.g. not having the shower incorporated into the bathroom (you'll have to watch the clip as I can't explain it sufficiently here), putting in a bigger sink, adding more storage and moving a light fixture in the bathroom, and putting in a bigger kitchen sink, it seems like it should work.

A "smart bench" transforms into a small dining room table, via a middle leaf that levitates on a pole, with chairs for two and the couch transforms into a queen size bed. If extra sleeping space is needed the "smart bench" would suffice for one person. There's a counter top with an induction plate for cooking, a kitchen sink and an appliance cabinet that hides the microwave, toaster oven and other kitchen gadgets.

It's surprising, but there is more storage space overall than you'd imagine could be in a 160 square foot area. Visit and watch the video. Ohwondering why the apartment info was included in a recycling/waste reduction space? Well, I guess to me it's an example of conserving both resources and land space which in turn reduces environmental footprints.

The Hazardous Waste Facility accepts computers/monitors, TVs, printers, fax machines, VCRs and DVD players. Fees charged are the same as those charged at the landfill. Call for details.

Keep reducing, reusing, recycling and buying recycled! For more info or if your club is interested in a presentation (free) regarding recycling/waste reduction and household hazardous waste disposal, call the Lyon County Environmental Office at 532-8210. click on environmental in the menu.



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