It's been a long time coming (as some of my close friends know) for these fun, colorful, cork planters!... or holders of anything, really. It wasn't until about 4 or 5 years ago when I started really getting into wine. When visiting wineries, and going out to dinner, I noticed the mass amounts of cork that were just being thrown into the garbage. First of all, I thought, "Cork is recyclable. I see those re-cork bins at Whole Foods all the time." Secondly, I started doing some research on the material. Cork is very sustainable (a tree doesn't need to be cut down to harvest it), and is flame and rot retardant. What is it that I could make with such a phenomenal material?!
At first, I thought about bathmats, with a twist (since they have been done, along with coasters, trivets, etc). Yet, cutting the cork to the thickness I wanted and attaching them all together posed a difficult feat! After fiddling, twiddling, and swirling my thumbs, that is when planters popped in my head. From there, I decided to do research on indoor plants and their benefits. Surprising to some, as "blonde" as I sound at times (I'm Asian by the way), I am a nerd deep down. During my web-info-surfing journey, I came upon NASA's "A study for interior landscape plants for indoor air pollution abatement (July 1, 1989)." My initial [and selfish] thought was that I wanted to fill my own house with these plants. Then, I had heard on NPR that indoor air quality is, on occasion, much worse than outdoor air quality. Thus, my desire to combine the two: cork planters and non-electric air purifiers - the plants!
I started asking my lovely friends to save the corks from their many nights of eating great food and drinking great wine. However, the majority of them came from a close friend's work place. You know, the whole food-service industry... For about 4 straight weeks, I cut, constructed and painted a good "handful" of planters. The adhesive I used has a MAX VOC of 20g/L (anything below 50g/L is really good!). The color I used is a NO VOC [chalkboard] paint from Earth Safe Finishes. (They have a large selection of beautifully colored paints!)
Now, to the good part, here are some of the indoor pollutants absorb, and from where they originate.