About two weeks ago, I posted about some companies I found that create tile out of recycled glass. That post was only part of the story - the search for recycled glass products ultimately led me to look around my home state and home town for locally sourced recycled glass products. The emphasis on recycled or "green" products should also include considerations on using local materials and local businesses as a way of cutting the necessity of shipping and packaging, as well as keeping money in the local economy.
The first company I came across that featured many kinds of recycled products was Coverings Etc based in Miami. They carry several materials that utilized recycled or cast-off components including their Bio-Glass which is pictured above. The customer service at Coverings Etc was top-notch over the phone and they quickly followed up with detailed information about several of their products (thanks Jennifer!).
Probably the most unusual material they feature though is a recycled aluminum tile that is made from old aircraft body panels called Bio-luminum. The tiles are made by remelting the old aluminum, casting a block, and then cutting it into tile. Coverings Etc describes their aluminum tile as having "a very distinct, almost industrial aesthetic", and I could not agree more. It does not have the warmth and three dimensional quality of their Bio-Glass but I love the striations on the surface of the tiles from the cutting process and its subdued metallic luster
The Bio-Glass really intrigued me so I headed down to Indigo, the local green building supply here in Gainesville. They carry a large stock of samples that you can handle and drool after, plus the owner and staff warmly welcome you and whatever questions you might bring. We are extremely lucky to have a resource like Indigo in our community.
Liberty, the owner of Indigo, also referred me to a local concrete specialist whose work amazed me. His name is James Catabia, and owns a local concrete countertop business called Casting Impressions. James gave me a thorough interview when I called him on a Friday afternoon while his latest project was curing.
He custom colors his concrete to whatever shade you need, mixes and pours exactly to minimize waste, and locally sources his raw materials. He can produce terrazo utilizing recycled glass, as seen below.
His drive to create custom colors and commitment to local sourcing matches his earnest customer service nicely. James told me that if people in other areas were looking for a local concrete specialist, they can find one easily at the concretenetwork.com. Hopefully, the services listed on there in other areas produce the same high quality work found with Casting Impressions.