You look through it, drink out of it, watch television with its reflection-glass is everywhere. The uses are almost endless. Glass has existed since the beginning of time, where natural intense heat created by volcanic eruptions, meteors and lightning strikes transformed certain rock into this shiny smooth material. The earliest glass (non-translucent) dates back to around 3000BC. It is thought that Egyptians accidentally came across the craft when calciferous sand found its way into kilns and formed a glass glaze on the ceramics fired inside.
Glass was mainly used for decorative purposes at first, but it has come a long way since then. Every home and office is going to contain glass in one form or another – lamps, televisions and mirrors are all nonfunctional without the material. With so many items made from glass, however, it makes one wonder what happens to these things when they are no longer useful? 7% of household waste is glass and not all of it gets recycled. In 2001, over 2.5 million tonnes of glass was land-filled. This is unfortunate, as glass can be recycled indefinitely – its simple structure is not damaged when reprocessed.
Certain eco-friendly companies have invested in excess glass, taking advantage of its beauty and various functionalities. EnviroGLAS converts glass destined to be land-filled into gorgeous flooring, kitchen slabs and even incorporates the glass into landscapes.
“It was in 2002 that a glut of old glass bottles, mirrors and windows became the source for this chic green twist to the classic flooring concept. Publicity in July about the Texas city of Plano’s overabundance of crushed recycled glass inspired the creative solution of combining the multi-colored crystals with epoxy resin to create recycled glass Terrazzo.” (http://www.enviroglasproducts.com/about.asp)
Walking on floors designed by EnviroGLAS is a mesmerizing process, as bits of mirrors and colorful glass shimmer underneath your feet. There are dozens of colors to choose from and interested buyers can customize the mixture of glass to suit their taste. These color combinations are endless.
One concern is that these glass floors are fragile. This is definitely not the case. The website explains that “EnviroTRAZ recycled glass [and porcelain Terrazzo] will last the lifetime of your building, and most terrazzo floors last at least 40 years without needing refinishing. DFW Airport, Parkland Hospital, Dallas Baptist University and the City of Dallas’ Hensley Field Operations Center are four of the latest North Texas community landmarks to install this environmentally friendly flooring.”
Another benefit is that the seamless quality of the finished product is easy to keep clean. There are no nooks and crannies for mold or mildew to grow while the inert properties of the glass provide excellent air quality.
With maintenance costs almost nonexistent and endless pattern and color options – who wouldn’t want to walk on glass?