Mirrored ceilings reflect surroundings along walkway installed at Australian university campus

Australian firm Wilson Architects has added a meandering covered walkway to the campus of James Cook University in Townsville, which incorporates a polished aluminium soffit to reflect views of the landscape.

The Verandah Walk was designed by Wilson Architects as a new circulation route that traverses the campus on the outskirts of the coastal city in northeastern Queensland.

Townsville is the largest of James Cook University‘s campuses, covering 386 hectares in the suburb of Douglas. Its tropical location has led to it becoming a leading centre for studies in subjects such as marine sciences, biodiversity and sustainable management of tropical ecosystems.

The new pedestrian and cycle route weaves its way through the original campus, providing the first stage in what will become a larger network of paths guiding staff and students around the grounds.

Known as the South Node, the completed route connects the university’s Education Central building with the Eddie Koiki Mabo Library and includes a bridge across the Waada Mooli Creek.

The 420-metre-long path seeks to improve the experience of transitioning between the buildings by providing opportunities for an enhanced connection with the surroundings and with other students.

“The deliberately-curved walkway directs attention outwards to the landscape, rather than focusing the user’s view down the barrel of a long, straight path,” said the architects.

“The curved path provides the required wayfinding cues while creating an experience of ‘journey’, instead of ‘destination’.”

The covered yet open-air route provides views of lush vegetation on all sides. These scenes are extended across portions of the soffit, which are clad in aluminium panels polished to a reflective finish.

In other places, green ceilings complement the natural vegetation, and painted pillars echo the trunks of nearby trees.

“This project embraces and responds to the unique tropical narrative of the region, by considering light, shade, humidity, breeze, scent, water/rain and colour,” the project team added.

“Increased access to daylight and fresh air circulation supports improved levels of concentration, cognitive function and mental wellbeing for students, staff and visitors.”

A pair of pavilions that branch off from the path provide casual outdoor learning spaces that can be used for individual or collective study.

The seating areas incorporate power sockets and Wi-Fi, along with bench seating, bright-red stools and tables to help facilitate studying, collaboration or socialising.

Fountains close to the pavilions help to cool the air in these areas and provide a soothing background noise that accentuates the tranquil, natural atmosphere.

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EasyJet to fly electric planes within the next decade

UK budget airline EasyJet has paired with US firm Wright Electric to develop a battery-powered aircraft fleet that can be used for its short haul flights.

As part of a wider strategy to progressively decarbonise and reduce noise from aviation operations, EasyJet hopes to build the all-electric commercial passenger jet within the next decade.

EasyJet and Wright Electric envision that the electric planes will be powered by swappable battery packs. A distributed electric propulsion system, which sees electric power shared across motors integrated into the wing, will enable a more energy efficient flight.

The electric aircraft could be used for flights under two hours or 335 miles, which would cover up to 20 per cent of EasyJet’s routes flown, including UK and European short-hauls such as London to Paris and Amsterdam, and Edinburgh to Bristol.

Every short haul flight could be electric within 20 years

With commercial electric flights promised within the next decade, the airline says that every short haul flight could be electric within 20 years.

The move makes EasyJet the first major airline to commit to developing all-electric aircraft.

EasyJet has a carbon emissions target of 72 grams by 2022, which would be a 10 per cent reduction from today’s performance and a 38 per cent improvement from 2000.

In addition to its commitment to developing electric aircraft, the airline introduced the Airbus A320 Neo aircraft to its fleet earlier this year. The A380 planes offer up to 15 per cent saving in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and a reduced noise footprint of 50 per cent on take-off and landing.

The airline will also introduce new electric, towbarless aircraft tugs, and has announced that a plan to trial hydrogen fuel cell technology will be implemented in the coming months. These developments will enable the airline to operate a zero emissions taxiing system for its aircraft.

EasyJet reports that since 2000, its emissions have already reduced by over 31 per cent per passenger kilometre.

Easyjet’s announcement is the latest development in electric aircraft

The Wright Electric partnership announcement from EasyJet follows an exciting year for the advancement of electric aircraft. In April, Lilium, the “world’s first” electric jet plane capable of taking off and landing vertically, successfully completed test flights in Germany, while Airbus presented its concept for a tilting-rotor-powered flying electric car at the Geneva Motor Show, with plans to test it later this year.

