Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Recycled Rubber Is Tough

This should be the poster girl for the Recycled Rubber Association ! According to the RRA the recycling of scrap rubber plays an important role in both the environmental stability and development of North America. I was totally amazed to find that rubber can be recycled into an array of new products : various types of flooring, door mats, vegan guitar straps, speed bumps, bracelets, shoes, fashionable s-n-m gear, and even garden mulch ! (Although I have to say I would never mulch my organic garden with rubber, no matter how safe they claim it is.) Recycling rubber is quite scientific and I have no idea how to make sense of this -A process for reclaiming sulfur-cured, vulcanized rubber by combining finely ground scrap vulcanized rubber within a specialized, twin-screw extruder capable of providing strong shearing and just-on-time mixing; adding a reclaiming agent to the extruder; and masticating the rubber scrap and reclaiming agent within the extruder until the rubber scrap is devulcanized -..... but, um, using something old to make something new is certainly an earth friendly deed. I have a pair of hemp covered recycled rubber tire flip flops made by http://www.splaff.com/ that I have worn hard through the mountains and after every shower, and they are still going strong. There are also cute eco shoes I wish I owned that use recycled rubber like Chicago's MOHOP ( you can view their collection @ http://www.mohop.com/ ) BTW- If you are feeling the desire to test out some wild & gothy recycled rubber fashion like the "Tough Arms" babe above, you can check out a plethora of recycled designs @ http://www.zuss.com/ .

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