How can we repurpose waste into a purposeful product for a sustainable future?
Wafo: Turn your waste into food!
It is a sustainable design agency that buys recyclable and non-recyclable waste from local businesses and repurposes it into a product line. It aims to help local businesses and give waste a new life.
How does Wafo works?
The production process will be key to helping local businesses that need support sell their unused materials. Wafo will analyze the possible use of these waste materials and quote reasonable prices.
Given waste a second life
While ideating ways to use all the biodegradable materials I received, I hit upon the idea of making the fish scales, coffee grounds, corks, and succulent seeds into a finger ring that can be used to grow succulents that we have named ‘Bub’.
Bub: Pet your plants!
In the city, we have all distanced ourselves from nature. This disconnection creates a gap that prevents us from reconnecting with the environment. The idea is to revive the connection between humans and plants. Instead of being a static green living thing, the ring allows people to carry their plants around. Users are required to be dedicated in taking care of the plants. This can help create a meaningful connection between plant and owner. Like feeding a pet, how about petting a plant?
Bub: The Product Prototype
Bud comes with an instruction sheet that states the origin of the material will be available with the product, along with a map. This will allow users to go on a treasure hunt and visit the vendor they are interested in.
Bub will be sold in a Wafo vending machine located at the front entrance of the market. It comes as a surprise box (gachapon) with different ring shapes.
Why Surprise Theory?
The consumers will not know what shape of Bud they will receive, which vendor has participated with Wafo. Considering the surprise theory from the perspective of cognitive science, the moment of the surprise will astonish the customers. Instead of forcing an individual into passive learning, it acts as a trigger to make the individuals active and engage themselves in learning and experiencing. Wafo not only wants the customers to engage with our product but connect them back to the local business.
Here are some images of the functional prototype. Coffee grounds, fish scales, and succulent seeds are bound with biodegradable natural adhesives and molded with silicone. The whole process requires only biodegradable ingredients that could turn into nutrients for the succulents.
1. “ 'Surprise!’, Meinzer, K., https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-02/heres-what-happens-after-surprise, 2 April, 2015.