In addition, US-based start-up Kitty Hawk revealed a prototype for an electric vehicle that moves like a flying jet ski, which it says will hit the market later this year, and the Daimler-backed autonomous passenger drone company Volocopter reportedly took Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed on a 200-meter-high flight across the Emirati city earlier this week.

In an interview with Dezeen last year transportation designer Paul Priestman accurately predicted that electric drones would soon be scaled up to become personal electric aircraft. “I think that’s going to get really interesting,” he told Dezeen. “It could be the beginning of personalised transportation.

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Brexit could throw "spanner in the works" for expat designers wanting to return to UK

Brexit is causing talented designers to avoid the UK, with high-flying British expats turning down jobs in their home nation, according to the Design Business Association.

The claim came as the association, a trade body representing around 400 UK design firms, released a survey into its members’ concerns about immigration rules after Brexit.

It called for a rethink of immigration rules, which one member described as “onerous, time-consuming and costly”.

DBA chief executive Deborah Dawton said she had heard of UK designers refusing to return home due to fears over even tougher immigration rules in future.

“A lot of UK designers will make it into senior roles in global businesses,” she told Dezeen. “The challenge then is that if they want to move back to the UK but they’ve got non UK national families or partners, then it’s quite possible that’s going to throw a spanner in the works for them.”

The survey, carried out in response to a government call for industry input on post-Brexit immigration rules, found that EU workers make up 15 per cent of DBA members’ workforce, with half of the firms surveyed employing at least one person from the continental EU.

Hiring overseas talent allows firms to compete globally

The key reason for hiring overseas talent is to allow firms to compete globally, the survey said.

“Their priority is the ability to continue to compete effectively in the global marketplace, which requires access to a culturally diverse workforce of world-class talent, at all levels of experience,” it said.

“It is not only technical skills that matter,” said a large Scottish design agency in its response to the survey.

“Cultural and creative diversity is essential to our industry. If we only had access to UK nationals it would limit our global understanding and our ability to export and trade internationally. It would mean we would probably need to set up offices abroad employing locally rather than generating jobs within the UK.”

Firms said they are increasingly getting work from overseas clients, meaning they needed staff with language skills and local cultural knowledge. Many pointed out that they were not hiring foreign workers because they were cheaper but because they needed a diverse and experienced workforce.

“With an increasing number of clients based from outside of the UK, language skills are very important to the company in order to secure projects with non-English speaking clients,” responded a large retail design agency based in London.

“In an increasingly competitive market we are looking to attract candidates with the best skills and experience and need to be able to recruit from a wide pool of candidates, which includes EU nationals.”

However DBA members reported that existing immigration rules are “very complex for small businesses” and that some firms avoid recruiting talent from outside the EU due to the cost and delay of the application process. After Brexit, EU workers may be subject to similarly tough immigration rules.

“The current visa system is onerous, time-consuming and costly,” said a digital agency based in Yorkshire. “The digital infrastructure behind the application and renewal system is clunky and the human interaction with the Home Office is pretty unhelpful.”

“UK design has earned a formidable global reputation, built on the depth and quality of talent and expertise found across the sector, which – as the DBA survey for the DCMS clearly shows – benefits from being a culturally diverse workforce,” Dawton said.

“An immigration system that considers the country’s business needs, and encourages future growth and competitiveness is imperative.”

Businesses are already dealing with immigration issues posed by Brexit

The report found that half of the DBA’s member businesses are already dealing with immigration issues posed by Brexit.

“There’s a perception that people aren’t welcome in the UK anymore,” said Dawton.

“It’s one thing to be open for business and it’s quite another to be welcoming to business. And if we start to make it difficult for people, they will focus their efforts on countries that are more welcoming.”

According to Dawton, the prospect of Brexit is affecting the UK’s ability to hold onto talent, both foreign and home-grown.

One senior British designer, who is head of innovation for a US company, recently turned down a job in the UK because his wife is German, and he was worried that the move would cause problems for her.

“He wasn’t willing to play Russian roulette with his family,” she said.

Similarly, a small design agency in the Midlands revealed that it was worried about losing a talented Polish employee, who felt “less welcome, less secure and less loyal to a country with a national press that seems to delight in belligerent hostility towards anyone and anything ‘foreign’.”

“If you couple this with the changes we’ve seen in the education system, we’re likely to end up with a hole in the market,” said Dawton, referring to the falling number of UK students taking creative courses at school.

