HugThis week at Treehugger, tune in, turn on, hug it out…Toys made from trash. Make your own eco-travel plans. And, we find upcycled art in our archives.Build a homemade digital camera. A backyard hydrogen station project in Florida.

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Indian Ingenuity ñ Arvind Guptaís Toys from Trash There are few things we at TreeHugger like more than creative reuse. Why send perfectly good items to the landfill when they can be used again? This is what makes Arvind Gupta’s Toys from Trash so cool – the materials he uses are those that even the craftiest of us usually dispose of. From sneaker soles to matchsticks to pencils, Arvin creates toys for children in his homeland of India (and hopefully around the world) that may not have the financial access to traditional or educational toys. WIth Toys from Trash, hopefully Arvin can spark the engineering interests of children that otherwise would not have had the access to tinker with and “create” toys.

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The Best of Affordable Eco-Vacations Partially because Expedia and Travelocity don’t focus on it, and partially because it just more fun to chart your own course, DIY is the often the way to go if you are planning eco-travel. TreeHugger found a great resource at Alternet in planning your trip that gives you the lowdown on what to do and how to do it sans travel agent. Now, you can make travel plans knowing you are lessening your impact on the environment.

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Upcycle Art ó DIY Re-manufacturing Finally, straight from the TreeHugger archives, we dug up some DIY art made from discarded products. Upcycle Art shows you how to make bracelets, lamps, CD cases, and a whole load of other things from “waste.” Whats more, the projects here all give you step-by-step instructions and when finished look much better than your average “treasure from trash” art.

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DIY: Build a Digital Camera What do you get when you combine a flatbed scanner and a conventional box camera? Well, probably a scrap pile of electronics if you haven’t seen Mike Golembewski’s tutorial on building your own digital camera. The Scanner Photography Project will show you how a few small hacks and tweaks can turn a secondhand camera into a modern showpiece. Not only does this camera have tricks up its sleeve that can put Photoshop to shame, it looks cool and allows us to reuse something that otherwise might have just been thrown in the landfill.

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Backyard Hydrogen Man The problem with hydrogen power has always been availability. The big energy companies don’t want to subsidize a technology that will cut down on oil consumption, and until now it was just too expensive for smaller companies to get in the game (and then get large enough to really make a difference). All of that could change with Bob DeCuir’s innovation and hopefully a bit of cash from the U.S. government. From the St. Petersburg Times, “He built a backyard solar tracking array this summer to make the hydrogen gas. What he’s seeking now is a safe way to store the gas in high-pressure tanks that will be 6 feet long and 2 feet in diameter.” If he receives his federal energy grant, we could be hearing a lot more on Mr. Decuir in the future.

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Swap-O-Rama-Rama Part II Finally, if you live in or near NYC, check out the winter Swap-O-Rama-Rama in Brooklyn the day of February 12th. For $10 and a bag of your unwanted clothes, you will have access to piles upon piles of clothing free the taking. While you are there, check out some of the DIY workshops to help you turn your new found treasures into high fashion. And, you can do all this feeling good about your contributions to the swap – all leftover clothing from the autumn swap was donated to charity, and I would expect the winter swap follow in suit.

 

That is it for this time, look for more TreeHugger goodies next week.