playlist

Thrifty TED Talks

Give old things new life and even imagine a futuristic perspective on repurposing everyday items with these fun and thoughtful talks.

  1. 10:34
    Andrew Dent To eliminate waste, we need to rediscover thrift

    There's no such thing as throwing something away, says Andrew Dent — when you toss a used food container, broken toy or old pair of socks into the trash, those things inevitably end up in ever-growing landfills. But we can get smarter about the way we make, and remake, our products. Dent shares exciting examples of thrift — the idea of using and reusing what you need so you don't have to purchase anything new — as well as advances in material science, like electronics made of nanocellulose and enzymes that can help make plastic infinitely recyclable.

  2. 17:57
    Dan Phillips Creative houses from reclaimed stuff

    In this funny and inspiring talk, Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own drive to make more with less.

  3. 15:30
    Arvind Gupta Turning trash into toys for learning

    At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves — while learning basic principles of science and design.

  4. 7:30
    Jae Rhim Lee My mushroom burial suit

    Here's a powerful provocation from artist Jae Rhim Lee. Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Naturally — using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms. Yes, this just might be the strangest TEDTalk you'll ever see ...

  5. 12:18
    Daan Roosegaarde A smog vacuum cleaner and other magical city designs

    Daan Roosegaarde uses technology and creative thinking to produce imaginative, earth-friendly designs. He presents his latest projects — from a bike path in Eindhoven, where he reinterpreted "The Starry Night" to get people thinking about green energy, to Beijing, where he developed a smog vacuum cleaner to purify the air in local parks, to a dance floor that generates electricity to power a DJ booth. Check out Roosegaarde's vision for a future where creativity is our true capital.

  6. 6:06
    Brian Dettmer Old books reborn as art

    What do you do with an outdated encyclopedia in the information age? With X-Acto knives and an eye for a good remix, artist Brian Dettmer makes beautiful, unexpected sculptures that breathe new life into old books.

  7. 11:55
    Lisa Dyson A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food

    We're heading for a world population of 10 billion people — but what will we all eat? Lisa Dyson rediscovered an idea developed by NASA in the 1960s for deep-space travel, and it could be a key to reinventing how we grow food.