Firms call for a boost in government investment in arts courses

More than half of respondents said the government would need to boost creative education by increasing investment in arts courses, expanding the commercial focus of degree courses and improving the teaching of digital skills.

However the number of UK students taking creative subjects has suffered an “alarming” fall, which many blame on the introduction of the English Baccalaureate curriculum, which emphasises academic subjects. This has led to fears of an impending skills crisis in the creative sector.

“Developing home-grown talent takes years, and we need to plug the gap of those people who are no longer applying for jobs in the UK.”

Released this week, the DBA Immigration Survey was commissioned by the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In the survey, DBA members asked the government to maintain freedom of movement for EU nationals or, failing that, to preserve existing rights for EU employees.

They also asked for a “straightforward and inexpensive processes that allow businesses to employ whom they believe is best for the role in their business” and called on ministers “to avoid short-sighted [immigration] quotas aimed at hitting politically motivated targets and to instead consider the country’s business needs”.

Almost 90 per cent of EU workers in the design sector are on permanent contracts, the survey found, with almost three quarters working at mid- or senior-level within firms.

Almost all – 99 per cent – were employed because they were “the best applicant for the job”, rather than because they had a specific skill set which could not be found in the UK.

“I don’t think there is anything particularly surprising about the results that came back,” said Dawton.

“If anything, it helps to emphasis the fact that one of the key aspects of the creative industries in the UK is its culturally diverse workforce,” she added. “Our concern is that this cultural diversity [will be] impeded going forward and that businesses that are currently recruiting from outside the EU are going to start finding it increasingly difficult to do that.”

Design represents 7.2 per cent to the UK economy and employs more than 1.5 million people, according to the DBA, while an independent review of the creative sector published last week said a further one million jobs could be created by 2030.

However Peter Bazalgette, the author of the review, argued that “you don’t need to have a creative industries degree to work in the creative industries,” saying young people were already exposed to creative processes thanks to mobile phones.

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Plans unveiled for London's first purpose-built design district

SelgasCano, 6a Architects and David Kohn Architects are among the eight architecture studios creating buildings for a purpose-built design district at the heart of the new Greenwich Peninsula development in London. 

The new one-hectare design district will provide a permanent base for over 1,800 of London’s creatives across a range of affordable architect-designed workspaces at the centre of the riverside site.

The design district set within the Greenwich Peninsula scheme, which is being overseen by developer Knight Dragon, will be anchored by 16 buildings.

Eight architecture firms including 6a Architects, Mole, Architecture 00, Barrozi Veiga, SelgasCano; Assemblage, Adam Khan Architects and David Kohn Architects will design the buildings, while landscape architects Schulze+Grassov will create the public realm.

Each firm was asked to design a pair of buildings independently and “blind” from each other in order to create a “provocative diversity of colour and form”.

The juxtaposed buildings, which will house “low-cost, human-scaled” workshops, artists studios and flexible desk space, will be set around a series of courtyards and a central public square. The district is to be fully pedestrianised and a transparent market hall will sit at its heart.

“Open house” workshops, rooftop terraces and a basketball court will be open to visitors while retail design studios will house a rotating showcase of work created by the local designers.

Knight Dragon said that studio rents, averaging at £25 per square foot and workshop space starting from £10 per square foot, will “answer the call for more affordable workspaces in the capital”.

The creation of the design district is the latest phase in Knight Dragon’s 20-year development of Greenwich Peninsula – one of the largest regeneration projects in London. It will be delivered in a single phase and be open to its first tenants by early 2020.

“Creativity is what drives forward any thriving city,” said Richard Margree, chief executive of Knight Dragon. “The Peninsula presents a unique chance to create a new permanent district designed by creatives for creatives.”

“At the very centre of this new community will be artists mixing with start-ups, mixing with independent market traders and design companies, large and small; everyone is welcome,” he continued. “We want a real mix of companies to come and to take over the place.”

As well as a new design district, the £8.4 billion Greenwich Peninsula development, which is masterplanned by British architecture firm Allies and Morrison, is to include 15,720 homes, a film studio, a new mixed-use tube station by Santiago Calatrava, schools, offices and healthcare services.

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"Pioneer of quality public housing" Neave Brown named 2018 laureate of RIBA Royal Gold Medal

US-born architect Neave Brown is to be awarded the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal for 2018 for his contribution to social housing.

