House of Cardboard

By CNI Cooperative

On the Greek island of Samos, we set up the pilot facility to reclaim, upcycle and reuse creatively tons of cardboard that are wasted every day here.

We have approximately half of the equipment needed to do it. But we need your help to get the other half, to start activity and to go through first three months, until we become financially sustainable.

The budget is planned for three months and includes:

— buying some extra tools and materials to build tools (press for laminating cardboard, precise bending press, die cutting equipment etc.): wood, steel, aluminum and others.
— buying materials for testing and prototyping (glues, paints, varnish, laminating foils and tapes) and small tools.
— external services: transport, communications, information materials.
— food and basic sustenance for the team (two people and two dogs) involved, so we can work full time on the topic.

More details (deliverables vs. expenses) are available here.

Background of the project

Economy of Samos is mainly based on import via ferries and airplanes. There is no waste separation nor recycling system in place and (which is typical on Greek islands) there is a lot of waste dumps in the countryside — in groves, beaches and mountain valleys.

The “House of Cardboard” plan consists of three steps:

1. Set up the workshop place, with tools and devices (some of them self-made, specifically to process the cardboard). Test various technologies, to find the best way of joining, bending, finishing and waterproofing the material. Develop a set of useful and pretty products: solar cookers, furniture, storage systems, pet shelters, toys etc. Managing our own cardboard waste, mostly through composting process. This is the plan for next three months — and this is for what we need your help.

2. Build sustainability, through the system of community supported manufacturing and through the sales via FreedomCoop Cooperative. It will also include building our own cardboard collection system.

3. Educate and replicate. Teach interested people, on Samos and beyond, how to replicate House of Cardboard in their areas. Create a cooperative network of Open Source Appropriate Technology entities, confederated to address this problem region-wide.

See the description of House of Cardboard here and posts related to it here on our website.

Broader picture. House of Cardboard is a part of our bigger plan, “Waste not, Samos” — plan to tackle three waste management challenges: cardboard, plastic and compostable organic matter. Here you can read more about it.

And here you will find more elaborated analysis of the influence of our project in local, regional and continental scale.

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