Building a Home Out of 20,000 Toothbrushes and Denim Pants


ubBuying pants might seem like a mindless task. However, you spend a lot of your time wearing those pants. So you want to make sure that you’re getting something comfortable while staying within your budget. Whether you need gray casual pants or luxury chinos, you can find them both online or in physical shops. However, if you are new to an area, you might not know the best place to buy men’s pants. In this case, you’ll need to do some research. First, determine what kinds of pants you’re looking for. If you’re looking for casual trousers for men, you’ll likely need to find somewhere different from where you’d purchase fancy men’s pants. So look into department stores and specialty shops in your area.

Once you’ve determined what you need, look at your budget. Can you afford expensive pants, or should you go for something cheaper? This will also determine which stores you should be shopping at. Some stores will sell both casual and formal wear, but they’ll both be very expensive. Other times, upscale businesses will offer affordable formal wear. This will help you narrow down your search even further.

Can you build a house entirely out of recycled goods? According to students at the University of Brighton, it’s definitely possible.

Duncan Baker-Brown, an architect teacher at the University, was depressed with the current amount of waste generated and not reused by the housing market. “For every five houses we build in the UK, the equivalent of one house in waste materials gets put into landfill,” he explains, adding that much of the material is still usable. So he and his students decided to spend a year building a home out of “garbage.”

The home is finished now, and, although the exterior — made from carpet tiles — is unusual, the interior of the home itself seems fairly normal and even upscale. The home is set up to be more of an educational tool than a real home, so peepholes throughout the home allow visitors to see the unique insulation materials being used.

About 20,000 toothbrushes, for example, were taken from a plane-cleaning company and used inside of the walls, along with stacks of denim from a firm that slices off pant legs to make cut-off jean shorts. A Ph.D. student will be testing the various insulation materials throughout the year to see how well they perform compared to more traditional materials.

“Using recycled materials during new construction such as using rubber flooring adds to our planets sustainability,” says Rob Nelson, Vice President of Rebound USA, a company that creates cleaning solutions specific to synthetic floorings. “The use of recycled materials prevents the need to use additional resources and just makes plain good sense.”

“It’s a process of designing where you have to be agile, and maybe change your plans according to what becomes available,” says Baker-Brown. He admits that much of the home’s design probably couldn’t be replicated for a real home, and the project is more of an exercise to showcase the need to recycle home-building surplus material. “It’s more of a provocation, to say we need to see a step-change in how we use materials,” he explains. “There has to be a way of storing and reusing all the surplus, rather than throwing it in a landfill.”

Hopefully, the project will serve as an inspiration for people who want to build and help conserve at the same time.

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