Described by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) as “a pioneer of quality public housing”, Neave Brown is best known for the post-war housing he designed during his time at Camden council in north London.

His most famous scheme, the 1970s Alexandra Road estate near Swiss Cottage, features a dramatic terraced formation.

“All my work! I got it just by flying blind, I seem to have been flying all my life,” said Brown following the news he will receive the Royal Gold Medal.

“The Royal Gold Medal is entirely unexpected and overwhelming. It’s recognition of the significance of my architecture, its quality and its current urgent social relevance. Marvellous!”

Brown, 88, is the only living architect to have all of his projects in the UK heritage listed.

“Neave’s contribution to the development of modern British housing is profound, inspiring to architects, local authorities and those who have benefitted from living in one of his outstanding projects,” said recently elected RIBA president Ben Derbyshire.

“His pioneering ideas firmly placed the community at the heart of each of his developments, giving residents shared gardens, their own front door, innovative flexible living spaces and private outside space for every home.”

Neave Brown’s best-known project, the Alexandra Road Estate, under construction in the 1970s. The project is now Grade II* listed

Prior housing projects in north London including a terrace on Winscombe Street built between 1963 and 1966, and the Dunboyne Road Estate constructed between 1971 and 1977. Both have been given Grade II status by public body Historic England.

The Alexandra Road Estate, completed in 1978, is Grade II* listed as a building of particular importance.

“At his Alexandra Road and Fleet Road’s estates, he showed how to achieve successful high-density housing without high rise,” said Derbyshire, who called on the UK’s politicians to be inspired by Neave’s approach to social housing.

“The UK must now look back at Neave Brown’s housing ideals and his innovative architecture as we strive to solve the great housing crisis,” he continued.

“The government must empower and then encourage every single council across the country to build a new generation of well-designed, affordable and sustainable homes that meet the needs of the millions of people currently failed by the housing market.”

“We need to build 300,000 new homes per year for the foreseeable future to tackle this crisis: a radical programme of mass council homes, inspired by Neave Brown’s work, must be part of the solution.”

The Royal Gold Medal is presented annually in recognition of a significant contribution to the profession.

The 2017 medal was awarded to Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and in 2016 the prize went to British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Awarded just before her unexpected death, she became the first woman to ever win the Royal Gold Medal in her own right.

Other past recipients include Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, British architect David Chipperfield, and Irish architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey.

Neave Brown was born in 1929 in Utica, New York, and moved to the UK in as a teenager.

In addition to his work in England, he also designed projects in Italy and the Netherlands, including the Zwolestraat Development in The Hague with David Porter in 1994, and Smalle Haven residential scheme, Eindhoven, in 2002.

Due to ill health, Brown will be presented with the 2018 Royal Gold Medal at a private ceremony at the RIBA on 2 October 2017.

Portrait is by Gareth Gardner.

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Being mindful: National Situational Awareness Day

Did you know that tomorrow is National Situational Awareness Day? September 26th was officially proclaimed in 2016 as the day that we should take a few minutes to really think about and be mindful of our surroundings.

What is situational awareness? According to Pretty Loaded, the organization that developed the day, it is:

Situational awareness is really just another way of being mindful of your surroundings. Developing this skill will make you more present in daily activities, which in turn helps you make better decisions in all aspects of life.

The concept was developed during World War I and focuses on personal safety, as does the site Pretty Loaded. However, situational awareness extends beyond security. We all practice situational awareness without thinking. For example, we don’t cross a busy street because we know that it’s highly likely that we will get hit by a car. Similarly, most people will think twice about walking down a dark alley in an unknown city.

Situational awareness can help you with your organizing challenges as well. Recently in the forums, someone asked how to get started in uncluttering, stating that decision paralysis was causing a block. Let’s take a look at this paralysis from the point of view of situational awareness.

We have in front of us a drawer full of who knows what. Many people who have trouble uncluttering state that what blocks them is the idea that everything they hold onto might come in handy at some point in the future.

First off, let’s forget about everything else in the house. We are focusing on just this current situation, the drawer. Nothing else exists. This helps take off the pressure. We’re not uncluttering the whole house, only one small piece of it.

Next, as we take each thing out of the drawer we ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. In what situation might this item be useful?
  2. What level of probability will this situation actually happen?

