Urb: Sustainable, Coffee-Recycling Kitchen Garden

Innovators and designers are constantly trying to find new, viable ways to recycle and reduce waste. Some efforts are more successful than others, and this little kitchen garden designed by Blake Parkinson is one of the most comprehensive. Parkinson’s goal was to recycle waste created by coffee, and it does so on two fronts (because why just recycle one form of waste, when you can recycle two or three?). Canadians alone buy more than 1.5 billion cups of coffee a year. That’s a lot of cups and coffee grounds. And disposable coffee cups, with their thin plastic lining, are notoriously more difficult, and more expensive to recycle. The Urb kitchen garden will hopefully make a big dent in the amount of coffee waste coming from coffee shops. urb_02 The Urb is foremost a small herb garden for your living space. It is compact and simple to use. It contains a tray with three pods filled with nutritious earth and seeds. You simply lift the tray, fill the bottom of the container with water, put the tray back in place, remove the silicone lid, and watch your plants grow. What makes this planter exceptional is that it is almost entirely made out of recycled materials. The dirt in the pods are a nutritious mixture of coffee grounds and food waste. The base and tray are made of recycled coffee cups. The plasticized paper cups are ground up and made into plastic pellets, which are injected into a mould to create the Urb’s casing. urb_03 Not only is the Urb sustainable and useful, it’s also gorgeously designed. The sleek, minimalist exterior and the bold, A-symmetrical cork bottom results in a beautiful planter that fits in well with contemporary urban design. I’ll take two. urb_04

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