Materials Monthly

Jennifer Siegal has been rooting around in the sample room again for issue 3 of Materials Monthly. This time all three materials "help to reduce waste by recycling it or simply creating a product that biodegrades, leaving nothing behind". We are not quite certain that this is accurate.The Alkemi countertop material is made from "post-industrial scrap aluminum" cast into resin, and seems more of an exercise in taking an easily recyclable material and casting it in plastic- nice to look at but no longer recyclable.

Syndecrete is an interesting material made of fly ash, cement, metal shavings and glass chips, made by hand and incredibly expensive. The sample reminded me of Turkish Delight candy from my childhood. Nice to look at but it's cost limits it usefulness.

The final product, homasote, the pushpin's friend, has been around forever. It is made completely from post-consumer recycled paper and newsprint, 18,000 gallons of hot water, wax and a "biocide". They re-use the water, and use all of the newspaper picked up in their county in New Jersey. Excellent green credentials but hardly new- they have been doing this since 1909.

In summary, we think this month's selection is not up to the usual standard. The countertop materials are neither really green nor affordable, and the homasote is, well, homasote.