We then put the item in one of three piles:

  1. We can’t imagine using the item.
  2. We can imagine using the item, but we don’t think the situation will come to pass.
  3. We can imagine using the item and see a real possibility of the situation arising.

When we finish the drawer, items in pile A get donated or tossed out. Items in pile B get put in a box (with or without an inventory) and  dated six months in the future. If we don’t touch the box in those six months, the contents get donated or tossed out without any more decision agony. And finally, items in pile C go back in the drawer. Later, once everything in the room has been sorted, we can reorganize what’s left for better access.

By approaching uncluttering using the concept of situational awareness, we take a skill we all have (avoiding putting ourselves in front of moving vehicles, for example) and extend it to an area of our lives that causes us confusion and pain (getting rid of things that no longer serve a purpose).

This same technique can be used for any area of organizing, from prioritizing our time to reorganizing the kitchen cupboards for ease of use. As mentioned above, situational awareness is really just another term for being mindful and present in the moment.

So, now over to you. How are you going to use situational awareness day to help you organize one part of your life?

Post written by Alex Fayle

Tackling office desk clutter

Recently I moved into a new office at work, much to my former office mate’s delight. With two desks, two bookshelves, a filing cabinet and a large printer/scanner all crammed into a small room, he and I felt like we were always in each other’s way. My moving out gave us some breathing room as well as the opportunity to assess what should go where.

My first task stepping into a new, solo office was to figure out what I needed in hardware and systems. I came up with four categories:

  • Inboxes
  • Working areas
  • Storage points
  • Exit points


I made this plural after careful consideration. The idea is to have as many inboxes you need, but no more. Right now, my inboxes are:

  1. A box labeled “In” on my desk
  2. The notebook I carry in my pocket at all times
  3. My email inbox

These three pieces of hardware allow me to capture everything I typically see in a day. Papers, forms, and documents from staff and co-workers are placed in the inbox tray. The notebook captures what I come across during the day, like requests, questions, and ideas I need to follow through on. The email inbox, well…that’s its own thing. Here’s an article on how I handle that particular job.

Working areas

This is obvious but I need to get work done while in my office. That means an adequately-sized, flat surface where I can process all those inboxes and get down to tasks and projects. For me, that’s my desk, which I keep completely free of clutter. The only items allowed to live there long term are:

  1. Computer
  2. Inbox
  3. Outbox
  4. Pens
  5. 3×5 index cards, for jotting down items that need follow-up (These are tossed into the inbox for later processing.)

That’s it. When I’m working on something, the related files come out and are placed on the work surface. When I’m done with that particular project, all related materials go away. Which brings me to…

Storage areas

I’ve got two types of storage: analog and digital.

Analog storage is a good, old-fashioned filing cabinet. Hanging folders don’t work for me as I always knock them off the tracks. I prefer labeled, standard file folders. Sorting by simple alphabetical order is best for me as I can find anything.

Digitally, I use Evernote. It holds information that may be useful in the future, but doesn’t require any action such as policies and procedures, etc.

Exit points

Just like the inbox, the outbox sits on my desk. Anything that isn’t digital and must travel from me to someone else, begins its journey in the outbox.

None of this is new technology or technique, but it works for me. It’s also clutter-free and efficient. While the office I describe here is at work, this setup would benefit a home office, student’s desk, or homework area. See if you can reduce your office system down to what’s necessary and see your efficiency and productivity rise.

Post written by David Caolo

Unitasker Wednesday: 60 second salad

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Facebook knows me well. Often its ads are kitchen-related and the other day it suggested that I might want to buy a 60 second salad cutter. When I saw the video for this kitchen tool, my first thought that it would make an ideal item for a Unitasker Wednesday post. When a knife all you need to make salad, why would you want another bulky item filling up your cupboards?

Then I got thinking as well about mobility issues. For anyone with wrist problems or perhaps the use of only one hand, the 60 second salad tool would be a fantastic solution.

Although I have no mobility issues, I’ve been making a lot of salads recently. While cutting up the veggies is a simple task with the knife, it’s not the fastest process. When making a lunchtime salad, often at six o’clock in the morning, the last thing I want to do is spend a great deal of time cutting up the various components of the dish, the 60 seconds in the name of the tool is the real attention-getter here and it may just end up on my Christmas wish list.

