Glass Bottle Temple

Saving the Earth can lead onto the path towards Nirvana. Here a monk points to a wall of the Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple, built with more than a million glass bottles, in Thailand's Sisaket province. The Thai Buddhist temple is entirely built of discarded bottles and includes a crematorium, shelters and toilets.

Space Station or Espressobar?

It doesn't look like it's from this world, but the Miele space station has earthly roots: it is built of discarded washing machines. The module has been designed by the Dutch architects 2012Architecten. Made of five individual parts, the station can be assembled anywhere for virtually any use. It has already served as an office, a music store, and an espresso bar.

A Wind Power Playground

No materials are off limits for the creative minds of 2012Architecten–even the old blades of a wind turbine. In 2008 they redesigned a children's playground as part of their Wikado project for the Dutch foundation Kinderparadijs Meidoorn. Five discarded blades were turned into a maze.

Living in a Box

Old ship containers can become a new home. Potential buyers stand with an agent on the balcony of a three-bedroom home made from four old shipping containers in Sydney. The two-storey mobile home also includes two bathrooms, timber floors, air-conditioning, a kitchen, laundry, balcony and sewage treatment tank. Home owners also stay mobile, the house can be pulled apart in less than a day.

Plastic Fantastic

Helton da Silva sits inside a house that he and 14 other slum children helped build out of 10,000 plastic soda bottles in 30 days time in the Piedade slum, north of Rio de Janeiro. Plastic waste is the scourge of many mega cities and proper recycling facilities are often missing. Often, there is no functioning recycling system. Celio Oliveira, who runs a bar next door, supervised the building of the house to give the children an educational activity and clean the Guanabara Bay of thousands of bottles.

Washing Up Walls

The Recycloop project combines two resources that go well together: old sinks and water. The used sinks function both as decorative outer walls and a rainwater reservoir. They can be assembled anywhere. And when the sun shines through the holes of the sinks, the inner walls are illuminated by dozens of small beams of sunlight.

Duchi Shoe Shop

The Duchi shoe fitting area is made of 1500 wood panels, waste material from a window maker in Rotterdam. The panels now form a bench and several shelves. Shoes can be tested on an old conveyer belt from a local supermarket.

That's Cilly!

Don't know where to put all your stuff? How about a bunch of old PVC cable reels, converted into a stylish modular storage system. The Cilly modules devised by 2012Architecten can be assembled and arranged any way you want, to store anything from wine glasses to books and toys. One even houses stereo speakers.

Window to the World

Designed by 2012Architechten for the foundation bkvb, this modular office is made of discarded window frames. The frames now form a sound proof conference room with integrated plasma screens for viewing presentations. The module can be taken apart and assembled easily.

French scientists have developed a new and effective solution to recycle batteries and recover 98% of the valuable metals they contain.

French inventors Farouk Tedjar and Jean-Claude Foudraz presented their method to recycle batteries and received a nomination for the European Inventor Award 2012 in the category 'Small and medium-sized enterprises'.