Sure, while there are more than a few options for eco-friendly placemats out there — most that I’ve stumbled across are made from organic cotton, wool felt and other natural fibers — I’ve never seen anything quite like this: durable placemats made from recycled PVC billboards and movie posters embedded with “intelligent” QR barcodes that can be scanned with a smartphone. Once the placemat barcode has been scanned, your phone’s browser directs you to a webpage filled with eco-living tips and tidbits.
Anyone care for a side of environmental factoids with your morning OJ and muesli?
The placemats are called ReMakes, and each set of four is cut from a billboard or movie poster that would have otherwise met an untimely end in a landfill. According to ReMakes, the PVC billboards commonly found on the sides of buildings account for a whopping 100 pounds of plastic waste when they’re torn down.
ReMakes are available in black or in multi-color. With the latter option, you cannot request a certain color/shape/pattern (or advert for that matter) since the placemats are randomly cut. I suppose this gives the placemat shopping process an element of surprise (again, the sets themselves are cut from the same billboard to avoid total mismatching) but if that makes you nervous, I’d stick with the black placemats.
And a bit more about the whole barcode scanning aspect of ReMakes, in case you’re understandably confused:
The ReMakes logo that appears on each placemat integrates a QR code — a new type of intelligent bar code — that stimulates awareness and ongoing dialogue about ecology and our environment. When the QR code is scanned with a smartphone, it links to a ReMakes webpage that features a daily fact or news item about conservation, recycling or protecting the environment, as well as information about the placemat's origin.
ReMakes were developed as a collaboration between ViaMaris Partners and Israeli designer Nomi Gerstein, which isn't entirely surprising considering all the great recycle/reuse-centric design coming out of Israel. They're available exclusively at an eco-living webstore that’s new to me called Abe’s Market. The expansive selection of "natural" merch over at Abe's consists mostly of the kind of items that you'd see being hawked at green living expos — notebooks made from elephant dung, handmade soaps, soy aromatherapy candles, reusable sandwich bags, that kind of stuff.
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