What are your thoughts? Do any of you have the 60 second salad and swear by it? Or are you chuckling at the idea of buying this classic Unitasker item?

Post written by Alex Fayle

Hole in the bucket organizing

When I was a little girl grandmother and aunt taught me Harry Bellefonte’s Hole in the Bucket song and of course I remember watching the classic Sesame Street performance on TV.


The Hole in the Bucket is a classic endless loop dilemma that at we all get stuck in at some point. If you’re stuck in an endless loop in your computer program you can simply press CTRL +ALT +DEL to break the cycle. Unfortunately, real life doesn’t have CTRL +ALT +DEL buttons so you’ll need to look for another way to exit the endless loop.

The first step is to recognize that you’re in an endless loop. If you don’t seem to be getting anywhere, write down the list of tasks you need to complete to achieve your goal. If you’ve written a task more than once, you’re likely in an endless loop. In the song, Henry’s problem was the hole in his bucket.

Change focus. Henry was focused on getting a whole bucket of water. If he had focused on another part of his task list, for example sharpening his axe, he would have realized that a small cup would have carried enough water to wet his stone. If you’re trying to organize your home and you keep focusing on the kitchen, consider focusing on the dining room instead. An organized dining room may free up enough space to allow you to easily organize the kitchen.

Working with new people can help escape an endless loop. Henry was working with Liza who was offering no real solutions and seemed to be perpetuating the loop. If Henry had spoken with a neighbour, he could have borrowed a bucket or an axe and had his problem solved. Talking to a friend, family member, or hiring a professional organizer can provide new and insightful clues to resolve your organizational problems.

Using your wildest imagination could provide unique solutions. If buckets didn’t exist, how would Henry get water? What would buckets be made of so they would never get holes? In your own situation, what if you could just wave a magic wand and have the clutter disappear? If you had unlimited funds, how could you solve the problem? Even if the answers are outlandish, they just might just lead to a solution you may not have previously considered.

Have you ever been stuck in an endless loop? What helped you escape? Please share with our readers in the comments.

Post written by Jacki Hollywood Brown

Common clutter items: unidentified keys and cords

As a cat lover, I’m fond of the smartphone game called Neko Atsume, where you get various cats to visit you and leave behind some treasures. The treasure that one cat leaves is “a small toy key” — but “no one knows where it goes to.”

Seeing this reminded me of all the keys so many people have stashed away — and they, too, have no idea what many of the keys were ever intended to unlock. I just looked at my own key collection and noticed I have a few of these, also. I carry a limited number of keys with me daily: house key, car key fob, my neighbor’s house key, and the key to my UPS Store mailbox. In my box of other keys should be one for my brother’s house, my safe deposit box, my two lockboxes, and the door to The UPS Store. And there should be a couple spare house keys for my own home.

But I don’t know which key is my brother’s and which goes to The UPS Store — and I have three extra keys that are total mysteries. Furthermore, I’m almost positive that one of the keys in the box is the key to a good friend’s old house, before she moved out of the area. So my to-do list for October includes identifying the useful keys, using colored key caps (with an associated list) so I know which is which, and tossing the mystery keys. In some places such keys can be recycled as scrap metal, which is better than sending them to landfill if you have that option.

And in the future, I’ll make life easier on myself by immediately tossing any keys I don’t need — for example, my current copy of my brother’s house key if he ever changes the locks — and labeling any new ones.

A similar problem happens with cables and cords, where almost everyone I know has a box or a drawer (or maybe multiple boxes and drawers) filled with unidentified items. If all the electronic equipment you have is working fine with the cords you already have in place — and you have found the cords to any electronics you plan to sell, donate, or give away — you may be able to let all those other cords go. In some cases you may want spare cords: for travel, for replacing ones the cat chews through, etc. But many people also have a bunch of cords that go to electronics they haven’t owned in years. Along with the cords you may also have old remotes and charging devices.

Those whose hobbies involve tinkering with computers and electronics may want to keep an array of cords and cables for purposes as yet unknown. But those of us who just want to use our devices don’t need the cords to old computers, monitors, printers, etc. These cords qualify as e-waste, and you can usually find a place to recycle them without too much trouble. For example, in the U.S., they can be dropped off at Best Buy stores, in the recycling kiosks that are just inside the front doors.

Post written by Jeri Dansky