A man living in Hanoi has decorated the interior of his coffee house with discarded items as a way to reduce costs in setting up the business and spread the message of environment protection.
The café owner, Nguyen Van Tho, said industrial parks and casting factories have taken a heavy toll on the life at his hometown in the capital’s neighboring province of Bac Ninh.
The river associated with his fond childhood memories has been polluted so severely that it now shows a dangerous black and is full of industrial waste.
The 35-year-old was personally affected after many of his family members and neighbors had died of cancer, which may have been caused by contamination of air, food and drinking water.
Realizing that humans are destroying their own lives, Tho decided to build a coffee shop in the Vietnamese capital with the interior equipment coming from disused items.
|Foreigners sit next to an old-fashion Minks motorbike with a sidecar at Nguyen Van Tho’s coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Cups from disposed of bottles are seen at Nguyen Van Tho’s coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
He bought machine parts, bottles, household furniture and thrown-away paint containers from scrap collectors and transformed them into handicraft.
Tho said he only sought recyclable items that are “special in some way” and ready to be made into unique furniture and decorations.
The café owner has so far made several tables, chairs, decorative lights, cups and partitions from such materials as wood, rubber, plastic and glass to porcelain.
|An awning formed from 1,000 plastic bottles is seen at Nguyen Van Tho’s coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|A creation from machine parts is seen at Nguyen Van Tho’s coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
|Lights made from disused glass bottles are seen in Nguyen Van Tho’s coffee shop in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Tho said the coffee shop needed VND1.5 billion ($64,500) to have 95 percent of its interior equipment made this way. That is just half the cost for purchasing the similar furniture for a building of the same size.
With the motto ‘reduce-reuse-recycle,’ the café represents a way to protect the environment and hopes to raise public awareness of the issue, Tho said.