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Shanghai holds eco-design fair to mark Earth Day

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April 22nd is Earth Day. For the environmentally conscious, an eco-design fair was held over the weekend in Shanghai--drawing expats while international students learned to find new uses for old materials. Lamps made from thermos bottles, clocks made from tin boxes and stools made from used tires. All of these items were created by a Swiss designer in the city.

"Just if you see them like a raw when you buy them of its, kind of make some connections. And you can think like, yeah, maybe you can fit the bulb on there. It can work as a shelf case. But also you can use it in many different ways. So, example for the tin box we use in various products," a product designer Fabian Meier said.

Meier was one of the 80 designers to show off his goods at an eco-design market over the weekend. Organizers say they want to make more people in the city aware of the importance of using sustainable and natural products in the daily life. More than 200 people attended the fair, and half of them were expats.

Meanwhile, international students took part in a competition to find new uses for old goods. This British student is making a bag from old coats and jackets that have been thrown away. The bag will hold some items made by other members of his team.

"At the beginning it's quite challenging, because we got these three materials, this one, this one and this one. We are wondering what we could do with that. It's so simple, it's just wheels," prof. Davide Fassi from Tongji University said.

The team decided to make an interactive toy for both children and adults.

"You can go there and just play in the free time. And you can use the core of the same wheel and just create this little vase for vegetables. So you got the artificial flowers and you got the natural plants," prof. Davide Fassi said.

"It gives people an opportunity to develop innovative solutions, to use wasted products. So it's one step beyond recycling. And it has a very positive impact on reducing carbon emissions," said Matt burney, E. China director of British Council.

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